Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Christina Giachino

Intro Banner of Christina Giachino

Christina talks about the impact of a cancer diagnosis at a young age, leaving her family company to pursue her own passion, the powerful impact of Pilates on her life and the lessons she has learned to help her create her own personal success.


Christina changed her career and focus in her life's work after being diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2006, she found recovery from her breast cancer treatment through physical therapy. Through that she decided to make teaching, exercise her career path in order to educate, encourage, and empower her clients to have power over their pain from injuries and poor posture.


Christina taught Pilates and a physical therapy center for 14 years. And she currently owns her own body studio located in fair Oaks, California, and focuses on rehabilitation Pilates for her clients.


Scott shares the impact 9/11 had on his life, what he learned to free himself from being miserable with work and how he took a low point and turned it into an opportunity, becoming stronger and happier than he’s ever been before.


Scott Mason is a lawyer, having spent a couple of decades in General Counsel related roles, who turned entrepreneur as a motivational keynote speaker and business owner. As a keynote motivational speaker and podcast host, Scott focuses on resilience, personal transformation, social ethics, leadership and the entrepreneurial mindset. He also provides leadership mentoring and consulting services regarding operations, strategy, business development and scaling to small businesses.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Christina Giachino – Changed career focus after cancer diagnosis, now a master Pilates Instructor and owner of Core Energy Pilates

[00:00:00] Christina Giachino: Today we are speaking with Christina . Christina changed her career and focus in her life's work after being diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2006, she found recovery from her breast cancer treatment through physical therapy. Through that she decided to make teaching, exercise her career path in order to educate, encourage, and empower her clients to have power over their pain from injuries and poor posture.

[00:00:27] Christina taught Pilates and a physical therapy center for 14 years. And she currently owns her own body studio located in fair Oaks, California, and focuses on rehabilitation Pilates for her clients. I'm really excited to learn more. Christina, thank you for joining us on fresh blood, please. Could you tell us a little bit more about your story and getting to where you are today?

[00:00:49] . Well, thank you for having me. This is very exciting. Yeah, where I am today. It's been 15 years. Since the journey began, I was in a different career path and I'm very stressed and not happy with what I was doing. Um, I was in a real estate development and that was a family business.

[00:01:09] My family has been doing that for generations and dispel into that, um, which was not my passion. It was a great way to. Money to establish myself, but not the way to fulfill my soul and my passion that was within myself, which was more. Uh, of nature of service I'm, you know, everyone has their own nature and I'm more of a service oriented person.

[00:01:35] It feels, yeah, it feels, yeah, just really trying to reach people, connect with people. So not knowing how to do that. Um, it just kind of happened because once I got diagnosed with breast cancer and I was 33 at the time, um, And I continued working at my job and I just had this epiphany one day. And I said, if I keep doing this, if I keep having no passion, no love for what I'm doing, I'm going to die.

[00:02:05] And that's not a way to live. And I got up from my desk and I just put, um, I gave my notes. To I, and it wasn't working for someone. I was, I had my own real estate firm. So I actually gave my notice in my lease to counsel fees. And I just said, whatever ramifications, I'll take it, whatever, and very wonderful about it.

[00:02:28] And. Locked away. I didn't have another option for a job at that point. I just knew I couldn't do that. That must've been so. Okay. So tell me about that time. Cause I hadn't been scared of you where you going through breast cancer treatments at this time. Um, at that time you feel your first just finding out you have your surgery.

[00:02:47] It happens pretty quickly. So you have to make these decisions very fast, like, okay, how am I doing my sec dummies? Am I doing chemo? My doing radiation. So we were deciding that. So I've had my surgery at this point going to be starting radiation. And that's when that hit me. And I just. Okay, no more, which I also did not discuss that with my then husband ramification remodel your whole life without someone else when it's kind of a life or death situation.

[00:03:23] You've made it to do, we do some interesting decisions. So, um, I may have to make the decision for yourself. You have to, I mean, that's, it, it's a must and you know what, and I commend you for that because you had to, I mean, if you hadn't. Where you be? I believe that I believe that cause I already was having tremendous pain in my body.

[00:03:44] I was already, stress is a killer stress. Heightens your muscles, tightened your body where there's T so like now I know where there's tightness. There's. Then there's pain. So I didn't know that I just knew there was so much tightness in my body and I was having so much pain and I just at the realization was not scary.

[00:04:05] It's almost, it's so liberating when you almost feel like the shackles are gone and you feel like, cause it was also, it was more like a family. My family was involved in, in all of this. And my dad was very much always praising me for what a good job I was doing in my real estate world. And well, look what you're doing.

[00:04:22] And then my husband, he was a contractor at the time.

[00:04:28] Yada, yada, yada.

[00:04:33] Oh, awful. So career wise, you don't monies every day

[00:04:42] and you have to have perspective because I had to be strong because I have not gotten praise from my family. And then you had to learn that part. Well, you got to do your life without praise or encouragement from your family. You gotta do what you need to do. Praise yourself to even to love yourself, loving myself.

[00:05:05] Well, who's really gonna love me anyways. So, my, I mean, I'm not trying to paint my unsupportive completely, but they were shocked, you know, that I'd make a decision like. But at the same time, they gave me a free pass. They go, okay, well, you're going through this. You'll come back.

[00:05:22] You'll come back to your senses. I think

[00:05:26] sometimes when you, well, I think this is in the, sometimes I think this is always for me. So I imagine for a lot of people, once you cross a line, there is no going back. You can't go back to once you realize something is dysfunctional. Okay. So, so then, which is, it's just, um, serendipitous because I was driving home and I saw a sign that said, , osteoporosis for Pilates or Pilates for osteoporosis backwards.

[00:05:55] And, and I go. I think I need to go in there because I was just diagnosed as well. I, it was like quite a health scare. I was diagnosed with hyper parathyroid ism at the same time. So that means that my bones were I'm already going into osteoporosis. So, and I'm going now to the chiropractor all the time, because my back is constantly hurting and he tells me, have you heard of Pilates?

[00:06:19] No, I never heard of Pilates. I don't know what Pilates is. And then I see this sign. I have no idea what it means. And it was like a beacon of light. I just drove in and then I met, um, her name was Chris Shevlin and she's with Chris Sheldon physical therapy. And I walked in and the minute I met her. I just knew.

[00:06:36] I just knew like, this is it. I don't know what it was, what the equipment they, it, because I don't know people that are listening. If you know what pull audiences, there's some pretty interesting equipment that you do. So I didn't know what it was. I just knew that's where I needed to be. And so she started training me and my back pain that I had.

[00:06:58] I had sciatica for about five years. Which is laughable now because I'm like really, that's like pretty easy to fix. And I had that for five years and, , was on painkillers, you know, trying to numb myself out, trying to not feel this pain. And I saw her for three weeks maybe. And it was called. Wow. That's amazing.

[00:07:21] Cause I, Attica pain is no joke. I mean, that is real hard. I mean, I know I've experienced it myself and had to go through things, many things, so that's amazing. And in a few weeks, Yeah. And, , and it was, you know, with plots, it was Pilates views with physical therapy, which there's breath, breath is everything in Pilates and, and learning how to breathe properly.

[00:07:47] I was reverse breathing. If, if Roberta reverse breathing is when your belly actually. In when you're inhaling, which is kind of complicated to hear. I don't even want to kind of put that out there because you want your belly to go out when you inhale exhale, belly goes in. And so like, if you put your hand on your abdomen, if you notice what you're doing, You know, if it's going the wrong direction, you're actually not supporting your spine.

[00:08:14] The muscles that wrap around to support the spine are not functioning in a healthy way. So you're actually contributing to the vertebrae, starting to show. Well, I mean, so Pilates is really, it's probably incredibly important for everybody because well not, I mean, there's okay. Let's say people that are sitting behind a computer,

[00:08:39] probably very, very important thing to be counteracting. That type of effect. I would imagine. Absolutely and postures everything. It's not like just doing the exercises for an hour, perfectly, you know, two days a week or something. It's really about what you. From the learning of the exercises and the way you engage in the world.

