Gabriela Milla: In Love With Who I am
In essence, everything and everyone is One. There is no separation between ourselves and what we call God, Source, Universe, Cosmos, or Divine. We are all a life force embodying and expressing itself through our physicality, not the other way around. Our souls carry our physical bodies, all being part of Everything That Exists, englobing different energetical densities that appear physical to us. The eagerness and excitement of our soul is to experience itself through our physical realm.
Artist Gabriela Milla, who stars as Isabel on season 2 of Apple TV+’s hit bilingual comedy series, Acapulco, reflects on her own soulful experience: “I am someone on this earth whose soul is extremely eager to learn and therefore have all these experiences. I’m an inquisitive soul. But the lesson I’m most eager and excited to learn, and the one I’m learning, is how to love myself. How does she get to love herself? And how can she love herself better?”
We are all a blend of physical and non-physical beings, moving between two perspectives—the asking and receiving dance. From our unique physical perspective, we forget who we are so we can explore, re-discover, and freely choose who we want to become now. From our non-physical perspective, we have access to all the knowing that exists and the potential becoming of what we have previously created through our physical perspective’s asking.
Gabriela says, “It’s one of the most essential things to life, but also the easiest thing to forget. I’ve built so many habits that haven’t been the healthiest since I was a kid, and loving myself was the last thing on the priority list. So that’s why I’m really excited to keep remembering it every day. Then I discover bits and pieces of myself that are a little critical such as that my love is often conditional; I love myself when I behave, but not so much when I make a mistake. Life becomes so much more beautiful, and I become so much more of a better person when I’m kinder to myself, when I love myself, and have patience with myself. So that’s why it’s so important to me, because then I start to recognize how I feel about myself and what I give to others.”
Everything That Exists is continually moving, expanding, and becoming more. The only constant is change; nothing in nature is static, including love. By forgetting that we are love, we can experience fuller love. From our physical perspective, we forget. From our non-physical perspective, we re-remember and can experience love in a fuller way. How long we play the prank with ourselves of forgetting is up to us. When we forget that we are love, we can simply use any tools we have to look within, naturally becoming more and more love.
Gabriela reflects on her own changing life and perspective, particularly when living in Honduras as a child. “I always say that it’s one of the most important events of my life. Because from a physical perspective, my mother’s Venezuelan, and my dad is Honduran. For my dad, like we say in Spanish, he feels, Orgullo Catracho, meaning he’s very proud of his roots. And he really wanted to instill that in us, his family. I come from a very large, loving family. He always wanted us to grow with that sense of identity connected to our mother language. It was really important to him; therefore, it’s been very important to my brother and me. When I moved to Honduras at seven, it changed my life forever. All of a sudden, I was this little ‘gringuita’, but with my olive skin, so I had to fit in quickly because no one would believe I was ‘gringuita.’ Kids are mean sometimes and they would be like, ‘You’re not ‘gringuita’ because you know Spanish.’ I had heard Spanish my whole life but hadn’t spoken it. So, we were thrown into the deep end, going to school in Spanish, and our life was turned upside down. And it was the change I’m most grateful for because I was surrounded by cousins, aunts, and uncles. And I felt like such a part of a community, and even in Honduras, in the city I loved, it’s a city, but it’s a small town. Everybody knows who your dad is, how your dad grew up. So it really became such a strong part of my identity and still is. It’s funny because I was a little outsider. After all, I was the ‘gringuita’ in Honduras. And I’m an outsider here, in the US, because I’m this Latina who grew up in Honduras. I flow better when I’m in between both worlds and grab a bit of the better end of what suits me both. And it’s even shaped how I communicate. I’m a big Spanglish girl. I love speaking with people who speak both because I can bounce back and forth between English and Spanish. And my sense of humor is a mix of both too. So, when it comes to physical identity, that was transformative for me. And it really built that physical identity that I have,” proudly says Gabriela.
