13. Final Reflection

13. Final Reflection




I feel like I have gained a broader understanding and appreciation for A LOT of things when it came to this class. My post course ratings were a bit higher also. What stuck with me the most was mindfulness. I often find myself stopping at certain points of the day or in many cases/situations and thinking things through. I think this will really help me in many aspects of my life in the long run. Something else that really got to me, was taking the time to meditate. I don’t do that nearly enough and I felt tons better after doing it in class. I genuinely hope it’s something that I can pick up and make a habit out of.


Another thing that I loved was ready everyone else’s posts over the past few months. Hearing insights, personal stories and feedback from my peers definitely had its perks. Often we pretend that we don’t want nor appreciate the viewpoint of others but it doesn’t have to be nearly as negative as it’s made out to be. I’m super happy to have had this experience that’s opened my eyes a little more to the world and people around me. Even though I can fully accept and understand that things aren’t what I want them to be right now, I have a lot of tools now to keep moving forward.  I hope I’m not the only one that’s gained a little something. To anyone reading this, thank you for taking this trip with me. I wish everyone much success and happiness in the future. Don’t sweat the small things and remember that everything seems impossible, until it’s done. Please, keep going~




[Vital Information for Your Everyday Life]

12. EAT

I was given the EAT assignment. Which I thought was hilarious because that’s all I do anyway. I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. No pun intended. (ok, maybe just a little.) It was quite the contrary actually. I never realized how erratic my eating was until I had to keep track of it. Some days I’d have a full breakfast, some days I didn’t have anything at all. Sometimes I’d eat multiple times a day and others only once. One day I would go all day without drinking any kind of fluids. Some days I’d barely eat anything and also have this unquenchable thirst. I decided to take a closer look at why I displayed such strange dietary patterns. Many factors play a role in how I eat, when I eat and also how I feel before, during and after. I noticed how the other two categories for this project of Sleep and Move can be direct factors also. If I don’t get enough sleep, I am tired the next day. This makes it hard for me to get going and I end up running late. And if I’m running late I don’t have time to grab anything to eat. It’s all a chain reaction. Also, moving and lack thereof can/will contribute to dietary irregularities.  It was rather hard to also keep up with my emotions during this time. I personally often feel a whole range of them at any given time. But one thing I am 100% sure about- is that I am a stress-eater.

Doing this activity has given me a lot of perspective on how much better I could be eating and how important it is to set a routine so that the other factors of sleep and move can play a more proper role. It’s not the prettiest of reminders but it definitely was necessary. I guess this means that I’ll be working a lot harder to find that happy medium.

11. Mediocrity?

This week  came as something that I needed to hear. Although I’ve been working on myself with this particular set of topics- I needed more things to help solidify my mindset.

So this week, I got back the results of a project that I had worked really hard on. Hand drawn, great storyline and all original characters are what I thought made my project (a children’s book about the economic concept of trade) a great one! Even if it wasn’t an A+ I would have been happy with a B. However, I was given a C. To many people, it’s not that huge of a deal- but to me, all I heard/saw/felt was that I was “a mediocre artist who has no real understanding of economic concepts”. Now, that may or may have not been the case- but nothing stopped me from giving myself a hard time about it. Could it just be my “Artist-Sensitivity”? Or my constant internal struggle to prove myself in the best ways I know how (maybe even to people that I don’t need to prove anything at all to. This all comes with the concept of the “Invisible Audience” that we’re currently discussing in my Human Development class.) Even though the schema of perfectionism is not 100% there- it’s the attention to detail that drives me nuts! I don’t think it’s necessary to downplay my work and personal accomplishments out of fear that they won’t be properly recognized- but to celebrate and embrace them on my own and remember that anything done is for my own betterment and personal growth.

Although there were other hard-hitting topics that were covered this week- this was the most relevant. I think this is giving me more initiative to take a good look at myself and the way I operate- as well as others. Being focused on one’s self so often can surely take away from seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s even interesting to think about how others see you. This is something that I’ll be thinking about and paying more attention to.

10: No good deed…..

10: No good deed…..

