Who is Alejandra Siroka?
Alejandra’s passion for language and communication has been alive in her for as long as she can remember. From a young age, growing up in Argentina, she’s wondered how to express herself in new ways. At first, she thought learning new languages would satisfy this burning desire, so she focused on learning English, Italian, Portuguese and German. Her favorite days were when she ran into non-Spanish speaking tourists on the street and could talk with them… well, sort of –– the first question she learned in English was “Do you like apples?” and she certainly asked many patient tourists that question when she was a very young and talkative little alchemist!
Today, Alejandra is even more fascinated by the transformative power of language, and is answering a call to bring her gift of guidance and compassionate presence to individuals and groups. Helping people connect to their deepest essence and communicate their truth with authenticity, confidence and openness is one of her greatest joys. She is so passionate about helping those who are ready to find their own unique expression, and ensure that all their communication is uncompromisingly aligned with their core values.
Alejandra believes that bringing consciousness to how we communicate is fundamental to creating a fulfilling and happy life. She is convinced that with clear intention and a bit of guidance, we can free ourselves from the unconscious and self-limiting communication patterns we had learned as children that are no longer working for us. Alejandra teaches refreshing and conscious use of language skills to develop better relationships at home and at work. She makes a lot of people smile.
Alejandra’s clients come to her from all over the world and from many walks of life. These new alchemists-in-training are individuals, couples and groups who are ready to lead, partner and heal themselves and their relationships; these wonderful people who have been touched by Alejandra’s soft magic are now thriving –– primarily because they are communicating with clarity, authenticity, and mindfulness. The privilege of watching and guiding her clients’ alchemical journeys leaves her convinced that Gandhi’s advice to be the change we wish to see in the world is not only possible… it’s our birthright, and available to each of us, right here, right now.
What Has Alejandra Done With All That Energy?
Alejandra’s interest in language led her to pursue a 5-year university program in Argentina after which she became a public English-Spanish translator and interpreter. While in that program, she also wanted to learn about how human beings acquire a new language, so she concurrently attended and graduated from another 5-year university program to become a teacher of English as a Foreign Language.
With these two master’s degrees and her longing to talk to as many people as possible, she ended up living on Margarita Island in the Caribbean for over four years. Her job, which included wearing a very colorful uniform, was to talk to guests from all over the world that were vacationing at one of the hotels that were part of Confortel, the hotel management company Alejandra was working for. After a few months, Alejandra put together an educational program for Confortel staff and trained hundreds of hotel employees. The trainings helped four hotels improve their productivity and efficiency through clear communication.
Through a series of serendipitous events that unfolded as Alejandra’s meditation practice became a daily occurrence, she moved to Boston in 1999. She accepted a position in a public school and taught bilingual education and English as a Second language to elementary school students who were learning English for the first time. They taught Alejandra that the language of the heart goes beyond words, origins, ethnicity or nationality. Her classroom became a beautiful little world where she and her students explored the language of connection, collaboration and empathy.
At the same time, Alejandra trained mainstream classroom teachers and school administrators to adapt their curricula to the linguistic needs of their multicultural students. In addition, she provided translation and interpreting services for schools, universities and several non-profit organizations in Boston.
As she matured, she realized that her interest in languages and communication sprung from a longing for human connection. For the last two decades, she’s been engaged in experiential studies and practices of Eastern and Western traditions, philosophies and approaches and studied with a variety of teachers. Everything she committed herself to, from yoga, to meditation, to psycho-spiritual inquiries led her in the same direction: that this deep connection needed to start with her.
She moved to the Bay Area, California in 2005 when her now husband asked her if she was willing to open her heart to his. From 2006 to 2012 she learned to extend this openness to human beings rejected by society as she worked in courts, jails and prisons as a court certified interpreter and interpreted for hundreds of people who were accused, convicted or victims of crimes. She also taught interpreting at San Francisco State University and facilitated communication workshops in dozens of conferences.
