You have always been the storm

My heart was beating almost as if it was everywhere.

Not just inside my chest.

But inside the two hundred and fifty humans that were waiting to hear me speak.

It was on the walls of the conference room.

Inside the mic on my blouse.

On the stage.

Like a storm of heartbeats.

That is how scared I was.

I walked towards the stage.

I started to speak.

Word after word.

Step after step.

I started to move the storm.

And make me a part of it.

I became the storm.

I walked with it, spoke with it.

Was with it.

“You are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it. You are the storm.” Sam Harris

For everything I had to become, I first had to scare myself.

For everything I am, I had to destroy the person I had been. (Click to Tweet!)

I don’t really know how others change.

For me it has always been a scary experience.

This is also why loss broke me in an unmended way.

I was not controlling the storm, I was lost in it.

And could not become it. Not for years.

But even now, the planes I tried to fly, the books I wrote, the talks I have given, the companies I started, the people I loved and lost have all been born inside a storm.

I learned something while inside the storms of my life.

The storm is part of your soul.

Without the storm you would not be human.

Without the storm the stage would not be there, love neither.

The storm is what connects you to the outside world.

So tell me, what is your relationship with your storm?

When life is calling you and the storm takes your breath away, do you still step out?  

And if you do,  remember that the storm is not going to be scary forever.

You will become it and will be on your way to your next chapter, your next love, your next adventure. You have always been the storm.

With storms,

Christina

P.S. Check out our newly designed website with my own name: www.christinarasmussen.com


I Stopped Internally Combusting

I stopped it.

It was only for a few seconds.

A few seconds not being who I had been.

The stop, crushed me.

The interruption of who I was, brought on panic.

I interrupted the force that had kept me going.

The engine I installed inside my brain to keep me from losing my mind after loss, was for a few seconds silenced.

Void.

I started the engine back again, immediately.

But these seconds were enough to hear inside the silence.

I turned the engine back on.

Roaring. Forging ahead.

My engine has been working on full force for 11 years.

It almost doesn’t need fuel, it just goes.

I became the whole engine.

I put myself inside of it.

It was better than feeling pain.

The engine had a way to stay in motion.

It even has a name, internal combustion.

A small controlled explosion.

Creating enough power so that the car can go places.

I have been combusting internally.

My controlled explosions of motion were breathtaking.

My engine took me places.

As the years went by I forgot that the engine was there.

That is when I became it.

For 11 years.

The engine. Was me.

A human engine that had to be born after loss.

The heart was hurting.

The brain was stuck in a loop of loss and grief.

Something had to get me out.

The engine is extraordinary but also just an engine.

And it should not be allowed to go on combusting for years.

We must stop it. Look around.

Check in on a life without an engine.

And I did that, this week.

I stopped the controlled explosions.

The engineered motion.

It had done its job.

Now I need to do this life thing without my engine.

I don’t know how that will look like, but I do know I am ready.

Ready to experience unengineered beautiful life explosions. (Click to Tweet!)

I hope you turn off the engine too.

The engine of busy, the engine of routine, the engine of running away from the pain.

Even for a few seconds a day.

Give yourself a break from internally combusting.

There is something in store for us that requires no engine, just heart.

No engine just being.

Go on, untethered. Unbound. Free.

Without bounds,

Christina

P.S. If you are part of an organization that provides grief services apply here for our next Life Reentry Training for professionals. LINK: https://lifereentry.com/courses/life-reentry-practitioner-training/


Endings

It was not like any other day.

Something was in the air.

A heaviness, with no name.

A knowing. A goodbye.

An Ending. A full stop.

And it was known.

Nothing could prevent it. Nothing at all.

It was coming. Like all endings do.

The Ending arrived quietly. Almost like a whisper.

“I am here, and I need to end this.” It murmured.

“But why do you have to be here Ending?” I asked.

“Can’t we have a new beginning without you?”

“This kind of beginning requires me to end some things.” Ending said

“But the things you want to end are things I still need.” I said.

“Yes they are.” Ending said

“So, then don’t visit with me.” I replied.

“It’s too late, I am already here. You must let go.”

“Let go.” Ending whispered again.

“Now.”

As I started to let go, the air moved.

My sadness breathed easier.

“Do you see her coming in?” Ending said and pointed towards the ocean.

I looked but there was nothing.

“Keep looking.” Ending said.

“At first, it will look like nothing is coming.

Keep looking.

Beginnings are formless at first. (Click to Tweet!)

Especially as I am still on my way out.

