Jacarina Soto is a first generation Afro-Dominican American who went from living the expected life of getting her college degree and working in corporate America to living a purposeful life running her own spiritually directed business. Today, she lives with the purpose of serving others, as a Wholistic Life Coach, Reiki Healer and Meditation Teacher. Her focus is teaching the spirit, mind, body connection; when all 3 come together in alignment, people are able to move forward with strength, confidence, and happiness to successfully accomplish all of their goals. Having gone through her own evolution and transformation, Jacarina now helps others to do the same.
Q: What's your background, and what are you working on?
Growing up as a child of immigrants there was a big value placed on education. Getting good grades and going to college was not an option, it was the only path. So I went to college, was pre-med, but in the end switched my major to Economics. I was never really sure of what I wanted to do, but I just felt this pressure to be who I ‘should be’ in the eyes of others. I wanted to make my family proud and to achieve ‘success’ for them.
This was how I lived my entire life, I placed the approval of others above my happiness. I found myself going through the motions of doing all the expected things but never feeling fulfilled. I went in and out of corporate life, moved to Los Angeles and New York City, and for years felt like I was spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. I finally realized I couldn’t live my life like this anymore.
I left corporate America with no real plan and eventually found myself pursuing personal training. Fitness was something that I loved (and still do!) It gave me a place to pour myself into, find mental discipline and physical strength. For about 2 years I loved it but I found myself wanting to help clients more deeply because the unhealthy patterns ran deeper than just lifestyle choices. My clients didn’t have coping skills for their life outside the gym. Things would arise that would cause them to feel incredibly drained energetically and emotionally.
At the same time, I began to go through my own healing journey and that was when reiki and meditation came into my life. I didn't know where it would lead me but I knew my soul was guiding me there. I was so disconnected from myself, my desires, my highest expression to appease others. I was living in survival mode. Once I began to heal myself, releasing limiting subconscious beliefs, stress, and trauma that was in my body, my world began to heal as well. I finally began to re-discover and love myself. My relationship with everything and everyone began to shift in a positive direction because I was healing the relationship with myself. This is what brought me to where I am today.
My focus is creating a unique safe space for ALL women to do inner healing work, with an emphasis on women of color. In the BIPOC communities, mental health and pretty much any form of healing work have been stigmatized. We have continued to normalize and suppress trauma. I know first-hand representation matters because it validates our experiences. I had the unplanned experience of having women of color be my teachers, which has been powerful to see women that look like me take up space and be leaders in their fields. My work to help other women heal themselves is what my soul is here to do. To guide them to show up as better versions of themselves in all areas of their lives.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
My goal is to create a massive community for women to connect around the world. Educating them on how to discover who they truly are, recalibrate their energy, release limiting beliefs, heal trauma and embody their highest consciousness. Hopefully, as we get back to being able to travel and interact more freely I would love to host more in-person events and retreats. Ultimately, I want to create a wellness center that will also have a nonprofit component to provide mental health support for teenage girls.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you've faced so far?
Honestly, the biggest challenges have been mental. I remember when it came time to transition out of personal training, I kept questioning myself for weeks. Being a personal trainer felt like my identity. Eventually, I came to understand this was just a title and what I did, not who I was. That’s when I embraced the change versus resisting it. I shifted my perspective from feeling like I was losing something to opening myself up to new possibilities and opportunities.
Imposter syndrome has been another challenge. Feeling like “who am I to do this” especially as my career continues to grow. However, I welcome the bit of fear I feel because it lets me know I'm on the right track. I also extend grace to myself because we are all learning and evolving. I remind myself that if I am doing something from a place of love and service, it is exactly what I am meant to be doing.
Q: What's your advice for female founders who are just starting out?
Be careful taking advice from those who are not at the level of success you desire. This can be hard advice to take in because it can relate to some of your closest relationships. These are people that love you. They have been in your life for years or even all of it. They are used to seeing you in a certain light and above all want to keep you safe. However, their advice comes from their perspective and experiences. They are just projecting their fears and limitations onto you, don’t allow this to deter you. Know that they have good intentions but maybe they can not be involved in this part of your life. This is where boundaries come in. I always love to say, boundaries are not a wall, they are a door where you get to tell people when and where they can enter.
Try to surround yourself with highly motivated people. If possible people that are at the level of success you desire, not necessarily in the same industry. What you want is to be in their energy. Observe how they do things, successful people are innovative thinkers. If you don’t have people in your life that inspire you, then find a mentor or invest in a coach, mastermind, or business group. Having the right support makes all the difference.
Lastly, do not be afraid to do things differently from everyone else, embrace your creativity!