I am not going to lie, I am tired.
Moving from one reality to another requires your brain to be going into manual gear 24/7.
Nothing is familiar. Everything is new.
Even when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night you have to really wake yourself up to find it.
No turn inside or outside the house is on default.
Everything has to be thought through.
Everything is a conscious experience.
The brain has to be alert all the time.
No wonder we don’t like to change.
We miss steps. We spill coffees. We hurt our toes in unseen corners.
And that’s the least of our problems.
It’s as if the old reality is trying hard to stay with us.
But it can’t.
In a few days though the brain will start to get used to the new life and memorize all the new people, corners, bathrooms, names, places.
And before we know it, it will feel as if we have been here forever.
I have to tell you, it feels as if I walked inside a different universe.
It’s tiring but so exciting to see who I get to be here.
I am holding on to all the newness however hard it feels.
I want new habits, new likes and dislikes.
I want to be someone else.
I know it sounds weird to say this.
It’s not because I didn’t like the old Christina, but because I want to choose who I am instead of who I was born to be genetically and circumstantially.
Maybe I like to jog every day.
Maybe I like fruits and vegetables haha.
I have received so many emails from people who followed along with my move to tell me they are also moving.
Or that they just moved.
That it was hard but they did it.
I am so proud of us.
We are the ones who can do this because of what we have been through.
And as you know, I always say you can do the impossible because you have been through the unthinkable.
If we can’t move from one place to another, from one reality to a chosen new one.
Then, who can?
We are the superheroes of our world.
And if you haven’t been able to see yourself this way, you should start today.
You are special because of what you have been through.
Here’s to many new lives inside this one.
Where you get to choose who you are and where you want to make a home for yourself.
With a brand new life,
P.S. Make sure you register for my Life Reentry workshop at the Omega Institute here: https://www.eomega.org/workshops/life-reentry-after-loss
PPS. And listen to the new podcast here: www.dearlifepodcast.com
I have been planning for this day for months and it is here.
We are on our way from California to Austin, Texas with our dogs, kids and a couple of pillows for the road.
We said goodbye to our home and I have to tell you it felt like I was saying goodbye to a person. A person who always provided for me.
The house had this unselfish relationship with me.
It always gave.
And I took it all.
I took the stars above it.
Prayers from the nights.
The sun rising from its deck.
Peace from the back yard. Comfort inside the kitchen.
Love and acceptance all around it.
Now I know it’s already giving it all to the strangers who moved into our home.
And that’s the way it is.
My bags are packed and I am about to get in the car with the girls, Eric and our dogs Gracie and Zoe.
Look for us driving across America.
While I am on the road I hope you spend some time listening to the Dear Life Podcast and know that I am always with you.
Episode 1 is here: http://www.dearlifepodcast.com/episodes/ep1
Episode 2 is here: http://www.dearlifepodcast.com/episodes/ep2
Sometimes I feel like I need to make sure you are all taken care of if I have to go somewhere.
I love you all.
With adventure and new beginnings,
Something happens when we find it in our heart to slow down.
The right energy catches up with us.
Maybe the saying ‘go slow to go fast’ is true.
Maybe speed is not human.
Maybe it’s the opposite of happiness.
A synonym for darkness.
Maybe learning how to go fast is easier than learning how to go slow.
Lately, I realized that my slower pace produced more.
It’s was like slowing everything down allowed me to birth a new life.
Going fast kept me in labor. For a long long time.
Since I slowed down the last few weeks, I re-released Second Firsts.
Sold a house and bought a house.
And launched a new podcast series while moving out of my home at the same time.
I have to tell you I really slowed down.
I slowed down so much I was scared I would not be able to start again.
And look what happened.
I feel like I discovered the biggest treasure.
OK. OK. Let me find the words for this.
Slow is synonym to prayer.
A direct link to everything we need.
When I stopped running at first I was really sad and scared.
And the ache in my heart (which I call depression) was still present.
Then I noticed it leaving me and in its place life-changing creations came to be that felt easy to make.
I also gave birth to a new belief.
You know, beliefs are hard to birth.
Most of them are installed in our childhood.
New positive ones are almost like miracles.
The new belief said you don’t have to work so hard to make beautiful things.
And as you know, beliefs create our reality.
And I can’t wait to see what happens next with this new view of my life.
Slow it all down even in situations you think it’s impossible.
Especially with those.
It’s going to be OK. Breathe. Look around you. You got this.
P.S. This time next week I will probably be somewhere in the middle of the country.
