Gloria was born in a port city near the border of Perú and was raised in Santiago, Chile. When she decided to leave Chile and move to the States, a friend gave her advice that she would hold dearly. Her friend told her to not give up in times of doubt and hoped that she took this opportunity to grow, and to never look back, and so she did. Gloria is passionate about personal development, human rights and protection of the environment. Gloria went onto create Ayun Movement, a non-profit social enterprise that offers nurturing learning experiences to inspire positive social change. In her personal life, Gloria finds much joy in spending time with her son. She also admits having an obsession with Star Wars Legos which proves once and for all, we’re all just kids at heart.
What do you wake up thinking about?
Music plays a big role in my life. The songs I use while teaching are lyrically uplifting and musically up beat and sometimes, I use some of the songs several times during the day which may explain what happens to me when I wake up in the morning; I wake up with a music tune in my head, something that puts a huge smile on my face. Since my days could be pretty packed with many activities that differ from one another, I have gotten into the habit of going over my day the night before instead of thinking about it in the morning. This has proven to be very helpful to me, my mind feels more at ease when I wake up, at least this is what I have noticed, so again, nothing of what I may have to do during the day is urgent in my mind when I wake up, just the music I hear in my head.
What's your morning ritual?
Several years back to today, I made some fundamental changes in my life, changes I cherish dearly. One of those changes was/is to create rituals that would support that what is important to me, rituals that would support personal transformation and meaning. So, mornings became very sacred to me; this is a time filled with Simplicity and Gratitude for everything that is present in my life. "Thank You", are the first words I utter in the morning when I open my eyes, followed by, "This is going to be a great day",- and so it is, no matter what-. Before my son moved back to live with me a couple of months ago, I would dedicate 20 minutes of my mornings to meditation.
After some weeks into my new living arrangements however, it was obvious that I needed more time to get ready in the morning so, to avoid a morning rush and to spend a meaningful time with my son, I moved my meditation to a later time in the day a moved that turned out to be so positive for both my son and me, he joins me in the meditation when he can now. Mornings could be so hectic sometimes, yet saying Thank You every morning and expecting to have a great day is an act that have proved to be so valuable and transformative at times. Every morning brings with it the possibility of renewal, a fresh start and a moment for self discovery by simply staying still to listen to oneself, to reflect and to connect deeply with oneself.
How does social media play into your daily life?
When I look at social media, its growth and how technology has evolved so rapidly in the last few years I cannot help but to marvel and to think how is it that our ancestors viewed the changes taking place during the industrialization era or during the time of other big shifts in civilization. I view social media as part of those big shifts; there is a lot we don't understand yet and this lack of understanding paralleled with our rather conditioned approach to social media -social media has only existed for twenty years or so which make us young users- may need some time to mature and eventually to find its right place within the technological spectrum. It is for this reason that I take social media with a grain of salt sort of speaking; the simpler, the better my life feels. I use facebook as an informational tool as well as a creative tool, meaning, I get the news from there and I also learn about the arts and other interesting articles. It could be easy to get sucked into all the posts displayed in your newsfeed, but the thought of being "enslaved" to social media, demoralizes me. As for the other social media networks out there, if I use twitter once a month is too much, Instagram is the same.
Are we more connected or disconnected than before?
Without a doubt, the internet and social media have introduced a new and very different way of communicating or not communicating for that matter. Regardless of generational differences, it seems to be a lack of consideration among people as well as an increasing reactivity mode in behavior. The moment the phone rings we don't take the time to assess the situation and rather we react and do what is easiest instead of what's most sensible at the time. Affectivity and the actual physical contact with another human being is fundamental for our preservation as specie. Just like a knife is there to cut a fruit but not to become the fruit, so is technology which cannot be used as substitute for love and affection.
People break up over the phone instead of standing in courage and honesty, we text as a substitute for conversation as if we were afraid of intimacy. If technology is not used properly, it would be accurate to say that this one is disconnecting us from one another creating emotional isolation denying us from human connection and desensitizing us from pain in the process, a very dangerous place to be.
That being said, I also see a new shift starting to happen precisely because the increase awareness and acknowledgment of this sense of disconnection many people seem to be experiencing not only from one another, but also from oneself. I strongly believe that the time will come when we'll be better at using technology for what it is; a tool to be used for practical purposes but never as a substitute for love and connection.
What is most important to you in life?
What's most important in my life is my son and the relationship I have with him. My son has been one of the most influential teachers I have ever had, how I respond to him when we don't see eye to eye is a constant reminder of who I am as a person, how authentically or unauthentically I may be at times, and ultimately, who is the person I strive to become. His presence in my life has revealed to me a love I never imagined before, he makes me think, he makes me reflect; how can I ask others-him-to be something that I may not be at times?, Be responsible, Be disciplined, be this, be that, and yet, I may not be that disciplined or I may have not being as responsible as I should had been when it was needed. He is my truthful mirror and a human being I deeply respect and love with all my heart.
To learn more about Gloria's work, visit: www.ayunmovement.org