Anna Cecilia - Project Babe and I Am Wellness
Anna Cecilia is the powerhouse behind Project Babe and I Am Wellness. She founded Project Babe in 2018, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission is to provide affordable traumatic healing and mental health services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse and human trafficking. Healing is meant to be accessible to all, and it’s always been important to Anna to create a community of women who helped other women (soul sista right here!). Born out of her need to learn self-love, Anna created I Am Wellness, a space filled with self-love advice, ways to tackle even your worst days, and stories from real women.
Anna is a light, giving, kind, and truly a wonderful woman and friend, and I am so happy to be on this joy journey with her.
I’d love it if you’d introduce yourself, what you do, and how everything got started.
Hi! First of all, thank you so much for having me, I’m so honored to do this interview!
I’m Anna Cecilia and I am the founder of Project Babe and I Am Wellness. I also work as a freelance web and graphic designer! Currently I’m working on some huge projects to develop my freelance business as well as planning some big events for Project Babe in 2019.
I was born in Italy and grew up in New York, but I think everything kind of started when I moved to Miami. My first three years here were a whirlwind and I never could seem to catch my breath. I was in school and dealing with a difficult relationship, but when the universe threw me face first to the ground, I hated the helpless feeling and saddened looks I continued receiving from those around me.
That was really a huge turning point for me. I wanted to take my life back into my own hands and work hard for what I wanted to happen instead of just letting things happen to me.
What inspired the work you’re doing now?
Falling. Definitely falling. I realized that sometimes you have to reach a complete breakdown in order to rebuild yourself and find what works. I had been a victim for so long, I knew that wasn’t the life I wanted to lead. A lot of my work with Project Babe is about empowering women through their healing process, which is super important to me.
We’re currently in phase two of the Me Too movement, which is a call to action to make traumatic healing affordable for everyone. That’s really what Project Babe has always been about and I feel more and more confident everyday that we are making even small differences in the lives of women and girls.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you’re living your passion and purpose?
My biggest passion is being creative. It’s so crazy because growing up I kept hearing everyone talk about “when you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life,” which is totally cliche- I know. But on the other hand, very much accurate. I worked various agency jobs and never truly loved it. Now I wake up at 6 every morning and I get to spend my entire day being creative, whether it is working on client projects or preparing things for Project Babe. Even my more recent venture, I Am Wellness, allows me to be creative while offering self-care and wellness advice to women.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
I would have to say I feel the most alive when I am working on a Project Babe event for months and then I see it come to life. In December, Project Babe created 60 totes filled with self-care goodies for the Pace Center for Girls in Miami. The girls there are ages 11-18 and are all recovering from their own traumatic experiences in a safe environment.
I was so incredibly nervous because I had been planning this event for months and you just never really know how it’s going to pan out the day of.
I get so anxious, but being there, spending time with all the girls, singing Christmas music and talking about our New Years Resolutions while they opened their gifts was just such a blessing. My heart always feels the fullest when I can see my projects come to life.
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools, resources, or practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
Okay so this is definitely my favorite question because it took me soooo incredibly long to learn this.
I live intentionally by making sure that I put my heart into everything I do, which is easier said than done. Fortunately, I get to work for myself so I choose what projects to take on and get to deny working on things that simply don’t make me happy or feel right for me at the time.
I set goals and then action steps to achieve them. I’m very adamant about putting everything in my Happy Planner (shout out to them for creating the most customizable planner ever!) and making sure I stick to my goals.
Before I started using my planner, I would always make these goals and they seemed so unachievable and just distant. Even my daily to do lists were so long that I never felt I was getting enough done, which inevitable led to beating myself up for “not being productive enough.” After listening to a few ted talks on productivity (something I highly recommend!) I learned that goals need to be broken down into action steps and there should always be a half-way “check -in” point. Meanwhile, your daily to-do lists should be broken down by the top 3 main things you want to achieve in the day, everything after that is a bonus!
For tools, I would say definitely invest in a Happy Planner (they are constantly 40% off at Michaels, bringing them down to maybe $20), they have so many options and they are completely customizable so you decide what works for you! Ted Talks and Podcasts help keep my mindful about my actions, but also remembering to take some time for yourself each day. I talk about aligning your purpose with your passion in my book and that is in part possible by giving yourself the time to think things through and decide whether or not the journey you are about to embark on or the decision you are about to make is right for you.
What would your younger self think about what you’re doing now?
Oh gosh, I’d like to think she is happy!
I believe I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger (I have a very strange obsession with paper, so basically anything involving a lot of paper excited me). I think what I’m doing now is not too far off from that, but it is because of all the twists and turns in life that I got to the point I am now. So yeah, I think my younger self would be proud that I gained enough strength from the difficult situations to turn them into a life I love.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
Yes! I read a book by Melody Beattie, back in February of 2017, called The Language of Letting Go- 365 Daily Meditations and this one quote has stuck with me ever since, “Thank God the future is not limited by what we can see now.”
I repeat that to myself every time I’m having a difficult day and it truly helps!
I also consistently tell myself that nothing works unless I do and that pretty much leads me to a lot of late nights :)
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to have Project Babe help women and girls on an international level. It’s a work in progress, but it is definitely a goal I have set for myself within the next five years!
Learn more about Anna and connect with her on Instagram @annaceciliaaah and you can view her portfolio www.annaceciliaaah.com and email firstname.lastname@example.org Project Babe @weareprojectbabe and www.projectbabe.org and I am Wellness @iamwellness.co and www.iamwellness.co and email email@example.com
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here