Journal out how you feel. There is power in expressing your inner thoughts outward so that you can work through them. Get a sacred journal and take time to write out how you feel daily.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Gutierrez, MA, LMHC a Latina licensed psychotherapist, life coach and expert in love addiction, trauma, abuse, and self- esteem. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in human behavior and development, and a Master’s degree from City College of New York in mental health counseling with a focus on community and prevention. Through her work, Christine offers private coaching, group coaching, and transformational retreats such as her annual Diosa Retreat in Puerto Rico, as well as the Diosa Tribe, a global community where like-hearted women come to heal, rise, and lead. Her new book I AM DIOSA is on sale August 25.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I was born in New York, raised in Bushwick and Queens. I am Nuyorican — family ancestry from Puerto Rico. I work as a licensed therapist and combine ancient wisdom with modern psychotherapy. Since the earliest days of my childhood I remember feeling this deep connection to the world’s suffering and feeling a need to positively impact in the world. Inevitably, I came to face my own trauma which led me on a journey to my own healing and from that experience I found tools along the way that I knew I needed to share to help others. I created the Diosa community to heal, inspire, and rise up together as a global sisterhood of diverse women. Diosa (the Spanish word for goddess) is all about healing deep and reconnecting to our own inner divinity, our inner Diosa, and our deep self-worth.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
For me, it was getting sober. My sobriety has greatly impacted my life — Allowing me to heal deeper traumas and to share my experience, strength, and hope with others. My own sobriety inspired many others to then explore their relationship with alcohol.
The key takeaways I learned getting sober:
1. It’s never too late to deepen your commitment to healing, take the leap, and face those shadows you are scared to face.
2. Listen to the voice of your intuition, it always guides the way
3. Always remember the mantra is “one day at a time”
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t consider anything I have done a mistake in my career. To be honest this is one area that has always flowed. There were other areas (hi romantic relationships) but my career always flowed.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. 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?
I have had so many mentors and guides along the way. I am grateful to my late mentor Pslam Isadora and my teacher Amma for the soul medicine of our tantric path of Shaktism. I am also grateful to my mentor in therapy, Terri Cole for guiding the way and allowing me into the behind the scenes of her therapy practice to show me how to not only give back but also to be financially profitable
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
My focus has always been on helping Latinx women of color in the wellness and mental health worlds. I offer grounded psychological and spiritual tools for women that have gone through trauma and are looking to heal those pains and return home to their soul and to their worth. Through implementing these tools and creating this Diosa community we have a global community of real deal support. Sisters helping one another through it all.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
1. Take a moment to connect to your soul. This can be as simple as lighting a candle and taking a moment in the morning to breathe connect to a mantra such as, “Soul, be with me today, guide me and show me the way.”
2. Journal out how you feel. There is power in expressing your inner thoughts outward so that you can work through them. Get a sacred journal and take time to write out how you feel daily.
3. Write down your top coping skills for moments of stress. For example:
- Call my best friend
- Pet my dog
- Smelling a comforting oil or perfume
- Deep breathing
4. Take time for mental health. Schedule therapy appointments regularly to have weekly mental health support. I recommend Betterhelp for tele therapy with licensed therapists from the comfort of your home.
5. Eat healthy. We must nurture the physical vessel as it is deeply connected to mental, emotional and spiritual health. Make sure to drink water and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy proteins throughout the day to fuel your body and thus mind and spirit.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I am doing it. A movement for BIPOC in wellness of mind, body, and spirit. My Diosa movement is that movement for me- offering grounded tools for emotional health, community, and inspiration.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
I don’t have 5 that I wish I was told. But I can share the 5 things I stand by that have been keys to my success.
1. Trust your gut and your deep soul purpose
2. Connect to spirit and ask for spiritual guidance before you take any step
3. Get a mentor
4. Write out your dreams and visualize what you want to manifest. See it, write it, cut out photos of it and then take daily aligned steps to bring it into life
5. One day at a time, have fun and do the work. It all adds up!
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health is dearest to me. I grew up in a family with a lot of love and a lot of abuse, addiction and there is an alarming rate of depression and addiction in Latinx communities and POC communities and there is a massive need for resources and support to make a change that honors and respects the BIPOC experience.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Facebook: Christine Gutierrez
Thank you for these fantastic insights!