Kris Carr is a multiple New York Times best- selling author, wellness activist, and cancer thriver. She’s been called a “force of nature” by O magazine and was named a “new role model” by The New York Times.

Kris is also a member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group of the most influential thought leaders today. 

447: Dealing With Loss

Kris Carr

You don’t want to talk about grief.

You’d rather watch a show or go for a walk, but it’s an inevitable fact of life that we all have to deal with the loss of our loved ones.

If you are dealing with grief, then you’ll appreciate Kris Carr’s new book, “I’m Not a Mourning Person,” and our conversation about loss—whether it be the dissolving of a relationship, the end of a job, or another unexpected transition. 

Dealing With Loss-Kris Carr [447]

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*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Kris Carr: I'm a cancer thriver. So that means that I'm somebody who lives with cancer and I've been living with cancer for 20 years now. And that really did and has and continues to change my life in ways that are challenging and in ways that are even positive.

[00:00:22] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 447. Today we're talking about dealing with loss with Chris Carr.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clarkfields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years, I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Rest Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Hey there, welcome back to the Mindful Parenting podcast, and if you're new, so glad you're here.

but listen. If you've been here around the block a couple times, if you've ever gotten any value from this podcast, please just do me a quick favor, help the show grow by just telling one friend about it. And this can make a big difference and I hugely appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Chris Carr.

She is a multiple New York Times bestselling author. She's a wellness activist and a cancer thriver. She's been called a force of nature by O Magazine and was named a new role model by the New York Times. Chris is also a member of Oprah's Super Soul 100, a group of the most influential thought leaders today.

And we're going to talk about her life and also her new book about grief and loss. And I know you don't want to talk about it, right? You'd rather go watch a show, go for a walk or whatever, but it's an inevitable fact of life that we all have to deal with the loss of our loved ones. And if you're dealing with grief, then you'll really appreciate her new book, I'm Not a Mourning Person, and we're going to have a conversation about loss, whether it's like dissolving a relationship or the end of a job or some other unexpected transition.

Before we dive in, I want to let you know that you can listen to this episode Ad free, but you can become a supporter of the Mindful Parenting Podcast through Mindful Parenting Podcast Plus. Super easy way to be a supporter, and you get ad free episodes. I do this when I listen to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me as a supporter with Podcast Plus.

I love the ad free episodes. So if that's you, I feel good about supporting a podcast I listen to. And I get these ad free episodes. It's totally a win win. You can do that too here at the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Go to mindfulmamamentor. com and just go to the podcast tab and you'll see all about it and join podcast plus.

Okay, that's all I got to let you know about. Join me at the table as I talk to Chris Carr.

Well, Chris Carr, welcome to the Mindful Parenting podcast. I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for having me, Hunter. Yeah, I'm thrilled to talk to you. I've, I have been personally watching your journey for a long time, but for the one person out there who doesn't know you, you're, you're a bestselling author, you're a wellness activist, you're a cancer survivor.

And in 2003, you thought you had, like, injured yourself in a yoga class, and you discovered that you had a rare form of cancer, that the cancer is in stage four. And just as a, like, a reminder, I had to know, like, there's no, there's no stage five. And that's the subject of a documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer, which I keep telling, by the way, I was telling this to my kids before, and they're like, what, why?

So for them, I do want you to explain the name. But anyway, for that person, that one person out there who has not heard of you, how did How did that experience kind of shape and change the direction of your life?

[00:04:38] Kris Carr: I'm a cancer thriver. So that means that I'm somebody who lives with cancer and I've been living with cancer for 20 years now.

And that really did and has and continues to change my life in, in ways that are challenging and in ways that are even positive. So, um, when I made my film, Crazy Sexy Cancer, that was You know, I started filming that, um, a couple weeks after I was diagnosed and that was my creative outlet. You know, I, the, the name came from mass emails that I would send to friends and family and they were crazy sexy cancer updates because I got so tired of updating people individually.

And I knew I wanted a clever title for these emails because everybody was so scared and overwhelmed. In some ways, it was my, um, my way of taking my power back. And so I defined it for myself pretty early on. So crazy is out of the box, right? It's forward thinking. It's that kind of idea that happens and you say, Oh, that'll never happen or take place because it's crazy.

