Today my guest is Kris Carr, the New York Times and #1 Amazon best-selling author, speaker and wellness activist.
Kris Carr is the subject and director of the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer which aired on TLC and The Oprah Winfrey Network. Kris is also the author of the award-winning Crazy Sexy book series. Her latest books, Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Kitchen, will change the way you live, love and eat! Kris was a Keynote Speaker at the 2014 Emerging Women Live Conference in New York City.
In today’s episode, Kris and I spoke about:
- What exactly is well-being, and how this can be different for different people
- How the flow of grace and fire has affected her life and using happiness as her guide
- Her shift from Health Guru to Women’s Emergence and Empowerment
- The feminine component of resiliency
- Using sexy as a strength that women can draw from
Tune in and listen to “Crazy, Sexy Woman” with the Crazy Sexy: Kris Carr.
Hello, and welcome, Kris Carr!
Kris Carr: Thanks for having me! Hi!
CP: Hi! And I’m reaching you here now in Woodstock, right?
KC: That’s right. I’m at home in Woodstock, New York.
CP: Gosh. That sounds so amazing to live in. I mean, I live in Boulder, I think it might be a little similar, but I think it’s more rural out there, correct?
KC: Yes. We’re very similar. We just have much smaller mountains. When I came out to visit Boulder, I was like, “This has the same Woodstock vibe. It really does.”
CP: Yes. Except isn’t Woodstock really small?
KC: It’s very tiny, yes. Very tiny.
CP: Yes, I just picture you—on your website you have an image of yourself in an old, old truck holding a green drink.
CP: I’m just like, that’s the life! You know?
KC: That’s what we try to do out here in the woods.
CP: Right? So your first book—I remember when it came out several years ago—is called Crazy Sexy Cancer. And I know what’s crazy about cancer, and I’m hoping that you can tell us all what’s sexy about cancer.
KC: [Laughs] We’ll get to the short answer first. There’s nothing sexy about cancer. For me, Crazy Sexy Cancer came from two things: 1) there were mass emails that I would send friends and family, they were “Crazy Sexy Cancer” updates. And this [was] my way of showing my very frightened crew—because I was diagnosed with an incurable stage 4 cancer that had started in my liver and had spread to both my lungs. This was my way to update them and let them know that I still had my sense of humor, I still was the same irreverent girl, and that I wasn’t going to let cancer define me.
It was an important step for me to kind of poke fun at cancer, not take it all so seriously. It was also really helpful for the people going through the experience with me. Not everybody has that same experience, but that was my lifeline. And then later, as my journey continued to unfold and the years continued to go by with cancer, and certainly when I kind of came on the scene in a much bigger way, I used “Crazy Sexy Cancer” almost like as a definition.
And it’s a bit insane, so here we go: “crazy,” for me, that’s out of the box, forward thinking. It’s that kind of speak when somebody says, “Oh, that will never happen, that’s crazy,” and then you and I and everybody listening says, “Really? Watch us.” “Sexy” is empowering, and “cancer” is “teacher.” For me, cancer is my teacher. And so that really has been my way of going through this process, but also teaching others that are interested in my philosophy how to create a map for themselves.
CP: Now, there’s a lot of people, I’m sure, listening to this that haven’t read your book and they don’t know your background, but you actually were diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, am I correct?
KC: Correct. That’s right.
CP: And it seems that when we look at you and your career has exploded, of course, that one could deduce that you’re doing really well and that you’ve recovered. And yet—we’ve had a conversation—you’re actually not recovered from the cancer.
CP: Correct. I want to jump into that, because offline we were having that discussion, [and] we want to be really clear to people that you haven’t recovered and yet, we started talking about what is recovery? What is wellness? What is feeling well and well-being in the world, and what standard is this being measured against? Especially when we’re talking about cancer. And I’m curious to see if we can open up with that, if you could enlighten us having not recovered from cancer and yet doing fairly—one would look at you, and I don’t know if I’m projecting, and say, “That’s a healthy woman.”
KC: [Laughs] Well, thank you.
CP: And a sexy woman!
