4 R’s of Self-Kindness with Gilza Fort-Martinez
Does kindness play a role in healing? Find out just how much when you make Time to be Kind with Marly Q and renowned psychotherapist, Gilza Fort-Martinez. This brief but powerful conversation explores the essential role kindness plays in healing and emotional wellness and uncovers Gilza’s “4 R’s” technique for emotional restoration. Tune in for your roadmap to self-kindness and overall wellness, starting now!
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“Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” ~ The Golden Rule
Listen to this Episode and Discover…
- How kindness underpins healing and overall wellness, creating a safe space for awareness, consideration and transformation to occur.
- The 4 R’s of Self-Kindness and Emotional Restoration
- Rest: Recognize the importance of rest. We often judge ourselves harshly for needing rest, but it is an essential part of self-kindness.
- Reflect: Reflection is key to understanding oneself better. Asking ourselves hard questions can be a kind act leading to self-awareness and informed decision making.
- Reset: After allowing for rest and reflection, resetting can take place. This process is about making more conscious decisions and allowing for changes in our lives.
- Reengage: Once reset, we are ready to reengage with the world more intentionally, with a better understanding of ourselves.
About Marly Q:
Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.
Connect with Marly Q:
About Our Guest:
Gilza Fort-Martínez, LMFT, is a Tough Love Healer specializing in individual therapy, couples counseling, and women’s transitions. With over 25 years of experience, she helps individuals rediscover resolution paths, transforming their lives. Her approach, My Navigational Mapping™, combines honest feedback and a solution-driven method, increasing self-awareness and emotional wellness. Gilza is the founder and CEO of Resolution Counseling Center in Miami. With expertise in conflict resolution, interpersonal relationships, and life transitions, she guides clients in embracing flaws and transforming them into strengths. Her passion for helping individuals improve their lives drives her dedication to counseling and therapeutic support.
Connect with Gilza Fort-Martínez
LinkedIn: Gilza Fort-Martínez
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Marly Q 00:00:00
Personal healing is intricately tied to emotional wellness. But have you ever thought about the role that kindness plays in your healing process and daily well being? Stay tuned for this illuminating conversation.
Marly Q 00:00:25
Hello, PARKers. And thank you for making Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. We are joined here today by a super special PARKer from Miami, Florida. Gilza-Fort Martinez is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She’s also a speaker and a writer with over 25 years of experience specializing in family therapy and life transitions. She’s helped hundreds of individuals, couples and families rediscover and create a path for resolution that have turned their life around. She has been featured on numerous TV publications, print publications, and dozens of podcasts, including now, Time to Be Kind with Marly Q. Please help me. Welcome to the show, Gilza.
Gilza Fort 00:01:03
Hi there. Hi, Marly. Nice to see you again.
Marly Q 00:01:06
Yes. Thank you so much for making Time to Be Kind. I know that it’s not always easy to. And I appreciate you offering and clearing some space on your super busy calendar to talk to us today.
Gilza Fort 00:01:17
I appreciate that. I definitely resonate with what you say and what you do and what your focus is. I mean, at the end of the day, that’s the bottom line, right? The golden rule being do unto others. And kindness is that foundation.
Marly Q 00:01:34
Thank you. I so agree with that. And I hear that a lot, right? Do unto others. And I think sometimes we forget the rest of that, right?. It’s do unto others as you do to yourself. Isn’t that the rest of it?
Gilza Fort 00:01:45
As you want others to do unto you.
Marly Q 00:01:48
There you go. I know I messed up the words, but I know there’s a part there about you, right? And that’s why it’s so important to start with you. And on this journey of self healing and emotional wellness, really starting with kindness towards yourself allows us to kind of impart some of that kindness onto others, right?
Gilza Fort 00:02:05
Marly Q 00:02:07
So I know your handle on Instagram is tough love healer. Can you tell me why? Tell me a little bit about this tough love and healing.
Gilza Fort 00:02:14
I mean, the handle came through even conversations with different clients over the years when I would ask them, so how is it that I have influenced you or helped you or impacted you? And most of the time, I got some version of, well, you just are frank. You don’t sugarcoat. And what I wanted was to be able to have the information, and sometimes I didn’t like it, but you still made it palatable for me. So the whole tough love is compassionate. I can be compassionate like I tell my clients. I can be listening. I can be very caring. And then there’s going to be a certain point in time where I’m going to have to be the one that gives you that little push, that little shove that maybe other people are either doing too aggressively and so we resist it or are afraid to do. So the whole tough love healer is kind of a compassionate approach that I try to encourage people to really take a look at what are their options in life as the transitions are flung at us.