And you say, just get out of my way and watch me. And sexy is, to me, always the people who have the most spark and energy and passion that I'm drawn to are, they're just empowered and they stand in that power and it's really beautiful to watch. And cancer is my teacher. It has been since the day I was diagnosed on Valentine's Day with this very rare, incurable stage 4 cancer.

And so, that was The reason why I called it Crazy Sexy Cancer Updates, I did not realize where I was going with this, but when I thought, this should be a film. Um, then that's what I worked to, you know, have happen over the course of four years and then I eventually ended up selling it to Discovery Channel and to Oprah.

[00:06:32] Hunter: Yeah, you were a photographer at the time. So it was a not a huge leap from from where you were and that did making sort of the film and that process. I mean, and. Sounds like it was empowering. I've seen bits and it seems like it's pretty raw too and open and vulnerable. It really connected you to the world in a big way.

[00:06:54] Kris Carr: Yeah, it was an incredible experience and I've continued to try to bring that level of vulnerability and connection through my books because I think we're all looking for Real stories and real mentors and real people that we can not only relate to, but, you know, sort of find hindered spiritness with.

And so it was, the challenge was, is how far are you willing to let people in? And once I said all the way, then you have to live up to that challenge. Yeah.

[00:07:25] Hunter: Yeah. That's a lot. That's um, that's hard, but it just saying, saying the hard things is like, like, um, such a relief.

[00:07:33] Kris Carr: I actually think it's refreshing, quite honestly.

I think it's easier to tell you the honest truth. It takes courage. Maybe that's the thing that's hard, but the honest conversations and, you know, being a real three dimensional person is, I think, what each and every one of us strive to be, because then we can be our true selves. And we live in this epidemic of loneliness right now.

And, you know, for me, loneliness is connection. It's being able to have those authentic relationships and conversations and to drop the mask. And I think that that's a really exciting opportunity that each and every one of us have. Again, it takes courage, but I think you feel more alive and connected and less fatigue and less energy drain and less kind of like malaise when you do.

You know, which I know when I hide myself is like when everything starts to break down. 

[00:08:30] Hunter: Yeah, that's how I am too. I mean, in so many ways, like me writing about like my anger, my shameful anger, you know, like that was like, uh, it was hard to do, but it was so helpful. So helpful for me, also for other people.

And just to name this, this thing that we're not supposed to talk about as women. Um, Particularly, and you're doing it again, uh, with grief, with grief and loss. This is something we really don't like to talk about here. And at least in the United States, we want to just pretend that that doesn't happen.

We're all working really hard to like live to 200, it seems like these days. Like aging is just Aging is, they're going to figure out aging and we're just not going to die as it seems like the, it seems to be what some of the conversations are about that my husband's listening to some podcasts on and I'm just like, I don't know, I don't know about that.

But so you wrote this book, I Am Not a Mourning Person, M O U R N I N G, um, tell us about what inspired you to write this. 

[00:09:35] Kris Carr: Well, I was approaching my 20 year anniversary of living with cancer, and I was originally given 10 years to live. So this was a big milestone. And we were going through the global pandemic.

Um, I was struggling in my business because of some conscious decisions that I made to step back because my chosen father, so I'm adopted, my chosen father, um, was dying. And so, here I was at this real tipping point, and I was kind of down at rock bottom again, and what I realized was the one emotion I didn't want to experience was grief.

And as somebody who's been in the wellness industry for two decades now, and I realized that there was sort of a blind spot and a hole in my own education, one that I willfully continued to avoid. And yet I knew that the way forward for me to feel better and to feel more empowered and to feel less out of control was to actually learn more about this emotion and thaw to the idea of caring for it.

And in that process, I realized I was like more afraid. of the emotion, like what I thought the emotion would be. And I was more afraid of the pain than I was actually afraid of the grief. And so I thought, you know what, I'm not alone in this. And these are the conversations. That I am inspired to have. I'm inspired to have conversations about difficult things and find new ways to make them, I don't know, more appealing to people so that we actually can roll up our sleeves and make progress on something that I believe is holding us back, whether it be cancer or, you know, um, A time when I was writing cookbooks about plant based living would be, you know, maybe it's about your fear of vegetables, we'd have, but I'm always looking for a topic that I can approach.

Um, and in this case, I just pulled the inspiration from my own life. It's just, I was going through a really rough time and I felt completely helpless.

