The Pretenders

October 22, 2021

Did you know that one of the most authentic relationships of my life is with you? I sit here every week writing exactly what I want to say.  There are no pretenses.  No adjusting my words.  I just tell you things as they are.  As the years have gone by, I understood the importance of this letter in my own life.  It is the one place each week, I can count on to be real.  I have often struggled with living inside a dishonest world.  When people say something they don’t mean, it feels like a betrayal.  It is often the seemingly harmless pretenses. ‘I love seeing you.’ Or, ‘let’s hang out together again.’ When they really don’t mean it.  I happen to believe what people say.  I am a literal person.  If you show interest, I believe that you are interested.  If you tell me you like my hair, I believe that you do.  If you make a promise, I believe you will keep it.  So when I find myself in places where pretenses are at the forefront of my experience I feel a lot of loss. We live in a play pretend world that nobody prepared us for.   I came back home last night after experiencing many new adventures, making new friends, and visiting places I had never been to.  In the last two months, I traveled to Greece to see my family.  I saw a rocket go to space up close.  I spoke at a conference where politicians, celebrities, and public figures spent three days together.  And I came back knowing that finding people outside the Matrix is rare.  You can feel connection, friendship, and meaning but 9 out of 10 times, it won’t last.  9 out of 10 times, it won’t be more than a short-term occasion that ends on the day it starts.  In the last two months, I had plenty of new connections and friendships.  I experienced such beautiful moments.  I felt excitement that I can’t even describe.  I had the time of my life.  I even felt like I belonged at times.  That I finally found my tribe.  I spent time with new girlfriends, mentors, public people, cousins, aunts and uncles, parents, dogs and cats too.  I had moments of pure joy and contentment.  I took my MFA art homework on the road.  I made book deadlines sitting at airport gates.  I met with my team no matter where I was.  I continued facilitating my classes as I was running from one place to the next.  I kept everything moving forward while searching for meaning, for new friendships and connections.  Always looking for some kind of human Nirvana.  I didn’t find it. But I did find myself.  The most trusted player of the game of my life.  I played the play-pretend game without becoming one of the pretenders.  I looked people in the eyes.  I meant everything I said.  I didn’t make promises I had no intention of keeping.  I walked inside every conversation wanting to know the other person better.  I showed up without ulterior motives.  I tried to leave everyone better than I found them.  And that has to be more than enough.  In life, you will meet groupies, pretenders and users.  But now and again as you sit inside the game, someone will come along who is not a player. In the two months of traveling, moving across the globe I may have brought home with me 2 new friends, dare I say 3. Here’s to finding yours.  Remember they are out there, they are looking for you, just as you are looking for them.  You and I are a special kind of human.  We mean what we say, and say what we mean.  And you will always find us outside the Matrix.    With honesty, Christina 

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Short and Sweet

October 15, 2021

This is a first.  But I have been flying, traveling, experiencing, living so much that this letter did not get to be written today.  Instead, I am sending you a short note to tell you to drop anything that is not important and go do something fun.  I don’t care what it is.  But don’t tell yourself you don’t have time to see a friend, to try a new ice cream flavor, to be free of the to do lists.  And as for me I just landed in Oakland and I have to go celebrate my friend’s Kristine Carlson movie Premiere Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.  So in honor of my life, her life, and your life this is the length of today’s letter.    With the presence of life, Christina P.S. Make sure you watch the movie on Lifetime TV and grab Kris’s book Heartbroken Open. 