The further I go, the more you will start to see your beginning clearly.” Ending said and I could barely hear it anymore.

My heart was squashed.

My knees were trembling.

I was on my own now.

Looking for my new beginning.

And as I was standing there, just like that, my beginning appeared in front of me.

She was bigger than I had expected.

At first I could not see all of her.

But the parts I could see surprised me.

This beginning was different to any other beginnings.

She was vaster than the ocean itself.

I sat down, put my hands on my face and cried.

Oh ending, I get it now.

The letting go.

You ending things I thought I still needed.

Of course.

You were right all along.

I could not have this beginning without you ending the things I thought I needed.

With an ending and a beginning,

Christina

www.lifereentry.com


Don't Stand At The Door

I search and search and search.

Behind every word I say.

After every new decision.

I seek to find myself, the self that lives underneath the rubble.

Under the invisible losses.

And hiding, still.

Sometimes I wonder if I lost her completely.

But as soon as I do, I see her. I hear her.

I feel her presence.

She is still there. Standing tall.

Waiting for her emergence.

You see there is a part of me that never ever reentered.

Life after loss is a little tricky.

Sometimes it appears that we are truly living again.

We are there, at the beach.

Laughing with our friends.

We try new relationships. New jobs.

New houses. New hair. Adventures. Hikes.

We do it all.

But we are never quite there, the way it used to be.

Fully embraced by the present moment.

Standing at the door of each of our experiences.

Just like we would be if we walked inside a house and just stood at the doorway.

This has been my biggest invisible loss.

And it took me many years to figure it out.

The more I reenter, the more clearly I can understand myself and what really happened to me since he died.

A lot happened.

And one thing is for sure, even though I have rebuilt my life from the ground up, there is one thing left to do.

To walk all the way inside my life.

To stop standing at the door.

At first I thought that I was just witnessing everyone because of my life’s perspective.

But as the years went by I looked closer and I saw myself standing at the door and everyone else hanging in the living room or the kitchen.

No wonder it has felt so lonely.

I never let myself all the way in.

I learned that true mastery of life after loss can only be attained by many Life Reentry journeys. (Click to Tweet!)

Each new Life Reentry adds to the one before.

My very first Life Reentry was to laugh out loud for the first time.

The next was to move my bed around.

Then to paint my walls.

Find food tasty again.

Go on an adventure trip with my girls.

Get a new job.

The list goes on.

If I was to count my reentries, there must be thousands.

But as the years go by it gets harder and harder to find my way to the one I need the most.

It took me a while to figure out that there was a part of me that was always left behind standing at the door.

But now that I know, I will make sure no parts of me ever stand at the door again.

During my next Life Reentry class.

I will not only teach it, but will participate fully.

Reentering with everyone else.

And for those already in my class, nudge me, walk with me too.

My question today for you is, which part of you is still standing at the door?

Are you just witnessing everything instead of being inside your life.

And if the answer is yes, it is ok.

Now we both know.

And we will find our way in.

Completely.

With love and so much life to live,

Christina

P.S. 4 Days left until our next Life Reentry Journey. Class begins on Tuesday. Doors close on Monday night. REGISTER HERE: https://lifereentry.com/courses/life-reentry-winter-2018/


There is Someone Living in my Attic

Whenever I want to give up,

I think of the bold words of Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God will not have his work made manifest by cowards”

And I want to scream.

I am not a coward, God.

I am not a coward. I will keep going.

Keep knocking on doors.

Keep doing the work.

Keep making a fool of myself. Falling. Hurting.

And I won’t give up.

Not even when my legs don’t want to move.

Not even when my heart feels like it is sitting inside concrete.

Not even when I would rather be a coward than live this courageous life.

Not even when I ask why bother, we all die.

Why bother with it all when in the end, it doesn’t really matter how much fear I lived through.

I have a confession to make.

Whenever someone really courageous dies, I cry.

I think about all the courage they had to master in their life, all their hard work and now they are gone. Gone. Forever.

Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind all her life and championed for the deaf. Courageous.

Nelson Mandela, spent 20 years in prison. Resilient.

Martin Luther King, fought against so much unfairness. Dreamer.  

George Orwell, gave up his wealth for something greater. Humble.

Amelia Earhart the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic. Disappeared forever while flying around the world. Wonder woman.

I cry for them.

As if they were my friends.

As if we had known each other.

As if I was there when they were there.

I want to be courageous like they were.

I want my life to matter. Like theirs.

And then I think of all of my fears, and I want to grab them, and scramble them.

