37. Harvesting Happiness from the Greatest Challenges - Christine Eartheart of Joy Potential
What a joy it was to talk with Christine Eartheart, teacher to healers through her Joy Potential business, couples counselor through her Center for Thriving Relationships, facilitator of women's circles, Laughter Yoga leader, and indispensable asset to the clients she helps via a combination of counseling, coaching, mind-body techniques, and energy healing. Christine is the embodiment of joy, and her passion is helping others connect with the joy which is available to everyone using a variety of methods concerning their emotional, intellectual, energetic, and physical aspects.
We cover a lot of ground in this episode! We talk about how the brain can be wired toward happiness, how important it is to honor all feelings in order to keep the pathway to joy open, and the impact of the story we tell in our heads and finding what is underneath a surface emotion. Christine shares with us her powerful story of her study of her own life and the discovery of her truly unshakeable happiness as well as her continuous movement toward finding the lesson in the hardest challenges. We discuss the fascinating reality of how long an emotion truly lasts versus the effect of the lingering story we tell. She describes the roles of the reticular activating system, the negativity bias, entrainment, and mirror neurons. She shares with our listeners practical tips for shifting the inner story. She also talks about her path with reiki energetic healing.
Watch Christine's Tedx talk.
[00:00:00.610] - Alessandra
Welcome to the meditation conversation. You are listening to Kara and Alessandra. Hi, friends. Today, we are very honored to have Christine Earthhart with us on the podcast. She is the founder of Joy Potential. She is passionate about helping people to cultivate true and lasting happiness from within. And she also teaches Waking Hands on healing. And she really loves to help people awaken their healing gifts. She's also the CEO of center for Thriving Relationships, which she has together with her husband. And she loves helping couples deepen their connection with each other and to create that love together that they always wanted. And most of all, she shares finding the pathway that exists between every human heart and discovering ways to reconnect people to the light that is within all of us. And for me, this is the first time I connect with Christine. But Kara and Christine, you know each other from before. So maybe, Kara, you want to tell us how you two know each other?
[00:01:24.420] - Kara
It's so exciting to have you. Thank you so much for being on such an honor.
[00:01:29.210] - Alessandra
I wish we had a video.
[00:01:30.650] - Kara
And actually, you could see she is so full of light. She's my Reiki teacher. So I became a Reiki master last year, and it was really funny because I actually didn't have an intention of becoming a Reiki healer. What had happened was I'm creating this retreat in Story, Indiana, which is kind of near where you are, Christine. And I was looking for a Reiki practitioner because we have different healing modalities that we're doing. And so I was asking around, and every time I asked somebody around here if they know of a Reiki practitioner, they were like, you should connect with Christine Earthhart. She might not be able to do it, but she would know. And so you and I are also connected because we're both teachers for Lily Kesslers yoga teacher training 500 hours. So we know each other through that. And Lily was one of the people who told me about you in the beginning. And then another place where I teach Wendy Cooper, then who has also been a student of yours, I had the same conversation with her. And then I met with my Reflexologist, who does Reiki, and she mentioned you as well.
[00:02:55.400] - Kara
And finally, I was like, okay, universe, I hear you. And so I looked at your website, really, just to see if you had, like, a list of practitioners or something. And I started reading about Reiki, and your magnetism just drew me right in. And I was like, hey, maybe I want to learn Reiki. So I was like, you had some training coming up. And I was like, I really want to meet her. And I want to learn this because one of the things we can talk about, we don't need to talk about that right now. But Reiki is for anybody. And when I was looking for a practitioner, I kind of thought, oh, somebody who's been gifted with the Reiki gene or something vibration. When the things that you make clear on your website is this is something that is accessible to anybody, you just have to tap into it. And so I was like, oh, wow, the potential is within me, too. And so I went on in your training and it was just amazing. I mean, it really far exceeded anything I was expecting. And Alexander is right. I wish that people could see you too, because you are so full of light.
[00:04:15.390] - Kara
It was like I would be participating in class, like listening to your lecture, I suppose. And I would almost be waiting for you to just kind of gently levitate and then just sort of float away because you're so ethereal and just this beautiful being of light. And what's interesting with it, though, is that I don't want that to misrepresent. Also, your groundedness because that makes it kind of sound like you're Spacey and everything was so organized and well thought out and flowed really, really well. So it was just such a wonderful blessing and mix of every Chakra. They were all lined up. But it was really beautiful. So thank you so much for being here. And I just thought it would be great for us to get to know you and hear your story. You can talk us through Reiki and talk us through joy potential. You have this beautiful Ted talk where you've done. I loved the experiment that you did that you talk about in your Ted Talk. So I welcome you to talk about that and whatever you feel inspired to. So welcome.
[00:05:47.290] - Christine
Thank you both so much for all of your kind and loving and generous words and for all you do. And I'm just so grateful and honored to be here with you. And I wish everyone could see the two of you because the first thing I said when I hopped on with you is, oh, my goodness, you're two luminous souls. What a precious gift to connect. So thank you so much. And I'm so grateful for all the different people that came together to help us find each other's hearts on this planet.
[00:06:16.730] - Kara
Yeah, absolutely. So let's talk about joy potential. So I encourage everybody to go and we'll have a link to your site with the show notes, and they can access your wonderful Ted Talk. But you've put a lot of research into joy, into tapping the potential within everybody, to feel joy, to connect with their highest purpose. And you also did some introspection and some experimentation within yourself to figure out if there was if you just have a really easy life and that's why you're so joyful or if there was more to it. So can you talk us through that?
[00:07:09.430] - Christine
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for asking. So, yeah, joy potential. I have felt called to really share with people how to on a kind of neuroscience level, how to really wire our brains towards happiness, but also how to on a spiritual level, just really reclaim and remember and come home to the light within us. So I came to it because as an adult there are three questions that I just noticed that I was getting asked again and again in my life. And people oftentimes ask me like, have you always been this happy? And if they meet my parents, they'll inquire into like, what was she like as a kid?
[00:07:48.330] - Kara
And what are those answers? Have you always been so happy?