[00:09:00] So that's the functional movement. How do you get in and out of your car? How are you picking your shoes up off the ground? How do you lift your child up? These things are, you know, gardening is a dangerous place to, to really. Notice what you're doing. And you talked on, on how many people have back issues.

[00:09:18] There's a joke that a client told me I'm in Sacramento area where I was working for a while. So we have the state Capitol here. One of one of my clients said, oh, she works in politics. And she says, oh, their joke is, if you don't know someone, you say, oh, Hi, I wanted to see how is your back doing because 90% of people have back problems.

[00:09:42] How is your back doing kind of you to remember

[00:09:50] that in my back pocket?

[00:09:59] So you found this transformation happening for you and within a few weeks it helps your sciatica and you decide you loved it. You decided to keep going. And how did you become an instructor? Well, I worked with Chris Shevlin and I'm was. You know, feeling so wonderful, moving my body and learning all of this.

[00:10:20] I got to the point where I was like, any gift. Anyone gives me write a check to her because my insurance only took me so far and I was working with her probably about six months, you know? Two three times a week. And because I had started then my radiation and so we were thin working through my radiation.

[00:10:40] So then we're looking at now the back things were, so my low backs resolved. Okay. But now we have all this scar tissue and the chest wall from, did you find it? How so did you find it helps you through your radiation? Yes. So then me and Chris, we start developing a program. Because he hadn't really, I mean, of course she's seen breast cancer people, but there, I was really reaching out even where I was getting treatment at Sutter and, , Saying, I need movement.

[00:11:09] I need range of motion and things like this. And no one was really having any programs. This was quite a while ago. Now there are things in place, but at that time there really wasn't anything. So Chris, who, you know, she's a Columbia grad, right? Mastered, you know, she's brilliant, but didn't really have that focus with breast cancer.

[00:11:28] So I was kind of the Guinea pig or like, oh, can you do this? How does this feel? Does that restore the nerve conduction? Cause you're when you have radiation, you and you have breast cancer, you can have different surgeries. You can have lymph nodes removed, which can cause lymphedema. You can have nerves connect, disconnected, you have the breast tissue bond.

[00:11:48] If you have mastectomies, bilateral mastectomies, or then you start to rebuild, there's a lot of different procedures that can lead to a lot of tightness. And that needs a lot of relief. And to do that without heavy weights. Cause that can cause the lymphedema, especially after so soon after surgery. So lymphedema is when the, if you've ever noticed when people fill up with fluid.

[00:12:12] If you've ever noticed that they'll have legs or arms. So that's the lymphatic system is its own, , very fascinating system. But that might be, , a little bit out there right now, but that's all interesting, but I love the lymphatic system. I actually. Back to all these, , I continued education in lymphatic system because just to learn about that, how to get that to work properly, how to get those fluids to move and to put out these does help you with that as well.

[00:12:41] Wow. And the breath is key. So breath with movement. There is no potties without breath, so always breath with movement. And so it's a tendency. People hold the breath breath when there's something challenge. So, how do you move through the breath when you're you're focused on something or say you're scared?

[00:13:03] How do you that your whole body changes? If you're frightened, we hold our breath. Well, they're no longer working. Our whole body is not connected. So the key is, is to add the breath. So we get this whole body. Engagement. And then our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, which then facilitates the lymphatic system.

[00:13:25] They're all working together in a perfect symbiotic relationship. And again, stress is going to kick the sym sympathetic nervous system up. And that's going to cut down the lymphatic flow. It's going to raise your stress hormones. It's going to, um, you know, cortisol levels are going up. All of these things are happening.

[00:13:46] Negative things, inflammation, everyone hears about inflammation. How do we get inflammation down? Well, don't stress, which possible

[00:13:57] helps with all the, with stress too. It's amazing, honestly, cause I I've taken plates in the past and I've loved it. I really enjoyed it. And I know it's good for you. I've talked about, in fact, I've been talking about, I need to go back to plays and you do more of that. But I was just like, oh, cause I just know it's good to me, but you're making me feel like I have to do potty.

[00:14:14] I didn't realize the level of, , benefit that it gives you. So this is, this is fascinating. So, you're learning all of this. You're it's helping you as you go through this process, did you decide that you wanted to do this for yourself during that. So then I'm working with Chris and she says to me, one day, Christina, I tell you everything.

[00:14:34] I know I taught, I taught you all the exercises. You can do all of this and would you like a job? And it wasn't like I had any intention. I mean, this has been a while. I'm still not working, you know? Cause I'm like, I'm just, this is the way I kind of. Lead my life now, when I don't know, just stop what you're doing, don't push, just stop.

[00:14:58] And so I wasn't working at this point and thank goodness I did have savings and my, um, you know, it, it was working out still. And so then, so I wasn't really stressed about it. And then it just seemed like such a flow. Oh, do you need a job? Yeah, that'd be lovely. Let's let's do that. You know, without any plans.

[00:15:18] And, and then she helped me and she said, why don't you go to balanced body will balance bodies who makes all the Pilates equipment, the reformers and things like this. And, um, and fortunately they're local. And so there, they had, this was in 2007. So they had just started their program. For training, Pilates instructors.

[00:15:40] And I was so fortunate to get the, . Her name is Nora St. John and she is the premier police person has been from, So she's been, she's taken this since 1984. Yeah. So, she was with the group in the bay area and they, they were the ones that, so anyways, I just fell into this without fully knowing like, oh, this is the person to see.

[00:16:05] And she's got to learn from the best I was. At in-shape person. I did not. I was still tight. Yes. I could do a lot of stuff, but it doesn't mean I was doing it. Great. And trust me, the people that show up for Pilates instructors, they're dancers. They're awesome. They can do things. And I just sit there with my jaw open and I'm like, I'll try.

[00:16:35] But the thing is it's funny is that I go, but I'm here to learn. It always says here to learn. That's why I'm here. I'm here to learn. And the funny part is I have yet to this day ever worked with. This is an amazing dancer that can do all of these things. I mean, I've worked with some dancers, but I've never worked with anyone that could do the things that were in my Pilates instruction.

[00:16:58] I meet regular people who are just like me, who has injuries and had pain and tightness. And that's really. The population and have issues, even if they say they don't, I mean, there's pelvic floor dysfunction, you know, after postpartum, there's all kinds of issues there that per se you're not injured, but you're incontinent.

[00:17:22] Well, how do I fix that? How do I help my body strengthen and stretch to make those muscles healthy? So I have no more, no longer Linky. Yeah. Yeah. My girlfriend has, , Just because in her job, she has to lean over often. And, the doctor actually sent her to a place and said, this this'll help make a difference.

[00:17:44] So I actually think it was the physical therapist that Senator place, how many more and more I'm hearing that more and more. And this is what it's been such a great transition because originally when Pilates was developed by Joe Pilates, he started well backtrack. Um, backtrack. He, I mean, we're talking, Well, like a he's from Germany and he was interned during, , the first world war.

[00:18:10] He was interned in England. So he worked his, uh, Worked with people like that are also interned with injuries. And he was developing exercises at that time. Then he worked as an orderly and the isle of man, and he converted these beds with the bed Springs into what's called like the Cadillac and these reformer team developed they, so equipment Springs and he was rehabilitating.

[00:18:36] His fellow people. Cause now he was an orderly at that point. And, and so it's just kind of interesting. It's using your breath with movement and resistance. Um, and the whole body then is engaged and it's different than yoga because people ask, oh, is it like yoga?

