Burnout is real, keep your health a priority. I was one of those people that thought I needed to work 18 hours a day. Over time, my fuel ran out and I started experiencing health problems related to stress and one day, I had a massive panic attack that turned into stress induced shingles. Thankfully, I saw an integrative doctor and am now on a regiment of good supplements but it’s been a long road to recovery to start feeling healthy and strong again. I’d been ignoring some of the signs of stress/burnout before my body was like ‘NOPE, pay attention to me!’ It’s really important to support and nourish our bodies- after all, our ideas are no good if we aren’t well enough to work.
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Cuevas.
Christina is a divorcee on a mission to empower women to use their divorce as a life-changing experience — for the better. She believes healing properly will break old patterns and allow for transformation and a 2nd chance at happiness. She is the creator /author/host of Her Heart Heals, an online space providing resources and various healing modalities to heal from divorce.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Thanks so much for having me! Sure, I grew up in Los Angeles, Ca. My mom was a young single mom who worked very hard so in turn, I spent a lot of time at grandma’s house. My biological dad was in and out of the picture but my mom married my stepdad (whom I now call dad) when I was about 10 and they worked hard to provide a normal life for me and my siblings. I was the kid always trying to be an adult, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. I loved to create businesses and wear high heels and makeup.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite quotes is actually from my therapist. She once told me “Peace is earned” and that really stuck with me. We all work so hard to achieve goals, but we sometimes let our internal peace get away from us. It’s important to discipline ourselves to also make time to cultivate and maintain internal peace within ourselves, no matter where in the game we’re at.
How would your best friend describe you?
My best friends would definitely describe me as a go-getter with a big heart. Possibly an over-achiever to a fault.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much?
I think the top 3 things that have helped me get to this point is: 1. I never settle with a job well done. I’m always looking at what I could do better for the next time. 2. I create short term goals and long term goals and I review those often. This helps keep me focused and to celebrate the small wins when the big wins seem far away. 3. I firmly believe that the company we keep impacts our world. I like to surround myself with mentors and friends who have similar goals and life desires.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
Prior to my Second Chapter, I had a career in mortgage finance with a strong interest consulting in business & personal development. I’ve always been obsessed with personal growth and have been taught by some of the world’s top teachers such as James Ray, Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle. In turn, using that information to help people evolve.
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?
My 2nd chapter might look a little different than others. About 5 years ago, I found myself knee-deep in a nasty divorce. I searched the internet for something, anything to help me figure out what to do. I’m sure my attorney was tired of being my therapist, just as tired as I was paying the legal bills (ya feel me?)
I felt so much shame. I had so many questions. How did I get here? Where do I go from here? Who am I without this other person? How do I make it hurt less? How do I make sure this never happens again? Even though my ex was a terrible person, I still had to own the fact that I CHOSE HIM.
There was no healing roadmap for me, but all these questions would be the guiding force on the deepest and most beautiful journey of my life. I can honestly say. I’m GRATEFUL FOR MY DIVORCE. yup. I said it.
I took my background in personal development and built on that. I became certified in various healing modalities such as breathwork therapy, NLP and energy work. I carefully documented what I learned and formed what is now Her Heart Heals.
A safe space for women to “go through it” without shame and resources to lighten the load along the way. I also host a podcast called Her Heart Heals: Divorce Radio with resources on the go.
My ex-husband left me jobless and homeless. I took my rock bottom and used it in a way to where I am now thriving in life, with a solid career, a home of my own, a couple side hustles and a healed heart.
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
A big driving force was when I saw that the national divorce rate for 2nd marriages is higher than the divorce rate on 1st marriages. The divorce rate is about 45% on first marriages and a whopping 65% on second marriages. Not only was I terrified that the odds were against me re-marrying, but this made me realize that people weren’t healing properly or taking accountability for this big life change, which keeps people in a pattern.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?
In my work, I realized I was 3rd generation divorcee. My grandma, my mother and myself all shared this life event and my eyes were opened when I learned that when people experience trauma, their DNA literally changes. Generational trauma is something we don’t often pay attention to but it plays a big role in subconscious patterns. Anytime we go through trauma, our DNA changes. When we procreate, those DNA patterns are passed down genetically and that’s how we inherit traits. For example, if we have a grandparent that went through unhealed trauma, their response to that trauma and it’s triggers will impact their personality. We pick up on those patterns and mold how we carry ourselves and respond to situations. So, how much of our ancestral trauma are we carrying that’s playing a role in our present reality?