[00:07:53.890] - Christine
I have not. That's like a pretty easy one for me to answer. So I'm in my life has been very blessed in so many ways and I've struggled with the human experience just like we all have. I used to be a perfectionist growing up and was afraid to make a mistake and challenging things happen like they do for all of us. And I didn't always know how to respond to them in a way that opened up pathways for happiness and said that I kind of chose the route that perpetuated greater suffering. I let fears get in the way. So many things. So no, I did not just like come out of the womb laughing or wasn't born into perpetual joy. And then people oftentimes ask too, are you always this happy? And that one's easy for me to answer too. Joy really is it's the container that really does hold my life in many ways sincerely experience a great amount of joy. And I am a wholehearted advocate for honoring all of our feelings. I love the analogy that all of our feelings flow through the same faucet. So if we shut off the faucet because we don't want to feel or be present with our frustration or grief or sadness, whatever it may be, we really shut off the pathway for joy.
[00:09:09.810] - Christine
So I have fallen so in love actually with my emotions because now when I'm having a feeling, I like when I go sit in a chair or sit at my meditation cushion and be present with it. Because when I turn towards whatever it is, there is just like the most loving nugget of gold and wisdom there ultimately to learn from, to grow into, and to kind of realign with some part of me that wants to be heard and seen. So I love the full breadth of the human experience and emotions. And the third question though that I would get is how are you so happy and full of joy? I would get this at the grocery checkout and really hostile carrier. They're like, I have never in all my years, every time I deliver a package, you just are so full of joy. How do you do that? Or my dental hygiene. I just noticed like my car mechanic, these people that I would visit and friends and family and for years this is a question I received and I would usually just respond with, there's just so much to be grateful for in every moment.
[00:10:16.150] - Christine
And that was so sincere. And I just felt this longing inside of me to offer a Fuller response to that question. And I felt in them like when they were asking it wasn't a light question. I felt the hunger inside of them to know, is that possible? And how do I feel that as well? And so I decided to set out on this self study to really look at my life, to see how do I experience this amount of joy. I had a Journal devoted to this practice to do for a year, and it was about ten years ago now. And I started to study my life day in and day out. And there was a part of me that felt guilt for it or wondered if I was just somehow really lucky, like if things always went my way. And what I discovered very quickly into this is that challenging things happen in all of our lives. In the first month, one of my very best friends, who've been living with our family for five years, was diagnosed with lung cancer and died just a few weeks later in his early fifties. And we were in a terrible car accident.
[00:11:21.730] - Christine
My husband's, son and I and our dog needed like two multi thousand dollar surgeries that we weren't expecting. And it was literally the first month of the self study. And so, of course, I experienced sadness and all of the emotions around that. And I also felt this unshakable peace and happiness inside of me. And so I was relieved to discover that it wasn't just because things always went my way. And so I continued to look at things throughout the year. And I just noticed that there were some practices that I was so fortunate to have learned and just discovered over the years that really brought me back home to my heart and to the ability we have to really access the joy within us, the joy that's available all around us. And that became my passion to really help people just experience a whole lot less unnecessary suffering and a whole lot more joy and love and joy. For me, it's just like it opens our hearts so much and it allows us to really receive this incredible gift of life that we're given. And that's a commitment I have just to be a steward of this great gift of life and to really use it to best love and serve the world.
[00:12:32.960] - Christine
And so I love that it opens our hearts to one another, that it really taps us into why we're really here. It gives us energy. It's like so much Springs forth from joy, our aliveness, our purpose, our love for one another. So it's not just about joy. It's like all that comes forth from that state of joy. That's a little. Ok, go ahead.
[00:12:54.660] - Alessandra
No, I just had to say I feel it now. It I hope it translates into just the audio version too. I mean, just connecting with you, I just feel the joy expanding is so contagious. Absolutely. But what I was thinking about, I watched your Ted Talk as well. And actually when I was watching that something happened in my life which kind of drew me into a little bit of sorrow. I was sad or something, which cause I felt like, well, you know, life shouldn't be this way. I would rather want it to be this way. And then listening to Yogic past me and Carfollo says the same thing, you can choose joy, but sometimes that's a little bit provoking. It's like choose joy. Have you seen my life? Have you seen what I'm dealing with? Because I think some people listening might feel that you're in the middle of this big Lifestorm. And then someone says, well, choose joy. That could be like, okay, sounds very easy, but what does that actually mean? What do you share with people that you help and serve?
[00:14:10.110] - Christine
Yeah, it's such a beautiful question. So that sadness, I think, having moments where we can, which is why my meditation is so near and dear to my heart. So it's how we are with these feelings. So it's very easy if we're feeling some sort of upset, to unconsciously be with it and to run a story around it like life isn't fair or this shouldn't be happening or to engage in conversations that maybe we don't show up really from our hearts because we haven't consciously taken the time to really be with what's really going on for us. So the sadness is so valid or whatever it is that we're feeling. And for me and when I support people, it's about pausing to really tune into that sadness and really be with it and hear what's really going on, because so often we're not upset for the reason that we think we are. And so to really be with it. And if that sadness was sort of our ally and was here for us and for our healing, it's like what kind of love or attention is that sadness wanting from us? What wants to be heard, what needs healing?
[00:15:23.250] - Christine
So to be with it and really hear it and befriend it and see if there's anything even deeper underneath that. So I work with couples a lot, and I see this a lot in our relating to one another or just like how perhaps we feel anger, but underneath it, we're just really afraid or really embarrassed or really ashamed or whatever it might be. So I find just getting quiet to really be what is really there. Like underneath that, what's underneath that and get to the truth of it, we can much more effectively respond to what is really kind of wanting our loving attention. And then so that's just kind of an emotional level, how to be with the purest form of what we're feeling and then our thoughts are so powerful. So it's a practice I'm continually looking at is really separating my story from what happened. And so something happens. And whenever we have an upsetting emotion, most often we're running some story about it that isn't necessarily true. And so we're beginning to look at is that some limiting belief, you know, or something like, this isn't fair or I'm not enough or it shouldn't be, whatever it might be.
