“The process of becoming mindful is really a healing journey of its own. ” With Beau Henderson & Krystal Holm

The process of becoming mindful is really a healing journey of its own. As you begin to become mindful of the different parts of yourself: emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual, you start to connect with them individually. You become aware of the different needs of each one, and you can begin to recognize what those […]

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The process of becoming mindful is really a healing journey of its own. As you begin to become mindful of the different parts of yourself: emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual, you start to connect with them individually. You become aware of the different needs of each one, and you can begin to recognize what those needs are as they relate to the whole.

As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Krystal Holm.

Krystal is an award-winning interior designer, feng shui master, and entrepreneur. She uses the mind, body, soul, and home connection to help her clients declutter their mindset, so they can heal their trauma and empower themselves to live the life they want. With expertise in designing the energy of a space, Krystal helps women mindfully transition to working for themselves from home.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! 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?

Iactually grew up in a severely abusive home, so I am what is known as a “complex trauma” survivor, though I prefer thrive-r.

When I was around eight years old my parents divorced, and they both remarried soon after, so I lived between multiple households for different parts of the year, and they were drastically different from one another.

For most of the year, I lived with my mother and step-father, and like many abusive parents, they liked to put a good face on things, so a good facade was very important. Because of that, one of the few freedoms I had growing up was to decorate my bedroom in any way I wanted.

But for a small part of every year I got to go live with my father and step-mother, and my life was very different. My stepmom was what I call “Woo-Practical” and she taught me about energy and magic, and about joy and embracing life in the moment.

So as a small child, my outlet, and my gift, was to be able to design and create a space in my room that transformed the energy of the space to help me to feel safe and secure during the worst of times in my home. Even as a teenager with my friends, I enjoyed decorating their rooms and painting and personalizing the space around us to express who we were.

The love of decorating space carried all the way through to adulthood when I got my degree in interior design and was formally “introduced” to feng shui during a homework assignment for my psychology class in college. That introduction led me deeply and more formally into the study of energy, feng shui, and how it all works together.

As a survivor of child abuse, I have spent most of my adult years healing my own trauma. In the process, I fell in love with personal development: seminars, retreats, self-help books, you name it and I was in!! It was really through the healing process and applying everything I had learned and already knew to my own life, that I really felt like I found my calling.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I have had the dream of owning my own business for as long as I can remember. My grandparents owned a TV shop long before I was born, and when I was in elementary school, I used to go there every day after school while my mother was at work. I would play in the office as if I owned the company, so I’ve pretty much always wanted to have my own business.

In 2016 I was injured at my job and no longer able to go to work. That seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to start. Now, I am a firm believer in seeking out a mentor to teach you what you want to know, so I bought a course, and I started my hustle to figure it all out.

This was by no means my first foray into starting my own business. I had tried many different ventures over the years, from network marketing, (of which there were several) to creating and selling my own products (there were several of these too), to my own design firm. But this time was different. I finally had an idea I was passionate about and quite a bit of knowledge already under my belt from my many failures.

Because my injury happened at work and work comp insurance is what it is, I had to fight tooth and nail for every bit of medical treatment and for my own health. As time went on, and as treatment requests were denied again and again in favor of the bottom line, my self-esteem took a beating. By the time my case was settled almost two years later, I was left feeling like I was worth less than nothing.

As my injury worsened and my body deteriorated, I struggled to put all the pieces of what I was learning together, and my business floundered. By 2018, I had reached the point of needing a wheelchair every time I left my house, and I knew that if I didn’t do something myself, I would be in a wheelchair 24/7 for the rest of my life. I had to make the toughest decision of my life. I had to shelve my dream and put my business aside, give myself grace to heal with no pressure to do anything with my business.

For nine months I did nothing but focus all of my energy on healing my body. I spent all day, every day at self-care: rest, bubble baths, massages, hours and hours on my yoga mat stretching my body. And slowly my body started to loosen and unlock, until one day I was struck with clarity and inspiration and all the pieces suddenly fell into place in my mind. I became even more deeply aware of the mind, body, soul, home connection. This was the pivotal point in birthing my business as it is today.

Miraculously, one month later in the middle of launching my very first course, I finally got the call from my new insurance company that the surgery I needed had been approved. Overnight, they had me scheduled and on the table, and I was still able to host the beta test one month later.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Get rid of the idea that it’s always about productivity and the bottom line.

Whether your organization has hundreds of workers or you are the only one, we need to remember that each person is an asset to both the company as a whole, as well as to themselves and their own life. Without them, business ceases to exist.

And so we have to remember that self-care needs to be a priority. Because without the asset of that employee, your company fails.

Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is meditate, go for a walk, spend some time in nature, and reboot. Then you can go back and do your job much more effectively.

As bosses, we need to remember this is true of all of our workers as well. They need the freedom to be productive in whatever way works best for them.

Trying to balance different parts of our lives, like separating business from personal, doesn’t work anymore. It only causes stress when we try, which makes us less productive overall. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, by taking the focus off the bottom line and paying attention to self-care, you end up having the energy and clarity to be more focused and productive.

When you are able to truly be more efficient like this, it’s possible to get more done and focus on the things that truly matter in life.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Queen’s Code by Alison Armstrong, without a doubt.

When I was first introduced to this book, I was deep into my journey of personal development; I had been ‘doing the work’ as they say, for several years trying to heal all the wounds from my past. I was at a 10-day retreat for women’s leadership and the subject of our relationships with men came up as part of the discussion, and one of the leaders of the retreat recommended this book, The Queen’s Code.

Having grown up with abuse as a child, most of my adult relationships were also abusive in some way. I had reached the point in my healing journey where I was ready to take on my relationship to men, so when I got home from the retreat, I immediately bought the book. And I could not put it down.

At the time I was so determined to fix my relationships with men, that even though it is written as a novel, I approached it like a textbook. I did it as a course rather than just passively reading it.

I first got the book in January, and that first year it was the only book I read. I read it back to back, without pause, all year, and each time I participated in ‘doing the book’. Over the years, I have read that book at least 1000 times and each time I get something different out of it. But the biggest impact for me was learning mindfulness.

When I first read The Queen’s Code, I had already spent years learning all about myself and gaining tools and insights to help me along my healing journey. I felt that I knew quite a bit about ‘being-ness’, but this was the first time anyone talked about being intentional about my being-ness AND how to thereby get a different result.

Reading this book and participating in the experience, like I was another character in the story, was a pivotal moment in my healing journey, and I can honestly say this one book changed my life.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?

Mindful-ness is about two things: it is about your way of being and it is about intention.

So to me, the state of being mindful is an active state that requires you to be intentional about your being-ness.

It is actively cultivating the discernment to know what is needed and when. And it is the leadership of self to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, in order to get the results you want, when you want them.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?

There are so many, it would be hard to list them all, but the biggest benefit to becoming mindful is a deep connection to your self.

The process of becoming mindful is really a healing journey of its own. As you begin to become mindful of the different parts of yourself: emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual, you start to connect with them individually. You become aware of the different needs of each one, and you can begin to recognize what those needs are as they relate to the whole.

Many of us were raised to take care of everyone else first.. Because of that, we learn to take care of ourselves last or not at all. So then as adults, we are completely out of touch with our needs and we have no idea what they even are.

But as you continue the journey, and your intuition grows, you begin to listen to it and give yourself the things you need. This is when you really start to reap the outer benefits of mindfulness, like emotional stability: more calm, centered, and grounded; improved physical health: more rested, recharged and energized; and intellectual clarity: more focused, productive and confident.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness and serenity during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.

Step One: Put mindfulness on your schedule as a non-negotiable every day.

About 9 months after my injury, I reached the point where I knew I had to start doing something for myself or I was going to end up unable to walk. That is when I tried once again to do yoga every day. I had tried many times before, but this time the difference was that I was motivated as hell and it was 100% non-negotiable every single day.

Step Two: Create space for self-care.

About 18 months into my daily yoga habit, I was pretty consistent, but I continued to get worse physically. I had finally reached the point of needing a wheelchair most of the time.

I struggled to do things alone, and since my spouse travels for his work, we made the decision to give up our house, put everything in storage, and I joined him on the road.

Because we were going to be living extra super tiny, we had limited space, so we had to get very selective about what mattered most, what was going and what wasn’t.

For me, giving up daily yoga wasn’t an option, so valuable space had to be dedicated to all the necessities for my practice, both in our car and in our living spaces.

Step Three: Check in with yourself.

I was lucky very early in my mindfulness journey to be taught a tool for self-check-in with all the four parts of myself. So after we left home and went on the road, I would check-in all day long and see how I was doing physically, mentally, and emotionally.

About this time on my journey, I had to make the decision to put my business to the side and eliminate all expectations. I had to focus solely on my self-care and my body if I ever hoped to walk again.

Step Four: Give yourself what you need right now.

When I put everything aside to be 100% mindful of my physical self-care, it became my number one priority. It wasn’t an option anymore to put it off until it was more convenient or until I could fit it into my schedule. Instead it was the exact opposite; self-care went on my schedule first and everything else had to revolve around that.

