Chingona Revolution is hosted by Erika Cruz, a rebel who left a 6-figure tech job to pursue her own unconventional path to success by following her passion that led to her purpose. Every week, Erika will bring out of you that BADASS LATINA through her experiences to overcome self-doubt and family expectations and lead with COURAGE.
No matter what your past was, your future can always be brighter. This is something that Ana Lila has taught all of her students, including myself, and I am here to say that she does indeed practice what she preaches. Not only has she changed the lives of hundreds of people over the course of eight years of professional breathwork coaching, she has taken her life into her own hands, and created an amazing future for herself in spite of her rocky upbringing.
Ana Lilia is a celebrated breathwork, mindset coach, and intuitive healer in Los Angeles, CA. She is passionate about helping people tap into their full potential by using their breath as a powerful transformative tool. Ana’s expertise lies in assisting individuals to break free from limiting beliefs and aligning themselves with their deepest goals and desires. With her personalized healing journeys that include breathwork, intuitive guidance, and mindset exercises, Ana has helped thousands of people achieve their dreams. Ana Lilia is a first-generation Mexican American, born and raised in Napa, CA.
In this week’s episode, we will be diving into how breathwork has changed Ana’s life and the lives of her students, how you can implement breathwork into your own life, and how you can create an amazing future for yourself no matter how painful your past has been.
TW: alcohol abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse
Connect with Ana Lilia:
Listen to the Breathe More Podcast: https://www.analilia.net/podcast
How to work with Erika:
Join the waitlist for Courage Driven Latina here.
Erika: Hello, hello, and welcome back to this week’s episode of Chingona Revolution podcast. I am so excited about the incredible conversation that I had with one of my amazing friends, who is a healer. And before we get into that conversation, I had a couple of updates for you all. First and foremost, I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for listening to this podcast, because we have officially surpassed a hundred thousand downloads, a hundred thousand downloads.
So thank you to every one of you for listening. Thank you to those of you who come back every week and thank you for sharing this. podcast with your friends, because that is how this podcast grows. It grows through your rates, your reviews, as well as through sharing it on social media, or maybe sending an episode to a friend or a family member.
And I just want to ask you to continue to do that because sharing is caring. And I really do. I want this podcast to be the free resource that helps change people’s lives. So I ask for your support in doing that. And I thank you so much for all of the support thus far. I also have another quick update for you all.
I’ve been hearing from a lot of my clients and just people who have been DMing me that they are struggling with procrastination and that is why I am hosting a free workshop. Yes. Completely free called from procrastination to purpose. Kick off your courage project in 90 days. So if you’ve been wanting to do something, but you keep just thinking about it, or maybe you start, but you stop and don’t finish it, or maybe you just keep putting it off.
I mean, there’s so many different reasons, right? Why we end up procrastinating. Come to the free workshop. I can’t wait to see you there.
Join me on November 1st at 5 p. m pacific time for this free workshop and you can sign up using the link in the show notes and I can’t wait to see you there. Now, let’s get into this incredible conversation with Anna Lilia, who is a celebrated breathwork mindset coach and intuitive healer in Los Angeles, California.
She is passionate about helping people tap into their full potential by using their breath as a powerful transformative tool. Anna’s expertise lies in assisting individuals in breaking free from limiting beliefs and aligning themselves with their deepest goals and desires. With her personalized healing journeys that include breathwork, intuitive guidance, and mindset exercises, Anna has helped thousands of people achieve their dreams.
Ana Lilia is a first-generation Mexican American born and raised in Napa, California. And Ana and I talk about so many cool things in this podcast episode. I can’t wait to go back and listen. If you took anything away from this conversation, be sure that you screenshot it and you tag both Ana Lilia and myself because we can’t wait to see what you took away from this.
Let’s get into the show. Ana, welcome to Ch*ngona Revolution podcast.
Ana: Thank you, Erica. So happy to be here. I almost feel like we need to start by just taking a deep breath.
Erika: Let’s do it. That’s very on brand for you. Let’s
Ana: do it. I’m like, can we just all sync up? So yeah, just inviting you and the listeners to take a deep breath in and exhale and just arriving to this moment. I know we’re all really busy and a lot of times we’re multitasking. And so it’s just feeling let’s connect with our breath to just land.
And here we are.
Erika: I needed that. Thank you. Listening needed it as well. So this brings me to my first question. Yeah. I’ve known you for three years, four years at this point, and I’ve known you as this Breathwork facilitator, a thought leader in this industry, very a healer in, in our community. But how did you get into breathwork?
When was the first time that you were exposed to breathwork?
Ana: It was about 10 years ago now, because I’ve been holding space for folks for the last eight years. and I randomly came across a breathwork class that was being hosted in L. A. at a crystal shop. I had no idea what it was, but just something about it intrigued me.
And I was full on in my healing journey at that point. I had been doing intensive, therapy. and then… Just like magic, like once you’re ready to receive and to learn you calling your teachers and so it just seemed like magic that my friends who I didn’t even know were spiritual or on their own healing journey started to suggest that I read certain things or go check out this person and so at the point where I came across breath work, I had already done a training for theta healing and I was It’s already deep in the healing world and experiencing this breathwork class was just life-changing.
It was such a physical experience where my whole body was vibrating. My hands got all cramped up. I felt like I couldn’t open them. I was sobbing hysterically. And this was during a time in my life where I was. I had really bad anxiety. I was thinking about ending my relationship, my work. I was working as an actress.
I just was unsatisfied and I felt like my world was falling apart. And yet I was also very much in victim mentality. And so when I did this one class. I felt this sense of relief and release that happened. I felt so much lighter. And I always say I literally stepped outside of this crystal shop and the colors even look brighter.
