Dreamer and Creator
How Our Past Can Shape Our Future and How Reflection Can Help Us Shift Things
November 28, 2022
Sometimes you just want to run away from your past, especially if the memory is unbearable to handle. Listen to Gabriela Brunner from The New Firm, as she relates to us how reflecting on the past can be a beautiful learning experience. Listen to today’s episode if you feel bound to your scars and want to finally break free, and reshape your future.
[00:00:12.250] - Gabriela Brunner
Hey, everybody. How's it going? This is Gabriela Bruner of The New Firm, and today I am coming to you live to share kind of a vulnerable experience that I had in my life. A series of events, much like anything, has given me a new perspective on this particular thing. So, as you can see from the caption, what I'm going to share with you guys today is about how your past can really shape your future and how taking the time to reflect upon specific experiences and you know, what they are because they're those things that keep coming into your mind over and over again when you are reliving something related to that experience.
[00:00:52.340] - Gabriela Brunner
So you'll understand more once I share the story. So I have a beloved aunt and uncle. My uncle has been in heaven since 2003, and that's my mom's brother. So for years, I've had this very strong relationship with both of them before his passing. And even to this day, I believe he's one of my guardian angels.
[00:01:15.570] - Gabriela Brunner
He and I share the same birthday. We had a beautiful relationship, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to continue that relationship with my aunt. And so last week, I was at their home in Ducksbury, Massachusetts, and I remember sharing with her through a series of events, right? I got to hug one of my beautiful angel sisters, Ashley Hogan, and we started talking about stuff. The concept of structure came up and how sometimes structure can feel really suffocating.
[00:01:41.230] - Gabriela Brunner
And I think for a lot of us who have or have had nine to five jobs, bosses, anything like that, we know what structure feels like. So my story so I shared this, actually with my aunt, and it was really very healing and cathartic to be able to share this with her because I've never shared this particular piece. So as we're talking about structure, it started coming to me like a wave crashing over me that I have probably since around that time, 2003. So think about that. 14 years I have been rebelling against the concept of structure.
[00:02:17.160] - Gabriela Brunner
And here's why. At the time I was about a year out of college, I was working the front desk at a beautiful hotel in Hallandale Beach, Florida, and my sister was also working at this hotel. And so for both of us to be off at the same time, it really didn't work because it was a small staff or maybe about four of us total. So when you can't always have half of your work for us done at the same time. So I had last seen my uncle at my college graduation about a year before.
[00:02:46.770] - Gabriela Brunner
And there was a weekend where my mom and my sister were going to drive up to their winter home in Stewart, Florida, to visit with them. And I wanted to go as well, but I was scheduled to work and my sister was not. And I was told that I couldn't have the weekend off because we need people here, and you're one of the people, and that's it. So my mom and my sister went probably not long after I'm going to say less than a month for sure, maybe even just a couple of weeks. My uncle passed away from a massive heart attack.
[00:03:15.990] - Gabriela Brunner
To say I was devastated is probably the most mild way of putting it. And as I have reflected on that experience multiple times over the last 14 years, I realize that any time that somebody told me no, and usually that somebody was an employer, that somebody told me no, you can't go visit your family on such and such a day. And basically what they were telling me was, our work demands require somebody to be here, and that somebody is you. I really personalized the situation because I equated not seeing my uncle again with having to work. So you can see how that creates quite a theme that gets woven into any experience that you have related to structure, related to somebody saying, you need to be here at this time, not be here at this time, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:04:06.490] - Gabriela Brunner
Really? If I'm honest with myself, prior to that time period, maybe not that the specific moment, but prior to that time period. I think when I was younger, when I was in high school, elementary school, even in college, to a certain extent, I actually thrived on structure. I loved having knowing where I was going, knowing how somebody helped me shape my day. And then after that, it basically became I started to think that if I gave everything on my schedule, that I would always be able to get what I needed, in this case, time off when I wanted it for many years.
[00:04:43.520] - Gabriela Brunner
That and I'm being very open and honest with you was probably a downfall to me. Having what we consider a nine to five job, like a typical go to the office, be there at this time, report certain hours, all that kind of stuff. And throughout my journey, particularly the last year and a half or so, I have come to understand that all of our experiences are beautiful. They all help us get to that place every moment that we need to be to be the best person that we can. So I understand that I needed that, say, discuss the structure in order to allow me to leave the traditional corporate world, the traditional nine to five world, in search of my sole purpose, which is my coaching business, because I probably wouldn't have done that if I was really comfortable with structure.
