Blog - Entry No. 1: Intuition and finding our inner voice

By Ires Aponte, 12/31/23


The topic I would like to focus on for my first blog entry is that of intuition. What is it, and how can we develop it? Like any other skill that is learned, practice is necessary to not only develop our intuition, but also to hear and listen to our inner voice -- our inherent truth. We are all born with a certain amount of intuition, but somewhere along the way, we are taught, either by society, or those closest to us, that all of the answers are to be found outside of ourselves. We become reliant on the opinions of others, and allow fear of rejection or not "fitting in," overpower our inner voice. Then down the line, when life doesn't turn out the way we had imagined it would, or we are disappointed with how things turned out for us, we tend to want to blame someone, rejecting the opportunity to go inward to find the whys of the situation. It's natural to feel victimized, up to a certain point, when we find ourselves in this type of new life scenario, not realizing that we are still willingly giving our power away. And perhaps, if we look back, somewhere and/or sometime along our journey, we may have even had a small blip or two of our inner voice appear, questioning a situation or a person in our life, like a split-second, blaring alarm going off in our head, and then dismissing it just as quickly as it appeared. 

        Personally, it was a challenge for me to find my inner voice again after years of experiencing narcissistic abuse at the hands of a romantic partner. Not only was my self-worth broken down to nothing at the end of the relationship, but I had also lost all sense of autonomy and personal identity, having learned to put his needs, wants, preferences and desires before any of mine, or anyone else's, for that matter. It was a slow and painful process to learn who I was again, although in a sense, I would never be who I was, ever again. That version of me had been destroyed. So who was this new me? What did I like now? How had I changed? How do I make my own decisions without him? It felt like starting from scratch.

        It took a while for the numbness to melt away, but when it finally did, and I let myself feel and process what had happened in that relationship, the grief I felt went beyond what words could ever describe. But the key was letting myself feel it, whatever "it" was, in order to let it go. I read different books, listened to so many podcasts, studied courses online, meditated, prayed, wrote poetry, and cried, a whole lot. And I started small, taking baby steps. What do I want for lunch today? What do I want to wear? Even something as simple as changing my hairstyle -- to make me happy, not him anymore -- was more impactful for my healing than I could've ever imagined. 

        So, if you're currently at a crossroads, trying to figure out what direction to go in, take a seat right where you are, in the middle of that figurative road, criss-cross-applesauce. Get comfortable, because you're going to be here for a while! Just like with any other relationship in our life, the relationship we have with ourselves will take time to develop and grow. Patience is key, but so is the desire to get to know ourselves better, or even all over again like it was in my case. But if we're willing to do the work, baby steps will eventually lead self-love, which will lead to self-trust, and then eventually to giant leaps of faith; leaps that will help us to reach our goals and create a life for ourselves, on our own terms-- a life that we can be proud of. 





Blog - Entry No. 2: Life Update, & An Amalgam of Thoughts on A Rainy Sunday Night

By Ires Aponte, 1/21/24


Hello, friends! It's been some time since I've had a chance to come on here to have a little creative "me" time and also reach out to you! I hope that your January got off on the right start, and if you're anything like me, you might even be wondering how did it fly by so quickly?? In my case, moving homes in the matter of a single weekend was challenging, to say the least! But, thankfully, I am settling into my new space now, and slowly but surely getting through boxes of items, sorting them into categories of keeping, donating, and storing, all with the ultimate goal of simplifying (which is often easier said than done) and de-cluttering. 


I've spent the last few days going over different topics in my head, writing them down, crossing them out, and writing new ideas, on what I wanted this weekend's blog to focus on. All of which has led me to the conclusion that I'd rather not write about any of those things (lol). I'm just thinking about how oftentimes we take things in our lives so seriously, that we tend to lose our child-like love and wonder for the things that most light us up... As adults, our whole world involves 'have-tos', 'should-dos', and oh-so-many 'need-tos', that it feels unjust and simply unfair to carry this attitude into an activity that we usually enjoy doing! For me, that's writing. And sometimes there is so much buzzing and chaos going on up there that the only way to find the calm is to sit down and write. So, please excuse the informal tone of this blog entry, and I hope that you are still able to take something good away with you after reading it. 