I was like, what just happened? this is insane. I can’t believe it was just laying on the ground crying with a bunch of strangers, but I feel amazing. And so whatever that was, I want to continue doing it. And that’s what started my whole breathwork journey. And I was Seeing such accelerated results, complementing it with the therapy that I was doing and just other modalities that, I was blown away by it.
And at that point, as I shared, I was already doing some trainings and because I’ve always been someone who loves helping people. Having, a parent who’s an alcoholic, I was kind of just the healer, you know, wanting to save people, feeling like that was my duty, and it wasn’t healthy to have that quality or to have that role, whether it was assigned to me or I assigned it to myself, I’m like, okay, this is not working, it’s creating fights in my family, my partner is resenting me, but what if I did it, I’m Like not, I wasn’t even thinking as a business, but just what if I offered it and people who were interested just showed up.
And so that’s what led me about maybe six, six months after doing breath work for myself consecutively that I decided to start my certification
Erika: process. That’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing all of that. And I do think that you bring up such a good point that, when we want to help others, unless they’ve asked for the help, it’s usually not welcomed, but for you to recognize, okay, look, there’s actually a skill set here and this is something I’m interested in doing.
How can I find people who are actually looking for this rather than, are you, what are you in human design? Do you know your human design?
Ana: just a generator. A generator. Is that the average one?
Erika: That’s the more common one. Yeah, that’s it. The doer. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, I’m a projector, and with projectors, a lot of times we tend to give unsolicited advice because we’re looking to be helpful, but it’s actually not what people want,…
Ana: I mean, that’s me as well, but that’s the Sagittarius in me. It’s I’m just constantly giving unsolicited advice. And then I say that, sorry for the unsolicited advice, but that’s
Erika: just my thought. That’s what makes us great coaches. Exactly. Exactly. So you brought up a few really dominant. themes that happen in our culture.
You talked about having a lot of anxiety and when, within our culture, I think people suffer from anxiety so much. It just becomes normalized and people don’t recognize that there’s a way to live without it. And do you find that you were in that state until you started your healing journey and then found breathwork?
How has your anxiety changed since then? And how have you seen anxiety? Be this kind of new normal within your clients.
Ana: Yeah. I mean, I had no idea that’s what I had Anxiety that I had all of these symptoms and I had no idea it wasn’t anything that was talked about in my family You know my like You would hear my aunt saying, Ah, tiene nervios.
so describing anxiety as like nerves. But it wasn’t like, It just sounded like something very temporary that someone would experience. And so when I started, My therapy and just also reading all of these self-help books and going on my healing journey. I started to notice, Oh, this is something that has been in my family for generations, more so on my dad’s family.
And then starting to recognize how different family members were self-soothing through alcohol, through drug addiction. Unfortunately, we’ve had suicide as well through, eating through food. So again, we were having these huge traumatic things happening in our family dynamic, but there was never any conversation about it.
Even when my dad, I was, I think I was nine years old or maybe 10 when he went to rehab for a whole month, like he wasn’t around cause he was in treatment. And we never got support. Like we went to this daycare while the adults were in some classes. And in hindsight, it’s what a disservice to think, and not just a disservice, but it’s just heartbreaking that a lot of times adults feel that children don’t know.
And that’s why they don’t talk about it. And there’s avoidance. And even when I, as an adult. you know, confronted my dad about how his drinking affected me. He denied it. He was like so offended by that comment, comment that I made. And so I feel like there’s, there still needs a lot of education that needs to happen in our community.
And through the work that I’ve done with breath work. A lot of my clients and students are from the Latino community and all generations. Like I just hosted a retreat for you, which you were at. And I mean, there is a mom there who was in her seventies and the youngest was in her early twenties, all Latinas.
So there is, I have found that people are open. People have started to recognize like, yes, this is a problem. And I grew up Catholic. I know the church has been a huge source of, support, I guess, for people, but at a certain point, you also need more than that. And so, breathwork has been the tool that definitely has allowed me to learn how to self-regulate my nervous system.
Of course, at the beginning, because I’m just such a passionate person, and when I… Find something that has helped me. I wanna tell everyone, I wanna tell my loved ones. And so immediately after becoming certified, I told my family like, lay down and let’s breathe. And they were like, what is this? This is insane.
It was too intense. but. Little by little, they’ve all started to embark on their own journey. Even my mom, just earlier this year, she sent to the family thread an article about anxiety with different techniques, a lot of them breathing techniques, that one can do to calm yourself down. And she’s Oh, es buena información que escriben en este artículo.
I’m like, sí, mami, esto es lo que yo he hecho.
You know, like this is what I’ve been doing for the last eight years that you just kind of refuse to acknowledge what I’ve been doing. But again, that was just kind of like my little Sagittarius self defeated him being a little passive-aggressive. but I am so happy that not only in my immediate family, like they definitely have seen a change in how I show up.
And they have also have recognized, okay, we do have this Generational or not just generational, but this is something that our family struggles with and there are things that we can do to help each other. And so it has allowed us to be more vulnerable with each other to talk about things and to be more compassionate as well, and not just.
dismiss depression as someone being lazy or whatever it may be, you know, like criticizing the person, judging them, making them feel wrong. rather there’s a little bit more understanding of what’s going on.
Erika: You brought up so many amazing points. I can attest to the avoidance that happened in my family as well.
We were not sitting around the dinner table talking about our feelings. If a parent was mad at a child, they would give the child the silent treatment, right? And so it’s, there’s a lot of emotional immaturity in our culture, unfortunately. And you’re right. It really does. affect children. And I don’t think parents sometimes recognize how much it does.
