I hide inside moments. I literally hide there. I am so afraid of change. Whenever something new is on its way to me, I hide inside time. Do you know why I created the Life Reentry work? Because I needed it to get myself out of all the hiding I was doing. I am the master hider. The master waiting room resident. It’s not even that I am stuck but I like to hide from life, from big things, from new things. I still do. But I realized lately that I can’t be so afraid anymore. Hiding is a luxury I can no longer afford. Fear is something I must start to reject. (Click to Tweet!) I used to shake like a leaf when I would step on stage. I hated myself for saying yes to such big responsibilities and dreams. “What were you thinking?” “You should have been hiding Christina.” “I know, I know. I will hide better next time.” Next time I hid so well, I didn’t even know I was hiding. That is how I became masterful at it. Oh you have no idea how deceiving is my own waiting room. It has a whole life in it. The life inside the waiting room has me living an overweight life, a life inside possibly 2 miles radius. It is a life but not my life. Not the life my destiny has chosen for me. I am furious with myself for letting fear guide me inside of it all, even as I was climbing out. I was being ushered back in. Willingly. Yes. I let my fears take the lead. I didn’t try to stop them. Well, no more. I have learned that fear will occupy your brain like a drug addict. I realized that hiding is not for the living. I was killing myself and didn’t know it. I saw how easy it is to choose the wrong things. It is almost automatic. The wrong snack. The silly use of time. The lack of movement. The stagnation. At first it is a choice, but very quickly it becomes a default setting. Getting out of that is almost impossible. People have died there, inside the default. The waiting room. The not living. This letter is for you if you have been afraid, in hiding and in a default setting you don’t even remember choosing. And do you know when it all starts? When our heart has been so badly broken that hiding is a life savior. We think it is. And when we realize it never was, it is too late. Yesterday it was Bjarne’s 47th birthday. He only made it to his 35th. He would have been furious with me if he knew that I chose moments with no life in them. That I chose to hide instead of flying. No more. “Come to the edge," he said. "We can't, we're afraid!" they responded. "Come to the edge," he said. "We can't, We will fall!" they responded. "Come to the edge," he said. And so they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.” ― Guillaume Apollinaire May we fly. Christina, PS. Today we close registration for our out of towners. Come be with us. Let's all conquer our life after loss together. Arizona, June 1-2. REGISTER HERE: https://lifereentry.com/the-life-reentry-weekend/Read More
There is so much loss in making big decisions. Most of them include saying goodbye to something you have done for a long time. An experience your brain is used to having. A way of life you have known. An expression of self. Making a big decision requires you to feel loss. And this is why we keep postponing them. We try to avoid more pain. Change is full of grief, did you know? One of the things that I have done for years in my classes was to teach my students how to trick the brain so they feel less grief and fear in making a big decision. So we break the decision in to many pieces and start with just one piece. By the end, you get to change your life in the least painful way. I know you also have a big decision to make and you have been postponing it. I don’t blame you. But can we just talk about it a little? Tell me your big decision. You don’t have to do anything about it. Get a piece of paper and write it down. Write the thing you want to do but you haven’t told many people, maybe not even anyone. You don’t even like to tell yourself about it because you think you can never make it happen. Yes, that is what I want you to write down. It may be that you want to sell your house and move away. Or that you want to resign from your job. Maybe even that you want to leave a relationship. And something even more bold than all of the above put together. It may even be something you will never dare to do. Ha. I know. Yes, write that down. That you want to be an actress in your 50s. Or move to Hawaii in your 60s. Maybe even write a book or two. Paint beautiful paintings. Go back to school. Maybe your big decision is too expensive and you can’t afford it, you better write that down also. I want so many things for your life. I want as much as I want for mine. Sometimes I dream about walking through a Star Wars movie set and hearing them say ‘action.’ I dream about having my own beach house, or living next to a big red rock in Sedona. I think about my decision to become a painter. And all the big decisions I don’t dare say to anyone. I write them down. And leave them there for a while. Sometimes I have left them there for years. It’s ok. The road to a big decision sometimes is a long one. (Click to Tweet!) Let’s start today. What is your big decision? Write it down, take that piece of paper with you today, wherever you go. It’s your first tiny step towards changing your life. Just like that we exit the old life, and enter the new. A piece of paper, some bold words and off we go. With big decisions, Christina PS. THE LIFE REENTRY WEEKEND is nearly here. At the end of our two days together you will have made some big decisions about your new life. Which will start on June 3rd when you are back home. I hope you come be with us. This is my last Life Reentry class. REGISTER HERE: https://lifereentry.com/the-life-reentry-weekend/Read More
