StLSass

Posts Tagged ‘self awareness

2017.

What a year it has been. I’m already getting chills just thinking about this year. <Deep Breath> What a year, indeed.

I started this year by creating a Vision Board to chart out my biggest goals. Goals that at the time were just mere thoughts, ideas, hopes, prayers really. My three main goals were: Buy a house, Start a business, and Find a Rock Solid Love. Supporting goals around those ideas included: Conquering my addictions, Improving my self-esteem, Seeing beyond the limits of my ego, being fearless, Finishing What I Start, and last, but certainly not least, Healing.

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I had no real expectations.

I knew I was going to buy a house, but the search up until that point had been long and very tedious. I had looked at so many houses, and none of them felt right. When I created my vision board I was drawn to these pictures of a home with these crisp white walls. They seemed simple and elegant, they resonated with my soul, so onto the board they went. Three weeks into the year, the day of my thirty first birthday, I walked into a house, and as I was looking around a peaceful knowing came over my soul, this was my home. I didn’t pick up on it in that moment, but later on I was looking at my vision board, when it clicked. The house, my house, was full of tall, white, and simply elegant walls. My soul knew what I wanted all along, and through my vision board, it was able to show me exactly what that was.

Across the middle of my vision board I had created a large cutout of the word Entrepreneur. Again, I didn’t really know what that looked like, or what it meant for me, but onto the board it went for life to sort it all out. This one wasn’t as easy though. I struggled trying to figure out what business was really right for me. In March I created an LLC to do some side recruiting through. Recruiting is what I know, it’s what I’m good at, so it made sense that I create a business around that. Or did it?

A friend and former colleague of mine also started recruiting for himself about the same time. Except he was really going for it. We conversed a lot about how to go about the business, the ins and outs of taxes, legalities, contracts, etc. It didn’t take long for me to notice… that I really didn’t care about my business the way that he cared about his. It didn’t motivate me. It didn’t inspire me. That was a problem. That was a big problem.

In early March, I went to a talk by Derek Loudermilk that was called “Live the Life of your Dreams: The Top 10 Ways To Earn Money Online And Travel The World”. I was very intrigued by the message in Derek’s talk. He talked about various ways to make money through blogging, speaking, pod casting, coaching, and even creating and marketing online courses. These were all things that heavily piqued my interest. I already had a blog, I was always signing up for other people’s online life courses, and to imagine myself out giving a speech somewhere someday, possibly even a Ted talk… sent chills down my spine. This was what I wanted to do, this was the life of my dreams!!

The day after going to Derek’s talk, I got a random idea to host a Vision Board Class. I didn’t know what it would look like, or who would even want to attend, but I knew the New Moon was coming up and that was the best day of the month to plant an intention, so I created a Facebook event for the April New Moon, and hoped for the best. The night of my class, I had four girlfriends that came over. As soon as I saw the group of ladies that I would have, my heart felt so full, and so right. These were all women that I respected tremendously, who were all working hard at figuring out their own goals, and whom I knew that this class could truly help within their pursuits. It was an amazing and inspiring night.

A few weeks later, I set up a call with this Derek Loudermilk character. At the end of his talk, he had passed around a sign up sheet offering a free consultation to anyone there who wanted to talk. After seeing how inspiring my vision board class was, I wanted to talk to him and get his opinion on what kind of business I should potentially create. My one hour call turned into three hours, as Derek helped me work my way through some of my own self limiting blocks and beliefs that no one else in my life had been bold enough to call me out about to my face. My ego didn’t like him… which is exactly why my soul hired him right then and there. Working with Derek was a big financial commitment though, and again, my ego wasn’t totally on board. So I postponed our first official meeting until July so I would have enough time to wrap my ego and my brain around how the hell I was actually going to pay for him.

When I moved into my house, in the back of my mind, I had this idea that I could rent part of my it out on AirBNB. I knew I didn’t want permanent roommates, but I was totally okay with temporary guests, and even welcomed the thought of playing host to out of towners. So, with two months to secure my financial stability, and make sure I could really afford the commitment I had made, I went to work! I spent June and July getting beds, sheets, towels, and more, to turn my house into a real BNB. It was a lot of work, but it felt good, it felt right, and most of all it made me feel alive.