[00:18:54] And if I give the fast answer, I'm like, yes, I, it, yeah, that's some of the benefits. I mean, there's a lot of the benefits are similar and whatnot. It's like, what do you say? They're like from the same family, their cousins, maybe. Yeah. And, and the thing is it's I love yoga and I'm not putting yoga down because I absolutely love yoga.

[00:19:16] There's so much relaxation and benefit, but where it differs with Pilates is every movement. There's a stretch component. And a strengthened component. So every movement has a resistance and then a release. And this is quite lovely. When you do this slowly with concentration, with precision, with breath, it just creates this very flowing feeling inside actually X every exercise becomes a flow.

[00:19:47] And I say like, people always go, am I doing it right? Well, it's like an onion you're appealing. You're not doing it with a flow is the end goal. Like you're doing it correctly, but you're not doing it like with the flow. So, so it's just peeling that onion, getting to the little more each time. And I find when people quit asking me, am I doing it right?

[00:20:08] They know they're doing it right, because it just feels amazing.

[00:20:15] No, if you do it wrong for a little bit to learn how to do it better, isn't that true of everything. Right. I find the metaphors everywhere and don't resist things. Don't resist flow. Add the breath. Breathe. It hurts

[00:20:37] that shouldn't be a simple one, but it's not, it's not. So no, that's amazing. So what happened to make you decide to go on your own and open up your own studio? Well, COVID

[00:20:57] I thought this for a while, because. Um, where I live now is about half hour from where I used to work, which was in east SAC, in Sacramento. And that's where I used to live. So I could walk to work or ride my bike, and everyone would talk about the commute. And I'm like, I don't know what that is. You know, I never hit any traffic, you know?

[00:21:16] So then I moved, you know, half hour away and it became a longer drive. So I started having these visions. You know, like love to move everything home. And I want to do videos and I want to do like classes on one. I didn't even know about zoom. I just saw that. And I'm, as, as we saw, when we were trying to get online, I was having trouble with my mic and all that I have.

[00:21:37] I'm a techie person and I've had to learn like most of us during post to do all this. And, um, I just knew that I wanted to move in that direction, but I just didn't know how whole, they just pushed it over the edge. We're going. I mean, I stayed at the physical therapy center until they closed and she retired because, you know, she was, it was just, you know, a lot of.

[00:22:03] , she, she closed and I was with her for 15 years and I never worked anywhere else. And I'm hireable to go work for someone, but, , I didn't want to, and, and I wasn't working. , I wasn't working for Chris. I was, paying rent late. So we already worked that out. I was always self-employed my whole life as all I ever know.

[00:22:25] So I like to take vacations when I take vacations. , granted. No pick your take, but I feel you, I feel you can pick when you want to go. So, , it, wasn't a big transition for me to then say, you know what, I'm just going to move at home. And at first I went on my deck outside cause it was COVID and had to be outside.

[00:22:47] And then I then, you know, progressing, progressing, progressing with it and I moved everything 

[00:22:52] so now I'm doing the zoom classes and, and now I get to do focus more. So I like this. I can focus. So like for example, every Friday is building bone density. Oh. So which all Pilates exercises build bone density, but a new term in marketing that I didn't really understand. If you give it a title, people show up from

[00:23:22] it's very true. I don't know. This was by default. These little like psychological things, right. That just for some reason, make a big difference with us. And I, I mean, I know, and that's, I, and I'm fine with it. I want people to understand that they're building their bone density and we focus on it. And then I tell them why we're doing this exercise and why that helps with building bone density.

[00:23:50] So, and then I'll have other classes. Healing your pelvic floor, you know, so it's just when I have the focuses, it seems like, , it's more interesting for me to, you know, cause you're trying to re ask the wider net for. Well, I like to know why I'm doing things too. I think I just, yes. I find that people really do that.

[00:24:10] They want to be set told where I'm feeling it, why I'm feeling that. And, and what, what's the point? What's the picture? Why are we doing this? And sometimes. You know, we'll be doing like a lunge and I'm listing off 10 reasons why you're doing this. There's so many reasons. Or we could just pick one and focus on that, but no, actually motivates you to do it on your own.

[00:24:37] Consistency is the biggest recipe it's like, I don't tell. I tell people, you don't have to come to me three times a week. If you come to me once a week or once a month, whatever you want to do, or if you do the zoom two times a week, once a week, it doesn't really matter. It's what you do when you're not with me.

[00:24:53] It's consistently every, every day, 10 minute. Just everyday 10 minutes. It can change your life. I mean, it really can. And I, and I believe it because I've walked it and whenever I do have something that flares up and I swear, it's like, I can't even believe I do this every time I'll do some Pilates exercises or something.

[00:25:14] I'm like, oh my God, this really works. I'm glad I do this. I'm not selling something I don't believe in.

[00:25:23] And I, I don't want to say it's a magic for everything because I have. I had a, uh, an accident with my, I had a head trauma, so my neck has some serious stuff in it. And poetics was not good for that for quite some time. So it took me a while to work through that and to figure out how to do exercises safely.

[00:25:40] So that was a whole nother can of worms. But in the end now I'm like, Nope, I have to do my exercises or I'm going to start. And this is what I tell people. You ended up being the cashew. We do this right? If we were doing exercises and to anti cashew, and like you said about your friend who had to go, she was recommended quality is by her PT because she's rounding over her desk.

[00:26:06] Well, think what that's doing to your spine, think of what it's doing to your organs, to have everything compressed like that, instead of just stacking. So basically our pelvis here is neutral and we're on top of our sit bones. And then we just stack our spines right over that. And it doesn't take any musculature to really do that.

[00:26:27] We don't have to be engaging. We're just stacking effortlessly. If we're going the other way, then we're actually straining. And we're shortening the pelvic floor. There's, there's a lot of issues that go on shortening the muscles, which then leads to. Oh, my posture has never been better in a podcast before.

[00:26:45] I'm sure.

[00:26:51] Just talking about it just makes me a little bit. Yeah, I have my, I have an old man. I just got my neighbor anymore, but she still sees, she still sees me and she just telling me, when I look at your house, I used to straight straighten up looking at me or so I'm like, I wasn't looking at you, but I'm glad.

[00:27:12] You need those little reminders. They work really well. So, you know, you've done a lot. I love, I love this story. What I'm curious about is what do you feel has been one of your greatest successes in life and why, and what did you learn from it? Um, Greatest successes. I think. I mean, it's how you measure success, you know, which is one of my questions too.

[00:27:37] What is your definition of success? Yeah, because I, I feel, um, I feel happiness and joy is enjoying doing what you're doing is, is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. And now I'm not saying I wake up every day. Oh, I want to teach today. No, I want to I'm like, I don't want to hear people complain about their stuff.

[00:27:59] No, of course. But whenever I get started, whenever I start working with them, I get energized. I get excited. I feel passionate about what I'm doing and I feel like I'm helping people and that that's my, I feel the greatest success that. The hard part and what I touched on earlier, it's not caring what other people say because yes.

[00:28:23] I mean, granted, my dad still says you are not living up to your potential. I mean, you, things like that, it's not, but that's his, his definition and his definition is money. So in that level. Sure. But I always have enough. I always seem to get by. I can always ramp up business. I can always raise rates. I've never really.

[00:28:47] Felt, oh, I'm poor over this. And I don't know. I just feel like it's your own definition. And I just can't do a job where I feel I have to. Um, I mean, I can do sales. I think I do. Okay. But I don't want to do it for the sake of just making money. I want to do it to help someone to help. Them in some way to fulfill them as well.

[00:29:13] Let me ask you this. How would you compare your life when you were in the real estate game? Making a lot of money, but not feeling fulfilled compared to doing what you're doing now, where you full, very familiar. Yeah. I mean, I, I feel like more in control of my life. I mean, more in control is probably the wrong word, more embodied in my life.

[00:29:35] I'm more an active participant and I don't look for distractions. I don't look for alcohol or pain pills or, you know, Having a major issue with that, but that was definitely a go-to. If I had pain, I would say, oh, I need a beer. You know, I need to, I need to, I need, oh, maybe I need two beers. Now. I'm like, oh, I need a good meditation.

