"The most profound healing happens when we create a therapeutic environment for the mind, body and mother-lovin’ soul."
These are the new words you’ll read when you visit my “About” page at my website…and it’s only taken me two years to figure them out.
Two years seems like a long time to dedicate to something that seems so simple, but it was really important to me that I figure out what the hell it is that I’m here to do. And not just with my business, but with my life. I wanted to taste the sweet nectar of this thing folks are calling, authenticity.
In today’s post we’re going to discuss a bit about the process of coming into a life that is in alignment with our true self. Define what the fuck that even means. And practice the first steps towards getting there. And, at the very end, I’m gonna share a few changes here at CMC.
Welcome to the blogcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, Licensed Massage Therapist and curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online resource that offers goods and services that help create a growth mindset, deepen self awareness, and bring intention into daily living.
If you’d like to know more about all that I have to offer you can visit me crystalmclaincreative.com. And if you enjoy the content I’m creating and would like to support my work, you can join the The Dream Team over at Patreon and score some sweet perks to help you create therapeutic environments within the mind, body, and home. Memberships start at just $5/month.
Hello my friend, I hope you’re doing well, and if you’re not then I hope you find this episode inspiring. AND, if you’d like to read along while you listen, I offer that feature at my website: crystalmclaincreative.com. You can find a direct link to this episode in the show notes below. And, if you want to make sure you never miss an episode, you can either sign up for my newsletter, or subscribe to my podcast wherever you like to listen most. I’ll leave some handy links for you below in the show notes.
Alright, let's get to it.
So, I think we should start by figuring out what the authentic self actually is.
Your authentic self, or higher self, is the you before you were programmed with all sorts of bullshit from your either you family, a partner, or society, whatever. It’s the you that has a strong sense of what you stand for. You know what’s important to you, and your thoughts and actions align with your core values.
Now, I have spent a decent amount of time working with coaches, spiritual guides, listening to podcasts, and reading all the books. And they all put an emphasis on getting REALLY, really clear about your purpose or your intentions in order to find your authenticity. And every time I gave thought to any of this I would get really overwhelmed.
Because, on one hand, I didn’t know what the fuck I wanted. I didn’t know what my intentions were. I didn’t know what my purpose was. And, yet, on the other hand, I wanted all the things.
And the space between these two places was honestly paralyzing and discouraging.
I just wanted to know what it was I supposed to be doing that would magically make me feel like I was living an authentic and fulfilling life. But the more I thought about it, the further away it felt.
And that, my friend, ended up my problem. I was thinking too much.
I got stuck in a cerebral space. And needed to shift from thinking and move into feeling, and doing.
So, what do I mean about feeling?
Well, humans have a tendency to tune out their feelings. And for perfectly good reasons, because honestly, a lot of times our feelings suck. So we like to engage in activities that distract us from them, or numb them, or, the worst, stifle them with toxic positivity.
But the truth is, we can learn a lot from our feelings. They’re a really good indicator for figuring out what’s good for us, what’s meant for us, and what’s important to us. And allowing yourself to feel the shitty feelings, and making some sense of why they’re there in the first place, will help you figure out what you need to change in your life so it aligns with your purpose.
And, more importantly, when we allow ourselves to experience and express our feelings, that creates a safe internal environment for your ego. A lot of times the reason WHY we started suppressing our feelings in the first place, is because we didn’t have a safe space to communicate them. So we learned that our feelings were bad. But they’re not, and neither are you.
Okay. Let’s talk about DOING.
You are so damn busy trying to just stay afloat in this fucked up world, that it’s VERY enticing to just call it a day and stare at your screen until it’s time for bed.
Can I just say, I’m vibing with this so hard.
We. Are. Exhausted. And any extra effort invested in anything more than survival at this point seems daunting, if not impossible.
The idea that I was going embark on an expedition to discover my higher self seemed so fucking intimidating, that it kept me from taking action.
Discovering my purpose, living authentically, having a fulfilling life, that was Mount-Fucking-Everest. And I certainly did not believe that I had the right tools, let alone the stamina, to make the climb.
But, at the risk of sounding cheesy, every journey starts with a single step and one day I found myself ready to step out of my brain cave, and into my body and finally fucking DO something.
Now, I’ll be honest, historically, I’m an overachiever, so in the beginning I kinda burnt myself out. I was trying to do way too many things, all day, every day, to manifest this shit. And, truth be told, the whole process felt absurd. I felt like I was pretending to be someone else. The whole quest for authenticity, actually made me feel inauthentic.
So, I dialed it waaaaay back. Instead of trying to fast-track my way to dreamland, and hustling my way to my higher self (my god, do you even hear how ridiculous this is?), I decided to dedicate about five minutes, once a day, to my practice.
