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Conversations with Brenda Sarai Zuniga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brenda Sarai Zuniga.

Hi Brenda Sarai, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve always been an artist. A singer, dancer, performer through and through, with a passion for philanthropy. However, If you would’ve told me I’d be a comedian/performer, who created a mental health comedy podcast, has a mindfulness coaching company, and is involved in the world of pageantry…I would’ve never believed you. Everrrr. I was smuggled into this country at one year old by a coyote (this is what we called those who help people cross the border). I was raised by teenage parents who risked our lives for the chance at the American Dream…and they never let me forget it. LOL #NoPressureThough

In 2018, my entire life changed. I went after my dreams with full force. I launched my Mindfulness coaching company, entered the world of pageantry, began training for Miss California USA, and began performing at The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. That same year I became a YLC board member of Smile Train, an international charity providing free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery for children globally, and with the help of my comedy peers, went on to raise $10,000 for children in need. #TeamNoSleep #Jk #SleepIsImportant

In 2019, after the suicide of a dear friend in my comedy community, I teamed up with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental illness, the nation’s largest mental health organization. I became a certified speaker for their “Ending the Silence” and “In Our Own Voice” programs. I speak at schools, hospitals, and support groups, nationwide, educating our youth on mental health and suicide prevention. Last year I launched my video podcast “Getting Mental with Brenda Sarai Zuniga”, which brings mental health education in a fun and relatable way. I sing, dance, and perform comedy as I share my mental health journey. It’s my outlet where I’m 100% ME. Raw and honest, I share my struggles, how I overcame them, and how mindfulness changed my life. #LetsHaveFunGettingMental

As a Mindfulness coach, I empower my clients by using my Mx3 formula and teaching them practical tools backed by neuroscience to overcome anxiety, panic attacks, depression and build self-confidence. The Mx3 formula combines Mindfulness, Music, and Meditation and…It’s so much FUN!! I blend all three into my coaching. This combination allows for you to experience the benefits of a Mindfulness practice PLUS the benefits of music mood. This allows for neurogenesis and the release of your feel good neurotransmitters by using auditory stimulation and mindful awareness.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not. At. All. Having been smuggled into the U.S. at one year old and raised by teenage parents was no joke. My parents divorced when I was six, I lived in 15 homes and attended 11 schools growing up. All while being undocumented. Being deported back to Mexico had always been my biggest fear. In 2018, After a grueling process, my biggest worry subsided when I became a US Citizen, a triumph 25 years in the making. In addition, it wouldn’t be until I was 25 that I was given an ADHD diagnosis. It was a huge relief to put a name to how I’ve operated my entire life. Hyperactive, loud, never stopped talking, creative artist who would burst into song and dance in the middle of class…everything made sense.

Upon diagnosis, I began to treat my ADHD and my life changed for the best. However, I’m grateful for my adversity filled upbringing. I credit all that instability for making me highly adaptable to my environments, building massive resilience, compassion, and LOTS of humor…around everything that happened to me. I was raised in a Mexican household that never spoke about mental health; it was highly stigmatized. I began showing signs of anxiety as a child and depression in my teens. My parents would say things like “What do you have to be sad about? You have a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back. What are you anxious about? We wished we had your life. Why can’t you be normal?.” – That’s when began to internalize a deep sense of shame and felt “not normal” for experiencing said conditions. I didn’t grow up with a supportive family, so I relied heavily on my school counselors, teachers, and friends to be my support system in my teen years. They validated my reality and made me feel seen. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t talk to people about what I was going through on a daily basis. I’ve always had a fascination with the human psyche.

In college, I majored in Psychology and loved every minute of it, but my anxiety and depression became severe to the point of developing panic attacks. Full-blown panic attacks where I thought I was going to die. Everytime. This is when I decided to seek professional help and find a therapist. It wasn’t easy beginning my mental health journey, but it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I began to heal generational trauma by completely rewiring my cognitive perceptions and responses. I work on myself daily, and there’s nothing more I love than being challenged by a self-limiting belief and overcoming it with my new set of positive coping skills. Trust me when I say, If I can do it, you can too. 🙂

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m an artist above everything. I’m a Comedian, Singer, Dancer, and Actress. On the business side of things, I have my own company and services include Mindfulness coaching, mental health motivational speaker, and business consultant.

In my coaching, I specialize in overcoming anxiety, depression, self-empowerment, and ADHD management. I have a four weeks program and an 8-week program. My coaching is about applying practical exercises that create neurogenesis (new neurons) and weaken the connections between the fear centers of the brain. I’ll give you the tools needed to create healthy thoughts and behavior patterns, calm the anxious mind, enjoy the present moment, and cultivate a balanced frame of mind. All while having fun!

As a mental health motivational speaker, all keynote speeches and bookings are customized. I work with you to understand your audience, your theme and your goals for the presentation. All titles and concepts can be mixed and matched to create the perfect program for your audience.

As a business consultant, I guide fellow entrepreneurs how to start their own company around mental health and the tools needed to build social media presence.”

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Never. Ever. EVER. Give up. When things don’t go according to “plan”, we PIVOT, but we always keep the eye on the prize. Read the following book. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It changed my life. To everyone reading this, know that you are strong, you matter, and you create your own future. Be an unstoppable force. Whatever you decide to pursue in life, go after it with every fiber of your being. The most important thing to remember though, and I can’t say this enough, is to stay kind in the process. Kindness is the driving force behind everything I do and the thing that keeps me going. May this post bring you inspiration to know that if I can do it, you CAN too.

Pricing:

  • Mindfulness Coaching – Currently offering sliding scale. Schedule a free consultation on my website.
  • 8 Week Program: Own My Mastery – Currently offering sliding scale. Schedule a free consultation on my website.
  • Business Consulting – $150/Hr.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Brenda Sarai Zuniga and Dexter Brown

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