In this podcast, I interviewed Christina Wilcox. She’s an author of a new book that I’m going to buy multiple of because it’s that good in explaining everything about the enneagram. She’s a mental health advocate that uses her passion of digital illustration through the enneagram. Take Care of Your Type: An Enneagram Guide to Self-Care is available now in all major bookstores. If you’re not a reader, you have to go follow her on Instagram.
Jesus is the algorithm
How self-care has a lot more to do with internal healing and less to do with taking bubble baths
How we have to be connected to ourselves in order to be truly connected with God
She is starting a podcast SOON, so stay in touch with her via her socials
Christina is an author, mental health advocate, digital illustrator, and Enneagram expert. She lives in Denver, CO with her husband Noah, and my first book Take Care of Your Type: An Enneagram Guide to Self-Care is available now!
Where to Find Christina:
Show Notes: Take Care of Your Enneagram Type
OK, before you get started, I have a suggestion. Go get a comfy, like one of those knitted blankets, pull it up to your chin, have a warm cup of water infused with lemon, honey, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne. Yes, that’s been my go-to every single morning over the past couple of weeks. I’ll tell you why later. But I missed something today. Today is good. This is a warm woman that I am so blessed to know.
Christina Wilcox. She’s an author of a new book that I’m going to buy multiple of because it’s that good that she was explaining everything. She’s a mental health advocate that uses her passion of digital illustration through the Enneagram. So she’s an Enneagram expert in this book. Take Care of Your Type: An Enneagram Guide to Self Care is available now in all major Barnes Noble’s, bookstores, all the things you have to go get it. And if you don’t get it, because you’re not a reader, you have to go follow her on Instagram.
You have to tune in to all the places that she is. She is such a sweetheart. I feel like I have like a new best friend that I just want to, again, cozy up on the couch with because she is so calm and gentle and her spirit is so awakening, which is so interesting because she’s a fellow three and fellow threes are usually like BLAAHH like me. No, I don’t feel that way. So tune into Christina Wilcox. Do not forget Take Care of Your Type: An Enneagram Guide to Self-Care.
You’ve got to go get it. And in the process, text me, text me on your way. Don’t text and drive. We know what that is. But 757-906-3734. If you want some immediate updates, you can text me “podcast”. I’m also giving away a Yeti mike this month because I know there’s a lot of fellow podcast desirer’s out there. If not podcasters, you need the Yeti mike. And so if you subscribe and review to this podcast, this show, screenshot it, put it on your stories.
But really just those subscribe and review enters to win a yeti, Mike. And I think I’ve got a pair it with a book. I’ve got to. Christina, I’m sharing it with a book. So Yeti mike and the book. Subscribe and review. Tune in. Enjoy and just simmer this understanding that you are fully known and fully loved just the way that you are and you have an ability to grow and an ability to connect with others through your enneagram. Check it out.
This is your Godwink. The moment that heaven says for such a time as this, it’s time to own your joy, prioritize your health, discover your wealth and exude your wholeness. It’s time to become truly fit. However, this isn’t a fitness podcast, though I’m a retired personal trainer and nutritionist. This isn’t business jargon or tips and tricks to landing your successful passion project, though that’s totally why I’m a business coach. This isn’t a quick fix health detox ploy.
Though I’m all for therapy and I love Whole Foods. I do have a YOLO side sweet tooth though. So this isn’t confusing religious banter, though. I’m an ordained minister still figuring out the many things and facets and faces of Jesus. It’s really none of that, so I’m wondering if you’re wondering what is this? Well, this is an opportunity to join me alongside other big dreamers, innovative movers and lifestyle shakers as we explore and share our messy comeback stories and discoveries with each of you fellow passionate seekers.
The Fit in Faith movement was first through my own trial and error, discovery of mind, body, and soul alignment. And to be totally transparent, my own entrepreneurial crash and burn experiences. I’ve learned firsthand that being fit isn’t about our physique at all. It’s not about our qualifying abilities or titles. It’s not about our potential. It’s truly about our God gifted passions meeting our purpose. You are one step away from achieving your idea, your dream, your calling, your purpose, whatever you want to call it.
And I want to be there for the moment that you say yes in freedom, clarity and confidence that you are living fully fit in who and whose you were made to be. Welcome to the Fit in Faith Podcast with me, Tamra Andress. There is no better time than now to get fit.