[00:16:37.080] - Christine
And seeing is that a story that's really supporting me? Is it even a true story and then choosing to reframe it and reclaim it and choose a more empowering meaning that we want to give something? We are definitely the makers of meaning, which is so incredible. And so it's like, how do we give it a new empowering meaning that ultimately whatever is happening, we honor the feeling. We see if the feeling is guiding us towards some change we need to take or some action we need to make in our lives because there is a value in kind of what we call negative emotions is that it's just our body signaling us that something needs to change. And it would be so unfortunate if we didn't have those emotions because it'd be hard to kind of know when we need to course correct to get back into our healthiest selves. And then it's looking at, okay, if it isn't that I need to make a change, it's more just how I need to see this differently. It's changing our mindset and creating a new story around this and really looking at what else is there to appreciate about this.
[00:17:37.650] - Christine
How could this be even worse? How can I learn and grow from this? I am a big advocate for just adopting a learning orientation to life and seeing that we're all lifelong students here at Earth School and no experience is wasted if we really use it to learn and grow and towards our evolution. So it's like, how can I learn and grow from this, just serve my own life? And how can I use this to ultimately serve others and contribute to the world? So those are a few things. And shifting our state, I think is so powerful too, to really shift kind of what we're experiencing emotionally. But those are a few little things I could go out, but I'll pause there.
[00:18:14.390] - Kara
Well, and you had a very powerful experience within your own life where this came into play in another talk, not the Ted talk, but I think it was walk the talk you were talking about that you had a certain type of seizure that was going on. I don't know if you want to talk about this. And I remember you were talking with the doctor who was doing the MRIs on you, and he was asking how you're feeling. And you were like, I know that there is so much for me to learn from this. It wasn't like oh, my gosh. But it was like, I just want to know what I can get from this because there's got to be a reason for it, and it's got to be good. I don't know if you want to go into that, but I found that very, very powerful.
[00:19:13.770] - Christine
Well, thanks for watching that and asking. So, yeah, for many years, I was having these experiences that I wasn't entirely sure what they were. It was something very unusual happening in my brain. And I sought out resources in many ways, and I didn't have total clarity around what it was. And eventually I actually passed out. I mean, I eventually kind of learned that I was having they're called temporal lobe seizures. And it was December a few years ago, and I was sitting across from my husband, and all of a sudden he just saw me go over and hit the floor so hard. It was our hard tile floor woke our son up, and he actually thought that we had dropped a bowling ball. It was so heavy. He felt like some bowling ball. And I wasn't responding to my husband. He was trying to kind of wake me up and get me to the alert, and I wasn't responding. So he called 911. And I eventually came to, which was such a blessing. And it was also a bit of a wake up call at that moment. And what was most significant, I guess, in this kind of story that I was sharing is it was kind of moments later I got propped up on the couch, and it was just kind of reflecting on what had happened and what this could mean for my life.
[00:20:34.110] - Christine
I never before had passed out from one of these seizures. And I just started wondering, would this start happening more often? Do I have a tumor in my brain? From all my Googling, which we all know, I learned when this happens, it can be more serious, and it can indicate that there's a large tumor in the brain. And would I be able to drive again? And with my freedom suddenly really change, or however I perceive freedom, would I be able to live my calling? There are so many questions that I was reflecting on. It was kind of instantly I was brought into life. Review. And I have such a deep belief. And, yeah, there really is like a gift in everything. And I felt this trust. And even my husband asked me what I was doing. And I felt such deep trust that there is some incredible gift in this. And it's very different than believing that things are meant to be. I honor that worldview so completely, and that's less of my world view that things are meant to be. And it's more how can we harvest the blessings and gifts and things or turn them into blessings and gifts?
[00:21:46.320] - Christine
We are such powerful beings. And that's what's so extraordinary to me is that we can turn the masses into the miracles. And so I just knew there would be a way, no matter what was happening, I could turn it into good for my own life and hopefully for others as well. And it certainly evolved. I mean, there's so much that sort of unfolded from that journey. And yes, I did in the talk I went to my Doctor who, too, was kind of wondering how this was for me and how I was processing it. And he was just the greatest doctor I've ever had. He was so incredible. And it was my response to him as well. I was like, whatever we discover, I turned this into something really beautiful. And I'm so grateful for that worldview because it's true. I've never found a moment, no matter how tragic, no matter how painful or heart wrenching, that there isn't some little kernel that we can receive to ultimately propel us forward and upward. And that is not to diminish the immense horrifying pain and suffering on our planet. It's just like, how do we learn from this as humanity, to become better people through it, to really allow it to make us better, kinder, more loving, whatever it might be than whatever we're witnessing?
[00:23:12.990] - Alessandra
That's beautiful. And what a strength. I mean, we should all try to apply that more into our lives and ask, what is there to learn rather than getting stuck in the story. Such a good reminder.
[00:23:28.490] - Kara
Yeah, it's funny, too, when you talk about the story, because you mentioned that, too, and how much the story plays into our capacity for joy and the blocking of joy or keeping it at Bay. And one of my students yesterday sent me a link to something to do with what we'd been talking about in class this week. And it was talking about how the emotion itself, when you find yourself with a strong emotion, it really studies show it only lasts like 90 seconds. I think, in fact, they referenced Jill Bolty Taylor, who you have a connection with, right?
[00:24:08.820] - Christine
Yes. She's incredible.
[00:24:12.510] - Kara
The emotion itself, if you pull back, it lasts 90 seconds, and the rest of it is the loop, and it's the story. And so if you find yourself holding onto it longer, it's because you're inviting it back in and you're looping it and you're creating the story around it. And that was really powerful to think about. Like, the raw reaction to it is that quick. And then it's that human capacity to keep wanting, like, oh, yeah, wait, I was feeling uncomfortable. And why was oh, yeah, because we pull it back in.
[00:24:49.020] - Alessandra
But this is the way I would like to say that meditation is so powerful because I can only see my own life, how something would perhaps destroy a whole weekend for me a few years ago. And now it can be like an hour or maybe 30 minutes. And, you know, before it's like, oh, why am I still in that? Or you can also learn if it's something with another person that triggers you instead of just going with the story, like, why did he or she did do why did she not do this? Does she not like me or what is it? And immediately bring it up. And I've seen relationships transform so much. It's just we're so scared of opening up and being vulnerable. But when we're there to do that, it takes a whole new level.
