Reformation, Courage, and Vulnerability with Ceasar F. Barajas
Ceasar: Please take a breath with me.
Karuna: Alrighty. (big sigh)
Ceasar: Oh, yes, that’s a good one. I love when people audibly sigh. Mmmm
Karuna: Oh, you know, what I really like is flutter lips. I find that it is very soothing for the old nervous system.
Ceasar: Love them. And I’m that guy that’s in meditation or in class, fitness or yoga. And I’m like, (makes flutter lips noise) yeah, all all the time. All the time.
Karuna: Amazing! So,Hi. I’m Karuna. I’m the founder and executive director of Mind Oasis and this is Meditation Happy Hour, Tea Talk and Truth with Karuna and my guest today is Ceasar F. Barajas. Cesar, how are you?
Ceasar: I feel like the how are yous are loaded questions these days.
Ceasar: I will say to you that I’m doing OK and I’m maintaining. And I’m going to turn that question around and ask you, how are you holding up? How’s your heart? Because my heart feels good. Very grateful to be here. But, fighting the anxieties that surround me daily and that’s part of what we’re going to talk about today, is how to walk through that and how to step through that without getting too dirty. But how is your heart, Karuna?
Karuna: I’m really happy you’re asking me. Ummm, so thank you first of all for asking the question. My heart, as I described it earlier to a friend, is a mixed bag at the moment.
Ceasar: I’m resonating with that deeply.
Karuna: Yeah, and I mean, I’ll even gift you a little bit of explanation here, because I’d like to invite others who are like me to see if they noticed this. So, I ask people how they are. I ask people the questions. And I oftentimes am in the role of teacher, though, of course, we’re always in the role of teacher and student. And what I realized about that. Is one of the reasons that I’m the question answerer or excuse me, asker is honestly to avoid being the responder.
Karuna: And it’s only been in the past couple of months that I really connected those dots together.
Ceasar: Isn’t that something. Here you are instinctively, habitually, you were in a particular pattern of behavior. But it wasn’t until a couple of months ago, as you stated, that you were kind of like, wait a second, there’s a little light to shed on this. And (coughing followed by a long pause) Excuse me. I was choking on my water. How many of us at some point get an opportunity to really self reflect in that way? And I’m curious as to what prompted that for you? Like, how did that all of a sudden come about?
Karuna: Oh, gosh, you know, therapy and those pesky life coaches who won’t let you just off.
Ceasar: You mean those pesky life coaches that keep asking you those really annoying questions that make you (Ugh) but then you’re like, OK, no, no, no, you’re right. You’re right. Yea.
Karuna: And they send you books and they send you blog posts and then you really reluctantly read them because you fucking paid for it. So why not?
Ceasar: And you’re like, OK.
Ceasar: I love that. So we’re talking about sort of a forcibly, intuitively, universally gifted to you intervention slash enlightenment.
Karuna: You betcha, baby. You betcha. All right. So, Ceasar, tell me about your morning. It’s how I kind of like to start the podcasts. Like for you, you’re East Coast, you’re already into your afternoon, but what does your morning what do they look like?
Ceasar: First thing in the morning upon that first alarm. Because, I’m a, I’m a two alarm person, including the snoozing. I remember vividly years ago reading a Garfield comic. I remember back in the day when we used to read newspapers and I would go grab the Sunday comics. And Garfield says, hey, the earlier that I set my alarm in the morning, the later I can oversleep. That thought, that Garfield cartoon is stuck with me. So I’m a pretty much depending on where I need to be. The alarm has been set two to two and a half hours before. First alarm wakens me and it’s beautiful Gongs because long gone are the blah, blah, blah that’s going to wake me up. And then the secondary snoozing alarm is Prince’s latest theme music, John Williams. So there’s this beautiful string. So I will first thing in the morning once I start to get up and awaken before my feet even hit the ground, I come into a dead bug and I will throw my feet in my hands in the air. And if you were to put a camera on me, it would look like I was singing and dancing and being possessed by the demons themselves. Because I have to move and groove in that way in order for me to even step to go to the bathroom without hobbling. My old stuntman, physical dancer body is like, no, there’s no way we can just jump out of bed anymore. But I love movement first thing and then from there we make our way to grab the coffee. We make our way to sit. And I try to do all of that before I even pick up the phone. I do have a wonderful apple app.