(In typical VIFYEL fashion, this post is a little late! ^^ )

This week we were supposed to do 2 random acts of kindness. Although this is something I do often without reason- I was particularly excited for it anyway. This week- I remember buying lunch for a friend or two. It was something that I liked doing anyway. If I can be the cause of someone’s joy, even for a brief period, that is what makes me happy.

Another instance occurred when I found out that the mother of one of my sister’s friends passed away. I wanted to help in anyway I could. My sister was already preparing a care basket and I contributed monetarily and with ideas. It felt good knowing that this would  be something that might lift the spirits of that individual.

I usually like to keep these little things to myself. They are my own personal moments of enjoyment that I like to partake in. Even if it’s something so small- knowing I made the slightest of differences is something I can reflect on that day and forward. It made me feel happy and good about myself. It also helps reassure me that I’m a good persona and that I can do something that matters. I wish more people would randomly do nice things for each other. I think the world would be far different and maybe even better.



9: Mission in Progress

This week we talked a lot about our personal mission statements as well as different goals and purposes.  Although this lesson really made me think and try to piece things together- I found it a bit distressing. I was glad that I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. Many people have the general idea of what they want to do in their personal and professional lives. Putting it into words is another story. I think many of us have a broad spectrum of things that we want to achieve/accomplish but it’s difficult to pinpoint what those exact things are. Helping people, making a difference, finding and using one’s own personal strengths, and reaching one’s goals are all things that seem to be a commonality between myself and my peers. There are a few that know exactly what they want and how to get there. (Envious!). Some have no idea or are almost there. And that’s okay too. I was very happy to have Dr. Wu Pong’s words of wisdom throughout this week. It was helpful to hear her talk through the activities that she gave us and I liked talking with my classmates as well.

There are a lot of changes that I’ve had in my mind prior to this assignment. I think they would help me reach my goals in my personal and professional life.

1.) Be more vigilant!- I often find myself waiting for others to take control/for the situation to unfold/open-up. Things will never get done if I don’t take the initiative. I think this is also a form of hesitation that I should really work on. Apathy is a real pain x-x


2.) Be positive-  Now more than ever I am a little more pessimistic than necessary. I think this also comes with the theme of mindfulness that we talked about last week as well. It’s important that I stay motivated and inspired


3.) Be mindful!- as stated above we talked a lot about mindfulness and being aware. I don’t take things one step at a time like I should and I often get frustrated. This drags myself and others down and that’s never productive.


These things have helped clarify what I want to do in a way. I’ve also noticed that every personal and professional goal that I have starts from within. If I take the time to work on myself- everything else usually pieces itself together.

8: Woosaaahhhhh

8: Woosaaahhhhh

I feel like this week of lessons really spoke to my soul. Lately, I’ve been all out-of-sorts about nearly everything in my life. School, personal issues, home-life, and being laid-off recently are all things that are buzzing around in my head. A lot of the times- I really need to release that stress and pent up emotion and sometimes it negatively affects those around me. Now, of course, it’s never my intention to put anyone else in a foul mood/sense of worry. I’m also sure others don’t mean to either. In my case, I’m an emotional sponge and tend to ‘soak up’ all of the emotions that are going on around me. It’s pretty easy for me to become affected by what someone else is feeling. That can be a great example of empathy but it’s not always helpful.

Talking about mindfulness reminded me that I need to be more mindful. (<– ha) I often miss going back to my community college to take a yoga class with my best friend. It was the most peaceful hour and twenty-five minutes of my day. (I probably even grew an inch from all the stretching) It was nice to slow down and throw away all of my grievances that I had and gave me a sound mind- if only for a little while. I actually found that I was able to regroup a little better and manage my stress and emotions a lot more as well. This contributed to others around me being more happy just by noticing that I wasn’t scowling most of the time and not lashing out.

I don’t always have the time to chill out and meditate for a few minutes- (due to my attention/mind being pulled at from all different angles. Which is also why appreciate those 2 minute meditations during SOH.Good looking out Dr. D!)  and it’s unfortunate. I think myself, as well as those around me could benefit from a little more self-awareness about our actions and emotions can/are affecting others.  We’d be a lot better off if we were more considerate about other people and especially ourselves.