As I continued to focus on self-care, my physical body loosened and unlocked. I had many breakthroughs, and I started to make self care my go-to habit when I would get stuck throughout the day.

Step Five: Repeat often.

To this day, it is my go-to way of being, to double down on self-care when I am struggling or in times of tension when I need to pay extra attention to my energy. Whether that is normal tension, like struggling to get the words just right for an email, or during an intensive time of abnormal tension, like a national crisis. If there is tension, repeat often; make self-care your go-to to develop mindfulness during uncertain times.

Becoming mindful is just like every other habit; it takes practice and repetition.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

Start with asking them what they need.

A number of years ago my friend’s cat went missing. She had bottle-fed him since he was only three days old, and to her he was the child she would never have.

When he first disappeared, she was extremely anxious about him and didn’t want to be left alone to worry every day until she got some news or until he came home.

Be present with them.

Anxiety comes from uncertainty about the future,so you need to get back to the present to feel grounded again.

She didn’t want to be alone, so I went to her house every day and we sat together.

Let them lead.

She didn’t want to be fussed over, and she didn’t want to talk or think about it. She wanted someone to just sit with her in silence and leave her alone, someone be there when she needed something. So she wrote, and I read, and together we edited the first five books in her first book series.

Let them know that whatever they are feeling is ok.

She worried that people would judge her for her feelings and for comparing her loss to that of losing a child.

Give them space to feel their feels without a timeline.

She knew that I understood her feelings and that she was safe to express anything, that I would not judge her. I didn’t expect her to ‘get over it’, but would wait until she felt her way all the way through it.

And after she had taken all the time she needed to mourn her loss, she adopted a new kitty, and the books we worked on became a tribute to the one she had lost.

What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?

There are a few things I would encourage you to do every day. The first is to check in with yourself regularly.

Recently, in a series of livestreams with my own tribe, I shared my personal self check-in tool that I call a ‘Quadrinity Check’. You can use this tool to check in with yourself in just a few minutes, which makes it easy to do frequently throughout the day.

I also encourage you to spend some time connecting to your body each day. This video series is the one I used when I first started my own yoga practice. What I love about this series is that it is slow and easy, and it stretches your entire body, one area at a time, to loosen tight muscles and relax your mind. And because it is broken down into multiple videos, you can do as few or as many as you want in a session. I started with one a day and worked my way up to the entire series each day.

The other thing I encourage you to do is to spend some time meditating each day. I love the meditation technique from the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Mostly it is a matter of being consistent, so the last thing I use is an affirmations app on my phone. The one I use can be customized for frequency, and you can write your own personalized affirmations.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Always vote black.

At my first personal growth seminar we played a very simple game.

In the game there were two colors, red and black, and the rules were simple: divide into two teams and take turns voting on one color or the other until all the turns refinished. The way the points were scored depended upon how each team voted during each turn.

The concept of the game is very simple, score the most points. In reality, the way you play the game is the way you do everything in life.

That night when we played the game, reality was brutal.

After the game was over, the lesson was explained: “the way you do one thing is the way you do all things” It was an emotional and eye-opening moment.

That night, as I did my homework, I compared the way I played the game with the way I do everything in life, and my pattern emerged.

My pattern was a belief that I’m not good enough, that I don’t deserve to be heard, that I’m not worthy, a pattern of scarcity and of always putting myself last.

The next morning, after we shared what we had learned from our experience, the lesson was deepened. How to win the game was explained to us, literally and metaphorically. In the game of life, “always vote black”.

The goal was not for one team to get the most points, the goal was for both teams to win by scoring the most points together. You had to vote for the win/win, no matter what, or it was a loss. The vote for black was the vote for both teams to win points, so you had to vote black at every turn in order to win the game.

Had both teams voted black on every turn, we would have won. As it was, we lost the game and won the lesson: Always vote black.

For me the lesson to always vote black is a reminder to be mindful of how I’m showing up to play, that my voice matters, and that I need to speak up and to include myself in the win/win every day. I must put myself on my to-do list, and make me a priority in my 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. 🙂

That we all start answering the question, Where are you from? with “Earth” and nothing else. Not the city, state or country of our births, but our planet.

The imaginary lines we have drawn to say this is mine and that is yours is what keeps us divided. It keeps us thinking that some humans are better than others, and it keeps us in hatred and fear of each other.

If we could eliminate the borders that keep us separate and start to see how we are all connected instead, we could save our planet and ourselves.

We are all human and we are the same, and we will all live or die together on this planet.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

They can follow me on social media. I am active on both Facebook and Instagram daily. As well as the Trade Secrets Newsletter at A Designed Life: mind, body, soul, home.

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