I haven’t written a blog post for many months now. Oh how I’ve missed you! I want to fill you in on my world.
I’ll come out with it… For the past 7 months, I’ve been struggling with depression. Depression with a capital D.
My wake up call was back in September, where, after some family planning appointments, I got a new primary care doctor. At the end of one of these appointments, I filled out a generic form to get a baseline for my mood. Questions asking about the sadness, anxiety, or despair that I felt on a daily basis.
If I answered “everyday” on every question, surely I’d be sent to the mental hospital. So I chose to lie.
I lied not on one, not two, but EVERY SINGLE QUESTION. By a lot. I didn’t want to look weak. I didn’t want to be judged.
My inner dialogue sounded like, “Chrissy, what do you honestly have to be depressed about? You’re a life coach and highly skilled workshop facilitator for emotional healing for crying out loud!”
So I put on my happy face and lied. To just about everyone.
The lying caught up with me, as it always does, and my body and spirit shut down. My nervous system (and fiancé) eventually told me I needed psychiatric help.
So I got it.
I had to swallow a lot of pride in order to receive this support, because my badge of honor for the past 5 years was being medication free! I had already “healed” my anxiety and depression. I thought if I got back on meds that I’d be a failure and a fraud in the personal growth world.
I had to go through many ego deaths in order to arrive in the place that I am today. I feel like myself again. Actually, that’s not true… I’m a new person now. This darkness deeply transformed, humbled, and expanded me. I have a new perspective and gratitude for mental health. Today I find myself declaring that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. This is a miracle.
Jim Carey describes depression as a, “f^ck you to the character you’re playing.” In my depression, I realized that I had outgrown the roles I had been playing in my life and career.
My depression taught me that it was time to embody my true character. My life depended on this shift.
Living my truth unapologetically looked like canceling our wedding which was scheduled for May 11th. We decided to focus on our relationship and my mental health instead of a weekend long party. I was able to breathe easier after this.
Next up, my soul told me it was time to let go of a personal growth company I had been coaching and facilitating inside of for the past 5 years. My nervous system told me month after month that it was time to move on, but I wouldn’t listen. It would take my body weeks to recover from these weekend workshops with multiple visits to the chiropractor, abnormal periods, and cysts bursting on my ovaries. In January I made the decision to let go of this work, and while there was SO much to grieve and so much to appreciate about those 5 years of training and love, my body is telling me this was 100% the right decision.
These “let go’s” created the space for my purpose to unfold in an organic, fulfilling, joyful, and abundant way. My depression lifted with these choices.
I was recently interviewed by an incredible woman, where I got to share my journey from depression to breakthrough. In our interview, I share about the moment I got my life force back by taking the biggest risk of my life. Even though it was scary as hell, it was so worth it. I can’t wait for you to hear about it.
My friend Kristen Poczulp is super committed to helping women UP-LEVEL their lives so she’s asked me and about 20 other bad-ass female leaders to come speak on her masterclass series called, Own Your Awesome: How Powerhouse Women Use Their Voice to Make EPIC SHIT Happen. It’s for the woman who is really ready to rock her life in 2019 and take things to a whole new level. She hand picked her panel of experts to showcase female leaders from various industries ranging from Health & Wellness, Career & Finances, Love & Relationships and Spirit & Purpose. Grab your spot right here: Own Your Awesome.
My interview airs April 20th. You won’t want to miss it.
Thanks so much for reading! And if you have any questions about my choices, please reach out.
What a summer it’s been! I’ve learned SO much this season about what it means to be an empowered woman, and the many places I still have within my heart to grow.
Here’s an exciting thing, I GOT ENGAGED! What a ride it’s been. Getting engaged has been a rite of passage to say the least. This ring has amplified the GOOD in our relationship, as well as the parts that still need fine tuning and transformation. As a seeker, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll save those learnings for a future blog post…
Today I want to share a story about what I learned writing and producing a toast for my best friend’s wedding.
As I began writing last weekend, I remember looking at my blank page with so much misery, mistrust, and fear. How could I possibly convey a 26 year friendship in a 5 minute toast?
I’ve always enjoyed the art of public speaking, as I do it in my workshops and retreats all the time. But writing a toast for 150 people, and creating that from nothing activated many old stories from my past:
“I don’t know how to do this.”
“They will hate me.”
“I’m doing this wrong.”
“This needs to be the best speech ever or I’m a total failure.”
OH THE PRESSURE I put on myself!
I finally let go and trusted my intuition on what to share, and soon (after 5 days of editing) I finally felt good about the flow of the toast. This past Saturday evening, after much practice, I spoke from my heart and honored this couple fully. Funny thing is, my toast followed the most handsome, charming, eloquent (and to top it off FUNNY) Australian man, which had me squirming in my seat the entire time because no one could ever top that! But when it was time for me to go, I dropped in and let ‘er rip.
Truth is, up until that moment, I had been holding back in life.
I’ve been putting a cap on my expression as a leader and slowly but surely became silent online and in social media. A few things happened a year and a half ago that rocked my confidence, and I let those experiences diminish my light. Sure I was still showing up in my workshops and in my private coaching practice, but in the realm of using my voice out in the world and in public, I brought nothing to the table. Radio silence.