7: My own strengths? [long]

  • Judgement
  • Perspective
  • Honesty
  • Gratitude
  • Humor

(others: appreciation of beauty and excellence, prudence, hope, humility, bravery, fairness, kindness, spirituality, love, leadership, love of learning, self regulation, social intelligence, creativity, perseverance, forgiveness, curiosity, teamwork and zest).

Doing the Via/strengths assessments were actually pretty insightful. I don’t want to say that I “found out a lot about myself”- but more so, that I’ve enhanced my understanding. Based on my results, this could be strategically used as a guide to apply some of these attributes to my life plans and goals.

In the perspective of Judgement (Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly.), this is generally a great trait to have. Especially in today’s world where basic knowledge, understanding, and tolerance for those around you are very important.

Perspective: (Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself/others.) To me, this is the most important traits. As a future educator- I believe this should be in a top 5 for all that want to teach. I find it interesting that I was assigned with this. Many times I find it hard to understand this world and even seeing it through the eyes of other people. I’m guessing this is why it came at a close second. But I guess no one is perfect~


Honesty: (Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions.) I feel like honesty is something that becomes stronger as you get older, at least in my case. Not to say that I was ever extremely dishonest. However I had a hard time expressing  myself in every sense. I think this is also me coming to terms with my own thoughts, feelings, understandings, and perspectives of myself and others. Being honest to me is (re)presenting and seeing something for exactly what it is, without embellishments or exaggerations. Presenting one’s self in that way is not only important for everyday life/interactions- but for interpersonal reasons as well. Even starting and posting in this blog has contributed to my honesty complex. Everything written here comes from my a deep recess within myself that I feel compelled to share. Luckily, it’s been nothing but a positive experience. For that, I am grateful. Which leads me to the 4th trait:


Gratitude: (Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.) I don’t always find myself being grateful. There are times when I can be pretty pessimistic. But not everything in life will be perfect. It’s best to be appreciative for the things/people you have. I guess it’s as simple as that.


Humor: (Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.) In daily life, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the appropriate humor at the appropriate time. Despite the serious tone of my posts, I like to laugh and to make other people laugh. Seeing others happy are one of my own personal joys.

Keeping all of these prominent characteristics in mind- it will be easy to enhance and use these in my personal and professional life. This doesn’t just apply to myself but learning about other people as well. I hope to take more of these tests/assessments in the future and compare them to those around me.




6: HQC

This week’s overall theme was positive relationships and “high quality connections”. This made me think about my own personal connections in life and how I maintain them.

I instantly recalled a lot of recent issues that I’ve had with former friends in the past couple of weeks. Large arguments and misunderstanding were the telltale signs of miscommunication and low connectivity with said individuals. This made me think. It helped me piece together all of the times where this had been a problem before, which made me questions the validity and connections that I currently have with the people in my life.

Reading Stephens’ (et al.) article about “High Quality Connections”, further opened up a lot of windows for me. I had already come to the conclusion that I was mentally and emotionally hanging on to a lot of weak and meaningless connections with people in order to still feel a false sense of meaning, importance, and security. In these relationships, the quality of the connection disintegrated little by little. And it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I realized a little pruning needed to be done. Not only for my social health, but mental and emotional health as well. There’s no need in holding onto negative relationships. I want and deserve better.

BUT! This posts of course is not all about negative relationships, it’s about the positive ones. And again, being completely honest, I don’t know of many that I have. When trying to maintain the connections I have- I try to be open and honest. More and more I find that being straightforward with the other person and vice versa. Vitality (as mentioned by Stephens et al. ) is also very important in my day to day connections. There shouldn’t be a feeling of dread when someone approaches me and I, them.

One point made in the readings really sung my heart’s desires.

“Being regarded positively denotes a sense of feeling known and loved, or of being respected and cared for in the connection.” 

Being valued and respected in a relationship is something that is very important to me, especially when I’ve felt the complete opposite on many occasions. But it’s not all about how others make me feel, but I how I make them feel as well. Often, I feel it is necessary to make sure that I too am holding myself to the same standards. Am I making others feel comfortable, respected and valued in this relationship? Do others feel a mutual sense of positivity when approaching/talking with me? What am I doing to keep these connections fresh and beneficial for other people? Now of course, I don’t personally feel like it’s anyone’s sole responsibility to keep a connection going. But, assuming you give a damn-it’s all worth the effort, right?






