Kristi Ling has built her life around a strong foundation of love, happiness and success. Shaped and empowered by her experiences, Kristi is set to show others how to gain and sustain their own joy and embrace the potential of their future.
Who is Kristi-the woman, at her core?
I believe we are all love at our core. For me, I would also say perfectly imperfect, and regularly working to embrace my natural state of happiness. I’m the result of all my experiences – wonderful, magical, and difficult. If you take love, growth, joy, regret, passion, tears, success, loss, happiness, mistakes, wisdom, and tenacity and blend them all together, that might be a pretty good description of what makes me tick, but of course there’s so much more.
Tell us about your family/pets?
I’m very lucky to have a big, amazing family. They’ve all been inspirations to me in some way, and I often include stories about them in my writing. Recently, my mom, who was adopted at birth, discovered she has a sister. My mom is 67 and just met her sister for the first time last year. Isn’t that incredible? And, my new aunt and uncle are lovely, inspiring people like the rest of my family. What a miracle and a gift! I also have two sweet dogs, Venus and Ellis, and four chickens who are all named after Beatles songs.
Before you experienced the burnout of corporate America, what -as you look back now- do you think was the force driving you to that life of overdoing it when it came to work? What was the goal you were trying to achieve that you realized wasn’t working for you at that moment? Did you have any clear idea of what you wanted to do versus what you were doing?
Back at that time, which was about 13 years ago now, I was in a place in my life where I was focused on achievement and what made other people happy more than I was focused on my own happiness and purpose. That’s a dangerous place to be. I didn’t know what was next for me when I left the corporate world, but I knew my soul would continue to shrivel if I stayed. It was time to live my truth and do something different…better. I trusted life that the right path would appear. And it sure did.
Illness. Tragedy. Divorce. All things that many women can relate and connect to. Tell us how these valleys in your journey impacted you and changed your life and path for the better.
Each valley in life has something to teach us, and so do the great times if we’re open. Everything I’ve been through – loss, heartbreak, illness, and even the best moments – it’s all helped me reach new levels of awareness, love for myself and others, and especially compassion. The loss of my husband (through divorce) left me in a state of agonizing heartbreak and grief for a very long period. It was two years before it dawned on me that I could now sleep in the middle of the bed. There were many days I felt like I couldn’t breathe, yet all that I’d learned about emotional fitness and happiness prior to that loss not only kept me breathing, it kept me taking action to move forward every single day. Through radical self-care, self-love, forgiveness, compassion, and spiritual practice I stayed on a healing path and eventually stepped into an incredible new life. There were tremendous lessons gained through all of that. Perhaps the biggest was that the happiness tools and practices I’d learned were not just powerful for everyday, they were powerful enough to support me in amazing ways through the darkest time of my life. That made me believe in them even more passionately and want to share them on bigger levels to help as many people as possible.
How do you maintain your happy?
I like that you use the word “maintain” because that’s exactly what it is. True happiness requires daily effort and maintenance. Everyone’s different, so it’s about developing a personalized happiness toolbox of practices and mindsets that support our joy and best life. I believe it all starts with our mornings. Start the day off in a positive, healthy way and you’ll set a supportive stage for your whole day. I make mornings a priority, including time for stillness, healthy nutrition, self-care, and connecting with people I love. Then I’m ready to take on the day with amazing, positive energy on every level.
You have said that “the real secret to our happiest life is to choose to be happy on purpose.” Without giving away too much, what would you tell a woman who needs that one specific step in the right direction and can’t see her happy place through all the clouds of where she is right now? What is the first brick to her foundation to better?
I would tell her to begin by making over her mornings the way I just mentioned. It’s easier when times are tough to focus on creating positive change in one small area, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the big picture of life. Changing just those first couple of hours in the day is truly life-shifting. It flows into all other areas of life and so many things begin to resolve themselves just as a result of starting the day off in a positive, loving way.
Focusing on your most requested, which of your eBooks and/or workshops would you recommend to a woman just realizing she is ready for change?
I have a free eBook and audio download on my website at www.kristiling.com that cover specific ways to create more happiness, energy, and success. They’re full of some of my favorite tips and great places to begin to create positive change right away. I give them away free because I’m passionate about everyone having this information. These are some of the things that truly changed my life.
Gardening, stand-up paddleboarding, travel, and cooking. Things that involve growth, mind, body, and spirit at the same time leave me feeling fulfilled and peaceful. But, I do admit, sometimes my hobby for the day involves the couch, the TV remote, and a stack of magazines.
What’s currently in your music library?
I love Pandora and iTunes. Right now, my playlists include Bob Marley, Gloria Gaynor, Florence + The Machine, Bad Suns, Gavin DeGraw, Rolling Stones, Flo Rida, Colin Hay, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, Pink, Bruno Mars, and a bunch of mix stations like 80’s alternative and music for meditation.
Shoes or Spa Day?
What makes you smile?
Animals, the ocean, great music, kindness, watching other people experience joy. Life. And, the sound of a champagne cork popping works every time.
What are you currently (or the last) reading?
I just started reading Money – Master the Game by Tony Robbins. One of my goals this year is to grow my knowledge about finances. I’ve learned so much from Tony over the years, so I was excited about the timing of this book. I try to read a book a month, and I read tons of magazines on everything from psychology to interior design and fashion. I’ve always loved magazines, the way they share the world with people. When I was 13, I would use my allowance to buy copies of Vogue and hide them under my bed because my mom thought I was too young to read it. I loved getting lost in it and still do.
What makes you a connected woman?
I would have to say that the number one thing would be connection to myself. Any woman who is connected to love, compassion, and her inner voice is a connected woman.
What five words summarize your passion?
Love, kindness, compassion, happiness, service.
Where can our readers reach out to you?
I have a free eBook and audio class on happiness on my website at www.kristiling.com. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
What’s next for Kristi?
I just finished writing my new book, Operation Happiness (Rodale Books), which will be released in early March of next year. In it, I share from my heart the story of how I went from sadness, struggle, and loss to peace, adventure, and happiness in my life. I reveal what I’ve found to be the keys to sustainable happiness and how to use them to unlock new levels of all things good. My goal was to write a book packed with everything I want everyone to know about creating a life of happiness, great energy, and love, and to help them get there much faster than I did. I also wanted it to be an adventurous read full of fun, rich moments. I’m so excited to share it!
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