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.
Welcome to a very special birthday episode! Erika just turned 33 and is celebrating the start of an amazing new year. And while she’s so excited for the future, she’s also reflecting on the lessons she’s learned over the past year or so. The main lesson: letting go of control.
Letting go of control is where the magic happens, and it will only make sense once you’ve actually done it. It is terrifying to take the leap and have faith but it is possible and the rewards are worth it. Listen to this week’s episode to find out why Erika had to learn to trust herself and how her spiritual practices have strengthened her sense of faith.
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Join the waitlist for Courage Driven Latina here.
Erika: Hello, hello, friends. Welcome to another episode of Ch*ngona Revolution podcast. Today’s episode is going to be a little different. It is a solo podcast episode and it is a birthday episode. So by the time this episode airs, I will have turned 33 years old. This is airing on October 10th and my birthday is October 9th.
And I figured I could just do a reflection episode. So this episode has no script. I’m just kind of going with the flow, but obviously, as I have gotten older, I’ve really, a lot of things have changed, right? Change is inevitable. And I started my business right before I turned 30. So it’s been three years and so much has changed over the years.
The last three years. And initially when I was planning this episode or when I was thinking about this episode, I was like, Oh, I can just do 33, 33 things. I learned before 33, but I don’t know. I don’t know if that vibes with me. I think what I would rather do is share overall things that I, that I’ve learned as well as give you all an updates about this journey called life.
So where do I want to start? I think I want to start with. What I thought my life was going to look like when I was younger. So when I was younger, before I was 18, I thought that by the time I was 25 or so, I was going to be married and have a few kids. And I always knew that I wanted to be a business owner, but I didn’t believe that I could start a business.
especially because every time I tried to put up a lemonade stand when I was a kid, I was reprimanded for it. From my parents, because they believed that they worked so hard for me to have what I need, that if I put up a lemonade stand, I was asking people for money, but you know, immigrant parent ideas.
But the reality was that I was exploring entrepreneurship and because I got in trouble every time I tried to put up a lemonade stand, I think I just kind of moved away from entrepreneurship. So I just thought I was going to essentially, you know, play the role of a Latina woman, like the typical gender role.
And here I am at 33 years old, and obviously I don’t have any kids. I’m not a homeowner. I thought that I would be a homeowner by now. I thought I would be married by now. no, quite the opposite. I’ve called off engagements, right, or an engagement. So I’m definitely not married. And my life just looks very different than what I thought it was going to look like.
However, I really love my life. I think my life is better than I could have even imagined, even just a few years ago. So let me give you all an update regarding where I am now. So when I decided to start my business, I swallowed my ego and I moved back into actually, this maybe requires a little bit of background, just in case you all haven’t listened to other podcast episodes, but I went to college because it’s what you do.
And then I started working in tech because I was in the Bay area and there was a lot of opportunity to work in tech. So. I followed that path and it was, it was not intentional, right? I was almost just kind of following what came to me, but this was not like, Oh my gosh, I have a dream of working in tech.
That was never the case. I only ended up working in tech because it was the first job I could get out of college. And then I ended up engaged. I call off the engagement, which I recommend that you check out that podcast episode on calling off the engagement.
Episode number 32 is the story about when I called off my engagement.
And that moment was the moment that I really began to live my life for me. And I really stopped doing what I should do and started following what it is that I actually wanted. So I, After building the courage to leave that engagement, I then ended up leaving the stable tech job I was at, well, quote, unquote, stable tech job that I was at, as we know, no jobs actually secure or stable, and we’ve seen that throughout the pandemic, and I swallowed my pride, moved back into my mom’s house during the pandemic to start this business.
And, you know, now that I look back, and I’ve said this on the podcast before, we can’t connect the dots, Steve Jobs is actually the person who said this, we can’t connect the dots looking forward, we can only connect them looking backward. And now that I’m looking at this trajectory of this business. And my life, I’m like, Oh, this all, this all makes sense.