[00:25:40.640] - Christine
The relationship really does.
[00:25:42.480] - Alessandra
And even if the other person doesn't really understand or meet us where we hope to meet them, we have grown, right?
[00:25:50.410] - Christine
[00:25:50.860] - Alessandra
Just by opening up.
[00:25:52.770] - Kara
Yeah. And to your point, to Christine from earlier where you were like, what's beneath that? Okay, so what's beneath the anger? And then what's beneath the fear? What's beneath the embarrassment? But it is like there are these more rudimentary. I think fear, for example, is beneath so much. But it's hard to get there because it's hidden. It's not like the first thing that shows up. It's not like, oh, they didn't show up. And so I'm angry because they didn't do what they were saying they were going to do it's. Beneath that, there's the fear of, okay, are they going to go or what does this mean? Am I going to be alone or am I going to be able to I don't know, whatever. But it's the fear beneath all of that, too, that is so controlling but so hidden and sneaky.
[00:26:51.910] - Christine
It's so hidden and sneaky. And it's so true. I know whenever we're triggered, it's usually right, because it's like some part of us feel threatened. So I love and resonate so much with what you both shared. And so that's the power of meditation and kind of self reflection and self awareness.
[00:27:11.740] - Kara
[00:27:13.330] - Christine
And Dr. Jill Bolty Taylor, just to celebrate her, she's actually lived here in Bloomington, Indiana, which is such a blessing to have her nearby. And she's a dear friend. And I highly recommend she has a Ted Talk and a New York Times best selling book on my stroke of insight. And that's the 92nd rule she does speak about in that book.
[00:27:34.940] - Alessandra
Yeah. She's amazing.
[00:27:37.800] - Kara
And so also, Alexander, Christine is in Bloomington, Indiana, which is where I went to University.
[00:27:45.550] - Alessandra
I heard Bloomington coming up a few times.
[00:27:48.620] - Kara
Yes. And I think Dr. Taylor, is she.
[00:27:55.580] - Alessandra
A professor or science?
[00:27:57.350] - Christine
Yeah. She's not right now. She's writing her second book. Okay, good.
[00:28:06.730] - Alessandra
That's something to remember. 90 seconds of the motion. The rest is just the story.
[00:28:14.770] - Kara
Yes, I know.
[00:28:16.200] - Christine
Yeah. And I just want to share this is their practice. It's not that this is the practice of, for me, kind of tapping into our joy potential is that it's not that we never go into story or that I never go into story. It's like how to spend minimal time there and let the time that's spent there be time that is ultimately enriching and awakening and then shift out of it. But the goal in life is never not to go there. I don't know that would be possible. To spend minimal time there and to really choose it's. Like it is so precious that we allow into our minds, into our brains, and to choose those thoughts so wisely. Because there are three really amazing things that happen with every thought we have that I oftentimes sharing when I leave joy potential retreats and with my clients and my own my own life practice. And the one is like, whatever we focus on, we feel. So whether the story is true or not, it instantly generates this cascade of emotions. And then the second thing is, whatever story we're having, whatever thought we're having, we instantly see proof of it in the environment around us.
[00:29:25.680] - Christine
One of my favorite parts of our brain is called the reticular activating system. It's the acronym as RAF. And I love this part of our brain and what it does. It's this bundle of nerves in our brain stem whose job it is to show us whatever it is that's important to us. Like to filter out all the unimportant information and reveal to us what's important. And the way that our brain knows what's important is whatever thoughts we're having. So if we're having thoughts for how there's beauty around us, or we're looking for things, whether they're tiny little things or bigger things to really save or appreciate, our brain is going to scan and find those and filter out the rest. Or if we're looking for things to criticize in others or ourselves or our lives, we could spend the rest of our life doing just that. If we find evidence of it, we instantly feel whatever we're thinking. And then we also train ourselves to have those thoughts more readily. So every thought we have, we make it more likely we're going to have that same thought again. So it's just I'm so grateful for how we can kind of wire our brains that way and how important every thought is in some ways.
[00:30:30.130] - Alessandra
So would that be connected to why gratitude practice is so powerful? Because we start to look for things to be great before.
[00:30:37.930] - Christine
Exactly. Yeah. We naturally have what's called a negativity bias. And it's part of our survival wiring. And so it's like if you had 100 dogs that were super sweet and friendly, and then one dog that bit you, we tend to remember the dog that bit us, because if there's any chance of our survival being threatened, our brain wants to really hold on to that to prevent us from getting hurt again. And so Dr. Rick Hanson, who's done a lot of research in the field of positive psychology and the neuroscience of happiness, he uses the analogy that I love that our brains are like Velcro to negative experiences and like Teflon to positive experiences. And again, this is for survival. And it also shows up. But we've all had the experience that we might receive ten compliments or positive things, but one criticism. And right. What do we do at the end of the day? Like ruminate on that one criticism. And again, that would suggest that we have some weakness. And so our brains are like, well, if there's some weakness, we want to overemphasize that. And so the way that we override that and develop a Positivity bias is to hold the positive things in our brains for at least 20 seconds.
[00:31:44.830] - Christine
So it takes 20 seconds for those things to stick, whereas like a critical thought or something that we perceive as a threat has instant impact. So it just instantly sticks. So yes, the practice of gratitude, whether like in the moment to really appreciate whatever is to be so deeply present with it and really take it in, there's a practice of savoring, which I just love. Brent or my friends will be hanging out with me. I'm like, this is a beautiful moment, like saver, saver, saver, because we could have the most incredible life. But if we don't see it as such, it just like zooms right on by and then afterwards, like going to bed, just scanning our lives to receive.
[00:32:23.810] - Kara
Those gifts that is really beautiful and.
[00:32:29.280] - Alessandra
Coming back to if you get stuck after the 90 seconds of emotion and then we get into the story. Do you have some practical tips on how to start shifting the story when you see that the story is leading you into a bad place?
