"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." -F. Foch

UCLA's Undergraduate Research Week, May 2019

Hi there! I’ve never been great at introductions but here it goes…

I go by Rose Mejia but my real name is Rosalva. Rosalva Mejia Jauregui. Most people get intimidated by the Spanish “r” so I like saving them the effort. I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, or “the hood” as most people call it. My childhood was filled with overwhelming amounts of fear, anxiety, and trauma. Aside from living in a neighborhood where gang violence was common and someone dying on my block was the norm, I also experienced sexual abuse behind closed…

To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. — Thich Nhat Hanh

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A common lesson that is often stated to be the most important when training to become a monk is how to breathe. As silly it may seem, because we often think of breathing as a natural function of the body, you’ll see that our breath tells us a lot more about ourselves than we may initially realize. It tells us what we feel. What we’re thinking of. Where we are mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

This is because the breath is a vital sign of life. If we listen, it can tell a story depending on its rhythm. Its length…

Trust that sooner or later, you’ll arrive at the destination that you’re seeking.

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What is self-healing anyway? And why is it important? I’m glad you asked. You see, there’s evidence that since the day we are conceived till our last breath, our bodies will hold a collection of emotional wounds. This collection starts at a cellular level. The thoughts and trauma that our mother holds onto will dictate the emotions she feels. Her emotions are coded and expressed by the proteins all throughout her body. In other words, her emotions are manifested in a cellular manner. This cellular manifestation becomes the environment where we initially grow and develop. Essentially, what she feels, we’ll…

I had been brought forth from holding onto negative emotions, following the ego, and living as a victim.

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For the past year, I’ve been on a crooked road to self-healing. I say crooked because just every beautiful outcome worth fighting for never seems to come easy. It began a few months after I graduated from my undergraduate studies and began living with my parents to be a caregiver to my father. I was confident at first, believing that being home and helping my parents would bring me a sense of ease and fulfillment. My father had recently been diagnosed with stage four cancer and my mother was fresh out of a rotator-cuff surgery. …

Creating the Space To Dig Deep

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Over and over again, I’ve written about my experience of battling with different mental health disorders, but today I wanted to approach this a little differently.

Growing up, I used to believe that it was “all in my head.” Watching those closest to me struggle and suffer from these disorders has made me see that mental health is so much more than what goes on inside our minds.

Yes, there may be a disruption in the neurotransmitters, a fault in our wiring, or even damage in the neuronal tissue, but there can also be an imbalance in the person’s hormones.

Because in being myself, I could be joyful and silly even in the darkest moments

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

I was there by my father’s bedside when the doctor came into the hospital room. With the most sensitive voice, he could stir he stated, “It’s cancer. Stage four. I’m so sorry.” They were the results of a biopsy from my father’s right kidney. After having an MRI and CT scan done, they found that he had multiple tumors in the brain and a couple in the bilateral lungs, all of which were metastasized. After a little more thorough analysis, they suspected that the large mass on his kidney was the culprit. And they were right.

Saying that our lives…

Part of our destiny is written in the genes.

Photo by Sangga Rima Roman Selia on Unsplash

According to Plomin et al. (2016), “All psychological traits show significant and substantial genetic influence.” To be more specific, qualities like psychopathology, personality, and intelligence, have about a 50% genetic influence. Within their article, they explain a psychopathological study comparing monozygotic and dizygotic twins. Monozygotic twins (twins born within the same placenta and having exactly the same genetics) had a 50% genetic similarity in psychological traits compared to dizygotic twins (twins with a different placenta and a different set of genes) which only showed 15% similarity. This was regardless of whether they share the same environment or not.


A virtue yet to be carved and refined.

Photo by Aaron Andrew Ang on Unsplash

When I say “patience,” I don’t mean when you wait in line while scrolling through your phone. Or when you’re at the dentist and play a game until your name is called. Patience is considered to be a virtuous practice. It’s a skill that can be developed and curated. It’s not always so dependent on time itself, but the intention behind the waiting. Some people consider themselves patient because they can tolerate unpleasantness for a long period of time without lashing out. Or because they can entertain themselves long enough until it’s time to pay attention. But sometimes patience doesn’t…

We’re the only thing holding us back from reaching our full potential.

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If you’re a fan of Tony Robbins, there’s an insight that he often shares with his audience. What you focus on and what you think about is what you get. I used to take this very lightly. To think that something as passive as our thoughts to have some form of control of our life didn’t seem logical to me. But as I began to listen to my thoughts…as I began to pay attention to what they had to say…I realized that I was causing my own unhappiness. Now, this may seem like a strong accusation to make. …

Often the ultimate question to focus on is where the idea of change is coming from and the intention behind it.

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

I know, I know. The title is a bit blunt. Perhaps for a good reason too. You see, there’s a fine line between being a support line for someone and hoping to be the catalyst of their change. This discrepancy is seen often in romantic relationships. Where the other person just doesn’t seem to have their things right and so their partner hopes to change them for “the better.” Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble if this is the situation you’re in but relationships like these tend to accumulate loads of resentment, disappointment, and frustration. …

Rose Mejia

Striving to be a holistic psychologist & writer.

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