And then you also brought up the point of we can’t force others to start their healing journey. Just like you walked into that crystal shop when you were ready, your family starts to take those steps when they’re ready. And what I’ve learned from my experience doing the work I do, the best thing you can do is lead by example rather than try to tell people right what to do.
so. Let’s talk a little bit about the magical work you do that I’ve experienced as a client, on the other side, obviously there’s the retreat, but even before the retreat, I remember seeing on Instagram, this was probably two years ago that you were hosting a, an align with your soul workshop in Napa in Northern California and I’m in Northern California and it just so happened to be on the day of my birthday and I remember thinking, Oh, you know, I’m not sure if my friends are going to want to do this because we typically take a trip or we’ll go to happy hour.
And this was something that was very different. And I think a lot of the people listening to this podcast have, are in the process of outgrowing friends and it feels lonely to outgrow your circle. And people almost don’t want to allow themselves to step into their full power because they feel like they might be lonely there.
So they stay in their little circle. and I found myself in this moment where I said, okay, well. This is actually what I really want to do. I really want to go to this workshop and I don’t know if my friends will be down, but if they’re not down, I’ll go to the workshop and then we can do something a different day.
And that was kind of how I negotiated with myself. And I asked, I just threw it out there and everybody was like, yeah, let’s do it. So we all go. And I’ll never forget, my friend Lizeth had such a powerful experience. She had never done anything like that. And remember she, when you were guiding us through breathwork, she said she just saw violet everywhere.
And she still talks about that experience. And I bring this up because a lot of times we’re, we feel as if we are outgrowing our circle and outgrowing our friends. And yeah, that may be true. But perhaps you’re just… the trailblazer. Perhaps in that area of interest, perhaps you are just kind of leading the way.
And what that experience taught me is you don’t really leave people behind ever, which is I think what people fear. You get to invite them with you. And if they want to come, they will. Right. And it was just such a transformational experience for everybody. Who attended and I that wasn’t actually a question.
I just wanted to share that but now my question is Obviously you work with people one on one, but you also focus on doing these group things and I think there’s so much power in community So, can you tell us a little bit about why you host healing? circles and different things like that with groups and what the difference is.
Ana: Yeah, I actually first started with just breathwork circles and then from there started to create, workshops or I love creating, producing like life-changing events. and so that one that you’re talking about was very specific. A lot of times I also invite other healers because. I want to expose you to other modalities as well.
And breathwork is so powerful, but like, how beautiful if we also combine it with a shaman or with sound or something else and to your point of this feeling that a lot of folks have around outgrowing their friend circle, I think that. Was something that a lot of people really felt during the pandemic, you know, that loneliness and also just the invitation that I feel the pandemic gave all of us was to self-reflect and look at your life.
Like, how happy am I? How satisfied am I living in my truth? Am I compromising any areas of my life and. Those hard realities, truths, were confronting to a lot of people. And so they had to accept like actually the friends that I had from the time that I was in high school, like they don’t make me feel that great, or they’re not that supportive, or I keep feeling like I have to shrink my dreams because.
I want more and my friends are telling me you should just be happy with what you have, what is this? And there’s that tension, right? And so then you feel like, well, what I’m into, I don’t necessarily know other people who are into that. And so that’s the beautiful thing about going to events like this because You’re at an experience where people are open-minded, where people are into healing and growing and learning.
And so it’s an easy way to meet new friends. And I’ve had clients who have become friends with each other just because they continue to show up to the events or they join my group programs. so. It’s important to do the group offerings because we are in a collective setting sharing each other’s energy and learning from each other because oftentimes I also invite folks to share like what’s coming up for you or how are you feeling?
And. While maybe for someone it might be difficult to speak up, someone else might say it and give them courage or help them feel less alone finally, or understood or validated. and that in itself is so healing and life-changing.
Erika: Agreed. So the retreat in Sedona. As of today, it was just a few weeks ago, and I feel like it was so transformational, I’m still reaping the benefits from that retreat.
And while we were there, I mean, there were so many amazing things that happened that I would love to talk about, but the first one I would like you to tell us a little bit about is the Rage release. And if you can tell us a little bit about this emotion that we resist so much and earlier we were talking about avoidance, especially when it comes to rage.
That is something that we have avoided and culturally. And you talked about the piñata and you validated so much from you with just that story. So can you share that with the audience?
Ana: Yeah. So growing up in a household with a raging alcoholic father, anger was an emotion that was really scary. And my mom was the opposite.
Like she always had a smile on everything’s okay. and if I ever wanted to, or expressed a strong emotion, I would be shut down. I would get in trouble. And so in my therapy, I learned, wow, I’m really afraid of anger. And anytime that someone raised their voice, even slightly. My inner child would hear it as Oh my gosh, dad’s going to explode.
We’re going to get in trouble. We’re going to get hit or whatever it may be. And I would comment to the person like, why are you angry? Like, why are you yelling? They’re like, I’m not, I’m like, I’m just being more expressive, but I’m not angry. I’m not. So it was really interesting to have that awareness of Oh, okay.
This is an emotion that. That is terrifying for me, but it’s also a really important emotion that has its place. And it just like all the other emotions, it’s communicating information. And when we don’t. give it a safe space to embody it or express it. It continues to live in us. And so we might feel afraid to express anger or judge other people who we consider very angry people.
But you might notice within yourselves that you have explosive moments that you’ll like stuff and compromise and say yes and go with the flow or whatever it may be. And then all of a sudden you like blurt it out, you explode your or your passive aggressive or whatever it may be. And then that person receiving it will be shocked.
They’re like, what just happened? Literally all I asked you was, can you take the trash out? And you’re like, ah, so what I have found are different exercises. This is called swamping. And I’ve done a variation Of this exercise in my retreats and so swamping is the embodiment of different emotions and one that I have found a lot of my clients.