Karuna: Oh, so good.
Ceasar: Yeah. So I, I do go to the phone eventually because my, my daily scripture study is there. So event I do end up picking up the phone, but before the email is before the text before to see who on social said something to me, it’s right to the Bible app for me. And then from there we go about the rest of the day depending on what’s going on.
Karuna: You’re in New York.
Ceasar: In New York currently, though, as we record this in Houston, Texas, with my parents tending to some family matters. So I am from Texas, grew up in Houston, and it is very, very weird to be here because New York and Houston, Texas, both major cities, we’re talking completely different energies. And so I’m forgetting often here in Houston as I drive around just how spaced out everything is, because in New York, everything I need is within a five square mile radius within 30 to 40 blocks. And here I’m like, oh yeah, I have to drive thirty seven miles to go visit my brother.
Karuna: Isn’t it an amazing our life experiences are all so very different. So, can you tell us a little bit, Ceasar, about what you’ve been up to in this world? Um, I should give a little bit of context very soon, very, very, very soon. On the 10th of July, Cesar is bringing a master class to Mind Oasis called, Restorative and Reformative Meditative Movement. I have so many questions I want to ask but,
Karuna: I’ll ask one first and then please also take us on your journey in life that you wish to share.
Karuna: And that is I think you just said that you were a stuntman.
Ceasar: Ah, yes. So we have a variety of lives that I’ve lived. I’m so excited to sit with Mind Oasis and present this masterclass on Reformative and Restorative techniques involving breath work, involving movements of various aspects. But all of that, honestly, has been forty five plus years in the making. I started as a professional performer when I was 15, so I started singing and dancing for theme parks in particular here in Houston, a Six Flags theme park called Astro World. And then my life through high school was that as an after school job and was involved academically, athletically. And then I joined the Navy and I spent seven years in the US Navy, eventually making my way to college, where I was going to be commissioned as a naval officer. And the US Navy and I disagreed on which direction I was heading because my intent was med school and the Navy said, no, we’re going back to the Middle East. So where we currently are now, loosening and tidying up the final ties within Afghanistan after Iraq, this was right around ninety nine to thousands. So I got out of the Navy and then 9/11 happened and was told I have to come back and figure it out, how to take care of my commitments to the Navy at the same time, start grad school for performing. So we went from the military. All of a sudden I get accepted into this school where they’re teaching me the ins and outs of musical theater, dance pedagogy, stagecraft. And so that started my professional performing career. So my professional performing career has spanned over 30 years in all aspects of television, film, stage, Broadway, regional voiceover, stunt work, because as a dancer, picking up stunts was just fight choreography, which is the same for me as learning choreography.
Ceasar: And all the while I was battling the entire time, living this really awesome life, my own anxieties and my depression. And what I didn’t realize at the time was post-traumatic stress. And so a lot of what I teach from now, from the meditation, mindfulness, movement, breathing techniques aspect is just to remind people that every single one of us, when we start to freak out, that it’s absolutely normal. The idea, though, is how do we go from that freaking out, which is absolutely normal, and come back to a tolerable window of tolerance. How do we remove ourselves from staying hyper vigilant or hyper aware? And so my techniques and certifications have come through meditation and yoga nidra, and yoga and breathing techniques. But honestly, none of it started to piece together in an understandable form or fashion until my divorce, which was 11 years ago this year. At that point, my ex-wife was in danger. She was in danger. Physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, and I was putting myself in that same danger, so when she left, that was the first wake up call. And so I share with people 11 years ago was when I found my emotional sobriety. But along the lines of emotional sobriety or sobriety in general, whether it’s substance abuse or gambling or sex or food, you have relapses. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. And some days that roller coaster takes you up and some days it doesn’t safely bring you down.