My first meeting with Derek came mid July. He was curious why I hadn’t posted my BNB yet. It wasn’t ready, it wasn’t perfect, I didn’t have pictures, I didn’t have a system figured out, I needed more time! My perfectionism needed more time. Derek challenged my objections though and pushed me to get the house listed by August 1st. Now my perfectionism had a choice: post it as it was… which wasn’t totally perfect, or fail to meet my first goal. I wasn’t about to be a failure, so I gave in and decided it was good enough to post. I listed the house on August 1st, my first guests checked in on August 5th. I was terrified. They were 5 kids from the UK who were finishing up a stint at a Summer Camp and had 5 days to kill in St. Louis before returning home. They had never used AirBNB, and were pretty much as clueless as I was about how exactly it was going to go. So we learned together. I learned that having house rules were important. They learned that eating your hosts food is a big no no. Lol. We had fun. Within my first month on AirBNB I made enough to pay my commitment to Derek, and still had extra to cover all my utilities. Every month since I have made enough to continue to cover my coaching costs and my most of utilities as well.

Dream Count
Soul: 1   Ego: 0

AirBNB wasn’t my end game though, that was simply one branch of the tree. My vision board class was another branch. My blog a third branch. Astrology, a passion of mine that was quickly becoming very useful to me, I knew would factor into this tree as well. While we’re on passions, there is also the topic of my comedy and storytelling, where do these fit in on my tree? Ahh, those go into the speaker branch. You know that dream of giving a TED talk that sent chills down my spine after Derek’s first talk? Yes, that is an important branch indeed. What else? Hmmm… Well, what I really want is to be someone’s Derek, calling out people’s ego’s and making them see how the only thing that is limiting them… is themselves. The more I got into astrology, and understanding my own innate talents and gifts, the more I have come to accept that this is actually something that I am very good at. I can see the bigger picture very clearly, and I’m great at meeting people on their level and talking to them in a way where they instinctively know they can trust me, and know that I have their best interests at heart. Which I do, and which is why being a coach is exactly what I need to be doing.

Dream Count
Soul: 6   Ego: 0

This year I figured out my dreams, and I learned to believe in myself enough to make them happen. Which, if that isn’t the truest definition of an Entrepreneur, then I don’t know what is.

So what about that third goal, a rock solid love? Those who know me well, know that love has been a struggle for me my entire life. Not for lack of trying, and not for a lack of suitors though, no, my struggle with love has always been with my ability to love myself. Until this year, until Derek called my ego out, and showed me how my thoughts and my words shaped this entire unlovable persona that I thought I was, I never really admitted that I didn’t love myself. When in fact, I didn’t just not love myself, but my self hatred ran quite deep. This was because I had deep hurts, deep wounds, deep pain, that I had never really acknowledged. I was always quite content to just always keep pretending I was fine. I saw no value in recognizing these things. In fact, it made me angry to even think about it. Well, it made my ego angry. You see, my ego, is the perfectionist, and for it to acknowledge my own imperfection made it quite hostile. I spent many nights this year alone in my home, quite literally screaming through that anger. Digging into it, understanding it, processing it, and thankfully slowly letting it go. Little by little, as I have let my anger go, as I have learned to understand the why behind my heavy emotions, I have slowly learned to love the imperfect woman that was beneath all of that hate. I have learned to love her something quite fierce actually. She is strong. She is kind. She is wise beyond her years. She is quite simply incredible. I can say all of that without hesitation now, because she IS the rock solid love I have been so desperately looking for.

Let’s go back to those vision board goals again: Buy a house (I  moved into my house on 3/17), Start a business (Achieved on 4/7, and again on 8/1, and again on 12/4.. and again and again and again), and Find a Rock Solid Love (All year long baby). Supporting goals around those ideas included: Conquering my addictions (I was sober 1/1 – 5/4, drank like a fish in May, realized why I got sober again by June, and have only let myself have wine ever since), Improving my self-esteem (Self love all day), Seeing beyond the limits of my ego (thank you Derek), being fearless (DOING ALL OF THIS REQUIRED ME TO BE MORE FEARLESS THAN I HAVE EVER KNOWN), Finishing What I Start (AirBNB), and last, but certainly not least, Healing (Working through anger, working through pain, coming out full of self love on the other side).

Wow.

2017… you changed my life.

It all started with a vision, a prayer, a hope. That is really all you ever really need. The Universe will always conspire to take care of the rest. 🙂

Sending you all so much love and light, as always,

– Christine

P.S. If you are in the St. Louis area, join me Sunday December 17th from 2-5 PM for my next vision board class! Come plant YOUR dream seeds for 2018!!

 

 

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The mind is a fascinating place. It can create a world and a life that is heaven on earth, just as quickly as it can trap you in the depths of its mental despair. The differentiator? I’m not sure anyone is really sure. The value we place on our own sanity perhaps? The strength of our spirit to overcome the mind? Genetics? All of the above?