Afraid to embody is the rage and the anger. And what I’ve done when I’ve pulled these exercises of swampiness, I always bring a piñata because a piñata is a safe tool, a safe thing that we can use to express our rage and anger. So when I was little, And every time that we would go to a birthday party or a posada, there would always be a piñata.
And I would be so happy because it was the only time that I could express all of the frustration. I’m like having my hands holding the stick already. Little me, I’ve always been really petite. And I would just destroy the piñata and I remember as a child having so much. joy and strength. And I felt so powerful as I was killing the piñata.
And meanwhile, when I looked around all the adults, like my aunts and uncles, even my cousins, they would be terrified. They were like, the circle would get wider. They’re like, Oh my gosh, what is going on with her? She always just seems like such a good girl and quiet. And that, yeah. We have a pinata and she goes insane.
And so I have brought the pinata into my healing events, into my retreats, because it’s such a cathartic way to physically move your body and express that rage, anger, frustration, strong emotions that have been trapped in your body and give it a, an outlet, a physical outlet. And just feels so good. And every time that I’ve done this exercise.
The piñatas destroyed at my retreats. I feel like parts of it just disappear into the air. It’s so disintegrated by the people just killing it. it’s amazing. It’s really, powerful and It’s liberating to you just feel so much lighter and better. And so I’m grateful that our culture has a pinata.
We can also use for
Erika: healing. Yes. And I can attest to the same experience as a kid. I would go ham on that pinata because same, every time my father was upset, it usually meant. Something’s going to be broken, either like a hole in the wall or a table is going to be shattered. I remember like a glass table that we had and my dad was so upset and he shattered the table and there was glass everywhere.
So I always, again, it’s similar to you, associated, Oh, anger means violence and we need to run to safety and it’s not safe to express anger. And similar to you, anytime I did express anger, it was like, you know, las niñas buenas no, like they don’t do that, right? a good girl doesn’t do that. so yes, that piñata at the retreat, I was the first one who went after it, but I find it’s so interesting what happened.
I went to the piñata. And started hitting it with all my might and I even took the stick and poked, I think the eye out or like I poked the, oh no, the, I took the stick and I poked it through the throat and then an eye popped off and I was like, poor little piñata and then I went I had already really, because I didn’t resist the emotion, right?
And I think that’s exactly what you were saying earlier where we just shove it down and shove it down and then we just explode over any little thing. But what happens when we allow ourselves to actually. Feel the emotion. Well, for me in that moment, it was that I didn’t, I hit the piñata for maybe three minutes and then the rest of the ceremony, I was dancing around to the drumming playlist that you created for us and then it started to rain and it was beautiful.
It pretty much turned into a dance party for me because I allowed myself to feel the anger. And the anger was about all the repressed anger I had, but how crazy there was so much repressed anger. And just in that moment I was able to let that go.
Ana: Oh, I’m so glad that it was impactful for you.
Erika: It was.
And then, you, yeah, who you brought in to talk to us had also mentioned about, ceremonies. Exist in everyday life, right? These rituals exist in everyday life. And what I realized after that rage release is That’s why I love going to kickboxing. So now, before I go to kickboxing, I just set the intention of anything that may have upset me, and I let it go on the bag.
And it’s become this beautiful ritual. So, thank you for also bringing him.
One of the healers that you brought to the retreat, Ukuala, talked about having ritual and kind of ceremonies in everyday life, right? When we’re taking a shower, we’re cleansing. And what that taught me in combination with the rage release and the drumming exercise that we did is that is why I’m so called to go kickboxing.
Because when I’m kickboxing, I can let it all out. So what I’ve been doing since the retreat is before I go into class, I set an intention of what it is that I want to release and let go of so that I can make space for more. And that was exactly the theme of your retreat, right? It was about releasing as well as bringing in the new.
So how did you come up with the themes or what was the intention behind the first two days? Of releasing and then the second two days of calling in what we want of manifestations and things like
Ana: that. Well, a lot of the work that I do with my clients is around that it’s helping them accomplish their goals, whether it is they’re having like more control over their emotions or their anxiety being more manageable, or I also help work with executives to.
whatever, help them process things and their businesses. and so through my work, I have found we can have all of these goals and these intentions, but if you’re still have things in your life, whether they’re physical things, people, circumstances, situations, beliefs, whatever it may be. It’s going to make it hard to call in this new thing if those things are not supporting like what you already have in your life isn’t supporting the new vision or the new goal or how you want to feel.
And so all of the work that I do, it starts with kind of a purging, an energetic, a spiritual, a mindset purging of okay, I’m saying that I want a new partner. But I’m still hanging out with my ex or I’m still, you know, I feel I have this belief that I’m unlovable or whatever it may be. So we got to address the core stuff and create a new foundation so that we can build on top of it and get the results that we want.
And so this retreat, it was basically a intensive of the work that I do. So the first two days were different exercises to help you get clear on. What’s in my life that isn’t supporting the direction that I want to go in and through emotional processing through the physicality of releasing through journaling, you know, all of that, through the breath, just the cleansing of it, fire ceremony that we had, they were all rituals and communicating out to the world as well.
okay, I know that I’ve outgrown this. I know that this isn’t serving me anymore. Even though it scares me, I’m making setting the intention to let it go and then transitioning into it. Okay. Now that I have let it go, what do I have to do next? Or what else do I want in my life? What’s this new thing and what actions do I have to do in order to get those results?
And so then the last part was that embodiment work as well of, you know, we did a lot of hiking and we were out in nature and we were just. communicating and interacting with the expansiveness and the abundance that’s all around us that we forget to connect with on a day-to-day basis. And yeah, it was really beautiful just to see the breakthroughs happening.
