Kindness People: Veronica Villanueva

The “Human Kind” series is glad to interview Veronica Villanueva who discovered her “why” after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer in 2016. Through her work as a trained Cordon Bleu chef and certified health coach, Veronica aims to inspire others to embrace a holistic lifestyle built on a commitment to growth, eating healthy foods, taking the time to create memorable moments, and of course, fostering loving relationships.

Three things Veronica is about?

Changing the conversation around the subject of cancer. Cancer doesn’t have to be a “death sentence”. It can be a “life sentence” that leads you to living a phenomenal life that you never thought was possible

Optimism: I jump out of bed every day, excited to have the privilege to educate, to inspire, to empower people to live a well intentioned and thriving life

Strong and independent mind: I didn’t listen to the 6 month prognosis that five doctors gave me almost 5 years ago. Instead, I proved them wrong. This should say something about my mindset – it’s my super power! When I put my mind into anything I am passionate about, I will die trying, and giving up is not an option. I am blessed and grateful for this gift because a strong and independent mind is… dangerous!

You have written a book – why did you write it? How is it connected to kindness and healing?

After healing from cancer, I knew I had to write the book I needed but did not exist at the time of my diagnosis. It became clear to me that when I received my clean scan nine months after the 6 month death sentence I was given – people who heal themselves from such a horrific disease, like cancer, have a responsibility to help heal other people with cancer

I discovered my “why” after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer in 2016. I know I am alive today to share grace, blessings, and the lessons that cancer has taught me. My “incurable” disease gave me the gift of knowing myself, loving myself, and sharing myself with others in a profound way

Have you ever experienced an act of kindness that had a life-changing impact on your life? 

Kindness is like a boomerang. When you are kind to someone, most of the time, it comes back to you even more grandiose. I am blessed as I have experienced many acts of kindness especially during my battle with cancer

One day my very good friend, Pete, picked me up early to take me to my oncologist appointment to interpret my recent scan. I was so sick that I felt like I was having an out of body experience because I was just in so much pain and needed to vomit. It was so nice to look up and see a kind face looking at me, asking me if I felt better. To me that’s priceless and unforgettable. I felt loved and not judged

What are your views on boundaries and kindness?

“Setting boundaries is an act of self love, and it shows respect to others. Kindness is fundamental, it’s key to making the world a better place – BE that person who makes everyone feel understood and seen. Both boundaries and kindness are essential to a thriving and happy life”

Kindness can also be seen in our daily habits as well as this mechanism that moves our lives forward. What daily habits help you achieve high levels of productivity as well as kindness to yourself?

“The one thing I do in the morning is take my time. I rushed enough while raising my children.  Having a slow morning – journaling and meditating is how I practice self love and self strengthening. My morning routine is meant to care for myself mentally, physically, and emotionally, a way to build myself up so once I clock in at work, I am ready to share myself with the world, in my best version of myself. It’s a win-win scenario!”

Please seek your doctors advice when experimenting with new medication.

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