Confetti All Around by Cynthia Perez

“The Ripple Effect of Reciprocity” with Sofia Mendoza, LCSW

I never believed in serendipity until I met Sofia Mendoza during the pandemic. A talented social worker and creative force, Sofia blends laughter and deep conversation seamlessly. In this episode of Confetti All Around, we explore her journey, the art of crochet, and the power of reciprocity in friendship and community. Join us for an inspiring chat that highlights the beauty of unexpected connections.

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“The Ripple Effect of Reciprocity” with Sofia Mendoza, LCSW

Serendipity in the Pandemic: Finding Friendship and Healing with Sofia Mendoza

This is a snapshot of a heartwarming conversation with a good friend I met during the pandemic. You can find this episode link below. I never believed in serendipity until I met my wise, resourceful owl friend. Sofia is someone I can turn to in a pinch and for a laugh. She is tough and soft at the same time. She says what needs to be said and walks through silence with grace.

She also speaks with her hands. She has mastered the art of the pupusa and can crochet you a soft bunker until the apocalypse comes. On top of all that, she runs a publishing house and creative mentorship called Mending Roots Healing Spaces, where she has written 30+ books and journals for mindfulness and self-compassion. You can find Sofia on Instagram: @mendingrootshealingspaces.

You can catch this joyful episode on all streaming platforms and with us on Confetti All Around, Season 1, Episode 13, “The Ripple Effect of Reciprocity.”

Discovering Sofia: A Pandemic Friendship

Hi and welcome to Confetti All Around, a podcast hosted by Rooted in Reflection. My name is Cynthia Perez, and I’m so excited to share today’s episode.

We started laughing because I asked Sofia, “Hey, underneath this camera, do you have a blanket too? Because I feel like that’s such a Latina thing.” She showed me, and sure enough, she was knitting.

Sofia: “Crochet, don’t get it twisted.”

Cynthia: “Okay, you’ll have to teach me. You’re right, don’t get it twisted. So she’s like, yeah, I crochet in meetings at work, and I thought that was so funny. By next year, you’ll have knitted yourself a cocoon.”

She then showed me how big it was, and I said, “Oh, you took creating softness in your life literally. Look at you creating softness!”

Embracing Creativity and Mental Health

Cynthia: “So, Sofia, tell us about yourself. Introduce yourself and all the roles and hats you wear.”

Sofia: “Oh my gosh, we’ll do a few. I’m a social worker here in Long Beach, specializing in mental health. One of my roles is working in community mental health at a local agency, but I also have a small private practice dedicated to first-gen helping professionals. I’m a creator and a crafter.”

“I help the helpers, you know? I’m also a mom to an only child, an eight-year-old who’s going to be nine soon. I’m a daughter of immigrants, a creator, and a crafter.”

Sofia is a therapist and also an author by trade and creative outlet. I found her work by chance when I went to looking for some social work worksheets. I found her “Valued Living Starter Kit” for under $10 and loved the content and how it opened up connection between myself and my colleagues. I started hosting 10-minute refreshers before our interdisciplinary meetings. We got to realign with our values after a long week with patients.

A Passion for Publishing

Sofia: “In this season, I’ve kind of labeled them as a little bit of everything. They’re journals, workbooks, reflection journals with prompts, and mental health-themed stationery. Some notebooks are blank inside but have covers related to my heritage or phrases about resilience or gratitude. I want to see that as I carry them around.”

“A friend said I have a publishing house because I have twenty-nine books now, and I’m working on number thirty. It’s been a fun project because it’s a creative endeavor but also a professional one. It helps me with my work down the line because I can give them to my clients.”

Connecting Through Community

Sofia and I then happened to be in the same Facebook Buy Nothing micro-neighborhood group. We realized we were both Latina therapists and found comfort in our collective purpose to spread joy during the uncertainty of Spring 2020. Sofia and I talk about the spirit of reciprocity:

Sofia: “We’re working from home, and it’s one frustrating thing after another. But then I get to open the group and relate and laugh at some of the stuff out there.”

Cynthia (19:32.22):

“I also had to work on my boundaries. Did you? Sometimes people would say they’re going to pick something up and then they don’t. It was really a moment to practice good boundaries.”

Sofia (19:50.45):

“Yeah, it was a good moment to practice boundaries but also outline them. Like, if someone’s asking for eggs and I have a dozen, I’m not going to give them all. I will give half.”

“Don’t give more than what you can and don’t take more than what you need. I have to credit ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ for that. It talks about the law of reciprocity with nature: never take more than what you need and don’t give more than you can.”

Cynthia (20:38.74):

“Oh, I love that. I found abundance. I found you, and I can chat with you. It’s like there’s never enough time, Sofia. I feel like two niñas at a sleepover. The depth of our conversation is so beautiful.”

Continuing the Journey

You can also catch more of our adventures on Confetti All Around, Season 1, Episode 22, “The Power of 3 in Boriken,” featuring Sofia and Rosa Shetty, LCSW, as we recap our highlights from the powerful retreat in Puerto Rico. We talk about tapping into our ancestral gifts and our epigenetic flow.

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“I help the helpers you know? i’m also a mom to an only child ; an eight year old she’s going to be nine soon, i’m a daughter of an immigrant , i’m a creator i’m a crafter”

You can also catch more of Cynthia and Sofia’s adventure’s on Confetti All Around Season 1 episode 22 “The Power of 3 in Boriken” featuring Sofia and Rosa Shetty, LCSW as we re-cap our highlights from the powerful #retreat in Puerto Rico. We talk about tapping into our #ancestral gifts and our #epigenetic flow.

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