As if they are made of nothing.

Destroy them with my will.

And scatter them everywhere.

I want to run to the highest mountain, and see what I am made of.

To run out of breath, and collapse.

As if I have no more air to breathe.

And then find my way back. Or not.

Or not.

To not be afraid of that, the not coming back.

To not be afraid of losing everything again.

You see, because of all the loss I have experienced, I am so afraid of loss.

Because I know how my body can’t even withstand it.

It is as if I have seen the monster that lives in my attic and I am scared of it coming out again.

So I go quiet, to not wake it.

So I stay in, so it won’t hear me open the door.

So I pretend to not exist so it won’t come after me and take what I have left.

And then I think about what Ralph Waldo Emerson said about God not entrusting his work to cowards, and I know.

I just know.

I have to make noise even if the monster in my attic hears it.

I have to leave my house knowing that loss will meet me along the way. (Click to Tweet!)

And I know you do too.

You do.

You must come along with me, and let the monster in the attic hear you leave.

Let it come downstairs.

Let is try to scare you.

Let it roar on your face. I know you can roar back. I know you can.

And you know what else?

The monster has a secret.

It can’t leave the prison it has made for you.

So, it tries to keep you inside, afraid of the world outside.

It knows once you are courageous, you won’t look back.

The monster won’t be a monster anymore, it will be something that was feared once but forgotten.

Come along with me, and Amelia, and Martin, and Helen, Nelson too, let’s leave our monsters behind like they did. Let’s...

With many monsters waiting for me to come back home,
Christina

P.S. 11 days left until the next exit. Join me in my next class here.


Miracles are real

I think magic is real.

More real than your table.

The chair. Your coffee too.

Miracles are real too.

Science proves it.

Religion talks about it.

Sometimes loss takes away our belief in miracles.

It tells us that the only real things are the things we can see.

Touch. Hear.

Everything else must not exist.

Since it cannot be seen.

I still think magic is real even though it doesn’t look like a table or chair.

Or house. Or trees.

I also think we don’t die.

That life is a miracle and that is born from consciousness. Universe. God.

But how would that help you when you are all alone at night?

When you lost someone you loved from this life?

How would that help you?

You may ask, if miracles are real how come they don’t take my pain away?

And that is a fair question.

I have asked it myself.

If miracles were real maybe they could bring our people back.

Cure the sick.

Stop accidents from happening.

Bring peace and end wars.

But here is what I learned in the process of writing my next book.

Miracles are as real as you are.

And we will believe in them more and more.

We will start to believe in cures. Spontaneous remissions.

Self healing. Synchronicity. Eternity even.

And when we do believe, that what is seen is not all there is we would bring forth a different physical reality.

One that allows for a life that is bigger than tables, chairs and houses.

Bigger than loving each other only when we are inside our physical body.

Today I am asking you to believe in miracles as much as you believe in your dining room table being real.

I know that’s a lot to ask.

I know that the dining room table looks more real than the energy that is around it.

Than healing powers.

Than souls with no physical bodies.

Than other dimensions. Than the universe.

In my humble opinion, when we go through something tragic we can never look at life the way we used to. Like, never. Ever.

So let’s try something together, right here.

Just for a moment stop reading this letter and look around you.

As you do that, look at the space between the wall across from you and you.

Did you know that the empty space between you and the wall is not empty?

That the invisible part of our reality is as real as you and I?

Don’t let anyone tell you that life is all that you see.

Life is so much more than that.

All the miracles live in the unseen and in the seeing of it.

And one more thing.

Just because we can’t see the people we lost, it doesn’t mean that they are not there. (Click to Tweet!)

With seeing everything,

Christina

P.S. Early registration for the Life Reentry class ends on the 15th register here.

PPS. We are also registering for the practitioner training apply here.


No More Lies After Loss

‘The Life we live, is the lesson we teach
my friend Jim Kwik mentioned in one of his writings.

I read it just before I was going to sit down and write to you.

And it hit me.

The life I live. Is the lesson I teach.

Thank you Jim, for putting it so simply.

As it allowed me to come clean with myself.

And you might be wondering, what does this have to do with loss? Everything.

Really, everything.

I am doing another reentry for myself. This one will be the hardest.

Living life true to my feelings at all cost is not easy. It is one of the hardest things I will ever have to do. But I owe it to all the people who have died. To the people who wished they were still here. (Click to Tweet!)

I owe it to Bjarne. My first husband.

To my firstborn who never made it.

To my grandparents.

To personal friends who died young.

