Edie: How do you live your Bliss?
Chrissy: To me, bliss is a life filled with impact and purpose and connection to God. My entire life is my spiritual practice and that includes the mundane tasks. I had to learn to do this as a mom of 3 very young children 1 year apart and stuck in an abusive marriage on welfare and food stamps. My bliss became and still is realigning with the present moment - regardless of what it is - and feeling filled up by the knowledge that God is in me, around me and supporting me in whatever circumstances are doing down in my life. I know you have been through your own personal hell and emerged triumphant on the other side.
Edie: Would you be willing to share about your experience?
Chrissy: My husband almost killed me January when he returned from Afghanistan. He slammed my head into a cabinet after beating me up for almost an hour with my 5, 6 and 7 year old upstairs. My head exploded in blood and I ran down the street to get help. When I returned he had called the police on me, and in an unbelievable twist of what a normal reaction would be upon seeing such an injured woman, the police officers arrested me, brought me to the ER, handcuffed me to the bed, the ER doctor stitched up my head and they brought me to jail. I wrote a blog about this experience 48 hours after getting out of jail. All I did was tell the story. It went viral. Thousands and thousands of women united in sisterhood to help me rise up out of that situation - from connecting me to an incredible lawyer in LA to sending me gift cards...and that's just the tip of the iceberg of the gifts I received. I learned two very important things that I would say to any woman reading this: that telling one's story is more valuable than a Harvard degree and two, you have sisters out there so speak and you will be heard and we will align to support you.
Edie: What would you say to other survivors of domestic violence to encourage and support them?
Chrissy: The #1 thing I would tell women who have been or are still experiencing domestic violence is this: Don't Be Ashamed. There is nothing to be ashamed of! It's not your fault. (And boy do they try and make you think that!) When I blew my story out on my blog, thousands of women told me their stories because I told my story, which told me that not enough women are telling their stories because either they don't see the value in it or they are ashamed and stuck. The truth is I am a highly educated, well read, well -traveled woman, and it happened to me. Your background and education and circumstances do not reflect your self-worth and what you are deserving of. The #1 thing that gets you out is this: God. Pray. Believe. Trust. Go within. Work your mind like it's your only purpose on this planet. Omit negative thoughts. Surround yourself with positive affirmations. Reach out to sisters online. Do this, and the answers designed specifically for you....WILL show up.
Edie: What phoenix arose from the ashes?
Chrissy: I grew wings.When people call me or email now and say, "I am in darkness surrounded with toxic people," I remember how I spent 7 years in a violent marriage surrounded by low energy field people, and I say, "Shine your light. Shine your light. Be the light. God gave you the assignment. It's not they who are wrong. It's you who is right. You are the beacon." I learned this practice in my darkness and truly, I rose up out of my circumstances by divine forces because I made myself so that God could find me. By shining so bright in light and positivity and above all SPEAKING YOUR TRUTH (and that sometimes means saying NO, swearing, being a swan protecting her nest with a fierceness that doesn't look spiritual), your light pulls God towards you and everything and everyone God-like. Despite all the manifestations of fear surrounding us in other people - the criticism, worry, anger, anxiety, doubt...we must do this each day, and every sometimes, every hour. This is what it is to fly in this world.
Edie: Please speak about Clueberry World.
Chrissy: In short, Clueberry World is a map of life. It's not your typical map. It's a map of the mind. I wrote a book of lessons that goes with it and has activities etc called The Clueberry Book. In this book, the map is a wrap-around cover readers can refer back to as they work through the lessons in the book in order to see where they are on the map. The world shows us what negative and positive thoughts look like in cartoons. A train track runs through the world. The first lesson in the book is "You are the train." This means that your "train of thought" is what moves you through the world. It's a literal and metaphorical look at how our thoughts cause us to be "on track in life" and our fear causes us to be "derailed."
Clueberry World teaches that the mind, when cluttered, is not capable of accessing the greatest 8 powers of our mind, which I call "clueberries." Showing young people how their mind looks filled with the 12 main manifestations of fear I call "monsters" (and one of those monsters is Mrs. Bully) gives young people a very clear visual understanding of other people's behavior. During one exercise I show kids a giant empty head and they velcro the monsters such as the Bullies, Critical Wartmonger, Ugly Wartmonger, Worry Wartmonger etc across the clueberries (the powers of miracles, perspective, intuition, insight etc) and they are then grounded in that visual to the point there is instant understanding. This helps kids not only see why bullies bully but also helps them forgive and let go of their own experiences with bullies seeing that truly, these experiences are not personal to them, nor reflective of who they are as people and must not be internalized. Internalizing in Clueberry World is called "taking baggage." All the monsters give baggage and stuff in the student's backpack. The lesson is this: you will encounter these manifestations of fear, but you CHOOSE to take their baggage and even if they stuff it in without your knowledge and suddenly you find yourself derailed and pull open that backpack and start assessing all that you were carrying, there are BAGGAGE DROPS - 3 of them in Clueberry World - and anyone, at any point can drop their baggage, no permission needed.
Edie: How can we move past anger and resentment to forgiveness and freedom?
Chrissy: Forgiveness to me is the work of God. I pray and ask for forgiveness when I am stuck in lack of action or feel a sense of disconnect which makes me know I am resenting something. I ask: "God please implant the thoughts in my mind that will release me of this experience." Once I saw myself from outside my body watching from a 3rd perspective. Once the feelings vanished, I saw the situation from the other person's perspective.
Edie: What would be the most important message you could share with readers?
Chrissy: The most important message I could share with readers is: show up, be yourself, recognize this will mean that your inner Doubt Dragon, inner Critical Wartmonger, inner Anxiety Android and all the other little "clueberry monsters" that make up ego mind consciousness, will go haywire on you at first. Sometimes, those little guys will show up in others. Either way, just acknowledge these little guys and know their showing up in you and others is a good sign: it means you are shining your light and that's what makes God find you in this world. Last, don't apologize. Kick apologizing for yourself to the curb. No more apologizing. It's time for spiritually awake feminine power to rise up and that means we meditate, pray, forgive and let go...but we are fierce.