[00:11:44] Hunter: I think that we don't like to think about the idea of loss or helplessness. We want to We all want to feel empowered. We all want to feel, you know, we want to, yeah, I was thinking about, I was looking through like the, you know, the doc, your documentary from way back when, say, the Crazy Sexy Cancer, and you're dancing, you talk about how you're like dancing every day and like those empowered moments, that's what we want, right?

We want those, like, yeah, I'm going to dance every day through my difficulty and my, I don't know, but sometimes it can be, That can be two things at once, right? That could be like something that's empowering and wonderful, but that can also be like, I'm scared as hell to look at this thing. 

[00:12:28] Kris Carr: Yeah. I wanted it to be gone much like I wanted cancer to be gone in the early days.

I just wanted it nip tuck and behind me and I wanted grief the same way. You know, I think a lot of people have this experience. I don't think I'm alone here, but I thought that. If I allowed myself to feel it, I would drown. Yeah. It would completely take me out to sea. Everything that I'd worked on would fall apart.

You know, I'd be useless. I, you know, it, it, I would, it would just. And when I, it sounds cliche, but what we know is the opposite is true. You know, the way out is through, the way out is being willing to, I think, be curious about your emotions. You mentioned anger. You know, I have a whole chapter in the book that's about anger and I too had so much, um, shame around my anger, which is so unnatural.

You know what I mean? But I didn't see it that way. And so. This idea of, you know, the big messy emotions that happen when life falls apart. That's what this book is about. Not just grief, but things like shame and anger and the emotions that I think really shrink us and they shrink our lives. They shrink our relationships.

They shrink our possibilities. Those emotions are just information, and if we can learn more about them, first by becoming curious about them, then we can understand what those specific children's, you know, parts of ourselves need in order to feel safe and cared for. And then it's a whole other ballgame, you know, it's like, I think it's less triggery and less overwhelming or, or paralyzing and more, oh, okay, there's, there's some ways in and through this.Then it's a choice.

[00:14:19] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Yeah. Yeah. I love that you're using the metaphor of like, these parts of ourselves that are children. That's something I think about all the time like that are I, I say that like our emotions are like toddlers, like tugging on our legs. Like they would just are not gonna. They're not gonna go away if you ignore them.

That just does not work. You have to like pay attention and take care of it and listen and give it the attention that it's demanding, right?

[00:14:55] Kris Carr: Yeah. And I imagine, I don't have children, but I imagine that, you know, the energy that you put into that, uh, comes back to you tenfold when it comes to your children.

And I know that that's true for my relationships. The energy that I put into it comes back tenfold. Um, but sometimes we're resistant for whatever reason and, but again, these are all invitations. I think every single one of us, anybody listening to your podcast is interested in personal growth, but we can't cherry pick what we want to learn.

I know. You know, I want to learn to manifest and I want to learn positivity and I want to learn all of the things that are like, yeah, that's yummy. You know, but I, I know I don't want to learn any of the hard stuff. And unfortunately I'm making it a little too black and white right now. Or, you know, I, some of the hard stuff is what we don't want to gravitate towards.

But unfortunately it's like saying, I want the rainbow, but hold the rain. You know, we don't have that opportunity. We really don't. Um, and it's like a choice not to explore those parts of ourselves that really, again, need care intending that we can have compassion for, a choice not to explore them is a choice to stay stuck.

[00:16:01] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I couldn't agree. There's um. I go to this Buddhist monastery, um, in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, and they do a, um, meditation there, which is so beautiful, which is, um, where they encourage you to remember that you are of the nature to grow old, to get sick, and to die. We are all of the nature, we are all going to grow old and get sick and die.

And this idea of just reminding ourselves of that, A, like, We can look at it. We can talk about it. It doesn't have to be a, you know, a, you know, we can bring that into living. Right. But also, it also reminds us to live a little bit more fully. Right. When we remember that this is going to happen, no matter what, or as much as we want to resist it, it's, it's, it's there, you know.

[00:16:48] Kris Carr: I think it's very important and so powerful that you bring that up because I, you know, for me, as somebody who lives with cancer, I don't. Not habit there, right? It's not, it's not an operative, it's not something that I can do like, hey, as a creative writing exercise, why don't you imagine this? And so finding a way to live with that understanding is actually probably the biggest thing that's propelled me forward in life.

Because you realize that it's go time. And what I think it, what you have this opportunity to do year after year as you age and you change and your priorities change and what you want changes because it does, you know, you have this opportunity to start to really. shape your future with such intentionality, not just about accolades, not just about certain levels of success.

