Appreciating Every Moment of Life with a side of Mental Health Awareness

Kayla Cassaro is a cousin of Pete and one of of many mental health advocates within The Pete Foundation non-profit. She also works for an airline full time and is in love with aviation in general. When she was in first grade and asked what she wanted to be when she grew up – all of her peers picked professions like doctors, lawyers, firemen, etc. She simply stated “Martin Luther King Jr.” or an angel…she took everything she’s ever been told about both and decided she just wanted to be able to be helpful. It’s taken over over fifteen years of working experience, early eleven of those within aviation. She now sees at thirty one years old, that you can do that no matter who you are or what type of job you’re in. So is she living her dream? Yes. Everyday. Sometimes in the clouds!

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There is so much power in being able to truly accept the current moment of your life. Every hurdle throughout life is an opportunity to gain perspective. As you travel along your path, you are confronted with many opportunities to gain perspective. The more perspective you gain, the deeper you can accept and give love. The more you love, the more grateful you become. When you feel gratitude all of the sacrifices, heartache, and loss you’ve endured will fall into place. There is truth in the theory that it’s impossible to understand the depths of love until you experience a devastating loss. Sometimes we take for granted how deeply a person, pet, opportunity, etc. can mean to us until they’re gone. These moments change us. It is inevitable and sometimes very painful. If navigated through with intention, it can result in growth of your soul and a lesson of true depths of the human experience.

I have learned that it is important to learn as much as humanly possible about our emotions. Going through each day and taking time to reflect on the emotions we feel is critical in understanding. Our mental and emotional health is so incredibly important because it is precisely what navigates life in the direction you’re focusing on – whether on a conscious or subconscious level. When we’re anxious and we doubt ourselves, we close doors on opportunities without even realizing it. When we’re depressed and we can’t seem to get the emotions out, we hide away from the people we love the most. These reactions to anxiety and depression can cause deeper challenges because you end up building further anxiety and depression on top of the initial situation. When I am feeling anxious, I try very hard to stop and reflect on those feelings, and pinpoint where and why they’re being triggered in the current situation. When I am able to meditate, re-center and focus my thoughts I am able to meet the anxiety with a sense of calm and understanding. With that calmness comes confidence. Even if I feel like I’m forcing confidence, the more I express it, I believe it. I notice actual confidence sets in and the uncertainty fades. Confront your dark emotions, meet them with self-love, pride, and confidence that your life will go forward and you will go on to do good things.

Lately I have been working on setting positive intentions for myself and for the people around me. I am giving myself patience to be who I am, flaws and all. I am intentionally letting the people closest to me be themselves too. If they’re forgetful, I forgive. If they’re rude, I am nice. If they’re upset, I listen. I am trying to practice the same level of patience with others and myself. I want to be able to let each character in the movie of my life to be who they are. I’d like for them to accept who I am. I accept the version of myself that I am right now, in this current moment.

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