Interview with Brianna Cerrito

Today, on Women’s Day, I am excited and honored to share this interview with Brianna C., an interesting and lovely young woman I met on Instagram, as all cool meetings happen, these days. In typical Gabby fashion, when I meet someone interesting, I want to know more, and here is the result of those inquiries. Thank you, Brianna for taking the time to share with us and for your kind willingness. I seriously can’t wait to meet her in person, once this pandemic situation calms down. For now, we have this digital exchange to bring us joy and gems of wisdom. Enjoy, y’all!

Interview with Brianna C.

GY: Hi Brianna! Thank you for being with us today. Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood. Are you a New Yorker?

Brianna C. (“BC”): I am indeed a New Yorker – I grew up in the same house on Long Island for the first 12 years of my life, and then we moved 5 minutes down the road, which is where we currently have lived for the past 13 years. I moved out a couple of times for work, but I’m back now. I only need two words to describe my upbringing, and that’s: traditional Italian. While my family is super fun and chill (and, of course, loud and animated), they’re also pretty traditional in a lot of ways. I’ve learned to love it because it taught me how to have boundaries and understand the word ‘no.’

“I’ve learned to love it because it taught me how to have boundaries and understand the word ‘no.’”

GY: Do you have a motto, mantra or something that has been speaking to you lately or for this 2021 season?

BC: Yes – the Universe is conspiring for my massive success. On repeat.

GY: What is the most important lesson you took with you from 2020?

BC: To be appreciative. If you’re alive, that’s a gift. If you have health and a functioning body, that’s a gift. I have never appreciated life more than I have in 2020 and 2021. It actually helps me to make better decisions and to stop sweating the small stuff.

“If you’re alive, that’s a gift.”

GY: What is a goal that you have?

BC: Well, my forever goal is to always do work that allows me to explore my interests creatively. Self-expression and the opportunity to be creative are the greatest forms of freedom in my eyes.

“Self-expression and the opportunity to be creative are the greatest forms of freedom in my eyes.”

GY: You have a very cool IG, and something that caught my eye immediately was your flexibility and love for yoga. How long have you been practicing?

BC: I’ve been practicing yoga since middle school (on and off). A lot of people assume that I’m this dedicated yogi, but in actuality, I was drawn to it because of the philosophy behind it. Yoga philosophy puts words to something I’ve always felt but never knew how to articulate. It’s like when people join a religion and feel like they finally came ‘home’ – that’s how yoga makes me feel. As for my flexibility – I started gymnastics at a very young age and have worked on my flexibility throughout my entire life – be it in gymnastics, cheerleading, or yoga classes.

GY: Do you have a favorite instructor or program?

BC: Yes! @MelissaWoodHealth – I actually learned about her through my current boss, Mona Vand, and once quarantine hit, making the gym no longer an option, I really got into her workouts. I am genuinely obsessed because they get deep into your muscles. To complement the Pilates, I walk as well – my go-to is either a long stroll or a shorter, faster-paced walk on an incline. For me, walking is insanely therapeutic. Walking alone in nature while listening to music is probably my favorite pastime.

“For me, walking is insanely therapeutic.”

GY: What is your favorite yoga pose?

BC: Supta Virasana. For work, I’m on my computer and phone a lot, which means slouching if I don’t pay attention. So, I LOVE a good back & chest opener, it feels amazing.

GY: What is a personal growth focus of yours, at the moment?

BC: My focus is believing wholeheartedly in me achieving everything that I want. More specifically, channeling the feeling that I already have everything I want and embodying the characteristics of the version of me who has those things.

GY: What are you currently reading (and what has it taught you?):

 BC: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – taught me that manifestation requires a burning desire and an unwavering belief in your attainment of that desire.

GY: Top three essentials (it can be anything at home or something you always carry with you):

BC: Gum, perfume, lipstick.

GY: Do you journal? (and if so, what has this done for you?)

BC: Yes! Not consistently, though. It seems to be a pattern that the more pain I’m in, the more I have to say. Journaling has been my medium for working through my most painful moments as well as manifesting my pain into something beautiful. I read back on things I’ve written at the hardest times in my life, and it makes me have so much gratitude for where I am. Plus, I think my writing is beautiful. When you write something from a place of pain, it uncovers deep and meaningful layers of awareness that you just can’t get at when you feel good.

“When you write something from a place of pain, it uncovers deep and meaningful layers of awareness that you just can’t get at when you feel good.”

GY: What keeps you encouraged?

BC: Knowing what I’m here to do and knowing that I’ll be successful. And if not, I’ll die trying. The way I always stay on track with encouraging myself is to only think positive thoughts. If I get doubtful, I switch gears – take a nap, go on a walk, call or see my friends, etc. Once I’ve recharged, my thoughts are back to a great place.

GY: Your go-to drink order is:

BC: Do you mean alcohol? Because if so, it’s hands down a dirty martini. Coffee would be organic cold brew with a splash of almond milk.

GY: What is your favorite holiday?

BC: Honestly, it’s the entire season of Christmas leading up to Christmas Eve – so basically post-Thanksgiving through December 24th. I LOVE the Eve way more than Christmas day because it’s the most fun and unconventional. I dress up as Santa to give out presents to my younger cousins, which is by far more entertaining for the adults than the kids (lol).

GY: What thing/cause do you want to raise awareness about?

BC: A shift in our consciousness and awareness. We do so much charity and have all these organizations working towards causes to make up for the destruction in the world, but if the people of the world were in a state of peace and more conscious of their behaviors, we wouldn’t need to do so much damage control. There are big shifts happening in the world, and the sooner we realize we are all one, the better off we’ll be. I think the biggest overarching cause we need to all be aware of is the collective shift in consciousness that MUST happen. That’s the panacea for all the destruction in the world.

In the meantime, on a micro-level, the best thing a person can do is focus on causes that move them personally. There are so many causes & amazing initiatives that matter and deserve attention, but I could never pick one as most important.  If you feel personally touched by something, you work harder to make change.

“[I]f the people of the world were in a state of peace and more conscious of their behaviors, we wouldn’t need to do so much damage control.”

GY: What does your morning routine consist of?

BC: Truth be told, I hate set routines because I don’t like rules or feeling like I ‘have’ to do something. But here’s the gist of it: wake up, drink water, make an iced coffee – drink that. The rest happens in whatever order I’m feeling that day. If I work from home, any of the following can happen in any order – start chipping away at emails, meditate, workout, make breakfast. On days that I have to be physically present at work, I most likely drink my coffee while working out so I can save time. I eat whenever I’m hungry, which could be as soon as I wake up or a few hours after I wake up.

GY: What is your favorite NY spot?

BC: Anywhere near water. Literally.

You can find more of Brianna at:

@briannamcerrito

Thank you, Brianna!

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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