Welcome to the stage. One of these days, I’m going to have like a live show with couches and everyone will be applauding and we’ll be back in person. But for now, here we are.
I am so grateful to have you here. Is going to be so fun to conversate. You guys have to get to know Christina and she’s going to give us an opportunity to do that right now. So Christina Wilcox. She is going to I’m going to give you a little bio just a little intro yourself on all the other things. But one thing that I am super excited about and was originally drawn to her by was her digital illustrating ability. And her Instagram is incredible.So literally, go follow her. I’m going to tell you what it is yet you have to wait. Actually, it’s already on Insta information right now, but stay tuned to learn how she got started into this digital illustration specifically around Enneagram. Which I know if any of my coaching clients are watching, they are obsessed with Enneagram, too, because I talk about it all the time. I’m a three, so I’m not going to tell people what you are because I actually don’t know, but I could guess, so let’s go there and tell us more about who you are and how you got started doing what you’re doing
For sure. Well, first, your podcast intro made me feel really cool. So I was really hyped up right now. I was like, wow, who is she on the screen and why do I look so professional, so great job with that! But yeah, my name is Christina. I got started in this whole social media space, honestly, by accident. I was in college for communications because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at all. I started doing social media for a church where I grew up and kind of got involved in that whole space through that experience.
And later down the road, I was in a job that was not great for my mental health, not great for my creativity. And I was super into the Enneagram at the time that all of that was happening. And so I just started posting random stuff on my personal Instagram for fun. And because I needed to get away from my current job that I used to have, and within eight weeks I went from eight hundred followers to thirty thousand, and from there it just kept exploding.
And here we are about two years later and I’m a published author with Simon and Schuster and all this crazy stuff. So it really I feel like I truly stumbled into all of it.
I just think that’s so amazing and truly, like only God can get the glory in a situation like that. And I literally tell my clients all the time we talk about this because I talk about social media strategies in my coaching or talking about how to like, show up and and do the thing and make the video and create the cool thing that everybody wants to like and follow and share and save and all the things. And at the end of the day, it’s like, Jesus is the algorithm, like he’s going to happen. And yes, your content matters.
And sure, what you say is important and your video curation is also needed. But at the end of the day, like that’s how it happens, is just this overnight or over a long season of life. And we need to know that, like, patience is a part of that process. And so you didn’t have to have much patience. You were in a job that you didn’t want to be. And so there is patience when it comes to that.
But you didn’t have any idea when you were putting that out there. And then eight weeks later, it was like, what’s happening? Yeah.
So when did you hire a team? Did you just keep going?
Oh, I still don’t have a team. It is still just me because I just published a book. I do have a team with Tela Press right now that’s helping me with like what was the stuff and marketing. And I now have a literary agent because my actual, like, true desire is to continue to be an author. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. But as far as graphic design goes and like the handling of my Instagram and admin stuff and the business, I guess that I have, it’s just me.
My dad is also an illustrator and sculptor and painter. And so sometimes if I can’t get an illustration done, he’ll help me. And like, it’s so cute. He’ll scan it at Office Depot to my computer and then I go in with like illustrator Adobe and stuff and do it with him. But other than that, it’s just me and my husband helps me out sometimes, too.
That is really cool. That’s so neat. So I want to get into the meat of your book and the concept of Enneagram. I am such an entrepreneurial mind. So I’m like, well, how can we grow this? What can we do? How can we serve? Like, get it out some more people. And I’m sure the book launch has been kind of a part of that. So it’s like I can get the book right now. Right.
OK, go go everywhere. So tell us tell us all about it. Yeah, so about a year over a year ago now, I was approached with this idea for a new Enneagram book, and it was supposed to be focused on health care and how each Enneagram type can take care of themselves. And it was meant to be kind of like a giftee book, super practical. And so I just kind of started doing some idea outlines with Simon and Schuster, but it kind of turned into this.
Still very gifted practical concept, but I kind of put a little spin on it and kind of talked about how I believe self care and taking care of yourself has a lot to do with internal healing and less to do with going on walks and taking bubble bath. This is all kind of calling yourself out, accepting the stuff that’s really hard, doing the things that are really hard that will ultimately benefit you in the end. And so there’s like a good mix of humor and really light practical stuff in the book.
But then I also really wanted to honestly make people cry a little bit with this book and feel called out and understood in really deep ways. And I feel like we accomplished that for sure. Wow.
