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Socially Aware

Podcast Transcripts

Episode 1: Are You Aware?

Social media, social justice and social awareness. It's all interconnected. And today I'm going to be talking about how I started my social media management business and why I did so.
My name is Ethan  and welcome to socially aware. My pronouns are he him and his, and I encourage you to keep sharing yours with people around you. Socially aware is going to be your hub for all things, social media and social justice combin. With over 300 pieces of anti LGBTQ plus legislation passing through this country, as well as the overturn of Roe versus Wade and the general systemic racism that still exists and runs rampant in this country.
It is now more important than ever to be aware of all of the things and all of the people who are often overlooked in media marketing and social media as a. So aware social media is kind of my brain child that I started. I'm a communications major in college at the moment, and I'm still working toward that goal.
And one of the things that I noticed was that there is a severe lack of queer black indigenous people of color, and just general representation for people who are not often represented. It's always able bodied cisgender, generally white people. And if it's. Men it's women and it's usually them being objectified.
The goal is to create an environment where people can share their thoughts and openly see themselves represented in the media properly as a bisexual individual. It's really important to me to be able to see people of color. Trans people and other members of the LGBTQ plus community, as well as people with disabilities be properly represented and acknowledged in the mainstream media and in every marketing strategy, your business might not be focusing on targeting that audience, but that doesn't mean that people who exist in those communities might not be interested.
For example, just because you're selling bikes does not mean. That you shouldn't be targeting and representing people within these communities. When I was trying to figure out a name for the social media management freelance work that I was trying to do, I needed something more than just my name. And I was looking for something that represented the purpose of what I was doing.
And as I was hitting in the shower, We're standing. Rather. I remember thinking to myself that I just want people to be more aware in what they're doing and more aware of how they're saying things and how stupid they might sound or how neglectful of the rest of the world. They might sound with things as simple as just seeing yourself represented on a TV show or seeing yourself represented in any form of litera.
So it hit me when I realized that as I was scrolling through TikTok, that is one of the only places that I had actually seen myself in the people who are on there. And I thought that this is the perfect place for people to be able to represent people of all kinds, whether that be a person with a disability or somebody who is of color or a different ethnicity that is not just white.
Also people among the LGBTQ plus community and people who are not in the general binary of male or female gender, it was really important to me to see that. And as I continued to see that for the last several years on my screen for the onset of the pandemic, which is still going on, so please be mindful and please mask up and get your.
I realized that this is the niche that needed to be focused on. It was important to be able to represent people like myself in some ways, and people who are not like myself in a lot of other ways in all of the content that is being shared. So flash forward to the summertime. I am now a marketing and communications intern at San Diego pride.
And I have been here for several. It has been phenomenal. And we just had a whirlwind of success with our comeback festival. We had several amazing artists across a variety of different entertainment zones, and it was just amazing to see the queer full glee as we've coined it. Of all of the LGBTQ plus folks, as well as people who are allies to the community, just being in existing and true authenticity and bliss.
It's been through working here and being able to see, uh, wider variety of people. That exists in this world, a more diverse and more inclusive space that I realized that this is so lacking in a lot of communities around the country. I come from a very small town in New Hampshire, where everybody around me is the same color and those who identify as LGBTQ plus, aren't always able to feel like they're.
Existing as their authentic selves. So being able to separate myself from this for just a little bit, has allowed me to feel more represented in society. And I realized that this is something that businesses and brands and influencers, whatever you identify as, this is something that we so need that we're just not giving.
And we're just not getting. As I was trying to figure out what I needed to provide to the world. I said, okay, well, it's social media management for people who are, unwaning not wanting to manage their own social media, but also consulting and guidance and coaching for those who are looking to figure out how they can make their social media presence a little bit more inclusive, or a lot of it more inclusive and definitely more diverse.