[00:05:34.390] - Gabriela Brunner
And so there was a time when and you can see how this shapes my future, right? It shapes the future of my business. It shapes the future of my life. Because if I'm constantly rebelling against structure, my definition of structure, which in this case was being told by a boss that I couldn't take a couple of days off to visit my uncle, then you can see how I have taken that concept and basically said that all structure is bad. I don't want an alarm clock.
[00:06:01.770] - Gabriela Brunner
Don't tell me when to get up, don't tell me when I can or can't do something. And every time that somebody says no, I crunch up. I go like this, and all of a sudden my shield goes up and I say, Absolutely not. I don't care what you just said no to, you are wrong. Because, right, I'm going back to this wounded place of equating.
[00:06:23.280] - Gabriela Brunner
Somebody telling me no, somebody imposing structure on me, imposing rules and all that kind of stuff on me as a very traumatic experience of not being able to hug my uncle before he passed. Obviously, hindsight is 2020. There's no way any of us could have known that that was going to happen. But you see how our brain can work and you can see how it can start to the snowball effect can start to take us in a certain direction. And then through reflection.
[00:06:50.990] - Gabriela Brunner
Through sharing that story. Through being open about it. Through being vulnerable about it. I have come to this realization that I was applying the concept of structure from a wounded perspective. From a place of fear.
[00:07:08.030] - Gabriela Brunner
From a place of if I don't get on that plane tomorrow and be at every birthday. Every wedding. Every baby shower. Every first step. That somehow someone's going to die and I'm never going to see them again or I'm never going to experience that again.
[00:07:24.860] - Gabriela Brunner
It's a fascinating concept. I've talked to some of my mastermind sisters about this, about this feeling that we need to be everywhere all the time. And in my case, it comes back to the concept of structure, right? So as I have reflected on this through journaling, through crying, through watching movies, movies are a great way to release emotion because it's like we put ourselves in somebody else's shoes. I just watched Eat, Pray, Love last night again after so many years.
[00:07:52.670] - Gabriela Brunner
I just processed a lot just through watching the movie, which was really cool. So the idea here is that as I was talking to my friend Ashley and talking to my aunt and my do. This is about her husband. I started to understand that I was rebelling against something that was no longer serving me. That if I could reframe the concept of structure and start to bring some love to that fear that I was feeling around this structure and not being able to see him and all that kind of stuff.
[00:08:24.280] - Gabriela Brunner
That I started to look at structure in a different way. And I started to look at structure as something that's healing, that actually helps with freedom. That if we can focus on something at any given moment and do what we need to do, once we're done with that, we can move on and play rest, do whatever it is, because we're no longer thinking about that thing that we should be doing over here, right? Or that we I don't like to use the word should. Sometimes it comes up.
[00:08:54.270] - Gabriela Brunner
But the idea is we have set ourselves up on a path that we are choosing to be on. And when we don't give it the attention it desires within a structure, whatever that is to you, your structure could be very different than mine. But you have this container just to show you. So this is my coffee, right? This container holds the coffee.
[00:09:18.350] - Gabriela Brunner
This container is what keeps it from spilling all over the place. This container is what keeps it focused. So what's inside the container is going to vary depending on who you are and how you want it to be. You might have a small container, you might have a huge one. You might have whipped cream on top, you might have a straw.
[00:09:34.330] - Gabriela Brunner
You might be cold, you might be hot, it doesn't matter. But the point is, without this structure, without this container, what's inside of there goes everywhere. And when things go everywhere, they go everywhere. There's no way to control it and channel that juicy energy to a certain place, you can actually get stuff done. So I wanted to share that story with you because, first of all, inspiration guided me to do so, but second of all, because it shows you that reflection is a beautiful gift.
[00:10:05.940] - Gabriela Brunner
So a lot of times we're told, don't talk about the past, don't rehash things. And it's not a rehashing if you are looking at it from curiosize, from a fresh perspective, from what can I learn from that? Or from this concept? This theme keeps coming up over and over again. So what do I need to learn about that?
[00:10:25.350] - Gabriela Brunner
What can I learn about that? Right? How exciting. What can I learn about that? So I wanted to share that with you guys because that's where I am right now.
[00:10:34.270] - Gabriela Brunner
I'm reframing my idea of structure. I'm reframing my idea of discipline and focus. I'm reframing my idea of how to use a container of my choice to fill it up with deliciousness flat white from Starbucks, my favorite, so that you can reap the rewards of what you're doing here. So you guys are amazing. I love you guys.
[00:10:57.350] - Gabriela Brunner
I invite you to reflect on something that's been coming up for you over and over again. Invite some curiosity and see how it can help you shape your future in a different way. So I hope you guys are having a wonderful day and I will talk to you guys soon. Bye.