We had the good fortune of connecting with Mio Santana and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mio, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
I have jumped off so many metaphorical steep cliffs in my life that I lost count and I can say that if it were not for my openness to taking these risks, I would not be where I am today. The most recent risk I took was when I finally decided to leave the corporate world for good and bring my company Divine Journey through to fruition. All my life I had tried playing it safe and did all the “right” things. I tried doing all the things that society encouraged such as getting a degree, working at a company, working my way up, earning a good salary and having a good position, none of which ever truly fulfilled me. I really gave it a college try as they say but came up short. I was unhappy and unfulfilled. I kept finding myself working for companies that were not aligned with my morals, principles, and values. Companies that were mostly out for selfish gains. Early on, I knew I wanted to work for myself, so I launched my first company while working full-time. It was an events and marketing company servicing small local restaurants. I ended up having several clients and did some great events for them, but I eventually had to fold. Having to close my first business taught me a lot about myself and about life. I’m glad I took the risk to start it to begin with because I not only was able to see what I was capable of, I also got a taste of what it was like to work for myself. Success means a lot of things to a lot of people and my definition of success has transformed substantially through the years. To me it means, being able to sustain myself while being in service to humanity. Although my passion is supporting people to raise their vibrations, love themselves more and create lasting shifts in their lives, it was not easy to turn away a steady income to do so. Deep down inside, I kept feeling the urge tugging at me which ultimately became my calling to finally step into my work fully two years ago and begin really making an impact in people’s lives. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done but one of the best and I haven’t looked back since.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I believe that no matter what you have been through, all the bad and good, the up’s and down’s and all the circumstances in between, have all led you to where you are right now in this present moment and therefore it is divine, it is your Divine Journey. My hope is that I could be a steward for as many people as possible to find the divinity within their own journey’s just as I was able to find it within mine. My path was not easy.
For at least 20 years, I suffered with anxiety, depression and low self-esteem that affected all areas of my life. It was a very insecure and fearful existence. This was a miserable time for me. I felt trapped in an experience of doom and gloom. Everything was a catastrophe to me and everyone was out to get me. I was not safe in my eyes, I felt that I had no security and no peace and this reflected in everything I did. My relationships didn’t work, my jobs didn’t work, and I often felt like I was stuck in revolving doors of failed my jobs and relationships. I never felt really close to anyone, I didn’t think anyone could really understand me and what I had been through. It felt like nothing ever turned out right and through it all I still kept telling myself there had to be another way. I knew that this could not be my reality for the rest of my life. I knew or better yet, hoped that one day I could break through that heavy darkness and experience peace for once in my life.
I had grown up in a modest home with a single mom raising 3 children in the US. She had come here in her late teens from Cuba escaping communism hoping to start a life free from the persecutions that came from living under that type of regime. My father also fled the island at an earlier age and they eventually met in the US. I was 4 when they split up and it was one of those events you see in reality shows where things get out of hand and the cops are called. After that, I rarely saw my father again until I was about 11 or 12. My mom tried to shelter me from it all but I was more traumatized than she knew. As a young girl I remember falling in love with boys so deeply, in an attempt to connect and feel loved. That pattern continued all through my life. I was trying to love so that I could be loved and I was trying to be something I wasn’t just to fit in. I was trying so desperately to find connection and be loved because I never really had that close connection from a father growing up.
In addition, because my parents were split up and my mom was very busy raising the kids, my needs were not a priority and the low self-esteem kicked in. Have you ever had the sense of being alone while you were surrounded by people? That was my life. I felt like I was inside a sad bubble looking out at everything, hoping that someone would come and save me from the misery I was feeling inside, not knowing that years later I would put all of this suffering into my work. Little did I know that I would learn how to transmute this pain into medicine and transform myself from within and that I would dedicate myself to helping others do the same. Through it all, I always had the desire to help others, but I never thought I was good enough to. I thought, “How could someone like me from a poor family and a broken home ever be able to help someone else?” For so long I felt like I had been drowning and you know when you are on a plane and they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping the others? Well I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I was caught in this weird struggle between trying to be a good person so that I could be liked and loved and trying to figure out how to save myself from this intense sadness and loneliness I was experiencing.