Tonight is one of those nights where physically, I'm exhausted. I don't know about you guys, but for me, this will usually trickle down into other areas of my life, such as how I'm feeling mentally and emotionally. So, I took a hot shower, made myself some honey lavender tea, and am now writing from the comfort of my nice, clean bed. Oh, soo cozy! And mind wanders to, "if only I had someone to share these moments with." Yes, it's in these quiet moments of solitude when our thoughts come out to pounce on us, seemingly out of nowhere. But, instead of pushing the thought to the side and feeling angry with myself for having it, I'm just sitting with it. Even as I write these words, I am sitting with it. I'll admit, it's extremely uncomfortable; for me, there is a heavy sense of shame attached to feeling lonely. Maybe for most people, there is. And shame, as you may already know, is one of the most unsettling feelings we can have as human beings. This, of course, then brings to mind (at least for me, anyway) Brené Brown. I love, love, love her take on shame, and how it's basically connected to so much of what we do, or don't do, as imperfect human beings just doing our best to do our best. So, instead of texting someone I probably shouldn't, or going to the kitchen for an emotional-support snack, or pouring myself a glass of wine, I will remember Brené's words of wisdom, and take the shame out of feeling sad, lonely, and yes, even a little hopeless. Because I realize that I am physically tired, it's late, and the sound of the rain outside my window is creating the perfect storm (pun intended!) for me to feel sorry for myself, instead of being in this moment and appreciating it for what it is. Once I do that, I am content.


My hope is that this week, you too can find a moment of quiet reflection, and be able to change your "usual" narrative into a more positive and self-encouraging one. When feelings arise, remember to let them be. They are only temporary, and the more you try to push them away (shame), the harder they will resist, and will inevitably pop back up into everyday life, and when you least expect it to (and who wants that?) So, with that in mind, do not be afraid of feeling your feelings, and remember to show up, be brave, and be vulnerable whenever, and however, you see fit. Now, I will leave you with a beautiful quote from the wise 'BB', and I will catch up with you soon in my next blog entry.


Lots of love,



Blog - Entry No. 3: Finding Balance When Life Happens

By Ires Aponte, 2/28/24

Hi Friends! 


      I realize it's been a minute since I've written a blog entry. I have no excuse, other than life has been strangely flying at the speed of light and yet oftentimes has felt as slow as molasses... I will be completely honest, it's been tough for me to balance life lately. Between studying for class, reading additional "optional" materials (yes, I'm that person! Lol), fulfilling my 9 to 5 work duties working from home, taking care of the animals (2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 kitten), volunteering most evenings, and having some semblance of a social life, WHILST running a new business, at the end of each day I am BURNT out. Which brings me to the topic for tonight's blog. How can we find balance in our often chaotic, day-to-day lives? 


      First of all, it isn't as though modern society allows us the luxury of slowing down. Just the opposite! The busier you are, the more successful you must be! Is that always accurate? Uh, NO. In fact, one of the things that fueled me to start this coaching business was the dream that one day I would be able to make my own schedule, and SLOW DOWN. Ah, the freedom! But, as I work towards that, it seems that I'm busier than ever, sleepless as ever, and sometimes, cranky as ever lol. But, as the saying goes, you can't know what you don't know. So, here are some helpful tips you can try during chaotic times, to get back into your parasympathetic state and out of your fight-or-flight, go-go-go, stressed out, state. I've found them to be helpful, so I hope they can help you, too!