Wow, that’s so good. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I think that’s so many. Take care of your type. Yeah, definitely. So pretty. It’s okay. So you all through it as well. I did. I did the illustrations throughout it, but the cover, their own graphic design team did that with like my approval of course, but they did an amazing job that really cover. It really is pretty. The colors are amazing.
It’s very warm and inviting. So I am I’m definitely one of those people that just likes to dive deep. Like I love surf this conversation. I want to talk about the weather because I love the sunshine, but I want to know, like a heartbeat behind your research and Enneagram how that really blossomed, what Enneagram you are. And then I’ll be quiet and ask the thousands other questions running through my mind in a minute.
OK, sounds good. So I became interested in the Enneagram through a friend. Actually I before I ended up in this whole space that I’m in now, I lead worship for eight to 10 years at my home church in Texas and there was a worship leader. I worked with Austin, who was super into the Enneagram. He was a four and noticed a lot of similarities between him and I. And so he was like, hey, can you take this test?
And at the time I did get a four. I’m not a four for the spoilers, but I did get a four and I just was blown away by. I just go straight into all the numbers because I was blown away by how this test wasn’t just another personality test, it was about your motivations and why you do what you do. And I feel like with other personality tests and I’ve always been super interested in psychology and trauma and learning about the mind.
And I never came like found a personality test that actually got to the root of someone like Core Desires and Fears and blew my mind.
And I you could literally ask everyone that has known me growing up through that time period, like even if you were a stranger on the street and we ended up in a conversation, I’d be like, here, take this test, really annoying, crazy person that asked everybody I knew to take the Enneagram solely because I wanted to even almost study people in a way so fascinating to me.
And it I the funny thing is, is I used to be enneagram mainly for other people and kind of ignored myself throughout the process because I think I. I didn’t think I wanted to accept the truth of my own number, and I just kept putting it off because I was like, well, I’m fascinated about other people enough and I’m learning about myself through that. That’s enough. But it actually wasn’t until I started posting about it and got even deeper into this whole world that it was because it was so fast.
It caused me to have to really dig deep into myself and understand my core desires. So I’m a grieving for. Oh, there you go. Yeah. So I am but I’m a self preservation sub type of three. So a part of my how I want my image to be is very modest and humble and don’t look at me, but I want your attention actually please keep staring at me but don’t look at me. So I live with the wing forward to it.
Makes it a pretty complicated pairing. So I yeah, I discovered throughout this whole journey, I basically whoever I’m around, if I take the Enneagram test, I’ll get a different number. And I’ve noticed that it’s because I have a tendency to show up how people want me to show up and that whenever I figured out I was a three and the three ability to kind of be a chameleon and be completely adaptable and change their image and personality based on what other people want, I realized, like, oh, I’m never really showing up is my authentic self ever.
And that was such a huge callout. And then that made me go even further into it, which honestly, all of this even happened as I was writing the book. It really forced me to have to recognize all of these tendencies within myself. Wow.
That’s so good and so deep. And I feel the same. I’m not as familiar with my wings, but I understand like all of the other numbers.
And it’s been really interesting to find relational similarities, to find relational differences and discrepancies. And my favorite part probably is understanding like who I am in my health zone. And so there’s like, though, is that one through ten or one through nine of like how healthy our operating within that specific number. And because I’m an achiever, naturally I want it to be like I want to be the best. Me and I fall short every day. I’m definitely not a I’m not at the top of my game.
And I think it’s been interesting to hear you say that chameleon component of who you are, because for two, three, almost three decades of my life, so I was almost 30, I couldn’t put words to that understanding that I felt like I was wearing a mask, but I wasn’t intentionally wearing the mask. I wasn’t trying to be fake, but I felt like I was never me. And I was just like living to be happy for other people or a shoulder for other people or empathetic for somebody or driven today.
And I didn’t mean it. But inside internally, I felt this like constant wrestling of like, who am I? But I never took the time because I was achieving and success driven to actually process who am I? And so it was in my crash and burn season of my life. I call my quarterlife crisis. I never want to have one again. I got a hold of me and he showed me my identity through him, but really understanding it through the lens of Enneagram as well.
And not just the written word, but unpacking it in therapy and then trying to reveal that to my husband. By the way, this is who I am. This is actually what I like and don’t like. I don’t love everything that you love, even though I’ve told you that I love everything that you love.