KC: I’ll take that projection, thank you very much. You know, it’s a great question, so let’s see if we can unpack it in layers. For people who don’t really know a lot about my story, I was diagnosed with this very rare cancer. And we’ve been tracking me for about 11 years now, almost 12, and I’ll be tracked for the rest of my life. When I was first diagnosed it was every two months. Now it’s every year and a half I go get a CAT scan.
And the thing about the sarcoma that I have is that it can be slow-moving, but it can also be aggressive, and it can start slow-moving and become aggressive. So all these different things can happen with this teacher that I have. And for me, it’s been about learning to live while still having an end-stage disease.
There was a time when I really wanted to be cured. Even when I was first starting out, I’d gone over and my career was exploding and I was feeling better because I was doing all of these different lifestyle practices. I was a fast-food junky, standard American diet queen, stress junky—very similar to other people’s stories. I just didn’t know my story would be—the cherry on top of it would be this diagnosis.
And so when I started to make big shifts—like moving to Woodstock, leaving my last career, learning how to take care of myself, taking cooking classes—my life got a lot better. And my health got better. Certainly my immune system got stronger. There had been times when I’d seen a reduction in tumor size.
But there was a part of me that was still going for this goal. I love goals. I’m a type A driven, ambitious, thriver in all aspects of my life. So in the beginning when I took cancer head on that way, I think it was good for me. Because as the time went on, I realized that it actually was not good for me. I was doing all of these things for the wrong reason. And I was putting impossible goals on my shoulders. I’d go to these scans, and everybody would be happy but me. Everybody would be happy but me!
So about a couple years ago, I decided to really shift that. And that’s when I began deeply exploring for myself, “What is it to truly accept yourself? To love all parts of you, even the parts of you that, on paper, are diseased and really scary.” And it wasn’t an overnight success with that. There [were] a lot of tiers, a lot of [feelings] of failure. I think I felt more like I was dying then than I ever did when I heard I was diagnosed. Because a part of me was dying. This really ambitious, driven, goal-oriented, get-my-old-life-back-no-matter-how-uncomfortable-that-was, that part of me was dying. That part of me was a big part of my identity.
So as I move toward answering your question—“What is it to be well?”—I think every single person has a different definition for that. But it isn’t always the absence of disease. In my mind, it’s the presence of vitality. It’s the presence of vitality, and that vitality is physical vitality, which may come and go, and when it’s on the down side, that’s when we have to put our attention. But it’s also mental, emotional, and spiritual vitality. That’s what wellness really is. And I didn’t get that until I was much more mature and into my 11th year of living with cancer. I read it. I wrote it. I didn’t get it.
CP: Are you talking about—when I hear “vitality,” I think energy and [how] I feel about the physical body. But you alluded to a spiritual vitality and an emotional vitality. Are those all connected?
KC: Well, for me, they’re different, but they are connected. We can’t separate them. That’s what Western medicine does. It cuts us all up, it looks under a microscope, it separates everything and never gets to the root. So in my life experience, that sort of mental/emotional vitality is, “What’s holding me back? What’s keeping me stuck? What are the parts of my life?” Or maybe even going into some of my darkness, my limiting beliefs, the pain that I may have from, let’s say, not forgiving somebody, and really putting some energy there.
Because as these energetic beings—and certainly for me, I’m very mindful of my energy, because my energy can dip when I’m not feeling well. “But what’s not feeling well? Well, where is it coming from, Kris? Where is the source?” And if it happens to be some sort of emotional or mental blockage that I’m feeling, then that’s where I’m going to put that energy.
For me, the spiritual side of that is really—spirit, to me, is a community. It’s communion. It’s a singular connection to a much bigger whole. And so, “Where in my life am I not connected to the whole? Where in my life am I feeling isolated?” And wellness is about tending my garden. There are so many different plants in my garden. I’m gardening for the second year in a row, and gosh, I’m learning so much. I don’t even have than many varieties, I think I have 20 plants this year. But wellness is tending those plants and all their different needs and all their different soil types and pH and watering needs and all of that. And I have the same sort of palate, the same garden within me, so to speak. And sometimes it isn’t about the green juice. It’s not about the green juice, and it takes me a long time to really believe that.
