GINspiration — Life Lessons

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s life lessons for Baby Zeeka.

Nope, I Don’t think I Can. Wait, I Think I (actually) Can!

In the Philippines, as a woman in business, I don’t feel much of the gender bias that we often talk about. In my travels in the past though and through my interaction with women from all over the world (especially during Network Leader calls for Lean In), there is still a lot of judgement and discrimination going around in other parts of the world. As a Filipina, we are actually quite lucky that we are given equal opportunities as men in the Philippines when it comes to business. In our country, there are actually more women (based in data from DTI) who are opening businesses.

Well, I can’t say the same is true with the other aspects such as politics, etc. We still need to see more improvement in that area. We don’t have much female leaders (based on the 2020 PSA Fact Sheet on Men and Women).

But even if we are “all good” in the aspect of business, this does not mean that we don’t need support and we don’t need to talk about it. We still do.

This is the reason why Frances and I started a Lean In Network in the Philippines. It’s called Lean In PH (https://leanin.org/circles-network/lean-in-ph). Just to backtrack a little, Lean In is an organization started by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. She started this organization to encourage women all over the globe to start “circles”.

What are circles? Circles are get togethers or calls online where women can talk “life REALNESS” with other women who will lend a listening ear and who will support you. Lean In Circle sessions are safe spaces. Anything you say inside the circle is kept within the circle. We value trust.

In the Philippines, we ran two Circle Sessions so far since we started two months ago. For those who’d like to join us for a Circle Session, we’d love to meet you. You can sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/113194888960

For ladies who have your own groups and communities, we are looking for circle leaders, too. If you want to start your own circle, feel free to reach out to Frances and yours truly via the Lean In PH group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leaninph

Now, how do I feel about women in business? In my vlog and as COO of Taxumo, I’ve talked to a lot of women CEOs, women Sole Proprietorships, women founders, etc. and I am always amazed when I see what they have accomplished. And I see a lot of aspiring women entrepreneurs who I really have great potential and ideas.

Just this morning, I talked to a single Filipina mom who is based in Australia. She raised 4 kids on her own and owns this amazing virtual assistance / outsourcing company. After the call, I was so astounded and kept repeating to my husband how I was so inspired and amazed by her.

Just like what I mentioned in this video…

When I wanted to start my business, the question that I had in my mind was “Could I do it?” And this was something that really stopped me from starting right away. I imagine that some women may feel the same way, too.

And looking back, what I realized is that what helped me decide was my support system. EJ (my husband) was very supportive. He encouraged me to just try it out… and I did.

So to you reading this, you can do it! Even if I don’t know you or even if you’re miles away, I truly believe that you have what it takes. You are reading this for a reason. I really do believe in you!

Mental Health Insights and my Thoughts about It

It’s so great to see that talking about Mental Health is not taboo anymore. I love how people are now very open to discuss things like this. Not only that. They also consider taking care of mental health to be a main concern. I watched the Globe and Inquirer #StartANewDay: Mental Health Insights for Millennials and Gen Z live session and I learned so much and felt so much.

Mental Health and the Entrepreneur

In the world of entrepreneurship and the startup industry, this has become an issue that is also widely talked about and addressed by webinars from different incubators, accelerators and startup groups.

“According to a study by Michael Freemanentrepreneurs are 50 percent more likely to report having a mental health condition, with some specific conditions being incredibly prevalent amongst founders” Tech Crunch mentions in an article. (https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/30/investors-and-entrepreneurs-need-to-address-the-mental-health-crisis-in-startup-culture/)

I’ve been thinking about this topic the whole day today. I’m sure that a lot of the founders and entrepreneurs that I have come across occasionally in my blog, in the programs that we have joined and groups that we are part of silently suffer.

Dra. Gia Sison in the live session event mentioned that people need extra support nowadays because more people are feeling depressed and anxious. Understandably so, this is because of the uncertainties we face, daily isolation, increase of domestic abuse, exposure to negative news and negative coping mechanisms.

What can we do about it?

I also loved what Roy Dahildahil said about what we can do about Mental Health. Roy is the co-founder of #MentalHealthPH, a social media advocacy group that aims to promote and protect mental health in the Philippines. He gave us the 3S’s Framework: Self, Society and System and the 3Os Framework: Online, Onground and Onward.

With this, I thought of ways I can help the community in my own little way.

Spread positivity

I think in my own little way, with this blog and my channel, I’ll commit to releasing more inspiring and positive content. I recently interviewed Trixie Esguerra and we talked about injecting positivity into your life. I hope that you can watch it and gather nuggets of wisdom and tips from her that you can actually do.

Check up on Family and Friends

From listening to the talk, I realized that I had time to check up on friends and family. See how they are doing? A chat message of a simple “hi” and “how are you?” will go a long way.

Listen and Be Observant

Some people just need someone to talk to. I love the Globe Bridging Communities has this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HopeBankPH/ In Hope Bank PH, anyone can share anything they’d like. We are free to express ourselves.

Be observant of your friends posts and listen to their stories. Just being there goes a long way.

I hope that we continue to openly talk about this issue. Share with me other things that we can all do to address this.

I know that with little steps like this, we can all #StartaNewDay.

My Plan for My Life

There was a day when Zeeka asked me about heaven. She asked me, “Mom, where is heaven and how is it like there?” To that, I replied that heaven is where you want it to be. If you think that it’s a place where your loved ones are and you’re happy, then this or your life here on earth is heaven. If you think that God is also here with us, then maybe this is heaven.

