Hi I’m Chris. I’m the creator of Resilience.
Resilience is a lot of things, it’s a movement, it’s a community. But it’s also a really meaningful word, it’s my favorite word, actually. Resilience is the ability to bounce back, to pick yourself up, out of whatever stuff you been dealt.
The symbolism of the worm in my logo here is about healing. Worms have this incredible regenerative property so that when facing drama like being cut in half, they regenerate and become more than they were previously. And that’s exactly like us humans.
When we go through tough dark shit, we can face it and grow from it and be better than ever. The key to unlocking this power that we all have inside us is by facing whatever belief that limits us head on, live in our highest truth, and use the problem as the portal. Let me explain.
So there’s this ancient shaman circle of healing called the Medicine Wheel. Shamanism is really cool stuff and its teachings helped me a lot when I was reprogramming myself. So the wheel is basically like an onion there are many layers to healing yourself from traumas and in order to do this healing, we need to face our demons. If we don’t face the uncomfortable, the scary, Then the situations that we find ourselves in will just keep circling back in different ways until we decide to face them.
Some of us don’t want to face what comes up when we start to dive into ourselves because it is uncomfortable and messy and scary, and it is easier to sweep it all under a rug and say we are OK, because somewhere along the line in society it was ingrained in us that masking our feelings is being strong and tough and that is what we need to be like to be successful and happy. On that shaman wheel I was talking about this is considered spiritual bypass.
If we bypass the problem it may feel good because we are in a pretend space that everything is all better and good, but we will continue to see the effects of the trauma over and over again in all of our actions and self-beliefs until it becomes so blaringly obvious that we need to face it.
The universe will always give you signs to go in the right direction, and if we choose not to listen, the signs will get louder. That’s called intuition and it is an extremely important tool. Instead of running away from the problem or pretending the problem doesn’t exist, we can use the problem as the portal to project our self into our highest truth, so that we can live our best lives.
When I was younger, I always enjoyed stories. I read a lot of books, epic adventures, fantasies, Science fiction. I love comic books and stories about heroes and overcoming obstacles. When I was in third grade, we had to write in our journals every day after recess for 15 minutes. I started a story called Bob in the Cave on the first day writing in my journal, and wrote a new page of that story every time I wrote and ended up with a whole epic adventure in written form by the end of the year.
Then over my time in school I would draw comic books and come up with all my own characters and back stories. I just love to create my own universe and express my creativity through illustrations and words. Somewhere along the line life got tough and I lost touch with my creativity.
My parents moved us to a different town when I was in middle school and I had a lot of trouble making new friends. At the time, I blamed the new town and new school and I didn’t allow myself to make friends because of the door I was closing by telling myself that I wasn’t going to have friends because it was a new town and all my friends were in the old town.
“What if” happens a lot in my brain, and I know this to be true for a lot of us. What if I can’t get into this college? What if I can’t make friends? What if everyone makes fun of me? These types of what if‘s close off what could be endless possibilities. What if things work out? What if I dress how I want and people except me? What if I can be me and be loved by others? These what if‘s sound a lot better to me. If we don’t even allow ourselves to have the possibility favor us, then we cannot reach what we desire. If we are living in our highest truth, we will attract all the things that we want. If you are scared to apply for the job because you are scared to face rejection, then of course you are never going to get the job if you don’t even apply. If we honor how we feel, and face it with vulnerability, our intuition will always guide us in the direction of our best interest. being vulnerable is not weak, it is courageous.
When I first started Resilience, I had no idea what I was doing. I had lost touch with my artistic side after being in the army for six years. I went through a really dark time in my life when I returned from overseas. I had been away for a year and life just didn’t feel the same anymore. I was in a very toxic relationship because both of us were in very different places and needed very different things.
I had placed my importance and purpose into someone else’s hands, unknowingly because of my deployment. The time away was hard, not just because of the war that I was in the middle of, but because I had a lot of downtime where I envisioned my life a certain way and when I came home and it fell apart, I also fell apart because I had a victim mentality. I felt like I was robbed of what I visualized for a year while I was away. Because of my anger, I only saw what was happening from my own negative perspective. I hated her, I hated me. I drank a lot and abused substances and put myself in dangerous predicament because she didn’t care about me so why should I. I am not worthy, and my life is over. That’s how I felt at the time and I really believed it.
Because of that strong belief that I was a victim, and I was not worthy of love, I manifested more of the same negativity into my life. Because I ignored the problem by partying, I created more toxic relationships that ended In the same not pretty way. The universe was basically screaming at me to face my demons instead of ignoring them. If you continue to ignore yourself by giving yourself more problems or someone else’s problems, then you will continue to manifest the same types of relationships and feel the same way about yourself.
For a while I didn’t listen to the signs, I held a lot of hatred inside. The hate was a mask to hide my hurt and to make me feel better because it couldn’t be me that was doing this to myself it had to be them. This manifested into extreme depression, sometimes I wouldn’t leave my bedroom for days. I thought about killing myself countless times. It was also the time that I was transitioning out of the army and I further felt that loss of purpose. What was I supposed to do with my life? I am no longer serving in the military, nobody loves me, I am in capable and not worthy.