5: Competence

When we were told by Dr. Salvatore to think of couples we knew who exemplified the good and bad of competence, I honestly couldn’t think of anyone. I personally hadn’t grown up around/observed many healthy relationships in my life. The telltale signs of unwed parents and of course, an absentee father. The closest I could get to observing ‘perfect couples’ would be the sitcom families that resolved their issues in front of a live studio audience. There’s a soothing and heartfelt soundtrack in the background and all is resolved with a collective “awww”. One would think that competence is not something that could easily be understood and applied with such an upbringing. But personally, observing what “not to do” has sufficed just as well.

I don’t have any significant relationship experience.But as you get older and learn more about yourself and others- many things become clear. What’s most important during any stage is one’s sense of self worth. I also think it’s about what you’re willing to give and receive in any kind of relationship. When one can find a balance between these things- they may be able to find peace in that aspect of their lives whether they are alone or not. I believe this is something that many college-aged individuals seem to lack/forget. This could also carry into adulthood as well. Many relationships at any age can be compromised simply because the principles of competence aren’t fully understood OR the expectations for their significant others are unrealistic/simply not being met.

I hope more people pay close attention to their own thoughts/behaviors, and patterns before seeking relationships with others. Often we can feel like we need validation from another person, when really, all we need is ‘to love and be loved in return.’


Here are some great videos I found. Feel free to have a look. I’ll be posting these elsewhere as well.



4: Helpful or Hurtful?


(To those who responded, thank you for the kind words and feedback. I really take them to heart. I appreciate you all)

This week’s blog requirements prompt us to think about how anxiety/depression and if it can be helpful. I’d first like to flat out say that depression in no way shape or form can be “helpful/beneficial”. It’s a dark, monstrous  and inescapable. It’s a nightmare that doesn’t seem to end. Anxiety on the other hand can be just as terrible. I, as well as many others suffer from anxiety- as it is something that is rather easy to succumb to. However, I do think anxiety can be helpful in certain ways. For me, I’m more alert and aware of the things that go on around me. It helps me keep better track of things and I’m a little more organized when I’m extremely focused and thinking about one/numerous things constantly. In no way does it feel “good”- but it does have its ‘benefits’. Anxiety has also helped me enjoy and appreciate the moments where I’m not in a near-panic state.


Apart from that, I decided to go through (in a rare event) and save the readings for this week. After viewing, I’m finding them very beneficial. Dr. Kahn’s article about the common worries of patients when it comes to taking medications was spot on with a lot of my family members and others that I know. Many times, their personalities can ‘get in the way’ of things when it comes to getting help. Other times- it might actually help them understand what’s going on and prompt them to seek treatment. Our personalities can either help or hurt us when it comes to just about…well, anything! Which is something that I am learning quite often.


Taayab Rashid’s article was probably one of the most interesting in this week’s readings. I think this is the epitome of what this class is all about. Happiness. The article goes on to state that happiness should be the main goal in psychotherapy. Many patients often express to their doctors that they simply want to be happy. I think if this sentiment was followed more- there would not be such of a stigma with ‘getting help’ or anything mental health related (from the patient’s point of view).


3: Predisposition?

(Herein, I have (although vaguely) described the results of my SURPS assessments and how they have/are currently impacting my life. Also below are some very personal statements that have gone undisclosed but I am strong enough to share now. I’m a bit out of sorts on where to start with this entry but I thank you all for reading and appreciate the great feedback and positive comments on my previous post. Enjoy~)




Getting the results back for the assessments this week was actually kind of confusing. But doing a bit more of reading, I’d have to agree and disagree with the overall results.

Reaching deep down into a dark and inky part of my life- I’d have to say that I have fallen victim to bouts of hopelessness, sensation-seeking and anxiety sensitivity. Although I do not believe these tests were spot on- a lot of these descriptions remind me of family members that also suffer with some addictive behaviors; alcoholism being one of them. I personally do not believe that I am at risk for exhibiting such destructive behaviors; at least not now, that is.