And truthfully it's as simple as thinking a little bit beyond yourself for a. For example, let's say that you are what I consider to be the standard. And please know that this is just a statistical truth. Let's say that you are a cisgender heterosexual, white individual, not necessarily male or female, but that just might be who you are.
A simple solution to creating a more diverse marketing strategy is looking to the communities that you might be leaving.  this might be acknowledging why a pride festival has to exist. This might be acknowledging why black lives matter. Really doesn't mean that they're the only lives that matter, but that they matter too.
Which is a statement that should be completely obvious and shouldn't have to continue being repeated, but that is why that movement continues to exist. We have these things in the world because these communities still feel unheard because they are often unheard and they are often not. So as I was developing a plan for how I could help people, I said, I need to be able to offer coaching and opportunities to learn in an environment that is non-judgmental and provides a space that people can ask honest questions.
Of course, I do not speak for everybody. I am still cisgender white individual, but that does not mean that I'm not socially. It is important to be able to make genuine connections and relationships with folks from all communities, especially those that are outside of the ones that you exist in. And most of the time you'll notice that there's quite a bit of intersectionality in a lot of people will come together.
A lot of the things that I notice is that people are simply just not as informed as they should be, or as they could. And sometimes it's by choice. And sometimes it's because they didn't know that these individuals existed in the way that perhaps the media has portrayed them in the past. For example, understanding that being transgender does not mean that you are going to have surgery to identify better with the gender that you might feel resonant.
One of the best things that a person might be able to do for example, is understand and educate themselves a little bit more on something that they just don't know about. If you are concerned about using the proper pronouns for an individual, the simple solution is just asking what pronouns work for them.
And of course, using gender neutral pronouns until they know other. It's very easy and we have done it all of our lives without even thinking about it. So please do not try to make this more complicated than it needs to be. Another simple thing might be just understanding the differences between the different members of the LGBTQ plus community.
I always try to remind people that it is not the gay experience, the black experience or the trans experience. It is one person's story. Just because, you know, gay people or people of color or people who are transgender does not mean that you are an ally. What makes you an ally is truly continuing to support those friends, voting for people and decisions that continue to support those people.
And continuing to do things that are positively impacting that community. Some people might say that the choice to be the victim is what keeps people in victimhood. In this situation, we are continuing to see things being taken away from people who exist in this country. The truth is that even if people did not hold prejudices, These issues would still be relevant because people would still be disproportionately impacted by this.
So socially aware is going to continue serving as a space where you can continue to learn more about how your social media strategy can be helpful to inclusivity and diversity in all aspects. It doesn't mean that drastic changes have to be made or it. , but I'm here to guide you through it. I'm here to help you understand that nobody is mad at you for not acknowledging this.
I always say you have the opportunity to learn and whether or not you choose to do that is on you. So I can't get mad at you the first time, but if you do not realize that you're still making the same mistakes, when it comes to social awareness, that's on you for trying to avoid it. It takes a lot of. It takes a significant amount of unlearning.
It takes a significant amount of new learning. Your willingness to do either is what matters most. So as this podcast and platform continues to grow, I hope to build a community. And I hope to see people from many different walks of life, come together, ask questions, join me, promote their business and just connect and network so that we can continue to grow and see.
what a diverse and inclusive network across the globe can look like. You can find me on a lot of different social media platforms. Obviously I'm on Instagram at aware social media, as well as TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook and LinkedIn, but to make it easier for you, there's a link tree in the description of this podcast.
So just click that and find the one that you want to join me on. And of course this podcast will not be the last. So please join me next week. As I talk to my new friend, Arlene, she is the founder of Posa movement, a nonprofit that is dedicated to bringing spiritual wellness, to communities of color and the LGBTQ plus community and providing opportunities and scholarship to black indigenous people of color, specifically women who have been often overlooked in.
Primarily white female dominated industry join us. And I hope to see you then. Thanks for being socially aware.