That is why I know what my clients are talking about when they come to me. I know because I lived it. It wasn’t until many years later on my transformational journey that I would finally find the courage within myself to shift my life and therefore begin helping others. It took a lot of deep work and if it wasn’t for my teachers and mentors along the way I wouldn’t be here. I am really grateful to every single person who was kind to me and believed in me along the way. I really wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them.
And I want to thank my mother too because through it all no matter how hard things were growing up, she has always been there for me and she did the best that she could. My father too, now looking back I see that he did the best that he could too. On this journey I learned that my worth is not something I could buy or fill with material possessions or exterior things; it is something that comes from within. I learned that sometimes, you have to embrace the darkness to allow yourself to experience the light. I learned that I am loved and I am love. And after all was said and done I took everything I learned I put into my practice. When I was getting ready to launch the business, I created the Divine Journey Principles which are the 12 principles and modalities that I used to transform my life. I took everything I had learned and practiced and implemented it into my program.
Since then, I have helped many people see something within themselves they never saw, experience harmony within for the first time and experience peace. This is my aim with my work. I hope to bring harmony and understanding and the opportunity to improve your relationship with yourself first which then emanates out into all areas of your life and therefore improve the quality of your life overall. It is such a beautiful feeling to wake up every day joyful, excited and fulfilled. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world and I’m so excited about sharing this with as many people as possible. I am proof that happiness is possible. You don’t need anything to make you happy, you can find the source within and my goal is to support you in finding it.
What is unique about my story is that I have experienced everything I teach firsthand. I learned how to work with the feminine and masculine energies and how to raise my own vibration to higher frequencies. I was able to go from where I was to loving myself fully and completely from within and this is why I have dedicated one of my group coaching programs specifically to self-love. Self-love is the basis for everything in life, it is the foundation from which you can build a quality life from. I hope I can help at least a billion people on this planet find that for themselves and raise their vibration to love. Self-love is the key.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Miami is such a cool city. I was born and raised here and have had the opportunity to travel around the world and can say that it is truly unique. It’s a mix of cultural diversity, Caribbean influence, natural beauty and warm weather that lends to the fun and excitement that can be had here. The city has really experienced somewhat of a cultural renaissance over the past few years in the arts and gastronomy and its bubbling with things to do and see, as well as great places to eat. If they had some time to spend, we would spend most of it on the water. Miami has an extraordinary boating community with several little sandbars and islands. After that I would take them to my favorite spot the Standard Miami where we would have a day at the spa and really wind down and relax by the pool overlooking the bay. At some point we would have to visit Wynwood and the Design District for some outdoor walking and people watching with some great eateries and music. While there, I would have to take them to two of my favorite restaurants, Michaels Genuine and Mandolin. I would also take them down to Little Havana for some Cuban history! Walk them by Domino Park and treat them to a true mojito. While there I would have to take them to eat at Versailles restaurant on 8th street for some delicious Cuban food, that’s a must. On a night out on the town, I would take them to explore the financial district of Brickell and Downtown for some cool bars and restaurants starting at Sugar rooftop bar to watch the sunset. Then back to the beach all day where we could rent bikes, eat tacos and play on the sand for as long as we want. Miami is so beautiful and diverse we could find so much to do here.
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?
I played Oprah Winfrey in a 3rd grade presentation once and learning her story at such a young age, really made a huge impact on my life. As I watched her through the years, I was always drawn to her openness to people who were suffering and her ability to see through to the truth of every situation and that always stayed with me. As far as literature, I studied it in college so it’s difficult for me to pick just a few but one of the first writers I personally admired and was impacted by was Maya Angelou. I felt that there was power and elegance in the way she described her struggle and it really spoke to me. I began writing in the same way and eventually found my voice. The one book I could name above all others that shifted the entire trajectory of my life is The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle. This book is still to this day one of the most important books I have ever read. As far as mentors, I am grateful I learned the importance of seeking them out. There are so many people I could thank who along the way planted seeds in my path and who graciously taught me how to do so for others.