Marly Q 00:03:14
Absolutely. I’ve just currently, I feel like I’m still in this transition. I consider myself a new mom even though my kid’s about to be five in July. I feel like I’m still transitioning into this mompreneur world. I have a two year old and almost five year old, and in that transition, I’ve really had to impart quite a bit of love and kindness towards myself through the process. And when I think of tough love, I immediately think of my kids. Because I’m raising my kids with kind of the same tough love that I was raised with, right? My mom is the most selfless, kind, amazing woman, and she’s also super tough, let me tell you. Super tough Cuban mama who don’t play no games, and she’s got super strict boundaries, right? And I feel I am aware of, and I witness myself kind of modeling that tough love way where I’m super kind, but I’m very firm, quote, unquote, tough on boundaries and rules with my kids. And I think that that could sometimes be criticized, right? Like tough love on your kids. But I really think that tough love, quote, unquote, when thought of from a place of kindness and compassion like you’re talking about, could really make a big difference in helping to help someone feel safe. Like they know what I stand for and what I don’t, right? Help someone feel that you care. Because if I’m this tough on certain things, it’s because I care. It’s important, right? So what’s your feedback on that? Am I doing a good job as a parent? I guess, as I’m indirectly asking you.
Gilza Fort 00:04:40
I think you absolutely are, because I think that this idea of really creating safety doesn’t mean we have to helicopter or cocoon our kids. Safety has to do with, in my mind, and I think we were raised by very similar mothers. Safety, in my mind, has to do with creating, like, security. I always knew that I could go back to my parents. I was very blessed in that way, and I always knew that my parents had my back. They didn’t always agree with me. And I got into plenty of disagreements, particularly with my old school, traditional father. But I always knew that they had my back. So, like you said, having loving, caring boundaries that are done lovingly and firmly. Lovingly and firmly. So we don’t need to do them aggressive. I don’t encourage you to do them in anger. They just are. This is what it is.
Marly Q 00:05:35
This is what it is.
Gilza Fort 00:05:36
This is what it is. My daughters are 28 and 22 at this point, Marly. And they will tell you that if they didn’t want to bring out psychomom, all they needed to do was to tell me the truth, have a conversation with me and then be willing to take your lumps if we didn’t agree, because they knew I would do the same. I had no problems with saying, you know what? My bad. And sometimes, you know what, guys? This is the way it is. Because I’m the mom and because your dad is the dad. Really, I’m loving to hear from you that you are really comfortable with stepping into. I can be kind and firm and there are some things that are going to be because that’s the way dad and I want them to be.
Marly Q 00:06:23
Cause mama said so. That does fly around here.
Gilza Fort 00:06:28
Well, like I said, my daughters are grown, and if you talk to them, they’ll tell you it still flies at my house.
Marly Q 00:06:35
There you go. You’re doing a great job, too. Here’s a little reminder for the two of us. We’ve done good. Because when kindness is the foundation, I think of how you parent or how you serve right in the work that you do that’s going to nourish a good environment for that to bloom, for there to be healing, for there to be growth. So I love that. So now that we know the important role that kindness plays in parenting, let’s switch over to the role that kindness plays in healing and overall emotional wellness. From your perspective, how important is kindness in the work that you do to help people heal and find their wellness?
Gilza Fort 00:07:08
I think it’s very important, Marly, in what I do as psychotherapy, the essence, the tried and true of psychotherapy is about creating safety and it’s about instilling hope, and it’s about kind of holding space for someone until they are able and willing to step into that space or time themselves. So underneath all that, there has to be the kindness that allows you to make that connective relationship. The essence of good psychotherapy. And what I mean by good, meaning that it could be effective, that it can be transformational for people, is that you have that therapeutic rapport. And rapport, to me, whether it’s in the therapy office or in the coffee shop is about kindness. Can you share what you’re thinking, tough love wise, and still make it easy on the mind, on the body, on the soul, for the person to be able to consider and to take in? So for me, kindness, hope is all about how I help people really kind of rebuild and restore themselves from whatever their crises.