I remember it being June of 2010. I had just graduated high school and most of my time was spent lazing around in the sunspots on the floor of my living room. The cold mesh of a radio speaker pressed against my ear as I listened to the same tunes on repeat. I had not taken the necessary steps to apply/attend college that fall and I was feeling like I had failed. Also like I was never going to make it anywhere in life and sort of just felt lost. As mentioned in my previous blog post- I had many dark moments. These same moments continued in the years after. It’s sad to say but I often found myself at extreme lows and even went as far as abusing household painkillers. Although these occurrences didn’t last long- it’s still something that stood out in my mind. Thinking back on it right now, I’m swallowing back big crocodile tears. Not out of sadness, but maybe reverence of overcoming an obstacle.



For this matter, one of my results read that I had high impulsivity; the other was very low as compared to the others. Reflecting on this, I would say that both are correct. I think the impulsivity comes from me taking more risks with life considering that I am inherently more reserved. These risks aren’t dangerous or detrimental in any way. If anything, it’s helped me grow and become a better person. I am not saying that there haven’t been negative impulsive behaviors. Sometimes I think without speaking. I’m rather new to expressing myself in a more vocal manner- so I’ve yet to truly find a happy medium.


If you were to ask me about being at risk for my past abusive tendencies as well as those that are genetic, I would have to say that I personally do not believe that I would fall victim to them again. I believe it is possible to take these things and use them in a more positive way. Realizing past issues and observing others around you that also exhibit risky behaviors are ways to suede one’s self to a more stable path. In other words- predisposition and peer or even familial influences do not always (have to) result in further developing negative tendencies.



2: Purpose


I’m finally settling in and sinking down into my mattress as you read this. I had a long evening/afternoon at work and to be honest, I’m exhausted; and tomorrow is another day.

Sometimes I wonder if it will be like this forever. I know it won’t but that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Think and think and overthink about the future and what-ifs?  Why am I here? What am I doing? 

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. I’ve thought about my future and my purpose from many different angles in the past few  years and there is always something that changes my mind, intentions and path. It’s like a maze, that changes. Just when you thought you’ve figured out where you’re going- a new wall forms or a new pathway opens up. It’s not just external either. I can’t begin to describe the internal battle that one faces when thinking all of these things. Sometimes with sheer panic wondering if I’m doing the right thing- the right way. But It’s possible to overcome this. It won’t be overnight but it’s a work in progress. A lot of the time, speaking to my mom or a friend helps with these feelings. The reassurance factor of these things are what put me at ease the most. Keeping that in mind- I can only work toward my dreams and goals (finishing college, being financially stable/independent, travelling and seeing the world and helping the people in it)  and do my best in the meantime. Because…well…that’s all anyone can ever do.

Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, I’m already reaping rewards for trying to remain positive under pressure and pressing on when I feel like I can’t. Seeing how others (mostly family and close friends) being happy and supportive toward me, make me really happy. Also, knowing that somewhere down the line, once I’ve reached a majority of my dreams and goals and get to that *EUREKA* moment I’ve been waiting for- I’ll know it was worth it. And apart from that, even knowing that the moment is out there, is incentive enough for me~




Well Being

What does well being mean?

By definition it means:

“the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”   (Yes, I googled it…)

To me, well-being comes in two forms: long term and short term. These two forms go hand in hand.

Being full from a nice meal, laughing at something funny you see, receiving a compliment from a stranger, listening to a song, or anything else that takes up a short amount of time could be temporary well being. A state of happiness or comfort can seem to come and go.

Exercise, drinking water every day, praying/meditating, reading, maintaining a positive attitude, keeping a tidy living space, practicing good organizational skills and other forms of continuous day-to-day practices or “rituals” can be something that contributes to a more long-term or even permanent well-being. In my personal opinion, well-being will always require some type of upkeep.

Personal factors that contribute to my own well-being can range from material to purely mental. Food, animals, art, buying something I really like, or receiving a gift from someone are just a few things that contribute to my comfort and happiness. Music, sleeping, thinking of someone I like/love, the feeling of warmth/sun, are other things that boost my mood and make me comfortable, reiterating that not all factors of well-being have to stem from something physical/material. Even though I wouldn’t mind a nice new pair of shoes right about now…..or a book. Doesn’t matter~