Episode 2: Let's Talk Cultural Appropriation

With Special Guest Arlene Salcedo

Ethan: Cultural appropriation is the act of taking from another group's ideas, traditions, and customs, without asking for consent permission, and without being invited. It's something that today's guest knows a lot about. And I'm grateful that she's here to talk to us about it. Stay aware and help yourself stay informed of this issue.

Music Plays

Hello, everybody. Welcome back. This is Ethan and I'm talking today with Arlene Salcedo from Poderosa Movement and Luna Soul Wellness. Welcome. 

Arlene: Hi, thank you for having me.

Ethan: I'm really excited to talk to you. We met at San Diego Pride's "She Fest" event, which is an event dedicated to honoring women and people identifying with she/her/hers pronouns, and just embodying the true spirit of feminine energy.

And I can think of no greater way to embody that spirit than the work that Arlene does. So I'm really excited to be able to talk about that.

Arlene: Thank you. I love that.

Ethan: Tell us a little bit about your background, why this speaks to you, what you do and just all around why you're passionate about the work that you do.

Yeah. Um, my background is in basically spirituality with yoga. Um, Ayurveda plant medicine, indigenous rituals, and practices. So I have my Luna Soul Wellness business kind of evolved around that umbrella. And then, um, that kind of started me on the path to creating a nonprofit, um, which is called the Poderosa Movement.

And so just, um, having my own business and being in that space, uh, being a woman of color, identifying as a Latina woman, um, I just started to see. The big gaps in diversity and inclusion when it comes to the spiritual health and wellness community, as well as professions and spaces. So that's what kind of got me on the trajectory of the Poderosa Movement.

Ethan: I love that. So that's one of the same reasons that I started doing what I do with working with LGBTQ plus on businesses. It quickly evolved to working. Anybody who has felt like they are other in society and people who just don't always get to be a part of mainstream things or things that are traditionally part of their culture have been just taken away from them, whitewashed, rainbow washed, or whatever you wanna call it.

It's just been taken and misused. So one of the things that I admire a lot about how you shifted and pivoted to solve the problem in society, or continue to solve the problem in society that you see is that. You said, I'm passionate about this. And I wanna make sure that people are able to see where the gap needs to be filled and that something that is not always traditionally from white women is something that you want to help people understand that they can still do that too.

Arlene: Yes, 'cause a lot of the practices that even I studied, like for example, yoga and Ayurveda. Now I am not  of Indian descent. However, I do understand how important it was to really understand the background, especially if I'm gonna be having a profession out of this. So me taking the time to really understand, um, the practices of yoga and where they stemmed from and just really immersing myself in a culture that wasn't mine.

However, I just understood that I do need to honor. Um, where these things, especially if I'm gonna be making money off of them  um, and, uh, how that, that I shouldn't be practicing something that's not mine. And even understanding and diving deep into another culture made me realize, oh, I need to tap into my own roots as well.

And so by tapping into my own roots, I started to realize like, there's so much. Um, setbacks that we get, uh, coming from indigenous cultures or, you know, being, um, BIPOC women basically. So that also encouraged me to bring more light or shed more light on, um, just indigenous practices and how women of color can start to reclaim the practices that, um, basically white women are, are practicing and making money off.

Ethan: So it sounds like you touch upon cultural appropriation a lot in the work that you do. And I think that's incredibly important because I find that a lot of people don't always understand that nobody doesn't want you to take part and understand and educate yourself about this activity, but people need to understand how to do it correctly and respectfully.

And a lot of people often go by the rule of thumb. It's kind of like by invite only for these types of things. So how, where, what is your thought on the idea of like cultural appropriation when it comes to what you are doing?

Arlene: Yeah, I think we've, uh, especially America, we're such a melting pot of different, um, you know, cultures.

And so it's not to say like you can't, you know, immerse yourself in another culture that is not necessarily your ancestry lineage. Um, but I do think that just honoring, if you are gonna really get into something, practice it on a daily basis or monetize it. I think that it is appropriate that person to understand, the background and to understand the history and just to understand the spiritual concepts behind it or the technical concepts behind it.