And, and, and certainly the times when we say, well, once I get this done, then I'll allow myself that opportunity, you know, then I'll go for this, that, and the other thing. I think that you become more inspired by your expiration as opposed to terrified of it and running from it. Um, and at least that's what I have, I think, in some ways tried to cultivate in myself, you know, is if, if I have to live with this, then how is, how am I going to use this to my benefit?

Yeah. Yeah. Um, but we all get the opportunity to do that, to your point. 

[00:18:23] Hunter: Hmm. We all do. If we can remember. If we can, if we can bring it into our conscious. I had a friend, I had a really dear, wonderful friend in college and he was, he laughed so much. He like watched all these funny movies. He was a swing dancer.

Big ol he was like a six foot tall black guy, big heavy guy, and he would just swing me around like his waist, like as if he was doing swing dancing, like we would do through the legs and everything. And he died when he was 22, but I found out that when he was 16, he was given six months to live. Wow. And I didn't even know any of that until after he had died, you know, and I, realize, like, wow, this is why, this is why he's so, he was so, he was living so hard, just living so beautifully and fully, and, and I thought that's the, that's the benefit, I guess, of holding that.

I don't know. 

[00:19:22] Kris Carr: I mean, well, you have a beautiful opportunity. Do you have a picture of him? I think so, yeah. Well, you have a beautiful opportunity then to like put that picture someplace. You know, and it's one of your teachers, mentors, and just a reminder of that. Um, and I think we each need that, you know, it's, it's hard to always draw the inspiration from inside.

Sometimes we need to choose mentors and choose people that can sort of just even their energetic vibration. Raises Our Own. Um, One of the things that I talk about in the book is my dad gave me a lot of wonderful fatherly advice and it started to increase more and more as his time in physical form grew shorter and shorter and shorter.

One of the things that he said to me was to make your golden years now, and I talk about it in one of the chapters towards the end of the book, which is, you know, his words were something along the lines of, we have it all wrong. You know, we work so hard for later. And once this is done, once that is done, then I'll have, go for that trip, then I'll Spend more time with my friends, then I'll golf more, whatever it is, you know.

For him, you know, he was retiring, I think he was retiring at 69, 70, and he had this big vision for this next chapter. He saw all this freedom and all these things that he had not really allowed himself to do. He owned his own business and, but now he is living with terminal cancer and his time was, you know, months, he had maybe months left when this observation came out.

And so his wisdom was, you know, make those golden years now, those golden moments, like how can you go throughout your day and your week and your life? right now and say, how can I create more golden moments? And they don't have to be big, but they're the moments that really fill you up, that fill your tank, that make you happy to be here, you know, reminding yourself that you are fully alive right now in this moment.

You know, what's standing in the way of your extraordinary life? And how can you be more conscious about that now? And, you know, ever since he told me that, it's one of the lessons in the book. And one of the things that I was so committed to doing, which was sharing. A lot of his profound wisdom that has been like a compass, a guiding light for me.

And there's so many times, so many times, Hunter, when I fall back asleep, right? We wake up, we go back to sleep because we're humans, you know, and I'm not, I'm not thinking about the golden moments. I'm thinking about some stress and anxiety or whatever it is, but even just having have that saying on my desk, even just having that in front of my consciousness more often than not.

I think has really, um, kept me plugged into that idea. 

[00:22:20] Hunter: All right. Well, no, I'm just kidding. Hey, that's it. That's all we need. Right? That's all we need. I do want to talk about your book. I like, oh my goodness. Um, yeah, I love that. But I was thinking about how, you know, for you living with cancer, it must have felt like some kind of like cosmic karmic mind deal for you to have to deal with this with your father.

The same thing. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, did you, was that part of your anger?

[00:22:49] Kris Carr: Oh, I was furious, absolutely, because I worked really hard to get to a place where I was accepting my disease, which I still do, you know, and accepting my life and big parts of my life are absolutely magical, you know, um, but it's changed.

So there was a grief of grieving my former sense of self, my former identity, um, Which, I think, I probably did more of writing this book because I had to teach myself a lot about grief, and then that meant I was teaching myself a lot about trauma, and then that meant, like, all these old little boo boos and wounds, you know, were coming to the surface because I feel like inside my emotions were like, Oh God, you guys, let's go.