This toast brought me and my light back to life. I realized that I do have something to offer. I realized my voice makes a difference. I realized that those old stories aren’t true, and that with effort, patience, and trust, I can create a speech that stops time and moves an audience with laughter and tears. Most importantly, the group was inspired by the newly married couple’s love, and that was my only intention. I wanted to paint a picture of their relationship with words and stories, and it worked.
It might sound like I’m bragging. And the truth is, I am. Here’s what I mean…
I believe it’s so important for women to celebrate ourselves and our victories, and of course, to celebrate the victories of our brothers and sisters as well. I got many acknowledgements that night about my speaking ability and presence, and for the first time ever, I let those affirmations in. You see, there has always been a voice in my head that believes in my “wrongness” first. It’s a place of deficiency, lack, and insecurity. This time, I believed in my goodness and greatness first.
Receiving those compliments and believing them is a testament to the work I’ve done this past year and a half.
What I faced in the struggle, as depressing as it was at times, was what I needed to shine. Diamonds, after all, go through a rigorous process before they are worn.
My time in that dark cave of hibernation was necessary to get to my next level of leadership. I needed that time of rest to reset.
I’m clear that I have something to teach from my year and a half absence. Those emails are in the queue… Just you wait!
So, dear one. If you’re going through a challenging time… Trust it. This process is too important to ignore. And when you get an opportunity to come out of your hibernation, trust that process too and please- KEEP GOING! It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
You’ll know when it’s time to beam your light. Truth is, every woman’s shining has a different light and essence. Your only job is to become so fully and completely YOU without abandon, that you could be rejected by most of the world and still feel awesome about yourself. When your light is that bright, no darkness can touch it. Nothing can take it away.
Here’s what I know to be true. Our light never, ever, goes out completely. There’s always a flicker. So surround yourself with friends and family who *get* you and believe in you. Develop a team of love warriors who will have your back no matter what. These defenders will stoke your fire. That’s what helped me during my time, and those teammates were there waiting on the other side with so much celebration.
Remember, dear one. You matter. And turns out, I do, too.
Thank you for reading my (vulnerable) story.
P.S. I’ve re-opened my private coaching practice for women ready to shine. Feeling debilitated by a challenge? Forget who you are? Let’s dive in. After my own dark night of the soul, I know how to meet your pain with compassion, and definitely know the steps for you to come back to life. Book your 45 minute discovery call with me now by clicking this link.
Yeah, yeah… That’s a crappy word, right? But what is suffering, really?
Suffering is how you choose to relate to your pain, struggle, or life circumstance. You can let your pain serve you or disempower you. You might find yourself in a repetitive pattern that takes you out of presence. Maybe you find yourself feeling downright unhappy. Maybe you’re stuck in a job that you hate. Maybe you’re struggling with a relationship dynamic that hurts. Maybe your body is in pain and you find yourself unable to move or exercise the way you used to.
This saying sums up what I’ll be talking about today: “Pain in inevitable, but suffering is optional.”
Life is painful sometimes. I know it. But how you show up in the pain is what matters.
Let me explain…
My fall workshop season was packed. I led many weekend workshops back to back where I traveled across the country, and I even got to participate in a workshop and receive from others. It was a very expansive Fall where I grew, learned, and transformed at rapid rates. The dust finally settled this week, and I found myself feeling depleted, vulnerable, and sad.
It wasn’t until I realized that I was experiencing a contraction post such an expansive few months that I brought myself back to presence and caught my breath.
I was struggling because I was resisting the contraction. I couldn’t accept that I was still recovering from a busy and expansive workshop season. I so wished that I could be “normal” and recover quickly, but that wasn’t the case. I wasn’t being compassionate with myself- instead I was being so hard on myself and making myself wrong for being different, weird, and sensitive.
Here’s the internal tool that I used to bring me back to presence and compassion, and totally eased my suffering…
I ask myself these questions: “What am I resisting?” and “What am I not accepting?”
When I saw so clearly what I was resisting (the contraction) I could relax into it. When I accepted the space that I was in, I made peace with my experience and even found some beauty in it. My mind didn’t have to go as crazy. I had more space for my experience. I could relax, and no longer felt the need to make myself wrong for my internal state.
Here’s another example of how this tool helped me this past week…
We were in driving in some crazy SF traffic Tuesday night, so I decided to use this trick on myself.
What was I resisting? Traffic.
What was I not accepting? That I might be late to a friend’s house for dinner.
Once I accepted the traffic and no longer pushed against the possibility of being late and accepted it, I relaxed and had fun in the car with my friends. This internal dialogue helped ease my suffering in many different situations this week, and maybe it will help you too .
When you find yourself in a tough moment, perhaps you can ask yourself these questions, too, and reply back and let me know how these questions served you.
P.S.Thank you for reading this email. I value your time SO much, and appreciate you taking the time to read this. Also- if you didn’t already know, fires have been raging in Southern California. It’s been devastating and scary for my So Cal friends and family. This article shows the many different ways you can help.