So it's just really going back and understanding, it's like being a nomad, right? You. Walk into a land and now you have to like really immerse yourself in it, which is what, you know, 5,000 years ago, what that's, what humans would do. If they wandered off, they'd have to like figure out how to live in that land.

And they would all of a sudden adapt to the culture and start to learn, you know, the philosophy or whatever. So it's basically just taking it back to basics, um, when it comes to cultural appropriation, and. Also just making sure that we're aware of these ancient practices that need to still have a voice and maybe the voices have been taken away in the past because of colonization.

Maybe we're, you're gonna be the activated voice. I just think just having that mindset and that awareness is like, just game, step one, basically. And step two would just be like, okay, what, what I need to really become more aware of this. So I'm not stepping on toes in a sense. 

Ethan: So true. That all makes total sense. And I think that it's something that people need to be more aware of moving forward in general is that you can't try to know everything about something. That's just not from your lineage, your culture, your upbringing, uh, you know, I had an opportunity. A couple of years ago to be a part of a Lakota Sundance.

It's an indigenous native experience and it's a ritual that happens during the summertime. And, that's not something that I would've been able to be a part of or do or conduct, unless I was directly friends with the people who invited me there. So part of it was understanding, like, we are guests in this environment and unfortunately in America we overlooked that a lot, especially the white people who came and took, took everything away. 

And I always have to say, like, it's not about completely trying to say every person is like that, but what it needs to be brought down to.  it's a cultural understanding in America that not much that is here is here because we earned it. It was all taken. 

So there's a difference between earning and becoming a part of a culture versus seizing and murdering and just taking ownership.

It's exa- it. I mean, that's just a grander scale of like little things like that. 

Arlene: Right. It's a generational thing. That's just been passed down and spiritually, it takes seven generations to remove any type of, generational, you know, lineages, that have been passed down. So, you know, maybe we're starting barely to get into the awareness of like, maybe we need a break, this colonization mindset.

Thinking that we have from previous ancestors of things, just being handed down to us and or us just taking it away. And so I think we are coming to a point in, in our world. I mean kind of-ish we it's like we've moved two steps forward and five steps back, but, um, at least. This younger generation. I am starting to realize we have this voice.

That's like, no, this is not right. And you know, there's more voices that are coming to rally together. And so it is gonna be a little micro revolution. But I just think that it's taking that time to really. You know, it's not gonna happen overnight. It's gonna take generations for us, but it's also empowering because you know, my kids for example, are gonna grow up and they're gonna have be way more open and understanding and less privileged in that sense, because they know that their mother and their father have modeled that to them to be, mindful of different cultures.

And then for them to even understand what is a cultural appropriation. Right, right. Like I didn't even know what that was growing up.

Ethan: Right. And, and, and part of it is exactly that it's just learning new vocabulary and putting words to things that maybe didn't have labels before. Mm-hmm , I think that you made a great point about it's generational and it's going to continue getting better.

I think it's definitely overwhelming when you see. Government figures and really strong political activists who root for exactly the opposite of what we want, who are anti progressive. I think that the voices of the people who are for change and for this progression and for things that aren't even radical, they just are human existence and things like that. I think that there are far more of those individuals and far less of the people on power. It's just where the people are and what they can do.

So I, I always keep that in mind.

Social justice aside, why is the work that you do spiritually and with energy? How has that helped you?

Why is it important to you and how long has it been something that's been a part of your life? 

Arlene: So I think that I've come from a background of and everybody throws the word trauma out...

Ethan: I mean, it's fair

Arlene: Yes. Yes. ...So there's been lots of traumatic events that have happened in, in my, in my life from childhood, um, until like, you know, sh. Even the aftermath sometimes still kind of could haunt people. So basically, I've had these deep setbacks in my life. And so I've at one point just got really awakened up in a sense to be like, wow, I need to take care of my health. So really it just started from being scared from a medical condition that I, I was diagnosed with, um, at 22.