Ceasar: That mother’efer crashes you into the ground and the earth absorbs you and then it picks you up, dust you off whether you’re ready to or not, and then friggin’ throws you back into this cart. So that’s that’s been the journey for the last 11 years. I then found an organization called the Veterans Yoga Project. Go and check out www.VeteransYogaProject.org. And they saved my life because they were the first people, because at that point I’d already been teaching yoga. So I already have this familiar understanding with Pranayama and the breath, but never connected those dots, never connected the dots between what breath work, what physical movement and what a spiritual and soulful connection can do. VYP, specifically, Dr. Dan Libbey, Deborah Ginnette, Brianna Renner all taught me the physiology. So for the first time in my very scientific nerd loving brain, I understood why taking a conscious control deep breath is beneficial. Why it activates the vagus nerve. And then what happens once the vagus nerve is activated. Then the parasympathetic nervous system comes into this place of rest and digest. We’re looking at a beginning of a decompression, increasing focus, clarity, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. And all of a sudden it just clicked. And then I started teaching from that standpoint. No longer, do me a favor, find a comfortable seat and take a deep breath, but now do me a favor, find a comfortable seat, take a deep breath and let me tell you why. And that’s what’s lacking in our current yoga, meditation, mindfulness movement.
Karuna: One of the strong encouragements I’ve received recently from my beautiful therapist, who’s brilliant. Is her request. Now, mind you, I guide a lot of meditation. My background is Tibetan Buddhism with the beautiful Hector La out of Three Jewels, New York.
Ceasar: I love Three Jewels.
Karuna: I know and I think you know my beautiful teacher.
Ceasar: I do. He’s one of my dearest friends. I love that.
Karuna: So I spend a lot of time particularly guiding Shamatha meditation and helping people to connect with their breath and then noticing the space between the breaths. And that’s kind of my jam, like what’s available in this liminal space. Right? So she’s encouraging me to get out of my monkey mind and to drop into my body. And I was looking at her and thinking. Isn’t that what I teach and then I realized I really do spend a whole lot of time creating story around what’s happening in my life and by noticing this and now using that to actually drop into my heart space. I’ve also been noticing that I can actually get it to shut up. And it’s really interesting and it’s been this fascinating, like, what the hell? I’ve been guiding meditation for like almost a decade, or at least I’ve been in the practice for a decade.
Karuna: And and then all I had to do was have someone say, you know, it sounds like your monkey mind is still really moving around up there. And so it’s this like practice that I can do at any time. I’m sharing this with you because I’m hearing you say, How do we get into our bodies? And I want to hear more about that.
Ceasar: What’s beautiful about that is thank you for sharing that first off, I am I’m a fan of Three Jewels. I’m a fan of Hector. Here you are saying 10 plus years in the game, you’re a veteran. But honestly, we’re going to be rookies until the day we die. And I’m loving that you’re sharing that until we’re ready. Until we’re ready to receive that info. It’s just going to be white noise and then one day you’re like, oh, I’ve probably been hearing this. And that’s part of the clarity for me. Once I connected with VYP in twenty fifteen, the last six years for me has has grown exponentially as a teacher, specifically the last year. Here we are. For me, I tell people. The roller coaster slash dumpster fire of a year started for me the day Kobe Bryant died, January 26, 2020 as a fan and as a sports fan. But I was a fan of him. And, you know, here’s a beautifully talented black entrepreneur, businessman, family man, rewriting for many of the stereotypes of what a person of color, a man of color is in this country who’s found success. So he, he passing away just started this blah. And I didn’t realize how much of that trauma I was vicariously absorbing. So then fast forward through pandemic beginnings. I’m in New York, the epicenter. My partner and I then are Covid ill for nine plus weeks. I would wake up in the middle of the night not knowing if my partner is breathing. And we’re told specifically, unless you’re in a respiratory arrest, don’t come to the hospital.
