Eileen Z. Fuentes | Freedom Fridays
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Butterfly Flower

16 Mar Freedom Fridays

Today is the first of what I call “Freedom Fridays”. Last month I made a life-changing decision to give myself the most priceless birthday present of all, a gift that would also be a gift to others. What is that gift? Well, I decided that after more than 15 years of full-time work, that I would go part-time. This decision was made primarily to focus on my health and consequently that of my family and those around me. In addition it would allow me to work on the things that I am truly passionate about.

Let me break down the circumstances in my life as I embark on this enormous leap of faith. My husband was laid off 4 months ago as his entire department was outsourced to Malaysia, we are more than several payments behind on our home and we have 3 kids who depend on us for everything. You might think I’m crazy and perhaps you’re right. But I decided I would not allow anyone or anything to steal my joy anymore. This time, I’m feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

During our weekly wellness support group meeting, I asked my participants the 3 questions that brought me to this decision:

  • What do you want to accomplish in your life?
  • Why do you want to be healthy?
  • What’s holding you back?

As I looked around the room, everyone stared back at me. It was completely silent for a while. After letting them ponder those questions for two minutes, I started forcing some of the women to respond. It was no surprise to me that most want to live simply to serve others, a common theme amongst women who are nurturers by design. As I pointed out to them that most did not want to live for themselves but for others, I saw some of my participants begin to cry or look up as they went into deep thought… as if somewhere deep down they knew the answer to these loaded question. So now I ask you, have you given these questions some thought? You might want to. Think of it like a GPS. How are you going to get to your destination if you don’t even know where you’re going? A little food for thought…

So as I embark on my inaugural Freedom Friday, I pray that you begin to add you to the “to-do list”.

“Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it?” ~ Caroline Myss

Related Post: Letting Go of F.E.A.R

Eileen Z. Fuentes

After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, Eileen became her own Self-Healthcare Activist. She is an Integrative Cancer Coach and works full-time helping patients do more than just survive at Columbia University’s Cancer Center in New York City.

22 Comments
  • Ilia
    Posted at 10:56h, 16 March Reply

    AMAZING!

    • Kathy
      Posted at 15:18h, 16 March Reply

      That was beautiful!

      • Eileen
        Posted at 06:55h, 17 March Reply

        Thank you both!

  • Melissa Danielle
    Posted at 11:08h, 16 March Reply

    It’s unfortunate that some believe that living for others means denying our selves. I’ve always held on the belief that our first responsibility is to ourselves, and when we live for ourselves we empower others to take responsibility and action for their own lives.

    Congratulations to you on taking that leap!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 11:15h, 16 March Reply

      That’s great Melissa. Unfortunately, it took me nearly losing my life to get my priorities straight. What a lesson for my 3 little girls!

  • Rebeca
    Posted at 11:13h, 16 March Reply

    Eileen, my friend this post reached me at such a crucial moment. Yesterday was a very challenging day for me and it was a culmination of months of not listening to the whispers that have been getting louder and louder. It is interesting that I have been feeling like the whispers have become loud screams and just yesterday I woke up with both my ears clogged and again this morning.
    Thank you for the gift of you and your light. I can tell you that you are in fact changing the world, my world in particular.
    Wishing you life times of Freedom Fridays!!!!

  • Eileen
    Posted at 11:24h, 16 March Reply

    Thank you Rebeca… like-minded women come in pairs and it was incredibly inspiring to see you do the same thing. I honor you for your courage and your numerous accomplishments… don’t forget to hit the breaks from time-to-time. Don’t want those whispers to turn to yells. YOU HEAR ME? (I’ll shouldn’t yell… HA!)

  • Mercedes D'Alessandri
    Posted at 12:54h, 16 March Reply

    Boy, I am sorry I missed the group yesterday; this is very powerful my friend–you are definitely one of my lights at the end of my tunnel!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 15:03h, 16 March Reply

      We missed you Mercy. Your fans are getting anxious.

