The Art of Answering Your What Ifs

June 3, 2021

Sometimes the new life is hiding behind a tiny moment. Behind just one thought.  If you could look inside your mind you would see two words connecting the old chapter with the new one.  These words can be missed completely if we are not paying attention to our inner experience.  It is almost like a lottery win.  Rare. Unexpected.  Invisible to the naked eye and inaudible to our ears.  But then how could we hear it or see it?  How can we find something that is not seen or heard?  Well, let me show you.  Imagine you are going about your day, and wondering the same things, thinking the same thoughts.  And just like that, a question pops up and it starts with the words... what if.  Just... what if?  When this happens, complete the sentence and answer the question.  When you answer it, add, and then what?  And then, what would happen if I did this?  Keep going.  Don’t stop the trail of the thread.  That is how you jump from one chapter to the next.  How you change your life.  I was on a road trip from Austin to Los Angeles last week and in between Albuquerque and Sedona the what if question popped in while I was thinking about something and I stayed with it.  I answered it.  All the way until it became a decision which I acted upon.  What if you did the same thing.  Answered your what ifs?  Then, the what would happen if you did this? If you dared yourself, with the answer.  We take life so seriously.  We agonize over big decisions.  We wait.  We let time pass by these words, unanswered.  When I finished the answering of my what if, I stopped at a rest area where a jewelry shop was magically there, in the middle of the desert.  I walked in and bought a beautiful cross to signify the moment of the answering.  You can never let your brain forget the seeing, the hearing of the unseen, and the unheard.  May you listen in, find your what if, answer the question and make it a memorable experience.  Will you dare?  With many what ifs, and a few... then whats, Christina  P.S. I hope you find your way to this week’s podcast with one of the greatest teachers I have ever met. Listen here.

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The Two Moons

May 14, 2021

It’s late Thursday evening as I am writing to you.  And the dark of the night makes for a deeper connection between us.  It’s almost as if we slightly step out of space so we are closer together.  It will be morning when you are reading this letter, night when I am writing it, and so we meet at dawn.  Dawn has always been a sacred time, a non-local world between the sleeping and the wake. The light and the dark. The spoken and the unspoken. The things that make us. And unmake us.  Grief. Love.  Remembering. Forgetting.  It is the place where loneliness and solitude reside side by side without touching. The place where impossible things exist.  Unearthly worlds. Unimaginable lives.  But somehow, this place of dawn, the in between day and night, makes everything less earthly. Less humanly. More outwardly.  I often found grief to feel both heavier and lighter there.  It feels as if we know we can endure it but we also know it's torture.  During that time we can believe in both fairies and science. In healing but also in the infinity of life’s hardship.  I don’t think, though, I could have felt the specialness of dawn if I had not been touched by grief. Dawn without deep loss is just a place semi-dark.  Nothing magical to it.  Life without loss is also just a place.  Nothing magical to it.  In Michael Collin’s book Carrying the Fire (the third astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission) he says, “There seems to be two moons now, the one I see in my backyard and the one I remember from up close. Intellectually I know they are one and the same but emotionally they are separate entities.”  I know you and I have not gone to the moon, but in many ways losing someone we love is as life changing as seeing the moon up close.  It resembles Michael Collins' two moons experience.  After loss. We have two views. Two lives. Two selves. (Click to tweet!) But if you ask me, at dawn they become one.   They find their way to each other and blend in.  Grief becomes life, dark becomes light.  And just like that, there is no duality, not duplicity and certainly no extremes, just us and the moon waiting for the sun.  Preparing ourselves for the day ahead. Today, remember how incredibly lucky we are to see two moons instead of one, to carry the fire within us, and maybe even to have the power to put it all back together at dawn.    With carrying fire at dawn, Christina  P.S. Read the books, listen to the podcast, and live a life full of moons.

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Safe Worlds

April 30, 2021

I have a few favorite movies I watch over and over again. They are my safe worlds. I go to them when a day has been hard. I put them on and sit to watch as if for the very first time. My brain rests while entering a familiar world, witnessing someone else’s life. Crying about someone else’s loss. And why we must allow ourselves inside these safe worlds. We must give ourselves a break from our own. When my husband died, my dad took me to the store and he purchased the biggest TV we could fit in the car. One third of it was sticking out as we were driving home. I remember I spent the first few months watching Grey’s Anatomy after I put the girls to bed. For an hour or two I was immersed inside someone else’s tragedy. That gave me a breather from my own grief. In the last few years I have watched The Time Traveler’s Wife at least 20 times. For those of you who have watched it, you know how the wife in the movie, is able to see her husband after he has passed. And for that one moment we lose ourselves in their reunion. As they run across the field to embrace each other before he disappears again, we imagine ourselves being the ones running. We are the ones reuniting. No matter how many times I watch that part, I stop everything I am doing and sit still so I won’t miss anything. I am inside a timeless existence while it plays. Interstellar is another movie I have watched countless times. And it is not because it has to do with space, but because it has to do with grief. Specifically grief experienced outside of time. They lose decades of the lives of their loved ones back on earth. For them though, it has only been hours. During those scenes, the way grief is captured is so poignant. I know you have a favorite movie too. Maybe tonight, after a long week you put your feet up and let yourself escape inside the safe world of the familiar. Inside a world you can be a part of, without having to risk anything or lose anyone. After all, true healing lives inside stories, fictional or not. It is the only place we can truly witness our own journey. (Click to tweet!) With many safe worlds, Christina P.S. If you know someone who would love to also receive this weekly letter, you can send them here to subscribe: https://secondfirsts.com/second-firsts-message-in-a-bottle/

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Don’t You Give Up

April 23, 2021

Sometimes it will feel as if nothing makes sense.  Nothing at all.  You can’t fathom why bad things happen to you. Even though you try.  You did everything you could to change the course of your life.  You ran when you were supposed to run.  You climbed when the hill appeared in front of you.  You crawled when the ceiling was falling on you.  You swam in the deepest oceans as if it was shallow waters.  You worked hard day in and day out.  You were a good person.  A really good person.  You cared about the people around you.  You always left a room better than you found it.  You were that person who just made everyone feel better about themselves.  You gave food to the hungry, money to the poor.  You opened the doors to those who couldn’t.  You helped the ones who never asked for help.  And yet you were told NO for the things you wanted most in life.  I know you want to give up.  You want to stop believing in the goodness.  But I won’t let you.  I know it doesn’t make any sense to keep trying. To keep believing.  When will your turn be? But the Universe rarely works logically.  Just because you give, you work, you try it doesn’t mean you automatically get.  Just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean your love protects them from an illness, from an accident, from the end of their life.  It just means they are loved while they are sick, or in danger and that my friend is everything. And in the same way, loving life even when it is hard to love is all there is to it.  That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less.  Just loving life even when it looks good on someone else instead of you.  I have discovered that the happiest moments take place while witnessing joy on someone else’s hard working day.  Sometimes, you can get lost in their joy more than you would in yours.  I know you are tired. I am too.  I know you feel like you have nothing else to give. I get it.  But I also know you have what it takes for one more crawl, one more climb.  Don’t worry about what happens after.  It has never been about the tomorrows. Or the yesterdays.  It is just about the here, the now, this crawl, this climb. This fall or rise. (click to tweet!) As always, I write this letter to you so I can read it to myself.  Let it bless us both.    With thousands of hard working, kind loving days, Christina P.S. Have you read Second Firsts and Where Did You Go? If you haven’t I hope they find their way to you.

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