Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Lemus.
Hi Michael, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a first-generation bisexual Latino content creator, educator, outreach, marketing, and communications leader, and Founder & CEO. I’m the son of Salvadoran immigrants, who gave birth to me as teenagers. I grew up humbly in Mid-City Los Angeles as an only child and while I did not grow up with tons of money, I always had support from my family. Since I was five years old, I could remember being told that I would go to college and that I could be whatever I wanted to be in this life. There were times where things got a bit rough and challenging, but I persevered and eventually did go to college. I went to Cal Poly Pomona where I received by Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and shortly after went to Cal State Fullerton, where I received my Master’s degree in Higher Education with a Certificate in Community College.
For most of my adult life, I have worked in education in a variety of different roles. I have been an academic advisor, a counselor, an outreach specialist, and a program coordinator for a Latinx student success center. Most recently, I found a new passion in marketing, outreach, and communications. I help develop, coordinate, and implement statewide marketing and outreach initiatives. I also am the Founder & CEO of Reclaiming Your Happiness with Lemus LLC, an inclusive platform and business dedicated to helping people find their voice, reclaim their happiness, and align themselves with their life goals. The platform seeks to uplift and empower individuals to be their best selves. It also seeks to build community among its audience to build a better tomorrow. Additionally, I am the Founder of Scholars of Color, which is a platform that centers and celebrates the voices of people of color. It’s also a community that allows people to network with Scholars of Color from a variety of different industries and backgrounds.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’m so glad this question exists! It has definitely not been a smooth road especially in regards to my mental health. I have navigated living with anxiety the majority of my adult life. As the first person in my entire family on both sides to go to college, I felt immense pressure to not only do well but to live out a “perfectly put-together life”. I felt like there was no room for mistakes because I was “the first”. What this led to was spending the majority of my 20’s in perpetual high functioning anxiety. I “excelled” in many areas of my life. I graduated with my master’s degree at 23, was in a job that people literally retire from at 25, and had applied and been admitted to a doctoral program at 27. Here’s the wild thing about all that though, beneath the surface, I was not mentally well. As I presented at national conferences, won awards, and continued to climb up the career latter, I struggled with anxiety and depression without anyone hardly knowing. I got good a hiding it and because I was so fed by external validation then, I didn’t want to come off as “weak” or “unwell”. It actually took panic attacks and literally breaking down in tears with a coffee cup in my hand for me to realize I needed help. That’s when I sought out therapy and when my spiritual awakening began. I ended up changing careers, coming out as bisexual, deciding not to start the doctoral program, and so much more. My perceived reality had been shook up and broken but in way, that needed to happen in order for me to understand what I really wanted from life. Over the past few years, I have dedicated myself to tending to my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. My definition of success has changed and that now consists of feeling emotionally fulfilled. My priority is my peace and while fancy titles, degrees, and awards have been a huge part of my life, they do not completely define me.
We’ve been impressed with Reclaiming Your Happiness with Lemus LLC, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the Founder & CEO of Reclaiming Your Happiness with Lemus LLC, an inclusive platform and business dedicated to helping people find their voice, reclaim their happiness, and align themselves with their life goals. The platform seeks to uplift and empower individuals to be their best selves. It also seeks to build community among its audience to build a better tomorrow. I am also the Founder of Scholars of Color, which is a platform that centers and celebrates the voices of people of color. It’s also a community that allows people to network with Scholars of Color from a variety of different industries and backgrounds.
I created Reclaiming Your Happiness with Lemus LLC in August of 2018 after reaching a point in my life where I had no other choice than to reclaim my own happiness. It is through this platform and business that I offer Life Coaching, Strategic Brand Consulting, Speaking, Talks, Masterclasses, and Dynamic Workshops. I also sell handmade Mama’s Protection Products, which are handmade spiritual products created by my mother. Reclaiming Your Happiness with Lemus LLC revolves around five pillars, which together make up ARISE: Advocacy, Reclaiming Your Power, Inclusion, Spirituality, and, Empowerment.
What sets me and my business apart from others is that I come at it from a spiritual lens. I seek to connect with myself and others through the soul and that includes empathy. I also center vulnerability and authenticity. I seek to celebrate people’s wholeness, including the various identities they hold. I am naturally an inclusive person and that feeds into everything I do. I want people to know that I care and that together, we can impact real change.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
My advice to people is to not allow others to narrate their life. We each are born with divine gifts that are worth sharing with the world and unfortunately society sometimes has us believe that we are not worthy enough to show up as our unique selves. Don’t let society turn you into someone you are not. Celebrate yourself, your uniqueness, and who you truly are. Learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and allow yourself to explore your emotions. Get so comfortable with knowing who you are that no matter what anyone says about you, you know what is actually true. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and to ask for what you deserve. Even if others don’t “see your value”, it’s not up to you to convince anyone to like you. Let yourself be you and the rest will align in time, including the welcoming of beautiful relationships, opportunities, and more.
- Email: Info@reclaimingyourhappiness.com
- Website: https://www.reclaimingyourhappinesswithlemus.com
- Instagram: @arisewithlemus
- Twitter: @arisewithlemus
- Other: https://linktr.ee/arisewithlemus