Marly Q 00:08:19
And how do you encourage your clients to be kind to themselves in their healing process? Do you have any specific technique or question or part about your process that you encourage your clients to be kind to themselves? Curious.
Gilza Fort 00:08:33
I mean, I work a lot. At this point, after 25 years of being, of doing a lot of what might be called generalist, I did a lot of work with different populations and things. At this point, I work most often with women and with women that are really in the throes of definitely some kind of life transition. But I work a lot with women overcoming some kind of betrayal in their life. Betrayal is a broken trust, right? The essence of I thought this was what it is, and now I realize it’s not. And so that devastation of loss. And so my primary focus and work with clients, but definitely with women, is the idea of taking care of yourself, of the Self, right? The one that has the capital S to it. I encourage people to do what I call the four R’s, okay? And the first two pieces to me are primary. And like any other kind of grieving thing, you kind of go to something and then you come back to it. But the first one is I encourage people to just Rest. We don’t allow ourselves, as you were saying, we aren’t kind enough with ourselves when we’re resting. We think, oh my gosh, I’m not being productive, I’m not taking something off my list. I’m not multitasking the way the world says. And so we’re very unkind, very harsh to ourselves with that whole idea of resting. And I talk to people about whatever that looks like for them. Sometimes resting could be right. You’re vegging in your pajamas and binging on a movie or a show, and sometimes resting could be a little bit more mindful, right? You are intentionally either doing some kind of meditation or a lot of people do exercise and fitness as a way. So there could be an active form of resting, and then there is a more quiet and passive form of resting. So to me, that’s cornerstone, because we are just incredibly unkind to ourselves in this society with regards to, you know, what, today is just resting.
Marly Q 00:10:34
I would like to tell all our PARKers listening, I have been guilty of this most of my entire life. I still struggle with it a little bit, but I am grateful to my healing journey and my epiphany that divine rest, like, absolutely sacred. So nothing like having two kids that didn’t let you sleep for several years? I don’t think I’ve slept really. I will have you value rest. I would really have you value rest. All right, so I got the first R, what’s next?
Gilza Fort 00:11:01
So the second R is to Reflect, Reflection. And this is a part of kindness that I encourage people to do because again, we are in this hustle culture that we’re in, we are in on, and we’re expected to be on twenty four seven at a hundred and fifty miles an hour all the time. And so the concept of sitting quietly, just kind of seeing what’s going, what’s floating through our heads, taking a moment to ask ourselves kind of what I call the hard questions. Sometimes my clients will say to me, well, that’s not very kind when you want me to ask some of these questions. At the same time there’s a kindness that goes in with can I look at myself? Am I willing to look at myself in all of my glorious flaws? And will I take the time to really kind of be my own comfy, cozy blanket, so to speak, in ways. So the reflection process to me, I encourage people to do it old school. I’m very much paper and pencil. I want you to just ask yourself the basic questions: who am I? What’s important to me, what’s different for me now than when I was 20? Just any question is important. Any question is relevant to getting to know yourself in a different way. So this is different angle of kindness. It’s one that sometimes I have to sell a little more to people in the sense of it is a kindness to yourself. The more that you understand yourself, the more that you have awareness, then the more mindfully or intentionally you can step into what are the choices that you want to make? Doesn’t mean we’re not going to make mistakes. It just means that you might be more clearly able to tell where are the potholes in the road, so to speak.
Marly Q 00:12:47
Absolutely. I believe, I think that’s such an important part of the work that you do and you quote, force your clients to do it, whether they think it’s tough love or not. Reflection, I always say without reflection you see no growth. Without reflection you see no growth. You’re just constantly doing and the doing and the doing. And you’re carrying with you maybe old identities, baggage, things that you haven’t that aren’t even you anymore. Without that kindness. Like clarity is kindness. And sometimes clarity doesn’t look good. It doesn’t look good. But there’s kindness in being really clear about who you are, why you believe you’re on this earth, where you’ve been, where you think you’re going, where that gap is like how we’re treating ourselves in our journey. I think reflection is paramount. So, so far I am with you on board for these two R’s. Tell me more.