And wouldn’t you know, little by little, day by day, my tiny efforts actually began to make significant shifts in the way I saw the world and the role I play in it. I started to redefine my priorities. I started setting firmer boundaries. I started to carve out more time just for me. I put less pressure on myself, and consequently felt more more relaxed about things. I felt less compelled to escape my reality, and instead, began to embrace it like an old friend.
And for the first time in my life, my life started to feel like MINE.
Now, this didn’t mean that my problems went away. Our problems will always be here. That’s just how life goes. But I found the strength to deal with them and advocate for my needs. And that was pretty bad ass.
Awesome. So, what so what did I actually do?
Honestly, I’ve always admired the rituals of different spiritual affiliations. The candles, the incense, the water, the oils, flowers…It seems like most religions and spiritual groups have some form of ceremony where they use pretty things to do their…well, whatever it is that they do.
Personally, I’m not religious, and I don’t fully resonate with any one specific spiritual or philosophical group. I think there’s a lot of merit and cool shit happening in most of them. But for me? I’m just a human organism with consciousness, and have a strong compulsion to make a connection with the science and magic of the universe.
Feel free to call it what you want.
Anyway, because I enjoy things that please my sensory organs I decided to buy myself a couple of crystals, and to dig out the literature from an aromatherapy course I’d taken years and years ago.
Because I’m a nerd and a recovering perfectionist, I did extensive research to figure out just the right tools to use. I wanted to know the purpose of each crystal and the benefits of each oil. Anyway, I’d put out my pretty little rock, grab my oil, and think about their functions.
Then I imagined that their properties were benefiting me in some way. Much like how I would imagine Advil would relieve my headache, I’d hold a crystal in my hand and release my fears into it. I’d apply a bit of oil to my chest and let it fill my heart with love.
Crystals and oils turned to candles and herbs, and here we are, using tools that connect my conscious, thinking brain to the physical world in order to manifest a life I’m currently obsessed with.
I’ve been translating my thoughts and feelings into something tangible. I’m attaching the shit that’s been beating around in my head to something I can see, smell, and feel.
There’s something profoundly effective about engaging your body and your senses while processing your thoughts and your feelings.
And I’m not saying that the only way to start living an authentic life is to start using crystals ’n shit. That’s what worked for me. There’s actually lots of ways to connect your consciousness with the physical world. Like, journaling, dancing, hiking, painting, gardening, anything really.
It’s about the intention you put into it that makes the magic happen.
ANYWAY, it was the act of DOING that really shifted my life.
And that, my friend, is what we’re going to do. Together we are going to take steps towards creating a life that feels juicy and satisfying. And don’t worry, you won’t need any fancy tools to do it.
But first, real quick, let’s talk about clarity.
So, earlier I mentioned that it’s really important to get really clear about our intentions and our purpose.
And while this is absolutely true, you must understand, this is a PROCESS. Life is kind of like walking through fog most of the time, it’s not always easy to see what’s around you, but as you get closer to the things that are meant for you, you can start to distinguish forms, and eventually see more clearly.
And this process, YOU CANNOT FORCE IT. You cannot rush it. And you cannot hold expectations of it.
If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that what I thought I wanted and needed isn’t always what I actually want and need at all.
Anyway, don’t worry about knowing what your purpose is. That will come later.
Alright, let’s do this…
Go grab some paper and a pen. Yes, actual paper and pen, or pencil, or crayon, it doesn’t matter. Just do not use your phone, your tablet, or your computer. There’s something about physically writing, pen to paper that activates the right side of the brain where your creativity and problem solving live. And it’s from this place that you’re going to start sorting out this authentic life thing.
And I’m serious, don’t just listen to or read this post. Go and get something to write with. Unless you’re operating heavy machinery or you’re in the bathtub, then come back and do this later.
We can’t just keep THINKING about things, we have to start doing them.
Okay, got your pen and paper? Good.
Before we do ANYTHING, let’s take a minute to check in with the brain and the body.
What’s swimming around in your head right now? What sensations are you feeling in your body? Try not to judge them, just notice them. Call them by their name.
Next, take a few slow, deep breaths…
And when you’re ready, grab your paper and begin by making three columns. At the top of the first column write MIND. In the second column write BODY. And in the third write SOUL, SPIRIT, HEART, or whatever word you wanna use to label the bits of you that are more abstract than your brain and body.
Ok, in the MIND column, write down all of the feelings you want to experience in your head. If you need help coming up with just the write words, I have a FREE digital download at my website that is a big-ass list of physical and emotional feelings. It’s called the FEELINGS IDENTIFIER, and you can find it at my shop online in the digital downloads section (I’ll also leave a link for you in the show notes).