[00:32:44.530] - Christine
Yes. One kind of tool, I call it the magic. And so we would share whatever we would naturally share. So maybe it's like, I'm so frustrated because something didn't go our way there. We got second traffic or something happened at the office or our kids spilled something or our husband didn't unload the dishwasher, whatever it might be. So I'm frustrated with that. So just to allow ourselves to be with that and then adding on how it could be worse, I think that we learn so much from contrast. So to kind of step back from our lives and look at, okay, right. This is all relative. So let's go with maybe kind of frustrated because our partner didn't follow through on something or help out in some way so that's the frustration and my partner could just not have even come home tonight or been dishonest about something and looking for something. We also appreciate and I also appreciate that he sent me a message and said, I love you or what was working today and supporting all of us or whatever it might be. So that's like where we can step back into the abundance and not hyper focus on what's wrong we want to look for all most of us are doing most of the things in our lives.
[00:34:01.470] - Christine
Right. And so when it's so easy just to focus on what's wrong or missing and sort of Zoom back out and look at all the rest to appreciate what can I learn from this? So it's like getting curious. I wonder how I can communicate it in a way that he could hear better. Or I wonder, like, just looking at, is there anything that's different in every situation? Is there anything that we can learn from it? And how can I do it differently? So in the future, it could be, how can I have this conversation in a different way? Or how can I maintain my own inner peace more? So these things, maybe it's just an opportunity for me to start a spiritual practice or meditate more so that these things don't affect me so much, to kind of use it as a catalyst, like, oh, this is really upsetting me. So this is a perfect opportunity, an invitation for me to really tend to my own self care and well being or whatever it might be. But I think those are some things, like looking what there's depreciate, how it could be worse. How can I learn from this and how can I use this to benefit myself and others?
[00:35:06.280] - Christine
That magic. And I find to be really helpful, like really reframes our story. When I'm working with clients, sometimes we'll look at really challenging things that happen in their lives. And part of the process is creating a new empowering, meaning we can kind of choose what file we put our past into. Is it the file of this happened and it was terrible and I was abandoned, or I can't trust people? Or do you want to look at the story again and have used the magic and create an empowering, meaning that when we say it, it actually inspires us and opens up possibilities and it helps us create the life we really want rather than keeping us stuck in what was. Does that kind of give you a little.
[00:35:48.550] - Kara
Really helpful. Yeah.
[00:35:50.960] - Christine
Thanks so much.
[00:35:52.570] - Kara
One of the things as you've been talking about the way that the brain works and then also just listening to you in general and feeling the response within me, it reminds me of in the Reiki training you talk about, and I'm trying to remember now what it was it's with the metronomes, and I think of it as sympathetic resonance, but that's not what you called it.
[00:36:19.030] - Alessandra
What did you call it?
[00:36:22.060] - Kara
Entrainment, yes. Which I find really fascinating, and I'll let you speak to that if you'd like to, but it's just another one of those mysterious things that is sort of happening in the background that I have really felt as we've been joined here, where I can feel like a response to your energy. But do you want to talk about entrainment?
[00:36:50.170] - Christine
Sure. I'd love to talk about entrance. Like one of my favorite implications of it are so huge. So thanks for bringing that up. Yeah. It came from me kind of researching. I've been just blessed to be teaching and sharing Reiki for many years now. And I love sharing the heart and the spirit of healing. And also I love understanding, like, how does this work and why does it work appeal to our left and right brains. And so it was in my researching, like, how does it work that I came upon this law. It's a physics law of entrainment. And the kind of physics law is the tendency of two oscillating bodies to eventually sync up with one another, to entrain to one another. And it was actually a Dutch physicist that first discovered this and what he was noticing, like grandfather clocks, the pendulums will eventually sync up with each other or women, and their menstrual cycle oftentimes will sync up with each other if they spend a lot of time together or like a heart transplant. When heart is transplanted to another body, we actually rely on the law of entrainment for that to be effective.
[00:37:53.770] - Christine
Or if you walk into a room and everyone's laughing, we just noticed that we start to laugh for our mood shifts. So that's entrainment. And in the Reiki training, I showed this video, which I love this video, it's these metronomes. I think he's like 32 metronomes. This man who's shooting this YouTube video, you can probably look up 32 metronome synchronization or entrainment, and he hits these 32 metronomes, and they're all just kind of going in different directions in different speeds. And then after like a minute and a half, most of them, they've synced up with each other. And by the end of four minutes, they're all perfectly in sync. And so it's a tendency against two oscillating bodies to sync up with each other. And for the lower vibration tends to match the higher vibration. So I love that in Reiki, what we're doing is practicing different breathing and body awareness techniques that really elevate our vibration. And you can see vibration from woo energy healing, which I'm all about. And you can see vibration just from kind of a scientific standpoint. So we're raising our vibration to then help our clients or whoever we're sharing Reiki with to raise their vibration to greater healing and wholeness where kind of healing is accelerated.
[00:39:08.020] - Christine
And the implications for this, I think you're just tremendous. We humans. We are. We're kind of social animals, and so we impact one another so much. And it's really easy. And I have so much compassion for this when we're around some people who are struggling or maybe our coworkers who are complaining or whatever it might be to kind of sync up with that or seeing a world where people are judging one another or complaining about things just to sync up with that. And instead we're kind of entraining to that. It's like, how do we my mantras be the metronome? Like, how can we entrain to the energy of love, to the energy of joy and kindness and just invite others to sync up with that. And so that's part of my daily practice. I just come into prayer position and really entrained to the energy of love. The implications are enormous in our lives. That's my loving celebration and support to anyone. To be really clear, like, what is it that we are in training too? Because if we're not consciously in training to something, we are unconsciously entraining to things. And to get clear.
[00:40:13.740] - Christine
Yeah. What do we want to be our metronomes in life that we're syncing up with?