  • Reggie
    Posted at 23:20h, 16 March Reply

    Wow. Period! I just left a womens conference at my church Words of Life . I left identifying my current cirmscustance with King Solomons wife Ana, who was too engulfed persuing what she desired that completely forgot to enjoy whats infront of her, her husband. Eileen what you are doing is brave and i think is awesome, I am happy that you choose to cut back because you know whats important-family. A journey is best travel with company and you have alot of people who care for you and are with you since the beginning and that is priceless. You surely have increased my faith., pursuing all the right things and prioratizing at the sametinme.

  • Eileen
    Posted at 06:58h, 17 March Reply

    Exactly… this is the real definition of letting go and letting God. I found myself saying that a lot but not stepping into action. Enough is enough. I am certain that my relentless faith, will make the space for all my needs. I look forward to seeing you blossom too. Thank you so much for your love and support, Reggie.

  • Hakikah
    Posted at 13:28h, 23 March Reply

    Thank you and congratulations on your new found freedom. I made a similar leap two years ago, and have never looked back. It’s was and has been a big step and I must look crazy to most. Yet, I am awed by how I have been “kept” by God. Sometimes I just break out laughing. One will never know what freedom and truly living is like until you make the leap. Thank you for being a living example of faith, wellness and courage. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Eileen
      Posted at 13:59h, 23 March Reply

      To God be the glory. If you’re any indication of where I may end up… then let’s bring it on!!!

  • Aqiylah Collins
    Posted at 22:39h, 23 March Reply

    Eileen, it’s so wonderful when YOU LOVE YOU first and foremost! There just comes a point when you have to allow your voice to be the loudest one. And once you do, and actually honor it, everything changes. The entire universe looks, smells, feels, sounds, tastes, IS better. I was laid off my job the same month I graduated school. My husband was unemployed too, yet it was so clear a new way was manifesting before me. So I planted my feet firmly in that new direction, kept moving forward, and have never regretted it. Life is amazing! Here’s to working the job around your life and living on your terms. Congrats!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 20:25h, 26 March Reply

      Aqilyah, thank you so much for this comment. It’s always nice when someone who has been there, got through it successfully. If there is anyone in this field that inspires me, it’s you. Thank you so much… you words are always so encouraging.

  • The SPEACH » Letting Go of F.E.A.R.
    Posted at 10:18h, 27 April Reply

    […] Related post: Freedom Fridays […]

  • Karen Michelle Bayard
    Posted at 08:51h, 30 June Reply

    Good for you Eileen! I love your idea of Freedom Fridays! I do a similar thing called Monday Me Day and I have loved how it has changed my life. You bring new meaning to TGIF! Enjoy!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 09:07h, 30 June Reply

      HA! I do ‘Mommy Mondays’… dedicated to my 3 little loves. They call the shots those days :) Congrats to you for valuing how amazing you are!

  • Sky Pape
    Posted at 08:52h, 30 June Reply

    You got it right! Tomorrow is my first “cancerversary,” and I also made the decision to disregard internal and external voices of fear in order to make significant life changes. One year later, less money in the bank, but I have a happier, healthier, and far richer life. Thrive on!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 09:09h, 30 June Reply

      Congratulations Sky! That’s a really big deal. I call them my ‘rebirthdays’ since I feel like I gave birth to myself during the symbolic 9 months of treatment. Having less money in the bank allows me to live simply and put true value in “things”… THRIVE ON, sister! Here’s many more cancerversaries!!!!

  • Alicia
    Posted at 10:15h, 02 July Reply

    Awesome…you’re my hero! I’ve learned so much from you…learned to live for me. I love you!

    • Eileen
      Posted at 11:18h, 04 July Reply

      I’m glad to hear that, Alicia… You were standing next to me when I got the horrific call letting me know that I had cancer and so I appreciate you for unyielding love and friendship. It means the world to me!

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