Launching my Coaching Business, Aristobio!

So, it’s been a while but I have been plugging along in the background building a business. I will no longer update this site but I’m so excited to share Aristobio.com with you! The blog will be on there so head on over and if you enjoy the content, please subscribe! Thank you for reading my work 🙂

Warmly,

Kristina

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Here I Go…

I love this view. It reminds me to surrender to what is, to rise above ego or earthly needs. To just BE.

As human beings we are never immune to stress in life, especially when are in relationships or daily routines. I’ve been consistently working hard to deconstruct and reconstruct my inner world. It’s not easy to directly face my past, my fears, my inner critic and the not-good-enough’s. I’m not immune. Neither are you.

Many people didn’t know I smoked cigarettes. Well, the cat is outta the bag! I was ashamed and very good at justifying it to myself. I wasn’t an addict- like many other family members, so I’m ok – I thought. But I was an addict. I was a nicotine addict. Once I let it go I realized how much consistent, subtle anxiety I was able to tolerate and smoking had been covering up. Now I had to find new tools. On top of that, I was digging deeper into my soul than ever before, searching for answers, strength, courage and leadership. Every day I’ve hit a new edge. Every day I gained something new and let go of something old.

When you fly you have to trust the pilot and have faith that everything will go as planned, without being overly attached to the schedule. Flights change, there’s turbulence, delays, lost bags and rerouted tickets. Anything and everything is up for grabs. I love fly days because I give myself permission to go with whatever happens. I planned every detail up to this moment, now I just get to be in the moment- in all its beauty, humanity and imperfections. Ahead of time I plan in buffers and contingency plans, I play out worst case scenarios (briefly) to know what I would do and have all my documents and itineraries in case technology fails. I build in fail safes EVERYWHERE. And then I relax and just BE.

I don’t do emails when I fly. I don’t catch up on my to-do list. I don’t have any shoulds. I just enjoy the ride and go with the flow. This is all true, and also a metaphor. In life, I plan, I study, I research, I build in fail safes and contingencies for contingencies. I prepare, a lot. Then I go- I fly, I do, I be. I carry out the plan and allow it to take its own shape within the model and itinerary I’ve built ahead of time. I improvise when I need to, with enthusiasm and without reservations.

This picture, this flight to Santa Fe is symbolic. Here I go, here I come, here I am.

On Behalf of Humanity, I am So Sorry

On behalf of humanity, I am so sorry to my fellow brothers and sisters. I am sorry that everyday we are hit with a barrage of injustices that seem out of control. I am sorry on behalf of Americans we put our need to BE RIGHT over WHAT is right.

I am sorry that material things seem to have higher status that relationships. I am sorry that our lack of connection to one another causes more people to choose violence in order to be seen and heard. That children reach for an assault rifle because they feel that will get them noticed.

I am sorry that Natives we’re so forcefully pushed off of their land only to watch Mother Earth pillaged for her resources and sold off to the highest bidders. I am sorry that along with the pain of being forced from what they considered sacred, many others have lost a connection to the sacredness of nature and forces we do not understand- the trust in truth only found within and in quietude.

I am sorry to Africans whose ancestors were brought against their will to this country, with those stories of trauma filtered down through generation after generation and not being acknowledged that, yes, that did happen and it was atrocious.

I am sorry that women are still undervalued and criticized in large leading tech companies for their management styles when a man would be praised for his “drive”.

I am sorry that people who struggle with addictions, mental illness or disabilities are thought of as “crazy” rather than prized for their uniqueness. That they are considered, in some circles, less than capable of adding light to the world.

I am sorry that men and masculinity are being demonized as though they must all be dethroned and stoned in the village square.

Most of all I am sorry for all of the things that lead humans to dehumanize one another. This is a human problem, a spiritual problem, core problem. One that we have all added to in some way or another, maybe through silence or awkwardly laughing at a poor taste joke. We are all responsible. I am so, so, sorry.

I will honor my truths more fully that ever before and help birth a new way in every small way I can. I will honor my sacredness for my time on earth, and I honor yours. The God or Goddess in you is who I will look for, because as much as we are all a part of the problem, we are also ALL part of the solution.