[00:40:17.280] - Kara
Well, I think that we've so beautifully in with joy potential because it's clear with what you're talking about with how so many different people from so many aspects of your life have continuously asked, like, is this real? How are you doing this? But clearly it's having an effect on them. And I think it shows they feel better being around you because they're being pulled up by the higher vibration. And then it's like, wait, how can I have this more when I'm not around you?
[00:40:49.370] - Christine
[00:40:51.530] - Alessandra
Well, I just wanted to ask, I know from my own experience also how me and Car got to know each other because I feel this now with you both and this is how me and Car got to know each other. We started to meditate together, even though she's in us and I am in Sweden. But you feel the magnetism between us and especially when you come together as a group, you feel that. And I've met people that I first got to know through online connection, and then you get to know them, you get to see them in their physical form. And it's like this is not the first time we meet. We already know each other because the energy is connecting. I don't know. Have you any I only have the experience. I don't have any scientific facts about it. Or have you studied or do you have anything to comment on that?
[00:41:44.570] - Christine
I love that. Kara, are you going to share something?
[00:41:47.820] - Kara
Do you mean about the magnetism?
[00:41:49.860] - Christine
[00:41:51.650] - Alessandra
I mean, not that we have to have explanations, everything, but I think you can just experience it and feel that it's true.
[00:42:00.450] - Kara
Yeah, absolutely. Well and beyond. I love when that happens too, with even people that you're meeting for the first time and you're like, wow, you're so familiar or this feeling is familiar. I mean, it was kind of like with Christine as well when we first met. And then it was like all these different avenues that were coming together where I'm like, oh, and you know this person and you know this. And then I go to the training and one of my students was there too. And it's just like this convergence of like, I don't know, it's really beautiful when those things happen and mysterious to me.
[00:42:44.570] - Christine
It isn't so beautiful. And I feel that with the two of you, that familiarity so yeah, I think we can see that in different ways. Just those kind of kindred spirits in the world of those people that reflected back to us a part of our true nature, either what we're wanting to cultivate more of in our lives or just reflect back to us, our essence. It's such a profound feeling. Those other beings, we feel this sense of home, and we feel more like ourselves in their presence. And I wish that for every human to find those other beings on the planet where we feel more at home and more like ourselves around them. And there's our mirror neurons. There's, like, more research kind of being done about our mirror neurons. But that's like another part of these part of our brains that we reflect the internal state of those around us. And it's so important. And I know that this comes from a place of privilege because not everyone has the opportunity to select who they surround themselves with. And for those of us that are so fortunate to have that freedom, to be so intentional about who we do surround ourselves with because we're truly reflecting them, like, we become so much more like the people we're around.
[00:44:01.450] - Christine
I mean, it's both I talked about entrainment that's piece of it is how do we cultivate our own energy and consciously choose, like, what aspects of ourselves we want to grow and kind of lead our lives and what we want to sync up within the universe and then also to surround ourselves with people that we just feel better. We feel uplifted and inspired being in their presence. So I have no doubt the two of you are that for so many people, and I feel so uplifted in your presence. So thank you so much.
[00:44:28.110] - Kara
Thank you so kind.
[00:44:30.290] - Alessandra
But that's also something you can do. I mean, nowadays there are online communities, again, that's how we encourage. And so you have that ability. I was in a position where I just had a baby, but I really need that support. So I just signed up to this online course, and suddenly I was in this online community. I had no idea how this was going to transform my life. Not that there's something wrong with people around me, but I just had moved back to Sweden, so I had to start a new network because a lot of friends had moved away. And this online community really transformed my life because, again, even through the distance. And that's also the power of the group, because some days I might show up there with a lot of joy, a lot of love. Some days I might be the sad person and someone else just by attuning to the group, attuning to your soul friend kindred spirits. Like you said, you uplift each other.
[00:45:33.290] - Christine
I love that. And you're so I know online communities, like, there's just kind of infinite possibilities for connection there.
[00:45:41.930] - Kara
So, Christine, you touched on when you were talking about entrainment, about Reiki, you started to kind of go in there. Can you step back? And just in case anybody who's listening is not familiar with Reiki, do you want to kind of give a high level overview of what that even is?
[00:46:03.450] - Christine
Sure. Thanks. So Reiki, which is from Japan, it's actually two Japanese Kanji characters, Rey and Ki. And Rey refers to universal or loving or divine or spiritual. It's practiced by people of all spiritual traditions or no spiritual tradition. But the Ray is kind of this universal. And then key is life force energy. So it's synonymous with Chi or Pranas, depending on the name of different traditions. But it's this universal, abundant life force energy that's here and life giving and available to all of us. And in Reiki, we tap into this life force energy in our own beings to really channel it to be a source of healing for others. So it involves really light touch. Someone stays fully clothed while we're sharing Reiki with them. And we place our hands really lightly on the body. You can actually do Reiki with your hands above the body the way that I teach. I usually recommend very light touch because touch offers so many other benefits. But it's very light touch and you usually are in a position for like two to five minutes per position. And what happens is that it puts the body into the deepest state of relaxation where healing can most readily occur.
[00:47:22.490] - Christine
People might feel a sense of warmth. It's a really common sensation that someone will feel like there are multiple hands all over their body. When they're receiving Reiki, they may feel tingling or the energy moving. Because in energy healing, we're working with energy. And it's subtle, but it's actually palpable. So people whose nervous systems are either sensitive or become more attuned to the energy, you'll feel energy moving throughout your being. And one of the basic principles of energy healing is that anything that has a pathway in has a pathway out. And so in Reiki, what we hope to do is any place where we experience any physical, mental, emotional challenge ailment it's because the life force is not flowing regularly there in a balanced way. So if the energy is depleted, Reiki helps to replenish energy there. I oftentimes see it as like plugging into the infinite battery charger of the universe. It is, hands down, my own personal favorite way to replenish. When I receive Reiki, I'm like, oh, my gosh, I get so filled up so quickly. So wherever we're depleted, which many of us is kind of epidemic, I think of depletion for many of us humans.