And I really do believe that I’m exactly where I need to be. And I think when we’re in the middle of, of life and of business, we’re so focused on where we want to get to that. Sometimes we forget to stop and recognize how far we’ve already come. And I think today I’m just really in this reflective. Mode where I am in an Airbnb.
I just arrived yesterday in Long Beach. I’m here for the month I’m here with Paloma my dog. I’m also have my cat here and I get to Live the life. I have freedom pretty much. No, I’m not a homeowner No, I’m not married. No, I don’t have any kids, but I’m so at peace with that because I know those things will happen.
I just needed to build this business first because I knew that this business was going to be the path for me to live the life I want to live and have the family and the lifestyle that I want to have. So here I am in this Airbnb in Long Beach, California. It’s a beautiful Airbnb. And I don’t have to ask anybody for time off.
I’m finally moving out of my mom’s house after three years of being there. And in those three years, it was, I feel like it was necessary. It was a humbling experience to move back into my mom’s house. It was also very necessary for my inner child. There were so many things I didn’t realize needed healing that.
Came up once I was back at her house, my mom and I have established this beautiful bond. I love her so much and I’m also ready to get the heck out of there and my life looks nothing in summary. My life looks nothing like I thought it was going to look, but I’m in love with it. I’m in love with the messiness.
I’m still in the middle of going through these transitions within my business. As you know, I mentioned, everything’s always changing so much is changing in my life right now, and even with all of this uncertainty. I’m in love with what is going on right now. And I think that’s what’s so beautiful about getting older.
It’s that you stop worrying about what other people think. Don’t get me wrong, we still worry about it sometimes. But in general, you just really begin to come back to yourself. And I feel like that’s the phase that I’m in right now. I feel like I’m coming back to myself. And some of the big themes that I’ve just learned in this last year is Regardless of what you do, regardless of what you do with your life, people are going to have opinions and you cannot control people’s opinions.
You could literally go start one of the biggest charities in the world and somebody is going to have an opinion that you don’t like about how you’re doing things. So you might as well do what you want, right? If people are going to have opinions, let them have their opinions. I think the, another big thing that’s come up for me is that first one is being okay with disappointing people and letting people have thoughts about me.
And I’ve also realized that it’s important that we let go of control. And I would not consider myself a controlling person until this year when I realized, Oh yeah, I’m not controlling other people, but I’m trying to control the outcome. I’m trying to control what happens in my business. I’m trying to control so much within my life specifically from the outcomes, right?
Oh, if I do this, this has to happen. And there’s so much power in surrendering because when we surrender and just let go, that’s when we let magic happen. There’s no way that I could have thought through this business that I ended up creating. This business ended up being something way bigger than my brain had the capacity to imagine.
And that’s what happens when we let go of control. When we let go of control, we let magic happen in our lives because usually the universe has something bigger for us than we even recognize. We play small. Our brain is limited to what we’ve seen, to what we know, but the possibilities are limitless. So a big theme for me this year has been letting go, and that also, you know, letting go is also letting go of what people think about me.
Like, stop trying to control what people think about you. So what I figured that we could do for this podcast episode, if I think of any more stories or if I think of any more lessons that I want to share with you, I will, but I figured I would just take you behind the scenes on what, what would Erica actually starting a new year?
and I have noticed that this year I’ve. Kind of made my way back to spirituality and then we’ll go through the exercise that I wanted to take you all through. So I grew up in a Catholic household, as most Latinos do, and we’d go to church every Sunday.
And then I’d see my parents fight. It was so, yeah. Oh man. I remember one time, Ooh, here I am just like sharing a little bit of trauma with you all. I remember for my first communion, I had to memorize some of the prayers and I was having a really hard time memorizing prayers and sometimes I have a hard time with memorization, which is crazy.
