Episode 003: Treat Yourself With Kindness/ Self Care Tips

It’s easy to go through something and beat ourselves up but what would it look like it we were kind to ourselves? What would it look like if we knew how to take care of ourselves and find the positives? Check out my latest episode to find out how you can be kind to yourself when life hasn’t exactly been kind to you! Also, add me on Instagram at @crocreatinglife and listen to this post to figure out how you can win a self care package!

Be light,

The Letter To My Teenage Self

Have you ever murmured the words, “If only I know then what I know now?” Well, I know I have. I’ve also thought about things that I would love to tell my younger self. My teenage years were rough, like anyone’s! Of course, I was your normal teenage girl with attitude problems, no good boyfriends, and the pressure to be pretty and be well liked by everyone. However, I was also holding on to abuse and trauma from my past.

I thought I would propose a challenge to my subscribers & followers. Write a letter to your teenage self. Pretend that your adult self can go back in time and slip a letter into the locker of your teenage self. What would you tell them? I wanted to share with you what my letter would look like. While this may seem like such a weird concept, I promise it’s therapeutic! Check it out:

“Dear Teenage Kristen,

I’m you from the future. Yeah that’s right! Ok, I know you can’t believe it. Well, just so you believe me, I know a secret about you that no one else knows. You thought your 9th grade history teacher was cute. Now do you believe me? Well, anyways, I’m writing you this letter to let you know how proud I am of your future self. Girl, you are successful, funny, your family is doing well and you’re about to get married to the RIGHT person. I’m telling you this because I know you need to hear it right now. You’re going through a really tough time. You feel like dying sometimes. You feel like everyone would be better off without you. I’m not here to tell you not to feel that way because I get why you do. However, I wanted to share some advice with you:

  1. I’m here to tell you that it all gets better. You already know that though, don’t you? That’s why you stick around, you look at the bright side instead of the dark.
  2. Deep down I know you’re struggling. That’s why you’re so funny and try to make people laugh. It’s because you’re hurting inside and it’s okay to hurt, you’re human. It’s good to feel things, by the way. No one ever told you that but, it’s true.
  1. You really don’t have to have a boyfriend at all times. IT’S OK TO BE SINGLE AND BE ALONE. None of those guys will matter anyways! Trust me, you will be ECSTATIC that it never worked out because you don’t want to go down the road they are going on.
  2. You don’t need everyone to like you. It’s best to have a few great quality friends than a lot of crappy ones. Also, let friendships happen naturally. Don’t try to force someone to be your friend and like you. WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK. I promise you, you’ll forget half of the people you went to middle school and high school with even existed.
  3. Be who you are! No matter what. Even if you’re not accepted by others because of it.
  4. Never stop hustling. You’ve been a hustler for your whole life. I know that you will hustle more and never give up. It’s a great mindset to have and never let anyone tell you differently.
  5. Let your faith be bigger than your fear. Don’t worry about anything and take chances. Let nothing scare you away from traveling, meeting new people, and living in new places. Have confidence that you will be fine and that every experience you have will shape the way you view life (in a positive way).
  6. Trust God. I know you don’t have a real understanding of this yet but you will in your 20s. If I’m honest, it will be hard for you to trust Him. You’ll question God a lot. In the end, though, there will always be something that draws you back to Him. He will fight for you when others don’t.

Enjoy your life Kristen. You’re young, don’t take yourself too seriously. Also, go head and stop begging your mom for Hollister clothes. They really are not that cool!

Much love,

26 Year Old Kristen”


I hope you guys enjoyed my letter. Please make one for yourself. If you feel like sharing, either tag me in a picture of your letter on Instragram and use the hashtag #cocreateletterchallenge OR you can email your letter to me at cocreatinglifekh@gmail.com.

Be light,

Episode 002: So What Do I Know About Abuse?

Unfortunately, I’ve gone through some very terrible things in my life. Even though it’s hard to share, I know that sharing my story with you will make an impact around the world. Check out my newest Co-Creating Life Episode. Remember that if it’s easier for you to listen on your phone my podcasts are available on Apple Podcast & Sound Cloud!