And I know, you owe it to your people too. The people you lost.

This next reentry to life will be brutally honest.

The first thing I do is ask myself this one question.

What lie do I tell myself every day?

I lie about how happy I am.

I lie about that a lot.

I am calling myself out this year.

Stopping the lies about the everyday things.

The lies about what I love to do.

Who I really am.

The lies about the foods I eat.

The things I say.

The way I think.

The people I like. And those I don’t.

How I want to be loved. Seen.

And the biggest lie of all is that there will always be a tomorrow.

As you and I know, tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Now is your turn.

What is your truth and what lie have you been telling yourself instead?

With a lot of truth,

Christina

P.S. Next Life Reentry class starts in the end of the month. Register early here.

One thing is for sure. It will be a six week journey towards the most true life reentry ever. For myself. And for the hundreds of people who are joining. No more lies after loss.

See you in class.


There is no candy hanging on your alarm clock.

I am approaching the next year with sadness.

But not the type of sadness that can be labeled.

Not the type of sadness that most therapists would call depression.

It is not like that.

I know your sadness is not like that, either.

The type of sadness that I feel is not easily articulated in human words.

It feels like my whole body is crying. Not just my eyes.

It starts with being tired.

With the clock starting over again each morning.

With the fact that there is no break.

No wins between one day and the next.

Nobody is saying bravo for doing your best.

There is no candy hanging from the alarm clock.

Just you and another day asking for your striving. For your very best self.

Without anyone noticing.

You do so much, for very little.

So when this next year is about to begin, I look back at 2017 and I know you did your best but nobody noticed.

Nobody is jumping up and down with balloons.

There is no banner across the front door of your house welcoming you to the next year. Like a champion.

And you are. I am.

We are champions and nobody noticed.

We didn’t either.

But I know this for sure, you dreaded many mornings but you got up and tended to your responsibilities, regardless.

You found a way to smile at the neighbor who has no clue how you made it through another night.

Somehow, you got the trash out on time every week. I know right? Champion.

You paid the bills every single month. All 12 of them.

I also know you have done some extraordinary things, like pushed yourself out of your comfort zone at least once a week.

That is 52 times. Yup. A big number.

If you have young kids, you got them ready, dressed, and out of the house and to school at least 300 times give or take. That is staggering.

You cleaned your kitchen sink, and loaded the dishwasher maybe even 400 times.

Nobody clapped.

I know you gave yourself pep talks also.

Told yourself to have hope.

Possibly over a thousand times. Incredible.

It has been a year full of miracles. That have not been witnessed. By anyone.

Did you think I was going to let you finish 2017 without saying something?

The dishwasher, the trash, the sink, the bills, the kids, the mornings, you made it through the nights and the 525,948 minutes this year you chose to carry on without complaining to anyone.

You are a champion. A true hero. A resilient mind.

Now that you know, how much you have really done in 2017 when you arrive in 2018 try and not be so hard on yourself.

Maybe let your kids go to school without brushing their hair once or twice.

Stay in bed for a day and call in sick at work.

I mean who is going to notice? Nobody.

Just like they did not notice everything else.

In my own sadness, and deep sorrow I learned something important this year.

That both my wins and struggles are lost on most people.

That the only way to live my life is the way that I choose, even if that seemingly ‘disappoints’ others.

Did you know that they will forget about your choices very quickly as everyone is busy living their own life.

I guess what I am really saying is make 2018 about you.  

Strive to choose yourself like my friend James Altucher says in his book.

Life is short. And there are no guarantees. Not for me. Not for you. Not for anyone. (Click to Tweet!)

I know I am about to disappoint many people in 2018 but maybe this time next year I will not feel the sadness that I feel today.

Maybe the goal is to get away with doing less.

Maybe have a day in bed, instead of attending an important meeting.

Maybe even leave a bill unpaid and frame it.

Let them turn off the lights. And have a candle light dinner.

Send them the check next day. And have a good laugh about it.

The world won’t end. And nobody would notice.

After all, it is your adventure. And somehow we forgot that part. I certainly did.

Here’s to a year full of misbehaving. Dirty sinks. Pretend sick days.

And pep talks that have to do with reminding yourself that at the end of the day nobody will remember that you didn’t send out Christmas cards for two years in a row.

Guilty as charged.

Happy New Year,

Christina

 


Give This Letter to the People Who Invite You Over During the Holidays

What do you say to someone who lost the love of their life and they have to go through the Holiday season on their own?

What?

What do you say to them?

You don’t say I am sorry.