[00:29:57] I need let's stretch. I need exactly walk. I have better tools. I met better tools in my tool bag. And all of those things are going to give you mental health that are going to make you feel better. So I just think better choices. It's just better choices, better life too. Exactly world now. Completely agree.

[00:30:17] And, and, and just asking the question made me want to giggle because it's really, I mean, what's the life that's sending fulfilled and you're yeah. Fresh blood, like after 40 it's like I'm approaching 50. It's like, well, gosh, if I'm not going to have a good time or enjoy it, what's the point. What's the point.

[00:30:37] What's the point. It's like, if I'm starting to get stressed, I mean, now. Stop. You know, if I'm getting stressed, I'm not, I'm not doing it right. Something's going on, you know? You know, I always like to ask the flip side of the question, what your greatest difficulty was and how you got through it. And what you learned you didn't share about your breast cancer.

[00:30:58] Was that your greatest difficulty chip, other things that you've had to go through? I mean, how do you, how do you feel, you know what I feel? I mean, cause we touched on my neck issue. That was the most challenging thing I've gone through during this period. I mean, even more than the breast cancer because, um, well it's strange.

[00:31:17] I mean, I had a, uh, I had went on a rope swing and I. The tree and went unconscious, but yeah, but it happened a long time ago, so it wasn't like recent, right? So I've had neck issues, but, and, you know, I find this with all my clients, what you did when you're 17, you will see when you're older, if you don't do anything about it.

[00:31:45] And I had some dental work where they pulled too hard. Well, I already had a neck issue and the vertebrae. They they're totally mess up. I mean, I'm at fusion. They can't even repair it. So, and I'm, and I'm not trying to say don't do surgery. I feel surgery is, I am definitely not going to say that. Um, you know, there's knee replacements, so successful shoulder surgeries.

[00:32:09] There are so many surgeries that are successful. I have personally, I have not seen. Neck surgeries that are successful. I that's just been my experience and that's just, and, um, low back stuff. I just haven't, I think exercise is always help more, but then I think the true test was that the Pilates wasn't working with me for my.

[00:32:30] And it took me like two years to come back and I lost full ability of using my triceps on my left arm. So this is my side where I had, you know, I've already had all those surgeries. I've already had radiation. So there's other things going on. I think it's just kind of like a saga. I always tell people it's not just one thing that leads to an injury, have to have like this whole story.

[00:32:53] So it started when I was 17 with the rope swing incident and. You go into the dental stuff, then you go up to all the surgeries and radiation and, and then you, you, you do something wrong. You know, I was moving in my parents' garbage can and it just snapped. And I was like, couldn't, you know, everything's gone.

[00:33:13] So. I, had to take a break for a while. And then I had to have people help me move equipment. And, , I had to have my clients do more things and I have rehab back from that. I did not do, and I was in so much pain and, and I've had pain. I've never had so much pain and, um, It's it's like nothing I've ever felt.

[00:33:36] And I remember just laying in bed going, oh my God, I don't know how I'm going to live my life this way. Gosh, I'm so sorry. And the thing is, is that it just gives me more compassion for my collect from my clients. And I can tell you, I believe that give it time, give it healing, give it movement. Relax. It's going to get better, whatever you think it's going to be.

[00:33:59] It's not going to stay that way. The body's amazing. It has amazing abilities to heal itself. Take care of it. Yes. And you need to believe that too. So it's great. That, that, that message is important. What helped you get through that? Because, I mean, that's that must've been very difficult for you. What, what helped you get through those challenges?

[00:34:18] Yeah, I mean, I reading,

[00:34:23] uh, the power of kindness. This was a book that I was reading, um, power, uh, love. There was that too. It's like all of these things about how to love yourself. Healing trying to meditate and trying to go in and find that strength. But I was really challenged. I mean, I'd have to say that was more challenging and I wasn't going to die from it.

[00:34:43] And because I, when I had my breast cancer and they said at my age, they're like, yeah, the probability that, I mean, They weren't totally negative. Cause I was still early enough stage, but they were like, yeah, you're not gonna live that long you're way too young for this to happen. And I never had a reoccurance and an exercise exercise.

[00:35:07] , decreases your rate of cancer by 25%, which is, oh, there's even studies they're even showing higher levels. So even walking three times a week for 40 minutes, it doesn't have to be Pilates. Do walking, do some brisk walk. Dancing count. Absolutely. I think seeing that video, Dick van Dyke, did you see this at Valentine's day?

[00:35:33] He's like 96 years old and he's got a wife that's I think 46 younger years younger than him, but he is just dancing and he's like moving around and the way he moves his body, it's because he's danced his whole life. I mean, we've broken up it and it's like, and I think. A recipe for, for help. Keep dancing Jean fondants.

[00:35:54] I mean, if you've seen her lately, she's phenomenal. Oh, I love it. I actually did not. I wasn't aware of those statistics about exercise with cancer. I mean, that's amazing. It's huge. And there's so many benefits, so it's not like, oh, I have to run a marathon or I need to take up running or, or these really high impact things.

[00:36:13] Walk, just walk. Or I need to spend all this money on polite. Walking is amazing for building bone density. It's wonderful for your body. It's wonderful for your mind. Wonderful for your cardiovascular system. So movement. Life, you have to be consistent. I mean, my biggest message. I always tell people if they're, if people say, oh, well, I'm not going to do politics anymore.

[00:36:38] I'm like, that's fine. Stick with your home exercises and be sure you walk. We just want to make sure that you keep moving. Cause it's just so beneficial. I think I got off topic. Where was I going with? We were talking about difficulties and overcoming them. Okay. We'll help get you through. And, and that kind of thing.

[00:36:57] So that's helped me in and, and all of that and, . You know, you are tested. And it was really all the things I believed that I believed with my whole heart weren't working. And I think it tested my faith, , in. In everything, and everything. And I am so happy that I came to on the other side.

[00:37:21] Well, that sounds like it was very difficult. Yeah. , I know you've, you've shared multiple difficulties. , in your life different times, I'm wondering if you have any best advice that you would give someone who might be struggling to either find the right path, find the right next opportunity, or it's just stuck right now.

[00:37:40] Is there, is there anything that you found has really helped you or you think that might help other people? Meditation is absolutely key and people go, I don't know how to meditate and I hear you because that's the hardest thing meditation is. Focus on your breathing. And that is the most important thing.

[00:37:58] If you meditate, if you can calm your mind, uh, it will make a huge difference in your life or any activities that you love to do that create meditation. Like my husband now that I'm remarried to, , he is out cycling all the time and he never meditates. He would never, he's too busy for that. He's not going to do that, but when he's on his own, I swear, he goes to a different state of mind and he always comes back with the greatest ideas and the greatest thoughts.

[00:38:28] So it's again, always coming back to the same thing, keep it simple. Do what you love. It will come to you. And it doesn't mean you have to turn what you love. I know you hear that a lot. You do like turn what you love into your business. Do what you love and see if you can clear your mind and to see a path forward for yourself into something that gives you joy.

[00:38:50] And don't, uh, don't let the negative person show up or don't ask too much advice either because you know, people, everyone has an opinion and it doesn't mean it's right for you. If you really feel passionate about, web design. Well practice with your friends. Like, Hey, can I design a web page for you?

[00:39:10] I mean, I know when I just did my Pilates training, that's why my, I picked up my neighbor. Who's still my client every week and it's like, I, and I was free. I was like, Hey, anyone want to come? I'll work with. I knew, I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'm free and you just get experience and you have to take that stance.