  1. Know your limits/Set realistic expectations: Feeling overwhelmed and burnt out can happen to the best of us, no matter how much planning we do. Taking the time to take a step back when we are starting to show signs of frustration can help us to recalibrate and make some much-needed changes to those expectations we've set for ourselves. Ask yourself, will it be the end of the world if I reschedule that coffee date with the friend I already hang out with 2x a week? Can that project be started tomorrow, when I have fresh eyes to look at it from a rested point of view? Remember, when you're tired, everything seems 10x harder than it probably is. 
  2. Setting Boundaries (with yourself, and others): Having to learn to say no can be a real challenge sometimes, especially if you are (or used to be) a people-pleaser. But if you think about it as a necessity for your overall well-being, it can be easier to say those two little letters... N-O. Like the quote says, "No is a complete sentence," (or something to that effect). Only YOU can protect your energy, nobody is going to do it for you. Be your OWN advocate, even if that means arguing with yourself over whether to doom-scroll Instagram versus going to bed early. 
  3. Mindfulness: This is a broad term, and I'm leaving it here as such so that you can choose the method that best fits you and your lifestyle. Some examples of practicing mindfulness are: deep breathing exercises, grounding in nature (barefoot is best), quiet meditation, or journaling. There are many more ways to practice mindfulness, so try different ones out! You never know which will work best for you until you try ALL of them! Just kidding. But at least try a handful. 


And, with that being said, I hope you found tonight's topic to be helpful to you in some way. Now, excuse me, it's 8:48 PM and I have a date with an eye mask and my bed. 


Go easy on yourself, we're all just trying to do our best. 




Blog - Entry No. 4: Processing our triggers through self-awareness and reflection 

By Ires Aponte, 3/24/24



      Picture it: you are feeling amazing, at the top of your game, for the first time in a long time, you feel like nothing can bring you down...and then one night you have a weird dream and wake up angry, frustrated, maybe even re-traumatized by something or someone from your past that decided to pop into your subconscious while you were asleep... Yup... you've been triggered, and you never saw it coming...mostly because you were unconscious, but you know what I mean!

      The truth is that, oftentimes, triggers pop up seemingly out of nowhere, quite often when we least expect them to or in ways we don't see coming. In fact, this happened to me just last night, which was the inspiration behind tonight's blog. I've always had very vivid dreams; I'll have periods where I don't remember them at all, but mostly, they have always been extremely vivid, detailed, and filled with palpable emotions.  I've woken up more times than I can count with my face covered in tears, or laughing so loud that I wake myself up. They say oftentimes dreams helps us to process things we didn't have a chance to process during our waking hours. A fleeting, seemingly insignificant thought during a busy day, then, can turn into a drawn-out, painful, and sometimes triggering 'situation' in our dream state. 

      In my case, a person will pop into my dream, and I will continue to dream about them until I sit myself down to do some serious introspection once I'm awake (and preferably after I've had a cup of coffee). It's not a fun process, but quite effective. Some questions I ask myself are: How did I feel during the dream? What was being said or happening around me? What stood out to me? How do I feel now that I'm awake? What could the underlying reason be behind it (fear, insecurity, guilt, etc.,)?

      I can use the illustration of an oak tree. Oak trees can grow up to 100 feet high; in fact, one type of oak can grow up to 134 feet tall. But, what of the oak's roots? Well, these can actually extend far wider than the width of the tree's canopy, oftentimes 2 to 3 times the height of the tree itself. So, a 100-foot high oak tree will have 200-300 feet wide roots hiding beneath the surface.

We are the same way. Something may appear to us to be a certain way on the surface, on the outside, but there could be so much more happening below the surface, or inside us; and the same can be said of our dreams. If we see them as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, to be more self-aware, to grow, to FACE our triggers/fears/insecurities, then we have the ability to turn them around into learned lessons for ourselves, which is a way to bring emotional healing to ourselves. 

      It's true, oftentimes it isn't pleasant to have to face these things, but as the saying goes, we can't heal what we don't feel! Better to rip the Band-aid off by choice than be ripped later by our unruly, unattended, unhealed subconscious mind, which WILL show up in our lives as self-sabotaging behaviors, addictions, and/or lack of peace of mind, depression, anxiety, etc., etc.