She's, she's interested in feeling us. Come on, everybody. Let's get our needs met, you know? But when it came to him, I was like, Oh no, not on my watch. You're not messing with him. Like I was, I was not having it for a second. Um, and then what happens is for me, or, and I bet everybody has their own experience of this, is I go to my default.

reactionary places when I am triggered, right? So for me, that'll be about control. And I'm going to get all the best people and I'm going to be on speed dial with all the wellness experts. And I'm going to call in every favor from 20 years of, you know, working in the industry. And we're going to get this done.

We're going to get this sorted, like get out of my way. Here we're going. And I'm not losing my dad and make the protocols, do all the things that you need to do, get it done. Um, but that, uh, a thing that I also write about in the book is that was all coming from fear and anxiety. And so my anxiety was keeping me moving, moving, moving, and my dad didn't want any of that.

Right? And so I had to meet him where he was, and I had to realize that the biggest medicine that I could tap into was love for whatever amount of time he had. Like, I might not be able to change this and fix this. And he might not want me to either. So he kind of reminded me that people aren't projects.

People aren't projects. Right? But when we're afraid, sometimes some of us go to that place of like, Uh, yeah, you are. Let me fix it. I'll fix you so we can make this feel better. 

[00:25:11] Hunter: I mean, to that end, like you write really beautifully about like, you're aware, how you're aware of, um, you know, you're having all these emotions and all this grief is coming, anger, anxiety, fear, resentment, all these things are coming up, all the emotions pushing out the door.

And you want to be there for him. You want to be able to talk to him, right? You want to be able to talk to him about his. dying. He wants to be able to talk. He says, I want to, you know, he wants to be able to talk about it with somebody. But I imagined as we're going through grief, if somebody listening may, may have somebody who's in this position, you're A, afraid of knowing what is the right thing to say, but also B, not wanting to make this person who's dying feel terrible with your own grief, right?

I know. What advice do you have for people? I mean, how has, how have you approached this? 

[00:26:10] Kris Carr: Yeah. So thank you. That's a really good question. And I think one of the biggest questions, um, there's a chapter in the book called Awkward Times, Awkward People. And it's because, look, if we just think about it so we can take ourselves off the hook because we've all been these people and we'll be these people again.

Everything I write about, I've, I've stepped in. So I've got some experience, you know, I've been the jerk. I've done all the things. And so, yeah. I think the biggest thing for us to do before I answer this question is take that step back and say, from an evolutionary perspective, we are, we are wired to be in community, right?

We're pack animals. And so we will do anything to stay in the pack. And we're terrified of being kicked out of the pack because isolation impacts our ability to survive. And so that's hardwired into us. And sometimes what we don't understand is that certain emotions can tap that same fight or flight response.

So grief taps into, it kicks off that fight or flight response. And so when you are in fight or flight, of course, you're going to protect yourself, right? You're going to fight, you're going to flee, maybe you're going to freeze. So all of that is totally normal. So if anybody listening has been in that place and you feel bad about yourself.

Oh God, I didn't show up right. Just know that you're literally, your physiology is overriding, right? It is on autopilot to protect you. And so then once we know that, we know that we can bring a little consciousness to it, right? We are also wired to be negative for our protection. And so we have to work really hard to change our thought patterns and to change these grooves.

And one of the things that I know that I have done, I've seen a lot, and I've certainly done a lot of research on, is like the different ways that we can respond when we're in fight or flight. So maybe we ghost somebody because we don't know what to say, so we don't say anything. Maybe we center ourselves because we're wanting to connect, but we don't necessarily know how to connect, so we make it all about us.

Oh, that happened to you? Well, listen to what happened to me. And then the person feels completely ignored. You know, maybe we start coaching them. You know, that's something I have to pay very close attention to because I'm a coach for a living. But sometimes nobody wants to hear what I have to say. They don't want me to fix it.

They just want me to listen. And so I think that's the biggest opportunity that we have is to say, okay, how do I normally react when I'm really uncomfortable about certain information? Do I go into fix it mode? Do I go into avoidance mode? Do I make it all about me? You know, what is my flavor? Just so that I can be more conscious of it because ultimately when people are going through difficult times, you can't fix it and it's not your job to fix it.

I'll just say that again. It's not your job to fix it. It's your invitation to be present. It's your invitation to show up and to keep showing up, even though it's scary. And that's where the courage comes in. You don't need to have the confidence to do it right. Forget confidence. You're not going to be confident in these murky waters.

