Self-Care Community Spotlight: Claudia (Huntington Beach, CA)
In this week’s member spotlight we’re featuring Claudia Gonzales, a powerhouse of inspiration who shares her journey of overcoming adversity to build a life she once only dreamed of.
As an immigrant and someone who has experienced great loss, Claudia is the true definition of strength as she navigates life as a single mama to five beautiful children.
She is the Head Chef at Model Meals, a student of Psychology and Somatic Therapy, and a creative in all realms. Today Claudia shares her plans to write a book, coach young people, and support others who have navigated trauma in their journey towards healing.
Learn how Claudia prioritizes self-care, even when she has so many others to care for, some of the books that have changed her life, her morning mirror reminder, and what she’s calling in for her future in today’s community spotlight!
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
I arrived to this country from Mexico when I was 15 years old. As I am sure you’ve heard before from any immigrant, I had many struggles to adapt and become accustomed to the way of life here in the US.
It hasn’t been easy but if there’s one thing I know about me , is my willingness to overcome life’s challenges, I’ve been doing that for as long as I can remember, so I adapted quickly and I love the opportunities this country has given me.
I am currently the Head Chef at Model Meals and if you met me 5 years ago and you asked me if being a Chef was something I aspired to be, I would’ve said, “It would be a dream I don’t think I can achieve.” But I did, and here I am, working for a company that saw my potential and gave me the opportunity to have the job I only dreamed of having, and I am forever grateful for that.
I am a single mother of 3 kids and I co-parent my two nieces with my mom — after my sister passed away in a car accident a few years ago. I am very proud of all of my children because they are all very smart, independent and loving little humans, and I can’t wait to see them go and do big things out in the world when they grow up.
I am a creative so I am a creature of many talents, I enjoy anything that helps me stimulate my brain. I love learning, so I find myself constantly needing to learn or create something new.
Something I really enjoy is writing, and I hope to write a book in the near future about my life experiences to hopefully help others overcome life’s adversities.
Another passion of mine besides cooking is helping people become strong leaders, and someday I wish to be able to coach younger generations on work ethic and work skills, so that they can be successful once they enter the workforce.
A central component of Claudia’s personal journey:
Childhood struggles have shaped me into who I am today. There are so many areas of my life where trauma has played a huge role in the way I’ve experienced life so far. There are so many layers of personality traits that are good and some others I still struggle with.
Something you may not know about Claudia:
I am 37 and I have 5 children.
Some of Claudia’s favorite books…
- The Alchemist
- The Power of Now
- A New Earth
- 12 Rules for Life
- The 4 Agreements
- Daring greatly,
Claudia’s Self-Care Journey
What initially drew you to self-care?
I feel like I discovered so much about overall wellness when I joined the Model Meals team (my current place of employment).
When I became Head Chef at Model Meals and I did my first whole30. It was then that I learned so much about my body and how to heal it with food that the first act of self care was respecting my body’s way of communicating with me.
Do you have a regular self-care routine?
The one that comes to mind as a constant is the following; When I am getting ready for work I look in the mirror everyday and make peace with my reflection.
I tell myself that I am beautiful in my very own unique way, and that I don’t have to look different to be enough.
What are some go-to self-care practices?
Taking one day to myself.
I know I need alone time at least once a week for a full day. During that day I rest, read, and nurture myself by eating well and resting.
What is the biggest area of growth that you are working on?
Boundaries and triggers are at the top of my list at the moment.
What is a struggle that you’ve transformed into a strength?
Having hard conversations. I’ve worked on this enough to have them comfortably and now I always feel like the quality of my relationships overall has completely changed for the better.
What lights you up? When do you feel at your highest and/or most inspired?
Watching people succeed and overcome lights me up. Learning something new and realizing I’ve made progress in some area of my life lights me up. I feel at my highest when I am in good harmony with the people I care about.
Claudia’s Self-Care Pro Tips
What tips would you give someone new to self care?
See the difference that it makes in your life… when you give from a place of abundance vs. trying to give from a place of lack and emptiness.
Any self-care hacks or micro-habits that you’d recommend to others?
- Breath work
- Positive self talk
What do you do or tell yourself when you need a little boost?
You got this. I know you’re tired but you gotta keep going, the light is coming right after this experience.
Any SCS takeaways so far?
Being able to be vulnerable without fear.
Claudia’s Future Bio
I am currently studying Psychology and on my way to specializing in somatic therapy. I am loving this new phase of my life where I get to follow my passions without fear.
My kids are making plans for a higher education and we are already applying for several universities, watching them be independent and certain of the direction they want to take in life makes me feel so accomplished.
I am currently writing my second book about living with complex trauma, in my first book I shared my story and people seemed to find my writings very relatable. This time I want to bring people some science and knowledge in hopes that they too can find their way to their healing path.
I am in a very loving relationship and he is everything I manifested for what I wanted in a partner and more. He is loving, compassionate, independent, caring and driven. We both love, admire and respect each other’s journey and we are always so supportive to each other as we both continue to grow individually and as a couple.
I can say that I live a life where I no longer carry the weight of past traumas but instead, I live with this self awareness that I like to call my superpower.
What else would you like to share with the community?
I like writing about my experience with trauma and how it has impacted my life. When I write vulnerably and people feel heard, seen and validated… it’s like a healing token I gain.
Thank you for sharing your light with us today. Please join us in celebrating Claudia!
You can find her on Self-Care Society (@cheffyclau) or Instagram (@Cheffyclau or @chefclaudiastaste), where you can give her a little extra love and be first in line to pre-order her upcoming book!