And we had an integration call earlier this week and also just hearing how folks are using those tools that they learned in the retreat and how they feel like a new person after all of the releasing and shedding and being able to receive more joy, even though on paper, their life hasn’t changed yet, but just energetically, spiritually, emotionally, how they’re showing up in their life.
is so different that their normal life is feeling more magical, bringing more joy, they’re more appreciative, grateful, and it’s just a ripple effect, right? And so we’re, when we’re in that state, you talk a lot about being magnetic, then the other stuff, these bigger goals and desires that we have. More easily come into our life.
Erika: Yes, since the retreat, one of the things I think I forgot to share with you during the integration call is that I’ve had very vivid dreams since then. So I feel more connected than ever. And the moment I got to Sedona, I remember my hands were buzzing. My hands felt very tingling. My head felt tingling.
The bottom of my feet, like I just felt connected. every part of my body was just connected. I felt connected to others, connected to nature, connected to my intuition. And, I think it was just such perfect timing as well, because this happened. During a full moon. So it was like, what is it that we’re letting go of?
And I thought I, a lot of what I was going to call in at the retreat was business stuff. And that was the last thing that came up for me when I was like, that’s so interesting and I wasn’t. looking to force it. I was just kind of letting what’s supposed to come up. And it was such a beautiful experience because I don’t know if I would have had the realizations or I don’t know if I’d be going in the direction that I’m going now if it wasn’t for that retreat.
So, thank you for doing such incredible
Ana: work. Oh, you’re welcome. Yeah. Oftentimes it requires us to leave our environment and do something that may be as new or different, be uncomfortable so that Something different can come through because when we do the same stuff over and over, well, we tend to get the same results, right?
And you’re someone who’s very goal-oriented and takes action and plan things. And so how beautiful that from this retreat, even though you went in with your intentions, that you were open enough to recognize, okay, Source, God, the universe, my ancestors, my inner child, whomever wants this other piece of my life to take priority now, or at least during this retreat and let’s honor it and let’s look at it, and nurture it.
Erika: And you brought up discomfort, which reminded me that I want to say at least at one point, everybody who attended the retreat. Was struggling, right? So it wasn’t like we were all just having a joyful experience a hundred percent of the time But you and I spoke the last day or the day, the second to last date when we were in the pool and we spoke about how like triggers really are your teachers, right?
And how we avoid the discomfort, but through the discomfort is where we learn what it is that needs to be learned. So can you talk to us a little bit about that? Because I think people assume that once they start their healing journey, it’s just going to be butterflies and joy and all this beautiful miss.
And that’s so far from the truth. So as a healer and, you know, having seen so many of your clients go through the messiness of healing, what advice do you have for people? Or what would you say to people who want to start their healing journey, but they’re afraid of that messy part?
Ana: Yeah, I mean, if you’re someone who’s recognizing there’s things that would be beneficial for me to look at, to heal, to reprogram, I celebrate you.
But then actually taking the action, that’s a really courageous person. Because, yes, it can be painful. It will change your life. So if you’re someone who has a hard time with change, your relationships are going to change no matter what, because you as a human is going, you’re going to change your energy, how you show up, how you speak.
And so it has a ripple effect. And that can be really scary for people. I have, I offer like a free 30-minute. Clarity call with folks who are interested in learning more about my work. 90 percent of the people that make the calls don’t show up. And that at first would piss me off. And then I’m like, you know what?
The work that I do and how I hold space, it’s really deep life-changing work. And I know that it’s just the fear coming up for people that, you know, it, even though they recognize. I don’t like the way that I’m feeling my anxiety at moments feels debilitating. Like I know there needs to be a change, but taking that extra step is going to require more effort and courage.
And so once you take that first step and decide, okay, yes, I’m going to invest in my healing. I’m going to go on this journey. Things are going to come up. You’re going to cry. You’re going to feel more depressed. Your anxiety might come up. it’s not a linear path. You might feel worse than how you did in that moment.
But I always tell folks like on the other side, it’s so much better. It’s never a finished, at least I don’t think it is. It’s never going to be done for someone who values growth and you’re curious and you’re self aware. You’re always going to notice. Things are always going to come up, but the difference is you’re now going to have tools to not have your trigger responses take over, where you’re not just doing the automatic reaction of how you tend to deal with stuff, but rather you can use your breath to create that pause.
It’s almost as if you’re starting to watch your life as if it were a movie or observe yourself. It’s Oh, I just noticed that. And listen, there’s no such thing as perfectionism or being perfect and even myself with all my tools, I’ll have my moments, but the difference now is that I’m able to regulate myself so much more quicker.
I’m able to go to that person and say, Hey, you know what? I’m so sorry that, you know, I spoke to you in that way. I just, I recognize that I have found myself triggered because it reminded me of X, Y, and C and I’m really sorry. you didn’t deserve that. That in itself is like you’re able to cultivate really beautiful, healthy relationships with knowing how to do that, but in order to get to that place, there is going to be effort and work, and it’s really humbling too, because if you are in the state where.
You are playing the victim and feeling like my parents did this. My partner does this, my boss, my coworkers, my friends. Okay. But what’s your part in it? Because just because you quit your job and go to the new job, you’re probably going to have a similar dynamic if you don’t address what. You’re bringing to the table.
So that’s hard, but it’s so empowering because once you recognize that, and once you start living and showing up in the world that way, you recognize I’m fully control of my life, my emotions, how things unfold, okay, maybe not, we can’t control other people, but how you’re going to react or respond to the situation.
