An Interview with Gabby Villasenor | AURA MIND & BODY
by Sarah Choi on Jun 01, 2020
AURA – Who are you?
GABBY – Hey pals, my name is Gabby Villasenor, Movement Specialist and founder of Fuelled by Feeling. The best way to describe myself, in a nutshell, is this; I’m a cake sitting in front of you (Dairy Queen ice cream cake to be exact) and I’m split into the following pieces.
I live for functional movement.
The reason I’m on this planet is to support people as they explore, transform, and nurture their relationship with movement.
I’m happiest on a beach, in water, with a surfboard in hand, making food out of my truck.
My people are gold and I love them endlessly
I really value my brain space and time alone
I’m a classic fire sign... so... nough’ said
Creating is a value I’ve always had but I’m just starting to water
Chances are, I’m down to do it, but just know I’ll forget something important.
I make the best coffee you’ll ever have
AURA – What is real for you at this very moment.
GABBY – There is nothing in my home or in my life that isn’t meant to be there right now. I’ve done a massive “Marie-kondo” to my energy system and it’s been the most refreshing thing in the world. That being said... I think I could use a chair in my house.
AURA – What is your life mantra (quote, scripture, philosophy)?
GABBY – Life mantra: Nothing matters and “You get to”. Both have very similar meanings to me but I associate “nothing matters” with anything to do outside of the movement, and “you get to” is something I almost exclusively associated with the movement.
‘Nothing matters’ stuck because as my soul pal [and designer] and I were jamming back in the inception days of Fuelled by Feeling, I would get SO wrapped up in the ‘perfect-ness’ of it all. I’d fixate on things that filled spaces they had no business filling, I’d hold anxiousness as if it were a life jacket, and it all really held me the hell back. I’d get swallowed whole thinking about what ALL OF YOU thought about every sentence I’d put out *ahem: hello validation* it prevented me from creating anything at all. I put ideas to the side, I scrapped momentum at times, and I didn’t give myself permission to create like I know I can. I didn’t trust myself to make any sort of decisions on my own and I’d make myself sick wondering if I was doing the ‘right’ thing the ‘right’ way — whatever the hell that means.
Nothing matters come from a place of: you truly can’t do it wrong. You roll something out [an idea, a product, a post, whatever..] and you hear feedback. The magic is in the feedback you hear and what you choose to do with it. So while I sit with my anxious life jacket worried about things I can’t control, I’m missing out on the opportunity to receive SUCH important feedback — I’m holding onto the shit that doesn’t matter and jeopardizing the opportunity to hear the things that do.
Nothing matters unless you make it matter. And I guess, all in all, it’s a refresh in what truly matters. Most things I think matter, don’t. They only matter because I’m feeding them — I’m feeding the thoughts that don’t matter and stripping myself of the opportunity to feed the ones that do. So I’m making buckets — piles of things that don’t matter and ones that do. Call it a spring cleaning if you will
‘You get to’ comes from a point in my life where I had to stop moving in any and all the ways I knew how. I experienced adrenal fatigue and my doctor told me I either had to stop putting my body under so much stimulus or this would all get a lot worse. Once I began re-integrating movement back into my world, it was so bare bones. My HR couldn’t exceed anything over a moderate intensity (at this time I exclusively lived in all things high intensity), no loud music, and definitely nothing more than 20-minutes every other day. I remember so vividly, in the park down at coal harbour, barefoot, just moving. No real plan, just flowing with whatever my body was asking for. I kept looking at my hands and feet with the most amount of gratitude for even bringing me this far. And that was the period of my life where I realized my ability to move is one of the biggest privileges I have. I kept saying, ‘Gabs, you GET to do this — you don’t have to’. It honours my ability as it is RIGHT now and its perfection — no expectation of more or punishment for anything less.
AURA – What is something about yourself that you're working on improving/changing and what is your WHY behind this?