Our interconnectedness to each other, to the planet, to animals and to the truth, lay within our soul. It is here that our oneness is limitless and divine. Let us honor trauma and heal it together.

“Trauma happens in relationships and it heals in relationships” Gabor Mate

“To practice courage, compassion and connection is to look at life and the people around us, and say, ‘I’m all in.'” Brene Brown

“Our stories have power because through them we embrace our collective vulnerability and worthiness- when you share your pain and resilience, and I share mine, we become one.” Tererai Trent

Brothers and sisters, Iam so sorry for the pain you have endured. I see you.

Let us be ALL IN, together, for the sake of humanity and generations after us.

Innocence, Indignation, and Idealism:  An Optimist’s Reconciliation

Lovely review and thoughts on Wonder Woman. A powerful movie for women and girls…

Healing Through Connection

I took my daughter to see “Wonder Woman” last weekend.  I highly recommend it—such a strong, complex, and inspiring portrayal of humanity at its best and worst, with a hopeful ending.

Today I’m (somewhat) inspired in parallel by (some) politicians, three Republican senators in particular, calling for transparency in drafting healthcare reform.  I hereby present my attempt to integrate that exquisite Wonder Woman Experience with my current political outlook.

***WARNING*** THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE.

Innocence

Diana of Themyscira grows up believing in the innate goodness of humans.  The Amazons are educated, independent, strong, and proud, and also collaborative, compassionate, kind, and sensitive.  When Diana learns of the horrific war waged by mankind outside of her paradise home, she relates it to the story of Ares, the God of War, who corrupts the hearts of men to commit acts of hatred upon…

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The Well Worn Path


I’ve been here before. Elena thought to herself.

She had planned for this one. She combed through all her previous miscalculations, judgements and choices – she knew where she had gone wrong. She devoured everything she could about the Carmengia Trail that led to the Truth Temple. From mentors to books, she voraciously took in everything she could. The Carmengia Trail was the fastest way to the top, but also the most dangerous. Much of it was uncharted and resembled the cliche of “the road less traveled”. Last time, she circled the bottom of the mountain for weeks, only following the well worn trail because she was alone and terrified to venture off course. The time before that she had a hiking partner but he decided to join another group part way up and she was unprepared to do it solo. Only a few dozen have reached the temple in the last century- which means the paths have become overgrown with dis-use. Last time, she literally couldn’t see the forest through the trees. A new path would have to be discovered as she went. Educated guesses would have to be made.

I know this feeling. I’ve felt it before.

Elena could feel here anxiety rising. It always starts as a tingle. Then a nudge. Then a low voice “this isn’t right and you know it“. Then a louder, slightly shrill voice, “stop! Listen to me!”, followed by an unexpected punch to the gut.

Is this fear or intuition?

Elena tries to calm the feeling by directly addressing it. Her thoughts seemed to oscillate between fear of the unknown, possible catastrophic events and a carnal urge to reach her destination. Fear then deep wisdom. Deep wisdom then fear.

” must keep moving. Just keep moving

The wise part of her tried to comfort the fear welling up inside her body. Gently she tries to work through the feeling, “I’m either running from a feeling or trying to lean into the unknown. Is this a sign that I’ve chosen the wrong path, an omen? Or is just that I have no guarantees? Is this a lack of control or a sixth sense to beware??”

Her steps become stronger, more deliberate, more determined, more focused. Her senses sharpen and everything starts to feel louder and brighter. Gratitude kicks in high gear as though a pharmacy in her brain needs to start dispensing high doses of seratonin, dopamine and oxytocin at an alarming rate. Her soul is preparing her for something. Something she’s missed and it wants her to see.