CP: There’s a lot in the green juice.
KC: Yes, there is a lot!
CP: But it’s not everything. [Laughs]
KC: [Laughs] It’s not everything! It’s easy—
CP: I know, it’s hard to get to that point when you first start on the green drink, though, right? [Laughs]
KC: It really is. It’s so easy for me to give people recipes and eating plans, and I’ve written so many books, including a New York Times bestselling cookbook, and I didn’t even know how to cook when I started this whole journey. But the bigger work comes from when we look at what’s behind—for example, when people say to me, “This is all so hard, this is all so overwhelming, can you just give me the exact thing I have to do?” I can, but what we ought to do is look at what’s behind why it’s so hard, what’s behind why it’s so overwhelming, what’s behind why you, perhaps, don’t feel like you’re equipped enough to make a juice. Because we are. It’s pretty simple. But what’s going on in your life that makes you feel like you’re incapable?
Coming back to the whole healing journey and wellness: again, it’s the presence of vitality in all aspects of your life. And the neat and exciting part is that if you’re not feeling it, you can. You really can. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be perfect on paper. None of us are perfect on paper. The fact that we all have cancer cells running through our bodies right now. For most of the folks out there, yourself included, your immune system is picking them up and saying, “Hey, no, not in my backyard, thank you very much.”
CP: Yes. I think it’s really interesting that you brought up—just to tag onto that question, “What does it mean to be well, and what is well-being?” and that concept of being cured. I mean, that’s not just a disease situation. We do that with our personalities and these patterns that we have for doing X when Y happens. You just want it to go away. “I just want it to go away! I want to cut it out and be done with it.” And yet, learning to live with it, as you’ve learned to live with the cancer, is such a good metaphor for finding a way to make that which plagues us, as a disease might plague us, into a teacher.
KC: Well, I love the way you said that. It’s really beautiful and it’s such an important point that you bring up. There [are] two things that come to me: 1) for me, it’s learning to live with this disease. And I can imagine that some people out there are going, “I don’t want to live with the thing that I have! That’s awful.”
So let’s go deeper into that, because really, what that means to me is that regardless of what’s going on in your life—whether you’re going through a divorce or you’re going through a diagnosis, whether you’ve [gone through] some trauma and you’ve got some residual grief and anger around it, and no matter how you’ve tried, it’s not shifting. Learning to live with something is about saying, “No matter what’s going on in my life, I will not abandon myself. I’ve got my own back. I’m not going anywhere. We’re going to get through this.” That’s that learning to live with something is.
So it’s not settling. It’s not saying, “Oh well, luck of the draw, white flag, this sucks.” It’s saying, “I got you. Yes, we’re going through a tough time, but [you’ve] got me on your side. I won’t go anywhere. I accept you even though this is not great. There’s shame here, there’s disease here, there’s anger here, there’s violence here, whatever it is, I still accept you.” And [in] that place, I feel like a lot of our emotional agony starts to dissolve and then we can continue to make that game plan.
So that’s part 1 that came up for me based on your awesome question and musing. And part 2 is this: Again, from my experience, curing—great, great conversation—is the physical body. There are a lot of things that we can do to address that, and sometimes that’s possible and other times it’s not. Or other times it might take longer than we’d like it to take. And in my life, it’s going to be one of those things. Either it’s never going to happen—brutally honest—or it’s just going to take longer. Either a cure’s going to come up, there’s more research being done, my vitamin C IVs are going to make a breakthrough. Who knows? I hold space for both.
So curing happens when something shifts in the physical body. But healing is very different. Healing takes places in the spiritual and emotional bodies. Healing is what we just talked about, saying that, “I will not abandon you. I’m going on this journey with you, and we can continue to unpack what might be getting in our way, holding us back, great teachers for us to look at so that we can become more fully actualized and joyful, ultimately, human beings.”
CP: Yes. It would be nice not to have that sickness or the trauma to remind us that this is something we can start working on now, and should be working on now. That’s the thing, sometimes we need to get really sick or [fight] against something that’s really traumatic before we realize that, “Oh, we need to tend the garden,” and it’s like a weedfest.
