We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Algeciras and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk has been a big part of my growth, personally and professionally. While I may not really think of myself as a big risk-taker, upon reflection, I realize I have gone through numerous periods of high-risk decisions. In a previous career, I took a risk to move to New York and spent many years building a career in international logistics. At a certain point, I found myself burned out and took a big risk to move back to Miami and start a new career in the field of wellness, working with children and adults through yoga, mindfulness, cooking, and creativity. As I grew in the field, I realized I wanted a more extensive education and went back to school in my mid 30’s to finish getting my undergraduate degree and eventually get my master’s in mental health counseling. In 2020, I started my psychotherapy practice and that brought its own challenges as Covid began to impact how everyone interacts and functions in the world. Risk is part of my DNA, both my parents took big risks in life. They are both immigrants to the US and really instilled the values of hard work and taking calculated risks in the hope of creating better futures for themselves and the family they built. There is both resilience and distress tolerance that comes with risk-taking, which I really am starting to appreciate as I get older. It does not mean that every risk taken brings a reward, but if one is open to it, risk always brings a lesson. That’s something I really try to pay attention to, what am I learning from this moment and how can I use this information to bring me into closer alignment with my personal values and goals.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is primarily a wellness business, currently, my main focus is psychotherapy but I integrate aspects of my wellness practice into my work with therapy clients. Meaning breathwork, mindfulness, yoga, creativity, and other modalities to work with individuals from a very holistic perspective. The mind and body are not separate entities, very often how we feel in our bodies affects our emotional state and vice versa. I love to work with tweens, teens, and adults who are “out of the box” individuals that feel like they do not know where they fit in the world. Because I take a whole body-mind approach with my clients, problems and challenges get examined within the context of the bigger picture of a person’s life, which also helps us work together to create solutions and perspectives that fit the client rather than the other way around. It has certainly been a long road to get to this point in my business, life experience along with extensive education and training over the last 10 years has helped me gain clarity on how I can best help and support people. I feel so fortunate to do the work that I do because it offers me continued opportunity to keep learning, growing, and helping. The biggest lesson for me is that growth and learning are never done – when you think you can’t grow anymore or are done learning you create unnecessary obstacles for yourself. Staying curious, open-minded, and open-hearted can be hard at times but life becomes much more meaningful and rewarding from this perspective. I think the world at large could benefit from cultivating more emotional intelligence and compassionate leadership.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What a great question! I love playing tour guide. Well since Covid I have not been out too much and pre-covid I have been working a lot on my business and education, however, I have a few choice spots in South Florida. Coconut Grove – I spent a lot of my younger years in this part of Miami and always loved it. I love a stroll around Peacock Park, along the Bay, or the Barnacle. The Kampong is also a stunning property. I also love drinks and food at Glass & Vine, pasta by Justin Flit at Nave, the pan con lechon at Chugg’s Diner, and burgers and beers at Lokal. Other places I love to show people are The Biltmore, the drive down Coral Way or Old Cutler Road to see all the beautiful trees, Wynwood, and the Design District. The food scene is ever-evolving but some of my other favorites are El Bagel, Phuc Yea, Tran An, and Reunion Ktchn Bar. I also like Garcia’s seafood on the Miami River. Every visitor also needs to visit Little Havana, Versailles, and the domino park. I’m a Broward resident these days so most of the time when I go out I go to my partner’s brewpub Dangerous Minds Brewing Company in Pompano Beach, so I would definitely take a visitor there for some amazing beers and pizzas. I love to give a visitor a local experience, check out some of the things in guidebooks but then take them to that amazing little hole in the wall in a strip mall too. We live in such a vibrant and beautiful part of the world it is hard to narrow it down, sometimes you just have to drive and go with the flow.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that have been instrumental in this journey for me, my family and my partner have been unwavering in their support. I have the encouragement of a wonderful network of friends, near and far, who have been amazing cheerleaders in my life. I also have a fantastic therapist who has helped me create a life and journey that I could never have imagined when I started working with her, so I really am a big proponent of consistent and regular therapy. But there is one person who stands out, she was a colleague of mine in the airline industry and we became friends in the midst of my burnout. She sparked the idea and hope in me that my life could be different, that it could be fulfilling. She told me a story about a group of women that were having lunch and one of the women said she was applying to medical school, her friends said something to the effect that she would be too old by the time she became a doctor and the woman answered that the time would pass and she would be older anyway, so I was up to her who she would be when that time came. That story really resonated with me, and over the years through risks, challenges, ups, and downs, I remember the hope I felt that day when I was so lost and seek to help instill that in others that come across my path. My friend is herself now a teacher in the NYC school system and I am sure she will continue to spark hope in other hearts and minds on her journey.
Other: Other website is www.benestarwellness.com Instagram www.instagram.com/benestarwellness
Photos with kids are Robert Chamorro Other photos are Lauren Mathes