From the desk of Crystal Andrus:
We teach what we need to learn. Or maybe better said, we teach what we’ve just learned. So passionate about our new-found excitement, we want everyone to feel what we’ve just experienced. The feeling of healing, joy, love, and sense of personal power is too good to hoard and hold onto just for ourselves. We blow the trumpets, send out the word, and beg to share our message with anyone who’ll listen.
This is really the case with me and the work that I now do…
I spent far too many years struggling; far too many years desperate for personal peace, acceptance, love, and happiness. Each time I would get a taste of it, I would hunger for it all the more. My appetite never satisfied. My thirst never quenched.
My first real memorable knockout of joy came just after my first daughter, Madelaine, was born. The overwhelming feeling I had for her, literally, bowled me over. I truly wasn’t prepared for it. Love temporarily replaced every bit of anger and fear inside of me. I felt renewed. Alive. Ready and willing.
My heart began to heal. Although my relationship with my mother had become so dysfunctional over the years—so hurt and tattered—I wondered if maybe she too had once felt this same unconditional love for me that I now held for my new child. Deep down, I believed it. I wanted to. I chose to. And even though things had been so strained, I was able to begin seeing my mother through different lenses.
The next punch of power arrived in a very different package. While focused on loving my children (yes, I had another daughter soon after, who filled me with an equally-overwhelming amount of love), I had somehow gained an exorbitant amount of weight through the process. Yet how could that happen? How could loving my children cause me to pack on the pounds? What was going on?
Then, late one night when Julia (my second daughter) was only four months old, I had my next breakthrough. Unsuccessfully fighting back tears, I sobbed as I cuddled my sleeping daughter late into the night. I had never cried so desperately or so honestly.
Really … what was happening to me? Was I having a breakdown? Had the enormity of my past pain finally caught up with me? Or maybe, it was a breakthrough?
I was truly overwhelmed, but in a different way than I had been only two short years before (almost to the day), when my first daughter was born.
The feeling, although quite different than the overpowering sense of love I had experienced with Madelaine, was still nevertheless as overwhelming. It was in that authentic moment of pain that I was able to see things through different lenses.
I loved my daughters so much that I realized I had to heal my own broken pieces—not just for my sake so that I could be a happy, successful, woman but for their sake—so that I could be an empowered role model. It was time to give my daughters the greatest gift I could ever give to them as a mother—self love. It was time to show myself love. Treat myself with love; to be here—fully awake to feel love, receive love, and allow it to blossom in my life.
If you’ve read my “Simply…Woman” journey, you’ll know that I got up the next morning and went for a walk. Those walks soon turned into runs. The runs turned into strength. The strength turned into power, and within a few short months, I became a walking billboard of health, happiness, and vitality, wanting to share my new-found confidence and excitement with everyone I met. I wanted every woman to feel alive, strong, and confident—loving the skin she was in.
Now don’t kid yourself: The 16 years since that journey began hasn’t always been easy. I won’t lie and tell you it’s been all rosy. What I will tell you is that in order to be happy, successful, empowered, authentic, and fully awake in your own life you have to break the bonds that hold you captive … in your own mind. You have to heal the “could’ve beens” and “should’ve beens”. You have to find positive and empowered ways of coping, with not only the past pains but with the new ones, arriving in the here and now. (Yes! Even when your life is happy, successful, and empowered, painful things still happen.)
The secret lies in healing the feeling.
When my daughters were born, I felt the overwhelming feeling of love. When I sat crying in my rocking chair with my daughter cuddled on my lap, I felt the overwhelming feelings of despair and confusion. In order to get where I am (and I’m not just talking about in my career!), I’ve had to actually feel and deal with……
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