Fear slithers in the dark corners of her mind and hisses, “I think it’s a warning. BEWARE fool!”. Wisdom comes to the rescue, “A gift is coming. Magic and a blessing in the form of hesitation and trepidation for things unknown. Breathe my darling. Breathe, listen, walk. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.” Elena inhales and exhales almost mechanically trying not to think of the worst case scenario and uses every bit of emotional strength to beat back the tears and tough it out. She feels the solid ground under her feet, her legs felt week earlier but they are becoming stronger, more accustomed to the terrain. Two squirrels whiz around a tree nearby, seemingly playing with one another. She grins at the simplicity of nature. Just being in the moment, free from the past or future. No worries, except, you know, constant survival mode. “Maybe they were running from something trying to eat them? No, they were simply playing”. Elena chuckles at her own thought process, momentarily forgetting about her anxiety.

Johnny interrupts her thoughts, he wants to stop for lunch. They find a few logs and rest while eating granola bars and some jerky. He shares his excitement to visit an old hunting cabin he heard about along the Carmengia Trail, maybe settle in for a few weeks. The anxiety pounds back into Elena’s chest like a snare drum. What is this feeling? she thinks to herself. “Calm down baby, you aren’t in danger” the wisdom speaks to her.

She puts down her pack and reorganized everything in order to inventory her supplies, resources and tools. She felt a strong urge to make she knew precisely where everything was.

“Everything I need is here.” she thought, confused.  “Of course it’s all there, I packed it and repacked  it and triple checked my lists. Why the hell am I anxious?? Why can’t I find the source of my fear? I trained for this. I’m still training.” And she had trained. Like a young Padawan becoming a Jedi. She was learning to trust the force within her and recognizing the ego beating it back. “I know I can improvise if I need to. What is this feeling? Why am I uneasy?” I need to keep moving”. The alternating thoughts begin to exhaust Elena so she puts her pack back on and asks Johnny to quickly finish. Johnny seemed annoyed that she didn’t acknowledge him talking about the old hunting cabin. She was distant and distracted by her own thoughts. She heard him, but the pounding in her chest at the forming of his sentence seemed to be steering her. Beyond containing herself she had no ability s in conversation with him at the moment.

One foot in front of the other. Just take steps.

A wisper of hope. It’s akin to when you can see hundreds or thousands of stars in your periferary vision and yet when you try to pinpoint them they seem to disappear; you subsequently question your reality, your own vision seems unreliable. But you know they’re there.

“Is it Johnny?” Elena asks herself. ” Yesssss!” fear hisses, “of course it is! He wants to go to the cabin and you don’t. He never really wanted to climb the mountain, he just wanted someone to go with to get there. If you want to make it to the top, you will have to go alone, or stay with him as long as you want and never complete your journey.” Her thoughts now consumed with fear of being alone again made her pace slow to a crawl. Johnny was almost out of sight, they had an agreement to keep on schedule and allow each other to hike at their own pace so he kept moving while she fell behind. In full panic attack at this point, tears streaming down her face, she tried to catch up before he was completely out of sight.

The first time Elena and Johnny hiked together they didn’t have the right gear, they were wildly unprepared for the unkept, overgrown trails and thought they could get through with sheer grit and resilience. They dreamed up stories of the temple at the top and the feelings they would experience once they got there. They were trekking on pure hope, passion and desire.

Elena planned as much as she could. “Had Johnny?” she thought to herself.  He seemed like he was more prepared. His equipment was new, he even had hiking poles to help with endurance. “Why didn’t I bring hiking poles?” Elena chastised herself. “Oh yeah, I wanted to carry more water instead. The stretch before the snow pack is long and I didn’t want to get dehydrated, that can be deadly. How did I miss that? Was I really so impressed with his brand new gear and hiking poles that I didn’t notice how much he hadn’t studied the trail? What about when we hit the razors edge higher up? Then what? What if we encounter the bears that are coming out of hibernation. What if I have to share my water? I didn’t want to do this alone and no one else was as excited about the trail like he was. I didn’t want to overload him with my concerns about what could go wrong. Should I have??This could be dangerous. What else is he not aware of? What will I have to make up for? Can I support the both of us when he runs out of resources? Oh my god. I foolishly picked a hiking buddy that could put my own survival at risk. Stupid. I thought he knew the risks.”

