Books that changed my life: Wise Talk from the Other Side

In Wise Talk from the Other Side, author Heather Criswell shares the wisdom she has learned from some of the most gut wrenching times in her life. In just 10 years, she had lost her entire family and had more miscarriages that any woman's heart should ever have to endure. 

She takes you on a journey through her life one family member at a time and shares stories from when they were here with us on earth and the wisdom they are teaching her from the "other side". 

This book was important for my own journey because it opened my eyes to the possibility of finding wisdom from my own tragic experiences, and my hope is that after reading this book, you will be able to find wisdom too. 

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Here's a little nugget I've learned over the past two years...

I've struggled my whole life with self-worth and it presents itself in my life as an intense rage.

Rage for who I am and what I see when I look in the mirror and rage as I replay in my head all the ways I fail at being the person I so badly wish I was. Rage for the things I have been through and the injustices that no one would validate. 

For decades I played the victim. Someone would do something "to" me and it would crush me. Something was "unfair" and I couldn't process it. I never once took accountability for anything that had happened over those 29 years of my life and as an adult the thought of pulling wisdom from my experiences never even crossed my mind. How could there possibly be wisdom in anything I had been through? 

I discovered Heather's book early on in my journey of self-understanding on a Zen Parenting Radio podcast and that on podcast would for ever change me in more ways than I could describe in one summarize however, if someone like Heather could find wisdom in the dark moments, then maybe I could to.

Maybe these new self-awareness mentors of mine were right...maybe life doesn't happen "to" us, but "for" us. That simple phrase keeps me going even today as I still navigate through thoughts of worthlessness and anger. 

The human spirit is resilient and we are strong. Finding women in our lives who exemplify that strength and grace is extremely powerful. Finding women who are living their lives in such a way that inspires me to my core has been life changing.

Someone once said that who we are is direct reflection of the five people we spend the most time with, and I choose a few of those five to be complete strangers. 

Recently I have found myself slipping back into my old ways. Rage pops in when I least expect it and my confidence is wavering. As I sit here sipping on my coffee thinking back on this last week, I know exactly why I am angry. I know exactly where my feelings of worthlessness are coming from. I won't go into all the details, but I will tell you that it is my own fault. I have exposed myself this past week in new ways and I have let other people decide my worth. I have slipped back into my old patterns and I have had a burning need for others to validate what I am doing with my life. I have given away my power.

This time though, I am smarter. This time, I am wise enough to remember Heather's words and I am able to remind myself that life is happening FOR me. 

Heather talks about signs in her book...signs from the universe that we are on the right track...that people are with us...signs, that we are enough. We just have to be quiet enough and open to hearing the messages. 

This week I reached out to someone asking for help with a new idea I have. They told me "no" and it crushed me. Tears came...wallowing came...and I just wanted to give up. I asked the universe to send me a podcast with wisdom. I need help getting through this. I needed to know what I should do. "Should I just give up?", I asked. 

I searched through podcasts trying to find answers and was coming up short. The answers just weren't there. "Maybe the lack of an answer is my answer", I thought. It was the 9th of February. 

The night of the 10th, I was doing dishes while the kids were upstairs getting a bath with Joe. Bored, I remembered that an audio book I had pre-ordered a week ago just got released. It was called "Girl, Wash Your Face", by Rachel Hollis. Rachel did a training in my Inner Circle group a week earlier and mentioned her book coming out right at the end. Prior to this training, I had no idea who this girl was or what her book was about but she mentioned how important pre-order sales were and I wanted to support her. 

As I sat there doing dishes enjoying her stories, not thinking much about the book at all or about how it could potentially impact me, I heard her say, "The only reason I made it and others didn't is simple...its because when they went after their dreams and came up against a road block, when they experienced rejection or when someone or something told them no, they listened."

I stopped in my tracks. Here was my sign. 

Not everyone believes in the universe or God sending them signs, but my gut tells me that they are just too darn stubborn to notice. I would run out of fingers and toes if I tried to count all signs that someone from the other side has been sending me, and I can't even begin to imagine how many I missed because I too was too stubborn and too busy to notice. There was a time when I was skeptical, but life couldn't possibly just be full of this many coincidences. So, two years later...I believe. I believe with every fiber of my being, and I believe that Rachel's book was placed into my life at the perfect time. 

Heather gave me the gift of signs. She was able to help me see the wisdom in the dark and she was able to help me ask for help from the unknown sources when I am feeling lost and unsure. I am so grateful that she was not only brave enough to keep going every time tragedy struck, but also that she was willing to share her stories with the world so that we too can look for the wisdom in our own lives. 

This week may have knocked me down in a few ways, but here I sit confident in the message and confident in my "why". It took me longer than I thought to shake this week off. You think as you get further in your journey that you are untouchable, but it is just not true. I say it all the time that I will forever be on this journey and I realize after this week how true that really is. 

So, here's to "no's"'s to moving forward, and here's to owning my life and the role I play.