An End of the Year Self Love Practice for Advocates, Service providers, Victims and Survivors
WINTER's Gift: Reflecting on Personal and Organizational Growth 

Each year, as the Winter Solstice approaches it signals the year coming to an end and another beginning. It is the time of year advocates and service providers, executive directors and staff of organizations around the world start taking inventory of what was accomplished the year before and dream about what programs and funding is needed for the next year. If you work in a sexual assault and domestic violence organization then you are also thinking about the participants of your program and what is next for them.  And if like me, you are both advocate and survivor, service provider and victim then the end of the year is also a time when you are doing your own personal reflection on how far you have come, what other areas of your life still need healing and what parts of your past have you overcome. 

Let me be the first to say CONGRATULATIONS on all you have done and become in 2016. I ACKNOWLEDGE you, your commitment and your stand for another world for women and girls and all of humanity to live a life free from violence. I see you and all the sacrifices you have made this year and I am in GRATITUDE that I get to do this work with you! 

" As a survivor, the darkness of Winter and the start of a new year can also be  scary. For me the thought of having to go into the dark of Winter is like a trigger taking me back into my mothers womb. I love dreaming, but since I was abandoned by my mother probably while I was still in her womb, way before she actually handed me over makes my rebirth in the spring something I don't look forward to. The dark is a very lonely place as I anticipate my mother's departure. Not wanting to be born in the Spring makes the dreaming in the dark that much harder, it makes my inevitable rebirth devastating. So every winter I find myself swaying back and fourth and having an internal war with myself. I am either a caged bird clinging or moving so fast through the dark of winter that I miss having to go within to see myself and be reflective  of the past year and dream the upcoming year."

However, taking the time to self reflect and evaluate, dream into a new year, set intentions and new years resolutions is one of the most important practices that a survivor will do in their lifetime. Without purpose, we as victims will stay in violent relationships with ourselves and others. And as both survivors and service providers, advocates, executive directors and staff setting personal goals will be important for the success of your organization and who you will be in it. Personal trauma breeds organization trauma. The culture of your organization is shaped but the people who work there and the success of your organization depends on the healing of the people who work there as well. 

The best time of year to take yourself and your organization into a reflecting and dreaming journey is the Winter. I have been doing self reflection and self- evaluations for over 10 years and it is why as a survivor I have been able to make my dreams come true and run a successful consulting business. The more I heal from my past the more successful and clear I become every year on what I have to do next for my self and the world. Take a moment to  reflect on what you did this past year that worked, that you want to keep doing more of and leverage for the next year and also reflect on what you could have done differently and what you need to let go of to make room for what you want to create in the new year. 

Thank you for supporting me in 2016 and Im looking forward to creating 2017 with you! 

In BOLD Rebirth

In honor of the NEW YEAR, Im excited to share with you this beautiful video created by my daughter Andreayna Marte as a Christmas Gift for my acceptance into the University of Southern California Doctorate School of Social Work! 

This video is a fundraising effort towards paying my tuition for my first semester. At this time I can not get any more financial aid or take out any loans, so I am counting on my community to support me with my books, travel expenses and tuition.  They say god doesn't bring you this far to leave you. I know he wont leave me at just an acceptance, please tell me I can count on you because you know how important it is to have us get this far for ourselves and the work. 

As a survivor getting this far in my education is a dream come true.  In just 2 days I have raised $500. I am accepting donations until DEC 31st midnight. We have $9500 left to raise.  With all the money I raise I am taking a pledge on behalf of my little girl, because as a victim I deserve to get this far. Because as a survivor I vowed NOT ONE MORE! 

Make a donation today in the name of your little girl, your mother, your daughter, a participant in your organization or for yourself and make sure not one more women or girl will experience violence on your watch!

For all the little girls who were told they couldn't, for the immigrant sisters who think its impossible, for women all over the world who don't have access to eduction and for victims and survivors whose dreams are stuck in time.


A Survivors Journey to get her PHD to end violence!
A Survivors Journey to get her PHD to end violence!

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