Trying to process that as a couple, as a mom, as a friend. I actually lost a lot of friends during that season because I decided finally, like, I need to evaluate who I am and I need to show up for myself as me instead of showing up for you as who you want me to be. And that is a hard thing to do. It took me years. I’m still learning how to do it because I can definitely find seasons in my life where I’m not, but Enneagram specifically in my own self reflection and then in my relational experiences specifically with my husband.
He’s a seven has been such an experience. And so if you take the Enneagram, you can then like dissect next like how you correlate together and like how you can converse with them and benefits of your relationship. But struggle points that you’re likely have. I at one point was having such a hard time with a family situation. Sibling, in fact, and I did not know how to relate, I did not know how to communicate, I didn’t know what to do.
And so I said, I need you to take this test because I can not wait for you out. And ironically, she was a four. So it’s long.
And and I’ve I since then have understood her in such a new way, just from understanding her Enneagram. So I think it’s fascinating. I also think it’s fascinating that I didn’t find out about this even process or tests until I was in my thirties when Myers, Briggs and all these other tests were pushed and shoved in my face since I was young. So tell me more about like, how did the Enneagram compare to other tests? Have you even gone further into those tests?
And obviously I love that fear that that knowing of the fear that it provides. But yeah. Tell me tell us more about that.
Yeah. So I similarly in high school became really obsessed with the Myers Briggs. Again, a friend of mine had me take it because we were both really similar, but also very different. And she just I think for some school class had to take it. And I was like, hey, you take it. And so I did. And I’m an IFJ on the Myers Briggs and all of my friends were extroverts and I was the only introvert in the group.
And so the fact that I could finally tell people like this is why I disappear. Sometimes it’s not personal, like I just need some space. I had never had that language before or understanding of introversion and extroversion. And I kind of sent me on this whole journey of this. I think I became so obsessed with self discovery because I didn’t know who I was similarly to you of I showed up differently in all these different spaces and I wanted some type of language to communicate how I was feeling.
And it wasn’t until the Enneagram that I accurately found that. And I feel like I. Through. Being able to find a safe space to figure those things out, because I feel like as Christians, we often do neglect this kind of self discovery part of life, because I think there’s a big difference between dying to self and connecting to self. I think we have to be connected to selves in order to be connected to God. Like, I think those things have to be connected because if we’re not aware of ourselves, how can we be aware of our sin or aware of the Holy Spirit or aware of these other things.
And oh, well, I just finally feel like the Enneagram provided the safe space that was like not even though some people do see it as very like New Age and whatever else they want to call it. For me, it was the first time I felt like I can do this without it being sinful or without it being whatever. And I can find this language and I feel like that. Maybe the main difference I recognize is the Enneagram felt very felt safe and it felt much more expansive rather than it trying to put me in a box.
It was like, this is how you can step out of the box, you know? And I think this Myers Briggs or what is it like Lion Otter, Beaver, retriever, strength, finders, all of those things are telling you, like this is who you are and this is what you do, and this is your box in the Enneagram. It’s like this is your box, but you actually will be your best self if you can get out of the box.
So that similarly to because I’m a three, I want to be my best self and I want to keep improving. That really kept me going with it for sure.
Yeah, I love that so much. And it’s interesting because when I was in college, I remember not knowing like what I wanted to do either. And I went and they my counselors put us through like this three series test and we took all these different types of like job description tests and life value skills, all this stuff. And every single one had me as I was going to be like a business manager and in the management. So I went into business management because I didn’t know who I was.
And so I just followed the rules, the dotted line, the yellow brick road to get to where I thought I needed to be. And if I had had that test, then I feel like it would have helped me in so many ways. And so for people to proclaim it as New Age or trendy, it actually was established way before Myers Briggs and people didn’t know that. I didn’t know that until I started looking it up. I thought it was something new because I just heard about it.
And lo and behold, it’s been around for decades. When do you know offhand when it was established? Is it the sixties, the 50s or 60s? I think so. I actually put it in my book. So something like that.
It was an. It’s. I think even before that, and I remember being amazed, yeah, it’s been around for a really long time because it has a lot of like monastic roots, too, of people who were seeking to get closer to God. But meeting that very intentional private mentorship like people, how they originally used the Enneagram, you weren’t even supposed to tell anyone your number or even know the number of someone else is supposed to be this very, like mentor you God process.
