Written by: Evolve Holistic Co-Founder, Lilian Motta
Emotional Intelligence is the key to understanding ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. At times we may let our emotions dictate our actions but when you have more awareness you can see how to step out of the situation and have better judgement. I have enjoyed many great conversations with Mireya Mata about this subject in relationship to parenting, work, personal growth and education and I am happy to present her to the Evolve Holistic Collective as one of our Emotional Self-Care Experts.
Mireya has been an educator in the community and education system for more than 16 years, she has a specialized background in working with children and teens dealing with mental health issues, learning and behavioral challenges. She seeks to also motivate women find their inner strength through sharing her passions of healing plants and herbs, yoga, the moon and self-healing methods. Mireya’s purpose is to build community between women and their children to be able to communicate their needs and raise a generation of thoughtful and self-aware children; she leads workshops in mindfulness, creativity, emotional intelligence and self-advocacy. I had the pleasure of a little Q&A with Mireya so you can have an insight of how she is helping people Evolve Emotionally.
Lilian Motta from Evolve Holistic (EH): When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
Mireya: I was sitting in a class during my first semester of law school saying to myself what the fuck am I doing here. Up until that point I had worked as a youth outreach worker and felt to nourished with my role in the world. Working with youth from some of the poorest areas made me realize how much I wanted to become part of the growth and empowerment of youth.
EH: What was your first teaching job?
Mireya: I would say my first teaching job was running training for youth leadership with the City of Toronto but formally I began in the East end teaching social science to some amazingly smart individuals. Best experience ever! I learned and taught about the nitty gritty part of society. Some of those students have gotten married/engaged and we still get together now and again. I guess it was a long time ago.
EH: How has your career evolved throughout the years?
Mireya: Like everything in my life, my teaching career has evolved as well. I started teaching what some might call "academically elite students" but I slowly made my way towards teaching those who I call my "heart and soul students". I am know a curriculum leader working with students with special needs and teachers in that area as well. Over the years I have seen that the most amazing gift we can give our students are not necessarily academic skills but life skills to navigate this sometimes harsh world. I am so in love with what I do because I see what giving students a voice and empowering them can do.
EH: Who are the people that you love learning from?
Mireya: That is a tough one because I feel like I learn from everyone around me. My parents, my mentor Angie Tobon from Vital Ki, and of course my son. In terms of teachers that gauge my teaching practice and also my parenting (they come hand in hand), I would say Daniel Goleman and Shafali Tsabary.
EH: Why are you passionate about educating people on Emotional Intelligence?
Mireya: Because it is a matter of sink or swim. It is scientifically proven that children/youth that have a higher Emotional Intelligence are more confident, better at self regulation, and have better relationships with themselves and others. I have seen it's power with my own eyes especially with my son.
EH: How has Emotional Intelligence played a role in your career and personal life?
Mireya: So a few years back, after drowning and sinking I was confronted with actually living what I preach. I had all these tools but was not putting it to practice in my own life. I felt unfulfilled in my life all around and was not dealing with some emotional scars I was walking around with. Awareness of self and others is probably one of the hardest things to actually master, I still continue to grow on that end but I celebrate how far I have come because of those amazing tools I keep in my back pocket for rainy days.
EH: What do you think is one of the biggest challenges people have in relation to their Emotions?
Mireya: Suppressing, ignoring and escaping your emotions because of societies boxes and restraints.
EH: What are the different ways that you are changing the relationship people have with their emotions? (blogs, events, planning retreats)
Mireya: I am starting in my own personal circles first with family, friends and colleagues. So far I have been blogging, creating videos and planning mindful family events with Evolve Holistic. So grateful for this partnership as it is allowing me to share my passion with others who seek a more conscious way of life. I am also looking forward with planning a future family retreat with Lilian at Evolve Holistic...this will be groundbreaking and totally original as Emotional Intelligence will be made accessible to families.
EH: What is one self care tip you have to evolve emotionally?
Mireya: Giving yourself time and space to feel what you feel in a compassionate way with an open heart.
EH: What is your superpower?
Mireya: My memory (I have an insane ability to retain information. It is sometimes scary) and my heart (just want to spread love).
We would love to welcome Mireya Mata to the Evolve Holistic Team!
Written by Evolve Holistic’s Co-Founder Lilian Motta.