Ceasar: So there was that. And then the Black Lives Matter movement started. And I have been an advocate and an activist since day one for black lives, for brown lives, for the indigenous folks of this country, for the LGBTQIA+ community. So then all of that is just adding to my burnout. To my compassion fatigue. But I didn’t even know what compassion fatigue was. And then June 7th, 2020, my world completely shattered. At that point we were fixing cracks in the foundation with band aids. And on June 7th, 2020, it all just, into a million irreparable pieces, broke apart. And my partner and I split and I lost the greatest love that I have, in my current life, known. Because, I put myself in the same place that I was in a decade plus ago with my ex-wife. Not realizing that I’m absorbing as a healer, as a caretaker, as a nurturer, as a motivator. I’m absorbing all of these traumas and not releasing them. So her leaving then prompted what? Her leaving, prompted me to then study like veraciously. I have over the last year been absorbing, committing to memory, teaching the teachings of Dr. Gabor Mate, Dr. Peter A. Levine, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk. So we’re talking about leading experts in the field of psychosomatic symptoms involving trauma. So for me, the connection of the dots are, it’s in my body. What do I do with it? Well, hi, I’ve been a dancer since I was three years old.
Ceasar: I was the little kid who fearlessly at weddings and Quinceaneras would jump on the floor. And I’m by myself. At eight years old I was on stage singing Michael Jackson’s, “Beat It” at a bluegrass festival. So by the time I started moving, movement has always offered for me a liberty to release an expression to how I’m feeling. I’ve worked with everyone in this world entertainment wise, from Grammy winners to Tony winners to Emmy winners to Oscar winners. I’ve worked with the top choreographers over the last 20 years. Not to name drop, but to say that it didn’t click until last year when I was sitting isolated in my New York City, Queens apartment that I need to get up and I need to move. Why? Because my depression and my anxiety had me under the covers for 17 out of 24 hours because I knew if I didn’t get up and just maybe do a sun salutation A or get up from this end the couch to the other end of the couch, that I was going to die. Because, my suicidal thoughts that had been present since I was 15 years, old off and on, depending on how bad I was feeling, where starting to come up. And I had my support system. I knew who to call. My therapist was working with me. My bio-energy healer was doing his best online via Zoom to just make sure that he could call me the next day and that I would answer. All of this is happening and I realized my movement, but it wasn’t yoga.
Ceasar: So what I want to share with people is that the definition of reform is to relinquish what once was self-critical behavior, self-destructive lifestyle. So in being a teacher, I want everyone to understand that through movement, through breath, and this is what the master class is going to cover, we can find ourselves in a position of reformation, which means it doesn’t matter where you came from, friends, it doesn’t matter. We are always at power and liberty and at will to rewrite, re-shift, regenerate, to restructure neural pathways so that we can step away from what was once blindingly heavy — a ball and chain. You can move through the muck in the mud to make it just a little bit easier to move because I’m not sitting here telling you that all of that’s going to go away. Hi. I had to sit and meditate to make sure that I was even in a position to receive this podcast interview with you, because my self-destructive thoughts this morning were like. Who makes you an expert on talking about this? So that’s self-doubt. My insecurity issues started to rise and then I stopped and I paused and I breathed. And before I logged onto the Zoom account to talk to you, I thought, no, there’s a reason why I’m still alive. And here I am, friends to help share this information. Not for profit, not for money, because I’m going to tell you right now, I don’t care. I would rather…
Karuna: Plus, it’s Mind Oasis, you’re not making a ton.
Ceasar: My God, it’s Mind Oasis.
