It has been exactly 14 years since my wellness world blew wide open, and my life took a MASSIVE turn for the better.
I’m probably the healthiest, most grounded, and confident I’ve ever been. And because of these new personal traits, I might actually be the happiest I’ve ever been, DESPITE the world being (correction: our country *feeling like*) a total dumpster fire.
In today’s post, I’m going to share the reasons WHY my life feels so flippin’ good, and maybe end up inspiring you to make your life feel good, too.
Welcome to the blogcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online resource that supports folks who are ready to get creative with the care of their mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul.
If you enjoy this content, and would like a more personal experience, you can visit me at crystalmclaincreative.com.
Alright. Let's get to it.
So, my entire life I’ve witnessed the crushing effects that pain and trauma and illness and isolation can have on people. I’ve also lived through some of these things myself. Life can hand out some pretty big blows, and if we don’t have healthy coping skills, or understand how to take good care of ourselves, it’s easy to get stuck in trauma-response patterns.
We engage in in things like negative self-talk, or self-destructive behaviors. We feel helpless, hopeless, angry, anxious, depressed. These psychological tendencies can turn into physical pain or dysfunction. And the cycle continues.
It’s exhausting and toxic to live like this, and this is how I used to live my life.
But 14 years ago I decided to go to school to become a massage therapist. It was a job where I could be my own boss, make my own hours, and make enough money to pay my rent.
I went into the gig, thinking I was going to be manipulating soft tissues and helping folks with their achey hips and shoulders. And that certainly is part of what I do. But what I didn’t expect to be doing was facilitating in some pretty profound healing. Healing that went well beyond tight muscles and joint pain.
People were healing emotionally, mentally and physically. And it was just naturally happening, and not because of any specific thing that I did.
All I did was offer a safe space. I listened to my clients while they talked about their pain. I asked them questions so we could understand that pain a little better. And then I cared for them in the best ways I knew how.
But there was something about the experience of showing up, letting go, being heard, and receiving compassionate care that was SO therapeutic.
So, I had to learn more.
I started devouring all the information I could about the brain and body. I started learning about things like neuroplasticity, hormones, different types of body work, mindfulness techniques, nutrition, everything.
And the more I learned, the more compelled I was to take better care of myself. And the more I cared for myself, the better I was at taking care of others.
It was the most brilliant revelation, self care isn’t selfish.
So, I was about a year or two into my practice when I knew that I needed to share all of this with a larger audience in some way.
I knew I wanted to be the Mr. Rogers of self care (well, maybe a little edgier than Mr. Rogers, but definitely the same level of compassion).
I wanted to promote self advocacy, self respect, self love. I wanted to shout about the importance of self awareness. I wanted to share all sorts of wellness tips, and explain WHY they work. I wanted to empower people with the basic understanding of how their brain and bodies work. I wanted to show everyone that self care is so much more than spa treatments and bubble baths…but I didn’t really know how to go about doing that.
When COVID came to town, I took this as my sign to finally answer my calling, and take my mission seriously.
I’ve fumbled around for the past two and a half years with learning all the nuts and bolts of building a website, graphic design, how to make posts, reels, stories, starting a newsletter, a podcast, a blog. I’ve worked with multiple coaches, taken lots of classes, and now I’ve finally arrived to a place where I can start sharing all this delicious self care stuff.
So, after this post, that’s exactly what I’m doing. And this is how I’m doing it…
So, my website Crystal McLain Creative, or, CMC, is an online resource that SUPPORTS creative self care. It helps folks who want to start making themselves a priority, and become curious, proactive advocates for their wellness, and make practical, educated, and - omg - authentic choices for their health and wellbeing.
And, at CMC, I’m offering that support in four ways…
The more you understand something, the better able you are to take care of it.
So, let me ask you, much do you actually know about…YOU?
I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t understand the inner workings of being a human. Unfortunate, but true.