I had also lost a child around that time, so it was just like, life was just smacking me in the face. And I had to figure out how to get back up and I didn't have the tools. I wasn't modeled the tools. But I always was naturally very. Emotional like sensitive, like sensitive wise. And I was always reading about like religion.

I knew that I wasn't into it in a sense, but I loved the stories and all that stuff. So there kind of was a natural religious, um, or not religious, I would say spiritual. Background behind me naturally. And then once I got all these diagnoses and, you know, things happened, um, I just realized, okay, I need to take care of my health.

Life's too short, especially after losing a child, that was like a rude awakening. So. It basically just really got into health as far as food. And that was weird  but cuz I was just so focused on having a healthy diet. And then from that point I just started realizing I need to take care of my mind. So then I would get into reading these health self-help books and these psychology books.

Then from there going into that, then I started, um, kind of getting awake to like spirit and spirituality. And what is this? So I literally took a yoga teacher training. Didn't even practice yoga at the time, but for whatever reason, it was really called to me. So once I took that training, that kind of really opened the Pandora's box for me. And it felt like I was stepping into this other side of the world that gave me permission to. Connect the dots with spirituality and how it's so deep. And it is a mind, body, soul type of connection. So I think I was already aware of the body part, but I was just trying to find that connection, like how do you mix it all together? Doing different practices, rituals tapping into spirit side, taking care of my body, eating healthy and taking care of my energy was one of the things that really helped me heal and be on the path to healing. I'm not gonna say I would, I'm not ever healed cuz I really am not. There's just when you lose a child or when you deal with, uh, you know, certain sicknesses that keep coming up, um, you're, you kind of like dragged back down into the mud, so you have to use those tools, uh, to get back out.

And the tools that I use are spiritual tools. So, um, I think because I'm my own was my own Guinea pig that kind of made me feel. Like it made me feel more confident about bringing these out into the world and just sharing with, uh, women, how this is what I've used, and this is coming from a person who's walked a lot of life.

Um, and so just with these tools, you can really, uh, change your life pretty much. That's amazing. They always say like, grief is not something that goes away. It's just a, something that gets a little smaller.  or changes size over time. Mm-hmm  some days it's bigger. Some days it's smaller and some days it's just set aside.

Ethan: It's fascinating that a lot of people, especially who have, I mean, there's an automatic trauma when you are, when you know that in society, you're not the person who's going to be at the forefront of everything, or you're not going to be the priority when it comes to making major decisions in the world. And it's, it's, it's, it's an innate trauma that just kind of sits with you. I mean, it's, it's overwhelming that every time we go to vote, we're not just voting for, you know, the town budget we're voting for, right. Whether or not people are going to be able to do stuff that might hurt us or, or put us in jail or.

Send you home in air quotations? Like what does then going to, what does that mean?

So my background, again, I used to do a lot of spiritual work myself and mostly a lot of it was very personal and it was that same traumatic I had, I was born with a health condition mm-hmm  and a lot of it was rebuilding and going through a lot of the.

Like the shadow work that people might use that term for going through. Why, you know, the why, why am I in a position that I have this condition while I'm in this body for this lifetime and how am I going to continue to work and get better and heal? And it's not something that you just eventually say, "Oh, it's done."

It's lifelong. And part of it, I guess part of me thinks that's kind of the point, right? It's like, it's lifelong. It's supposed to be lifelong.  Right. Like if, if, if it was all solved tomorrow, then couldn't, we just couldn't we just be done like, right.

Arlene: And if you think it's lifelong, then you're lying. I mean, not lifelong, then you're lying yourself.

Ethan: Right. Cause it's, it's just always there. Self self-care is a full-time job. Mm-hmm  it's a full-time job for sure.

