Christine is an inspirational catalyst for women and girls everywhere, daring, inspiring and guiding them to be, love and live their REAL MEs… instead of the images they often find themselves trying to live into.
It all began with an unexpected wake up call in 2001, when Christine was walloped with a ‘universal 2×4’ to the soul, a.k.a. her fiancé announced, on the way to their engagement party, that he didn’t love her or want to marry her.
Most would have crumpled into devastation right there. Not Christine.
Fast forward seven years, after a plethora of spiritual adventures, a good dose of therapy and a total rewiring of how she understood the world, and you’ll find today a woman who turned her life around and found the life she really wanted.
After watching people all around her literally and figuratively dying to be their real selves, Christine decided she needed to do something to help people create the lives they really wanted versus the ones they found themselves trapped in. So she quit her six-figure corporate job, started a life coaching company, Dare to Live You, and finished her first book Choosing ME Before WE (New World Library, February 2009).
In 2008, Christine founded an online, no-taboo talk community for women called Girltalk… taking it deeper featuring real, intimate, daring conversations about the things that matter most to women. An entrepreneur at heart, she also launched a boutique line of clothing and jewellery called MADLY IN LOVE WITH ME™ to inspire women to remember to love themselves too.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Self-love Revolutionary.
What is your life motto? Life is too great not to be lived fully.
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? I’ve had more than one career; they have all morphed into each other. I had a career as a Marketing Executive, Leadership Consultant in the Fashion Industry and then I started my “Great work”. By “Great work”, I mean the work that we really came here to do, where we are giving our greatest gifts – that started for me in 2007, specifically when I left my six figure pay-check and corporate job behind. That’s when I started to focus on writing my book, building a career helping and inspiring woman to fall in love with themselves.
How much time and effort did you dedicate to pursuing your dream? I would say 3 years to be able to say: I only do what I love to create money.
What are the challenges in your line of work? I would say there are a few, when you are doing your “great work”, the work you love to do, it’s all-consuming. I love it so much that I’ve never worked more. I’ve never worked harder because there’s no difference between my personal life and my professional life. In corporate America, it was easy to say, “Hey, I’m going to take my 2 week vacation” because I had very specific boundaries. With my “great work”, it takes discipline to remember to have fun and to make sure that (I work with my partner) our sole relationship doesn’t become about my passion.
What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson? This goes back to when I first met my “inner mean girl” – her name is mean Patty; she is my comparison queen. I never really knew I had a mean girl until I became an entrepreneur. In corporate America I was so successful that I could just blame it on somebody else, so she never really came out. I was very secure and had a lot of self-esteem, so my confidence was really high. When I came out on my own, building a career in a more public way, my inner mean girl (inner critic) went bananas on me. It really came about when I got my first book contract for: Choosing Me Before We – it was a big deal. It was a fact my comparison queen was not happy about. I bought a dress and had a party and in 3 weeks, my inner mean girl was saying “ you’re screwed, you don’t have the money for a publicist, you don’t have the money for a website, you’re basically screwed.” It created a lot of anxiety and spin inside of me. I allowed my inner mean girl to tell me that I didn’t have exactly what I needed, to do what it was I was being asked to do. She made me believe if I just had the right information, or had the right website; if I had hired the right publicist everything would be all right. My inner mean girl made me believe that I needed to work so hard to make this book successful, versus learning to trust what I call my feminine super powers, which now I rule my life by.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? When I got married, I received an entire book of advice. No kidding, my mother solicited it and then made a whole book out of it. Truth was I had to throw a lot of it away. But one thing really stuck, that I’ve used not only to keep my 6 year marriage growing and thriving, but also in my relationship to myself, my friends, and to my work. Here it is…“When it gets hard, go deeper.”
In your mind, is formal training essential? The way I think about it is on 4 levels. The physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional – and you have to have training in all of those! A lot of the time we only think about the intellectual and half about the physical. This is the reason why we don’t do our “great work” because we are only investing there. Some of us do a half investment in the physical world – buy running shoes, join a gym, but we’re not really investing in the true physical piece which is about putting good food in our bodies, massage, bodywork and really understanding our energy and our vibrancy, which is just as important as going to the gym.
Then there is the emotional and spiritual piece, which people have a really hard time investing in. I will tell you I have spent more money there than anywhere else. I have done 3 yearlong programs, which were about emotional and spiritual development and breakthroughs and I have had therapist and mentors and done some pretty amazing retreats. That investment there, has given me ten-fold; a hundred-fold more than anywhere else and that is where my success came from. Now what I teach focuses on those areas. Until those areas are strong, nothing will shift to where you want it.
Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? It’s critical; I don’t think that you can reach or take quantum leaps without being mentored by people that have already made that leap. I like to work with people as mentors who are ten or fifty steps ahead of me. My mentor right now is a 6-times best selling New York Times author; she’s one of fewest females who have been invited on mostly male stages. I’ve also had spiritual mentors who have a level connection to the divine and a level of humility that’s based on trust and faith and they have taught me how to build my faith muscles. I think if you are a person who wants a mentor, you have to be clear why you want a mentor? Is it the spiritual? Is it the emotional, the physical; is it the knowledge? I call them my wings of support.
What are some steps those starting out can take to start/further their career?
1. Get a big piece of paper and draw a picture of you in the present moment and describe where you are at and talk about all the things that are true in your life in this moment. Then go to the right side of the paper and write down 3 years from today and draw a picture of yourself. Write down who it is you want to be, what it is you want to be doing, what it is you want to be giving and what it is you want to be receiving. Then you are going to reverse engineer a bridge (from where you are to where you want to be) by drawing the step before, then the step before that and so on, and you are going to have 4 poles between where you are and where you are going.
2. Give up comparison right now! To compare yourself to anybody else is actually insane. Give up comparison and trade it in for inspiration and appreciation.
3. You have to have a circle of support around you. You cannot do it alone, it’s exhausting to do it alone. Either get into a mastermind group of people who want to create similar things to you or a yearlong program. You have to have support form mentors and peers.
What kept you going when you weren’t at your best? My connection to god, my connection to the universe and my connection to the people I serve. I often ask, “Show me who to serve.” My mission is that we live in a planet where every boy and girl who is born is in love with themselves and stays in love with themselves.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? I do not believe in luck. I do believe in synchronicity and I do believe in destiny and I do believe in timing. I think luck is much more about people’s capacity to being open to receive the magic, which the universe wants to deliver to you. You can call people lucky, but I would say its people that are open to good fortune.