Episode 001: Welcome To Creating Your Life

Welcome to my podcast! I’m very excited to go on this journey with you. I’ve been wanting to do all that I can to help women live their best lives after abuse/trauma. I’m hear to help. Give the first episode a listen!

When It’s Hard To Let Someone Love You

Growing up without my biological father, my mother made sure to raise me as an independent woman. I saw her be one my whole life as well. And although my mother never taught me to never trust men, well, certain events in my life made me come to that conclusion on my own. Of course, I had boyfriends who I “loved” but I still had my guard up and I loved to do things on my own. I never wanted to need a man for anything. Sure, that’s one way to live your life but it isn’t the best, that’s for certain!

A whole part of the human experience is to have someone to go through this life with. I don’t care if you like men, women, or both. We all need connection, so this notion of being a woman who “doesn’t NEED a man,” only makes you lonely. I think it’s safe to say that I don’t NEED my fiance. I lived on my own and paid my own bills for years without him. However, I crave him. Honestly, I like the feeling of craving him and needing him and I like when he craves and needs me as well.

It was hard at first. I had all of these ideas in my head that kept me from understanding the true valve of having a significant other in your life. I didn’t need someone to open the door for me. I could open my own door and if you thought I’d be impressed by your money, ha, I had my own. It was hard for me to let Richard love me and do things for me. It may be hard for you too and here’s probably the reason why:

  1. You’re waiting for that person to walk out the door as soon as you show them who you really are.
  2. You’ve been played or burnt out by someone before and now you’ve “sworn off men.”
  3. You watched your mother be dogged out by your father and you made a promise that that would never happen to you.
  4. You worked so hard on becoming this amazing woman who is all about her business so you don’t have time to entertain a real relationship. Therefore you pretend as if you don’t really want one anyways.
  5. You been abused and so the thought of getting close to someone, intimately, scares the hell out of you.
  6. You don’t think you are good enough/ fear of rejection.

I’m sure most of us fall into one of the points above. I’m not sure what’s happened in your life but if I could I would sit down with you to have a cup of coffee (I actually would have tea because most coffee taste like dirt!) and I’d tell you, at some point you’re going to need someone and you’ll be hurt that you’ve build up a wall that no one can climb over.

I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Trust me sis, these negative feelings keep you blocked from living a life of wonder. Life is always better with someone else. We are social beings and it’s always a good idea to let the right person be allowed to handle your heart with care. It’s a good idea because even if you don’t stay with that person forever, you learn and you grow. Our interactions with others are sacred. Our relationships are sacred because you always obtain nuggets of knowledge that help you become your highest self.

I’m not saying that you can’t be perfectly happy by yourself, because you can!! If that’s completely what you want, there is nothing wrong with that. All I’m saying is that if there is a small itty bitty tiny piece of you that wants to love and wants to be loved, stay open! Take a chance because everything that’s worth it comes with terrifying risks. The Universe is fun like that.

XOXO,

How I’m Applying My Premarital Therapy to All Relationships

I’m sure you all know by now that I’m getting married. I’m officially getting married 6 months from now.  My engagement is really flying by and I couldn’t be happier. Richard and I thought it was a good idea to go through some premarital therapy before we get hitched! Who can resist a FREE marriage license, right? While that’s one reason why we went, if I’m honest, we also went because it’s a great thing to do. You want to make sure that you are both ready for marriage. Premarital therapy also helps you to understand why you are getting married and what you hope to gain from the marriage.

When our therapy was done,  Richard and I left therapy confirming the love that we’ve had for 3 years and 8 months. Our eyes were opened to so many things and we are even closer. Of course, this post is about techniques that I learned in premarital therapy, but I think they could help with all relationships, friendships and family.