Ceasar: But it’s just getting people to understand that they’re never alone. You’re always seen. You always heard. You always appreciated. And we already carry too much. So this is another four hour podcast. We already carry too much negative stigma surrounding mental health. Hi. What are we currently fighting about? Among many things, critical race theory. You think that black Americans who have a tendency to have higher incidence of prostate cancer and then die not because of a lack of medical care, but, Hi, let us maybe figure out that culturally, generationally, this has all been a part of a social malaise. You think that they’re not already generationally feeling stress and that then what that stress then leads to illness. That illness then leads the disease. That disease then leads to death. You think that my people, I’m first generation American, my parents are Mexican immigrants. You think that my Mexican immigrant parents who have been naturalized citizens for over 40 years, still don’t face strife because they sit in a store sometimes and speak Spanish to each other because that’s their native language. So rather than a place of acceptance, we’re excluding. Hi, let’s, let’s just take a pause. All of that to say we’re all, all, every single one of us, whether you’re left or right, whether you’re black or white, purple, polka dot, orange, it doesn’t matter. We’re all dealing with things. And the last year and a half have done nothing but exacerbate that. So how can we, how can we gain control? How can we find ourselves grasping at something a little more solid? First off, we release that control because, that control is nonexistent, friends. It’s take, I’m still trying to learn that. My therapist the other day, speaking of therapy, was like, yo, see, you do what you do sometimes because you need to be in control and informationally you need to absorb. And I’m like, shut up.
Ceasar: Stop it, because I know he’s right. So how can. Well, part of what will go over is part of that movement. And some of it involves simply sitting at your desk if you’re back to work or if you’re working from home and wiggling the toes and wiggling the fingers. Why? Because your body is telling your brain to tell your hands to move around. But the minute you tell your hands to wiggle and move around, guess what? I’m not thinking about the fact that I’ve got this grocery list of things that have to go by. I’m going my hand is moving right now, and it’s just a matter of tapping into that. And then throughout the variety of techniques that I’ve learned in my own therapies, because I would never, ever offer anyone something that I haven’t done myself. It’s just the idea that this is what’s helped me. How can you then take that so that it’s going to help and benefit you? And this is why I lead and I teach from a place of invitation only. Hey, maybe you take a sit, maybe you lay down on the ground, maybe you drive that right knee through the heart center and place it in between your hands. Maybe you go up into that Warrior one, because guess what? I’m not in control of how you choose to receive or reject the information I’m giving you. So for me, long gone, is me telling people to do something. Nah. That’s why I stopped telling people I’m a teacher, I’m a guide. I’m basically your yoga, meditation, fitness, dance, stunt work, choreography, musical theater, knowledge, master class in acting, guide. I’m here basically as a waiter. I’m going to present to you a menu. You choose what you want.
Karuna: Oh, I love that.
Ceasar: Thank you. You’re welcome to take it.
Karuna: I might borrow it.
Ceasar: Please do.
Karuna: I have a few different things I’d like to share with you. One is a sincere thank you for your voice and your courage and your honesty.
Ceasar: Thank you.
Karuna: What came up for me. A lot of things, but one of the things that came up for me is how I had to self talk myself out of bed to be with you and my prior podcast person this morning. I am at heart an introvert. But I live in extraverted life and I’m forty six, so I’m apparently going, Oh, I bought a motorcycle.
Karuna: So I’m apparently going through like a totally typical midlife sort of crisis thing on top of the pandemic and everything else. And what I’ve discovered is every time I’m brave and I show up, no matter how hard it is, it was a little hard today and I get to connect with someone like you, then my world is a better place. And I don’t want to spoil my my final question for you, which will come a little bit later. But.
Karuna: But, my truth is that while sometimes connection is hard, connection is beneficial, and that’s sort of the whole jam at Mind Oasis, right? We say we’re a meditation community.
Karuna: You could take… Who gives a rat’s ass about the meditation, really. The community is what’s so potent and it’s lovely because we do it around meditation, which is a benefit to this world. Right. So that’s one thing I wanted to share with you. I guess the other aspect of what you just shared is, we as humans face difficulties and sometimes our partners leave, or in my instance, you know, sometimes a mom dies, or, you know, whatever it might be. And there’s so much power in seeing and hearing one another. Because when it feels alone. Whether it’s through depression or suicide or, for me, just sort of wanting to check out. Avoidance. But when we can really see and feel another person and know that they’ve experienced things just like us. I think it gives us permission to just be. Whether we’re freaking the fuck out or whether we’re having an enlightenment moment or anything in between or it’s just boredom, whatever. But just knowing that it’s going to be, like, it’s going to be OK and it’s not going to be OK.