I’d like to believe that there is something after this life when we pass away and I believe in God. How I think about life though is not a means to get to a better place (like heaven), but a vehicle to actually make this world that we live in a better place. Why wait for that better place when you have the power to create positive changes NOW?

I have a plan for my life, and this is how I view it to be:

This is my plan for my life. I know my handwriting sucks.. haha! Please bear with me!

So my first 25 years was really for learning, making mistakes, rising back up and trying again. My tip for those who are still in this part of the “life line” that I’m showing, just explore and try to do things that you’ve never done. If you’re scared to try, write down what’s the worst thing that could happen. You’ll realize that the worst thing isn’t as bad as it may seem.

Currently, I’m in a situation where I know what I stand for and what I believe in. This is where we usually find ourselves, make our own choices, see what we consider valuable and try our best to make a change in this life by utilizing our own actions.

This is also the the time that we try to grow our circle of influence. Because why not?

Just some thoughts about influence. Wanting to gain influence is not a bad thing. What you need to think about is why you want to grow or gain influence. The reason why I want to grow my circle of influence is that I have realized that the you can make huge positive changes when you reach more people. Think of it this way — the magnitude of the impact that you can create will obviously be bigger when you have a bigger circle of influence.

This is the reason why politicians or people in the government can make rules that affect the lives of a lot of people. We gave them our votes. Having said that, I digress… I have no plans of running for office. Haha!

What I stand for is really empowering the micro and small businesses and professionals in our country. I think most of you who follow my blog and vlog (https://youtube.com/gingerarboledavlog) know this and know my plan for my life.

Another thing that I’d like to do and Frances and I are really trying hard to spread the word is to connect every women to other women who can support them. We are doing this using the Lean in PH (https://www.facebook.com/groups/leaninph/) a Lean In Network that we started here in the Philippines.

Moving on, in my 50s or probably 60s and onwards toward the end of my life, I’d like to focus on helping younger people who also want to make their voices heard and who want to make this world a better place.

At the end on my life, I want to be able to say that I left the world knowing that my daughter is living in a better world because I tried to make it a better place for her.

Where did all these self-reflection come from? Haha! Just wanted to share this super duper nice feature that the Belle De Jour team has created.

This comes with a FREE eBook/Workbook that you can download here: https://shop.ilovebdj.com/blogs/news/ginger-arboleda-on-nurturing-your-gift-of-self

This really inspired me to share my thoughts today. Now, for you reading this, I’d love to get to know you. How about you?

Where are you now? What are you doing? Do you have your own life line? Share it with me by leaving a comment below or leaving a comment on social media and use #GINspiration.

Some other articles that you may want to read:

How are you REALLY? Injecting some Positivity!

I’ve noticed some changes with the way I think through things, the way I am with other people, the differences in my mood and how it changes abruptly, etc. I could go on listing more changes and more things that I’ve noticed, but rather than going on with that, I’d rather inject some positivity at this time. Injecting some positivity into things that I do helped me cope with factors that I can’t control.

I’ve been watching videos on Instagram and on YouTube, and there are some tips that I really find useful and some that make me feel worse than I’ve felt before watching the video.

I think what this pandemic has taught me is to learn how to distinguish things that I can control versus things that I can’t control.

So after feeling so “down” lately, what I did was I turned to one of my friends who is amazing. Her name is Trixie Esguerra.

Trixie Esguerra is the Philippines’ Vision Board Coach who helps people create powerful vision boards backed up by Science, grounded in Faith. She has done her signature Vision Board Parties for companies like FWD, ADB, Bayer, SMYPC, Manulife, Neutrogena, Sterling Bank, Tim Hortons, AIM and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. Also known as Positivitrix, she shares tips and tricks online to keep you positive!

We crated this video, and it was so much fun! I learned a lot from her. The really light and fun conversation was actually what I needed.

So if you’re feeling down and a little bit “off” lately, check this video out. Hope it helps you!

If you need someone to talk to… I’m just a comment away!

What is Life All About? (My Easter Reflection)

We will all have our own definition of what life is. My personal take on what life is about is that life exists or we exist to be of service to others.

Looking at the great examples of Jesus, Mother Teresa and all other people you may think as admirable, they dedicated their lives to serve others. You need not look further since our medical professionals and most people now are all serving others now at the time of COVID-19.

We can serve others in our own ways. There are no clear rules on how to serve others. It feels better though when you do it wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return.

Yesterday, when my husband and I were talking, we touched on the question: “are we just pressuring ourselves to hit a target for the business?” We’re both doers, goal-oriented individuals and we thrive in such a fast-paced industry. Even in Stardew Valley (for those who play), after completing the Community Center, the next question we asked was “so what now? Let’s hit to achieve 1,000,000 in our wallet!”. Yes, we constantly have goals that we want to achieve both in life and in a game.

But that question really got me thinking. Why do we have moving targets? Our targets change because people and our environment change. Each one of us change consistently that our priorities change and our loved ones’ priorities change, too.

Staying indoors really made me think about a lot of things. How about you?

Have you find the meaning of life?

What is your life’s purpose?

How are you of service to other people?

If you haven’t found your life’s purpose is yet, it’s okay. Some people find it early in life; sone find it late in life.

I wish you all clarity of purpose this Easter. May you find inspiration in the darkest days. May you find life’s meaning, and may you find people who will support your cause and purpose.

Have a Happy Easter Sunday!

You may be interested to read my other posts about life: