I had the pleasure of interviewing, Dr. Marina Kostina. Dr. Kostina is a Multilingual Bestselling Author, Award-Winning Transformational Coach, Influencer, Healer, and Researcher. She guides consciously-minded individuals on a journey to reclaim the fragmented pieces of their souls. By breaking through their lethargic status quo and starting to live ravenously, Dr. Kostina helps men and women manifest their biggest dreams and create a lifestyle that brings them freedom.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Dr. Kostina! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I believe that every path we take leads us to our purpose, even if we don’t understand it at the time. My own journey as a teacher and healer began when I was just a young child, growing up in Russia. I was the first one to protect people, and even got myself in trouble on numerous occasions by standing up for my friends to the authorities. My childhood in Russia helped me appreciate what I have now. I still have a hard time throwing away unfinished food, as we faced some serious moments of hunger in the ’90s, and I grew up with respect for other people’s work. I also learned the value of personal connections and real friendships.
When I came to the United States, I sought every opportunity to put myself through school. I built roads (yes, there is a road in Iowa that I built with my own hands!), cleaned dormitories, and served in restaurants. Working in various places helped me understand different people, embrace diversity, and discover the pain triggers and motivations that people experience.
As a scholar of languages and linguistics, I realized how incredible the human brain is, and how it strives to fill in voids and find patterns. My studies also showed me that when we try to learn something new (like loving ourselves completely), it is just as if we were learning a foreign language. Initially, we may feel overwhelmed with this seemingly impossible task. With time and dedication, we start understanding the rules and systems.
My path as an educator led me to study psychology. I observed how young adults form their understanding of reality and see the world through their trauma and pain. My doctoral dissertation dealt with the way we communicate at a distance, and my research proved the existence of unseen connections between people. I was fascinated to learn that our energies match one another, even if separated by computer screens and are miles and miles apart.
Six years ago, my life took a radical turn. In a flash, I lost my family, my home, and my job. I found myself sleeping on the floor of the dance studio where I worked and showering at the gym. This was the most difficult — yet magical — period in my life. I was stripped of my ego and identification from my job, title, marital status, and material possessions. I was left alone…. with my SELF. Through this aloneness, I received a clear vision of what I must do: HEAL. At that moment, I started my business, which has filled every cell of my soul, ever since.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I believe that my success is in the stories of my clients. Several years ago, a beautiful lady came to me for healing. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But instead of hiding this illness, we dove right into it. She was a brave soul and went into a detox rehab to clear herself from numerous drugs, leaving only the very necessary ones. She truly connected with her life purpose: writing. She is now a famous author who travels the world sharing her beautiful poetry about mental health! One day she was standing in front of her window, looking outside. She said to her husband, “Honey, look at this gorgeous cherry tree blooming in front of our house!” Her husband replied, “Darling, the tree has been here for 13 years… this is the first time you noticed.” Stories like this are WHY I do what I do.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
Oh, I have many! But one of my favorite ones I how when I just started using hypnosis in my group sessions I got my clients into the deep trance… and hypnotized myself! As funny as it seemed at a time, later on I learned that the brain waves of the client and therapist sync, which creates a powerful bond between them. From that moment on, I am aware of this phenomenon and enjoy my own trance every time I give a session.
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 so many people to thank for helping me on my path, and I do that often in my interviews and my social media posts. However, today I want to give a special thanks to Megan Hamilton, the co-owner of a beautiful shop, World Tree Healing, that she runs with another great healer, Eric Kernon. When no one believed in me, Megan saw my passion and my gifts, and offered me the space for my practice. And ever since, we have had many clients coming into the store and to my sessions, including celebrities such as Kanye West.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
I would not be honest if I told you I figured it out! I work more than I probably should. I stay up late studying yet another healing modality. I am probably more accessible to my clients than many other healers and therapists. I burn out quite often, but I don’t know how to do it any other way. My purpose (AKA “work”) is the most interesting, fascinating thing in my life — it is my passion and my motivation. I often feel that there is not enough time in one lifetime to learn everything to be a true master; I am just a humble student. So my advice is, if it rocks your boat, do it! If it brings you joy, keep on going. The world needs people who have fire burning inside, who are here to serve others and put 100% of their souls into their artistry, whatever their field is.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
Stop worrying about building the “culture” or being a “leader.” Focus on what your mission is and how you can benefit others. Listen to your clients and people whom you love, and encourage them to do their best. As Lao Tzu said, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” That is what great leadership looks and feels like.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. You believe that the fastest path to life purpose lies through… our PAIN. How does it work, exactly?
