Analia Mendez, 49, She/Her, Lakeside, California, Mexican American Executive
When I interviewed Mendez over the telephone, I was captivated by the references she kept making to images of farmland. The farmland where her Mexican parents worked in her childhood in Modesto and the farmland of her present home in San Diego.
Her work in transition counseling with The Honor Foundation is a great example of a healing practice that I am learning myself, called Integration. In this work, we believe that experiences leave energetic impact and that the immigrant experience is full of trauma that causes energy to travel in unbalanced paths. To clear and clean all of this trauma, a counselor like Mendez is needed to align energies and open new paths and directions. In shamanic traditions, this is best done by using the healing power of Nature.
“We dream of making it big. The beautiful home. The thriving life. The educated children that grow up to be contributors. We want prosperity. But we want to be our authentic selves and we don’t want to have to compromise who we are and our culture or mannerisms,” she said.
I asked Analia to dive deeper into what the idea of prosperity means to her.
“As I was growing up, I always thought about places that would be amazing for my future. But where I grew up, was really a farm. And ironically enough, as I talk about where I’m at now, it’s almost the same place where I started. But when I was growing up, I used to watch novelas. So I didn’t have a lot of role models at the time. I didn’t have people or family members that had big homes or a fancy career or fancy cars. I just had this idea that potentially I could have beautiful things in my life. But what I didn’t understand is that I did have those things at the time. They were just different. So as I fantasized about these things, I used to watch novelas that would show the big houses, the big stairs, the fancy cars, the handsome husband, the people that they felt, at the time in the novela, would be attractive to people who were watching it like me, who didn’t have a whole lot because we were immigrants, and my parents were immigrants. And I was born here. But again, we started with nothing. But I love those novelas. It just took me to a whole different world. And as I was looking at these numbers, I said, “One day, I will be there too. One day, I will have that beautiful house with the big staircase, and the fancy cars. Fast forward. I see myself here where I’m at today. And originally, I thought, I’ll never live in farmland and I’ll never live where there’s a lot of land. I want to live in the city. And I did that for many years. I lived in South San Francisco in the Bay Area. I lived in Sacramento and I moved around. But ironically enough, I ended up here back in a farm land area. And we ended up buying a beautiful home. And frankly, I wanted privacy because after living in the big city and living the glamorous life, like in the novelas, I said, I’m going to settle down with my beautiful family. And I want land and I want privacy. So ironically enough, I started back where I pretty much began living in the countryside. And so the beautiful home that I have now represents the journey that I’ve had throughout the years, where I started where I thought I wanted to be. And after trying out that city life, which I thought was so amazing at the time, I just got tired of it. And I’m ready to embark in a new era, a new step in my career, a new life. So we purchased this beautiful home with my two beautiful boys. And it’s just like a dream. And I get to grow my own food, my own trees, and we get to build what we want on it. And it’s been an amazing ride so far.”