We would have been driving for 24 hours by then. Make sure you follow me on instagram @christinarasmussen7 and on facebook www.facebook.com/secondfirsts as I will be posting pics during our road trip to Austin and our new home. And I hope you subscribe to the Dear Life Podcast and take me with you in your car. On your hikes. And when you slow everything down: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dear-life-with-christina-rasmussen/id1465291728
What started as a new direction towards a better every day life for myself has brought in a completely different identity.
I went from driving as fast as I could go to moving almost backwards.
Stopping a fast car is one of the most vulnerable and courageous things we could do.
Because we have to be ok with not belonging, with not fitting in with our family, friends and neighbors.
Being ok with disappointing others.
Money. Financial freedom.
Risking it all for what?
For the most priceless thing in the world.
I have to tell you I wish I had all these insights earlier.
But grief and fear put you inside a really fast car.
With blinders on your left and right.
With one thing in mind.
Not feeling grief or joy.
As both are dangerous to someone who lost a lot.
So you are in this car driving away from everything, even the things you crave for because you are afraid of losing them all again.
You do everything you can to not be in this position again.
This fast car you are driving makes your pain numb and misses all the opportunities for joy.
But here is what happens. The faster you go the worse everything gets.
Numbness doesn’t lead to less pain.
It leads to severe depression.
Because when a person who is made to feel everything tries to feel nothing is like extracting their own DNA and burying it in the ground.
When I stopped my very fast car (which by the way has been driving for over a decade at a lightening speed) I had no idea who I was.
There is a step in my Life Reentry model that is about discovery and unless we discover the new identity we can not reenter life.
I have put myself through this process many times.
I can honestly tell you this reentry is so different to all the others.
It has had the biggest surprises.
The most invisible losses.
And some dark nights.
Maybe not the darkest but certainly unexpected darkness.
Unexpected darkness can be more dangerous than regular darkness.
We never see it coming.
I will end this letter by saying this:
If you are running fast, trying to numb yourself from everything good and bad, please promise me you will hit the breaks however much it hurts.
The pain from stopping the car will subside and you will be able to breathe again.
You will begin to cry the tears you couldn’t while you were speeding.
And feel the pain of your old life so that the new life has a chance to begin.
With many breaks and a new creative identity,
P.S. This last Tuesday as a lot of you know SECOND FIRSTS was rereleased and I want to thank you for loving this book as much as you do and for sharing it with your family and friends. AMAZON LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Firsts-Step-Step-Guide/dp/1401957064/
When someone who has climbed the biggest mountains dies, I can feel the blood in my veins take a pause.
When the heart of a warrior stops beating it is felt in us all.
This week Doris Day died.
I hope she enjoyed her wins and her accomplishments.
Because one day this life is over no matter who we are.
I used to call the path to the dream a dirt road.
And I truly believed it was the only way there.
I wish I knew then what I know now.
It doesn’t have to be a dirt road.
You don’t have to crawl all the way to the mountain top.
There are two types of hard work.
The enjoyable type where you love what you do and you work hard for it.
And the type of hard work that you hate.
I know this is a strong word, but I want to help you recognize the difference.
Hard work can be very enjoyable.
But hard work that is not enjoyed becomes fear, anxiety and loss of your identity and self.
It is like you are selling yourself.
You are giving your life away to something you hate doing because you think it will lead you to your dream.
And it might.
But your life could end before it does.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
I wish someone had explained the difference between working hard for something I love doing and working hard towards something I might love in the future.
And we die there, in the midst of waiting for a better climb, a dirt road without mud and a door that may not stay shut forever.
I am not interested in dirt roads anymore even though I am such an expert on them.
And I am running down the mountains I thought were mine.
Don’t listen to anyone promising you that one day it will get easier, if you are doing something you simply hate you must stop doing it.
And work harder than ever to do something you love.
You will win you know?
You will succeed in it.
How do I know?
Imagine throwing yourself to a mountain that you love.
That mountain will move to make you a part of it.
You know what this is called? It is called fate.
When the mountain hugs you on your way up instead of pushing you of it you know it is meant to be.
Let’s say goodbye to all of the borrowed mountains and dirt roads we were told were the only way to the life of our dreams.
As for Doris Day, I read that she found her very own mountain from the start.
But I believe the late mountain finders like us have even more appreciation for the hug back. And it is that much sweeter.
That much grander.