[00:39:34] And, and I, there was a book that, I mean, a lot of people know this book, Darren gray. Bye Renee brown. She's the vulnerability. I love Bernie bound. I've not read daring greatly. So is this a book you would suggest? Yeah, and it's not a new book, but it's been on and on. She talks about daring greatly. Theodore Roosevelt made this speech about how you get into the arena and how, you know, it's the dirt and the dust.

[00:39:57] And you're in the grass. This is the person who is daring greatly. It's not the person on the sidelines criticizing you. I'm telling you, you can't do it. You're the one in the re arena with blood sore all over you. But you're the one that. And you have to do the, and I don't want to use fight, but you have to be able to be vulnerable enough to show up for yourself.

[00:40:23] And there are, people are going to say, you can't do it and you just have to not hear it. And sometimes I do hear it, you know, and then I just don't. No, no, no. Put it up, put it away. And. And sometimes you do need to hear, well, maybe that isn't a bright idea to do it like that, or maybe they have a good idea, but I think following yourself and dropping into yourself and into your own heart, you have the answer.

[00:40:49] You don't need to be looking outside yourself as much as you are to find true. That's what that's, what I would say is my biggest advice. Really good advice, because we're all looking at the everywhere outside of us and will not give me not all, but a large percentage of people. Yes. And we do it all the time.

[00:41:09] I mean, we look for, I mean, , it also in Bernay brown, this was a good one. She had, , the scarcity. So you always have like the scarcity, like. When you're not enough, how, why would anyone want to listen to me about web design or, you know, like why, you know, so you wake up in the morning. I didn't get enough sleep.

[00:41:28] You know, I don't have enough money so we can get in this trap of not enough. What's the reverse of just telling yourself I am enough and I am good enough. And I see that person doing it. And they're not amazing and they're doing great. They're rocking it. So why, why can't I do that? So how do you reverse it?

[00:41:48] And, and I think that is a challenge and it's an important challenge. It's it's it's practice is what it is. It's bringing awareness to it and practice it every day. Reversing, reversing, reversing until it becomes a little more natural, a little more natural until all of a sudden there. And I think that it's a hundred percent.

[00:42:08] Right. And I think that's the same with Pilates. It's like you practice these exercises first. You're like, I don't get how to do this one. I can't do this. And then give it a little time. Why did I ever think this was hard? So it's the same concept. Why did I think this was such a hard decision, you know, but you have to take the money out of it.

[00:42:28] I mean, you have to in a way, because it's going to ch if money make gives you happiness, that's fine. That's fine. My dad, my dad loves anything to do with, with money, , stocks, whatever. That stresses me out, but if you like it, go for it. But if you have, if you're only trying to pursue money without joy, , I think that's, that's going to be a very shallow.

[00:42:57] Empty feeling inside yourself. How do you live wholehearted, whole body where you really are, and it's not clean. It's messy. And like the, like the daring greatly, like you're in the arena. You're messy, you're dirty. You're in it. You're vulnerable. You're putting yourself out there. You know, it's, it's not necessarily safe, but it's life.

[00:43:20] It's ambiguous. It is, it is, you know, and I don't mean to go back, but I just have, I'm just curious and it's just in the back of my head. Cause you, you know, you mentioned your new husband and you mentioned your ex-husband. Did you go through a divorce during the time when you had, we were going through your cancer treatments too?

[00:43:38] So everything, everything blew up all at once. No. So it took time like this integrated. So the, um, my husband, my ex-husband never forgave me that I. Walked away from my job. He actually worked together. He he's a contractor and we were remodeling houses and flipping them and doing that. And he, um, He blamed me.

[00:44:08] And I mean, there's obviously other issues and, you know, it takes to make a decision without you were fighting for your life and you had to make it. I mean, honestly, that's the decision that people need to make. That's the big change. And that's the, that is the golden thread through these stories is that if people don't make that change for themselves, the.

[00:44:30] If something bad happens, shakes it all up. And then that change happens and it's, and it makes everything. Better happier, more vibrant and alive and fulfilled. It's like where they were supposed to be. They finally get to a hundred percent. Okay. I totally agree. It's like, do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way you're going to get there one way or the other without your permission, you know, so yeah.

[00:44:55] That is it. And that's the T like leaving a marriage that was really hard to make that decision. You have a house, you have a life, you have all of these things and, and you're making those decisions because you are stepping into that arena. I, I felt I deserved to be loved for who I was not for. What I do is a huge thing.

[00:45:18] We all want to be loved and accepted. Right. But when you finally. Someone is loving me first for what I do and how I made money. That means my not, I'm not living wholehearted. I am not living this authentic life that I have now walked into from my work. So I was already working for several years. I mean, it took, it took a bit, it took about five years for it to completely fall apart , and do the, the move on.

[00:45:46] And now. Who I'm married to now, you know, I knew he was out there. I knew that person was out there and I am so happy that I took that leap. And. That was, you never know, 50, 50, you could feel alone for the rest of your life or, and that's fine too. You know, it could be a lot, but I really want it to be in partnership with them.

[00:46:06] I wanted to be in a relationship with someone who loved me for who I was and to embrace and help support. That that was something I needed to fulfill and they commend you for it. But I, I totally, I have many friends who are single and I'm, I commend that to, you know, I mean, I commend you for leaving the relationship that you're unhappy in and, and, and, and opening yourself up to a better.

[00:46:33] Option, whether that be alone or with someone else, you are opening yourself up to a better option for you. One that meant something to you, and I commend you for that. Well, thank you. Yeah. And I think, but I think this is no different than choosing a career path. That's all. Scary. It's all scary. You're on the edge of the cliff.

[00:46:54] Are you in, are you going to jump and you can't see, but you know, you know, when something's not working, if something's not working, stop, stop and regroup. Do what gives you joy re and come into yourself again? I know I keep repeating that because I cannot express, like, because I now live. And, , injuries as energy, , that what we trap in our heart, if I maybe didn't know on a conscious level that I was probably in a conditional marriage and my heart, no, no shock that I am getting a tumor in my heart.

[00:47:33] You know, there is some blockage. , I'm not saying that's the only reason why you have, issues with pain, but I can tell you that love does heal a lot and stress causes a lot. , so I do look at like, when someone says, oh my my back went out. I don't know why my back, when I go, well, what are you stressing about?

[00:47:53] Well, nothing really. And then there's a story about, well, my in-laws were staying with me. I'm like, well, there you go. , there has to be not just there's, there's a physical component. There's something that you've done, but there is a stress component and emotional component. It kind of blew my mind there.

[00:48:09] I'm not gonna lie. My, my, uh, severe, severe back pain that I went through a number of years ago was directly following in highly, highly emotional event. So that's very interesting. Absolutely you can get into, and this is where I love yoga. This is where yoga. I've tried to infuse yoga into the plates because that energy work, like if you think anything in your low back, this is family, this is, this is security.

[00:48:35] This is financial. So if you're having issues, financially family, things like that, no surprise, low back. Yeah. So, so it's it's and I've had people, I, I try not to make people cry anymore, but I kind of was, I didn't need to kind of see it and you say it, and then someone just goes. Oh my God. That is exactly what's going on.

[00:49:00] And it's just being in connection with another person. You , talk about it, what what's going on in your life. And we stuffed so much down. I'm good. I'm good. And, and women, especially, , the mother, you're a, you have to be a perfect mother. You have to be the perfect worker. You're perfect.

[00:49:16] Perfect. It's just too much, you know, sometimes just do the best you can and leave it or don't even do a great job. Just, Hey, this is it. This is all I got today. And I think that's more authentic and more genuine than agree, you know, then pushing because in the end you're like what you said, it's good.

[00:49:34] You're going to, it's going to hurt you in the end. Like you keep stuffing it down. It's going to your, world's going to have to stop now. Oh, now you have breast cancer. Well, that's going to really put a hole in all your plans. A lot going on for about a year and your family, you know, is taking second fiddle to that.

