A self-proclaimed introvert, Julienne de Villa story as a Community Member of Brew Your Best Year is that of opening up one’s self to new experiences beyond what one is used to, to welcome change in the journey to self-discovery and personal growth.
By joining our events and contributing to the community, Julienne has immersed herself in avenues where she can express herself & reach out to others in a way that challenges her to break the mundane. Through her interactions within the community, she also learned a vital aspect in brewing one’s best year: to overflow by giving to others. “There’s always something to give. In a world where we’re always told to put ourselves first, you’ll be amazed at how fulfilling it is to shift your focus from yourself to others,” she says.
Read all about Julienne’s journey as a Brew Your Best Year Community Member, and her thoughts on nurturing growth for ourselves and for those around us in this week’s Community Feature!
WHO IS SHE? Julienne de Villa
WHAT DOES SHE DO? Julienne is a 25-year-old registered nurse working in clinical research. On Sundays, she volunteers as a Kids Church teacher at her local community church.
- Tell us about your story as a Community Member of Brew Your Best Year. How did your journey start?
My story as a Brew Your Best Year community member began when I got my first Giving Journal three years ago. I was meeting a friend at one of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® branches and I chanced upon the Giving Journal 2014. Coincidentally, I was on the hunt for a new planner. I browsed a few of its pages and what piqued my interest was its monthly themes and weekly inspirations that encourage you to be proactive and live a life that overflows. I liked it even more when I found out that part of the proceeds would also help scholars of the REAL Life Foundation (our local community church works with this organization, too).
A few stamps and drinks after, I got my first ever Giving Journal and of course I posted it on Instagram! I wanted to maximize using it so I even included The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®’s official hashtags in my post and they reposted it on their Instagram account (@cbtlph) since the Brew Your Best Year Instagram account wasn’t born that time yet. I was really stoked when I got featured so I continued using their hashtag, #brew2014, when sharing related posts and I got featured again a few times after.
Since then, I felt like I was part of the community so I became encouraged and inspired to share more posts using their other hashtags such as the yearly brew hashtag, #cbtlph, and #brewph. Instagram has been my creative outlet ever since so I’m glad to be recognized as part of a community such as Brew Your Best Year.
my first featured post from @brewph
- What are your most memorable experiences joining our events so far? Tell us about them and why they are defining highlights for you.
My first event was the launching of the Giving Journal 2015. It was memorable for me since I rarely get invited to these things and when I received an email from the Brew Your Best Year Team, I was really ecstatic.
Along with a friend, we went and got the chance to create bookmarks made out of wires that spelled out the words representing our 2015 goals. We also heard the success story of one of the REAL Life Foundation scholars, which was heartwarming because in a way, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® allowed us to somehow contribute to this life changing advocacy through the Giving Journal.
The next event I attended was the Valentine’s Day Celebration at AIME Home last 2015. It was one of the highlights of my year then because for me, Valentine’s Day has always been an ordinary day until I got to celebrate it in a unique and meaningful. We had a t-shirt painting activity with the kids and I really saw the joy in their faces during the whole time.
It was incredibly satisfying knowing that giving something as simple as time can make a big difference in the lives of others, especially kids like them.
The last and the latest event I got to attend was for the Ice Cream Ice Blended launch. I mean, who doesn’t want to get first dibs on the newest The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® drinks right?
But kidding aside, I’m grateful that I get invited to events like this because despite my introvert personality, this gives me the chance to move out of my comfort zone by socializing with and meeting new people.
- Where do you get inspiration?
I find inspiration primarily during my quiet time. Since I’m at my most productive, and motivated in the morning, I make it a point to spend my first few minutes of the day being mindful. Instead of grabbing my phone and immediately checking my social media accounts, I grab my devotional, read and reflect on it and write down on my journal a little prayer of gratitude for a new day. I believe that when you start your day with a grateful heart, positivity will just flow through you and radiate to those around you.
I also find inspiration in possibilities. I have a bucketlist of the things I want to do and experience and it always excites me knowing that there is so much out there. It inspires me to always be curious, and open to new things, new adventures, and new experiences.
And last but most definitely not the least, I find inspiration in people—especially kids. My day job and volunteering commitment entails me to be around children all the time, so it’s always a refreshing experience for me because it gives me new perspective about life and everyday little happenings. As the old song says, “If you could see the world through the eyes of a child, what a wonderful world this would be”.
- What is Brew Your Best Year to you?
As an introvert, I’m not always too comfortable with social gatherings especially when I don’t know anyone there so when I was invited to my first Brew Your Best Year event way back 2014, I was honestly more terrified than excited. But then, the line from the poem, Overflows, reminded me to choose to grow each day and take steps forward, so I said yes and up to this day, I’m thankful I did because it has led me to a door of new things and to self-discovery. I’ve nurtured new and old friendships, pursued my passion, and became part of something bigger than myself all because of this amazing community and the even more amazing team behind it. Brew Your Best Year has become that voice in my head always reminding me to take steps that will not only challenge me to be a better person but also allow myself to be a channel of blessings to others as well. So, thank you, Brew Your Best Year!
- What are the biggest learnings you’ve gained being a part of the community?
I’m on my fourth Giving Journal now, and if there’s one constant thing it has taught me over the years, it is to always have an attitude of gratitude. From the material things to the intangible, and irreplaceable experiences that life has blessed you, there is always something to be grateful for. And through that, I also learned how to be more joyful in giving. Sometimes it’s not just about the act of giving itself that is important but rather the attitude you have that impacts the receiver the most.
- How do you impart the learnings and inspiration gathered with the rest of the community?
Since we’re living in a generation where almost everyone is connected to some form of social media, including myself, I use my social media presence as a tool to share my learnings and inspiration to my circle of influence.
- What do you believe are the most important elements in brewing one’s best year?
I believe that there’s no actual perfect recipe in brewing one’s best year because like brewing your own your cup of coffee, it is something personal. And as they say, the quality and flavor of your coffee would be determined by a lot of factors. And just like in life, the elements in brewing your best year would greatly depend on some personal factors such as your current state in life, your openness to change, and your personal goals, among other things. But at the end of it all, what matters most is that you enjoy the whole brewing process, take in the aroma and you’ll see that you’ve brewed a cup, just perfect for you.
- How do you plan to make your year the best one yet?
I’ve always started my year with a week of prayer and fasting to thank God for the answered prayers last year and to believe for breakthroughs in all areas of my life for the year to come, which I did earlier this month. I asked God for direction and guidance this year and His answer for me is this—to trust in Him with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). It’s actually easier said than done, especially for someone like me who wants to plan ahead and make sure everything goes as planned but through His grace, everything is possible. So with that being said, I plan to make this year the best one yet by not relying on my own imperfect logic over things that I don’t understand and instead trusting on His perfect plans—because His are always better than mine.
- What advice can you give the community?
There’s always something to give. Giving to others doesn’t necessarily have to involve money all the time; sometimes it’s the smallest acts of kindness that has the potential to turn one’s life around. Be kind to everyone you meet, smile at strangers, compliment someone at work, volunteer your time, offer your seat to someone when you’re at a public transport—these things can impact people positively in ways you’ll never know. In a world where we’re always told to put ourselves first, you’ll be amazed at how fulfilling it is to shift your focus from yourself to others.