KC: Totally. Of course it would be nice, but guess what? There [are] so many spices on the rack. Do you want to live your life through the lens of three colors that you feel comfortable with? I can tell you I’m a much more interesting person [laughs] as a result of all the things that I’ve gone through with this experience. I’m more interesting to myself, let alone other people.
CP: Interesting, interesting.
KC: There [are] pieces of this journey I would never want to relinquish or take back.
CP: Yes. What’s been the biggest personal perspective change that you’ve had since you’ve been diagnosed?
KC: I think that every year is a little different, quite honestly. I don’t have one big ah-ha. I’d say the big ah-ha was, “I can cook! Wow! I’m not dumb!” [Laughs] “I can figure this out. Green juice isn’t so awful.” All along the way, “Oh, wait, I said ‘poop.’ Oh, wait, I never have pooped.” So all along the way in my journey there have been these awakenings that help me feel better, live better.
But I’d say where I live right now is—like I said, I’m that driven person. I’m very ambitious. There’s a lot going on in my life. I had to be very mindful of the freight train that is Kris Carr. Because I’m not happy when I’m moving that fast. And when I’m not happy, I get sick. And when I get sick, that’s not good. So really, really being mindful about my commitments, being mindful about my vision. I do think that we can have so much in our lives. I do not think we can have it all. I think our task is to get very clear about what is essential. What do you really want? And then clear some clutter out, because it creates that space.
And I know you know this. It creates that space for creativity. Creativity doesn’t happen when you’re booked to the minute. And creativity is essential for your business, for your growth, for your spiritual practice, for your artistry, for everything! For healing. For healing, it’s very important.
CP: It’s funny—when we consider [that] the title of the podcast is Grace and Fire, and you’ve sort of just somewhat answered my question, but you definitely seem like someone who’s got a lot of fire.
KC: [Laughs] Yes.
CP: And something like this, that forces you to slow down, that kind of changes that and creates space—you know, Maya Angelou, she was sexually abused and basically announced the perpetrator and then he was killed, and then she went into a silence for many years. And [she] really credits her entire creative life from what she discovered during that silence. And so there’s all kinds of stories in history, including yours, where women have gone in and slowed things down—and men—and then really got in touch with their creativity in that space of silence.
But it’s a dance, and I call that “grace,” where we’re not trying to force something and we’re allowing. I’m just so amazed at the difference. Some people are more grace than fire, and that’s how they approach the world. And some are more fire than grace. I’m just curious to see how that’s shifted for you and if you’ve noticed an impact in the output, so to speak, of what you’re creating by having more grace or less grace?
KC: I love your questions. Can I just say that again?
CP: Oh, God, that’s so sweet, thank you!
KC: Both are needed in my life—there’s no doubt about it—and in all of our lives. And I’d say as far as the impact of what I’m putting out in the world, I think that the impact goes a lot further when I give from a place where it’s very concentrated, it’s very rich, as opposed to just spraying my ideas everywhere and overcommitting myself and just stretching my business and my person, because we’re kind of one in the same sometimes, to a place where I’m just completely fatigued. People are busy. People have a lot going on in their lives. Give them what they need. Don’t overwhelm them. They’ve already got full inboxes. These are the things that I say to myself when I’m creating and I’m putting out weekly content and all the stuff that I do on social media, etc.
And I think what happens when we step into grace more is we begin to trust that it’s enough. It is really, really enough, and I never really trusted that. I got to a place at a certain time in my career where I felt as though if I didn’t continually put stuff out there, people would forget me. I’d heard some things here and there from different people, different publishers, “You’ve got to stay on this machine that you’ve created.” And as soon as I let that go, it got better.
So that grace teaches us that we also have to be happy in the process. As we merge and give our gifts to the world, use your own happiness as your guide.
CP: Yow. Yo, yo. Yes.
KC: Because if you don’t, you’re going to fucking fizzle, man.
CP: That’s a good one. Yes. At Emerging Women, you’re going to be talking about Crazy, Sexy Women, and you’ll be probably talking to crazy, sexy women and with crazy, sexy women. Tell us a little bit about how you’ve evolved from your focus on cancer to what I’m calling a wellness guru, and now you’re focusing on women and women’s emergence and empowerment. How has that evolved recently for you?
KC: Well, it’s evolved as I’ve evolved. It’s grown as I’ve grown. In the beginning, it started with the movie that I made for TLC, and then my book, and being on Oprah and all these things, but really the first two books and a lot of my writing and blogging and articles were all geared toward young women with cancer. I did all that because when I got sick, and I went looking for a movie and looking for books for somebody like me, I couldn’t find [them]. So I wrote [them]. I made [them].
I didn’t have plans. I didn’t have plans that would go any further than that. But after I was on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I was blown away by the number of people who emailed us and basically crashed our servers time and time again, saying, “I don’t have cancer, but I really like what you’re saying, and I need some of this in my life. Is it OK, is it weird that I’m hanging out with you? Is this just for cancer patients?”
So at that point, I started [opening] up my audience, very mindfully, to people who are also interested in prevention. So it was patients and people who were interested in just feeling better. And that’s been wonderful. I’ve written several books about diet and lifestyle, and just basically self-care practices.
And when I finished my cookbook, I realized that the thing that I kept hearing from my community—on Facebook, in my blog comments, in our inbox, and certainly back in the day, when I was coaching one-on-one, which I don’t do anymore—[that] they were having a hard time getting past some of the hang ups. It’s like what we just talked about earlier, “It’s not about the kale.” And so this book is really talking about some of the things that I think hold us back.
And hopefully it is a huge hug and it is permission to really go for it, to identify your dreams, to learn how to care for yourself, to clear up some of the dead weight that does not serve you in your life, to practice a resilient mindset, as opposed to just being resilient from time to time when you need to be resilient. Like when the shit hits the fan, we all need to be resilient. Truthfully, the shit is hitting the fan every day in little ways in our life. And a lot of times, we’re pushing that into our body, into our tissues, into our psyche. How can we shift that?
So I’m talking about a lot of those things. The book is baking right now. [These are] very early days, so this is where I am right now. When it comes out, it will be maybe in a different place. I’ve only written one chapter. But I’ve been writing this book for years in my head. And right now the subtitle—and again, this may not even be the one that ends up being the subtitle when it’s published—is Lessons in Ferocious Self-Love and Resilience. And it’s a lot of my journey. It is part memoir. It’s part memoir as well.
CP: Well, you know, it’s interesting because resilience can mean a lot of thing for different people, and especially in the feminine/masculine space, it holds different energy. So in the masculine space, resilience is really pushing through and there’s a lot to be said for that, for being strong and the battle of cancer, so to speak, or the battle of whatever it is. All that language is more about the sort of masculine version of resiliency, which is a component and we need that. But when I hear you talk, a lot of resiliency has more of a yielding quality to it. And I’m wondering if that is more of the feminine coming in.
KC: I think that is probably true. The times when I have had to go deep inside to make a very serious decision, one of those was when the first doctor suggested a triple organ transplant. I had to go inside and make some very serious decisions. I didn’t have people to guide me. I didn’t have coaches who understood this sarcoma thing. That’s a silly idea. I had to stop. I had to stop and get very still and very, very connected to what I think should happen. I had to make that call. That didn’t happen from being type A aggressive. That happened from going inside and really looking at the truth of the situation.
And I think so often, we are kind of pushed to be really aggressive and to really be, as you say, strong. And we get confused about where that strength comes from. Strength does not come from us doing and going—though sometimes we need to do and we need to go, right? Strength comes from our intuition, from being, from going inside, from allowing yourself to even go into your own womb and rejuvenate, recover, get a hit, get some more energy before you go out there to do what you need to do. And that’s a dance. It’s not a formula. There’s no trademarked TM marketed solution for this.
CP: Right. Have you ever—in your past or now, do you find yourself sort of suppressing your feminine side in order to get something done or attain success?
KC: Sure, all the time. And then I’m reminded that’s a dumb idea.
