Latina Breaths Life into Respiremos a Company About Breathwork

Hispanic small business owner Eugenia Altamira and sister

Latina entrepreneur Eugenia Altamira a Mexican-American has a unique back-story.

Editor’s note: This is part one of a two part series. 

The company is called Respiremos, born from Eugenia Altamira’s vision to bring Transformational Breath® to Mexico and Latin America. The first seeds were planted years ago and now Respiremos offers Transformational Breath® Sessions, Workshops and Professional Trainings in Latin America, USA, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

There are three main areas where Respiremos is currently focused: furthering education related to Breathwork, research and continuing to do pro bono work with different groups, including a women’s prison.

Where it all started

I grew up in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, and I was lucky enough to be there at the time where it was just a small town, where everyone knew each other and we were free to roam in the city, explore the desert and dive into the sea.

I love sharing this, because the way I see it I have many backgrounds, when my mother was pregnant she got sick and died shortly after I was born. I was raised by my dad, my grandmother, my aunts, the mothers of my friends and my dad’s wives. He married four times and every one of his wives was so different that we changed everything; our diets, clothing, schools, relationships, friends, often city or houses, a completely new life style.

I have a collection of experiences. Growing up some of these aspects were very hard, there was a lot of changes, instability, the need to blend in, to fit in, to create the less amount of problems and to please everyone around me.

And in the long run it also gave me a lot of flexibility, adaptability and wider perspective of life.

My second step mom was abusive physically and mentally and those seven years really destroyed my self-confidence. I lost the sense of who I was. It was a long journey to find myself and my identity. To heal and forgive.

The constant in my life

Eugenia Altamira mother,sister and niecesThe constant in my life, even in the worst times, was a loving family.

My sister has been my companion my guardian and my protector, she will defend me with her life and I would do the same for her. I see so many siblings that are constantly fighting and every day I feel so grateful for this connection. My father has always been there, ready with a loving word, always with unconditional acceptance and trust.

He always made me feel appreciated. And in my extended family I have always felt a strong love and support, my aunts and my grandma were amazing mothers, loving, caring, supportive. I believe deeply in the strength of family, the nurturing that comes with it and even the challenges it can represent.

My family has kept me sane and motivated, it’s one of the biggest engines in my life. It is my turn now to be there for the younger generations and pass along this beautiful gift.

I believe this is one of the largest gifts the Latin community has to offer. The love and solidarity that comes from this kind of upbringing.

I can see now, how every single moment of my life forged my character and the person I am today. And I can honestly say that right now I really like this person, so I wouldn’t change any of this moments.

Young Eugenia Altamira and sisterMy family is filled with strong self-sufficient women

My family is filled with strong self-sufficient women, my grandmother was always the rock in her family and that tradition has carried on to my generation.

We are problem solvers, what I have learned in my upbringing, from all my “mothers”, is that every problem has a solution, we just have to keep trying and then we can make it happen. And oh boy we do!

This has been a very helpful mind frame to have. My family have always been Hispanic entrepreneurs, ny father is a Dentist, the same as my grandfather and at heart he’s always been an artist, he paints, he plays the guitar, he sings, he even creates little sculptures that he carves in wood and stone with the tools of his dentistry office. I think it’s so beautiful that he can combine these two aspects.

I believe the biggest imprint my father left in me, is that we have the possibility to accept life as it comes and we can always find happiness in it, if we look for it.

I’m the second person from my family to move to the US, one other cousin has been here for many years, but we’re not in touch. I didn’t really see myself living in USA, because in my head my home will always be Mexico. Through my life, I have left Mexico for one or two years, and then I have always returned.

It was my work and love that brought me here in a permanent fashion.

10 years ago, the Co-Creator of the Transformational Breath® technique, Dr. Judith Kravitz hired me to be her personal assistant in an internship program and I moved to live with her in New Hampshire. During that time, I got to travel all over the world teaching beside her. And I also met the man who is now my husband.

He is also a Transformational Breath® Facilitator and we fell in love while doing this work together. We have now been married for 7 years and I consider this relationship one of the biggest gifts Breathwork has given me.

Following an unsteady childhood and a history of abandonment, I was incapable of creating healthy relationships and was completely afraid of commitment. After years of working with Psycho-therapy, it was finally in the Breath that I found resolution and answers. And I love this man so much that I decided to move to USA, so we could be together.