Coming from a family with deep mental health issues, I am no stranger to the dark side of the mind. I have a sister that lost her mind, I suspect, to due guilt and grief after she was involved in a tragic accident that resulted in the death of her best friend. As far as doctors can diagnose, they have labeled her as schizophrenic, but I’m not totally sold on that. My sister was incredibly smart, and sharp minded, and after the accident, she just seemed to check out of life. She couldn’t face her pain, and the guilt that she felt. Slowly, over the years, I believe those emotions have manifested as all kinds of mental ghosts in her mind that are always haunting her.

When you’re in the middle of it, and the terrible pain around you seems so real, how does one overcome those demons?

That is a question I have spent the past few years trying to find the answer to. My verdict? Love conquers all.

Throughout my life, I too have wrestled with my own emotional/mental health demons.

Three years ago I started doing stand up comedy. I was not great by any means, but my raw vulnerability had a way of connecting with the crowd that was I think just very real to people. It was exhilarating, and when I went on stage it was a rush like I had never felt before.

Somewhere around the end of my first year of doing stand up… I lost my ability to be vulnerable. I had gotten into a relationship, and slowly, I lost my confidence and started becoming very insecure about everything.

At the time, I knew something was going on. I knew I was losing myself, but I had no idea why or how to stop it. Sure enough, as the months went on, I subtlety became someone different. Someone that was not quite the Christine that I once was. I looked the same. To the unknowing person, I probably seemed the same, but to those who loved me… to the man I was in love with… I wasn’t the same person anymore… I was a slightly less version of the me that we both knew was possible. A slightly dimmed down version of my amazing self.

At a certain point I left the relationship, because I was so lost. What I knew, but couldn’t quite put into words, was that I wasn’t okay being me any more. I wasn’t comfortable opening up and being real with people. When this all started, it was about three months into my new relationship. Right about the time when one would typically start to open up on a deeper level. Except I had never shared my depths with anyone before. I had never even really looked deep at my depths myself. Perhaps because subconsciously, I knew the demons that lived there… and I was terrified of them.

Instead of facing those demons head on though… I retreated in fear. My best self, my mind, decided it would rather be less, than to have to share my shame with the person I loved the most. My mind, my emotions, told me that he couldn’t possibly love me if he knew the real me, and so without even realizing it… I submitted to those thoughts and locked my best self away for “safe keeping”.

My soul, on the other hand, was not content with this lesser version of me. My soul could not sleep, could not eat, could not function at the thought of living the rest of my life in this place of fear. My soul is what pushed me forward and compelled me to fight the walls of the mental prison which were keeping my beautiful self locked down.

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you might be familiar with some of the demons that I am speaking of. Alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, and one I haven’t quite figured out just yet, but that I’m working on, which is a highly repressed sexuality. The side effects of all of these equaled low self worth, low self esteem, depression, anxiety, insecurity, distorted thinking, grandiose fears, and overall inability to cope with life. Before I confronted and dealt with the sexual abuse, and my repressed sexuality, I was a ticking time bomb of mental anguish. I had successfully masked my pain with drugs and alcohol for most of my adult life, but when I got into a real relationship, and my true self was mirrored back to me (as real love tends to do) there was no hiding from it any more. My soul saw what my mind had been hiding. The broken pieces of me that I always tried to pretend weren’t really there were front and center for my soul to see. At first this was quite frightening. I was frozen a bit in fear.

The hardest part of all of this was that what little self love I had built up for myself throughout the years, was suddenly completely gone. I was so angry with myself. I hated who I was. I hated that I wasn’t strong enough to not let this situation get so out of control. I hated that I had seemingly lost not only myself, but also this person that I loved so much, the first person that ever worked his way into the true depths of my soul. As a perfectionist, the worst thing that could happen was happening. My imperfect self was ruining my chance at a happy life. These were the thoughts my mind convinced me were real.

Slowly, what my soul began to see was that this was my purpose in life. These were the traumas I was given to overcome. Slowly, I stopped being so afraid of these demons, and I began to go to work on myself.

Over the past two years, I have worked my way through the world of jilted emotions and false realities that my mind had created which swallowed up my best self. It was not pretty, it was not easy, it required professional help, a new level of spiritual understanding, and a lot of asking the Universe to please help me figure this thing out, and then learning how to listen and look for the signs that the divine universe was sending.

During the past few years, I knew my stand up wasn’t what it once was. I wasn’t trying. I didn’t have the energy to be funny when all I felt inside was dark. I didn’t put in the effort that it needed, and every time I went up I didn’t get the same rush that I once did.

However, last night I sat down and I started writing. I wrote a new five minutes on my messed up mind. As I was writing, I noticed that I wasn’t holding back. I wasn’t afraid to address the crazy, I was raw, I was real, I was vulnerable. I wasn’t afraid any more. I had conquered my fears, and was finally in a place so good that I could look back and laugh at my crazy fucked up thoughts, rather than cry about them. When I finished writing, I sat there in an overwhelming state of peace and gratefulness; much like Andy Dufrane… I felt like I had tunneled my way through 500 yards of shit, but came out clean on the other side.