At CMC, it’s my mission to empower folks with the knowledge and skills to understand WHO they are, WHAT they are, and HOW they function, so they can identify their self care needs more easily.
Through resources like this blog and podcast, Unlocking Wellness, I offer entertaining nuggets of information that strengthen the mindset, deepen self awareness, and helps you make sense of that meat-suit you’re living in.
You know, it's hard to get creative with your self care when you keep doing the same old things, day after day.
So, it’s my goal to get you excited (or at least curious) about caring for yourself, by putting new spins on old tricks, and exploring alternative ways of approaching wellness.
At CMC, I offer something called The Inspiration Station, where I’m building an ever-growing catalog of different guides, tutorials, and routines so you can experiment with finding practices that actually work for you.
It's one thing to sit here and THINK about self care, but it's another to actually put it into practice.
A lot of times we end up just thinking about our wellness goals because deep in our subconscious, we’re either afraid of the commitment, we're afraid of failure, being judged, or that it’s just going to be too hard. And that’s why we so rarely turn our thoughts into actions.
But did you know that you are about 65% more likely to meet a goal if you’ve committed that goal to another person?
65%! Pretty awesome, right?
But check THIS out…That bumps up to about 95% when you build an ongoing relationship, and check in with regularity.
It’s no doubt that people THRIVE when they feel validated and cared for. And it’s WAY easier to feel motivated when we’ve got folks cheering us on.
That’s why, at CMC, I host something called The Dream Team.
The Dream Team is an online support group for folks who are ready to explore the whacky world of wellness and prioritize their health an wellbeing.
Together, The Dream Team and I are showing up unfiltered and imperfect, and encouraging one another while we figure out the best ways to care for ourselves, because strength and success happens when we feel supported.
But you don't have to take my word for it...
According to the Mayo Clinic there are some pretty epic benefits to joining a support group. Benefits like:
Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
- Reducing stress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
- Being able to talk openly and honestly about your feelings
- Improving your skills to cope with challenges
- Staying motivated so you can successfully achieve your goals
- Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope
Support is powerful stuff.
I believe everyone deserves to be healthy, empowered, and live a fulfilling life.
I also believe that everyone deserves to have a safe space where they can talk about their health, wellness and personal goals.
But I do NOT believe something like financial status should get in the way of having these things. That’s why I offer a sliding scale for my memberships through Patreon, starting at just $3 a month.
Yup, three bucks.
I know what’s it’s like to be flat-ass broke, and in need of guidance and support so I could start truly loving myself, and make my wellness a priority. I’ve been lucky enough to have had people who were there for me along my journey, and now I want to be there as a part of yours.
So, let’s talk about what you get with a Patreon membership…
- For starters, you get bonus content.
While, my blog and podcast are free to the public, I almost always add member-only content, so you can dive even deeper into self-empowering topics.
I also share my personal experiences so you can see how they relate to a real person’s life.
- The second thing that comes with a membership is ALL the inspiration.
The Inspiration Station at my website offers LIMITED free access to those guides, tutorials, and routines, but, with a membership, folks get to explore ALL of my content in a conveniently organized, downloadable app.
- The third membership benefit is easy access to real people.
The way The Dream Team and I communicate with one another is through my private Facebook group. I check in, almost daily, and post helpful tidbits that help keep you on track of prioritizing yourself.
But it’s not just me posting stuff for you.
Members are always encouraged to start up their own conversations, so they can share their stories and bounce around ideas with one another, because diversity fuels creativity.
- And the fourth, and final membership perk is, a good time.
What’s the point of self care if you can’t make it fun!?
We’re not just feelings and education over here, we’re also folks who like to enjoy ourselves. That’s why the Dream Team and I are doing some pretty fun things like building member-curated music playlists, book recommendations and recipes. We also occasionally throw a live Zoom party, where we check in digitally face-to-face. So. Fun.
Anyway, self care; it’s my jam. I'm all about it.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
And I’ll see you soon.