I want to share 2 simple techniques that I feel will make all of your relationships better than ever:

1 .Starting Out Your Conversation

When you have an issue with someone, you can’t start off your conversation the wrong way or else your conversation will turn into a fight and it will go down hill very quickly. This stem sentence has been crafted to make sure the person with the issue thoroughly expresses their issue that they have to the other person:

When…I felt…I’d like it if you…

An example: When you talked over me, I felt like you were trying to dismiss what I was saying like it wasn’t important. I’d like it if next time you let me finish what I’m saying before you talk so that I can actively listen to you as well.

Using this stem (in a respectful way) tells the person you’re having the conversation with, exactly what you’re upset about and how you felt. It also gives a solution to try for the next time you may have to have a tough conversation. This stem is for both people involved, so don’t get mad if they use it on you as well. Each person needs to be listened to and what they have to say needs to be valued and respected. This also helps you and the other person take responsibility for each of the roles you played.

2. Don’t Criticize, Simply Make a Complaint

There is a big difference in sharing a complaint you have with a person and criticizing them. When you criticize someone it makes them defensive. This will only frustrate you. Your feelings wont feel validated because this person isn’t owning up to what they did. Once in a defensive mood, they no longer care about what you have to say because you were attacking their character and/or their morality. They will only care about “clearing their name” and them placing the blame on you. Let me show you some examples from this amazing book called, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman.

Example 1

Complaint: There’s no gas in the car. I’m upset that you didn’t fill it up like you said you would.

Could you please deal with it tomorrow?

Criticism: Why can’t you ever remember anything? I told you a thousand times to fill up

the tank, and you didn’t. You’re always so careless.

Example 2

Complaint: I need you to check with me before inviting anyone over for dinner.

I wanted to spend time alone with you tonight. I want us to schedule

a romantic evening this week. 

Criticism: Why do you keep putting your friends ahead of me? I always come last

on your list. Are you avoiding spending time alone with me?

I’m sure you can absolutely see the difference between a complaint and criticism. We’ve all criticized before, not knowing that we were setting ourselves up for a fight with our friend that could have ended up very differently.

I really think that following these basic steps will help any relationship, especially your romantic ones. When people ask me, how should I talk to my dad about him trying to control my life or what should I do if my boyfriend and I have terrible fights, I would say start with these 2 techniques. I’m 100% sure both parties will benefit from using these techniques. I’ve already seen it work in my relationship.

Why would you not want to create the best relationships? I say create because they don’t just happen, you have to work on them and mold them to be what you want. You can create the life you want by just changing your words. Remember that words hold power and so does the desire to create long lasting relationships. I hope this was helpful!

Be light,

 

What’s On My Bucket List?

Anyone else out there keep a bucket list of things to do? I don’t! So, I want to start now. There are a lot of things I would like to do before I’m reincarnated into a lobster (perhaps a panda). I don’t want to make this bucket list for no reason, I want to actually follow through with everything on my bucket list.

I’m all about having goals when it comes to work, writing, and my spiritual life, so why shouldn’t I have goals when it comes to all the adventures I want to take? That’s it. You’ve convinced me, along with my need to make another list in my life, I’m going to make a bucket list!

If were you, I would use this as an opportunity to copy my list down because I’m about to have the best life ever. Just kidding! However, you should make your own list and see how many things you can conquer. Who knows, you may even do everything on your list and then add more. That’s honestly what I’m hoping for. Here is an example of my bucket list if you want to do a similar layout:

Place to Travel

Thailand

Bali

Dubai

Singapore

India

Barcelona

South Africa

Cuba

Costa Rica

Fiji

Hawaii

Las Angeles, California

 

Things to Experience

Spend a day feeding, bathing, and playing with elephants

Take a gondola ride

Go shopping on rodeo drive (even window shopping)

Read 20 books in a year

Pray at a Buddhist temple in Thailand

Go snorkeling in a coral reef

Create an organization that protects animals/wild life

Watch at least 40 different LifeTime movies in one year

Write a book (or 10)

Write poetry

Go parasailing on the ocean

Meet Oprah (I WILL MEET OPRAH!)