I performed my new five at an open mic, and for the first time in a long time… I felt that incredible rush that I used to get. For the first time in a long time… I felt like my best self.

The mind is so incredibly powerful. Whether you believe you can, or you can’t, you are right. Fear is also very powerful. Stronger than fear though, is love. The hope for love is what kept me going the past few years. The knowing that I could never have love until I conquered my fears and faced my depths, is what pushed me forward every day. Because you see, the man that I was dating… I loved him more than I have ever loved any other soul. It was the pure love that I had for him that made me able to see my depths so clearly. Any time my mind tried to make me forget about working on myself, and tried to tell me how everyone else was the problem, not me; that man would come to my mind, my love, and I’d remember the truth, I’d remember my lost self. I’d dig deeper, and I’d continue forging forward through all of the pain. Love was the lighthouse that saved me during the storm.

Life is a constant balance between Love and Fear; heart and mind. There is no easy button to overcoming the pain and the trauma that we each have to go through, that is a battle we each have to figure out for ourselves. The mental strength that is required to do that though… is only found when decide to chose the heart over the mind. Love truly does conquer all.

My advice to anyone going through their pain, and hurt, and suffering right now?

Follow your heart. Find your love. Face your fears. Be your best self. Every. Single. Day.

No matter how long you have to fight for it, keep going. You are worth it.

Much love and light to you all,

– Christine

 

 

 

We all have issues and fears in our lives that stem from the events of our childhood. That is the condition of life. Unlearning the unknown fears of our pasts in order to stop the cycle of pain that they keep us in. That is true growth in life. I have talked openly before about having a fear of intimacy, which is a combination of the fear of abandonment and the fear of rejection. This deep seeded fear in my life stems from the events of my childhood.

My parents divorced when I was five years old, and my fears of abandonment, I believe, stem from the events surrounding my parents divorce. While both of my parents went above and beyond to be the best parents that they could be, nothing they could have done could stop the fact that I subconsciously felt abandoned by them in some way.

My fear of rejection stems from the sexual abuse that I went through, where I was constantly subjected to an abuser who rejected me publicly, but preyed on me privately. That not only created a constant feeling of being of rejected, but it also created a deep rooted feeling of worthlessness within me that, to this day, I find very hard to shake off at times.

While I have acknowledged these issues, their complications, and how they have shaped my life, I realized yesterday that I still have a lot of pain from these things that I have not yet fully embraced. You see, we are beings that are wired to run from painful situations, and to adapt in ways that keep us from ever really feeling our pain. However, those adaptions eventually start to manifest specific lessons in our life which are meant to bring us to the point where we can finally admit that the adapted version of ourselves, is not as great as the true version of ourselves, and bring us to the place where we are ready and willing to face the pain of our pasts once and for all. Another great gift of life, we are continuously being given opportunities to improve to be our best selves. HOWEVER, many times those lessons require truly diving into and FEELING our deep seeded childhood pains, and only through this process can we emerge from our cocoons to be the bright butterflies that we are.

In figuring myself out lately, I have noticed that I very much have anger and control issues. It was in trying to figure out the anger side that I brought myself to the point of realization that it was perhaps fueled by childhood pain. After continuing to think it through, it became increasingly obvious to me that I still have a lot of pain that has yet to be physically felt and released. So yesterday I sat, and for a minute I concentrated on that pit in the bottom of my stomach that comes up when I begin to think about certain parts of my childhood, the painful parts. I focused on that pain, and as it became heavier and heavier, I started to cry. Not just a weeping cry, no, as I continued to forge into the pain of my soul, I started bawling a river of tears. It was painful. Gut wrenchingly painful.

I thought about my parents and how mad I was at them for “abandoning” our family. I have never really acknowledged it to myself, but last night in my pain, I found myself so incredibly angry and in sort of this child like “Why would you do this to me??” fit of rage and pain. I continued to cry, and breathe, and sit in the pain for as long as my easily distracted mind could handle. When I started to get side tracked with other thoughts, I pushed myself back in the pain, since it was so readily available to me yesterday (due to the current planetary alignments). As I continued to sit there, I began to really understand some of the pain that I had.

I began to understand that I felt so sad and alone because I felt like no one really knew me.  When I really dug into why I felt as though no one really knew me, I began to realize it was because I felt that my mom never really knew me. I saw that my anger stemmed out of my lack of a relationship with my mother, because I felt as though I couldn’t open up to her as a child. My innate reaction as a child was to always pretend everything was fine, and to never talk about my feelings… because deep down, what I was feeling was abandoned.

