Kristine Carlson is a Mom and Nana to her grandsons. She is the New York Times bestselling author of five books including: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women,”Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love” “An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love,” “Heartbroken Open” and “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms.” She has appeared on many leading National Radio and Television shows including: Oprah, The View and theTODAY show. She is inspirational speaker who speaks on all topics involving life and “Living the Big Stuff.” She is a blogger and contributor on several popular sites including Positively Positive. Learn more at http://www.kristinecarlson.com, http://www.dontsweatmoms.com or http://wwwdontsweat.com.322
We all experience life challenges that looking back we can see were the catalyst for living a deeper, more authentic life. What has been your greatest personal challenge that you’ve overcome that served as your pivot point to transformation?
My life was humming along, as usual, one winter day when I received the phone call that shattered my heart. My best friend, husband and the love of my life for twenty-five years, had died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism while on a flight. It didn’t matter that he was the bestselling happiness guru of the era and author to the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book series; he died in mid-life and twenty-five years early. I hope this is the greatest challenge of my life. It definitely put everything he taught the world and my entire philosophy to the test. I wrote a book about my experience called “Heartbroken-open: a memoir through loss to self discovery.” As my ego shattered with my broken heart, my authenticity grew like a forest reseeds itself with fire.
Describe the transformational moment or wake-up call when you realized that life change was necessary? For many, it’s a spiritual awakening, an emotional downfall, or a life-altering experience that shakes us awake.
I wasn’t living as awake before Richard’s death as I was after. His death rocked me to my core, often leaving me on my knees in complete surrender to grief. It was like a fully pressurized water hose hit me in the face and I knew I had been “Heartbroken-Open” to feeling my life at a deeper level. I now know that we had a sacred contract between us that said: You will grow richer in your soul for having suffered loss. It sucks to grow that way, but my soul is grateful. His death breathed new life into me. This is the gift every time we lose someone we love: To remember life is short and we must live every day as it can be our last. Time, is a most precious commodity.
After experiencing your personal wake-up call what were the most powerful steps you took to change your life?
The steps I took in my healing and those that brought transformation were:
1. I found my COURAGE by embracing grief rather than resisting it. I made grief my friend.
2. I listened to my body. There is an innate healer inside us. I allowed my body to teach me how to grieve.
3. I chose to learn and grow amidst adversity seeing this loss as part of my life 101 soul work curriculum.
4. I gave myself permission to “Feel to Heal” allowing all my emotions to be in full expression.
5. I followed the S.T.A.R.R. mantra: Surrender, Trust, Accept, Release and Receive.
Please share a Positive Mental Shift tip that woman can implement today to support them on their journey of transformation and empowerment.
When I think of ‘mental shift’ I think of “Thought” and the role of your thinking in relation to your transformation. Understanding that your thoughts of fear are generally coming from your ego and will move you away from the authentic expression of your highest self is very helpful. Your feelings of fear are your best navigational tool. Move towards your emotional fear and move away from your ego and closer to your authenticity. Your greatest gifts are right behind your fears.
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