Embracing the whole of who we are means equally embracing that we are physical and Divine. Being exposed to different cultures is being exposed to more variety, to the mirror reflection of different angles of ourselves; it becomes an opportunity to know ourselves more. We don’t have to choose; we can be, do, and have anything that resonates the most with us. Like going from one language to another, we go through one perspective to another, and we can deliberately choose when to do so, and how long to stay in one or another. We can sense when we need more stimulation, so we can ask. We can sense when it’s time to go within, so we can receive.
Gabriela expresses, “I don’t know if I’m always aware that my beliefs manifest in my life. But I know that we are creators, and our beliefs really live in our subconscious. I believe that not even our conscious mind, but our subconscious mind, creates our reality. So, I’ve realized throughout my career that whatever I don’t love has manifested. When I was getting opportunities for roles that I wasn’t really in love with, I had to look at myself and ask, ‘Where am I creating this from? What beliefs am I telling myself in my subconscious that I don’t deserve these opportunities?’ The belief that I haven’t suffered or struggled enough to deserve this, maybe came since I was a child. That’s why self-love has been such an important lesson to me. It was through learning to love myself and really focusing on loving those subconscious beliefs that aren’t that great and having forgiveness and space for them. But also knowing they were not true. Then I started seeing more things aligned with what I wanted to manifest in my life and career. Because I think for a lot of people, it’s easy, as it was for me, to play the victim and be like, ‘I’m not getting this opportunity because of her/him or some other external reason.’ When it really was coming from myself because I’m creating my life and co-creating every situation that I’m in. And a lot of the time I’m doing work, I’m always doing it through my subconscious beliefs.”
Abraham-Hicks says, “A belief is just a thought you keep thinking.” Our subconscious mind is where all the ancestral memories are. It is where all the memories we learn through our environment and upbringing are. Where the access to all the information that ever exists is. Our subconscious allows our organisms and bodies to operate without our conscious intervention. It sends signals to our conscious mind for us to choose which of these memories and information we would like to keep or shift, so we can experience a satisfying life. By becoming aware of our subconscious beliefs, we automatically become conscious, as we can’t be subconscious about something we are now aware of. Then we can do something about them. Not all at once, but one by one, for as long as we are physically focused.
“Now it’s easy to look back in my life and say, ‘Oh, taking a two-year break from acting was a great decision.’ I let go and reprioritize taking care of myself. I wanted to continue entertaining people and creating. Still, I had a very toxic relationship with it, and I really, really let go 100%. I had put too much energy, too much pressure, and too much attention into what I felt success was. I had these close opportunities where it was almost like the universe was saying, ‘You can have this. But you’re not ready for it.’ And I wasn’t ready. When I stepped away, I realigned. I disconnected to reconnect. Then I allowed it to come to me. I had the faith to let it come to me. When I started this the Thank You EXX podcast, one of my bits of advice at the time was that doing nothing, isn’t doing nothing. You’re healing. You’re realigning. You’re re-centering. And I remember my co-host and the guests were like, ‘What did she just say?’ In many aspects of society, doing nothing, meditating, or sitting still is frowned upon. As we’re in this society of go, go, go, go, go. We’re not allowing ourselves as creators to attract things we want because we’re always chasing. And when I stopped chasing and realized that happiness was within me, and I didn’t need to be chasing anything, that’s when happiness chased me down. It is about centering and allowing it, opening myself up to it. When I was go, go, go, go, go, hustle, hustle, hustle, I wasn’t even allowing the energy to come to me. I’m happy to be able to say it now. Because when I said it when I was in the middle of my doing nothing, people were eye-rolling at me. But I’m grateful because I also needed to learn to sit still in that nest,” says Gabriela.
When there is too much physical focus, meaning too much stimulation, we create a strong momentum. In that state, it’s difficult to stop our minds from rolling. One of the best tools to bring ourselves back to balance is to do nothing, which actually is allowing. Instead of going on vacation once a year, we can “vacate” our mind a few times a day, for a few moments, and then life feels like a continuous vacation. That state will naturally raise our vibrations; hence we become clearer, more energized, and more efficient.