What I later realized is that what triggered this avalanche of pain and feeling was actually Mother’s Day. I had a wonderful day with my mom on Mother’s Day. I actually had something I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell her or not, but as the day went on, I felt more and more at ease, and so I eventually told her. She did her mom thing, and was able to break through the wall that I always keep up that everything is okay, and she got to my truth. So what I finally realized yesterday as I worked my way through all of this pain, is that my mother has always been there for me. She has done so much for me, all in the name of being a loving and supportive mother. She was always there, she never abandoned me. My feeling of abandonment was created by my own mind as a child when for whatever rhyme or reason I decided that my mother was no longer my ally, or my confidant, or my rock, and I began to shut her out of my life. I am the one who created my own sense of abandonment by isolating my true self from my mom.

As I came to that moment of realization, that I had created this strained relationship with my mother all on my own, the phrase “I chose this life” began to set in with me.

With all of my study into astrology and my soul’s purpose and mission in this lifetime, I have come to a great understanding, which is that my soul chose this exact journey for me to learn everything I needed to learn while I am on earth. The experiences that I have grown from, experienced pain from, and found joy in, were all put in my path to further my soul’s journey. I have come to understand that I truly did chose this life path for myself. So when I felt those words come up, “I chose this life”, I just continued to repeat those words out loud, to really let that sink into my soul.

Here I am writing this the next day, and I just had the realization that this whole experience is quite literally me uncovering one of the greatest masks of my ego. It is me  coming to an understanding of how the story of what I told myself as a child vs the reality of what was actually happening, shaped my misguided belief system that kept me from enjoying the pure love and light that both of my parents have always had for me, and in turn kept me stuck in my own self created world of pain and hurt. A pain that was so deep that rather than feel it, and learn from it, I have spent many years running from it, pretending I was okay, which only served to further the cycle of pain.

Funny thing pain is like that. When we tell ourselves that we are okay, and that we are fine, when we are in fact in pain, we then are essentially creating a place for that pain to live. We give that pain life. Our life thus attracts more pain, because that is the vibe that we are sending out into the world. We drag out our own pain when we don’t face it head on. However, when we do embrace it, feel it, let it hurt, and let it out… then we learn our truth behind that pain, and then we begin to understand it. Once we understand it, we can learn from it… and finally move on and be done with that it!

The only way out is through.

There are no shortcuts in life growth.

We all must learn to stop being afraid of pain.

We should welcome it with open arms.

Sit with your pain.

FEEL it.

Let it hurt.

Let it make you mad.

Scream.

Cry.

Be sad.

Then understand what exactly it is that is making you sad.

Once you get deep into that pain, it becomes easier to see what it is that is truly the problem.

Continue asking yourself why, until you have your answer.

It will come.

“As I stand in a puddle of tears, I give thanks; for without pain, I would not grow.” – @j.ironword

Give thanks. You are exactly where you chose to be on this journey of life.

You chose this life.

The sooner we all understand that we are not victims of our circumstances, but rather the creators of our destiny; the sooner we can flip that switch and realize our amazing power to achieve anything we desire in this world comes through our ability to face our own pain and grow our way through it.

Sending so much light and love to you all this week. There is a lot of active energy going on in the world right now, and I hope that you all take that extra energy and use it to confront some of your own pain… and that through that you find great healing, so you are able to better shine your light. Our world needs your light right now. We need to stop furthering the pain. It is time.

❤ Christine

I am at a loss today for what to even say today.

Our world is so very clearly messed up.

Corporate greed is annihilating basic human rights.

We have a government dead set on taking us into WWIII.

Billionaires are investing in luxury bunkers at rapid rates.

Are we on the edge of the end? Are we one tip of the scale from the end of the world?

I typically like to keep an optimistic attitude and not pay attention to the news cycles, however, I feel like that has been incredibly hard the past few days.

We have let the power hungry take the reigns to our country, to our lives, and run wild with it.

Now we are somehow at a point where convincing our own people that these power hungry monsters don’t have their best interests at heart is a real thing.

People who have blindly accepted lies as truth their entire lives, so they have no basis for real truth within their lives.

They are easily manipulated, and can’t see that they are losing everything in their life because of their blind trust in the ultimate con men.

Our planet is dying, and yet we are arguing over who owns what part of it. The sad part is, soon there will be nothing of value left to even fight over.

We are very much at a time of great awakening.

This I know, and I also know that we are simply being made more aware of the evils in our world right now, but that doesn’t mean there actually is more. In fact, I would care to argue that everyday more and more people are understanding that what we need is a shift into heart centered living, and they are doing just that.

