Posted on Leave a comment

Mermaids are Real

Water to us is like our second womb. When we are immersed in water we immediately feel a sense of inner peace and healing. Holding our breath underwater is a mediational process and discipline. Mermaids are real through an applied mermaid approach and that begins with a mentality. Ask yourself where you are in your life. Do you need a transformation?

Posted on Leave a comment

Mermaid Model

There is nothing wrong with some good ol’ modeling but Applied Mermaid is so much more than that. It’s the ability to collaborate with community, give back to the environment, and help people undergo a transformational process through learning. In fact, I would view Applied Mermaid as being a model for the world. I AM an Applied Mermaid because I care about the Earth and I hold myself accountable for her.

Posted on Leave a comment

Snotty Mermaid

Although being a mermaid advocates for self awareness, self regulation, and self care on every level of the individual, it is not always a fabulous world. Especially up above the sea where what we do affects us down there. Underwater sports and fitness takes discipline. In the mermaid sports world it takes it a step further and adds a second layer of breath control required to take your tail into newly unventured depths.

Posted on Leave a comment

Static Apnea Training for Meditation

Posted on Leave a comment

PADI Freediving Mermaid Certified

After much anticipation I am finally certified as a PADI Freediving Mermaid.

What does this mean? I am part of a small, yet growing number of certified mermaids with one of the largest underwater sports organizations in the world!

I completed this program through Jewels Diver, a free diving mermaid with over 10 years of experience in Cozumel, Mexico.

I got into this sport by being instagram curious of another mermaid. @themermaidelle another Puerto Rican mermaid to be exact. I was like, “good gracious that tail is bodashious”.

Getting into water sports is a reminder of my connection to water and how I’ve underestimated my natural inclination to it for quite some time, suppressing myself from all the amazing Florida Springs that the amazing state I live in has to offer.

After training I also quickly realized that it’s better to underestimate than to overestimate and learned about Loss of Motor Control and Black Out that can occur from lack of oxygen. I will begin to document all that I’ve learned and will continue to as I found this to be a fascinating part of my training.

I’m just as in love with freediving as I am with mermaiding and I’m not in a rush to try scuba at all but I am sure that I will be getting that certification in the future as well to venture deeper and longer into the depths of the oceans, springs, rivers, and just about any gem of precious swimmable healing water that Earth welcomes us to.

This world is so unique and I want to share it with as many people who are interested as it is such a low impact, alternative sport for full body fitness & mental health that makes for great gains.

Cheers to becoming a Freediving Mermaid Post Pandemic.


Applied Mermaid
(Cheryl Pastrana)

Posted on Leave a comment

Cozumel, Mexico: “La Isla De Sirenas” (The Island of Sirens)

Freediving Mermaid

I arrived at Cozumel, the island of sirens. I was fascinated with how smooth my post-covid travel with United Airlines was. Not a huge fan of the plastic snack bags, but love the snacks.

I get a shuttle costing me $6.00 USD to Casa Del Mar. 

As I look out into the city through the window of my shuttle van taking me to my hotel I take in the peaceful scenery with vibrant colors and the ocean line view as if I’m following it’s trail. 

This is the first time I have traveled alone to a resort. #womenwhotravel 

I check in to my hotel and have the rest of the day to prepare for my PADI freediving mermaid course.

Posted on Leave a comment

Rise and Thrive with Applied Mermaid: Diving Deep into ABA while Navigating RBT > BCaBa > BCBA waters

I’m currently sleeping at 9:30 PM each day to fight off a cold one of my kiddos gave me while giving them ABA therapy at work. They clearly had yellow snot but what kid that age doesn’t have some form of snot coming out of their nose that would be alarming enough to have them sent home?

The parent most likely won’t have the means to take care of them because ABA therapy is a place to drop their child off and receive exceptional, concentrated, one on one care from board certified therapists while they go to work and provide for their families.

Hence why we are considered front line workers, or first line responders. Whichever way you would like to see it, anyone going to their job during a pandemic has been risking their health to put others in front of theirs. Particularly those working with patients. And yes, in ABA our clients are our patients in need of quality care and our demographic is typically more vulnerable to colds and flus because many of these children can’t tell you when they are sick and need to stay at home to get the proper rest they need to recover and not infect therapists and other patients in a clinic.

