ME FIRST MONDAY FEATURED POWERHOUSE
Founder of Proud to be Latina
Who is she?
With a platform of over 11,000+ Latinas, Yesi Morillo-Gual is the founder and mastermind behind Proud to be Latina, an organization that "encourages Latinas to rise to their full potential." She comes to us with a 22-year background in corporate America, and is currently taking time to give back to the Latina community. In addition to the fact that her networking events are elevating - she also hosted an entire conference last June!
I was introduced to Yesi by attending a networking event she hosted via Proud to be Latina. I was in search of a mentor and was pleasantly overwhelmed with options, more importantly, Latina options! Yesi struck me as a confident, steadfast woman who is "no-nonsense", while somehow still being warm and nurturing. From one meeting I could tell that if I ever asked Yesi for help, I could count on her because of her commitment to the success of all Latinas. Coincidentally, a wonderful woman I met at Yesi's networking event, Vicky Ayala, helped me with my entire rebranding! Yesi is building an unstoppable network of women, let's dive in!
Tell us more about yourself!
Yesi: My two sons, ages 18 and 15 are my priority. My growth and accomplishments aren't just for me, but for them, and their future. Therefore, I invest a lot of time in making sure they are getting what they need. After 22 years of working a corporate job where I achieved a level no other Latina had ever achieved in my division, I decided to go on a personal sabbatical to design my next career. Simultaneously, I continue to infuse the Latina community with curated programs, inspiration and positivity -- my role is to use my experiences and voice to help Latinas see what is possible.
In the midst of all your responsibilities, how do you manage to prioritize yourself? What do you do?
Yesi: My mornings are MY TIME - before I leave my bedroom, I do five quick exercises for the main parts of my body: arms, shoulders, abs, legs and back. They take just a few minutes, but they infuse my body with strength and get me pumped. I also chant in the morning, and read a few inspirational short pieces. Lastly, I set my intention. Throughout the day I do small things: text a friend, buy some flowers, go for a short walk, play some music or anything else that fills my cup little by little. This summer I decided to incorporate a bit more fun, and have re-learned how to ride a bike, learned how to ride a scooter and even went zip lining. Prioritization of self doesn't have to be a project - try to find small pockets of time for you (e.g. instead of spending 15 minutes on IG scrolling, get a massage or some extra sleep).
What would you say to the person having trouble putting themselves first?
Yesi: If you're not right within, how can you be right for others? I recently experienced a HUGE shift in life, which affected my children. While I've been focused on their well being and emotions, I've had to ensure that I am okay too, or else I cannot be there for the people I love most. My advice is to fill your cup - it is not selfish - you cannot give to others from an empty or cracked cup.
Can you tell us about your self-love journey?
Yesi: I discovered the importance of self-love through heartache. It took devastation to put myself back on the priority list. By the time I stopped to take in what was happening, my health was failing, I was overweight and terribly unhappy. I didn't even know it, though. I was giving from an empty cup, without any resources from within to fill it. When you run on empty for a long time, you eventually self-destruct and crash. However, it has also taken that same great devastation to break me open, and slowly I am rediscovering who I am, what I am really here for, and how important my temple (mind, body, spirit, heart and soul) is. I've also discovered that "the self" needs to be healthy on its own, and that no one completes you - they only compliment you.
Describe your self-love journey in one word.
What can we learn from Yesi?
Wow, I guess the better question is what can't we learn from Yesi Morillo-Gual?! Her wisdom clearly exceeds her experiences and through her vulnerability, us readers are able to feel her confidence and transformation. Though she has two sons that depend on her and whom she prioritizes, she still manages to include herself right at the top of her priority list. Her accomplishments in corporate, and an anecdote she shared at that networking event via Proud to be Latina, remind me that the journey is much more important than the destination. Why not enjoy it fully, by bringing your whole self along, loving that self immensely? Thank you, Yesi!
Where can I find this powerhouse?
You can find Yesi and become a part of her network at proudtobelatina.com! Catch her inspirational quotes and promo for her impactful events on Instagram @ptblatina, and Twitter @PTBLatina as well as @yesimorillogual! You can also find more content on Facebook!
Your highest self is waiting...