Cause I don’t have a bad memory, but I remember when I was in yoga teacher training, even the flow of the, of the practice, it was hard for me to memorize it, long story short. I had a hard time memorizing these prayers, and I remember that I would get my ass beat if I didn’t remember them. Like, that’s how my, my parent would help me, remember these prayers.
How messed up is that? So, obviously, my relationship with the Catholic Church was not… super positive, especially because in church, I remember just constantly getting in trouble. Don’t drink water. don’t cross your legs. Don’t do this. And it was just, I just felt like restricted every time I walked in.
And then I went to a private middle school where, it was a Christian middle school. And there it was like, Oh, these people are kind of speaking my language. I get it. Right. The Bible studies were in English and I felt a little bit. I’ve actually felt very connected to spirituality and to God and to the divine source, whatever word you use, feel free to plug in your word.
But when I was at this school, I then started participating in youth group and became a youth group leader. And I was very involved and I really liked it, but there was still a lot of shame around sex. There was still a lot of shame around Like same-sex marriages and there’s just a lot of things that didn’t feel equal to me.
And when I went to Berkeley and I learned how much religion just messed up our ancient practices, right? How religion was used to manipulate the indigenous people in Latin America. Then I was like, forget religion. And I really moved away from it. And ever since calling off my engagement and any time I’ve been in very vulnerable places in my life, I have found myself getting closer to spirituality, but in a new way.
And it all started with me learning about the law of attraction. If you follow Esther and Jerry Hicks, who channel Abraham, they are, you can find them on YouTube if you look them up, but they do a lot of law of attraction stuff. And that is, was almost like my foot back into spirituality.
And then I went through yoga teacher training and I learned about meditation and I started meditating and that also got me connected spiritually again. And now I feel like I’m really doing spirituality in my own way. And for the first time. In years, I started praying again, and of course, I’m not telling you all to do any of this.
I’m just sharing my experience. And some of the rituals that I’ve picked up are oracle cards and tarot cards, which if you think about how these are perceived inside of the Catholic or even Christian religion, they are deemed not of God, not divine. But it’s, I felt so called to cards and there’s nothing negative about them.
They’re just a tool to help you tap into your intuition. So, what I would normally do for myself is pull cards. So that’s what I want to do on this episode.
Erika: So I’m really just taking you behind the scenes on what Erica would do if she was by herself. And that would be pulling cards. So I have three decks in front of me that I brought with me to Long Beach.
I brought an animal power deck. I brought the Work Your Light Oracle deck and then the Sacred Cycles Oracle. So, I’m going to pull a card from each one and just kind of ask, what is it that my guides, what is it that Source, what is it that God, what is it that my higher self has for me? For this upcoming year, what are the messages that they want me to hear and what is it that they want me to work on?
So, let’s do this. I’ve actually been wanting to do this on the podcast for a minute. Taking you all through like guided meditations or through card pulling. So I am going to do that right now. I’m just shuffling this sacred cycles oracle and I’ve been really into cycle syncing. If you’re not familiar with what cycle syncing is, it is keeping track of your menstrual cycle and trying to.
Utilizing it to understand your energy levels, to understand when it’s a good time to do what, like for example, when you are menstruating, it is a great time for you to reflect and to go inward. And whenever you are ovulating, you are more social. It’s a good time to plan going on dates. It’s a good time to plan going on a trip or hanging out with your friends and different things like that.
And this, Oracle Deck is called Sacred Cycles, so it is all about different cycles of our, it’s pretty much the moon phases and our menstrual cycle themed. You know, actually, before I pull a card from here, I am going to burn some Palo Santo.
I have some Sage, as well as… Some here, let me open the window just because we want the smoke to come out.