Now, the cop that gave me a citation for speculation of being at fault in a minor car accident with no injuries is really testing his limit on meeting quota day each first of the month!

With going to sleep earlier comes rising much earlier as well. The vastness of dark space and the little noise you can make around 4:30-6:30 AM feels daunting to be up around.

But I finally decided to suck up the anxiety of the dark vastness interacting with my looming thoughts and did all the miscellaneous things that require little effort that would take away about two hours of my morning during sunrise hours.

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Next thing you know the coffee is brewing, the instagram feed is being scrolled through, and it’s 7:00 AM on a Saturday before Easter on an unusually cold morning in Florida on a spring day.

For some reason waking up in darkness seems to make our minds focus on dread, imperfections, and anxiety of unfinished things. Which is why most people are not keen to wake up at this time. But, with that being said the early bird that rises before the sun rays has the advantage of picking at their brain enough to want to focus on the important stuff by the time the light is shining through their windows. Plus, it makes for a spectacular view if you are facing towards the East.

To wake up earlier I recommend setting an alarm and rising an hour earlier than you usually would each day and rewarding yourself with something each morning: a Starbucks coffee, small sweet, etc. Each week implement this change to reflect rising an hour earlier up to your desired wake up time. No particular wake up timer is better than another but studies do show keeping up with a natural nocturnal rhythm of rising with the sun and maintaining 7-9 hours of sleep is best. Some people need more sleep so plan accordingly.

If you would like to take data to keep yourself accountable you can download my 5:45 AM morning streak chart to help you on this challenge.

I hope you can rise and thrive to the occasion of life.


Cheryl Pastrana

Grad Student + RBT.

Writer & Host of Applied Mermaid: Diving Deep into ABA while Navigating RBT > BCaBa > BCBA waters.

Posted on Leave a comment

Protect Your Brand & Voice: Your Website Keeps your Brand in Control. Your Blog is your Voice.

Whether it’s a shadow ban, conflict of interest, deemed inappropriate by an unknown standard, or simply not being up to par with fixing internal web issues, it seems that social media is not the golden standard in promoting your brand to grow your audience anymore.

Lets begin with this important statement:

Social Media is not a democracy run platform. The same protections you may get from the constitution may not apply normally to your posts, such as freedom of speech.
Essentially your post, product, and entire account can get removed from a platform with little to no reasoning justifiable to your standards or even that of the law.

Think of social media platforms such as instagram, twitter, and even etsy as the maritime law of the web. 

Comment if you fall into any of these categories: 

1. Working hours on quality posts and doing everything by the book just for instagram to block the hashtags you carefully selected and made sure were not banned. – How many hours are content creators losing in this arena? The price is hefty. Want to test this? Hashtag your own name in full (including your middle initial) and see if it pops up on recent posts. If it doesn’t pop up you are most likely shadowbanned.

2. Algorithms changing with little to no transparency, reducing your exposure to likes, comments, and following.

3. Platforms such as etsy suspending your account for being in minimal to no association with a banned account with little to no ability for you to protect your brand from falling victim to their scrutiny. 

3. Platforms such as Twitter deleting your account because you are posting their version of “FAKE NEWS” despite freedom of press and independent thinking.

4. Powerful company platforms such as Amazon wiping out your profits as one of the biggest online retailers in the world working with small business with minimal government regulation on their appeals process if something were to go awry.

This is all pretty scary stuff considering the direction of most businesses spreading brand awareness through web advertising, building online communities, followings, and marketing on social platforms that well, are not so social anymore given the regulations and controls that are simply not regulated or transparent enough for us to have a chance at keeping up. 

On the other hand when you own your domain name and decide who gets to host your channel you are much more in control of what happens to your brand, content, and ultimately run your own voice. 

With this comes great responsibility as what you post becomes live the moment you publish not just to a particular platform, but to the World Wide Web ready to make an impact for better or worse on those who fall upon it. 