And that’s it. Obviously, with Western culture, it’s taken this whole, you know. Yeah. For every one of us. But I think getting to the heart of what it was meant for and what you even experienced it as, I think is so, so important. It’s so interesting. And just to know that it’s there as a resource and my therapist actually did say she’s like, don’t go around telling people what they are because, one, you might be completely wrong.
And to they that’s a self discovery process that needs to happen. And so, like, again, me mentioning that I don’t really know much about my wings or how that even operates, there’s so much to learn about it. And I really love and I think as a Christian, there can be that component of am I supposed to analyze self or am I supposed to be spending my time in the world? And I love the way that you said it.
It’s not about like superceding God. It’s actually about intimately knowing God based on the God within you, based on how you created us. So I love that freedom factor. And I think it’s important. I believe there is your enneagram coach is another Christian Christian woman who who propels the Enneagram as well into our faith and understanding it. And so there are people that are doing it. There’s actually been a couple of pastors who have preached entire sermons around how your Enneagram is related to a specific character in the Bible, which is really fun to follow.
I think it’s Levi Lesco, but don’t quote me on that. And then another one, I just discovered this recently by a girlfriend’s daughter. I’m her Auntie Love being an auntie. There are songs about the Enneagram and I listen to yours.
I only have a tie on my number.
Oh, no way did you listen to all of them and then discover it?
Well, I, I was listening to them as he was releasing them. So I was like, you know, the release date. I was like on the subscription thing that he did.
So I was paying to hear them early because I was like, well, and you know, and I just remember because at the time when he was releasing stuff, I thought I was a four and the three. No or no. How did he release them? He released them one to nine. And so when the three came out and I listened to it. I saw the whole thing. I still do, it’s one of the songs I could turn it on and immediate.
I’ve never related to every single word so deeply, so much. And that’s how because when the song came out, I related to some aspects of it, but not like the three at all.
It is really cool. You guys have got to go listen to your song. I was in the middle of like a family dinner and she told me about it like I’ve got to do this right now. This is where they go in there. I like going into the other room. And I was just like listening. And I’m like, you cannot believe how accurate this is.
And honestly, the fact that you’re crying, it’s really so transparent in the way that they wrote the words that you find this like mirror image experience. And for me, I was saddened by the character because there’s a lot of parts of a three that we never actually fully reveal to the public. And so I hear it in that context, like a song and like, oh, my gosh, the world has access to knowing me.
I will vary over emotion and in a good way. I shared my husband and and Sandra’s on here listening. And she was saying, like, shout to the heavens. He is like his song is so fine. He’s like, this is awesome. Like, I just want to like link arms with him and go like frolic through a meadow, because that’s really the type of being that he is. And he exudes that everywhere he goes and he listens to mine.
And he was like, oh no, you live with me, you got to love me. You don’t have a choice. So just interesting. And so I’m excited for you that you’re this is out to the world. When did it come out? Officially.
So the book came out December 15th. So it’s been out for over a month now.
Amazing. How is it doing? How are you feeling. Yeah, it it’s doing really well. It honestly was the day of the book launch. It’s. Any other fellow writers could maybe. And besides, with this, I didn’t know that this was a universal experience until any Downs actually recently talked about this on her Instagram and things like this happens to everyone. I’m so glad I wasn’t crazy, but having something be in your mind and then a Google doc and then this paper book and then a hardcover book, but still no one having access to it and then of flip switches and everyone has it.
I was in bed all day, just drained, terrified. Exhausted, emotional, it was a very surreal experience, and I felt so guilty for that during the whole day. Seems like I should be celebrating and excited. Everyone is sending me all these positive message messages. And I think with being a three, as I’m sure you can relate, there is a sense of imposter syndrome of your being exposed, fear of actually being terrible at what you do and no one’s telling you.
And when it was this overwhelmingly good thing and I was receiving so much positive feedback, I didn’t even know what to do because I was just expecting the worst in a way and preparing myself to like, how am I going to recover if people think I’m horrible, how am I going to spend this? How am I going to like whatever? And when I didn’t have to spend anything and it was just me and people were loving what I wrote and me not pretending to be anything else, I just was overwhelmed.
And so I that alone, even if the book didn’t do well and it was just that type of experience, I’m forever grateful for it because it really grew me a lot that whole day just really made me feel so thankful. And it was such a mark of growth, I think, in my relationship with Christ and in my relationship with myself, with myself as well. And yeah, it’s been doing really good. It’s been very emotional, but yeah, it’s it’s crazy.