So let's talk about. The problem that you saw when starting your nonprofit, what was your ultimate goal aside from the spiritual work and the accessibility for BIPOC women and just communities that wouldn't always have access to this, or would have this taken away quite often, what was the ultimate goal in creating the nonprofit?

Arlene: The ultimate goal, I think, was to bring these different practices to everyone, to all. And so I think that, um, it was important enough for me to see where it needed to where, where can I, where can we fill the gap? And so just by filling that gap, then we can start to make. To be universal in a sense, you know, you go to other countries and it's like universal healthcare.

And like, they don't have to go get a recommendation to go see an acupuncturist where we are like, begging doctors, please, can we go do this alternative, you know, health modality or whatever. And, you know, you have to get referred and then you basically have to be like your arm halfway off in order for them to be like, sure.

But I just think that, um, some of these things can just be solved by just going back to our roots, just going back to. Again, practices that are very ancient and we can live in a modern world with ancient practices. And so it's just empowering, um, us to all take charge of our own health and be our own advocate and not use, you know, the doctors to basically tell us like how to live life or have, or, you know, have like what you just said earlier.

The voters tell us how we get to live our life with healthcare. So I think that's. Overall is just making this more making spirituality and, um, and holistic care a universal.

Ethan: And that's really what it's all about, I think is bringing yourself back to basics in a lot of ways. Like we forget that our bodies can do pretty incredible things. We have a lot more abilities than we have given ourself credit for because we often we live in a country and a society.  quicker is better. Mm-hmm  in our heads, but not necessarily for our bodies.

So, how do you go about providing these resources and educational opportunities to the communities that you're trying to target?

Arlene: Right. We are a baby nonprofit. So the goal eventually is to have our website so we can have directories of, um, you know, healers that we have that we've created a relationship with. Um, and then we also plan to. Our website, be a platform for inspiration. So such as like, you know, blog, post writings, um, guest, speaker writings, things like that.

And then, um, the major gap is, or the major thing that we really wanna work towards is, um, bringing scholarships and grants to BIPOC women, um, in communities that really need it. And so the idea is. Raise money so that we can create scholarships to pay for, uh, these BIPOC women to become certified. So whether they become yoga teachers, whether they become Reiki, healers, um, you know, whatever it is that they choose to that is under the umbrella of spirituality and wellness.

Um, we would like to basically fund them for that. And because the idea is that if, if a woman of color is going to be offering, let's just say, Yoga classes. And she opens up a yoga studio in like, um, I like to call them spiritual deserts because we have health deserts. So there's also spiritual deserts and make, you know, there's that one studio that pops up and it's like, oh, you know, who's that, what's that.

And then all of a sudden, just that one woman of color, just doing a yoga, maybe it's a class in the park or something it's gonna bring, it's gonna bring everybody out. Because I noticed when I was, um, teaching yoga, I would notice my classes were more diverse. So that was one of the things that I recognized that subconsciously, um, people of color tend to do is like, we don't even know that we're like, I don't know if I wanna go to that person's class, cuz they're Caucasian.

We're not thinking like anything like that, but our mind for whatever reason, it's not comfortable. So, um, so I just think that if we just kind of remove that, I think that that will help, um, bringing, you know, these holistic practices to, um, diverse communities. 

Ethan: It's kind of an innate need for people to go where they're most comfortable, uh, in a lot of ways. So you're right. It is subconscious and it's not even really to be disrespectful. It's to be comfortable. I mean, as a bisexual person, right, I'm more comfortable around people who are queer because I, because there's just certain things that are understood without having to say them. There's a understanding that isn't there among people who haven't gone through that or haven't really been able to come out and live that way.

So it's definitely understandable and definitely something that needs to be talked about in society. One of the things that we also need to see is this existence of multiple types of people and different experiences and more diversity and inclusion in not only our actual practices, businesses and regular life, but also in like our presentation online and social media.