Ceasar: Mmmm, so grateful that you’re sharing. First off, shout out to being forty six and alive and fabulous. Because my favorite line from Chicago, the musical, stated by Roxie. And she states in talking to Billy Flynn, the lawyer. I’m a whole lot older than I ever intended to be. I am a whole lot older than I ever intended to be. Especially coming from a background where I have been shot at. I did a lot of the wrong things. I hurt a lot of people. I’ve been locked up. So, thank you for acknowledging my openness, my vulnerability, and thank you for sharing just as bravely and just as courageously. And be careful on the motorcycle. I’m a licensed motorcycle rider, so I know what it’s like to be on a motorcycle and be in meditation, in a meditative state. So with that said, the idea of that connection, and I just recently watched a documentary on Dr. Gabor Mate, and he shared I mean, not two days ago, which is awesome, because I’m able to then disseminate and share it with you. He stated that I never knew. He goes, you can feed and you can change a baby from birth until it’s grown up. But if you don’t pick up the baby, they’ll die. That’s how important connection is, that’s how important it is that over the course of the last year, we need to realize that those important structurally, foundationally present social communities and circles and constructs and your homies and the tribe and all your peeps were viciously ripped away from us.
Ceasar: So now we’re just getting back to some sense of connection again, you know, but now we’re we’re speaking to who’s vaccinated, who isn’t. But I would love to lovingly remind everyone that at the time of this recording, we are still in a pandemic people. There is no, Oh, it’s over. We’re past it. No, it’s still happening. Just please be safe. Please be careful. But with that said, we’re now realizing. Oh, my gosh. Maybe getting together with my friend, who I maybe normally would have blown off, is an awesome idea. Because I would love nothing more. I’m having dinner after this with a friend of mine from high school. I haven’t seen her in 30 years. I was like, I’d love to. She’s like, You have any time? Yes, I will make time because there’s nothing like getting to sit with people again. There’s nothing with, there’s nothing more than getting to be around other people. And yes, Zoom and Google Meets, Microsoft team shout out to all of them were able to bring us together virtually, but it just isn’t the same. I told my therapist the minute I get back to his into his office and we can safely meet in New York, I’m going to hug him. And he’s like, you don’t need to hug me. And I’m like, no, I’m going to hug you.
Karuna: Hello, Im going to hug you. It’s going to be the ten second kind of hug too, sweetheart.
Ceasar: It’s going to be that what you may deem as awkward. But guess what, it’s going to be you and I connected for at least three to five breaths in order for both of our parasympathetic nervous systems to come to a magic point. And this is part of the work that I do, because within the last year, I failed to mention. I forgot to mention. I also found men’s group support. So hi, not only am I an advocate for the BIPOC LGBTQ communities, but I’m also an advocate for men. Gentlemen, it’s OK to be vulnerable. Hi, Brene Brown states it clearly, beautifully, that vulnerability is the courage. And so I’m now a regular attendee of men’s group support. But I’m also a facilitator now. So it’s getting together with anywhere from 20 to 50 men, two to three times a week and say to them fellas, yo, yoga’s not just white girls and Lululemon. No offense, I love white girls in Lululemon. I love women in general in Lululemon, but it’s about expanding those horizons. And so we’re getting a little bit more of that. Well, what’s yoga? Yoga’s more feminine. No, nope. Let me, come take class with me. I’ll show you just how strength building it can be. What you may deem, quote unquote, masculine. Well, hi. Part of being a good human is finding that aligned masculinity and femininity. So that’s and that may be segwaying into something else, but that’s all part of that connection. That’s all part of that social construct of coming together so that we can lean on each other. So that we can share and then come from a place sometimes where if Karuna and I were chatting, maybe she just needs to talk about this. I’m not here to fix her. I’m not here as her therapist. I’m not here any other form or fashion other than to listen. So then can we put ourselves in a position friends to non-judgmentally, just listen, in order to listen. In order to listen.
Karuna: Folks listening to this podcast can’t see my face, so I have to say, why is it like shit eating grin on my face. The reason is because, Ugh, I find it so hard. I want to go to fix immediately. I’ve been a fixer my whole life. And I think we’re kind of raised that way, like, or at least my education was like, you know, you get a problem and you problem solve.