I have wanted to be a writer since I was six, so it was very surreal.
So, so cool. We actually have people on right now that are alive listening who are in the process of either writing a book or releasing their first book or author. So I know they’re resonating with this message and me as well. I actually just wrote one chapter in a co-authored book that released last May, and it was the first time that I ever shared this part of my healing journey and my story and just one chapter. And I felt like someone just ripped my gut out of me.
And the book came out. I was like, I didn’t want to tell anyone about it. I’m like, this is not happening. But I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew God wouldn’t have opened that door because it was such a one of those scenarios that, like, I couldn’t have I couldn’t have put this together myself. I know I have to write it. And I knew that I needed to release it. And it was like the first step towards what my greater book is, is planned to be.
But it is it definitely is fear fear based like there’s a fear based component of not it’s not about success in that regard, but it’s about that people pleasing. What will they think? This is literally going to ruin me was my thought pattern. And it actually just made me that much more relatable to people because there was a hidden part of all of us. I think that we never find the freedom to share. It’s one of the reasons I started this podcast.
It’s one of the reasons that I do what I do on a consistent basis, because I want people to know that there is real raw things happening every single moment of every single day and has in the history of mankind. And it’s just a matter of us continuing to activate towards that, always becoming piece of who we are and who God intended us to be.
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I’m excited that you have this book. I’m excited that you have this resource of connectivity in a community far beyond which you could have asked for our imagine tell me, like, what’s the next step? What is the vision look like? Is worship something that you’re still like ingrained in? How are you activating? Yeah, I saw the next steps are I’m actually working towards quite a few different things right now, which is exciting. I’m actually also working towards releasing a podcast, which is exciting.
The podcast will be more about it. We’ll have Enneagram component to it. But I am very passionate about Turtur and trauma within the church and mental health advocacy within Christianity. And so the vision for the podcast I’m working on is to invite experts who are believers, but also experts who are to just become educated and things that we’ve been lacking in within the church and creating an open space where people feel like, hey, I was hurt by the church, but I still love Jesus and I still want to be a part of the church.
But I don’t know how. I kind of want to I feel like there’s a really big gap there. And I’ve been in that gap for the past two and a half, three years. And I want to create a conversation about it as I come on the other side of that experience. And I want to know that other people can come to the other side, too. So that’s something I’m working on. I am working on a few different ideas.
Nothing is solidified yet. But as I said, that’s my main drive and goal in my life is to be an author. And so now that I have that opportunity, I’m trying to pursue it full force. Other than that, I am doing a few different workshops with some churches and training in how to work well with your co-workers by using the Enneagram. And that’s something I’m also very passionate about and going in and actually problem solving with the Enneagram and seeing people have that breakthrough recognition moment like you had with your sibling of like now I get you.
I know completely, but I get a little more. We can work on this. And so, yeah, that’s kind of everything I have going on with worship leading. I still worship lead whenever I can. I love music, will forever love music.
It’s really never like doing your own Enneagram songs.
No I, I don’t know I sleeping at last. It’s such a good job and I feel like it’s such a. I just would never want to yeah, something worse, like I don’t know how he did it and it’s such a perfect singular thing. I have thought about maybe doing like a series where I sang them all, but I don’t think I could ever sleeping Alaskas on a different song when I did a really good job. I think it would be really cool to like, look at it through the lens of the father and like that’s like the lens of the Enneagram, but like to have it through the lens of like how and why and like what more is there beyond just what we see.
And that really would take that faith experience to another level.
And that’s true that I like that word. This is like let me worship you for the creation of how you made me through your lens as the creator. And it would just I don’t know. I think it would be really neat. My brains are spinning like this that I love being entrepreneurial, but I wanted to go back quickly because we have a little bit more time. And you had it in your bio and you just mentioned it again, that you’re a mental health advocate.
And I don’t necessarily proclaim that, but it is something I am very, very passionate about because of my own mental health, depression, anxiety, suicidal and wanting so desperately to let people know that there is such a freedom factor on the other side of that, but that there is a process of persistence that has to take place. And it’s not even though Jesus is miraculous and his ability and his spirit can come in a wave and it has in my life there are still triggers and there are still components of like becoming that have to take place for me to evolve.
And so I’m curious, like, what? Do you have your own mental health journey in that and how are you activating to continue to evolve yourself?