After walking next to so many of you living life after loss, I witnessed some tough truths. Here is what I learned from you and from my own journey. You will feel lonely even when you are with others. You will question your values, beliefs and all the things your parents taught you. You will be angry longer than you will be sad. The simple routine task of taking the trash out will break your heart, because they are not there to help you. Small talk will drive you crazy. Your family will have to get to know you all over again. There is a high probability that you will sell and move out of your house within the first 2 years. Your first date with someone new will be hard. Your career will change. You will feel like you don’t belong anywhere. Your food intake will vary dramatically. People will talk about you. Your broken heart will influence your health. Your sleep will never be the same. Some of the silly noises your house makes at night, will feel scary even if you heard them for years. You will want to go out and be with people but you will choose to stay in and cry. You will feel like you are about to break in half but you are stronger than most people. The regular things that people complain about will make you laugh. You will have a renewed sense of humor. You can do the impossible because you have been through the unthinkable. You have a tremendous amount of compassion You are likely to do things you thought were not for you. You will travel a lot more. You will offend people but you won’t care. You will lose your faith and find it again. People will try to stop you from moving on but you won’t be stopped. You will be wise. The conversations you do have are deep and life changing. You don’t waste any time. You will be able to hear the birds in the morning. You will make sure to see the sun rise, often. You will find wonder in the ordinary. You will have gratitude for the small things. You will help others because now you know their pain. And above all, you will inspire the people around you because of the way you live your life. (Click to Tweet!) You are my hero, Christina PS. Announcing two guest speakers for the Life Reentry Weekend, Erin Matlock and Razi Berry. We have 20 seats left for this amazing two day event: REGISTER HERE: https://lifereentry.com/the-life-reentry-weekend/Read More
It is both simple and the most complex thing in the whole wide world. The weakest and the strongest. I am talking about how we have to be after loss. We are asked to be vulnerable and at the same time stoic to get through our day to day. Most people find their way to the duality of life after without anyone guiding them. It is a requirement to be and do both and not for a week or two, but for a really long time. How is it that we don’t get any guidance by anyone after loss? Of course we receive love by the people closest to us. And we receive support, by our church, our community and our professionals in schools and grief centers. But unfortunately, it is not enough. It helps for a while. Maybe 6 months if we are lucky. And not that the people who love us stop loving us. And not that the people who support us in church and at work stop supporting us. But we need more than love, more than just a support group. We need to find our way back to a self that is whole, renewed and resilient. We need to break the chains grief has added to our brain and change the locks so we can give birth to new thoughts. New patterns. New beliefs about ourselves. That is not something most of us can do with just love. It requires science. Psychology. Education. Because then, grief can be an evolutionary experience. It can be a part of us without destruction. How many times has grief made you say things you should have never said? How many times did it make you take the wrong turn? And how many times did it point you towards added obstacles. Added problems. I think you also know, time is not to be wasted. We don’t have an extra decade to take the wrong turns. [bctt tweet="Every day and every moment counts after loss, because you and I have learned a really hard lesson. Life can be so short. So fleeting. (Click to Tweet!)" username="secondfirsts"] For this week, I am going to ask you to do one of the steps of my Life Reentry work. Just one of them. Get real. With yourself. I call it the 360. I am going to give you just 5 questions to answer. There are many more. But this is a good start. -What did you used to do that you no longer do? -When was the last time you laughed? -Are you still trying to live the life you used to have? -What have you done so far to start your life over? -What is different about you now? Answering these will give you a glimpse of the reality you are living in right now. It removes the fog grief comes with. Just for a little while. Just enough for you to know where you are at and what you need to do to have different answers to these questions? My favorite has always been...when was the last time you laughed? It tells you so much about the pain and sorrow you have had to endure since your moment of impact. With laugher and realness, Christina PS. Join me for two days in Scottsdale Arizona to walk with you towards your life reentry. FIND OUT MORE HERE: https://lifereentry.com/the-life-reentry-weekend/Read More
Christina’s strange but accurate weekly letter about life after loss.