In 2012, Alejandra obtained a master’s degree in Transformative Leadership from the California Institute of Integral Studies where she studied communication, consciousness and transformation for the leaders the world needs at this moment in history. In this program, she integrated her studies in linguistics, yoga and non-dualistic Eastern philosophies, compassionate communication, cognitive science, psychology and neurobiology.
Learning to listen to her Heart allowed Alejandra to devote her life to studying, exploring and discovering types of communication that lead to connection, compassion, acceptance and peace. She is so grateful to have found generous teachings and teachers who showed her how to see her inner dialogue as her greatest playground, and how to integrate and practice language alchemy in all her relationships. She’s profoundly grateful to her dearest teachers Jennifer and John Welwood for modeling the embodiment of an integrated human being and to Scott Blossom for his precise guidance on the authentic path of yoga.
Alejandra has experienced over and over the transformative power of language in herself, in the sacred partnership with her beloved husband, and in every close relationship. Now that you’ve read this far, she has one question for you: Do you like Apples?
What is Language Alchemy?
I’ve been hearing the word “Alchemy” since I was a child. My dad loved to cook. When I would begrudgingly go into the kitchen after being summoned to help him, he’d take a look at my sullen face, raise his eyebrows and with a big smile say “We’ll be doing alchemy!” I cannot tell you how many times I heard him explain that when we take seemingly ordinary ingredients, purify them, mix them, add our love, and visualize how wonderful people would feel enjoying them, what we have attained in the end is not a meal, it is gold.
Yup, my father was unusual for some. For me, he was an alchemist. He taught me how to find the extraordinary in everyday experiences. This is what alchemists do, they work with so-called lesser or base elements and transform them into gold. Now, don’t get fooled into thinking that my father taught me to cook. Nope. The thousands of hours we shared in the kitchen was my father’s idea of alchemy training.
In my studies, I learned that alchemists are always in search of the “philosopher’s stone”; the substance capable of making transformation possible. This tool of transformation, if you look deeply into alchemy is our very awareness; that is to say our capacity for clear, compassionate presence with life as it presents itself.
I use the metaphor of alchemy to represent transforming our “base” unconscious and ineffective communication patterns we were exposed to as children into the “gold” of authentic expression as mature, conscious, compassionate adult human beings.
Let me explain, the language you learned as a child is the most powerful influence in your life. Your language and the way you use it in communication, both in your internal dialogue as well as how you engage with others, is instrumental in fostering or thwarting your experience of safety, love, connection and thriving in life.
When you keep responding to your circumstances and your relationships in the same way you have since your younger developmental years, you are not communicating authentically or consciously; you are communicating habitually. When you are habitual you have no choices, no options for a different outcome. However, when you learn to pay attention to your language, you have the choice to express what’s in alignment with your values and longings. Communication anchored in what matters to you the most leads to experience an extraordinary life in which your relationships thrive and you feel centered, confident and alive.
The language you speak is a language you learned. So, you already have the capacity to learn to speak another language, the language that expresses the unique, radiant being that you truly are. If you are reading this, it is because you can learn to communicate with others to fulfill the deepest wishes of your Heart.
It is my wish that rather than just reading this description you can experience for yourself how it works. I’ve had the honor of witnessing hundreds of clients and workshop participants heal, develop thriving relationships, and transform their lives. I’d love to watch you take your alchemical steps towards your nourishing, fulfilling and vibrant life.
Bring Your Passion to Life: By Creating Intentions that Stick
January 2017, at Fit2Day studio in San Rafael, California. This is one of my favorite workshops. In this workshop, I facilitate the exploration of the language of intentions and the steps towards a joyful, gradual and sustainable path towards the realization of our heart’s longings.
Learning from Dr. Svoboda
This was taken at Esalen, after one of the many occasions in which I received the masterful teachings from Dr. Robert Svoboda. His humor and precision on Ayurveda and Indian philosophy inspire me every time. This photo was taken in January 2016.
Big River Yoga
This is a combination of photos from several workshops I facilitated at Big River Yoga in Minnesota in 2016. Some workshops were for yoga students and others were part of the Big River yoga teacher training. I loved the yoga community created by Chris and Nora Gordon.