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Hidden Rooms

October 8, 2021

Oh the worlds we never see. Infinitely surprising.  Devastatingly never ours. Some of them, impossibly foreign.  Further than our physical bodies can get to.  But also vaster than the confines of our minds.  There is so much safety in staying inside the same world.  But with so much unknown loss in it.  Unknown because we could have not imagined ourselves living another life.  I realized that no matter what has happened to us, however lost we are, we are in pain.  In tragic sorrows, we can enter a different life, even if it is inside the one we are living.  Sometimes this stance gets me in trouble.  Especially with those who do not share the belief that we can defy our current circumstances. Even for an evening.  I was one of those people. The pain of loss blinded me and took away every key to any room that I could have escaped to. But just imagine this, for just the length of this letter.  What if there are mini lives waiting to be lived inside the one you are in?  Like, hidden rooms in a house.  I promise you they are there, and they come with new feelings and emotions.  If only you dared to go into them.  If only you believed they were worthy.  Plentiful.  For a little while.  For a moment’s solace.  And then for more. Yes, for more.  Once you start occupying these rooms they grow on you like a new book you didn’t expect to like. Like a museum you never thought you would get lost in.  Like a desert you never believed could comfort you.  I live inside many rooms.  I draw and paint in one. I write books in another.  I teach in the main living room. And help people in the kitchen.  I go to space in the hallway, and raise my daughters in the library.  But of course, some of them are dark and heavy and I renovated them to lead to hallways full of stars.  And so it goes. And so it is. You have to not stay in one room.  If you did, you may as well live in a mansion and only use the first floor.  With no views. Or the balcony with the evening breeze.  To bring this to a close, just remember you are here to live more than one life.  To love more than the people you already do.  And to do it all, all at the same time.  Not after. Not later. Not one day.  Now, in the midst of your hard day.  In the middle of your ok job.  In the day after your break up. Your mom’s passing.  Your brother’s accident. Your sister’s meltdown.  While your bank account is empty.  Especially then. Go on.  Find that library room in your house, and look for a story that will take you so far away, you would forget your last name.    With hidden rooms,  Christina P.S. I just did a talk at an online conference called BRAIN SUMMIT: 20+ global experts (including myself!) have come together to teach us how to empower our emotions, stop overthinking, and reclaim our brain from trauma and fear. You can sign up for it here, and it is free  HERE.

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Five Cupcakes On a Tray

October 1, 2021

Be yourself.  Be you, they say.  Live your life however you want.  But that is the thing.  Who the heck are you?  What kind of life do you want to live? The old life is not ever coming back. I checked.  A thousand times. This is about the versions of the future you get to choose from.  Often, we don’t even know there is a choice.  Nobody told us.  By the time we let ourselves believe that we have options, we have already missed our chance a few dozen times.  Let me explain this a little more.  Imagine someone walking up to you with 5 cupcakes on a tray, all different flavors.  They offer you one.  You ask if they have your favorite kind.  And they say no, they don’t.  What do you do next?  Do you have one of the 5 cupcakes left on the tray? Do you say thank you and have none?  Or do you ask if the kitchen at the back would make you the kind you want?  Oh I know, I know what you are thinking.  Come on, Christina. Who asks for that?  Well let me tell you, there are some people who do.  And sometimes, the answer they get is, yes sure.  What kind would you like?  But let’s go back to the tray with the five cupcakes.  Here’s what you didn’t know.  The tray started out with 50 cupcakes of different kinds.  The five left were just leftovers.  Dark Chocolate Bacon.  Sweet Potato Cider Cupcake,  Licorice and Peppermint.  And a milk chocolate avocado.  You were getting ready to choose one of them. Or say no thank you.  Weren’t you?  Imagine now this was about your life choices.  The Life Tray.  Would you bother to find out if there are more options available to you?  Would you even think it was possible?  We live in a world that by the time the tray gets to us most of the things we wanted were taken by others.  We see them walking around living the lives we wish we had.  But what if this time, the tray comes, you smile and say:  These look great but I would much rather have something else.  Can you make a vanilla, cherry, and burnt marshmallow cupcake?  BOOM. Specific. Detailed.  Crystal clear about the kind of cupcake you want.  Honestly, it took me a while to find myself here.  Or find her here.  You see, it is no longer me who is showing up when the tray of cupcakes comes by.  It is someone else.  Someone I have never met before.  She arrived a few days ago.  And to my surprise.  She came with her own cupcakes.  Lemon cream flavor.  Who knew?  I certainly didn’t.  Whoever you’ve been. Whoever you are.  Be ready for who you could be.  There is a version of you, you could have never imagined waiting her turn.   With a lot more than 5 cupcakes,  Christina P.S. If you have lost a spouse. Listen in to this week’s podcast. It has already been loved by many. LISTEN HERE.

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