"Meet Vic Ruiz - creator and founder of "Write Your Next Chapter™", a movement of the collective consciousness designed to inspire, motivate and shape the way we perceive our ability to manifest the next chapter of our lives......."
Whoa! Hold up!
I initially started writing this blog post as a sort of biography...as if someone else was telling my story and quickly realized that no one else can tell it like me. So here are the many facets that I have learned to reflect on, but not define me in the sense of what and where I want my future life to go. "Write Your Next Chapter™" is decades of ups and downs, of seasons of my life (as Jim Rohn would so eloquently put it). The issue was...I kept holding on to and dwelling on past experiences rather than being grateful for the ones that I sought after.
In 2017, I was given this amazing opportunity to share some of my story with the Starbucks and ASU community - not knowing that it would also air nation-wide on television as a commercial. What I really didn't know (and understand at the time) - was, this became the first time in my life - that I was letting go of anger, hurt and grief. It was the first time that the brain fog started to lift. It was the first time I started to let go of things that no longer served me. It was actually the start to this chapter in my life.
A chapter that I am filling with gratitude, love, traveling and self-care. So at this point, you're probably wondering what was all of that stuff that I had to let go of? Here's some of that story.....
I grew up on a small agricultural farm of 10, small, 2-bedroom houses. There was not much around, except for fields of lemon orchards and strawberries. At the age of 8, I lost my father to a tragic motorcycle accident - and for so many years after that, I replayed this memory in my head of being called into my grandparents house by my mom. I was climbing up an avocado tree, just being a kid and having fun, when I got called in. I remember walking down the long hallway to the very last room on the right (my aunt's bedroom) and being told that my father was no longer coming home. From that moment on, I blocked out so many memories (good and bad).
I became numb.
Now, how much of that is accurate - I couldn't tell you. What I could tell you...is that I held on to that grief, very strong, for many years. Always, questioning the "what ifs". How different would my life have been had he still been around. The biggest problem of that all - was my inability to share my feelings, instead I hid emotions deep down and when the emotional volcano erupted, it was in the form of a mental and emotional breakdown, not once, not twice, but definitely more often than it should of - never quite knowing the source of the crying, uncontrollable sobbing and thoughts of inadequacy.
Instead, I strived to feel accomplished in so many other aspects of my life, school, work and relationships. I felt like the only way to crawl out of this hole of depression was to go to college, get a degree and "become someone successful". Now in my late 30's, I am re-defining what success and failure look like. But back then, I needed to go to college, I needed a degree.
So, the story continues....years later, I still held on to grief, but now, I encountered anger. Angry at family members for choosing to not support me financially through college (when that was not their responsibility) and anger at trying to understand their perspective on things. It came to the point, that I said some very hurtful words to them over the phone that took me so long to forgive myself for. Spite, grudge, animosity - all words that I held on to for way too long. And, what was worse, is that I lived my life, day-to-day constantly replaying that anger in my head for my own inability to finish school. Telling myself, it was their fault, never mine.
I was wrong. I had to find it within myself to no longer be guided by such negative energy.
In 2013, I was introduced to personal development through an amazing company that I was working for. The people I met became influential in me seeing the world through a different lens. I fell in love with motivational speakers and the ability to grow as a human being.
I was definitely on the right path to life. But at this point, I was still reclusive when it came to sharing anything about my personal life to the world. Even the people closest to me, knew my life events, but never knew the emotional side of it. I hid it from the world, apparently very well.
So, that brings me right back to 2017 - when I was asked to start sharing my story publically to inspire other people to never give up on the dream of going to school and getting a degree. Well, it did just that, it inspired and started my path to healing. I still cry. I still have a hard time sharing certain parts verbally - but the many developmental activities I learned over the years became the foundation of "Write Your Next Chapter™".
In March of 2019 - this little bug of helping others find their next chapter took hold and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I knew that if a simple phrase ("Write Your Next Chapter™") and a personal workbook/journal of activities could help me heal - then, it could help others.
Wow, was I in for another emotional rollercoaster. This time, one filled of gratitude. As some of you reached out to me on social media and direct messages and talked about your story and what was in store for your next chapter, I would have moments, where my body experienced a feeling I've never felt before....A true feeling of pride, accomplishment and pure gratitude. That simple workbook has evolved into a new Experience List Journal, stickers that inspire and a new website to continue to spread the word of starting one's next chapter.
Thank you for helping me write my next chapter and thank you for allowing me to be part of yours.
So, I know that is the cliff notes version of my story and I promise, there is more to come in a book down the road already in the works called "Embrace Your Personal Story" - but until then, I need everyone's help to spread the word of this social movement I am trying to start and I need everyone's help in creating positive energy around the world. Share your story with me (YourStory@writeyournextchapter.org), post photos on social media with a Write Your Next Chapter™ sticker or swag and tag others that need that little boost to start their next phase in life.