That's one of the goals that I was setting out to solve. "How do we show people that it's not all about the one standard of per of people?" It's not all about this nine to five job situation. Some people, it just doesn't work for them. And some people, it just doesn't work that you live a life that's been laid out for you, things change.

Right. And that doesn't mean that it can be bad. It doesn't mean that it can be even better. It just means that you have to learn to roll with. And that doesn't mean that that's an exclusively LGBTQ plus or BIPOC individual's experience. It just means that there are certain things that you have to be more concerned about when you are, when you know that you're gonna get looked at a little bit differently in society.

And when you're trying to do something as big as start a business, I mean, even still it's, it's not always as easy and it still comes with challenges, but we're in a place where exactly, like we said earlier, generationally, it's changing. Kind of paradigm shift is happening where we're saying like it's kind of obnoxious that we have members of our political offices who are still rooting against the majority of the country, right?

Arlene: Yes. That's pretty unfortunate.

Ethan: So obviously diversity and inclusion is significantly important. There is no question about it and that's kind of the whole point of what we're talking about today. But what does that look like for you in terms of your work and how you're making an impact in the world? And I guess, ideally, what would you say a more diverse and inclusive environment with spiritual wellness and these spiritual deserts? What would that look like?

Arlene: Well, I think, um, what it would look like is. You know, another, another Arlene walking in  mm-hmm,  maybe 10 years from now and wanting to start a business, wanting to, you know, tap into these spiritual, spiritual, um, holistic modalities and not walking into a room and feeling like you're the odd man. Or the odd person out. Um, and then also just, you know, having diverse, even like with the LGBTQ community, like, I don't see any, any, like for example, yoga teacher, it's like very rare that I would just as rare as it would be me seeing, um, an African American woman teaching a yoga class and I'm just picking on yoga, but there's like other that I could find.

Yeah, I can, I can think of. Um, so it would just have a more diverse, um, you know, Outlook on that. And just an experience because there's things that I'm gonna bring to the table. Like, for example, um, you know, if you ever go into a yoga class and you pay attention to the music, like my music that I would bring to the table would be totally different than a person who is Asian or a person who's African American or person who's of Indian descent like that just alone would change the whole experience.

And it's just having. As an example of music on how much that can even change the environment is something that's like minute compared to all the things that we could also be bringing to the table, which is having more diversity and inclusion, um, when it comes to experiencing, you know, these. Spiritual holistic modalities.

And I also think that, um, you'll start to see a passion because for example, when I start to bring, you know, my Latin American things that I've learned, um, you know, my spiritual rituals and practices that I've learned and tapped into from. Latin America, there's such a passion behind it because it's like, I can feel the ancestors behind me,

like, "yes. Yes. Miha," like "so proud." And like, and so once you start to, you know, bring in your own spiritual ancestry into these things, you just become proud. It's like, I'm proud to wave that, that flag, you know, when you go to other countries, you start to see like the proud that people wave that flag.

Not to say that we don't have that here in the United States, but I think. I, I do notice that there is like this lack of like this pride for our country. Sometimes when you go to other countries, they're just like, who rah about it. Right. So it would be almost the same idea. Like you come into a space and you're just accepting, um, it doesn't have to look a certain way.

You know, you don't have to wear these clothes. You don't have to pretend to wear that. You even like these outfits, like you could just show up in whatever. Um, so it's. It making it, um, really basic, to be honest, super basic. Like again, like I said earlier, just going back to 5,000 years ago when you were no Mads wandering around and people were like, Hey, come hang out in my tribe.

And you're like, okay, cool. I look totally different, but they're welcoming me. Like, it's the same exact idea. It's just. Hard for us to tap into that because there's so many commercials and, um, social media, and we need to look like this and we look like that. We need to be like this. We need to talk like this, but if we allow ourselves to be more diverse, um, then I, and open to that, then I think that alone will change, uh, the future of spirituality and wellness.