Keep believing. Keep focusing within yourself, and working to better your own life. That is what we all must focus on, and within that, the changes will come.

Most importantly, keep being kind. Show compassion to all those in your life, including yourself. It is already a cruel world, we do not need more harshness on top of it all.

Have patience, for the night may now appear very dark, but the morning light is never far away.

Peace and love to you all,

– Christine

kindness

Last night I attended a local meeting on Climate Change, put on by local activist groups Indivisible St. Louis and Citizens Climate Lobby, to help lay out a plan for people on the best ways to go about contacting Congress, and also to brainstorm ideas on solutions for Climate Change. Their last meeting that was held in December, which I did not attend, had 6-10 people at it. The meeting last night had well over 100 people in attendance. A lot has changed from December to now, and I suppose a lot more people see that the unless we stand up for our planet, our government will not.

The meeting was extremely informative. It included first a National Geographic Video clip from the an episode of the show Living Dangerously, which followed Actor Bradley Whitford as he set out on a mission to lobby for Climate Change. In the video we were introduced to Jay Buterra, a long time lobbyist of Climate Change who has been on a mission to convert the Republican party to a group of climate change believers, one member of Congress at a time. Buterra has slowly created a Bi-Partisan Caucus on Climate Change. Jay started with the governor of Florida, as it’s slowly sinking state feels the effects of climate change the most right now, and slowly he has gotten 22 other Republican party members to agree to join the group to lobby Congress to pass a bill stating that Climate Change is real. (Which is ludicrous that Republicans are still denying this is real, but our government is slow to acknowledge and adapt new ideas, which is exactly why this group is slowly making history by converting the party one Congress member at a time.)

The clip of the show, was certainly eye opening, however, after watching the video the group had also had arranged for a live Face Time meeting with Jay Buterra where he addressed some of the issues in more depth, and also gave us all great direction on how to effectively influence Congress. Some of the takeaways I got from the meeting include:

  • Fact: Your voice matters! Congress is coming around to admitting that Climate Change is real, however, their biggest excuse is that they do not hear from their constituents about it enough, so it’s easy for them to say people don’t really care about it.
    Resolution:  We all need to be contacting our members of Congress regularly about the issues that we care about. Our voices matter, but we must use them!! One phone call, or one letter, or one tweet, is not going to do anything either. We need to be constant and persistent. Set a reminder each week and repeat your method of contact weekly to enforce the fact that you really care. This is in regards to whatever issue you are taking up with Congress.
  • Fact: You cannot effectively lobby for all the injustices that are happening right now at once. If you try to be involved in every movement, and every protest, you will be spreading yourself to thin and therefore making all of your efforts less effective.
    Resolution: Pick one thing that you are truly passionate about changing, and put all of your effort into that one thing. Educate yourself to the max on it. Know not only your reasons as why you believe it is necessary, but understand the views of the opposition as well. The only way you can effectively speak to those with opposing views in a manner that may change their mind, is to understand where they are coming from first. When you focus on one thing,  you can accomplish much more towards change than if you are splitting your attention between multiple causes and not really doing a great job at any one of them. Pick one thing, and do it well.
  • Fact: You will not change minds with hate, anger, or Facebook rants. That is a fact. These things only serve to bring y our energy down, and therefore bring down the energy of those around you.
    Resolution: Focus on the positive!! In the instance of Climate Change instead of focusing on how terrible the oil industry is, they suggested we focus on the positives of how many jobs updating our country’s energy infrastructure would bring. Right now, our current power grid cannot handle the massive energy that could be generated in America by adding more wind farms, so in order to prepare for clean energy we need to update America’s power grid, which not only creates jobs, but it also creates a safer, less vulnerable, energy grid for America. Focusing on the good things that will come about from the change that you want will go along way to creating actual change in people’s minds.
  • Fact: Your voice does matter! This one was so important I feel like it needs to be said twice. Many people make comments like “Well I would have done something, but I know my state is heavily Conservative/Republican so me doing anything isn’t going to matter anyways.”
    Resolution: DO NOT BECOME DISILLUSIONED AND THINK THAT YOUR VOICE DOES NOT MATTER!!! It does. The minute you think that you can’t make a difference is the minute the other side wins. They want people to feel like this so it suppresses people from even trying. The truth is, we the people, have a lot more power than we can even imagine.

There are so many different ways to go about being involved in a movement. There was a guy who stood up last night to mention that he likes to create puppets, and he is looking for help to create political puppets that he could do skits with to spread the message with. I thought that was so cool! This guy loves puppets, and so he wants to use that to inspire change! It showed me that you can really take whatever innate talents and abilities that you enjoy and apply those things to creating change. The sky is the limit when we exercise our creativity! Who knows, maybe someone who would never care about an issue sees a puppet show one day on climate change, and THAT is the thing that helps them finally understand the issue and want to help make a change.