[00:48:30.310] - Christine
And then any place where the energy is just stuck or blocked, it helps to restore the natural flow. Or if there's an excess of energy, for example, if someone's in their head a lot working really hard, there might be an excess of energy. So it helps to kind of clear that and rebalance the whole system. So from an energetic level, that's basically what's happening. We're restoring the natural harmonious flow of key or Chi throughout the body. And when we're naturally balanced, that's where the greatest healing can happen, because our bodies are so brilliant. And when given the right conditions, our bodies long to heal. So it really creates the optimal conditions for our bodies to heal themselves. So it accelerates healing. And Reiki is now practiced in hospitals all over the world because there's been so much research done when people receive Reiki before and after surgery or procedures, how much more readily and quickly they heal. But it's great for any sort of healing goes to kind of the root of whatever is there. You don't even need to know. But he just turns on our healing abilities when you receive it. It's great for pain relief, for immune boosting.
[00:49:33.240] - Christine
It's great for anxiety and depression and any sort of emotional kind of peace and well being. And so good just to reconnect to our spirits, to kind of come back home in a world where there's lots of doing and a lot of output to come back and settle and calm our nervous system, there are so many benefits, and it's just blissfully relaxing. There's a term we oftentimes use in workshops. It's like you feel like you've been bliss bombed. It's so funny, people. I just, like, delight in seeing people after they've received Reiki because it's just like there's such an innocence and preciousness of, like, all of our defenses have melted away and just that softness and that settling into our being. I know that's what happened when I received Reiki. I feel like I'm in such an altered state of bliss and total peace. So I'm so grateful that I learned Reiki. It was 16 years ago. I was living in California. I graduated from Indiana University, and I moved to California. And I was doing a year and I was doing a year of AmeriCorps Vista, which is sort of like domestic Peace Corps.
[00:50:45.440] - Christine
I was working with individuals who are experiencing homelessness and had been diagnosed with some serious mental illness and had such a life changing year out there. And I met this woman who did Reiki, and I had never heard of Reiki. I didn't know anything about it, but there was, like, something about her, something about when she'd speak about it. And I just felt that spark inside of me. And I have kind of devoted my life to following that spark because I find that our intuition never leads us astray. And so I'm a circle junkie. So I created a women's circle out there and invited her into it. And I'm so grateful that she accepted the offer. And we ended up circling together and got to know each other very well. And I would hear more about Reiki. And I just always kind of felt my body light up when she would talk about it. So she ended up offering to do an apprenticeship with me. And so we met every week and I learned so much and it just completely changed my life and it was undeniable. I was living in California. I was in Monterey, California and attending so many workshops and I just love growth and learning new things and trying on what resonates, what doesn't.
[00:51:49.540] - Christine
And it was so undeniable. Now I'm so thankful. My mind is relatively calm and at the time I did not have the tools and the practice that I have now. And I have much more racing thoughts and my monkey mind was much more active and I would notice when I did Reiki, it was like, oh my gosh, it just allowed me to go to that place so quickly and I felt such deep peace and healing. Like my mind just settled. And then I started sharing it with people and headaches would go away or sinuses would open up and they too would just tap into this piece that's available. And there's something so beautiful about sharing that kind of sacred moment with another human where we're tapping into like, the infinite love of the universe and we're all kind of syncing up with that together. So it changed my life in so many ways, more ways than I will share now. When I just came back, I had fallen in love right before I moved to California with who is now my husband. So I ended up moving back to Indiana to be with him and just devoted my life wanting to really share this healing gift.
[00:52:53.150] - Christine
And there is something about working with individuals experiencing homelessness that I was really struck that we all have these healing hands and that it doesn't discriminate. Like, it doesn't matter what age we are, what our educational background is, or socioeconomic background is, or cultural whatever it is. It's like we have this innate ability to heal with our hands and we all sort of know this. Like when we have a headache, the first thing we tend to do right is like put our hand on our head or a tummy ache. Like we place our hands on our stomachs or if a child falls, we kind of run over them to want to hold them. And so we're hardwired for healing and Reiki just allows us an opportunity to just that much more effectively, like really tune into this energy and into our healing gifts and offer it in a way that we really know no limits for what it can do. I've witnessed some remarkable things myself and I love teaching so much. I fell in love with Reiki. I think with each person that I share it with because how it's expressed in each unique being has its own unique beauty.
[00:53:57.310] - Christine
So I'm just kind of in on a forever a student of it.
[00:54:01.150] - Alessandra
I feel like I just received the Reiki treatment. Connecting with you guys I know I'm going to sleep so well.
[00:54:08.750] - Christine
Evening here in Sweden.
[00:54:09.970] - Kara
Yeah, well, it's interesting, too, Because my experience with your training sessions Was that you tap into your innate abilities to heal, and there's, like, this sense of connection, and you're kind of tapping into something much greater. And I'll share a story from the last training that we did Where I was paired up with this woman who I didn't really know. She's very sweet. And we were working on intuitive scanning, and so I scanned her first, and I kind of picked up a little, but we were kind of working with the Chakra system, And I was sort of picking up where I could feel it stronger than other places or whatever, but that was kind of it. And then we switched, and as I laid down, I saw this sort of shaft of light, and it was almost like a sword of light come down into it looked like from the sky to the Earth. And then there was, like, this green vine crawling up amazing. And then as she did her scan on, Because we weren't doing Reiki per se, we were just doing a scan. But as she scanned down, eventually, I was seeing this bluish purpley tunnel, but it was like a track.
[00:55:40.770] - Kara
It started kind of as a track, like a semicircle, and then it eventually developed into a tunnel. And so we were sharing, like, then we finished up, and we were sharing what we had experienced, and I was like, well, when I was scanning you, I felt this, but it was really just about where I felt the energy more. And then I was like, oh, and by the way, when I lay down, then I saw this shaft of light, and she started completing my explanation. So I was like, yeah, it was like this sword of light or the shaft. She's like, yes. And it had this green thing. So she's, like, telling me. And then she's like, it was over here, and she pointed over to my left, and I was like, oh, yeah. It was like, for me also, it was over to my left, over where she had pointed. And so that was very interesting Because that doesn't happen with me very often. I don't have a lot of talent in that realm of seeing perceiving things like that. And then I told her about the track and the tunnel, and she was like, the last person I was working on explained the same thing.