So, with that in mind, I have some writing to do in my dream journal and some fun stuff to work through before I go to sleep tonight.


We've got this! 


Blog - Entry No. 5: The "Oh-So-Slow" process of grieving

By Ires Aponte, 3/29/24


The most surprising aspect of grief is how it can rear its ugly head out of nowhere, out of a deep dark void that you thought you had already buried deep within yourself. So what an unsettling feeling it is when you realize that you still have not full processed a traumatic event in your life, and it has been manifesting in various unhealthy, toxic ways in your life. I can honestly say, there is not much that can be deemed more humbling than to realize that you are still carrying that kind of pain with you, and you didn't even realize it.


The truth is that sometimes we can fool ourselves into believing that we’ve healed from a traumatic event, when really it’s our brain that is trying to convince us of this, not our heart; a lot of the time, our heart is late to catch up. And when this happens, boy, is it a doozy.


Me, for example. I was still holding onto something that happened in 2017, though in my logical mind, I had already processed this event years ago. Then, all of a sudden, my subconscious was alerting me to this, an unhealed darkness within myself, through my dreamscape. How often do you remember your dreams? This is precisely why I started keeping a dream journal on my nightstand. It may sound “woo-woo,” but as I sit here, feeling like total crud, in my pajamas, with a rager of a head cold/sore throat, and doing my best to disconnect from the constant chatter of my heart and thoughts, I realize what it is that I still hadn’t processed (7 years later), thanks to reviewing this dream journal of mine. 


What was brought to light? My already existing abandonment wound, amplified by the death of my husband in 2017, and the fact that I’ve been holding on to anger about this. Yes, anger towards him, for leaving me here. Alone. Abandoned. 


Was it his choice to die? Of course not. But, it was his choice to cheat on me, and then leave me not even 3 years into our marriage. It was his choice to try to keep the fact that he was dying of stage 4 cancer a secret from me when he found out, months after we had separated. It was his choice to not let me into his life during his last days on this earth. It was his choice to have his mistress in the hospital room when he passed, along with his family, instead of me.


They say trauma is really just the lack of choice in a situation; I can confidently say that the night he passed, I was alone and yet surrounded by people. I was without support (at least of the human kind) or control, and was, most definitely, left traumatized.


So many things that were left unsaid, so many questions left unanswered. And the grief that comes with having to accept things, just as they are; and that having to be enough, even though it's not nearly enough. Uncertainty and confusion, amplified by abandonment, does not make for easy, much less quick, processing of our traumas. The complexities involved in a situation can also be a factor in delaying us from that processing, as well.


Although I know my situation is not the standard, I do know that many people struggle with identifying their emotions, and especially, with finally arriving to a place of forgiveness, for themselves, or others. If you are among these people, please know, you are not alone. Not one story is alike; but the anger, grief, and any other mixed emotions you are going through, are and always will be, valid. I see you. I feel your pain. And you are much stronger than you know. There is no cookie-cutter way to heal from the traumas we've experienced, or even a preset time limit for it. Nor will we ever heal perfectly; we just learn to cope the best way we know how, and within our circumstances and limitations. So, then, give yourself space, and grace, and we will get through this, together. 



Goodnight, and much love, as always. 



Blog - Entry No. 6: Online Dating & The Plight of the Millennial: Love In the Digital Age *(REVISED)

By Ires Aponte, 5/13/24

So, today's blog is going to come off as a little personal...because it is. As a single, 37-year old-millennial female, let's face it, options are limited in the dating pool. I can't speak from the perspective of males, but as a woman, there are definitely a variety of reasons why we choose to try and date someone in real life vs. just trying to get to know someone online. And some reasons are not what you would expect.

