How Spiritual Wellness Has Helped Me Heal as a Hispanic Woman
Like many colored people, I was raised as a Mexican-American woman with my fair share of disadvantages. I am the daughter of immigrants. We grew up in a low-income neighborhood, and although my parents both worked very hard in physically demanding jobs, we lived from paycheck to paycheck. Family vacations and dining out have never been part of our reality. There was even a year where we would hop around with different family members because we didn’t have an apartment of our own. The trauma from this experience triggered major anxiety and panic attacks that I still struggle with 20 years later.
In my early twenties, things started to change radically for me, and I owe that in large part to reading the hugely popular book The Secret, which teaches people to manifest their desires through their thoughts. Before you roll your eyes, let me first say that it is not my favorite book on spiritual principles. The book missed the mark on many things (like the fact that you also need to take action to make your goals a reality, visualization alone won’t get you there) but it was nonetheless my approach to spiritual wellbeing and manifestation.
Rhonda Byrne The Secret ($ 14)
Practicing all of the spiritual principles I have learned has revolutionized every area of my life, including my self-worth, career, relationships, and finances. Most importantly, for the first time in my life, I realized that I had a choice. All of the adversities I faced growing up and overcoming didn’t dictate my future – I did. Not only could I change and transform myself, but my entire reality and how I experienced life. It was a paradigm shift and incredibly empowering.
New Age spirituality and manifestation have become more and more mainstream in recent years. As a spiritual life coach who has experienced the power of this firsthand, I am thrilled that spiritual wellbeing is getting the attention it deserves. After all, wellness encompasses all areas of wellbeing, not just physical and mental.
The story goes on
But as with many things that suddenly become trending, spiritual concepts and principles are often misunderstood, over-simplified, and the language and messages can sometimes be downright problematic. Case study? Toxic positivity and spiritual bypassing, both ways of avoiding confrontation with unresolved problems and failing to provide real healing.
Also, there is one very important thing that is often not recognized in the spiritual industry: privileges. We are not all born on the same playing field. While we all have the power to change our lives, it is not always easy for everyone. Mainstream manifestation rhetoric does not take into account generational trauma, inherited narratives, and the specific challenges that affect people of color. We cannot just think positively about our way out of systemic oppression.
Popular manifestation techniques such as affirmations, positive thinking, visualization, and asking the universe what you want are considered the secret sauce to making all the things you want. While these techniques are helpful, for people of color, manifesting goals goes much, much deeper. We need to look at the stories, beliefs, and narratives we have inherited from our parents and previous generations and do the work to unpack them, consciously change them, and choose to believe otherwise in order to heal them . It’s not an easy job, but I promise you it will be worth it.
In the past decade doing this spiritual wellness work, I have healed so many of my own generational narratives that have not served me, including the belief that one has to work very hard to make money and the habit of to live in scarcity and survive. As a result, I’ve achieved things that I never thought possible.
I was the first person in my family to attend and graduate from college (top of the class, thank you very much). With zero know-how, I founded my first company as a freelance writer right after college and have now been a successful entrepreneur for more than eight years. I’ve made myself comfortable asking about my worth with no excuse after years of under-earning.
I have also postponed many personal limiting beliefs that were holding me back. The one I am most proud of is destroying the identity of a “shy” person and allowing myself to be fully seen by taking on the role of a spiritual teacher and paid public speaker. All in all, I have created a life that is relaxed, fulfilling, abundant, and perfectly tailored to me, even though I had no one in my life model who would be possible for someone like me at all.
While manifesting goals can be easier for some than others, depending on their pros and cons, I hope that this is what you take away with you: manifestation and spiritual well-being work regardless of your background, past, or ancestry.
And the purpose of this inner work is not just to achieve all the big, fancy goals, even though they are beautiful. It’s about the person you become in the healing process – a you who is empowered and doesn’t allow your origins to hold you back, but instead uses it as fuel to propel you toward the vision for the future you want to create .
Does this mean that it will be easy to manifest and create your dream life? Absolutely not. Spirituality doesn’t remove drawbacks or challenges in life, but it does put us in the driver’s seat of our lives. It reminds us that we are powerful beyond measure and anchors the belief that we can dream big and achieve great things, creating a ripple effect for future generations. Well, that is spiritual wellbeing.
Next: 8 Latin American women who are making waves in wellness
This article originally appeared on The Thirty
Read more from The Thirty