[00:49:54] So, yeah, it's important to listen. It's important to listen and, and time is, is, is not permanent, you know, do what you need to do and share what you can do. Whatever how small it is. That's, that's what I say. And it's like, I think we all look for, well, what's my gift. You know what I have to find out my, well, I'm sorry.

[00:50:19] I'm not a genius. I don't, I don't have a photographic memory. I don't know. I just like writing classes and teaching classes. I don't know why, you know, like, it, it feels like I'm connected when I do that. So find those things that you feel connected while you. And I make all the difference. When you make all the difference, you, you help someone, you never know how much you help someone buy something you just think is so easy.

[00:50:42] Like, whoa, what's the big deal. Isn't that the best way to help people too. Don't even know

[00:50:52] why. And they don't think, you know, don't try. Yes. I love it. I love it. I have so joined as, and I just I'm wishing that you were wishing that I was close to where you live so I can come hire you. Are you taking. Um, I'm not taking any face to face clients right now because I'm full, but I'm doing the online classes.

[00:51:15] So I do, my classes were on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:00 AM. Those are the live ones. And then I have videos too. And then I have my different themes. So Fridays, always the building bone density Tuesday's class. I change it up. So it's always Pilates, but the marketing. But it's great. It's online. So anyone could go to your website and sign up for your classes and be a part of them.

[00:51:39] So I'll put it on, I'll put it in the show notes, but what is your website? , core energy, pilates.com. That's the name of my company. Core energy plottings.com. And. Then my email's there and my, um, phone number, love to chat if anyone has questions too, because, , it can be confusing. You know, what you could do and you want to do things safely.

[00:52:00] You don't want to hurt yourself. I, I, like I said, I came from physical therapy background, so, , I'm sure. I know people have a lot of significant injuries out there and you need to be careful. You can't just show up and go and be with a bunch of 20 year olds after a knee replacement or, you know, I mean, it's not a good age or, oh, my hips really bothering me.

[00:52:23] I'm going to go be with these 20 roles and overstretch, not a good idea. You could really hurt yourself. So always get your doctor's permission and figure out safety for. The smart. Well, my last question just doesn't like the answer. What are you sure of in life? Oh, no,

[00:52:48] nothing. I

[00:52:54] wake up every morning. I'm always like, oh,

[00:52:59] sure. I know this is a terrible answer, but I'm sure. Always, I never miss a meal. I know when I going to eat well, that's a good thing.

[00:53:17] Oh, thank you so much, Christina. This has been wonderful. I really enjoyed our talk and I appreciate your time. Well, thank you. I really enjoyed this, this podcast and, thanks for having me. 

[00:53:28] Jolie Downs: I loved learning about Christina's story. There was so much richness to learn here. Christina grew up in a family that owned their own real estate business, a generational family business. That Christina was a part of. She grew her career in that family. By all outward appearances. One would think Christina was living the ultimate successful life, working in a successful family business, making excellent money, married to a partner in the same industry, flipping houses on the side.

[00:54:03] These are all the trappings of what society or family might tell you success looks like, but was this what success looked like to Christina?

[00:54:19] How many of us fall into this trap? Are you living your personal definition of success or are you living someone else's?

[00:54:33] Christina was living someone else's definition and she was highly strung. She was not fully happy with what she was doing. She was making great money, but this was not her passion. It was not filling her up at the end of the day, Christina was established, but she was left feeling empty and she did not know how to fix that unfulfilled.

[00:55:02] Then out of nowhere, Christina is told that she has breast cancer. She's 33 years old being told as young as she is that this is not a good prognosis for overall life years news, such as this brings a clarity into life as to what you do and do not want.

[00:55:26] What have you received news such as the.

[00:55:32] How would you feel about your life and how you've been living it?

[00:55:39] What changes would you make?

[00:55:44] If anything is coming up, I might suggest that you think about making those changes now do not wait for the crisis to. Christina had continued to work after her cancer diagnosis. But one day as she sat there, she had an epiphany. She finally asked herself, why am I doing this? Why am I working on something that I have no passion for?

[00:56:18] Why am I working so hard on something that I have no desire for expecially when I might die? She decided in that moment no more. She got up and walked out that day. She had no other job lined up, no other prospects, no idea of what she might do. She just knew. She was no longer doing things that she did not want to do.

[00:56:52] Now. Christina made this decision for herself in that moment, she made a choice and she did not look back this choice. It did have an impact on her husband. She had not discussed it with. This ended up having negative ramifications for the relationship, but from what it sounds like to me, this was the very best outcome for Christina.

[00:57:18] Now, while I am a big fan of discussing a big decisions in a relationship, this decision of Christina's the one she made for herself in that moment, I stand up and applaud all kinds of yes, to this decision. She had to make this decision. The fulfillment of your soul is your responsibility. No one else's.

[00:57:49] You can not allow others' needs to keep you from finding what makes your soul sing. You must ask yourself, what do you need? Not what is best for my partner, not what is best for my family. Not what's best for my friends. What is best for me? That is the direction you must move. That is the direction where you will embody your best self, you know, what you need.

[00:58:32] You owe it to yourself to listen to your own internal voice and anyone who really loves you, they will want that for you.

[00:58:48] Christina shared that she did not get praised for her decision. Her family thought that she had lost her senses, but for her, it was the. Christina had finally found her senses. She was ready to try on the life. That felt right. Instead of just looking right

[00:59:16] in an act of serendipity, Christina found a Pilates studio on her way, home in through Pilates. Christina found a path of healing, both physically and emotionally. She had found the place in life that she was meant to be. Christina spent months working with this Pilates instructor, getting stronger, learning, to feel amazing in her body, learning everything she could about Pilates until one day her teacher turned to her and said, I've taught you everything I can.

[00:59:49] Would you be interested in a job?

[00:59:53] And once again, we learned the power of positive suggestion with one sentence, the view of possibility in Christina's life shifted and another new door opened.

[01:00:12] What positive suggestion have you gifted into someone else's.

[01:00:21] Our words have so much power. I encourage us all to look for ways to compliment and lift others up. Now, I love what Christina shared here. When she was asked if she wanted a job, this was something she wasn't sure about. She hadn't thought about it. So at first she didn't know. And as Christina shared, when she does not know something, she stopped.

[01:00:48] She breeze, she thinks and reflects, and she spends time finding that knowing before making a decision really great life advice. Overall, anytime you are faced with a decision that you don't know, give yourself permission to stop, take the space to reflect. And think everything over before making a decision and moving forward.

[01:01:23] Christina moved forward with Pilates. And she found herself in an amazing opportunity for training. I really appreciated that Christina shared how some of the people in her group were intimidating coming in with their crazy Pilates skills or dance skills. And she would compare herself thinking that well, she could do it.

[01:01:43] She couldn't do it as great. Now, this was Christina's little imposter syndrome coming out to rear its ugly head. We all have that stinking imposter inside of us. And the imposters of best friend is comparison to others. Every time you compare yourself to others, you are giving your power to someone else, whatever anyone else is doing, it has no bearing on you.

[01:02:16] The only person to compare yourself to is who you were the day before, which is what Christina did. She reminded herself that she was there to learn. And that is the truth of life. We are all here to learn wherever you are, whatever you're doing, you are there to learn in. Life is teaching. Always Christina had been working at closed down, and this was an incredibly scary time for so many people.

[01:02:49] Christina had two choices. She could bemoan the pandemic, complain about the unfairness rail against the government for shutting things down and making a mess of everything. Or she could focus in on what she could control herself and come up with a plan that aligned with her future goals. Christina chose to focus on what she could control.

[01:03:14] She had thought about starting her own studio. So that is what she did. She created her home studio. She developed and produced a video programs and she started doing online classes for her clientele. And let's be clear. Christina did not know how to create video programs. She had no experience with teaching virtually or the software involved, but she learned, and anyone can learn.