First, let's address the elephant in the room: statistically speaking, women are more likely to get murdered out there in "the wild" than men are. As a society, I think we can agree that women have been zeroed in on, being sexualized, victimized, and traumatized by their male love interests or counterparts, starting at a very young age; personally, I was sexually harassed beginning from the age of 12.  But, more to the point, letting your guard down, especially after experiencing the worst of the worst in the romance department, will no doubt be a factor in allowing a male love interest into your heart. Ever heard of a thing called "female intuition"? Feminine energy is singular in the sense that we have the ability to connect to it in various ways, and when combined with knowledge that came from our life experiences,  allows us to cut through the riff-raff and notice a good one pretty soon after the chatting process begins.  Another harsh truth to face: single men in my age range are either divorced, widowed or have serious emotional issues they still haven't dealt with and/or healed from.  

Once having gotten the go signal from my intuition, I will continue getting to know them as much as possible (or as much as one can) over text, because this makes the focus more about communication, asking questions, reading the other person and looking for red (and green) flags. Common interests, pet peeves, each others' past, all of these things are essential. And all are leading up to the whole point of this terrible (ha!) love game, meeting each other in person. And this can go either way, and why now I hesitate much more than before in meeting up with someone too fast, or too soon, no matter how much chemistry there is. 

And this experience set me back aways in my own healing journey. 

So, it began like most do, chatting directly on the dating app. Things are going so well, you get the butterflies, you think, wow he is REALLY into me...

So you move on to exchanging phone numbers. The text begin, and at a rapid pace. This goes on for a couple of weeks, and especially if they live in your area, meeting in person becomes more if a temptation. What happened to me was probably one of the most heart-wrenching experiences I have had in a good while; we were both vibing so hard via text that when he suggested meeting for dinner sometime, I impulsively said yes. Now I get it, you're wondering about what I said earlier about listening to your intuition, right? Well, I was, and I did. And it ended up being a very good thing, despite it hurting me. So, to make a long story short, we met, he was very nice, and once back home the tone of the texts changed and I mean DRASTICALLY. I suddenly realized that this little fantasy I had let myself fall into, had really been a flimsy one. He didn't like me. He wasn't physically attracted to me. Which is okay, but having battled with fear of rejection and abandonment my whole life, this felt like a knife had been put in my belly, and now, with the tone completely changing, well, that was the little twist of the knife. 

A day later, I addressed it with him, and he never openly admitted to it. I basically had to spell it out for him and release him of any guilt or negative feelings about the situation. What I didn't appreciate was that he couldn't just be honest with me. If there's no spark, it's ok, there's no spark. The attraction has to be there on both sides. But instead of letting me know right away, which I would have valued and appreciated SO MUCH, he just kept going with it but in a manner that made ME question MYSELF. 

So, what did this lesson teach me? That although sometimes challenging, holding off from meeting someone can sometimes help the connection to build more of a foundation. I'm not trying to build sand castles here, people! I'm a brick house and that's what I'm also trying to build for myself, so if you change your mind, that's totally ok! Just be up front and honest about it. I'm 37 years old, people!!! Ain't nobody got time for that!!!

It was a good experience, not quite a gentle one, but definitely informative for me. It made me aware of what triggers I still need to work through, and what boundaries I also need to establish and stick to. So, now, when someone wants to meet up right away, and I say no, it isn't because I don't like's because I do, and I want us to take our time in building something stable. Because, at the end of the day, who doesn't want to be loved just for who they are? And just because I always try to look for/into someone's soul, doesn't mean other people are capable of reciprocating that with me. I won't say that men are mostly about looks alone, but I'm also not not saying that. So, that's been my take so far on this dating journey, 7 or so years after my husband died, and 7 months into dipping my toe in the online dating pool. Either way, it's important to put yourself out there. Even rejection helps us to build up our resiliency, and that counts for a lot. 


Thanks for reading,




P.S. If you have a suggestion for a future topic for me to write about, please feel free to to email me at