Okay. I’m getting grounded shuffling these cards
and then I’m gonna tell you my interpretation of the cards. They do also have a description. Inside of a little book that they come with so, okay, what messages does my higher self source the divine have for me in this coming year of turning 33, which is actually the Jesus year, right?So 33 is known as the Jesus year because Jesus did his most important work in the three years before he died at 33, which is why somebody, why some believe that this age is important and even sacred. And interestingly enough, I’m going to pull the card in just a second, but I was reading this article that talks about a 2012 study conducted in the UK.
that says 70 percent of respondents over the age of 40 claim they were not truly happy until they reached 33 and a psychologist explained it like this, by this age, innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong. Sense of hope
with a strong sense of hope, a can-do spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities. Wow. Okay, cool. So let’s go ahead and pull these cards starting with the sacred cycle. I’m going to pull it from the middle. There it goes. Okay. Let me pull one from the animal power deck, which is such a beautiful deck.
Every time I dream with an animal. I’ll come to the deck and I will pull
one of the cards.
And now I’m pulling from the Work Your Light Oracle deck.
Sometimes when I’m coaching my clients and we have extra time, I’ll pull cards for them and they really enjoy when I do this. So, I think I’m going to start doing this either in my content or on my podcast, especially because this is something I’ve been doing behind the scenes, and I really think that a big theme for me at 33 is being my most authentic self.
Actually, I did have a story I wanted to share with you all about me being my authentic self, which if I have time, I’ll share it after these cards. Do do do. Okay. I want to pull this from here. Okay. Let’s read the cards. Sacred Cycle. I got the card 13 moons and there are, oh, this just gives me a lot of like feminine energy vibes.
There are 1, 2, circling around these 13 moons. It’s a beautiful card and it looks like there are 13 moons around. Let’s see. 11, 12. Oh no, there’s 12. And then one in the middle. So let’s see what this means because I am not sure, but there are mermaids with stars behind them. So. I feel like there’s also duality, right, of like, outer space, but also, I feel like there’s, there’s a message here about being connected to something bigger and above us, but also being grounded here on Earth, because obviously the mermaids are meant to be in the oceans, but then there’s stars and moons.
So, let’s see.
Ooh. Okay. 13 moons. I trust my inner wisdom. Immerse yourself in the wisdom of old ways of tracking time. The 13 moon count, 13 moons calendar reconnects you to the sacred cycles within the wheel of the year. This exploration of time holds the power to reconnect you with the intuitive experience of life lived in a close communion with the natural cycles.
This is a reckoning of your innate power, your intuitive guidance that has never left you. You can rest assured that an abundance of inner knowing resides within you now, awaiting your awakening and remembering. You are being called back into harmony with nature’s rhythms to help navigate your current experience and soothe you.
You may find comfort in exploring your ancestry, oh my gosh this is crazy, back to the ages of those who may have lived in alignment with the lunar calendar. These ancestors hold key to earth-based practices that will help reawaken and strengthen your inner power and wisdom that you so deeply That you, that so dearly wants you, that so dearly wants to be expressed through you.
Open yourself up to the old ways and witness what magic comes through you. And the journal prompt that comes with this is, What do I know about my ancestors and what can I learn from them? Okay, this is so insane because I actually had a dream where I met a tribal leader and he told me, Your purpose or one of the big missions you have is to bring ancient practices to today’s day.
So that’s insane that this is specifically talking about that. Okay. Oh, okay. That was sacred cycles. Now let’s. Let’s see what card I got from the animal power deck. Oh, okay. I got alligator that says take intuitive action. So I’m just getting a lot of like, follow your intuition. You have a lot of knowledge within you.
Let me read the description of the alligator. I’ve never pulled this card.
Alligator represents divine timing. Alligators conserve energy as they wait for the precise moment when they intuitively know to take action with every ounce of their might. When the moment calls for it, they can go from total stillness to lightning-quick speed. If you are wondering whether you should make a move, Alligator is your sign to go for it.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about activating a new project or stepping into a new practice or relationship. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about the opposite, about stopping or releasing something from your life. The time to go for the goal is right now. That’s crazy because I am… I’ve just made the decision to move.