[01:03:41] Anything in this day and age, and that is what Christina went out and did she educated herself and up-leveled her career with a perfectly timed pivot, setting herself up for continued success. And I love that Christina is developing programs appealing to our psychological need to know why we are doing something, getting in touch with your why around any activity is a huge key to success.

[01:04:09] Knowing why you're doing what it is that you're doing will keep you going through the tough times through the pain, through the trials and tribulations, being in touch with your wife. Is one of the greatest secrets to perseverance. So why are you doing what it is that you are doing? Do you know why you work, where you work?

[01:04:37] Do you know why you chose your current profession? Why do you do what you do day in and day out, getting in touch with that will make your own difficult times that much easier to push.

[01:04:54] No, I loved Christina's definition of success and the fact that she is fully living that definition for Christina success, successes, finding joy in what you were doing every day. This is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself and others to find that joy in your day-to-day life. Her work, energizes her.

[01:05:19] She gets excited and passionate about what she is doing. She finds fulfillment in helping others. She has everything she needs. Christina loves her life and loves what she does. She's an active participant in creating and embodying her best life.

[01:05:42] Regardless of what anyone has to say, including Christina's father. Christina is winning. She is no longer reacting to her life. She is creating her life.

[01:06:04] I really hope you can say this.

[01:06:10] And when Christina finds that she's no longer enjoying something. If she finds that she's getting stressed, she will stop. She will evaluate because if she is not enjoying it, then what's the point. If she's not enjoying it, something is wrong and she needs to start. Figure it out and make an adjustment.

[01:06:39] And this, my friends is a winning recipe for life. Do not stay in your stuck, do not make the mistake of thinking that this is life. Life is about joy, not pain, so stop and evaluate and make the better choice for you. Better choices equals a better life. And as Christina said, the better choices need to be the right choices for you.

[01:07:15] What is right for you? Won't always be what is right for others. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the only opinion that matters is yours. Take Christina's advice and do not give your energy or power to others for whoever has your ear has your life.

[01:07:46] As Christina shared, ignore those negative people, ignore the critics and do not let their toxic judgment in as Bernay brown shares your soul. Is your light. Your light is a precious and gorgeous thing. It is your light. You need to surround yourself with people who, when your light is shining bright, do not feel the need to blow it out.

[01:08:21] We all know those people in life no longer give them the.

[01:08:29] Christina mentioned the speech by Teddy Roosevelt about people who try to tear you down. And here's a great quote from that speech that she referenced. It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again.

[01:09:03] And again, because there is no effort without error or shortcomings, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, but who spends himself in a worthy. Okay, who at the best knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat

[01:09:37] K Roosevelt 19. Let us all aim to be the person in the arena, daring greatly to be the author of our own story and creating the greatest version of ourselves that we wish to be true.

[01:09:56] Follow your own heart and stop looking outside of you for your.

[01:10:04] I want to talk about another important message from Christina, the message around scarcity and the language we use with ourselves. We have the scarcity mindset. It's natural human mindset that we all share. You are not special in your negativity. Your negative voice is not there because it is right. It is there because it is more.

[01:10:28] The scarcity mindset saved your life thousands of years ago, but life is different now and our brains have yet to catch up. So it is up to you to train your brain and your brain is absolutely trainable. Your brain has neuroplasticity, which means it is adjustable. It is adaptable. Your brain is constantly learning and growing.

[01:10:51] People are walking around and they're talking to themselves in the very worst way. People are saying things to themselves. Like why would anyone listen to me? Why would anyone want me? I'm not good enough. I'm not worthy. I'm a mess. And everyone else has it together. That person is doing it. And I'll never be as good.

[01:11:18] I don't have enough money. I'll never make enough money. I'll never amount to anything.

[01:11:25] All these thoughts are normal. They are also deeply wrong. You owe it to yourself to change the narrative. What would life be like if you were to believe the opposite?

[01:11:47] What if every time you had a negative thought. You brought awareness to it without judgment and simply replaced that thought with its exact opposite. I am enough. I am worthy. I am a work of art in progress in constantly learning. I meet my own needs. That person is doing it. Why can't I, why can't I, why not?

[01:12:19] I can be anyone I want to be, if not now, when

[01:12:28] what would it feel like to walk through life, knowing that you are enough just as you are, that you are worthy of every single one of your dreams, how would you move through life differently?

[01:12:44] You can get there. It's a challenge, but an incredibly important one, bring awareness to your thinking, practice, flipping your thoughts daily and this practice. It does feel hard when you start, but the more you do it, the easier it will become until slowly that negative voice will become the supportive one that you have deserved all.

[01:13:08] Stop being the biggest asshole in your own life, you owe it to yourself to be your own internal best friend. You can meet your needs yourself.

[01:13:23] Finally, I want to leave you with a final thought from Christina release, that internal pressure of trying to be perfect. There is no perfect. Stop trying to be the perfect parent or the perfect wife or the perfect friend or the most perfect person in the room. The pressure is just too much embrace all of your parts.

[01:13:48] Be the real you share all of your angles and you will find deeper, more authentic, and more fulfilling connections being developed when you stop judging and putting pressure on yourself. You will find that you stop judging and putting pressure on others and your entire world will feel freer. So this is my wish for us.

[01:14:12] All that you remember that it is your imperfections that make you perfect, that you will embrace the messy work of art that you are, and that you wholeheartedly share all of your scattered pieces, giving others permission to do this. Until next time.


Jolie Downs:



I loved learning about Christina’s story, there was so much richness to learn here. Christina grew up in a famiiy that owned their own real estate business, a generational family business, that Christina was a part of, growing her career in the family industry. By all outward appearances, one would think Christina was living the ultimate successful life – working in a successful family business, making excellent money, married to a partner in the same industry, flipping houses on the side – these are all the trappings of what “society” or “family” might tell you success looks like. But was this what success looked liked to Christina? 


How many of us fall into this trap. Are you living your personal definition of success or are you living someone elses? 


Christina was living someone elses definition and she was highly stressed. She was not fully happy with what she was doing. She was making great money but this was not her passion, it did not fill her up. At the end of the day, Christina was established but she was left feeling empty. She did not know how to fix that unfulfilled feeling.


Then, out of nowhere, Christina is told she has breast cancer. She is 33 years old, being told that as young as she is, this is not a good prognosis for overall life years. News such as this brings a clarity into life as to what you do and do not want. 


What if you received news such as this? How would you feel about your life and how you’ve been living it? 


What changes would you make? 


If anything comes up, might I suggest you think about making those changes now, do not wait for the crisis to hit.


Christina had continued to work after her cancer diagnosis but one day as she sat there, she had an epiphany – she finally asked herself – WHY am I doing this? 


Why am I working on something that I have no passion for? Why am I working so hard on something I have no desire over – especially when I might die???


She decided in that moment – no more!

She got up and walked out that day. She had no other job lined up. No other prospects. No idea of what she might do, she just knew she was no longer doing things she did not want to do.


Now Christina made this decision for herself in that moment, she made a choice and she did not look back. This choice did impact her husband and she had not discussed it with him. This ended up having negative ramifications for their relationship but from what it sounds like to me, this was the very best outcome for Christina. While I’m a big fan of discussing big decisions in a relationship, this decision of Christina’s, the one she made for herself in that moment, I stand up and applaud. All kinds of YES to this decision. She HAD to make this decision. The fulfillment of your soul is YOUR responsibly – no one else’s. You can not allow others needs to keep you from finding what makes your soul sing. You must ask yourself, what do YOU need. Not what is best for my partner – not what is best for my family – not what is best for my friends - what is best for ME. That is the direction you must move. That is the direction where you will embody your best self. 


You know what you need. 


You owe it yourself to Listen to your own internal voice.

And anyone who really loves you, they will want that for you. 


Christina shared that she did not get praise for her decision, her family thought she had lost her senses, but for her, it was the opposite – Christina had finally found her senses. She was ready to try on the life that felt right instead of just looking right. 