Ethan: It's as simple as just opening your eyes and being able to then open your heart to just new concepts and things that are outside of yourself. And that's true of any culture in any country, any society it's just, everybody lives differently than you do. Even a matter of the people who might live down the street live completely different compared to you. And the same is true about everybody you'll meet in daily life. And that's just, it's important to be aware of that. And it's important to be able to say that you're okay with that. And when the opportunity arises, you're also okay with embracing it and understanding it and immersing yourself in it, in an appropriate and respectful way.

Arlene: Yes. And I think, um, too, that I, I personally like to understand foundations of things like I'm that nerd that's like, okay, let me know the history behind. Um, and so that also, I think once we, you know, bring these, um, histories out and stuff, I think, and basically allowing people to be okay with asking questions, cuz sometimes people are shy to ask questions because they feel like they might be stepping on somebody's toes just by asking.

But it's like, well, how are we supposed to learn? From each other, if we don't ask if we are okay with maybe, maybe the question's offensive, but at least this person's trying to understand. So I think there's a lot of judgment around just even asking questions, like how dare this person. It's like, yeah, but maybe.

Again, unfortunately, that person's naive enough. Right? Right. So maybe I could just suck it up a little bit and kind of teach them and show them and, and maybe even talk to them about it. It's just communication, too. Is, is another thing that I see is lacking.

Ethan: Right. I touched upon this in the previous episode that I did, and I talked about the idea of. I always say, "you can ask me once respectfully, but then it's on you to continue to practice that understanding." Like, if I tell you somebody's pronouns and then when you get angry at them, or there's an argument or something that happens, and you decide not to use the correct pronouns because you feel that they don't deserve to be validated that way.

It's things like that. We've already told you once you do not need to be informed again. Now it's on you to be respectful and mindful human being of the fellow human beings that exist around you. And I always say you can ask, but just be respectful. That's it, but I get also why people might not want to be the person to give that information out.

Like, I often say Google is free, right?

Arlene: True. 100% there's libraries. Right.

Ethan: Right. And it's not as simple as saying, like, I have black friends or I have friends from the Latinx community or friends from friends who are queer. Like it's not as simple as that. Do you have genuine relationships with people and understand their lived experience enough that makes you feel a little bit upset about how the we have a lot of people in this country?

And you know, it's, it's making these genuine connections and being an ally to all of these different communities and meeting them and understanding intersectionality and how that works.

So Arlene, it's been really awesome talking to you today, and I wanna make sure that people know where to find you. So if people are gonna go look for any of the things that you do, where can they find you on social media online? What should they look for and how can they reach out to you for anything that you do?

Arlene: Yes. Thank you. I appreciate that. Um, so for the nonprofit, um, you would just head over to our Instagram.

We do, we are in the process of creating a website, um, just we're waiting for certain approvals when you're a nonprofit and such, but it is going to be the "" so if you tend to listen to this, like months later, um, that's where you'll probably be able to find us, but also Instagram is our main, um, social media outlet of choice. So sending us a direct message. Um, also we have a link tree where. Donate to us. We might have, um, our information for future events that we're doing to raise money. Um, we will also have, um, uh, a sign up there for a newsletter. If you're interested in volunteering with us, um, you don't have to be based in San Diego for, to be volunteer.

Um, so that's like one of the easy spots to get to just to kind of get access to everything.

And then as far as my personal business Luna Soul Wellness I would say the same thing just to go over to my link tree, check it out. You know, different workshops or different things that I'm working on personally for my business.

And, um, I do have a Facebook, but I also have my website, which is

Ethan: Awesome. And all of this will be in the podcast description as well as the transcript. Well, thanks for joining me today, Arlene. And. I can't wait to connect again. I'd love to have you back and I'd love to be able to continue doing more.

So, Arlene Salcedo everybody.

Arlene: Thank you.

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