Have at least one student tell me that I’ve changed their life for the better when they get older

Have a Spanish style home

Hit every continent with my fiancé

Get married

Have 2-3 children

Have 2 dogs

Go on an Africa safari

Get 10k follower on Instagram

Have 15k subscribers to my blog

Go indoor sky diving

Well, there is my list. I hope I’ve pressured…I mean…encouraged you to make a bucket list. Mostly, I want you to write it so that you can be inspired by your own dreams and wishes. Not your cousin’s dreams or Brittany’s (the girl that you grew up with that always thought she was better than you) …but your dreams. I also want you to see that nothing in this world is off limits. Everything you want to happen and every goal on your bucket list is 100% possible. You must do whatever it takes. Look out for signs from the Universe, take all opportunities that lead you to where you want to be, and trust in yourself.

I’m not sure about you but I will fulfill what’s on my bucket list. I know I can and I know the Universe supports me in all of my journey.

What are you sure of? Do you look at this list and sigh because there is “no way you can get all this stuff done before you’re gone?” I hope you aren’t looking at it that way. Nothing is a factor when it comes to you. You are way more powerful than you understand. Dream big, live your life, and cross crap off of your bucket list.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.- Henry Ford

I want to see what’s on your bucket list. Leave a comment on my blog or my Instagram (@cocreatinglife) and let me know. Through conversation I know you will inspire me and others to add to our lists!

Be light,

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

One Year Blog Anniversary: 10 Questions to Get to Know Me Better

It’s my one year blogiversary! I can’t believe it’s already been a year! I’ve come so far and I’m very proud of this journey I’m on. Writing is  truly my passion. My dreams are definitely coming true through this experience. I hope my writing is and continues to be empowering and helpful! Man, it really has been such a wild ride. I couldn’t even think of what to write about on my one year blog anniversary. Eventually, I thought it would be appropriate to share some things about myself because we are constantly changing and evolving. I’m not the same person I was last year. My writings and beliefs have changed in many ways. My love for writing, however, did not. If you care to get to know the person behind this keyboard, keep reading!

1. Why did you start blogging?

This may sound selfish but, I started blogging because I wanted my voice to be heard. I’ve been through some tough times in my life where I felt like my voice was not heard. I would write every day in my journal just to feel as though I had a voice. Writing is therapy for me. One day I was talking to my fiance and I told him how I wanted to start blogging. Even though I wanted to take this huge step, I was scared. “Why would people care what I have to say?” Somehow my fiance encouraged me to step out on faith and create this blog. Writing to me is all about creating and being creative.

I want help people follow their dreams, to follow their idea of what it means to create something that they can be proud of. Hence the reason why I named this blog “Co-Creating Life.” To wrap it up I started blogging for me, yes, but I also started blogging so I could encourage others to create the lives they want to live, to be creative doing what they love, and so that I could be a positive influence on this world.

2. Who was your favorite cartoon character as a child?

Arthur was definitely my favorite cartoon character. I used to come home from school, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sit down at the table and watch Arthur. I love it so much that I actually let my students watch it at the end of the day when they are waiting to be called for dismissal.

3. What’s your all time favorite quote?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Ghandi

Ahh, this is my favorite quote because it’s so simple but their is so much power, conviction, and expectation behind it. This quote encourages me to be an example to all who struggle to love and be selfless. This means through all of my skills and creation (like teaching and writing) I can speak love and teach acceptance. Not just the love and acceptance of others but also the love and acceptance of ourselves. It’s not enough to just talk about change but we must be that change and watch the world become more beautiful and beautiful, everyday.

4. What advice would you give your teenage self?

I would tell my teenage self to learn how to love who I am. I would explain that this is not only beneficial because you see yourself better but also because you can teach others how to love you for who you are. Would my teenage self have listened? I’m not sure.

5. If you could bring one musician back from the dead who would it be?

I would definitely bring Michael Jackson back. I loved him and I still love him. He was such a musical genius and in my opinion, a good person who was very misunderstood. If I somehow could not bring him back though, I’d definitely bring back Nat King Cole. He’s timeless and he music soothes my soul.