GABBY – Something I’m working on is my ability to work and live abroad. That’s a big umbrella statement because there are SO many intricate details under that statement that go hand-in-hand. But for now.. let’s stick with that. I’ve said for a while now that my purpose is to leave my heart in as many hands and places as I possibly can. I never truly believed I’d be able to move Fuelled by Feeling primarily online (in order to reach the hands — and the places I know I will), until the last 2 months. There are always reasons why I ‘won’t be ready or why I shouldn’t’ and the perception of others made me so sick to my stomach, I’d avoid ANY leaps in that direction. It seemed like a daydream that would always stay that way. Over the past two months, I’ve become SO aware of my limiting belief that “I’m not smart enough to do that” and how it shows up in so many areas of my life, that I’m tossing a major middle finger and choosing to water the inverse of that statement instead. So underlying, I’m getting to know these limiting beliefs and turning them into skeletons that live in my closet (because I know they’ll pop up every now and again), and creating a life that allows me the flexibility, autonomy, and privilege to spread Fuelled by Feeling’s message.
AURA – Who is one person that has impacted your life? What have they taught you?
GABBY – My superhero: How could it not be mum... It’s always mom. My mom is the strongest human I know. She’s taught me how to lead, the magic in independence, and the power in leaning into the soft. I wouldn’t be half (literally and figuratively) the human I am today without her and she’s always taking the cake on this one.
AURA – Describe your biggest obstacle(s) in life and how you’ve mastered them.
GABBY – One of my biggest obstacles is the one I’m sitting in. Re-writing the narrative for the ‘rules’ that dictated so many actions or inactions in my life. Noticing how these beliefs have spilled over into all slices of my ‘Gabs cake’ (mentioned earlier), I’m pretty over the cycle I’ve been on and ready to write a new one. Not to say this is the first time I’ve done it, but something about this time around feels like the real deal. It’s like shedding snakeskin. And I also don’t know if ‘mastered’ is a word I’d use. I’d say, I’m currently seasoning myself at this practice.
AURA – What has been your biggest epiphanies; the moments of life-defining change that shaped you into the person you are today.
GABBY – The two biggest epiphanies that first come to mind are:
- When my favourite people and I took a road trip down to Oregon and we camped on the beach, made food out of our trucks, spent all of our time playing spike ball and in the water, and I KNEW I needed more of that in my life. I remember driving home and saying “I’m creating a reality where this happens often”.
- Nothing matters and nobody cares. Please know, things matter and people DO care. What I mean by that statement is that you are in control of your entire being. You decide what sticks, what actions or inactions to take, the people you let in, the work you do, how you spend your minutes, everything. There is a major responsibility for your life and I spent so much time worrying about how other people would perceive my choices when in reality… nobody cares. Everyone is focused on their own responsibility and the validation I’d seek from people only buried me in a pile of worry that never truly existed. There’s a lot of freedom and autonomy in that statement and that’s what I extract from it.
AURA – Where are you headed, what are you up to, what do you want us to know.
GABBY – Right now, I’m SO excited because Fuelled by Feeling just launched our first Membership site! It’s called: Fuelled by Family: A Members Collective. Fuelled by Feeling exists to support your relationship with movement and by extension, your health. We know and we know that YOU know, your health revolves around more than moving — that’s what this membership was created to support you ON and OFF your mat. With experts from 3 fields (Move, Nourish, and Write & Reflect), we’re all hands on deck providing you with new content every week for you to lead feeling supported and tended to on all fronts. We’ve set up a FREE two-week trial that you can snag here: https://fuelled-by-feeling.mykajabi.com/home and it all starts on May 1st.
We’re collecting our Founding members with exclusive community deals, merchandise perks, and limited membership pricing. Sign up before March 15th and you’re one of our founders!
CONNECT WITH GABBY
Instagram: @fuelledbyfeeling, @gvillasenor
Book with Jess: https://campsite.bio/fuelledbyfeeling
Membership sign up: https://fuelled-by-feeling.mykajabi.com/home