CP: Right! [Laughs]
KC: [Laughs] That I screwed something up, big time. And I have to go back and say, “I’m sorry I’m disappointing everybody, but I overcommitted once again, la, la, la.” And again, this is not about saying, “I’m just going to sit around and eat bon-bons.” But it is about saying, “I’m going to do great work in the world while also nurturing myself. Because if I don’t take care of myself, my ideas suck, and so does my energy.” How am I going to make a suggestion to change something that would be useful to humanity if I’m so damned deleted I got nothing? And how am I going to water my relationship as well? It’s not just about the work I do in the world. It’s the work I do in the home!
CP: Of course, which is ultimately the same work, is it not?
KC: Yes. Sure is. It’s a microcosm right there.
CP: Well, especially as you’re going into this new book, which is not the green drink, you know? It’s something more than that, which sounds like precisely what you’re doing in the home. Like your internal, more of that mental/emotional vitality that you were talking about. It’s coming from a different place. There seems to be another source for that.
KC: I think so. And a lot of that source is just being more mindful, making sure that I’m balancing it. I’ve written books and they’ve been New York Times bestsellers, and people have changed their lives, and I’ve been depleted and my marriage needs help. What is going on? I don’t want to work from that place.
And so I think—I’m obviously very, very candid, and I’m very transparent, but I imagine people out there listening can get a piece of this wisdom for themselves and look at their own lives and say, “Yes, I hear you. OK, let me start to put some energy in that direction.” It’s not like we have to solve everything, but we have to be mindful. Our mindfulness and our awakening to what’s going on, I think—as we know, you know, and every spiritual leader will tell you—that’s the first step.
CP: You know, it’s so interesting, this whole focus of your body being such a teacher for you, which is a very feminine thing. The body itself is just the incarnation of the feminine principle, so to speak. The feminine lives in the body. And you have something—in a weird way, it’s a gift, in that when you’re overstretching and you’re misaligned in a certain way, it seems like you’re communicated of that through your body. Your body is talking to you through this illness that you have, this disease that you have, but also it’s afforded you a very close, intimate connection with your body that develops a very deep communication. And I’m curious to see if you’re able to find other ways, or if that is the deepest wisdom, coming through the body, and is there other wisdom coming through other places? And the emotions, I feel, [are] part of the body.
KC: Well, you know, I’ve always been very connected to my body because I was a professional dancer and a performer. And I started dancing professionally pretty young, and got my first agent and came to New York at 19. Film, television, Broadway, Off-Broadway, touring, you name it. And so I’m a dancer, [and] your instrument is everything. And I can tell you, I know every single muscle, I know every part of every toe, I know where my weaknesses are, I know where my strengths are, I know where I explode on the stage in a good way, I know where I have to be a little more careful and how I can kind of fake it, you know?
So I’ve been performing in that capacity—I did that for a long time. But I didn’t know my body until I got sick. I didn’t know where my liver was! I didn’t know where my organs were. I had no idea that what I put in my mouth actually had a positive or negative effect. I knew that with alcohol and drugs. I knew that in others ways. I was like, “Yes, positive and then super negative.” [Laughs]
But it wasn’t until I actually had the experience of cancer that I got very clear on the subtlest messages that came from within—the message that I would blow off when I was younger and when it was really just about, “Is my turnout good enough? Can my leg go up to my eyeballs?” That’s how I measured myself, and what I expected of my body, I worked really hard to get. And, boy, did I get it. I wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
So now I would say, in this time in my own spiritual development and practice, my body is still the number one teacher, but intuition is number two, and gaining traction. Intuition is right up on its tail, saying, “Hey, hey, what about me?” So that’s a big part of it.
CP: Yes, and so I guess that’s a question for me: how do you communicate with your intuition? What’s your secret power here? You seem very intuitive. That’s a big decision that you had to make, and it sounds like you made the right one. I would be like, “Oh my gosh,” you know? It’d be really hard to trust myself to make that decision. So what is it? How do you communicate with that?
KC: Well, again, this is just for me. Everybody’s got their own way, and [there are] very good teachers out there teaching this. Two things: 1) I get the hit immediately and I’m usually right. I’ll sleep on it. But I get the hit immediately and it’s a resounding “yes” or a resounding “no,” I’ll sleep on it and then if it’s still a “yes” or a “no” the next day, that’s the answer. I have a deal with myself that no matter what decision I make, I haven’t failed. I won’t fuck it up. It was a decision that needed to be made at that time, even if it kills me. So we’re good on that.