Sure, your exposure starts off slow and you may want to learn about SEO and other ways to add traffic to your blog such as adding tags, pictures, videos, and overall optimizing the pages you create. But this channel you build from the ground up not only can be shared to social media channels you are already on, but it stays put with little to no input of anybody else primarily because – You control it.

So, what’s the verdict? If you do not maintain a public web presence with a blog or vlog, (by embedding video footage into posts, photos, and of course the sharpest knife in the book), then you will always be at the mercy of the mysterious algorithm, bots, and moderators whom may not have the same views as you. You risk being taken down or even more frustratingly not have any of your efforts met for the exposure you worked so hard to get because it was out of your control.

Posted on Leave a comment

ABA Path: Welcome to The path to RBT📊 BCABA📉BCBA📈

With all the chaos that has been bestowed upon us at the very start of the 2021 New Year, I am thankful that 01-11-2021 launches the path to #rbt📊#bcaba📉#bcba📈

as I commence my graduate program in Applied Behavior Analysis at @floridatechonline

Lennon Grey 🐱 is happy about this too because she gets to cuddle alongside me as I complete my modules.

When I was checking out of a store the cashier gave me some kind yet starling words, “it’s crazy out there, be safe okay?”. Never in my life have I felt true uncertainty about my country’s future…

I had to asked myself, “would I move out of the U.S.A. if I see it taking a turn towards the worse? Then, I became even more thankful that the BACB is an international credentialing body.

During this pandemic we have also gotten to see the importance of quality online programs and just how efficiently necessary they have become to educate the next individuals who will utilize their higher learning skills to make an impact in their communities.

More than ever we need to give online programs the respect they deserve as they can oftentimes be even more rigorous as we witness the aptitude of self determination in the students that complete them. (But let’s leave this topic for another article, okay?)

Till then my friends, BE KIND! Coming together to shine our light bright enough to pathe a path of hope is our biggest strength.

To join the ABA Path community please subscribe.

For more micro blogging posts follow me on my instagram @cherylpastrana


Posted on Leave a comment

Dear Bilingual Therapist, even though you are not valued by the average Employer, I’m here to remind you how AWESOME you really are.

Attention job employers, if you are searching for a bilingual therapist or anyone to work for your company at that, then understand that you are asking for an additional skillset that not everyone has and merits additional compensation…and no, not just an additional dollar per hour.

Ask me to put a price on being able to target an entire new demographic for you to provide services to and profit off of by (my additional skillset) of being able to connect to an entirely new culture and build trust equals priceless…so it’s time to pay up and give the respect that bilingual therapists deserve. But oftentimes what really ends up happening is bilingual therapists are offered the same pay while providing more value to the company and working harder to provide more services to a larger pool of customers. How is it that we have allowed this to happen time and time again?

Is it our fault for not seeing our value and working for belittling companies or are we just trying to put food on the table? I believe it is about time to have a governing body that represents bilingual therapists and other employees being used instead of valued for their fluency to provide services in another language. As a matter of fact, people in the workforce have been known to be bullied or discriminated against just for even using their first or second language! From my own personal experience when I have asked for additional compensation for being bilingual most companies simply told me there isn’t none. Work for us or don’t. That seems to be the motto, when really what they’re saying is, “let exploit your additional skills and not pay you for that special service you bring to the playing field.”

Quite frankly, the only way this may change is if there is some kind of bilingual strike. But we all know that’s probably not going to happen, while very few bilingual therapists are going to deny a good job opportunity. There shouldn’t be an ultimatum to have to do so! Therefore, having a bilingual governing board may help in representing and even getting more bilingual therapists recognized so that we can begin to create a standard pay upgrade for bilingual therapists and employees as a whole.

Learning a new language doesn’t just entail proficiency to be able to reach more customers, it can quite literally make you a more diversified and better person because you are able to recognize and interact with people of different backgrounds. These are the type of leaders that we should strive to have in our companies.

So let’s start paying more attention to what we can offer our bilingual therapists, or us clever bilingual therapist may have to resort to creating a coalition of some sort to gain the respect that we earned and deserve.