About the process of becoming Isabel, her character on Acapulco, Gabriela shares, “I always talk about my Acapulco costars because there are so great. It’s such a beautiful cast. The script is amazing. Our creators are amazing. They’re so beautiful, genuinely aligned people. The experience has been so great. But what I’m taking home with me is much bigger than the exposure or the success. I was so aligned with my character Isabel. I attracted to play her. She taught me so much. And more than even teaching me, she reinforced the lessons I was already experiencing. First and foremost, she loves herself, so unconditionally, and she lives so unapologetically. For so long, I was a feisty Latina who did what she wanted but also was looking for approval. But Isabel doesn’t do that. She just marches to the beat of her own drum. And though she’s this feisty rebel, she’s so unbelievably loving. So, because she gives herself so much love, she can give it to others and be genuine. Isabel differs from everyone else at Las Colinas. Even her friends are all wearing masks; they’re all trying to see where they can fit in and excel in this glamorous world. Isabel is not interested in fitting in; she’s just interested in being herself. Sometimes it can be really isolating when you are so true to yourself. Still, for Isabel, the alternative of not being true to herself is worse. Before, I had a really hopeless view of when I will find a role that I connect to an image of a Latina that I want to see on screen. When I read the script, Isabel just jumped out of the pages so deliciously empowering. It’s how much she loves and how vulnerable she is, that makes her strong. So, now that I’m watching the show in real-time, it’s like I’m learning that lesson more and more every day.”
When we focus on something we desire but can’t see it come to life, it may even become painful. Paradoxically, once the desire is clear, taking a break from focusing on it will bring that desire to us. We can’t be chasing and receiving at the same time. We can’t be wanting and having at the same time. When we ask, it’s given. But to receive the asking, we vibrationally become what we have asked for. Then we follow our inspired impulses to discover the steps toward experiencing the desire. And then there is no other way to experience what we have asked for in physicality. All of it is our choice, our creation. We are creators, creating the creation of who we choose to be.
“Everybody is a mirror of ourselves,” says Gabriela. “We’re attracting them because we need to learn something about ourselves. Even what bothers us about someone else is just a piece of us. And that’s also for Isabel and Maximo. The obvious is that Isabel represents a different way of going about life to Maximo. Isabel is showing him that he can be happy, and he doesn’t need to always put his happiness somewhere else; it’s all within. Isabel, she’s the type of girl who is very rooted; she’s very close to her family but also has wings, and she likes to fly. In the first episode, we see Isabel returning from a whirlwind trip around South America. Although she is ready to be back and never leave Acapulco again, a fire in her is ready for more adventures away from home and her family. And a reflection of that is Maximo. She has suppressed that desire. But obviously, it didn’t completely go away. She hasn’t fully let go of it subconsciously because she manifested a relationship with Maximo who all he wants to do is get the hell out of Acapulco. Exactly the opposite of what she thinks she wants to do, but at the same time, it’s exactly what she’s done. She has been traveling and living life abroad. Even though she’s connecting back to her roots and really happy with her family, there is that fire within her that wants more. And Maximo having those ambitions right before her is a reminder of that,” passionately says Gabriela.
When we become aware that there is more to us than our physicality, we discover that everything and everyone reflects who we are and how we vibrate. When we are in fear, that fear reflects back to us. When we are in love, that love reflects back to us. Love is our natural state of being; that’s why being in love resonates fully with us. To experience more love, we have to become more love, therefore more loved, because we are the ones experiencing our own love. And then, in every reflection, every person will reflect that love. Moreover, we will start to see that love and well-being flowing through the other too.
“I’m so hungry for love and to give love. I realized that a lot of my heartbreak that’s happened in the past isn’t because I wasn’t loved but really because someone wasn’t ready to, or wasn’t able to, or didn’t want to receive my love. And that’s why I’m on this journey of self-love because it’s like beating the bottomless pit, but I’m not going to lie to other people to receive love. Why do we even do what we do? Why am I even acting? At the end of the day, I’m looking for love. And what I’m looking to give is love. And that’s why I’m so passionate about this project because Acapulco is so much love. It gives people 30 minutes of disconnecting from their every day to experience laughter, joy, and love.”
Like Gabriela, are you choosing to be and experience predominantly laughter, joy, and love? How much do you want others to love, equals how much you love yourself, which in turn, is the love you can give to others.
Photography // Jonny Marlow
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