CP: That’s a big piece.
KC: Yes, it is a big piece, but it’s just easier to make that—it’s just easier, because then you don’t have to go, “Eh, eh, eh, should I?” I mean, you waste so much energy.
And then the other piece is if I’m really out to lunch and I don’t know because it is whatever is coming up in me—I spend a lot of time journaling. “What do you think? What do you want?” And almost taking myself through the writing process, just like you do with people at workshops.
I also have a core group of very strong women in my life. And my men, too. My husband in amazing. His intuition and his mind is really so solid. So between them and my core women, to get a little feedback, that will all go into the melting pot, and then the decision will come.
CP: I love what you said about giving yourself permission not to fail, because in a way, it just makes it easier for us to trust our intuition. So we’re not laying the big heavy on ourselves, like, “Oh my God, I’m going to die, or I’m going to kill somebody if I make the mistake.”
KC: Exactly! Because the truth is, we’re going to fail. We can’t see it as a failure. People who don’t actually take the risks and don’t understand that there’s so much knowledge in that “failure,” those are the ones who stay the same in business, in life, in romantic relationships, etc. I think we’ve created this world that’s so clean and appropriate, and we have to get it a little messy.
CP: Yes. So we’re getting to the end of our time, and I wanted to just touch on something, specifically about—you know, we were talking about the feminine, I’ll continue on that, and we talked about one of those things being yielding and more grace. And to carry that even further is just the ability to let things go. OK, now, that’s really hard, because I’m also type A. Letting go is something—that’s the feminine principle I’m really working on right now, letting go. And yet, as someone who’s faced stage 4 cancer and continues to face that, you really have a lot more experience with that, and I’m curious to see how that particular principle is playing out and how it’s transformed over time.
KC: You can’t let go of something all at once sometimes. Sometimes you can. Sometimes I think the idea of us letting go can make us feel very overwhelmed, because we don’t know how. And the fire is still there. The spark is still there. The whatever it is that’s in your craw is still there. And for me, it’s been about really breaking down the piece of what I need to let go, and starting to work on them in a much more bite-sized, strategic, clear way, as opposed to, “Let go of the fact that you have stage 4 cancer. And you’re probably going to die from this thing at some point. And just live your life.” Anybody would say, “Hell fucking no.” [Laughs]
So, OK, what do I need to start with? And is that really what I’m letting go of? So I think that, in some ways it’s easier for women, and in other ways it’s harder. We are multitaskers. We keep a lot of balls going. We have eyes in the back of our head and the sides of our head. We are the fierce protectors in so many ways, of our children, of our ideas, of our families. We need to do a little bit more with ourselves.
So I’m not so sure about whether or not we’re better at that. I’m not sure about that. But I do know that it’s possible to let go of what doesn’t serve us, to let go of what holds us back from our greatness, and that greatness being joy. We could just break it down [into] bite-sized chunks. And I don’t know what that looks like for everybody, but I know how to start that process for myself.
CP: I want to circle back—we’re out of time here, but I wanted to circle back to the sexy cancer question. And I just want to reflect back: I feel that your point about the sexy being powerful is something that, in your book, in your presentation about something that is decidedly not sexy, right? But presenting it that way allows, especially women, to really claim a strength that’s not like, “The battle against cancer,” or, you know, “Let me get out the battle axe and the guns.” It has a different, very feminine power to it that gives everybody permission to still be joyful and powerful and go after these challenges in a very serious way. So I just want to thank you for that.
KC: Thank you! I really appreciate that. And I love this call, Chantal.
CP: Thank you. And I’m very much looking forward to seeing you in just a couple months!
KC: Yes! Ditto.
CP: All right! Well, thank you so much, Kris.
KC: OK, bye everybody, thank you.
CP: Bye bye.
[ew-audio-download headline=”Free Audio Download” subheadline=”Power Practices, Vol. 1 Women Who Are Changing the World”]