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Exploring Life & Business with Tania Villegas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tania Villegas.

Hi Tania, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I guess the driving force of my journey was an accident I was in when I was 16 years old. I survived a coma and a traumatic brain injury at such a young age, I had no idea how to process it all. So, I lived as if it never happened and tried to get back to how my life was beforehand. I functioned as a “typical young lady” on the exterior but didn’t know I was still hurting on the inside. It wasn’t until my senior year at Cal State Northridge when my anxiety got out of control, I had insomnia for a month and after seeing a doctor I was advised to see a therapist. My anxiety decreased as I implemented daily exercise into my life and used it as a coping mechanism. But years later, the anxiety came back full force and I couldn’t understand why. Little did I know that my body was communicating how much healing I needed. I lived like this for years, kind of on an anxiety rollercoaster, it was a burden to live life this way. I was constantly dysregulated and even though I learned some coping mechanisms, they didn’t seem to work in real life. I worked as a Behavior Therapist during these turbulent times and after so many years I realized that my job was no longer a good fit for me. I avoided this change for years because it was all I knew, it was safe and it brought in consistent pay. But I listened to what my gut told me after continually coming home and preferring to stay in a dark room for hours, I knew that it was time to leave the field as a whole. I knew I had to quit my job, I was terrified. Working with children was all I knew, I have a BA in Child and Adolescent Development and never ventured outside of the educational field. I had no direction but I quit my job as a Behavior Therapist. I was 30 years old and had never worked a 9-5. I was desperate and I took a job as what I thought was an office clerk but ultimately turned out to be a logistics clerk who did occasional admin work. LOL mind you I am 4’9.5 and weigh 88 lbs., it wasn’t a walk in the park I’ll tell you that much. I found myself waking up at 4am anxious AF, fearful of my future. I was 30 and didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. So, because I was waking up so early and felt horrible, I decided to go on YouTube and begin to practice yoga. This was also the time when I was seeing a Reiki practitioner, non-force chiropractor, massage therapist all at the same time. I was catching up on the lack of attention that my body received after the almost fatal accident I survived. Being at the warehouse led me to seek a profession as a nanny, cause duh, I have experience. So, I moved on to nannying and that’s when I took my yoga practice to the next level, I finally attended a studio called Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks. Since I was spending on yoga at this time, I thought, hey why not work at a yoga studio. So, I landed a gig at YogaWorks in Tarzana. Simultaneously it was the same time I began a small crystal jewelry company called Pequenya (Peh-Kenya), Spanish for small, dainty, little. I sourced, handmade crystal bracelets and even went as far as producing pendants. While I was working at YogaWorks I also got certified as a Reiki practitioner with Stella Davis in Agoura Hills. 3 months later I got certified as a Crystal Healer with Auralux in Westwood. I began to see myself more as a proponent for healing. One day while I was working, a co-worker asked if I was going to join the upcoming teacher training. It was always in the back of my mind and funny enough I even picked the month of April to join teacher training and knew I wanted it to be led by David Lynch. This was all a timeline in my head, like a when pigs fly sort of perspective. Not really thinking it would come true. One day I was talking with a friend and she said, “I think you would be the perfect yoga teacher, there’s one coming up and it’s discounted for employees”. I looked at the flyer and why did it say the month I was thinking of starting the program. April and with David Lynch, the teacher I had picked for it. Needless to say I think you know what happened next.

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?
No, not quite, there have been many bumps along the way. Primarily business is not something I was familiar with growing up or had anything to do with as a young adult. In the beginning, the challenge was getting myself out there, I was really nervous, shy and insecure. I didn’t know if anybody wanted to hear me talk about the work I was learning or the services I was offering. It took some time to get comfortable wearing all those different hats and not having experience was a big one. Generally, people seek those who have been in their field for some time and have a wellspring to pull from. To overcome those obstacles, I just jumped in and asked the different yoga studios I worked for if they would let me lead workshops that implemented yoga, reiki and healing crystals. I pushed myself in, sink or swim. I learned through experience and putting myself in a lot of uncomfortable circumstances.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I originally started out making crystal jewelry. I wanted to share the importance of crystals with everybody. As I mentioned before I did it all, from sourcing crystals at massive warehouses, sourcing jewelry supplies, vending at different venues in L.A. like the Melrose Flea Market, and music venues – La Junta, setting up shop, breaking down shop, beading bracelets, creating descriptions, printing, bows, oh my and the list keeps going. I was burnt out. I decided no more jewelry and opened myself up to the idea of being a service provider. I created a wellness business where I have alchemized all three modalities, Yoga, Reiki, and Crystal healing. I facilitate those in need of an energy shift, a restoration. I have created a safe space, a refuge for those in discomfort. I craft and create an individualized experience where I tap into my higher power and serve as a conduit of light. 

As a woman that went through healing and is still going through it, I believe what sets me apart is my compassion and empathy for others, I come from a place of understanding, I can relate. I believe all the shit I went through was exactly why I do what I do. I can create space for someone because I have been through it and in so many ways understand it. This bandwidth also gave me a broader perspective to view life with. I am most proud of the clients I have. I am so blessed with the clients I have now and the clients I will have. I want the readers to know how much I care about being of service, I care because I went through it, I know it’s heavy, I know it’s a process and I know how much it means to have someone who creates the space of support. Honestly, this is my life’s work. I am honored to be doing this and so happy to have this opportunity to share it.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Honestly, the most important lesson I am still learning is never stop. If you keep going, you’ll find your own unique way. All the support, guidance, and clarity you need. I wouldn’t have gone this far and I feel this is just the beginning without the awesome support I have. My family, my amazing friend and Reiki practitioner Wendi (I kind of have a lot of healers that have supported me as well as family), Shay, Jules, Carol, Annaliese, Sheshe, Collin, my radical friends, Polina, Debbie, Dan, Brandi, & Lotem. These people and more have helped me keep going, they have encouraged me, uplifted me and pushed me. I am so grateful to have them in my life.

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Image Credits
Brian Quinteros

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