Sonia Mendez

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU
VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

Martial Arts has been with me for most of my life. It’s helped me through my toughest times. It has given me strength and perseverance. It has taught me how to respect myself, to stand up for myself, and most importantly, to be true to myself. Martial Arts has taught me to be my best self – physically, mentally, and spiritually. When I started teaching Martial Arts to children, I knew this is how I contribute to make a better world. If I could share the benefits that I received from training in the Martial Arts with children during their most impressionable years, they could grow to be strong, compassionate, and kind human beings. We need these attributes more than ever in our society today. We live in a high-paced world where kids and adults see mean and/or unreal things on social media that they think they are supposed to be. My goal and passion is to help children and adults find their strength, tap into their authentic self, and to use that power for good. Aside from my Symmetry Martial Arts school, my company Always A Ninja is another way I work to share the positive message of perseverance and owning who you are. No matter what you do in life, give it your all, be your best, never settle, and never give up.
#ChangingTheWorldOneNinjaAtATime #ANinjaNeverGivesUp

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?
I admire & respect Oprah Winfrey because… well she’s Oprah! I could go on about all she’s achieved in her lifetime despite her challenges. Oprah stands for kindness, truth, spirit, education, and giving back. I was blessed to see her and a tribe of others like her at the “The Life You Want” tour. It was a life-altering experience to see and feel her magic in person, and I am in awe of the way she brings people together. She is a true tribal leader that keeps an open circle for all to join and contribute.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU
THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?

I’m all about celebrating. I believe celebrating who we are today helps us be a better person tomorrow. Owning who we are and celebrating who we are helps us feel optimistic and gives us strength to fight for a brighter future for not only ourselves, but others as well.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT
YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

This can be a tough one for me. I’ve worked on this as I’ve gotten older. Last week, I praised myself on juggling knives! It took almost a year of training. I started with juggling balls then clubs, and now knives. I figured, I’m a ninja, so I should try to juggle something dangerous! Learning to juggle was a surprising journey for me, and I realized that it was so much more than a throwing and catching circus act. The techniques needed to successfully juggle physical objects are comparable to what is needed to juggle the demands of life. Juggling taught me to control my mind. It taught me to have a relaxed concentration, and to be present. If you drop a club, it’s ok, pick it back up and try again – what a great metaphor for life! Needless to say it felt great to accomplish my juggling goal, and I didn’t lose any fingers in the process. I’m a juggling Ninja!

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING
THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

I think society has taught women to downplay themselves. Through years of conditioning it’s become woven in our DNA. We put others needs first. We’re taught it’s selfish to recognize our own strengths and accomplishments. For most women it’s foreign to celebrate or praise themselves. That needs to stop. This is why tribe is important. Surround yourself with those who support one another, lift each other up, celebrate everything that we are together!

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE
GIVEN?

After training in the martial arts for over 30 years I’ve learned to take constructive criticism like a champ. It’s also helped me accept compliments. It’s a nice feeling when people recognize your hard work. When I do find myself discrediting compliments. I remind myself how much I love to give compliments.

In my late teens I started a habit to give a least 3 compliments a day since reading Norman Vincent Peal. Today through owning a martial arts school and teaching children I’m sure I triple that. Let people know you appreciate them and like what their doing. There’s power in compliments.

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH
AND HOW CAN WE TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

Just surf the web, you’ll see how women of all races have been oppressed for centuries. We’ve been taught and shown through generations that we’re not good enough, that we don’t matter, or that we are here to serve men. We take back our power by believing in ourselves, using our voice, taking action, and supporting and celebrating other women. We become the person we want the next generation to be.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

I’m a tribal girl through-and-through. It is important that we empower and encourage ourselves and others to be our best. The Tribe gives a feeling of belonging, a safe place to share our hopes and dreams. It helps build strength and momentum. The Tribe movement is essential in bringing us together and making a positive impact in the world. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. – Helen Keller

Occupation: Founder/CEO: Symmetry Martial Arts and Always A Ninja.

Website: www.SymmetryMartialArts.com

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