In an act of serendipity, Christina found a pilates studio on her way home and through Pilates Christina found a path of healing, both physically and emotionally. She had found the place in life she was meant to be. Christina spent months working with this pilates instructor getting stronger, learning to feel amazing in her body, learning everything she could about pilates,  until one day her teacher turned to her and told her, I’ve taught you everything I can, would you be interested in a job? 


And once again we learn the power of positive suggestion. With one sentence, the view of possibility in Christina’s life shifted and another new door opened. 


What positive suggestion have you gifted into someone else’s life? Our words have so much power, I encourage us all to look for ways to compliment and lift others up.


I love what Christina shared here when she was asked if she wanted a job. It was not something she had thought about, at first, she didn’t know and as Christina shared, when she doesn’t know something, she stops. She breathes. She thinks and reflects and spends time finding that knowing before making a decision. Really great life advice overall. Any time you are faced with a decision you don’t know – give yourself permission to stop, take the space to reflect and think everything over before making a decision and moving forward. 


Christina moved forward and found herself in an amazing opportunity for training. I appreciated that Christina shared how some of the people in her group were intimidating – coming in with their crazy pilates skills or dance skills and she would compare herself thinking that while she could do it, she couldn’t do it great – this was Christina’s little imposter syndrome coming out to rear it’s ugly head – we all have that stinkin imposter inside of us and the imposters best friend is comparison to others – every time you compare yourself to others you are giving your power to someone else. Whatever anyone else is doing, it has no bearing on you – the only person to compare yourself to is who you were the day before. Which is what Christina did, she reminded herself, that she was there to learn. And that’s the truth of life people – we are all here to learn. Wherever you are, what ever you are doing, you are there to learn. 


And life is teaching always. 


Look at what Chrstina learned in her pilates lessons.


When it feels amazing you know you are doing it right


You have to do it wrong for a little while until you can learn how to do it better and get it right


Don’t resist


Breathe


Stop when it hurts! 


These pilates lessons were the perfect metaphors for the greater life lessons. We all need those consistent reminders to keep us on the right path. 


When Covid hit, the studio Christina had been working at closed down. This was an incredibly scary time for so many people. Christina had two choices. She could bemoan the pandemic, complain about the unfairness, rail against the government for shutting things down and making a mess of everything OR she could focus in on what she could control – herself – and come up with a plan that aligned with her future goals. 


What choice did you make during the pandemic? 


Christina chose to focus on what she could control. She had thought about starting her own studio so that is what she did. She created her home studio, developed and produced video programs and started doing online classes for her clientele. Let’s be clear, Christina did not know how to create video programs, she had no experience with teaching virtually or the software involved but she learned. Anyone can learn anything in this day and age and that is what Christina went out and did. She educated herself and up leveled her career with a perfectly timed pivot, setting herself up for continued success. 


I love that Christina is developing programs appealing to our psychological need to know why we are doing something. Getting in touch with your why around any activity is key to success. Knowing why you are doing what it is you are doing will keep you going through the tough time, through the pain, through the trials and tribulations – being in touch with your why is what will keep you going. It’s the one of the great secrets to perseverance.


So why are you doing what it is you are doing? Do you know why you work where you work? Do you know why you chose your current profession? Why do you do what you do day in and day out? Get in touch with that and it will make your own difficult times just that much easier to push through. 


I love Christina’s definition of success and the fact that she is fully living that definition – for Christina, success is finding Joy in what you are doing every day – this is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself and others – to find joy in your day to day life. Her work energizes her, she gets excited and passionate about what she is doing, she finds fuffillment in helping others. She has everything she needs, she loves her life and loves what she does – she is an active participant in creating and embodying her best life – regardless of what anyone has to say, including Christina’s father, Christina is winning. 


She is no longer reacting to her life, she is creating her life. 


Can you say the same? 


And when Christina finds she is no longer enjoying something, if she finds she is getting stressed, she will stop. She will evaluate. Because if she’s not enjoying it – what’s the point? If she’s not enjoying it, something is wrong and she needs to stop, figure it out and make an adjustment and this my friends, is a winning recipe for life. Do not stay in your stuck. Do not make the mistake of thinking, this is life. Life is about JOY, not pain. So Stop, evaluate and make the better choices for you. Better choices equals a better life. And as Christina said, the better choices need to be the right choices for YOU. What is right for you won’t always be what is right for others. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion but the only opinion that matters, is yours. 


Take Christina’s advice and do not give your energy or power to others. For

“Whoever has your ear, has your life. “ – Darrin Gibson

As Christina said, Ignore the negative people, ignore the critics and don’t let their toxic judgement in. As Brene Brown shares, Your soul is your light. Your light is a precious, gorgeous thing. It's YOUR light. You need to surround yourself with people who, when your light is shining bright, don't feel the need to blow it out.


We all know those people in life, no longer give them the power. 


Christina mentioned the speech by Teddy Roosevelt about people who try to tear you down. Here’s a great quote from that speech: 

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

—Theodore Roosevelt
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910


Let us all aim to be the person in the arena, daring greatly to be the author of our own story and creating the greatest version of ourselves that we wish to be true. 


Follow your own heart and stop looking outside of you for your influence. 



I want to talk about another important message from Christina – the message around scarcity and the language we use with ourselves. We have this scarcity mindset, it’s a natural human mindset that we all share – you are not special in your negativity, your negative voice is not there because it is right – it is there because it is normal – the scarcity mindset saved your life thousands of years ago but life is different now and our brains have yet to catch up. So it’s up to you to train your brain. And your brain is absolutely trainable – your brain has neuroplasticity which means it is adaptable, your brain is constantly learning and growing. 


People are walking around and talking to themselves in the worst ways – they say things to themselves like 

Why would anyone listen to me? 

Why would anyone want me? 

I’m not good enough

I’m not worthy

I’m a mess and everyone else has it together

That person is doing it and I’ll never be as good

I don’t have enough money, I’ll never make enough money

I’ll never amount to anything


While these thoughts are normal, they are also WRONG


You owe it to yourself to change the narrative


What would life be like if you were to believe the opposite?


What if every time you had a negative thought, you brought awareness to it, without judgement and simply replaced that thought with it’s exact opposite.


I am enough. 
I am worthy.

I am a work of art, in progress and constantly learning. 

I meet my own needs.

That person is doing it, why can’t I?

Why can’t i?

Why not me? 

I can be anyone I want to be. 

If not now, when? 


What would it feel like to walk through life knowing that you are enough, just as you are? That you are worthy of every single one of your dreams? How would you move through life differently?


You can get there. It’s a challenge but an incredibly important one. Bring awareness to your thinking and practice flipping your thoughts daily. This practice feels hard when you start but the more you do it, the easier it will become until slowly that negative voice will become the supportive one you’ve deserved all along. Stop being the biggest asshole in your own life. You owe it to yourself to be your own internal best friend. You can meet your needs yourself. 


Finally, I want to leave you with a final thought from Christina – release the internal pressure of trying to be perfect. There is no perfect. Stop trying to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the most perfect person in the room – the pressure is just too much! Embrace all of your parts, be the real you, sharing all your angles and you’ll find deeper more authentic and more fulfilling connections being developed. 

When you stop judging and putting pressure on yourself, you’ll find you’ll stop judging and putting pressure on others and your entire world will feel freer. 


I loved this tweet from the cryptonaturalist I saw the other day – 

Things that are perfect are dead things. Empty Things. A silence beyond change or challenge. An endpoint. A blank page. You are a wonderfully messy thing. An impossible thing made of iron and rainwater. Meat and Electricity. A dream with teeth. You are too good for perfection. 


So this is my wish for us all, that you remember that it is your imperfections that make you perfect, that you will embrace the messy work of art that you are and that you wholeheartedly share all your scattered pieces giving others permission to do the same. 



Until next time




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