She could be courageous, and that courageousness is that continual showing up and that continually willing, being willing to listen. 

[00:29:47] Hunter: Yeah, it's not, it's not, what I'm hearing is it's not so much about what do I say, what do I not say, what are the do's and don'ts of what I say and not say, like, it's more like can I.

Be present. Can I really listen? Can I see you? Can I see that you're suffering and just be there with it?

[00:30:06] Kris Carr: Yeah. And so here, here's some ways that could look. I have no idea what to say. I am so sorry. It must be really hard. I have no idea what you're going through, but I love you. I'm here for you. You know, that's an honest conversation.

Sometimes if the person doesn't want to talk about it, they'll tell you. And you can even ask, I don't know if you want to talk about this or not. The person will tell you, right? And more often when, when it comes to losing people, I think that it can feel very isolating because just because the person's in here physically doesn't mean they're not still a very big part of our lives.

And yet it's this topic that everybody wants to avoid, right? And so it can be really wonderful to share memories of that person. And to talk about the good times and to keep that person alive in your heart, right? But when we're afraid to get it wrong, we might shut those opportunities down. So if you don't know how to proceed, just say, I don't know how to proceed.

I'm so new to this. 

[00:31:08] Hunter: I don't know if you want to talk about it. 

[00:31:10] Kris Carr: You don't want to talk about it. You know, help because I love you.

[00:31:16] Hunter: I feel like I want to offer you a place to talk about your father. What did he teach you? that you want to carry, that you would love to be carried, carried on into the future.

You know, you told us about what he said at the end, but is there anything else? Did we, what did it, what did he do in your childhood that you wish that you would want to carry?

[00:31:37] Kris Carr: I think my dad is one of the most, um, welcoming people. So he makes everybody feel really welcome at his table and, and, and welcome in, uh, his life.

And was, and you know, continues to be, because I talk to him all the time, a great listener. And I think that it truly is like one of the most beautiful skills that we can all develop. It makes me feel so heard and loved and appreciated and valued when somebody is a good listener. Like I really gravitate to hanging out with those people.

And I think we live in a world where less people are. Because we're distracted, um, because our attention spans are shrinking, um, for all the reasons that we know, technology and whatnot, you have to kind of work to build that listening muscle back up again, um, but it's a game changer. I think it's, it allows you to understand what's said so that you can have a deeper relationship with somebody, but it also allows you to understand what isn't said.

And every conversation has two parts, what's said and what isn't said, but you can't really develop that instinct and that intuition and that open heartedness without developing the skills of active listening and, and I actually have never met anybody better at that than him.

[00:33:07] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:33:15] Hunter: So how did you take care of yourself when you were in the process? I'm dying and you're grieving and how are you taking care of yourself now?

[00:33:26] Kris Carr: I will start with now. I feel like I'm just starting to come out of, um, the exhaustion of, of the intensity of that time. Um, and I think we're going into year three after his passing.

So truly feel like I'm, I'm kind of just getting my, my spring back. Um, I don't think I took care of myself so well during that time. And I think I, you know, I talk about a chapter in the book, which is, you know, all about self care in the storm. And for me, it was about really adjusting my standards and saying, okay.

What can I do? What small action can I take every day? And this is what I teach in my wellness community. But you're in the middle of a chaos storm and it's not always easy to practice what you teach. And I, I felt that in a big way. And so I could slip back into old patterns of, well, if it isn't done all the way, then it's not good enough.

So why bother? Knowing that the well, the energy well, is actually so resilient. Our bodies are more resilient than I think any of us give our bodies credit for. You give it just a little bit and it's like, oh my god, you know, um, but we have these ideas in our mind that if we don't give it a lot more and we don't meet a certain standard that we've set for ourselves, then it isn't good enough.

And so I would say that Read that chapter if you're going through a difficult time because there's a lot of tips and a lot of tools for how to take care of yourself in small and steady and doable ways so that you can show up for people, but mostly so you can show up for yourself. And then you have the energy to show up for other people.

But it's not just the energy, of course, because whenever the chisel hits the fan, you're going to be called to make a lot of decisions that you may not want to make. You're going to be needing to make them in time sensitive ways. And when you are running on half gas, it's hard to think clearly and it's hard to navigate these storms effectively.

And so it has both of those benefits of like taking care of yourself gives you the mental clarity and the physical strength to survive these times. And you know, ultimately sometimes that's what it's about. We're all going to go through difficult times. And some, sometimes they can make us, um, a lot wiser and they expand us and they grow us.