6. What or who has been your greatest influences in your life so far?

My greatest influence has been Oprah.  She’s my greatest influence because she lives a life of passion and understanding. She is spiritual in every way possible and has written books that have influenced this entire world. It’s an honor just to live in the same time period as she does. One day I will write books that have a positive and an encouraging affect on the world. When those days come I’ll definitely have to give some of the props to Oprah.

7. What are some short term and long term goals you have for your blog?

I really love this question because it’s really important for me to set goals and manifest those goals. I also think it’s great because it gives you guys an insight into who I am and who I strive to be. My short term goals for my blog would be to create more content that my readers love, to get better at my writing, to have people fall in love with my writing, and to be consistent with my writing. My long term goals are to be known for my blogging around the world, to write many books, and to help others find their passion and be creative in their own lives.

8. What super power do you wish you had?

I wish I was able to fly. I’ve always felt that flying is probably the most freeing feeling. There is also something about the wind hitting my face that makes me feel safe.

9. What is one of the biggest leaps of faith you’ve taken in your life?

One of my biggest leaps of faith I’ve taken in my life was when I moved to Nashville right after undergrad. I finished my first 4 years of college at the University of Alabama in May of 2014. Two weeks later I moved to Nashville with the dream of becoming a teacher, a writer, and an author. I didn’t know anyone and I had no family here in Nashville. I cried for almost a month every day because I didn’t know anyone and at first it felt extremely lonely. Of course it got better (I’ve lived in Nashville for 4 years now) and I’m so glad I did it because I’ve learned so much in the past 4 years. I’ve made wonderful friends here and Nashville is where I met my amazing fiance. If I didn’t take that leap of faith and if I only did what was comfortable, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today!

10. What is “HOME” to you?

To me, home is wherever love is. It’s wherever the people I love are. At this point “home” is with my fiance. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

I hope this helped you know a little more about me. I’m so happy to have been blogging for a whole year!! This is only the beginning! I can’t wait to write even more.

I’d love to hear from you. If there is something you’ve been wanting me to write about, leave a comment under this post! I love you all for reading and interacting with me on all of my platforms. Bless you!

 

Be light,

Creating Your Space

Creators, I want to talk to you about something that’s near and dear to my heart, creating space. That’s right! We live in a time where people have difficulty creating space for themselves. I know, you’re probably like, “Kristen, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” Just check it out!

What Is It?

Recently, I was listening to a podcast by Sahara Rose. The podcast is titled ‘Creating White Space.’ On that podcast she talked about the importance of creating space and what that means. I figured I could relay the message because it was SO GOOD. The space I’m talking about, is like a pause in your life so that you can live out your full potential. I got to thinking how wonderful that sounds, to pause and reflect. A pause is definitely needed in my life when life gets mad crazy! It’s something I know that I need to focus on, so I thought you could use this gentle reminder about how important it is to take care of yourself.

Like I said earlier, creating space is a pause from the every day, busy, sometimes draining times in your life. When you create space, this also means you’re taking the time to readjust, think and become your highest self. This looks different for everyone, of course.

But Why Tho?

I’m always “preaching” about creating and how creating is important, that’s why girl! Creating space is so important because that’s how you get those creative juices flowing. Creating the life you want doesn’t just happen. There are steps that need to be taken, and if you haven’t guessed it yet, creating space is the first step! You can’t create this amazing life without stopping, feeding your soul, and figuring out the next steps to take. When you create space, you give yourself the place to think, a place to come up with better ideas, and you learn how to execute those better ideas.

Top reason though, creating space helps you get to your next level of success, your next level of goddess, your next level of accomplishments, and so on… We all need to slow down, that’s no secret. Life gets in the way and we want certain things in life but we wont take a breather in order to figure out how to get the life we want. In this space, it’s also where manifesting starts and we get our desires. Our desires are beautiful and NATURAL, why wouldn’t we want to do our best to make sure our desires contribute to our highest good and come true?

Well, How Do I Create Space?