Karuna: I was thankfully encouraged to to think critically, though many people aren’t. And so I. My husband, sometimes who’s a conscious man, will say to me, Karuna, I just want you to hear me. Like hear you? You want me to what? You don’t want me to fix the money thing we’re talking about or the relationship thing or the whatever thing we’re talking about that in my mind, I go to fix right away. And it has been such a Ahh. Joseph is going to hear this podcast and crack up. It’s been a really potent resource of learning for me. To try to just listen and not have to fix.
Ceasar: Thank you for admitting you’re a fixer. Hi, I’m right there with you, and you’re absolutely correct, I firmly believe, especially if we’re raised in an American society, regardless of whether you’re black, white, brown. The way we’re raised in America is on a system of reward versus punishment. So if you have a problem, guess what? You need to fix it, because guess what? Then you’ll be rewarded. We’re taught that as kids. We’re taught that as kids, if you have a problem and you don’t fix it, what happens? Punishment. So no wonder we all grow up. What? No, no, I, I mean, my friend is calling and she’s got this issue with her boyfriend. But guess what I need to solve it. It’s no wonder we all want to become fixers or those of us that are in our particular, foot, footsteps, footprints. Karuna and I are both teachers, I think we both vibe on that same level because we’ve been guides and nurturers. But part of it for me is like, oh, I’m in control. I get to be in front of a class of 30 people. And I get to say, do this. That’s in my mind and in my heart. But what comes out vocally is I’m inviting everyone to do this, but I’m like, who’s not doing it? And whoever is not, I’m like, what’s wrong? OK, you got a bum shoulder you get a pass. But I mean, that’s where we are. And how often do we get told, hi, if you make a mistake, it’s OK. We very rarely get told that. Ugh. And that can take us into a whole other seven hour segway, but I’m right there with you and good for you for hearing and listening to your husband when he says, I just want you to listen. I just want you to hear me out because, friends there is a difference we’re hearing are listening to. Yeah. It’s just…
Karuna: I’m not very good at it.
Ceasar: But, but you stating that you’re not very good at it just means it’s something to sit with. Hi, it’s all a practice. Life is a practice. That’s why yoga is called a practice. That’s why meditation is called the practice. It aint a meditation perfect. Yo, we’re, we’re never going to hit that. I mean, everyone from Deepak himself to my man Thich Nhat Hanh will tell us, oh, there’s no mastery in any of this. So I tell people all the time, get away from what is labeled as advanced or intermediate or beginner. I don’t even label my classes anymore. I work for several apps. I have my own subscription based website and none of it is hi, if you’re at this level. Nope. That’s why at the bottom of our flyer’s we’re going to send out (thank you, Kayleigh, shout out to Kayleigh for taking care of that), is all humans welcome. That’s it, period. No, this is what’s needed. This is the prerequisite. Nope if you’re human and you’re identifying as human, Great! Come join us. That’s it.
Karuna: My Dog Ruby Rose might join. I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s human.
Ceasar: Oh god, please. I have a thing with just pets joining us because they are energies as well.
Karuna: Isn’t it so amazing?
Ceasar: Which is why dogs and animals as therapy animals is so, ugh. Yeah, very excited about that. So yes. Tell Ruby Rose to show up.
Karuna: All right. I will let her know. So Restorative and Reformative Meditative Movement with Ceasar is on the 10th of July, which is coming up very quickly. It’s a Saturday. It’s three hours long. You can find out more at MindOasis.org and you just go to the learn tab and you will see this gorgeous being’s face there. Again, the 10th of July on a Saturday. And it’s at MindOasis.org. And you can just go to the learn tab. So tell me just a little overview of what we can expect during the three hours.