Truth be told, after my internship ended he followed me to Mexico, convinced me to marry him and to move to the USA. It was so romantic. How could I say no to the big gesture? And then a whole new adventure unfolded. How to create a life for myself, in a permanent way, outside of Mexico?

Factors that shaped my career or business aspirations.Factors that shaped my career or business aspirations.

Early experiences that shaped my career and business goals.

I have always been a gypsy. Open to exploration and change. When I travel somewhere, I want to eat the food, walk the cities in silence simply taking them in, letting them speak to me in whispered sounds of stone and wood. I’m drawn to new things and experiences. This led me not only to many countries, but to many different jobs. My first job ever was as a radio host at the only radio station in town during high school. I decided I wanted that job and went for it, they were not even hiring but I convinced them to let me be an intern. And as soon as a position opened, I took it.

I felt like a big deal working at the radio heh heh. But looking back, I think the most valuable thing from that experience was learning that I could fulfill my dream, if I went after it and worked hard enough to achieve it.

Eugenia Altamira father and sister The impact of past successes and failures 

I am a licensed Psychologist in Mexico, so I guess from the beginning my interest has been in helping people and finding answers to mental and emotional traumas. I paid my way through university as a waitress, bartender, researcher, head hunter, etc. I have worked at bars, universities, teaching, doing research, at a mental hospital, as a concierge, team builder and so many things in between, part time jobs, side jobs, you name it.

I loved each job as I was doing them, but I was always ready to move on to the next thing. The funny thing about life is how, in retrospect, things tend to make more sense. Every single one of these jobs gave me a different skill and they were all needed, when creating my business.

The one thing I never saw myself doing was owning my own business. It wasn’t until I moved to the US that I was forced to figure out how to create a business. At the beginning, it was very hard. I couldn’t practice as a Psychologist anymore, in Mexico I had a great professional career and never had a problem getting a job. At the beginning of my career I was a tenured professor at a University for 8 years, the head of the research department and curriculum development and published two books.

In my last professional job before arriving to the US, I worked at a very successful Team Building company. Whenever I had been in the position to look for a job, I always got the job I wanted, I had letters of recommendations from all my former employers. I had imagined that this would count, and it would open many doors for me. But life had other plans. Suddenly there I was, in a new country, trying to find a job, months went by and I was getting desperate. I couldn’t even get a job working at a supermarket, and I applied at four of them!.

They wouldn’t hire me because I was over qualified and they believed I wouldn’t stay. And in more professional arenas, my degrees and credits didn’t count in this country. This was very frustrating. I started to feel very discouraged and honestly a little depressed.

Had I made a huge mistake leaving everything behind and having to start from scratch?

I loved Breathwork, but I wasn’t really making much money with it. To make it work, I had to decide and start to transform my practice as a Transformational Breath® Trainer into a business. I had no idea how to do that, I was always happy to work for a company, work hard, devote myself to it and receive my paycheck at the end of the day. Being dyslexic, just the financial aspects of a business were daunting to me. I knew I loved working with this, but I couldn’t see myself selling, managing, promoting, etc. I guess the saying; “Desperate times call for desperate measures” applies to me. Because there is no other way I would have dared to believe I could do it.

Who knew I had it in me? It was a big leap and it took a lot of perseverance, some tears and a lot of self-growth. The good news? I’m happy with the outcome! As a Hispanic entrepreneur I could not imagine myself now, working for a salary. Amazing things happen when we challenge ourselves. It’s surprising how all I needed was to find my true passion. I don’t feel the need to explore new jobs and activities. I’m in love with my job, it fills me with joy and peace and there is nothing else I would rather do.

The amazing thing is that I actually get paid to do it.

Eugenia Altamira and sister Mentors

Through life I have had many mentors, they have come at the right time and supported me in a path of growth.

For this stage of my life my biggest inspiration and supporter has been Dr. Judith Kravitz, she is the Co-Creator of the Transformational Breath® Technique and director of the Transformational Breath® Foundation. She is a generous teacher, willing to share her knowledge openly. I think one of the most valuable lessons I have learnt from her is true acceptance and understanding of the flow of life.

Working with her has allowed me to be more flexible, to take things as they come and then move forward.

I also admire her ability to be a Spiritual Teacher and at the same time being grounded in the practical world.

This lady has business savvy, she is an inspiration to me in many ways.

In part two I’ll cover my business in depth.

Related articles:

The Anatomy of a Latina Entrepreneur

A Successful Latina Entrepreneur Doing It All

A Latina’s Start-up and Business Execution


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