So I think this is telling me, just move. Go. And now, last but not least, Work Your Light Oracle Card deck.
Erika: I got Star Mother. And it is a… Woman in blue, like a light blue with roses all around and almost like this magic around her and this light around her. Let me read the description for this one.
How can you mother yourself? You are more held than you could possibly imagine. Loved and cherished so deeply that if you knew you would not spend one second of your life in separation, worry, or fear.
Let the mother carry your burdens. Let her rock away your fears. Lay all of your worries, regrets, shame, and guilt on her altar.
Please do not fear. You are love in motion. If you allow it, you are already healed. Let her remind you of your goodness. let her love away your fears. Your capacity to love and hold others is limited to your capacity to hold and love yourself. Be compassionate with your sweet body, mind, and soul.
Treat yourself like the beautiful spirit that you truly are. Remind yourself that you are doing your best and try not to carry it all on your own. You have got this, and mother has got you. Let her broaden her arms and take away your burdens. Let her lift the weight of the world off your shoulders.
Forgive yourself, my sweet child of the earth.
Wow, I feel like this is definitely like, re parenting myself, and
this is the year to hold space for myself.
Okay, so this is what I do when I’m feeling like I need some guidance. I’ll pull a card and I will not only read the description that comes with it, but I’ll also just kind of tap into my intuition and see what is this telling me? What are the messages here that can come through my intuition? And I had mentioned earlier…
That I was going to share a story with you all. And I think I’ll just end with this story. I was invited to moderate a panel at a conference that was more focused on venture capital, which is obviously not the space that I normally speak at. And I sat in the audience as I watched other moderators, moderate panels, and they did.
an incredible job and they were talking about trends in the industry and different things like that. And of course I did what any human would do and I started to compare myself and I was like, oh crap, I don’t have any statistics. I don’t have any trends of the industry. I was planning to moderate this panel.
In a different way and what if it’s wrong and maybe I should go home and do some or to my room and do some research on the stats and I actually went back upstairs and pulled a card for myself and I meditated and I just kind of leaned into more of my spiritual side on the realization I came to was. I am a circle trying to put myself in a box and it just doesn’t fit, right?
So why am I doing that? Why not just show up as my full-circle self? And I realized that the people from the conference didn’t hire me to come and speak so I could talk about trends. They hired me because of the content that I create the message that I provide because of who I am and what I stand for.
And after I gave myself permission to just be fully me and realize that my panel was all about the ascension of Latinas in business and like jefas on the rise. I was like, this is so aligned and my panel doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s panel. I get to show up fully as I am. And on my panel, once it actually happened.
It was such a beautiful conversation about being a woman in power, but also having a family and dealing with mom guilt. And it was such a real and raw conversation that I had men coming up to me after thanking me for the questions that were asked during the panel and telling me and expressing to me that they wish they would be asked those questions when they were on panels.
And it was all because I allowed my full authentic self. To show up and I was questioning that I was questioning if I belonged at this conference, I was questioning the way that I was going to lead this conversation. And once I decided to have my own back and show up as my full self, everything worked out.
Was there people in the audience that I maybe made uncomfortable with vulnerability? Probably. But those aren’t my people anyways, right? So, this is your reminder to have your own back, show up as your full authentic self, be okay with disappointing people because you cannot control how they see you, how they think about you, and make space for what’s calling you.
And right now what is calling me is moving. So I’m going to move and also these cards and spirituality and just being there for my clients and being the best version of myself so I can hold space for
Okay, y’all, this was a very different podcast episode. I hope you enjoyed it. Happy birthday to me and, happy birthday to you whenever your birthday is. If you do have a birthday coming up here, just some journal prompts for you to reflect on. the first one is what am I grateful for in my life at this moment?
And the other thing I would have you ask yourself is What am I looking forward to?
Another question is,
who do I want to be? How do I want to be remembered?
Okay, everyone. Thank you so much for spending some time with me. Have a great rest of your day and I will see you next week.