Yeah, for sure. First of all, thank you for sharing your experience, even though, like, I feel like anyone who is passionate about mental health, it’s easy to talk about it. But at the same time, later, when you’re like, why do I feel weird? Why do I have all these weird body sensations, whatever? It’s still very difficult to talk about. I appreciate you even sharing that snippet. But for me, I have there’s not a moment in my life where I have not been struggling with mental illness.
From as early as six years old, I started having severe panic attacks. I was incredibly socially anxious to the point where I would make myself sick before going to any sort of event. Loud noises would trigger vomiting for me. Like I just had a very tough experience and childhood experience, constant, intrusive thoughts later actually not being diagnosed until this past year. Twenty twenty with OCD and I’ve struggled with OCD my entire life and OCD is caused really wreaked havoc on my life, wreaked havoc, created anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, suicidal ideation because of this thing that I didn’t know was a thing for me, because I think when you typically think of OCD, it’s not what it actually is.
And I obviously never felt very represented within the church. And whenever I would finally open up with someone about the things I was dealing with, it was always, you need to have more faith. You need to get in the word. You need to pray more. Usually these things are the result of staying in your life and you need to go to Jesus and figure out what sin is going on. And ironically, my OCD, my main obsessions, have to do with religion and being correct.
And I my obsessions had a lot to do with fearing I was too sinful going to hell, and that’s where my compulsions would come in as well. So the fact that I was also being fed this direct narrative that was fueling what my OCD was having me believe, I just got to a point where. I couldn’t function anymore, and thankfully through Salvacion, I realized my identity apart from my mental illness, but there was still this constant uphill struggle to where at one point I even experienced a very traumatic event with someone I trusted within the church that.
Started this whole other journey from church, hurt and feeling betrayed by the church, and so I have kind of been in that space for about three years now of. After being a mental health advocate, what does it look like to be a theologically sound, scientifically based mental health advocate and marry those two and not only making people with anxiety and depression and suicide ideation represented, but people with BPD, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, all of the things that we as Christians, I think have a very jaded view of.
And I really started to notice that it was kind of a systemic problem, not just this is the church I went to and they just don’t understand in some churches do it really well. But there is kind of this systemic problem that I, I would say it’s my biggest calling, I feel like to do everything I can to relieve that gap.
Yeah, that’s really incredible. And so noble and and also a very hard call. And I think that it’s one thing that I do know that you will find a lot of partnership within. Have you heard of Trever talks before his podcast? No. To connect with them. He as well as a mental health advocate, and he talks out about mental health in his faith and just an amazing man of God and has a really cool story for for advocating for people.
He’s been on the podcast previously.
But I think the part that I hear a lot, and it’s not just in your story, but I’m hearing right now and it’s kind of like bringing that back because Chirchir is something that’s palpable and people so, like, eagerly hold on to it.
And I think it’s because it feels like it’s the place to be, the place that’s safe.
Ultimately, Church Licalsi Church is ran by imperfect humans, and it is the church, the capital church that God is calling us to, that Jesus is asking us to be invested in and to witness and to partner with him in. And that church doesn’t always mean that it’s in a building with a steeple. And and we as a community, we’ve established something that people were coming into my home for multiple years and we were just like communing, breaking bread together, like having conversations, letting people cry, unbiassed, sobbing mess, or letting them be completely free in their worship or letting them sleep on the couch because their kids are running around like it was just this place where you were allowed to be free and you were allowed to ask questions.
And I think that’s a big part of what you probably didn’t experience, is you like your I’m I’m having all of these emotions. This is all happening to me. And instead of asking questions, they were just pointing and telling and pointing and telling. And in that process, it breaks the spirit of of God, like out of the church completely because humans are trying to hold captive what they think is right. They’re trying to hold biblical scripture in their hand as if they wrote it.
And that’s just simply not the case.
And so it’s the knowing that in church, out of church doesn’t matter where you are, it’s that self representation, that self identity, that self exploration that goes back to the Enneagram that allows you to have this intimate relationship with God, for him to keep you in your salvation, for him to like have this relationship with you and then to press deeper into you and say, no, Christina, it’s not just this. I’m going to break you free of that.
But I’m also going to call you out to do it for others and be that voice and be that representation of who I am and who I’ve called you to be. So Kudo’s, I will be cheering you on.