That’s fully in your control. And again, this is not about. Never messing up now that you go on this healing journey and you learn tools. No, it’s just Being more compassionate and patient and seeing things and even how people behave through a different lens where it does bring so much more compassion and love.
And that’s my mission. we need so much more compassion and love in this world because people are hurting because we’re hurting each other. We’re killing our planet. And until we, we do that, it’s going to be, it’s an uphill battle. Yes,
Erika: 100%. I agree with everything that you said, especially the, I mean, I think I lived a lot of my life in that victim mentality as well.
And we don’t have control over the circumstances that occur, but we do have control over the way that we engage with them and that we react. To them and we can choose to not be in a situation as well. And I think sometimes we forget that we forget how powerful we actually are. And I think that’s a lot of what your work is, right?
Reminding people of how powerful they actually are. I had written this down as we were chatting earlier. And, so we’re going to rewind back to your acting days. Can you tell us a little bit about the time that you were. and how did you deal with rejection?
Ana: It was such a great experience. I mean, I did it for, I mean, I just quote-unquote fired my agent this year.
Like I was still holding on cause. When it happens, it’s fun. but I just didn’t like the process of getting hired to do the work. So how I dealt with rejection also, it’s like such a healing journey to experience it constantly where you, the process is for those of you who don’t know, you have an agent who gets you an audition for a project.
I mainly just worked in commercials. and then. You go to the audition office and do have your audition, like you have your fake family there and whatever you say your lines and then the client sees the tape and then they decide who they’re going to bring back for a callback. And then from there, the director and the client.
So, for example, it would be like Toyota, if that’s a spot that they were doing their ad agency, they would decide if you were. The right mom for this family. And it would be so frustrating. There were so many times where I just felt so defeated because again, growing up with an alcoholic parent and being the oldest.
And both of my parents being from Mexico, I definitely had, there’s this great book for anyone of you who are an adult child, adult child of an alcoholic, it’s called the perfect daughter. And reading that book was just so validating where I recognized my whole life in order to survive and feel like to keep myself alive, I had to be perfect.
I couldn’t get in trouble. I had to get straight A’s. I had to take care of my sisters. I had to help my mom. And. So in everything that I did from college, from my internships, and then into acting, I would learn what I needed to do in order to do things right and be perfect and go to that extreme. And then it was really confusing working as an actress and doing all of that and still not getting the job.
And it’s What is this? Like how? I don’t know what else to do. And so then I just had to get to the point where it’s a mindset shift, right? It’s okay, why am I doing this work? Am I seeking validation from these people? Am I trying to be loved by them? Like it’s all unconscious, right? But it’s I’m doing my perfect.
Girl dance. And yet I’m still being rejected. Oh, I’m not deserving. I’m not worthy. and so I had to do a reframe around that and just recognize my part is to do my best to show up prepared to know my lines, to read the notes that I’m getting, how to dress, how to look, whatever. And then everything else, I got to just surrender and let it go.
It’s nothing personal. What helped me the most with that I think was when I was working in casting as well. So I got the behind-the-scenes look of the process and I saw what bullshit all of it is. Literally like someone wouldn’t get the job because of a shirt that they were wearing and the client couldn’t see beyond that.
So being in a place where it’s it’s not personal and I’m just responsible for my part. And when it got to the point where this just doesn’t align with my values and it’s not fun anymore, then making that decision to, let it go. And that’s kind of where breathwork came. Like when I started eight years ago, I just did it for fun.
My breathwork circles and I just came across this amazing tool. I wanted. teach it to my friends. I saw a lot of my students, if you will, were like actors as well. and then it just got to the point where I decided, okay, this is what’s bringing me so much joy and feeling really reward and it’s just lighting me up and this other stuff, it’s just feeling really heavy.
So I’m going to let that go. But as I mentioned, like it was just this last year that I finally just told my agents like, okay. Because the other thing that got triggered was the scarcity mentality, right? It’s okay, I’ve been doing this for, I mean, like 18 years. So much of my identity was tied up to that.
It’s what I knew what to do. I’ve never had a full-time job. I don’t have a resume, so it’s not like I could get a nine to five. and I did work like I was represented with one of the top agents in LA and Casting directors knew me. Like I was really great at cultivating relationships. Cause I learned really quickly that’s another big part of it.
So it’s been. There was so many things that I learned from it and it really set me up for success to be an entrepreneur because as an entrepreneur, I tell, I also have a mentorship program for other healers and it’s we got to sell, we got to show up, we got to communicate with the audience, like what we have to offer.
And a lot of times we’re going to get no’s or people who don’t show up to the calls or whatever it may be. And again, just reminding myself. It’s nothing personal. That’s their stuff. I don’t know what’s going on with them. The only thing I can control is how I show up and how I hold space for my clients and the work that I do.
Other than that, let it go.
Erika: Yes, exactly. So you got into acting. I actually don’t even know this part about you. So I know that you grew up in Northern California as well, and then you went straight into acting.
Ana: So I went, I was born in Napa, California, and then I went to UC Berkeley for school while I was there.
I mean, I didn’t know. The only thing that I knew from a child, mass communications and Spanish literature.
Erika: Mine was also mass communications at Berkeley,
Ana: which I loved it because it’s so thought-provoking and it challenges the mainstream media. But then when I was in college, I was interning at news stations and they were wanting me to do like super practical, basic stuff.
And I had no idea how to do that. I’m like, what is this machine? I don’t know how to load it. And they’re like, what are you learning at Berkeley? I’m like, I’m learning how to think. Right. Okay.
Erika: I had the same experience because I went in thinking that I was going to learn producing media because I thought that’s what I wanted to get into.
And I interned a radio station while 94 9. And then that again was also very like hands-on. And of course, all the people from San Francisco State who went to a state school that was all hands-on. But we were learning how the media impacts society and all the series ,
Ana: how to portray women and how.