Gilza Fort 00:13:33
Well, another piece of that reflection, as you were saying there, is really entering into the part of forgiveness. And to me, forgiveness is also cornerstone in being kind to ourselves. Because you mentioned I might be looking at myself in ways that I’m not even that person anymore. And so that’s all about right judgment and self judgment that we do, and I’m talking about, again, Western society, US. Societies, is the we that I tend to talk about, but definitely us as Hispanic women kind of trying to bridge the old school, traditional way of thinking and now trying to transition into more of the American values and so forth. I mean, like you, I grew up with very traditional Hispanic parents and it was very tough at times to stay true to what they considered to be important values, cultural and historical, and to also be present and be able to live a life here. So the willingness to look at ourselves and know that we’ve shifted and we’ve changed. And some of it we’ve done willingly, some of it right life shoves us into those changes. Then the ability to really forgive ourselves for how we do that process. As you were saying, the idea of being a mom and a mompreneur, that is, I started practicing when my oldest daughter was two, and that was really hard. I wanted to grow this business. And my mom and my mother in law, they both worked, but they didn’t have careers. They worked and they didn’t have businesses. They worked for somebody. So there was a lot of clashing there and a lot of self forgiveness that I had to do for not being with my daughter. Twenty four, seven, and yet I’m a much better mother because I worked, because I had my sense of self. So forgiveness to me is a big piece of that reflection part.
Marly Q 00:15:51
I totally agree with that. So thank you for bringing that into the conversation. For sure. So we got two R’s under our belt so far. You said there were four, right?
Gilza Fort 00:16:04
Yes. The third one is reset. And how that works with kindness for me is when we do this resting and we’re allowing and we let resting become a little bit more intentional and habitual, right, more consistent. And we continue to ask ourselves some of the questions so that now we start to make maybe decisions a little bit more consciously, maybe we decide that we have to make some shifts and we let go of things that maybe are hard to let go of. All of this is the process of resetting. And when you’re ready and usually we know when we’re ready, we just don’t always allow ourselves, but we usually know when we’re ready to take that first step into let’s try this different idea, or let’s meet this different person or connect with this particular business idea, whatever it is. The resetting has to or the resetting comes in when you’re feeling that you have more of that foundation all in. This is about kindness for yourself. Okay? Like we said, if we’re going to judge ourselves, criticize ourselves, move ourselves into the space where we become immobilized either with anxiety or fear, you aren’t able then to do the reset. And so the reset to me is like when the computer we kind of restart the computer and we have our basics, right? All the basic stuff in the computer is there, but there’s some new and improved pieces or maybe there’s a little program here and there that we hadn’t noticed and that now we put more energy or emphasis on. And so the resetting takes you or allows you to go into what I call the fourth step, which is the reengaging. This is when you more intentionally decide to reengage with the world, whatever world that is. In the case with a lot of my women clients, it might be about actually stepping into their reengaging in their marriages or stepping into the idea of divorcing. But it could be any layer changing jobs, allowing our children to go into kindergarten, and we leave them at the front door. We don’t take them, whatever that is, right? That it allows us then to reengage with our various worlds and the various hats. But we do it now from a place of a little bit broader understanding of ourselves.
Marly Q 00:18:24
Oh my goodness. So I feel like you just outlined in four R’s, which I love, wordplay, Alliteration, and acronyms. As you know, I know we don’t know each other that long, but you know me for five minutes. You know I like acronyms. And you’re a PARKer, by the way, I don’t know if you’ve learned this one. And folks listening, do you know what a PARKer stands for?
Gilza Fort 00:18:42
Gilza I did. Oh dear. Random Kindness. Acts of random kindness.