Work Wisely – Tapping into the Guidance of our Bodies and Hearts
A workshop I had the honor of co-facilitating with Scott Blossom at the SVN Conference in San Diego, California in 2015.
SVN, the Social Venture Network is an organization that connects a growing community of innovative business leaders and social entrepreneurs to help them improve their business, enhance their leadership, and expand their impact.
Body, Speech and Mind: Communication On and Off the Mat Workshop
In these workshops at Yoga Tree Hayes, San Francisco in 2015, we emphasized the importance of having the principles of yoga come alive in our daily communication.
Skillful Speech: How to Talk about Race, White Privilege and Oppression
A workshop I was so happy to facilitate as part of the Tara Mandala’s Program Compassionately Awakening to White Privilege and Oppression. In this program participants courageously explored Buddhist teachings in relationship to issues of racism, inequality and social justice. Berkeley, California, 2015.
Exploring, Expressing and Embodying Generosity and Sufficiency
Dr. Kate Levingson, an expert on women’s relationship to money, asked me to teach a workshop at the Women, Money and Spirit Conference in San Rafael, California in 2015. In this workshop we looked at our language and the relationship with experiencing a generous or scarce life.
The impact of Our Language in Our Daily Lives
It was so nourishing for me to be invited to facilitate a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2015. This workshop was attended by several Non-Violent Communication trainers from Argentina. Since there were also some English-speaking participants, we did everything in both English and Spanish simultaneously. It was a lot of fun!
Speaking the Language of the Heart, Workshops
Part of Mattamayura Institute’s 6th month immersion program led by Christopher Hareesh Wallis in 2014 and 2015. In these workshops we explored language as a tool of consciousness, transformation and integration of teachings from yoga philosophy.
Supporting Jill Temkin, founder of Living Thin Within
Supporting my dear friend Jill Temkin, founder of Living Thin Within, in her year-long retreat to help women create alignment between the way they think and talk about their body, and treat their physical body with the same respect and kindness they offer to others.
The Language of Leadership for Young Leaders of Beyond Differences
These are the young leaders of Beyond Differences, a non-profit organization that stands for inclusion and against social isolation in middle schools. Social isolation is the precursor of bullying. It was inspiring to lead a weekend retreat for these young leaders and share with them about The Language of Leadership.
Launch Your Conscious Business
With one of my mentors, François Beausoleil, helping a group of heart-based entrepreneurs launch their conscious business in a 6-month program we put together in 2014.
Professional Development Trainings since 2007
I love facilitating professional development trainings for the behavioral health, legal and scientific communities. In these trainings we explore the importance of compassionate language in these fields, how to practice multicultural humility and how to work effectively with interpreters and clients from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
Learning from Two Luminaries
I had the honor of studying with these two inspiring leaders. Dr. Riane Eisler, on the left is a social and systems scientist, attorney, and author on cultural transformation. Her groundbreaking research has impacted many fields, including history, economics, psychology, sociology, education, and healthcare. Dr. Angeles Arrien, on the right, was a cultural anthropologist, author, educator, and consultant. Her work focused on bridging cultural anthropology, psychology, and comparative religions.
Interpreting at Conferences, Courts and Political Rallies
These photos are from my years as an interpreter. Interpreters must maintain excellent focus on precise language and communication whether we are interpreting at a conference, in court, in a political rally and whether the message is technical or intensely emotional. I learned a lot about keeping calmness in the midst of stressful communicative events. I loved working with my interpreter colleagues and friends.
Learning about the Language of the Heart from Children and Teenagers
One of the most rewarding experiences was learning about the language of the Heart from the children and young students I taught in Massachusetts for 6 years from 1999 – 2005. These beautiful children came from all over the world. Some were refugees of war; some had little access to food in their home country; some migrated to the US because their parents wanted a more fulfilling life or were studying at the university. Here are some photos of my last few groups when I finally had a digital camera.