Ceasar: Sure. First off, I personally, if I hear something is three hours long, I’m like, ugh. So please know it is, it’s three hours long, but you’ll honestly feel like you want it to be six to nine or maybe over the course of two days. So within those three hours, we’re going to sit down and do a little bit of what we do at here. Just check in. I’m from the School of Coaching and Consulting and Teaching where it’s like, OK, without telling me a story, I’d love to know what you’re feeling physically. I’d love to know what you’re feeling emotionally. And then I’d love to know what it is that you need. So we’ll delve into why that’s important. All the while trying to silence that monkey mind, that screeching in your ear, all the while trying to tell ourselves, nope, the story is this. No, no, no, no, no. And so we’ll move from that into a guided relaxation. We’ll sit and we’ll explore the different kinds of movements, all the while giving you plenty of breaks. Trust me, I’m also like, oh, my God, I’m on 30 minutes. But it’s about putting ourselves in a position to understand that, again, reformation is possible. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is. All of us deserve all of us in our birth deserve love and acceptance. Dr. Kristin Neff, who’s one of my favorite leading experts on self compassion, says love and acceptance are our birthrights. So first and foremost, just come join. We’re going to have a good time. I have a tendency to teach very excitedly, as you can tell, just by listening. So that’s what you’re going to find yourself doing. All skill levels welcome. Again, just if you feel like taking a huge deep breath with me that day for for several hours and learning some really cool things, then please join us. Would be happy to have you.
Karuna: Going to be so amazing.
Ceasar: Thank you.
Karuna: All right. So my last question is this. So it’s the subtitle to my podcast is Tea Talk and Truth with Karuna. I actually, this is kind of fun because you’re in Houston. I’ve been sipping on Topo Chico. The best water out of Mexico, ever known to man, or woman or humankind. And Ceasar, what do you have going on? I saw you sipping something.
Ceasar: I actually am laughing because I drink Topo Chico on the regular but don’t during interviews because it causes me to burp. So in my BB8 Star Wars, I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic, in my BB8 Star Wars shaker here is regular filtered water because I’ve learned the lessons about eating too much before a podcast interview, before doing a scene on TV show. And so Topo Chico is my go to. There are several bottles in the fridge. I actually spent two and a half months on a sabbatical in Mexico, so I had it every day and found myself connecting to my ancestral strength and to the lands in which I come from. So Topo Chico makes me very excited. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s just mineral water, but like really awesome mineral water.
Karuna: The best.
Ceasar: Plus it’s gluten free, fat free and boneless.
Karuna: Yeah, it’s really quite healthy. So that’s our Tea for today. It was well for me, Topo Chico a new filtered water and then we definitely talked. So now we need to get to the last aspect, which is Ceasar F. Barajas, what is your truth?
Ceasar: My truth. Oh, wow. My truth is to lead a life. First and foremost, with compassion, with kindness, with courtesy, with inclusivity and with love. I survived, for a reason, and so if I can do that, that’s my truth.
Karuna: I have to add one word to your truth. Which is rude but, and living courageously.
Ceasar: Courageously, thank you. You know what, a friend of mine one time prior to us recording, Karuna very graciously asked, how do I pronounce my name? And I remember vividly having this conversation, speaking of courageous. And my friend goes, oh, I’ve been mispronouncing it in my head this whole time once I said, the last name is Barajas. And she goes, I just always figured it was a “Bourageous” because it rhymes with courageous. And I thought that was the most beautiful compliment that I’ve ever received. So thank you for not knowing what the word courageous means for me and adding it to my, my list of truths. So I will also take Ceasar F. Bourageous as in courageous. I love it. Thank you.
Karuna: Thats amazing. OK, so Cesar is going to be on Mind Oasis. You can go to MindOasis.org on the 10th of July. It’s super coming up. Come in for a wonderful masterclass. We’re calling Restorative and Reformative Meditative Movement. Ceasar, thank you so much. I have really enjoyed our time together.
Ceasar: So honored. Thank you so much. If you have any questions about anything else that I talked about, please feel free to reach out to me at www.thejourneywithceasar.com. Ceasar is spelled C-E-A-S-A-R. And I love hearing from folks whether you’ve got questions, concerns, comments or complaints. Yo, let’s talk.
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