Fucked up. That is. And I’m like, yes, which we now get to utilize in our work. Exactly. Yeah. So I, since I was a child, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew that I didn’t want to be in an office and it would piss off my parents because, you know, they worked low-paying jobs. My mom was a childcare provider.
My dad worked as a janitor for many years. And then also. Then moved up into building maintenance and so they were like counting on us. There’s four of us, to have that corporate job. And from a little, like little me, I didn’t even know anything. And I’m like, I do not want to be in an office. And they would get so mad.
They’re like, Like being in Napa, like you’re going to go like pick grapes. And I’m like, is that the only two options? either you’re a field worker or you’re in corporate. And my mom’s aspiration for me was to be a secretary. And I’m just like, and no offense to, you know, people who work as a secretary or an executive assistant, but I’m like, I don’t know.
I feel that’s being in a job and like at a desk. And that just does not feel good. I think we had the same
Erika: experience. Okay. My mom used to be like. When you grow up, you’re going to be a secretary so you can work in an office with AC. And I get it right for them. That was like the next step. That was the American dream for us in their eyes, but being in our shoes, we have a different perspective.
Right. And I feel like there’s so much guilt that comes with that when you know that your parents have done so much for you to not work the jobs they did, but it’s almost a disservice for their sacrifices if we just do what they want and it’s not what we want. what’s the point of that?
Ana: Right. I’ve always been a rebel.
Thank God that I have this personality where I actually didn’t feel guilt. I just knew that. And I would tell my mom and I would piss her off. I’m like, mommy, like you, you have lived your life. You have made the choices that you have wanted to make. This is my life. And, there’s a lot of tension with my mom.
There’s still a lot of like mom healing to do, but yeah. So UC Berkeley did mass comm Spanish lit. Interned at two different news stations in the area. I kind of, I went into publicity, so those were the two departments that I was working at, in the news. And then after graduating from Berkeley, I moved to LA because I needed to be in a big city and San Francisco Bay area just felt too small at that point.
And so I started working with a publicist who was doing PR for, Spanish-speaking artists. Actually Pitbull was one of our artists and this is before he was Pitbull. And that job, I didn’t last at all. Like I’m the type of person that I can’t do something. If it, if I feel like it’s killing my soul, like I lasted maybe not even two months and it was just like disheartening.
Again, I felt like. The curtain was pulled back and I learned how news was made and it’s by publicists, by people with money pitching stories. Not all of them, but a lot of it. And I’m like, what is this? How the world is run? I was so naive.
Erika: And then our Berkeley brains have tried to say the world.
Exactly. It’s like
Ana: I can’t do that. Also, I mean, I’m in my forties and so when I was a teenager there was this show on the max, on eight on Univision, and it was this lifestyle show with Leslie Ann and. Carlos Ponce and they would just do fun stuff on this show. Like they would have adventures and travel and eat food.
And I’m like, Oh my gosh, if this is a job, like I want to do that. So I did want to do TV hosting. So that was one of the intentions when I moved to LA of to get into that. So I worked in publicity and then I would also audition. And then, that whole world as well. I mean, it just. I was so turned off by it.
I couldn’t, there’s a lot of, I mean, the me too movement has shined light on it, but I’m like, I cannot compromise who I am. I’m not going to go out with this sleazy producer just to try to get a job. I’m like, I just can’t. So commercial was just something that kind of fell into my lap and. I had a lot of success in it and just continued to do that.
But in the meantime, I also did a bunch of like side hustle jobs of, I was a promo girl and I did auto shows and I would travel the country. And for so long, I felt like such a loser. I’m like, Oh my gosh, I’m now in my thirties. I’ve never had a consistent job. I’m still paycheck to paycheck. I went to UC Berkeley.
Like I totally am such a disappointment for my parents, but in hindsight, All those jobs and all of those times that I felt like, what am I doing with my life? I have learned so much that I have now applied into entrepreneurship and. Also, not just that, but even from these jobs that I didn’t necessarily like, like I was already holding space for people.
I would work alcohol promotions and they would send me to every Latino market in the LA area. And those three hours that I was supposed to sell alcohol. People would just come up to me like older folks and just dump their life, tell me everything. And I would just listen and sometimes get advice or just help them feel heard.
And now I’m like, Oh my gosh, I was already doing what I already do today. You know, back then, not even thinking about it, practicing. And so I’m really grateful. It’s been a really unconventional trajectory in my life. but I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve always. lived my truth and haven’t stayed anywhere just because of the money or whatever it may be.
Obviously, I’ve done jobs that I don’t care for, but have found ways to learn from it and grow. And it’s made me who I am bold and courageous and just like going for it because I’ve never had a safety net. So I really have nothing to lose.
Erika: Yeah. And I’m so glad you share that because I think the listeners need to hear that.
they really put a lot of pressure on themselves because they assume that the trajectory is a specific way and it just goes up and up. And that’s so far from the truth. And you would not be the entrepreneur that you are today if it weren’t for all of that experience in different industries and within different jobs that maybe weren’t fulfilling.
But I think sometimes we forget that. We have to experience what we don’t like to know what we do to know what we do want, and that’s very necessary. the last question I have before I just open it up to see what else you want to share is, it’s more of a selfish question. I want to know, what…
Breath work tips do you have before going on stage? And I mean, people listening, maybe, you know, are feeling nervous before a conversation with a partner or anything that can make us feel, you know, sweaty palms, racing heart, what would you recommend? What do you do if you were about to go on stage and speak to a large audience?
