Bijgewerkt: 29 nov 2019
I met Gabriel at a salsa party, a place where I love to go because it moves my attention away from my mind and into my body. Right after the first second, I knew this guy was special. The next time I saw him was at a group meditation of a mutual friend, that could not have been a coincidence! We clicked instantly and I got to know this young man a little better. Of course I added him on my wanna-interview-list right then and there. We planned a night of talking and dancing and had an amazing conversation. A podcast with him will be the next step, but for now, enjoy our conversation about self-care and his tips for you.
Gabriel, from our first conversations I sensed that you are well aware of how to take good care of yourself. Was there a specific moment in your life when you felt self-care is very important?
“Oh yes, hang on! I have read a book ‘the IQ of the dead’ when I was on my way to see my ex-girlfriend in the Czech Republic for Christmas. At Christmas night we ate some weed cookies (I ate a little more cookies than recommended). I had such a bad experience! The whole world went black around me, all I could hear were my fears and my negative thoughts. At some point I was thinking of the narrative of that book, that I will have a last page too, that I will die too and that completely freaked my out.”
“We all know that death exist but the concept seems so foreign right?! This experience was awful, I got a panic attack and afterwards like an existential crisis, I did not feel like I belonged anywhere for a while. A few months later I used some other psychedelics. This experience was amazing. It was like my ego died for hours and disappeared. In this trip I finally gave the love to myself that I was always looking for in other people. I wanted to stay in that state of mind. And I found out that meditation is a tool to get to that state of mind! My life completely changed after these experiences and then mainly by doing meditation. I realized life is amazing. Why should I worry about the last page? What matters is the book! I started to smile a lot more and stopped being afraid of being vulnerable, and that opened a lot of doors.”
What does taking care of yourself mean to you?
“It means that I treat myself as someone I am responsible for, like I am my own child. Therefore I hold myself to certain standards. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t eat sweets and I respect myself and the people around me.”
“Self-care is a routine, it has to be done every day just like eating and sleeping. Self-care is also the values and standards I hold myself to. So I surround myself with people who take care of themselves too. Self-care for me is not just taking care of my body by exercise, sleeping and eating healthy. It is also psychological care through meditation and self-reflection in order to get in touch with my true essence. I ask myself every day who I want to be and who I am.”
What do you do when you feel the need to take care of yourself?
“First thing I do is breathing, very (!) slowly. By that I bring my focus back to the present moment. It is good to remind myself that it is all there is, the present. There is a past and there is a future but they don’t really exist. The past? Has passed... The present is a present, a gift! If you are able to be in the moment, that is called pure joy.”
“I also tend to reach out to someone, I have a group of friends that are very conscious guys and very self-aware. I trust them. We talk about our goals, vulnerabilities and our fears. Just talking and having good friends who are listening to you is very helpful.”
‘If things are going really badly, I fast for a few days. The amount of days depend on the gravity of the problem. When I broke up with my ex-girlfriend I fasted for five days, only water or tea. After two days your body starts using ketone bodies instead of a glucose source of energy. You become super focused, like into a deep meditational state. It helps me to get in touch with the essence what I normally forget in my everyday life. It is like a power challenge, if you can say no to this basic need (food), you feel invincible’!
“Or, I call my mom! She is f*cking awesome, she is my life-coach, my guru.”
What is your TCOYS tip to other people?
He asks: "Only one?! "I realized that I only grew into this comfort by exposing myself to situations where I was uncomfortable and vulnerable. Those were the moments that I really grew. So my tip to other people is to make yourself vulnerable by expressing what is in your heart and in your mind. Be open and honest to other people and don’t try to please anyone”.
Gabriel Fronza (27 years old) is originally from Brasil and is a freelance 3D charactar artist in Amsterdam.