I have worked in academia, alternative and urban Chicago public schools, non-for-profits, and corporate worlds. No matter the setting, people showed similar struggles and similar pain.
But in the United States, it is commonly believed that giving negative emotions “too much” space is a sign of emotional fragility. Nevertheless, there have been numerous treatises and scientific findings that showcase that we need the right mix of emotions in our life.
In an effort to completely eliminate pain from our lives, we may look for various solutions, such as alcohol, drugs, anti-depressants, counseling, or even spiritual practice. Despite our attempts, the pain is not going to go away. You can call it a necessary evil of life. However, it is the surest way to your life purpose. Yes, you heard me correctly. Pain is the best road to finding your life purpose. We are often so quick to form judgment of a certain situation and run away from the pain that, even without knowing it, we cut the flow of good things in our lives.
If we view events in isolation and deem them as positive or negative, we may miss out on their full, rich benefits. Life experiences are akin to smelling a beautiful perfume in its various stages. A fragrance is composed of three “notes,” just like a musical chord. The first are called the “top” notes, which are evident immediately after application. Once these evaporate, the middle or “heart” notes come into play, which then influence the final set, the “base” notes. One of the tasks of the heart notes is to mask the base notes, which are initially unpleasant. However, over time, the base notes change and become more fragrant. As the heart notes dissipate, they combine with the base notes to form the core of the perfume. Eventually, only the base notes remain — formerly unpleasant, they now take center stage and have fully transformed into a beautiful fragrance.
So is the case with life: some events that seem scary or painful might turn out to be rewarding in the future. By judging the event as negative and escaping from it, we neglect the main treasures of life and cut ourselves off from the universal guiding energy. We need to allow circumstances to unravel themselves and wait for them to reveal their deeper meaning.
Pain is integral in our life, just like every other emotion, and has great potential to help us find the true meaning of life. One such person who found the true purpose in his sufferings was a Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl. Frankl and his family, in 1942, were deported to the Nazi Theresienstadt Ghetto. His mother, brother and wife died at the concentration camp. The only other survivor he had with him was his sister. In the midst of his suffering and horrific experiences of going through a tremendous amount of pain, loss of freedom, and mental annihilation, Frankl managed to connect with his core and found the meaning of life and the purpose of his soul. Here is what he wrote about this astounding revelation:
“…In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
To find your honest self and meaning, you must be able to dive into your pain and unpleasant periods in life. Just like in yoga, when we stretch, the first reaction of the body is to squeeze and resist the pain, but the yogis teach us to breathe and relax into the pain. By relaxing into the pain, a passage opens… a passage we would not have thought possible. Endless possibilities to reach a higher existence open their doors to us. The question is, are you willing to go through pain and embrace the flaws in you? Are you ready to accept the darker side of you to finally understand and embrace the purpose of your life?
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Thank you! I am so happy to share my movement of RAVENOUS LIVING. I love that word, “ravenous” — it contains so many colors, emotions, and images. It is raw and unedited, just like my mission to help people embrace their true nature, not an airbrushed version of themselves on social media. Ravenous living is ENJOYING your life with ALL of it: the painful, the exciting, the ugly, the imperfect, and the messy.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
I love this Osho quote that really demonstrates what we talk about:
“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”
As much as our ego wants every day to be like a beautiful fairytale, our human nature needs to experience negative emotions to develop such feelings as empathy, gratitude, acceptance…. We also learn and expand through pain and, as we discussed earlier, can even find our life purpose through difficult events in our lives. As I already mentioned my life story, my divorce and my temporary homelessness gave me a new perspective and guided me towards my true life purpose.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
You can connect with me by liking my pages:
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
Thank you. I admire your publication and your work ethics. Let’s keep on moving forward!