Ana: I use a lot of visualization in my practice as well. So if I were to go on stage, I would probably ground the space. And so I do that by imagining this is what I do in my sessions as well, like, wherever I am, or I’ll visualize the stage and I’ll imagine dropping, So like dropping an anchor from where I’m standing down into the earth.
And then this is a tip that I learned, or a technique that I learned in my clairvoyant school, which I went years ago. I wish we didn’t, yeah, so part of breath work, I also channel messages and I’m a clairvoyant and all of that. So it’s beyond just breathing the type of work that I do and mindset work.
So anyways, the technique is you imagine anchoring yourself. And then the corners of the room, you imagine like a string coming into your center. And so you imagine from the bottom, like the floor and also the ceiling and it’s just like connecting. And so that just allows my energy to feel grounded and anchored and supported.
And then if I’m feeling nervous, I always like to keep, the breathing technique super simple. So, deep belly breaths, you’re using your diaphragm. That’s going to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. So, instead of being, like, fight or flight, you’re going to be more calmer and grounded. But, if you’re someone who, maybe you’re not feeling, maybe you need high energy for what you’re about to do, and you’re feeling a little tired, or…
whatever it may be, then I would do more of a, like a breath of fire, just a quick in, out, in, out, in, out to really oxygenate your body. You might feel a little buzzy. And so then that’s going to pump you up if you have to go out in a Tony Robbins-style type of way. so it really just kind of depends on how you want to, what the energy is of the event and how you want to come across.
Erika: Amazing. Thank you. You’re welcome. Is there anything that you’d like to share that I didn’t ask you?
Ana: yeah. I just recommend all of you to start to become aware of your breath. It’s something that we most of us don’t notice and we take for granted ’cause our body doesn’t naturally, but it also has a lot of information. The way that you breathe is really reflective on how you’re feeling in that moment.
And so if you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, You might notice when you check in with your breath that your chest feels tight, or maybe you’re holding your breath. And one of the things that I, one of the reasons why I fell in love with breath work is because I learned that by manipulating my breath, I can actually change the way how I’m feeling.
So, that’s another way that you can be in control of your emotions. Simply by changing how you’re breathing. So if you’re really stressed and overwhelmed, drop your breathing again down to your belly. Do some slow inhales in through your nose and out of your nose. And that’s going to help you regulate.
We’ll just start to shift everything. So just my takeaway for folks is start to notice your breath. Notice how little kids, how your pets breathe, they’re using their belly, but as we grow up, as we, especially for women, you know, from a young age, we’re taught to suck in our stomachs. Well, that moves our breathing up to our chest, which keeps us alive, but it’s not bringing as much oxygen into our body as we would really
Yes. Yes. I think it was yesterday I was driving and I had a very busy day yesterday. I don’t like to have my schedule packed that the way yesterday was, but I caught myself in the car holding my breath and I was like, why am I holding my breath? And I thought of you and I was like, belly breaths, Erica, belly breaths.
And by the time I got to where I was going, because I was driving, I just allowed myself to breathe. I felt so much calmer. Even though I was sitting in traffic, you know, it was, you know, rush time, rush hour in the morning. And I work from home, so I’m not used to the traffic, but I was trying to get to an appointment and I was already running late.
So then I found myself just holding my breath and I was like, Oh my gosh, I could feel this in my chest. And even just one breath was. A game changer. And then I just spent the rest of my time in the car just focusing on my breath and it was, it really and that travels with us, right? You don’t have to pack it.
It’s already with you. How amazing is that?
Ana: And when you make it a consistent practice, then it becomes automatic where your body, I have found myself in really high-stress situations where instead of my body contracting. It’ll drop down automatically into the deep belly breathing and then I’m feeling so proud because again, that puts you in a place of power and clarity where you’re able to deal with the situation just from a different mental space as opposed to a place of panic and danger and overwhelm.
Erika: I love it. I’m sure people got so. Much from this episode. I can’t wait to go back and listen to it. But before we let you go, two questions for you. Where can people find you and how can people work with you? I know that you’re currently enrolling, so give us all the details.
Ana: Yeah. So my website is AnnaLilia.
net. It’s with one N. and I’m also mainly just active on Instagram. So you can find there. I like to share meditations on Instagram and just different resources to help empower you and have control over your emotions. And right now I do have my dream, bigger mastermind enrolling. And that was a creation.
I started that over three years ago. And to be honest with you, I created it for a little me, like for Lili, that’s my nickname. Because when I was little, I had all these big dreams. I would tell my mom, my dad, or. My cousins and they would look at me like I’m crazy. And I just have felt my whole life that people didn’t, it wasn’t really safe to share how I wanted my life to be like, especially being a Latina and.
having people just people wanting you to live this traditional life. And so luckily I’m a self-starter and I’m courageous and I take action, but it’s so lonely. And I was craving a community with other people who also want to dream big and take action. And so I created this mastermind. To help you do that, to have a safe space where you can speak into the universe and with other folks, you know, what you’re looking to create in your life and not letting your past define your future or limit anything.
But what makes it different in my mastermind is that we do a lot of healing work too. So I help you align your mindset with your goals because without it, it can create some tension. So if anyone’s curious about that, you can find that information, my website to the dream, bigger mastermind.
Erika: And we’ll be sure to link that down below in the show notes as well.
Anna, such a pleasure. I hope we get to see each other when I’m in your area in just a couple of weeks. I’ll be there for an entire month. So, I will reach out to you. But thank you so much for coming on the show. You shared so much. amazing wisdom with the audience. And if you listening, took anything away from this, please be sure to screenshot this episode and tag both Ana Lilia and myself, and let us know what your favorite part of this episode was because we always love to reshare that and see what it is that you took away.
Ana: you, Erica. Thanks, Ana. Nos vemos.