[00:56:56.600] - Kara
So she was like, yeah, I can't remember who it was, but whoever she had worked on, like, 2 hours before had told her the same thing that I described. And so I was really blown away by that, and it really felt like we were, as a group, really kind of tapping into something more universal than individual. So on top of the healing, I mean, they go hand in hand, right? But my point with that is just that when I talk about how it really went way above my expectations, I thought I was going to get some techniques to learn how to use like a healing modality. And it just really tapped into something much greater than what I was expecting. It was really beautiful and powerful.
[00:57:47.050] - Christine
Thanks so much for sharing that. What a magical moment. I love just like those undeniable evidence of how we're all so connected and how there's so much more that's possible that I know I can possibly wrap my heart or head around. So thanks. I love hearing that.
[00:58:05.030] - Kara
Yeah, it's really beautiful. So if people want to learn more and interact with you, what are some of the services that you offer? Because obviously, I know about the Reiki training. I know also when I've talked to Wendy about you, one of the people who led me to you, she was like, oh, have you ever done a consultation with her? And so I know you did some sort of consultation that she raved about. And I'm not clear about exactly what she did with you or what you did with her, but what are some ways that people can connect with you and learn from you?
[00:58:45.910] - Christine
Well, thanks for asking. So I have a Ricky training on the Joy Potential website. We'll share more about anybody that's looking to tap into their own healing gifts. And I do private sessions. So I am just fortunate to have clients who are all over the world that I see over Skyper Zoom or here at our kind of healing center where I love I've been trained in various kind of coaching modalities and energy healing techniques and mind body practices. So it's really whatever is holding people back in any area of their lives, really getting to the core of whatever those old, outdated imprints are. So we can live in congruence with who we really, truly are and who we're stepping into. So we're not living out of old, outdated fears or judgments of ourselves or others or old experiences that are no longer serving us. So I love living in the land of kind of infinite possibilities and helping people expand into whatever their hearts desires are in any area of life. So I've had a prior practice for 15 years or so now. So, yes, I see clients individually and couples as well. So my husband and I, we run it's called the center for Thriving Relationships.
[01:00:03.270] - Christine
He's an amazing therapist. And so we see couples also who are struggling with communication or just one of those gridlocked issues that they find themselves in again and again and again, which every relationship has that kind of recurring issue. And how to finally kind of find the off ramp and solutions that really work for both people and how to hear each other in a whole new way and really understand what's really going on and how to kind of reconnect as a team and reignite the spark and most effectively love and support each other. So I'm passionate about relationships. I think there's so much healing in the world. It's the one area of life that I find that we probably have the most unnecessary suffering and really the greatest love and joy as possible, whether it's our romantic partnership or with our kids or friends or colleagues. So much becomes available when we can learn to we can find, like that pathway that connects our hearts to one another, when we can come together in a way that multiplies what we're able to do and who we're able to be. So we do a couple of coaching and counseling and couples retreats.
[01:01:07.210] - Christine
So we lead a weekend called Thrive and Love. Our next one is coming up Valentine's weekend. But we lead that in Bloomington and Chicago, and we're going to be expanding to California. I guess we've lived other places as well, but those are the upcoming ones. And that's kind of what I wish every couple on the planet had when it comes to having a great relationship is what Brett and I, we both had done so much individual work and in our own spiritual practice and just both have a passion for kind of human transformation. And yet in romantic relationships, it's so humbling. It was for me because it's like a whole different skill set than being kind of an individual. And so we've been together 17 years now and are now in the marriage of our dreams. I am so thankful. And a few years in, we definitely hit our power struggle, which is kind of that inevitable phase that every relationship goes into. So it was through our own process of developing a conscious relationship that we realized we could not share this with the world. And so we then about ten years ago, opened up the center, and we love working with couples, couples retreats.
[01:02:14.660] - Christine
And we have an online program that launches in a couple of weeks. This Thrive and Love online course. We have a team of coaches here. So we are fortunate to have just an incredible team of coaches. We do training for coaches to become thriving relationship coaches, which we love. And then joy potential. So there's a weekend retreat that's awakening your joy potential. And it's kind of a mind body, heart, spirit immersion, and how to reawaken joy and reorient our mind towards happiness and kind of reignite that light within. So I have that coming at the end of January, and then I usually do that a couple of times a year. Those are a few of the things that they have.
[01:02:52.980] - Kara
You have a retreat in Bali, if I remember correctly, too, right?
[01:02:57.190] - Christine
Yes. Thanks for remembering that. It's called Divine Joy, and that's one of my Soul Sisters Matiscow. She's incredible. And she and I, this will be the second time we've done that. We're going in November of 2020. And Bali is just one of my favorite places on the planet. It is so heart centered. It's more than any place I've traveled. It's a place where the sacred is so present in everyday life and really actively nourished and where there's an awareness of our interconnectedness there's so much heart and love in Bali. So it's kind of that entrainment like bringing people to a place that models that so much and it's all about how do we bring that back home to nourish the sacred in our everyday lives and to feel the sense of divine joy when we do so and we live with much greater intention and meaning. So yeah, that's coming up and we have a couple of spots I think left in that retreat. There's 25 women going we have 22 or 23 registered right now. So if any sister feels that call, we would be so honored and thrilled to go on that divine journey with you.
[01:04:05.030] - Alessandra
[01:04:07.510] - Kara
Oh, well. Thank you so much.
[01:04:10.270] - Alessandra
My heart is full thank you so much, Christine. This has been amazing.
[01:04:15.670] - Christine
Oh, it's been such a gift to connect with you both. Thank you for all of your thoughtful questions and sharing your hearts and just really like your light filled presence and all you do and it warms my heart so much that you have this connection that you like to sit in sacred space together and have that meditation practice that's so powerful. It's really inspiring.
[01:04:34.670] - Alessandra
[01:04:35.490] - Kara
Thank you so much.
[01:04:37.330] - Alessandra
Thanks for sharing everything with us and the listeners yes.
[01:04:41.870] - Christine
Thank you. Listeners. Loved you all. Thank you so much for listening.
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