Ysanet Batista


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How I Learned To Embrace My Blackness as a Dominican Woman

Article public on HipLatina.com

How Getting Ran Over By A Jet Ski Turned Into a Blessing

The last day of 2015 is upon us and like you I am taking the time to reflect on my year. Although, the way my life was set up this year I have had to stop and reflect a lot throughout it. Blessings and lessons came in different forms and in opportune times this year. 

When the clock struck twelve, turning 2014 into 2015, I cried. This would be a recurring moment throughout the year. But first I want to focus on the blessings.I spent the year living in my beautiful native country, the Dominican Republic. I did some kick ass work at a nonprofit doing a little bit of everything (teaching leadership & social justice, co-leading a pilot sexual health and girls empowerment program, facilitating workshops, director of summer camp, development efforts). I came closer to figuring out the “career” I want to pursue. I recognized my privilege as a Dominican-American. I started a friendship with 6 wonderful souls. I visited my family often. My mom and I got real with each other, healed wounds together and started a new chapter in our relationship. I  got to witness my best friend getting married to her wonderful partner. I practiced more self-care, meditation, yoga and free writing (my version of therapy when you don’t have health insurance). And I let go of people and situations that were not blessing my life.

The lessons of 2015 did not make it an easy year. I can now see the beauty in the hardships and admit they were soul opening once I stopped to acknowledge them. The difficult moments made me confront my fears, doubts and hidden worries. My attempts at living a life guided by positivity, light and love came with a dose of reality from the Universe and the higher power above. The message said: to live the life you want, you need to confront your inner self and heal. I would have liked the message to come to me via meditation or writing but instead it hid inside my first heartbreak, the amoebas (a form of parasites), salmonella and Brucella (bacteria) that changed my body, and in a mugging during Semana Santa (Holy Week). However, the message of “you need to heal and eliminate toxicity from your life”came crystal clear via a Jet Ski. No, I was not on the Jet Ski. I was enjoying a swim in the ocean when a Jet Ski crashed onto my face and neck, knocking me unconscious and landing me in a dingy small town clinic where I had my face stitched up, not knowing what was happening and thinking “God, please don’t let me die here”. Everyone said I should’ve died given the Jet Ski cut my neck so it was a wake-up call for sure.

In all these moments there was a lesson being whispered to me and it was difficult to recognize them but I had no other choice once I realized I could have died. I crawled out of my “bad luck” hole and made small adjustments to my life based on what I interpreted. Often, it is just easier to throw a pity party instead of reflecting on the WHY? because then you have address the root of the problem and work towards a solution.  In my reflection I asked “What is God and the Universe trying to tell me about myself?, the people I surround myself with? the work I do to make money? the people and things I avoid?” AND “Who do I need to confront and forgive?”. The answers where: surround yourself with kind, authentic, light giving people; stay true to yourself and do the work you’re passionate about; be kind to your body and nourish it; practice self-care all the damn time; you are deserving of pure and magic filled love, use all that self-doubt and fear to fuel you towards manifesting your true power.

All these questions and possible answers revealed themselves in 2015. I will continue to address them in 2016 and the years that follow because I am sure it will be a lifelong, beautiful and authentic journey. Happy New Years!

Sharing Love & Light,


Ysanet Batista