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The S.P.I.C.Y. Fundamentals

The key ingredients to forming and maintaining healthy and fulfilling relationships.

This methodology was developed by our founder, Maricela Soto (Spicy Mari). Mari’s background in Communication prompted her to better understand how we form relationships. She realized from early on the importance of building relationships in all aspects of life from personal to professional. Her research led her to a breakthrough. She discovered that there were five things that were absolutely necessary in order to form a relationship. S-P-I-C-Y stands for Self, Passion, Intimacy, Communication and learning to say Yes. Her research shows that relationship success is directly tied to how well we master these five concepts. 


Journey to a higher level of consciousness.

Understanding one’s Self is the first step in understanding how to interact with others. Self-Awareness refers to the state of being conscious about certain personality traits and behavior. Self-awareness motivates self-change in the form of Self-Regulation. This is the ability to override your initial reaction through stress tolerance and impulse control. Behavioral control begins with emotional monitoring which is a part of emotional Intelligence. By being cognizant of yours and other’s emotions you can reason and problem solve despite the circumstances; potentially affecting change within your social experiences.

Key Concepts:

  • Self-Awareness

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Self-Perception

  • Self-Actualization

  • Self-Regulate

  • Introspection


Kindle a fervent affection for life.

Having passion for life can positively affect your emotions, well-being, physical health, relationships and performance. Harmonious activities and hobbies that you enjoy for exercises, creativity or social occasions permits personal enjoyment. There are however, certain passionate activities based on psychological needs that can have an impact on the way in which we identify ourselves. Passion in your romantic love life can create positive emotional experiences as well as extremely negative ones. The “need to be desired, loved, or accepted” are common goals for many but when it becomes an obsessive desire, it can matriculate into poor choices or unhealthy behaviors in order to attain them.

Key Concepts:

  • Self-Expansion

  • Physiological arousal

  • Spontaneity


Spark closeness.

One’s ability to feel closeness and to connect to others is defined as intimacy.  Intimacy is not inherently sexual as society would like to perceive it to be.  Most long-term relationships of any kind cannot exist without some form of intimacy. It is the essential driving force for entering into partnerships or marriages. To be able to move closer to this ideal goal, an individual must first evaluate their current state of intimacy. A large component of Intimacy is self-disclosure. Full self-disclosure requires both partners to contribute (the input) the perception of intimacy, can affect the behavior (the output) of each person. If the intimacy is unbalanced the perceptual accuracy will be incorrect leading to a feeling of dissatisfaction.

Key Concepts:

  • Self-Disclosure

  • Bonding

  • Validation

  • Vulnerability

  • Commitment


Fuel Expression and acceptance.

Self-disclosure, emotion and expression are all intimate factors demonstrated through verbal and non-verbal communication with others. Social interactions and social relationships are established through means of communication. Receiving and processing information for a clear a thought-out response allows for proper articulation and avoids miscommunication in both oral, written and non-verbal exchanges. Emotional awareness is a contributing factor to healthy communication. It requires you to be attentive, present and perceptive.

Key Concepts:

  • Interpersonal Communication

  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication

  • Written Communication

  • Active Listening

  • Audience Assessment


Ignite affirmation.

Learning to say YES is the essence of collaboration and negotiation.  The ability to compromise is as equally important in the process of developing a relationship and should not be taken lightly. We take this a step further and believe that not only do heathy relationships involve compromise but it also involves individuals willing to go outside of their comfort zone.  This ability to say Yes to the unknown transcends all of the other key components: It allows you to learn new things and improve one’s Self. It allows for a continued Passion for life and shared interest. It is a catalyst for Intimacy and closeness and it promotes the use of effective Communication through discussions of new ideas and different perspectives. 

Key Elements:

  • Collaboration

  • Negotiation

  • Exploration

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