What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, April 11, 2018
By Adrianna Foster

Motivational Singer and
Breakthrough Hypnosis

This is a question that has run through my head for quite a long time. My adolescent years were filled with challenges and struggles, and now that I am an adult I look at myself in the mirror and think, “WOW, you made it…no clue how!”

Being a 31-year-old single mom with a 6-year-old child (going on 16) has been quite an adventure. To be honest with you, a scary one. When I look at my daughter so peacefully sleeping in her bed I question how I can protect her.  Will she be as strong? As smart? As clever as I was? Will she have to go through all the situations and challenges I overcame? Will she hurt like I did? And if SO… how can I help her? And honestly, this is something that keeps me awake during the night and that stays in my head and my heart everywhere I go. How can I support my daughter so her launch to adulthood is less painful than mine?

When I was 13 years old I moved to the United States following a dream. I wanted to be a singer. I wanted to share my emotions, my stories and my struggles through music and lyrics. My childhood was a bit challenging considering that I was diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety and struggled with an ADD type of personality with some OCD traits. Being the emotional, vulnerable, creative and talented kid did not help me either since I was the target of bullying from the age of 8 to 12.

Moving to the United States gave me a new perspective on life and the opportunity to learn how to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN in my career and in my personal life. It was a HUGE challenge for me, however, since I lived isolated from the world; no friends, no family. Just me and of course, my music.

From the age of 13 till 19 I lived only for my dream and I had to learn how to walk in the mud without getting stained. With my parents divorcing, my growing depression, physically and emotionally abusive relationships, drug environments, toxic friendships and feeling all alone, I learned that I was stronger than I believed. The learning process, however, almost killed me. At the age of 18 I attempted suicide. This was the pivotal moment of my life. I survived, I thrived, I succeeded in my projects and in my career. I traveled the world, I took my dream to the next level and through my work started helping thousands of people. I found love, I found myself and I kept myself safe. But I am not going to lie, it was very painful.

In my private practice, I work with a lot of teenagers with the same challenges that I went through and a few years ago I started to realize the beauty of emotional education throughout those years. One of the most important questions in the brain of a young person during the ages of 14 to 24 searching for the answer to the question, WHO AM I?

Who am I?

As adults we still have absolutely NO idea of who we are, and as teenagers that question can be extremely challenging. So I thought to myself, “what if my daughter and other young women could have a support system that could show them it doesn’t matter what you know or don’t know? That it doesn’t matter what you are feeling. Whatever happens, whatever you encounter in the trip of your life, whatever feelings you are experiencing at a certain moment- YOU ARE SAFE!”

As of today, my biggest lesson has been understanding and allowing myself to feel safe. That if I feel pain, sadness, anger or fear it does NOT mean in any way, shape or form that there is something wrong or something to fix.  That I DO NOT have to have everything figured out to feel confident, empowered and motivated. Understanding that no matter what happens in my life, I AM SAFE. For me, THAT is the core of it all. I believe that once a child or teenager feels safe, everything else in their lives will fall into place. It will give them the ability to take risks, to explore and to create the reality they TRULY want without settling for something out of comfort or to avoid experiencing pain.

Now the question is “How do I do this? How do I teach my child or teach myself how to feel safe?” The key is to STOP ESCAPING. Most of the time we don’t feel safe because FEELING is very uncomfortable. Our childhood experiences will define how we feel or react towards painful situations. Unfortunately, our culture is not fully equipped with the tools needed to teach us how to manage and understand our emotions but to turn numb and deflect. This creates the idea that being HERE is not safe. We digress and choose to ESCAPE which can lead to unwanted habits, self-inflicted pain, abusive and toxic environments and relationships amongst others. Feeling SAFE to BE HERE is the core of every human being’s life, and for me it is a human RIGHT. It will allow us to be present with our actions, our thoughts and our reality giving us the true ownership of our lives and allowing us to create it as we want it to be.

When I discovered this, I decided I was going to create a program to heal my inner adolescent. A program that would allow me to reach thousands of young women going through the same identity crisis I went through that almost cost me my life. To give them the support system and all the tools needed to launch into adulthood in a healthy, fun and prosperous way.

As I always say, it is not about the answer, it is ALWAYS about the question, and THIS question is what started the LOUD Women Program.

“What advice would I give my 16-year-old self?”

“Adrianna, your beauty and grace, the wonderful woman you are is made by the entirety of YOU, your TRUE self, what you call the ‘good’ the ‘bad’ the ‘ugly’. Every mistake, every breakdown, every crack, every time you experience pain and everything that you have rejected of yourself is what makes you beautiful, amazing and unique.”

“And I get it, sometimes it is scary to confront yourself, to see your shadows, to take a good LOOK at who you truly are. Sometimes you hide yourself and every bit of it because there of this voice in your head guided by fear that tells you that you should NOT be seen: ‘that is not ok’, ‘that is wrong’, ‘this is not acceptable’, ‘this is weird’, ‘Am I weird’, ‘there has to be something wrong with me?”

“However love, let me tell you your majestic being, your delicate beauty, what creates magic inside and outside of you lives. It lives underneath everything that you are hiding, underneath everything that you believe that you should not show. There, you will find your finest purity like a raw diamond. THAT is your magic, that is your soul and what makes you imperfectly wonderful, desired, loved and powerful.”

“The best advice I can give you is GO. Find yourself. Leave and walk on fire. Experience your pain. Explore your dark forest and show yourself you’re imperfect, naked and raw. Honor who you are. Once you do this you will discover that there is no other sensation more beautiful, pleasurable, and addictive than being YOU. Feeling free, loved and LOUD. And PLEASE always remember, it doesn’t matter how scary it looks or how many times you learned that you were in danger…. That is NOT true, YOU ARE SAFE.”

“I must warn you though, some people in this world will not be prepared for your authenticity, but others will. The ones that deny themselves will deny you. They will break your heart, will hurt you and try to stop you and hide you, but don’t stop… KEEP ON GOING, because there will also be MANY souls that will feel inspired by your truth, authenticity and freshness and your magic and innate power will set them free.”

“My sweet love, please know that there is NOTHING that you have to do. Just be YOU. The complete woman you were born as. The purpose has never been to climb the mountain or to reach the sky. The purpose is and has always been to REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE, to explore all your layers of lies and transform them for your truths, one by one, until you create a beautiful dress that will hold your pure, raw and wonderful soul.”

“That love, is you, and YOU is all you need. “

If you have a young woman 14 to 24 that will benefit from having all the necessary tools to launch into adulthood, please send her my way. My LOUD Women Program will start on April 15th and is designed specifically for young women to thrive in their personal development.