Elena now felt completely out of her body with fear. Johnny didn’t know the trail like she did. He was unprepared. He wanted to settle at the cabin for a bit, she didn’t. She had goals. She didn’t want to get to comfortable and accomplish nothing. She had been very good at starting things her whole life and not finishing them because she got scared or comfortable, or both.

Elena was now hyperventilating. Her breath felt constricted and shallow. “He’s not prepared. He has different goals. I don’t want to be alone. I’m going to have to do this alone. I don’t want to be alone!”

Elena now had her head on the ground and realized it was mainly red clay. That was only at the higher elevations that she had never reached before. “Shit. I’ve never gone this far before.”

She stumbled upon a cluster of stars in her mind she didn’t see before. The internal hurricane began to pass and the tears dried up. The light inside of her soul was lifting her up like fellow runners bringing a marathoner over the finish line. She stood to her feet, wiped the tears from her swollen eyes and began to walk. She saw Johnny coming towards her in the distance.

“There you are! I though you were behind me but I turned around and have been walking back for the last 10 minutes trying to find you. I thought maybe you fell and got hurt!” Johnny yelled, unable to hold back his panic and concern. Elena felt it to be comforting. “Are you ok? Have you been crying?” he asked when he got close enough to see her red nose and moist eyes. “I’m ok” Elena replied, “I stubbed my toe back there and it really hurt like a bitch, so I had to sit down and cry it out. It’s all good now but it was NOT 10 min ago”. Elena let out a heartfelt laugh as she finished her comedic response. She was genuinely relieved to see him.

Her wisdom was now in the driver seat “This is about my fear. This is about leaning in to what terrifies me the most. No one can do this mountain alone. It’s simply too risky and a persons morale could plummet without the presence and emotional support of another human being. The cabin he is talking about is further than I’ve ever made it before. Let’s get there and see how it is.”

She felt peaceful and warm.

“C’mon, I found a lake ahead.” Johnny said, seemingly relieved that Elena was ok. They hiked in calm, quiet unison to the lake with just the sound of their footsteps and afternoon birds chirping throughout the trees. When they reached it, Johnny pulled out a filter straw and drank right from the lake. “Oh my god” Elena though to herself, “he IS prepared, just in different ways than I am. Wow. I’m glad we are doing this together, however long it takes.” She was reinvigorated, relieved and filled with love all at once. Love for the present moment, love for her breakdown, love for the trail. But most of all, love for the opportunity of the journey.

 

The Feminine Essence


We are fighters. We may sting, we may bite, we can hunt and we can fight. We are protectors. Our voices are never silenced for long, for miles you can here our song. We are in the soul of every human, every creature. Our culture, our love, our stories can last for generations. Mother Earth is earth, air, fire, and water all the same time. We are fire, we are air, we are water and we are earth. We are the cells in your body and the love in your hearts. We are the fire in your belly and the compassion for your neighbor. You can feel us beat in your chest when you know the truth of all things.


We are nurturers. We are healers. We are lovers and warriors. We are the matriarchal societies fueled by empathy and an urge to protect our species. We are the lifegivers. We birth new generations and new ideas. We are the feminine water that runs through the veins of every human being. You see us in herds of  Elephants, pods of Orcas, and prides of hunting lionesses. Bonds are embraced, nurtured and protected. Our power does not reduce the power of the masculine, it complements it. Our emboldened stance gives human civilizations promise for a more secure future. Our warriors battle the toxic masculine that takes what it wants and rapes our earth and our species.


We are the feminine. We will love you no matter how much you hate us. We stand tall no matter how many times you kick us down. We do not grow bitter because we accept what is and work with our moments. We do not always have the answers. But we know LOVE. We know relationships. We know about the interconnectedness on our planet and between our souls. We know in our hearts what is right, because we have learned to listen mindfully. We are not all women. We are the feminine. We are the creators of joy and passion. We are the idea that grabs hold and whispers in your ear until you give us life. We are a smile or a warm hug. We are the moments of overwhelming gratitude that turn into large flowing tears.

We are not money or greed. We are not Twitter feeds or Facebook posts. We are not isolation, fear or exclusion. We are not anger or hate.

You know us when you feel us.

We are magic. We are love.