Last night, for the first time since the election, I felt a sense of hope about our country. Being in a room full of people who were just as upset and passionate as I am about what is happening here, assured me I am far from alone in this fight. The truth is, many people are not happy about what is going on. Many people have not been happy for a long time, but it took a situation like President Trump to make people understand that the only way we can change anything is by actually being involved. That is when the magic happens. When Americans get involved with their politicians and government and remind them who they work for. We have become complacent as a country, where for many of us, getting involved in politics is the last thing we ever wanted to do. That mentality has to change though. We all must stand up together, and fight for our freedoms. We all must make our voices heard.

Find your cause, dive in, and make a difference. Our country, this world, needs you now more than ever!

God bless,

– Christine

 

Today is my birthday. Maybe it’s the week I’ve had, but I can’t remember a birthday that I have been less enthusiastic about. Thirty one. No glitz. No glamour. It’s just an age now. That part I’m okay with. I’m not dismayed by age. I am quite intrigued by the thirties and excited for how they will see me grow.

I think my disappointment with this year comes on the slight feeling of having failed myself over the past year. You see, since my birthday is in January, every year I set a goal for myself of something I want to accomplish that year. In the years leading up to thirty it seemed my ability to achieve said goal always came in the final hours. I’m a procrastinator by nature, so the pressure to make something happen doesn’t really hit hard until the deadline is fast approaching.

My goal for myself for thirty was to buy a house or property. Anyone that knows me, knows I’ve been working hard towards this goal this past year. I even moved in with my parents mid year in order to meet the monetary goal I knew was truly necessary to be serious about buying a place. Many people also know that over the past two months I’ve put several offers on places, even had one accepted only to fall through shortly after. To say it’s been challenging would be an understatement. I know internally I became more frantic about buying a place in December only because I knew my birthday was rapidly approaching and the thought of failing myself seemed out of the question. The Universe seems determine to not let me achieve this one.

However today, as I look back at the year that I have had, the challenges that I have faced, and the growth that I have achieved over the past 12 months, I see that my failure was not in the fact that I didn’t buy a property this year. No, my failure lies in the goal that I set for myself. You see my goal this year was wrong from the start. Before I could achieve the things that I want in life, I needed to get real about the things that were holding me back in life. That’s what this year taught me.. that in order to move forward, you must first admit to what is holding you back. What was holding me back? My ability to take care of myself… my ability to be healthy… physically and mentally.

Healthy means many things. For me, this past year it has meant finding an exercise that I enjoy, and pushing myself to do it everyday. I love biking. This year my love for biking saved me from my depression. It got me outside on days when I didn’t want to get out of bed. It got me in the heart of nature where I could connect back to my soul. It made me feel alive again. Not to mention it helped me lose 50lbs.

I got my eating under control. One night as I was staring down at the bottom of a bag of donuts, eating my pain away, I stopped and I asked myself… what emotion are you eating instead of feeling right now? That was the first night I admitted to myself that I was using eating to hide from my real pain. Once I admitted that to myself, it became a lot harder to sit and eat a whole bag of donuts and feel okay about it.

I should also mention Juice Plus+ in there, but only because I know it made my struggle against food so easy. When I started taking Juice Plus+ and flooding my body with good things, suddenly I didn’t crave sweets anymore. I craved salads. I don’t care how many emotions I can conquer, for me to actually crave healthy food… that is a miracle. Juice Plus+ was my easy button for nutrition, both the capsules and shakes, made getting nutritious food in my body so easy, and for one less struggle that was not so much a struggle… I am so thankful.

Then came sobriety. This was the hard one. This was the truth I wrestled with all year pretending it wasn’t really necessary. Pretending it wasn’t impacting my life negatively. You see alcohol wasn’t affecting my life to a point where it impacted my job, or my ability to function. Drinking wasn’t even something I felt the need to do every week. How could it be a problem if I wasn’t even drinking that much?? How could social drinking be so bad??

It was bad though. It was bad on the nights when I drank and then I let myself text an ex boyfriend. It was bad when I drunkenly drove myself home. It was bad when I didn’t get up and go to meditation class, or go bike, or go do the things that I truly wanted to be doing. Drinking took away my own power from myself.

I guess that’s what this year taught me really. It taught me that the only thing that can get in my way… is myself. It taught me that the only person that can hold me back from greatness… is me. It taught me, that even when I want to pretend to that I can make short cuts work out… that I can’t, and that I’m only postponing my own happiness by trying. This year showed me the value of listening to myself.

That may not be the goal I set out with… but it was the goal that I needed. As I sit here today and think about that… I could not be more grateful to life for stepping in to rearrange my goal this year to something far more valuable than buying a house.