With my new beautiful mountains,
P.S. 4 DAYS LEFT until SECOND FIRSTS is here. Oh my world: AMAZON LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Firsts-Step-Step-Guide/dp/1401957064/
I changed these last few weeks.
And it hurt.
It felt as if my skin stretched beyond what it could.
Change is like another person is trying to come through you and it is not as natural as birth.
It feels wrong.
Your whole body is screaming, no more change.
No more walking on the edge.
No more new things.
Go back to the smallness of your room.
And I try to get used to my broken pieces being everywhere while the new person is coming through.
Not an easy time.
And all this emerging and growth takes forever.
Being in pieces for that long is not easy and you wake up every day wanting to give up the change and go back to the familiar self.
But I read something really spot on.
When you are tired don’t give up, just rest.
So I went to bed last night, earlier than normal.
Without guilt. I slept. I rested.
And when I woke up this morning my growth wasn’t hurting as much as before.
I didn’t feel broken up, just simply shaken but at peace.
Hurting but with bandaids.
Change hurts. It hurts a lot.
That is why most people choose not to.
Don’t be one of them. Let yourself break.
Know that all this is, is your new identity trying to come through.
I wish she could just come to the front door and ring the bell.
But it is not how change shows up. Is it now?
Instead, she will try to come through that small window in the bathroom.
With an upcoming new life and many small bathroom windows,
P.S. Just 11 days away before the new edition of SECOND FIRSTS is here. Grab your copy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Firsts-Step-Step-Guide/dp/1401957064/
No wonder nobody wants to change their life, especially the big things.
They require a thousand steps minimum.
I am in the midst of selling my house, and it feels like the list of things to do is never ending.
Which may actually be a good thing if you think about it.
You see when change happens suddenly, it is rarely a good thing.
Unless of course you win the lottery.
Even having a child takes 9 months.
I am realizing that the thousand steps are just stepping stones that get us from the old life to the new one, preparing us for change.
If it was immediate I think we would feel like we were breaking.
In this way we are being slowly moved out of what was.
Even though I am slowly being ushered in the new life I took out my back.
So I can no longer bend down to put my shoes on, and every step is painful.
I thought about this, of course.
This is my body letting go of my house.
This house has been such a big part of my physical reality.
I wrote Where Did You Go? here.
And it has been my refuge in more ways than I can say.
It became an extension of me.
If my soul had a physical existence it would look like this house.
I know why my back gave out.
The house is leaving my body.
We accepted an offer on Monday.
We move in a month.
And my physical existence is saying goodbye to the place it belonged to.
I am not a good chapter ender. Griever. Goodbye sayer.
Letting go is not one of my strengths because the few things I love, I love deeply.
I carry them with me forever.
But it is time to take the last few steps.
And my back needs to find its way back to functioning so I can greet my new chapter.
Never think for a minute that changing your life is just a bunch of decisions.
It is more than that.
You are an extension of your reality.
When you try to change it, it is like removing parts of you and leaving them behind.
It is a hard thing. But we must do it.
We belong in more than one place, one person and one life.
If you are going through a big life reentry like I am, know that what you are experiencing in your body and in your heart is normal.
May you complete your 1,000 steps and find yourself inside a beautiful new life feeling as if it always belonged to you.
With 1000 steps and counting,
P.S. The new Second Firsts book is nearly here. Words cannot describe how it feels.
GET YOUR COPY HERE: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Firsts-Step-Step-Guide/dp/1401957064/
PPS. See you at Omega end of September for the most incredible reentry class.
It feels as if all of a sudden, nothing is significant.
Aside from the people in my life.
When I first started to feel this feeling a few weeks ago, it worried me.
This new feeling was destroying my world.
It was as if I was no longer me.
I stopped caring.
Whether I would make a living.
Have a car I like.
Make others proud.
Be liked. Approved. Chosen.
It all vanished. Gone.
From one day, to the next.
It was like someone went inside my heart and took out all the wanting.
All the wishing.
My mind was filled with this knowing of myself without the wishes.
Without the ambition.
Without wanting anything.
It was like my consciousness separated from my identity and I was able to see life without it.
I realized that the struggle to make my wishes come true created such an over busy life that I might as well have been dead.
I was alive inside an unlived life.
Just simply working for my future dreams.
And then it hit me.
I found its starting spot.
This working around the clock experience.
It was when I got my first full time job after he died.
I remember hating the job but loving how my mind was occupied all day and I didn’t cry as much as I would normally do.
It happened even from the first day.
I said to myself then, wow grief didn’t knock me out today.
And so it began, work helped ease the pain.
