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Professor Mario Soto

My name is Mario Soto and I am a professor of sport and performance psychology. I've had the pleasure of knowing Toni and Carlos Ramirez, the two geniuses behind this project for only a few years, but our lives became forever linked as a result of the loss of their son Jean.

The last few years have put a spotlight on society's struggle with mental health and it is our hope that through this medium we somehow provide a few answers, advice, and compassion allowing us to heal, grow as human beings, and make our family dynamic stronger. God bless you all, and thank you in advance for the privilege of sharing a few insightful stories each month. In return, I ask that you please share your feedback because I want this project to serve those who are seeking knowledge to help themselves.

Con cariño,

Professor Mario Soto

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Mindfulness Minutes

February 28th 2023

Sports are supposed to teach us how to deal with adversity and competition, how to win with dignity, and even deal with losing a game. Sometimes it could be hard to get over it, but the reality is it takes a lot longer to get over the pain of losing a loved one, especially when that loss is a result of suicide. The bravery from Toni and Carlos Ramirez shown in this project is nothing more than selfless courage. Taking an experience that’s so personal and trying to make something out of it, so that others can benefit from it. That's exactly what this project is all about. The fact that they’ve asked me to be a part of it was not only a no-brainer but maybe one of the most important things I have ever participated in. The last few years have brought a lot of struggle and challenges in society, and we hope that through this medium will somehow be able to provide some answers, advice, and even some compassionate love, so that we can all grow, as human beings and improve our family dynamic, and along the way, finding ways to help our society.

I hope that each month I will be able to share with you some of my stories, through the work that I am privileged to do with athletes and others who are looking to improve their performance and overall mental well-being. Mental health has become a word that in the last few years is used more often at the dinner table than anything we could’ve ever dreamed about. The good news is we’re talking about mental health more than ever before. The bad news; it’s a result of people not having good tools to cope with adversity and the challenges that life brings to us and also sadly the result of a lot of pain in our society.

4/09/2023 Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone yesterday my wife and I went to celebrate a  dear friends 70th birthday. It was a gathering of let’s say people slightly outside of our age range but It was really beautiful to see how, as we get older, we value the things that are the most precious, and talk about what we’d do different or change about our lives if we could. The truth is in this life, we might get a second chance, but we don’t get a redo.

 

When it was time for us to eat, the host and birthday boy asked everyone to get together in a circle for a prayer of thanks and gratitude, and in that prayer, he shared the reality that we were missing someone in the room. 

 

That person was with the birthday host earlier and complained of chest pains he apparently had been pushing away ignoring his symptoms and the emotional pain of those who care like his wife and kids. Peer pressure finally came in the form of multiple people at the house saying “you can’t keep ignoring this. You have to do something about it now, we need to get to the doctor”! 

 

It wasn’t until an hour before dinner that we had gotten word saying the doctors had found 90% blockage in his arteries. So our pre-meal prayer took on a deeper meaning. 

 

Why is it that we refuse to see obvious signs, ignoring kind advice from people who love us and try to get us to simply be the best version of ourselves? What is it about our pride, ego or sometimes just our unwillingness to get help or embrace help? I don’t have the answer because I know sometimes I fall into that trap, but I know one thing - love is about reaching out, risking the relationship and saying some thing to that someone “you care”. 

 

This message is my way, Toni’s way, Carlos’ way, and Anthony's way of saying that “we care” and hope that on this very special Easter Sunday, you take the time to listen to what your heart, mind, and soul are saying. That if you’re or someone you love is in pain reach out to them.  When you do it helps to heal both in the conversation.

 

Make time for yourself,  reconnect with someone in your inner circle from your past or your present let them know how much you appreciate them and make time to heal. Time maybe be our most valued commodity but so is the sharing of love.  God bless and take care.

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