Like I said before, creating space looks different for every person! You don’t have to sit down by a water fall and meditate in Thailand for you to make space. It’s hard for me to tell you exactly how you should create YOUR space. However, I will tell you some ways that I create space in my life. Maybe one of them will stand out to you and you can do this at your home.

I create space by:

taking 20 minute walks in my neighborhood

pulling oracle cards and really thinking on which direction it’s telling me to go

intentionally breaking for 5-10 minutes

journaling my thoughts/passions/intentions

writing

taking bubble baths

listening to mantra music and dancing and flowing like no one is watching (check out Dev Premal)

The point is, is that, you have to find what works best for you. This is not about anyone else or what they think. This is about making the space to elevate you to your highest self. If you want a promotion, a job change, a significant other, to write a book, whatever, you can’t just let life go by and only talk about how bad you want these things. You have to relax, meditate (this looks different for everyone) on what you want, and create steps to help you achieve your goals. Create the space so that this is possible! Don’t get too busy and let that keep you from living the life you’ve always wanted.

Until next time loves.

Be light,

4 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy

It has happened to all of us. You wake up, you have your breakfast, you make it to work on time, you get your work done early…You are literally having THE BEST DAY. Then, on your way home someone cuts you off in traffic or at the grocery store someone that had the worst day ever, takes it out on you. Their negativity, then, sticks to you like glue. You can’t shake it off. Your mind, heart, and actions become so negative because of that one thing that pissed you off.

Trust me I know what it’s like too. Negativity can be hard to shake, especially when someone has handed you their unwanted bad vibes. I figured I’d help out and let you know 4 ways that you can take care of those negative vibes. I believe in each of these things with all my heart because they have 100% worked for me. Here we go:

Smudging

Mmmm, that’s right! Smudging is definitely my favorite thing to do to get rid of the negative energy. All it takes is one bundle of sage and a lighter. Just use a stick of white sage, burn it until the fire appears, then blow out the fire until all that’s left coming from your sage is smoke. This smoke has so many healing properties, y’all! You can smudge yourself (your whole body– head to toe), you can smudge your home (every room and every corner), and you can smudge your items in your home. Everything in this world holds energy, everything! The sage helps to clear that energy so that you feel nothing but positivity with every aspect of your life.

Crystals

I love crystals! I work with them during meditation, I wear them, and I carry them with me. The best crystal for getting rid of negative energy would be the Black Tourmaline. This stone actually repeals negative and electromagnetic energy! It clears, cleanses, and unlocks energy blockages within your body or home. Pair this crystal with a Tourmalinated Quartz and you’ve got the most powerful combo. This crystal also unblocks all energy blockages in the body!

Conscious Breathing

Negative energy can be immediately taken away by breathing. I know it sounds weird, but just hear me out! If you consciously take the time to breathe you can set yourself free from immediate stress and negativity. It is especially good for those moments when someone tries to drop their negative bomb on you! Breathing it out help create a clear mind and view things rationally. This is also called mindfulness.

Changing Your Mindset

Not easy, right? But possible! I’ve talked about this before on Instagram (@cocreatinglife) many times. I think I could actually write an entire blog post just about the power of our minds and how changing our our mindset can change our lives forever. That’s why positive self talk is so important. When you tell your self that you are beautiful everyday you will start believing that truth! This form of getting rid of negative energy is for everyone, no matter their background or beliefs. When you change your mindset about life then you understand that when the lady blew up at you at the grocery store, that wasn’t about you. You recognize that we allow ourselves to get caught up in the bad energy. Energies can only hold on to you when you allow them to. YOU ARE POWERFUL. Don’t let someone else take your power away. Changing your mindset kills the passion for others to want to get under your skin. When others see that you aren’t phased, they move on, causing them to eventually deal with what’s going on inside of them.

I hope this was helpful. The Universe is so beautiful and in this life you will have such little time here. Our job while we are here is to create and change the world. If we allow every little thing to bother us or every energy (that doesn’t benefit us) to attach to us, we will never live out our dharma (life’s purpose). Until next time co-creators…

 

Be light,