I don't necessarily say that they always make us stronger because I think strength comes from softness, quite honestly, but they can, each and every one of them has the power to expand us, uh, if we participate. I,

[00:36:22] Hunter: I agree. And I think that there's strength there too, just like, uh, a muscle that's longer and can, Contract further for stronger, right?

If it has more length, um, what do you, what do you do when, what do you do when you've had, when you've lost it? You've had, in your book you share some challenging times. You talked about being in a CVS parking lot. You talked about. You know, being in a moment where you were yelling at a guy, you know, your car.

[00:36:58] Kris Carr: Yep. 

[00:37:01] Hunter: Which I appreciate. By the way, I really appreciate the story of the yelling at the guy by the car because that's my big challenge. It's my temper and I love to like have someone else say, ah, look. Here's my temper in full detail

[00:37:15] Kris Carr: just so you know. I appreciate that.

[00:37:20] Hunter: So what do you do when you've had a moment like that?

How do you deal with that in yourself and how do you, how do you get back to equilibrium?

[00:37:26] Kris Carr: Yeah, I appreciate that Hunter because I have to tell you and anybody who reads the book, uh, you'll know what we're talking about. It's a, it's a hot moment. There's a couple of hot moments in that chapter and I feel so blessed that I had a wonderful editor because I kept watering those down because I was embarrassed, um, and I was afraid, yeah, to, to like really write the stories the way they needed to be written.

And I'm so glad that she was like, nope, keep going. You know, I know this story and you're not even halfway there yet. Like, come on, you know? And so I just, I, I like working with people who challenge me and I needed that because I think you said it so beautifully, women, especially, we are taught to not only hide our anger, but to turn on ourselves because we experience it.

And um, and we know what happens when we do that. Life just shrinks. So what do I do in those times? Well, if I can remember, and I haven't bitten the hook and you know, I'm off to the races, but if I can remember, it's, for me, it's like when I've lost my mind. Cause that's what happens. You know, white rage comes up.

I've lost my mind. It's on, let's go. When I've lost my mind, there's only one place for me to go. And that's into my body. I cannot solve the problem of my rage with my mind. Like, don't be so angry. Yeah. How's that going to work out? Are you kidding me? That is going to be so unaffected. Calm down.

[00:39:02] Hunter: Yeah.

Thanks. Thanks.

[00:39:03] Kris Carr: I really appreciate that advice. What's wrong with you? You know, like all the things. And then the shame bath that comes afterwards, right? Also so unproductive. And so again, I'm going to come back to first and foremost, getting curious about these emotions and. In the book, I break down anger, um, so that we can understand it, right?

The things that we understand, we judge less. Things that we understand, we, we get more curious about finding tools to help them, like the parts of ourselves that are in need of care, right? So that's step one, and then step two for me is just like, okay, get into your body. If you can't solve the problems with them, of the mind, with the mind, sometimes you need to get into your body or lose you out of.

your mind. And so come back to it through the body. What does that look like? It could look like taking a few deep breaths. It could look like jumping on the trampoline. It could look like, you know, like being in your room and shaking out your hands and, you know, letting out sound, whatever it is, like moving the energy through your body.

Cause in that moment it's stuck. It always feels like stuck and burning in my tummy, you know? And so. Run to the end of the mailbox and back, you know, like you want to send this email and somebody has just said something so obnoxious, whatever, and you want to send them an email back and put them in their place.

Nope. You got to get your sneakers on. You got to run to the end of the mailbox and back, you know, like you got to get out of the door and run around your house. I don't know. You live in an apartment, go run around the block. and then come back and take a deep breath and there's a good chance you're not gonna fly off the hinge.

You're gonna come at it with more of a sense of connection to self. If you do fly off the hinge, you gotta forgive yourself. You gotta forgive yourself and say, well, what happened? Let me break this down like a crime scene. You know what I mean? Let me break this down so that next time that it happens, I can find a better way to tend to myself, first and foremost.

Because when you tend to yourself, you're probably gonna be kinder to somebody else. But if you, for me, if I come at it like, oh, I want to be kinder to other people, so therefore I'll sacrifice myself on that altar, yeah, that's not going to work, right? But if I want to be kinder to myself, that is going to work out, and guess what?