You don’t just invite them to mindless dinners.

You don’t ask them how can I help.

And please don’t assume that because they are with you and not alone at home they must be better off.

That you have done what you could and got them out of the house.

I know, I know. It sounds not so nice of me to say.

But I know you want the truth, I know you care about the person in your life who has lost so much.

And you wonder what is the best thing to do.

Well, when they are surrounded by people who have everything they don’t, it hurts them.

Please do invite them over of course, but be mindful, the joy of the holidays brings sorrow.

It reminds them of what they don’t have multiplied by one thousand.

So when they walk in, greet them by smiling in a knowing way.

Talk about the person who passed.

Be the friend or the family member who is not afraid to hang with them and talk.

And no small talk please.   

The only thing required is your presence.

True presence.

See them.

Look them in the eyes.

Hold their hands.

Put your arms around them when they are pretending to smile.

Show them that you see their pain.

Don’t run away from those moments.

In the mindless moments of this Holiday season, the person who is grieving is lost even more. (Click to Tweet!)

When happy music is playing, they will often go to the bathroom to cry.

You don’t have to be like everyone else lost in your own festivities.

Look for them especially when everyone is talking about politics or making stupid jokes about the weather.

Reach out then.

I guess what I am asking for is your courage to be present with their grief when everyone else is festive.

I know, it is not an easy thing to ask for.

Casseroles and gifts would have been easier than giving them your soul.

Your eyes. Your embrace.

But I know you can do this. Be with them like nobody else will.

With gratitude,

Christina

P.S. My love is with you in the next few days. We got this.


How to Make Trees

What does it mean to feel your feelings and be with them?

Hold them.

Hold them as if it is not too much for you.

As if there is a tiny lake surrounded by beautiful woods and valleys.

I want my feelings, to feel this way.

Like a lake surrounded by a forest.

I don’t like to feel like the ocean.

I don’t like waves.

Or emotions that feel infinite.

I feel lost then.

Like I have forgotten how to swim.

It has felt like that the last couple of months.

Lately it has been an ocean of a life.

I must find my way to the lake.

But how do you even build a forest around the ocean?

How do you even make trees?

Trees that can grow around your water.

First, I must believe that I can surround my own sadness.

Like the woods contain the lake.

When I feel like crying and this overwhelming emotion wants to flood my mind I just look for my first tree, not the whole forest.

My first tree is so meaningful.

Because when I find it.

I feel like I can find all the other trees.

Finding the first tree though is not easy.

I had to make one from scratch while at the same time trying not to drown inside the ocean. So I went looking within.

For a place where I felt strong.

I looked around myself and wondered which part of me could make the first tree.

At first I could not find anywhere.

My chest area was flooded with emotion.

My back was stiff and hurting.

My shoulders already carrying so much.

My legs were ok but they were being used for the road ahead.

My heart did try to make a tree, but started to cry even more.

My hands were a possibility but they had been so busy keeping me afloat, that if I had to ask them to make me a tree the waves would just take me under.

My head, at this point was my only option.

But not the best one.

A logical tree also meant a tree that would not go anywhere near an ocean.

I needed a place within me that was bold and willing.

There was one place. I didn’t think of going.

Because I needed that part of me to be looking ahead.

My eyes.

My eyes have sight.

And you might be wondering how can sight make a tree.

Or twelve trees going around the ocean of feelings.

But my sight was the only place a tree could be born.

I had to see my ocean as a lake surrounded by beautiful woods.

All of a sudden, I didn’t just see a tree growing, but all the trees I needed.

And I needed a lot of them.

My ocean of emotions was infinite.

Thousands of trees needed to contain me.

And there they were.

Seen by my eyes.

Surrounding my ocean.

I saw beautiful trees growing fast and furious.

Protecting me from the overwhelming nature of my feelings.

I saw then everything as if it had always been there.

My ocean was not an ocean.

But a very big lake with the most beautiful trees.

In that moment I knew I had always been able to save myself.

In the seeing of my lake within the deep forest I felt a capacity I had never known before.

A capacity to overcome.

A capacity for seeing containers, making trees and making big glorious lakes in the wilderness of life.

I have felt like drowning more times that I can count and found myself at the shore.

I have been thrown by the biggest waves when all of a sudden calmness was found.

Maybe in every one of us there lives the capacity to make trees where trees cannot be made.

Maybe this holiday season, where everything feels too much we can all go within and see, see our beautiful emotional world and surround it with trees of love seen by only us. (Click to Tweet!)

With many trees for me and for you,

Christina