At this point during my low, I reached out to the VA and got meds to try and help me. Medicine can be great and when I got on the right one for me and diligently took it, it served the intended purpose and helped me along the way. But when I just half ass showed up to the VA and took medicine and expected all the work to be done for me, I got nothing out of it except frustration. Why am I not getting better? I must really be a loser, and this is the life I deserve. These limiting believes were my truth. It wasn’t until I experienced another end to another toxic relationship all too similar to the other one that propelled me into changing my life around.
So, I transitioned out of the army and naturally I thought the best job for me to get was a truck driving job since that is what I did in the army. It was an easy transition to getting my CDL and I got an over the road truck driving job pretty easily. After only five-ish months of doing that job, I had a massive panic attack in the middle of nowhere and told my partner driver I needed to get out. I had to walk pretty far because there was no Uber or taxi that service that area and this walk was very reflective for me. I needed to focus on my personal mental health. I was eventually picked up by another truck driver who helped me into town where I took a train back home.
The next following weeks I began to pick back up art which I lost touch with so long ago. Mainly because my insomnia was keeping me awake and I wanted to do something free of electronics to help me get back to bed. During this time, I designed a t-shirt, went to Walmart to get the iron on stuff and did it that night in the middle of the night. I then thought, “hey what if I made lots of shirts and sold them and did something with that money to help people like me?”
There have been a lot of obstacles since that decision. But when I reunited with my creativity it set me on a path that would eventually reprogram my perspectives in life. I met so many wonderful people during the first year I sold my clothes that were helpful to me and like mentors. I invested in myself and the universe handed me these people as gifts. I learned so much about myself and the world. I was given a new sight. One of gratitude.
There have been plenty of bumps even mountains along the way. The learning curve was high both in the creation of my work and in my own search for new perspectives. But all the while I held my ground and didn’t give up. I believed in my own Resilience. When bad things happen to me, instead of thinking why is this happening to me? I thought what is this teaching me? When I made that switch, everything changed. I am grateful now to have the ability to grow from these lessons of the universe. I used the problem as the portal. I am no longer a victim. So what if it’s not perfect, so what if it’s messy, I just took action and I believed in myself. Sure, I doubt myself sometimes, I am human. But in this human existence we can allow ourselves to be imperfect yet still know that we are capable of whatever it is we desire.
So let’s share this idea of perfectly imperfect. Let’s tell each other and ourselves we are capable. That we are enough. That we can create miracles because we are a miracle. The power inside us is already there, we are literally millions of fast moving particles of energy floating together in existence, we can direct that energy and create anything. We can feel any way and we can be in control.
Let’s create a community that lift each other up and sits with each other when we are not up for that. Knowing you are not alone is so important and if we share our stories with each other we find that we can all relate in so many ways.
Every month I host a get together call the Gathering of the Rain-Dwellers. We call each other Rain-Dwellers because we have endured the storm in our minds and now help each other seek shelter. We are vulnerable and we are courageous. Some of us do cool things for self-care such as yoga, tarot, journaling, reiki energy healing, playing music, creating art, you name it. At these gatherings we educate each other on these things so that maybe if we like it, we can do those things in our own practice. When we take care of ourselves mentally, our intuition becomes stronger and we are more receptive to what we need in life and how to attract it. We can cultivate our own medicine for healing our past traumas and insecurities and we can propel ourselves forward into abundance and happiness.
I now get to do art full-time for a living and help others and most importantly myself during the process. I am in a happy and healthy relationship. And I love myself. Yes, I get depressed and anxious sometimes, but I do not own those labels.
When I owned these labels in the past, I kept them. I considered myself as a person with depression or a person with anxiety. This only allowed me to be a person with depression or a person with anxiety and therefore I felt more of these things more of the time. But just as my language changed surrounding “why is this happening to me?”, I change my language to only give myself positive self-talk. Sometimes I feel depressed is much better than I am a depressed person. Why would I want to hold on to a label like that when it does not serve me? It is perfectly OK to feel all of my feelings and honor them. If I feel happy, I allow myself to feel happy. If I feel sad, I allow myself to feel sad. But I will not own what does not serve me. It seems silly that changing around how I speak can change how I think, but if I keep doors open when I speak, then I might as well also keep them open in my own head. The practice of saying it aloud helps me catch myself when I am overthinking something.
What if I am capable?
I am capable.
I know this because I am not afraid to face my demons in the eyes and speak to their name. I use their teachings to propel myself forward. I have the power inside of me of Resilience. And I believe in me,
Just as I believe in you.
I welcome you all to my Gathering of the Rain-Dwellers, every month. Come check out some cool new ways of engaging with yourself, checking in with your soul, and making friends along the way.
You’ve got this thing, you always have.