My brain got used to it.
I started to make work a default setting.
Meaning, it was automatic to choose work vs choosing life.
And even when I was no longer feeling desperately sad my brain was just used to working hard, so it went with it.
Now I know what happened to me.
I never made it after loss.
A shadow self was here.
A stand in.
I really believed that some parts of me survived.
But now I know that was never true.
Because I can’t spot Christina anywhere in the last 12 years.
I saw glimpses of her here and there, attempting reentries.
Making it in for a while.
But never all the way.
And here I am now.
My first full life reentry.
Learning to walk again.
So…here’s to finding your way to a complete life reentry after loss.
It may take time. A year. Ten years. Maybe more.
Just don’t let the stand in live out the rest of your life.
You promise me?
With excitement for what’s to come,
PS. Come reenter with me at Omega: Register here: https://www.eomega.org/workshops/life-reentry-after-loss
PPS. The new release of Second Firsts is approaching fast. Pre-order here: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Firsts-Step-Step-Guide/dp/1401957064/
PPPS. Where Did You Go? has been reuniting people with their loved ones all over the world. My soul is so grateful. So beyond grateful.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t have it in me.
To move fast.
To say much.
To speak in front of others.
To become every day someone new.
We are being asked to do so much.
It feels very machinery. Robotic with an AI brain.
Almost like a factory of the future.
It’s tiring to be human this way.
Unless of course you escape in the middle of nowhere, with some land.
And open roads.
Where you can remember what it was like to just hear yourself without the noise of the machine.
Sorry for today’s letter.
But all of the speed around me makes me feel that I am not fast enough.
Smart enough to keep up with everyone else.
Lately I heard the noise of the machine, louder. So I turned it down.
I don’t know how to say this without sounding wrong but I hope I never find big success.
Even the thought of succeeding makes my heart palpate.
So where does that leave me?
Let me tell you.
I am on my way to finding a big piece of land in Texas.
Our house here in California goes on the market next week.
We will be moving mid June.
Probably a road trip with the dogs.
Once there, I will continue to write, teach, speak and create but with one thing in mind.
My work is not my life. It is just my work.
First I do my life. Then I do my work.
Not the other way around.
And not fast. Not loudly.
Somewhere in the middle of the country on a farm with space to see the sun rise and set.
I am starting to like myself maybe for the first time ever.
Just a woman with love for herself, her family and all the people she wants to help with her words.
Oh sweet life. I have missed you.
With living life,
PS. I have such big news to share with you. A big study of Life Reentry has been funded and is about to begin at the Kessler Foundation. This has been a big dream come true. One day Life Reentry will find its way to your local church, community and hospital. We are making big strides.
PPS. I will be teaching a Life Reentry workshop at Omega end of September, REGISTER HERE: https://www.eomega.org/workshops/life-reentry-after-loss
I don’t know exactly when it started to happen.
But there was a moment in time when things shifted towards more happiness than hopelessness.
More joy than resistance.
More cheer than angst.
More present than past.
But It took me a decade to get there.
Yes ten whole years.
That’s 3,652 days.
That’s 87,658 hours.
For every one of those days and hours I became my own best friend.
I talked myself out of staying in the waiting room.
I talked myself out of thinking of myself as a victim, as widow, as weak, as alone, as abandoned, as unworthy, forgotten, lost.
And told myself that I had something special inside of me.
I was the underdog. I was the woman who could… and that I could keep going.
I was kind to myself.
At night when the world would reject me, I would accept me.
When every day I found closed doors, every night I assured myself that the door keepers were mistaken.
When I felt unloved, I found a way to love myself.
When I wanted to hide, I slowed myself down and only took tiny steps until I could do more.
So I started to be ok with who I was, how I climbed, how unsocial or social I was, how loving or unloving I was and what made me or didn’t make me happy.
I finally started looking for my own definition of good, my own definition of happy.
When I started being ok with my own kind of happy everything became better.
I didn’t resist myself anymore.
I didn’t feel as much guilt.
I didn’t have shame.
I embraced the uniqueness of my life after loss.
Who I had become.
And that got me out of hopelessness.
I became my own best friend.
Today, I am asking you to start giving to yourself.
When you go to bed tonight and think about all the bad things that happened in your day be kind to yourself.
Tell yourself that you are worthy of a million stars, of the brightest moon and of a million open doors.
Because you are.
P.S. Come reenter with me at OMEGA.
PPS. And keep going on your journeys with WHERE DID YOU GO?