I will share your house when it comes out. I cannot wait to hear the depth of it. I just I partner with you in that. And I think I always talk about ministry mindset. And I feel like a lot of people are hindered, especially women, especially women in the marketplace who have these passions. And they cannot activate because they’ve been told that they’re supposed to do it for free or they’re supposed to only do it as a servant leader in the church.
And then they’re broke and they’re complaining about finances and they can’t feed their children. And if you go to Proverbs thirty one and you research what that woman is doing, she is working and she is harvesting and she is putting the clothes on the on their backs and she is feeding them as well. But she’s also an entrepreneur. Yeah. And I provided excitedly and abundantly more based on her activation. And I believe that more is is in finances, it is in the fruits of the spirit and there’s so much more so wealth and money, but yea we are rightfully desire.
We are rightfully placed, he is always ready before us in the marketplace, we have to show up there because the secular world has taken it.
So I, I just and I’m sure as you’re stepping into this season, like there is a component of entrepreneurship in everything that you’re doing, and so it’s that recognition that, like you, you have to keep pressing in and you’re called to press in. And he is with you and beside you and before you.
Yeah, totally. I think that’s the biggest thing is I’ve been on this healing journey and as I’ve been on this journey of things happening that I had no idea what ever happened to me, the opportunities I had never imagined for myself, the biggest work we can do. And I think the biggest thing that God calls us to do is to keep showing up. And it’s in that that sounds very cliche because I feel like showing up has become such a taboo thing to say, but I really think.
For me, currently, I’m also doing a church residency program in Colorado, and on Sundays we have to arrive at 6:00 a.m. and set up a church. And it was very it still is not just because of how early in the morning, but because I with active grieving church hurt. Showing up for the church in that way is difficult. And that’s the last thing any of us ever would want to do. But it is through that work of, you know what?
I don’t know how I can love the church right now, but I have to show up and I don’t know how I can create another Enneagram graphic. I, I don’t know how to. What are you going to say anymore? I just have to keep showing up. And I think sometimes, too, there’s this level of I showing up, just isn’t doing this thing and going out and being productive and having this drive. I think to what I talk a lot about in this book that I wrote is you have to keep showing up for yourself and for your relationship with God, and you have to do that in whatever.
I could never and you could never tell anyone what that is like. Only you know how you need to show up. And I think that what you said is so true of just like. I remember reading Proverbs 31 and realizing this woman was like, really awesome.
Yeah, because all you hear is charm and is deceptive and fleeting. And it’s all about this crafted image that the church and the world has of women and actually going into it and being like, no, she’s investing her money and she’s showing up for her family and doing the things, showing up in the marketplace. And I just feel like that actual heart of God for women in ministry and in the church is so exemplified through that like that call to show up applies to us.
And we have to keep going for it for sure.
Oh, I love you. I love you so much. Good, good.
Just keep talking and going. I have to encourage you to go to Christina’s website, get her look. It’s incredible. Christina Wilcox WRAL CEO X.com, her book is there. She also said it’s everywhere. So if it’s everywhere, it’s everywhere. Go to Target. Yeah. I don’t know that there are other places like ours as well. That’s OK. Let’s let’s support Barnes and Noble, the local bookstores, your cuisine. It’s been such a pleasure and I am honored to have you here.
Is there any last words of encouragement or ideas that you want to leave the audience with? I don’t know. Well, I think. Thank you so much for having me on and thank you to everyone who is listening and will listen. I think just if I could say anything to you that your love and your cherished and you matter.
Hey, it’s me again, I hope in today’s episode, you sense and ignite to an ember within you, something mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually moving that creates and sustains a fire within your journey. Before you go, let’s solidify the flame. I’d love for you to take a step right now and declare your take away by snapping a pic of the episode. You tune in to share your Sparks moment and tag me at Fit in Faith Podcast Face podcast or me personally at Tamra Andress on.
Instead, I hope that I can keep you accountable and also share you with the greater community of the Fit in Faith Podcast listeners. We’re totally in this together. Community over competition is the motto, right? I’d also be incredibly grateful if you took an extra second to lead a review on iTunes or your podcast listening app. I’d love to feature your thought in the next episode and give you and your passion project a big shout out. You know I’m a writer, so I love words and I can’t wait to read what you have to say.
I’m ready to fuel the flame with you together and until next time, blessings over your joy, help, wealth and wholeness. Tune in next time.