There's a domino effect. And it's kind of nicer. Now, does it always happen? No, but we're in the school of life. We get to flex these muscles and learn things and keep coming back to the same principles over and over again and the same opportunities over and over again because we're not perfect and we never will be.

[00:41:34] Hunter: I, I appreciate that permission to be imperfect. 

[00:41:42] Kris Carr: Yes. Yeah. This is, anything else is, I honestly, anything else is, is a, is, um, let's say a lie, yeah, it's just, I think it's a worthless pursuit.

[00:41:53] Hunter: Well, I think that this will be a wonderful book. I'm going to give it to my mother in law now that I'm done. I'm going to give it to my mother in law, who is a twin and lost her twin sister not that long ago.

And I think it's been really hard because I'm watching and I'm seeing, you know, I've been thinking about these things, like, we don't have any of these markings anymore to let other people know, like, what's going on for us, like, no one wears black anymore. We don't wear, you know, I mean, I was thinking it's like, well, maybe it'd be helpful if we wore black, right?

Like, so people can be like, oh, you're having a hard time. Um, I don't know. I don't know. So I'm not in that position, right? But it's just, and it's hard, it's hard for people to talk to her about her sister. And, and I love that you're really opening the conversation and inviting people to, to come into the conversation.

How are messy. And by the way, dear listener, I did say it was not about do's and don'ts. So there are some good don'ts in this.

[00:42:56] Kris Carr: Yeah, there are a few, but I think the biggest thing that there is in this book is a whole lot of permission to care for yourself and a whole lot of sense of you're not alone and everything you're experiencing is normal.

Uh, and to cut yourself some more slack and also there's a lot of humor in the book because I think humor makes the medicine go down. Um, and these are hard topics. So we have to have moments of Big laughter, uh, to sort of help us move through it, but it is a ride. And, uh, I think it's a ride worth going on.

[00:43:36] Hunter: Yeah. And I, I appreciate that about the book that there's, there is the humor, there are stories, there's advice, it's a whole mix of all the things and it's very personal, it's from your personal perspective as somebody who's just dealing with it, not necessarily. You know, perfect expert, but like, I love that, that perspective, I guess, you know, somebody who's, I'm like here in the trenches, did you?

It's called I'm Not a Mourning Person by Chris Carr, you can get it anywhere, books are sold. Chris, is there anything we missed that we need to touch on, any, any last words, where can people find you if they want to talk to you more about this? 

[00:44:16] Kris Carr: Oh, beautiful. Well, you can find me at kriscarr. com and the book is anywhere that books are sold.

And thanks for having me, Hunter. This was a fantastic conversation, which I knew it would be. 

[00:44:29] Hunter: Oh, thank you. Yeah, I really enjoyed having you here. It's a pleasure and an honor. I think your work with, um, by the way, way back when with all the nutrition and things like that made me realize when I was in my, like, 34, That I had an allergy to dairy that I didn't know I had for 34 years of my life, and all of these things changed in my life, like I stopped having dandruff, I stopped having cold.

Sometimes I stopped having eczema, and all of these things went away. I was like, hallelujah, thank you. I will totally free the smoothies instead of bedshakes.

[00:45:09] Kris Carr: That's awesome. Good you, good you, Hunter.

[00:45:12] Hunter: Well, Chris Carr, thank you so much. I love your book. I'm not a mourning person. Check it out anywhere books are sold. And thanks so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting podcast.

[00:45:22] Kris Carr: Thanks for having me.

[00:45:32] Hunter: Hey, I hope you appreciated this episode. I really, really appreciated this conversation with Chris. It was very Life giving to kind of talk about these, these important, important issues of loss in our life. So I hope it was life giving for you too. Um, if you appreciate it, do me a favor, share it with a friend, just tell one friend about this episode and, and maybe it'll make a difference in that friend's life.

So I hope so. And I hope you have a lovely week, my friend. I hope you have a peaceful week. I hope you get to. Water the seeds of what's most important to you in your life this week, and practice peace, practice steadiness and groundedness, and I'll be doing what I was practicing with you, and I'm so glad you're here.

Thank you for being here, and I'll be back. Talk to you again next week. Namaste.

[00:46:37] Kris Carr: I'd say definitely do it.

[00:46:38] Hunter: It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say, communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a parent. Connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it. It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family.

I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and Getting some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:47:41] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You'll be joining Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparentingcourses. com MindfulParentingCourse.

com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside.

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