But yeah, take a few minutes to write down all the ways you want to be feeling in your head.
When you’re done with the MIND column, move to the BODY. When we’re anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, angry, hurt, frustrated, whatever, these emotional feelings create actually physical sensations throughout our body. The same goes for all the good feelings, too. Take a few minutes to write down how you want your body to physically feel. How do these sensations present themselves?
And when you’re done with that one, move to the SOUL column (or whatever you’ve decided to call it). How do you want THAT to feel? How do you want the mind and body to affect your zesty-spirit bits?
When you’re done with this project, congratulate yourself for taking action towards creating a life that’s gonna feel super juicy.
I’m serious. Congratulate yourself. You just DID something. You were proactive. You just got your problem solving brain involved, and you used your body to manifest your consciousness.
AND THIS IS HOW IT ALL WORKS.
The more time we invest in figuring out how we want to physically and emotionally feel, and connecting our consciousness with the physical world, the closer we come to actualizing our truth. The more authentically we grow. And the more aligned we become.
Alright, do not throw away the work you just did. Keep it tucked away somewhere so you can go back and remind yourself of these feelings. And feel free to update it whenever you want.
Okay. I would like to take this time to share a few changes here at CMC.
So, I’ve been practicing multiple forms of body work as a massage therapist since 2009. And it’s REALLY important to me that the overall experience of my practice translates to my work with Crystal McLain Creative. And after a couple of years of some deep soul searching and, honestly, trial and error, I’ve come to this astounding clarity.
It’s all about the environment.
It doesn’t seem to matter what modality I use during a massage, people always seem to leave the table feeling more relaxed, grounded, and unrestricted. And I believe a large part of that is the space I provide for my clients. It’s welcoming, nurturing, and without judgement. The sole intention is placed on their wellbeing. It’s designed to calm the mind and support the nervous system. It’s a physical place for their body to take priority over the digital world.
At Crystal McLain Creative it’s my mission to offer supportive tools and resources so folks can curate their own healing environments within their mind, body and home.
So while I’ll always love my whole “Self Care Independence” equation that got this whole thing started two years ago, I believe my true calling is creating and inspiring therapeutic spaces. ….at least for now…ha!
So, here’s what you can expect from CMC:
1. THE BLOGCAST
Here we are, at the blogcast, Unlocking Wellness. We’re gonna dive into topics such as mindfulness, self awareness, intentional living, and general wellness. And I want to help you (and hold myself accountable) in creating internal and external environments that support our wellbeing.
2. PRODUCTS WITH PURPOSE
I have an online shop stocked with ethically sourced, and hand-crafted items that elevate your living space, as well as reconnect your mind, body and soul. Remember how I mentioned the importance of connecting consciousness with the physical world? Yeah, that’s the point of my products.
And because I’m leading from my authentic place, I offer all the things that I find helpful, such as my very own meditation candles, and aromatherapy body oils, which I’m in the process of creating guided meditations to pair with. I also stock responsibly sourced crystals and tools for smoke rituals such as incense, palo santo, cedar and lavender.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
I have a couple of great communities growing over at Instagram and TikTok. And each one offers a glimpse into my daily life, and showcases how I’m personally creating therapeutic spaces for the mind, body and soul to thrive in.
4. THE DREAM TEAM
Speaking of community, The Dream Team is a group of regular folks, just like you and me, who are bumbling around this world trying to live our best lives.
And we're working together to ensure that this happens.
Fundamentally, The Dream Team is made of members who've subscribed to my Patreon account. Patreon is a membership platform that connects content creators (such as myself) with fans and supporters (perhaps, such as yourself). It's a financial tool that supports creators by giving them a predictable income as they continue to create content.
If you are indeed someone who finds value in my content, and would like to support my work, I offer some perks in return.
As a member of the Dream Team you'll receive:
- My digital mindfulness guides for FREE
- Direct Blogcast updates with MEMBER-ONLY CONTENT
- A discount code to my shop (FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP)
- Personal check-ins
- Random acts of kindness
- And my undying gratitude
Memberships start at just $5!
5. THE NEWSLETTER
Alright, and real quick, I just want to share a little bit more about myself.
I LOVE science, philosophy, and the woo, and I'm an artist at heart, so you can expect a hearty dose of beautiful, magical, nerdiness.
I'm a relentless optimist who loves to laugh, and I swear like a friggin' pirate.
I believe BIPOC lives matter. I believe LGBTQ+ lives matter. I believe disabled lives matter. I love and welcome you, no matter your size, shape, color, orientation or abilities.
I'm not a mother in the traditional sense, but have strong mother energy and I'm here to offer a safe and inspiring space for all.
Alright, my friend. I hope you found today’s post inspiring.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I'll see you soon!