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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?

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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.

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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.

Sincerely,

Applied Mermaid
(Cheryl Pastrana)

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Pastrana

Grad Student + RBT.

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