Funny how if the Universe had let me get a property this past year… perhaps I would have missed the real value in that realization of real lesson I was meant to learn through all this. I love when the universe hands you beautiful moments like that. (Although, now that I’ve realized it, we can go ahead and make one of the properties I’m viewing today work out, right??) :p

Thirty was a beautiful year. It was a year of tremendous growth and learning. It was a year that led me closer to who I really am. With that, I have to say I can’t wait for what 31 has in store. I am set up for greatness. I am set up to make my dreams come true. I cannot wait to see where the Universe takes me a year from now… and what wonderfully hard lesson I will finally come to learn before I turn 32. 🙂

Cheers to goals, new directions… and life! ❤

– Christine

A person very close to me in life had his heart shattered this week when he found out his fiance was leaving him.She had become close with someone else, someone my friend knew and had suspected of being too close for a long time. He had asked his fiance repeatedly to stop contacting this person, and questioned why she felt the need to include him in everything in their life. She never had a good response other than that they were just friends, and it wasn’t a big deal. Which maybe it wasn’t… until she decided she wanted to be with this other person. Something she perhaps knew all along, if she had only stopped to actually listen to her heart.

As someone who spent the majority of 2016 feeling heartbroken, my heart ached especially hard for my friend when I heard this news. I know the pain and mental anguish that he is feeling right now, and will undoubtedly be feeling for the next few months. I know the feelings of self doubt and inadequacy that will fill his head as he wonders what he could have done differently. I know that his ability to open himself up and trust someone again is going to take a lot more strength the next time around. However, I also know that he will hopefully learn a great lesson from all of this. I know that he will find new focus and direction in his life, and ultimately end up in a better place. I know that he will come out better on the other side, eventually.

When I look at this heartbreak and my own, I do see a common theme though: Understanding and Communication. In my own experience I lacked the ability to understand my own feelings enough to be able to communicate them to my partner. I am someone who focuses mostly on external factors in life, so without realizing it, I tend to project my own short comings onto other people as if it is their problem, and not mine. That is the M.O. my external seeking personality has come up with as a way for me to be able to figure out my problems, because the only way I will notice the problem is if I think it’s someone else’s problem. It took me a long time to understand that, and it was only after I pushed my love away that I was forced to take a long look at myself and see that the problem was actually me.

When I think about my friend’s fiance, I know her and I are very similar in nature, and I can only guess, but I feel that she too could not see that her own inability to communicate her true feelings is what drove her to feel somewhat alone in their relationship. After spending enough time in that place, it became easier for her to seek out another person to fill that void rather than to face the hard work of figuring out herself and her own imperfections, and communicating those issues to her partner. Because that’s what real love does, it brings out our biggest imperfections and puts them front and center in our life to finally deal with. I guess in a way it’s nice that life waits until we have a partner to lean on in order to deal with those bigger issues. However, it’s not nice in that we don’t have more of a heads up that this major test is headed our way. A test I feel that many people don’t understand until it gets the better of them and they give up before they make it through to the other side.

It is easy to fall in love with someone. It is not easy to maintain and grow in love. True love requires patience, with yourself and with your partner, as you navigate both of your short comings and imperfections. It requires commitment to each other as you figure out those challenges within yourself and work to overcome them. It requires great understanding and communication. Your partner is there to help you, to show you things you can’t see on your own, to be the light at the end of the tunnel when it gets really hard to keep pushing forward, but only if you trust them enough to truly let them in to do so. Love is one of the greatest gifts this world has to offer. However, we would never really appreciate the depth of that gift if we didn’t have to work really hard for it.

To anyone out there going through heartbreak right now, first off, I just want to reach out and give you a big hug. Secondly, I want to tell you that through this pain you will learn and you will grow, and you will end up more ready for that true love that is out there waiting for you. Some love comes into our life to teach us a lesson that we need in that moment, and once that lesson has been taught that love fades away in order to give room to a greater love that was always out there waiting for us. I truly believe this. To anyone that is struggling in love right now, I want to encourage you to look within and be honest with yourself about what it is that you want and need in your life. Be honest with your partner and communicate those feelings. Together you will be able to better figure out if your relationship is the right one for both of you or not, and if it is, your love for one another will bring you the strength that is needed in order to overcome the challenges you are facing. To anyone that has weathered the storms with their partner and succeeded in growing in love for one another, to you I say congratulations. You have achieved one of the greatest things in life, and while you will most certainly continue to face challenges in life, you can rest a little easier knowing you will not have to face them alone.

Stay strong beautiful souls, and be assured that love is out there for you. Through the darkness we will find the light. ❤

– Christine