This led me to spend a lot of time figuring out what behaviors were authentically mine or if I was carrying the weight of previous generations’ trauma or even my own unhealed childhood trauma. I was able to begin to heal a lot of areas in my life that were driven by these and make a conscious effort to lead from a place that was authentically me.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Not going to lie, its been the most challenging journey because I’m rewriting old patterns and in a way, reparenting myself. There’s no handbook if the choices are making are the right ones, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to live my life by choices that I consciously make. It’s opened a lot of doors for me that I don’t know would’ve been opened had I stayed in and old mindset.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Honestly, there’s not just one person. I believe every person/situation that comes into my life is a teacher. Whenever I’m faced with a challenge, I ask myself ‘what am i supposed to learn from this?’ and I lead with that.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
When I was going through my divorce, I was extremely unsettled. I had a lot riding on the judges decision and had no clue what my future held. One night, I had this urge to go outside and stare at the stars. While looking at the sky I had this urge to ask the universe for a sign. Something to show me that I was on the right track in life. In that moment I went from feeling super alone to feeling supported as though the universe was telling me ‘I got your back.’ My intuition was activated. That little voice/feeling I was getting only came when my mental chatter was super quiet. I started dedicating more time to being in that place, more time to getting out of my head and outside- which made me feel more connected to something much bigger than me. Ever sine then, I surrendered to what life threw at me and everything started falling into place for me. I had opportunity doors open that I don’t know would’ve happened had I not started dedicating time to connecting with my intuition. So whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I know its time to get quiet.
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
Oh yea, all the time. There’s a quote that says ‘if we want something we’ve never had, we have to do things we’ve never done.’ Being someone who is always trying to improve and evolve, sometimes it’s very lonely because the only person who truly sees that vision, is me. As an empath, feelings feel heavy so I when I start to feel small, i reel it back in with the long term goals. I focus on small, daily or weekly goals. I also start incorporating more intentional self-care and getting back to feeling balanced. So hot baths walks in nature, meditation, dancing, yoga. This helps me get into a better mindset and daily flow. It’s only once I’m back ‘in flow’ that I can give my best work and give more towards those long term goals.
In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
I love this question! Having the right support system is so important especially when starting a new chapter. We are incredibly vulnerable during this time and it’s important to have people around you that are nurturers. First and foremost though, it’s important to cultivate a great relationship with yourself. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Is it the same way you would talk to your very best friend? Along with cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself, I suggest connecting with people who have either been through and overcome a similar challenge or people who are great listeners and can let you share without giving too many opinions which can taint your authentic story.
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
Yesss — I’ve learned over the years that we have to get really comfortable being uncomfortable. In fact, I’ve conditioned myself to this so much, that when things start getting too predictable, I need to try something new to shake up the vibe. To do this, I usually always try to be enrolled in some type of course or community throughout the year. Last year, I joined a business mastermind. This year, I’m in the middle of learning about energy frequencies. It’s always random but I try to sign up for things when I’m in the moment of being ready for something new. Whether its a hobby or topic I’m curious about or a skill I want to learn. This gets me out of my comfort zone in a safe and guided environment and it opens my eyes to a new way of looking at things and I can apply that towards my other projects.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- What you build the 1st time will probably have to get re-built many times before its perfected. I spent sooo much time stalling because something wasn’t perfect. I would spend weeks designing a project because I wanted it to be perfect. Ultimately, almost every project I’ve created has been rebuilt and perfected over time. Which leads me to my next tip
- Just start. I spent a lot of time researching things that ended up holding me back. I thought once I put something out there it was permanent. But if we look at every great company, they come out with new versions of things all the time. So just start, you can always come out with version 2 or 3 down the line but it’s important to start testing your idea and building off experience.
- Join a small business container or mastermind. I talked about how this road can be lonely, and for many years it was until I joined a business mastermind group called Quench Collective. It was a small group of 8 of us and my business coach Grace was leading it. Not only did we get dedicated 1 on 1 guidance but also shared in a small community with other people on the same mission to evolve their business. I’d done some of the business programs where there’s thousand of people and you never get to talk to the instructor and it was not the same as something smaller and more intimate.
- Create daily rituals/habits that set you up for success. I now have a set of things I do daily that are non-negotiable for me. One of those things is, quiet uninterrupted morning time. I can’t jump into fast-paced things first thing in the AM. I really do benefit from starting the day slow and centering myself. This means, rearranging my whole schedule around that time to make sure it happens. Listen to your body and see what moments bring you joy and make more room for that.
- Burnout is real, keep your health a priority. I was one of those people that thought I needed to work 18 hours a day. Over time, my fuel ran out and I started experiencing health problems related to stress and one day, I had a massive panic attack that turned into stress induced shingles. Thankfully, I saw an integrative doctor and am now on a regiment of good supplements but it’s been a long road to recovery to start feeling healthy and strong again. I’d been ignoring some of the signs of stress/burnout before my body was like ‘NOPE, pay attention to me!’ It’s really important to support and nourish our bodies- after all, our ideas are no good if we aren’t well enough to work.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to help bring down that rate of 2nd marriage divorces in our country. Divorce is extremely painful and going through it once was enough for me. I would love to help people focus on their own emotional healing so that they can change the course of their lives and find what it means to be truly happy.
What do you want to be remembered for the most?
The girl that used her divorce to up level her life and thousands of others.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Lets connect on Instagram @HerHeartHeals. My podcast, Her Heart Heals Divorce Radio is out on all platforms and you can also check out my website www.HerHeartHeals.com
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!