Marly Q 00:18:47
I forgot the P. Perform of Random Kindness. So when you’re a PARKer, you’re a person that performs Acts of Random Kindness, right. So you do this absolutely every single day. Now you know the acronym for it. All of you listening, you’re all PARKers too. So just in case you’re new to my world and didn’t know that acronym, PARKer. And what I was saying with this is that was really like my journey with I had to really learn my last burnout experience, october of 2016. And I made a decision. If I do not change, if I do not change this, I’m going to die. It got that serious from like I will not continue not just my work and my passion and my philanthropic work, but I don’t think I will continue existing if I don’t change how I am treating myself. And it really was this total outward do unto others without doing any of the kindness unto self. So that was 2016, several years ago already. And it’s taken some time it’s taken some time for my body and my brain nervous system to rewire itself, to appreciating and valuing and prioritizing rest, which was absolutely the complete opposite of my life. Prior to this awakening and necessity for reflection, I really had not done any real reflection work to pause and really look at how far I’ve come from my immigrant parents coming to the United States, from me actually starting. A business in 2010, not knowing anything about it, not having a role model, not having the right environment, so to speak, to nurture this in me, et cetera. And here we don’t fast forward and actually reflect and ask ourselves these questions. We’re not able to be proud of ourselves and be like, hey, you’ve been through some dark times, you’ve been through some difficult things, and the forgiveness that has to happen is such a part of it. And then resetting, like, once you’re ready and hey, it might take you, I don’t know, a couple of sessions with Gilsa. It took me a couple of years, people. I did not seek Gilsa’s help. I just thought I kind of went through this on my own and with my family to a small extent, et cetera. And it took some while to kind of reset and be like, all right, I am no longer this stressed out, burnt out, worried, anxious event planner that I’ve been all my life. I feel I’m being called into becoming a parent. That’s when we started even trying, going down that journey. I feel I’m being called to speak and connect with people in a different way. I’m being called to create courses. But it was a lot of resetting that needed to happen mentally and identity wise to step into. I am a kindness influencer. I am a leadership trainer. I’m a community builder. That’s who I am, what I do. You can pay me to speak at your event. You can pay me to do workshops and retreats, right? But that all really had to come from kindness and come back to Corey to the core, and then be able to re-engage, enter Time to Be Kind with Marly Q podcast and my effort to re-engage with my community that I felt and I didn’t forget about. But I tossed it off to the side because it caused me so much stress, worry, anxiety, burnout. And now really able to come back and say, listen, there’s a way that we can be the spark and we can be of service to others and be that change that we wish to see in our own lives and for the world. But it really has to start. It has to start with you. Because if not, it’s just not sustainable.
Gilza Fort 00:21:54
Sustainable. That’s the great word. Because we could do it. You did it there for a number of years. So did I, so did our parents. And as children of immigrants, as you said, this is what we’re taught to do we just go? Go. The question really is, is it sustainable? And is it sustainable in a way that you have some satisfaction, some quality of life? The two main reasons that people go into therapy in this country anyway is that they complain of anxiety or depression. Okay. And those things are about, like you said, the core, the soul that isn’t really being nurtured or honored.
Marly Q 00:22:33
Correct. And I just want to use this microphone and this time and this platform for anyone listening that might be kind of in a season of life where you feel like that angst of like, all right, I need to transition or I need to make a change, I need to pivot into something. And you feel that resting and reflecting and kind of going through this process might be helpful for you. How can our PARKers listening connect with you? I know you were so generous to offer a 15 minutes consult for people that reached out to you and review the show. So if you’re out there listening and you review our podcast, rather leave a review on itunes or follow us on Spotify or leave a comment on our blog if you engage with us and this episode, Gilsa is so generous and she’s going to offer you a 15 minutes consult.
Gilza Fort 00:23:18
Yes, I’d love to be able to do that. You could also find me, as you mentioned, on Instagram, I’m at TOUGH LOVE Healer, can find me on Facebook as well as my website. Helsaport.com can give you a little bit more information through my blog and things like that, get a little bit better, feel as to who I am and how I work. But definitely the 15 minutes is usually enough for people to get a feel for, is allowing yourself to go and have conversations with somebody that you don’t know, take out the dirty laundry, as we would say in Cuban Spanish, right? With somebody else and really allow yourself to start that kindness process with yourself. I encourage it. Doesn’t have to be with me, but I encourage it.
Marly Q 00:24:03
I encourage it, too. Thank you so much for your generosity, for your kindness, for spending this time with me and our PARKers listening. I hope that we get to see each other real soon.
Gilza Fort 00:24:12
Yes, thank you. Thanks very much for having me.
So if you enjoyed this episode of Time to Be Kind with Marly Q, and I know you did, tell us about it, you can leave a comment over on my website, Marlyq.com this episode number. You could also leave a rating and a review over on podcast. Follow us on Spotify. You know what to do. And you could also choose to be the spark of a conversation over on our private Facebook group. If you’re not part of my Kind QREW yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. I invite you every week. Go over to Marlyq.com this episode number and click the link to request access to our private Facebook group. That’s where we connect each and every week, and I want you in there. You’ll also find the full transcription and show notes, plus the links to connect with Hilsa over at Marlyq.com this episode number. Thanks again for making this Time to Be Kind with me. See you next time.
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