How to Navigate Change in Times of Crisis

Disneyland is closed. The N.C.A.A. canceled March Madness. Major League Baseball has halted spring training. Ireland cancelled all St. Patrick’s Day parades (WHAT!?).

New York is banning gatherings of more than 500 people, including Broadway shows. The U.S. stock prices are as bad as they were during the 1987 crash.

The corona-virus outbreak has sent pandemonium to all corners of our lives. Even though as humans, we are hardwired to resist uncertainty, the good news is our minds are flexible and can be taught to thrive during change.

During times of change, there are many things you can do, both personally and as an organization, to thrive during change:

You are in control of your choices…be an example during these times and exemplify strength, calm, control, and above all compassion. We all react to situations differently. Be there for your family, neighbors and co-workers. Listen, encourage, and know just because we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel does not mean there isn’t one. Let’s all just be human.

By Dr. Chris Sopa, stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Feature photo from Pixabay.


Beginning this week, the “Journey Back to Self” blog will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. All three blogs will be written by me unless otherwise noted in the blog. Thank you SO MUCH for being a regular reader!

I had the distinct pleasure this week of being one of the speakers at a Women’s Leadership Forum in Philadelphia. Being the closing speaker, I was honored to sit through the entire day and listen to the three amazing women who were guest speakers as well at the forum. I always find it interesting that, because I am a public speaker, writer and coach, people seem to think I have all of the answers and my life is perfect. I’d like to think that as well but the reality is that I am on this journey the same as you. I learn from my experiences, continue to grow from them and every day do what I feel is right for me to become the best human being possible during my lifethis go round. I strive for excellence, not perfection – which is a HUGE admission for a recovering perfectionist!

All of the women who spoke at this forum were fabulous but my ah-ha moment came from my dear friend, Joan Walsh. Joan and I have known each other for probably 10 years now and quite often speak in the same circles. Joan, being one of the most goal-oriented and successful women I know, suffered an almost fatal aneurysm 20 months ago. In her workshop, she discussed her healing journey and, although she is still healing, what it has taken for her to get this far.

One of the areas where Joan is brilliant is in the area of goal setting and coming up with a plan of action. In doing her research, one of the things she found out regarding healing from a brain injury is the importance of sleep. Due to the fact that healing is Joan’s number one priority, she made the decision to only work in the mornings and in the afternoons she goes home to take a nap. She honors herself and her goals enough to do what she needs to do to accomplish what she has determined will be so in her life.

Hearing this tidbit of information is what brought me to my ah-ha moment. My tendency in life is to “get ‘er done!” I, being goal-oriented myself, like to act, check it off of my list and move on. This tendency, although effective in getting me to my end point, does not always honor my soul nor do I always feel great once I get to my desired end point. I sacrifice too much of myself and I tend to make decisions quickly in order to just to get it over with rather than thinking my decisions through and being patient with allowingthe things that I feel need to change work themselves out organically.

My dear friend Sarah has a great way of making sure she is conscious in every decision she makes. She lives by the rule that when you have to make a decision, never do so if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (in other words, if any of these four scenarios is what you are experiencing at the moment, HALT and hold off making that decision).

My life in 2012 has been one in which it seems one tornado after another is taking turns whipping through each area of my life. Just when I seem to settle into my life after a major change, something else seems to come up right on the heals of that ending that throws me into another cycle of change. The Universe is currently “cleaning house,” so to speak, in everyones life this year. We need to release the old ways of doing things that no longer serve us in order to make room for the new to enter. All of these changes we are experiencing are to make us aware of where we need to change in our personal lives. What decision making patterns no longer work; what relationships no longer serve us; what career is no longer doing it for fulfilling our soul. You name it…it is coming up!

We cannot control the circumstances that life throws our way but we can always control how we respond to them. One of our God-given rights on this Earth is to experience joy. That joy is a decision. There is no need to wait for the outside circumstances of your life to be perfect in order to be happy and feel joyful. (The way this year is going for everyone, if we depended on external circumstances to be happy, we’d be waiting awhile!) Decide how you want to feel today and do what you need to do to make it so. Stay in your center, be consciously aware of how you feel (remember H.A.L.T.), stop worrying about what others think and their reactions and step forward into the life that has been waiting for you. Honor yourself and make decisions that serve your well-being and happiness. It is ok to be in the equation when you make decisions about your life. It’s about time, actually, that you are.

Your life is there…you just have to choose to live it.

H.Y.D.I.F.W.J. (Hoping Your Day Is Filled With Joy),


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Seek Only Truth

That which you seek is within yourself. Teach by example that which you are inclined to share. For your actions speak far more clearly than any theory you may feel inspired to impart.
~Rasha, Oneness”

I always found truth to be an interesting word. It seems to mean different things to different people. Our truth center lies above our eyes in what is energetically called the third eye.” Many who seek the truth, not so much about others but about themselves, find that this energy center (their head) tends to be a bit sore as of late. I have found in life that we can only go so long playing the game of life.” Just when we think we have found the trick to life the truth finds us. What truth you ask? The truth about who you really are and why you are here.

Since we have been talking about energy centers and chakras all week, let me finish up our discussion to shed some light on this whole idea of the truth that we are seeking

Your fifth chakra is located in the middle of your throat and has an energetic theme around surrendering personal will to the Divine will.” This is our center of personal power and where we make our choices.Click here to learn more about the throat chakra. Every single illness has a center here because choice is involved in every detail of our livesincluding illness. This is where you learn the nature of the power of choice, strength of will, personal expression and using your personal power to create what you want in the world. Have you been having a raspy or sore throat, mouth ulcers, gum difficulties, laryngitis, swollen glands, thyroid issues, stiff neck, colds, hearing problems or nose issues? Look to the choices you have made latelyare they serving your highest good?

Your sixth chakra is your third eye” located in the middle of your forehead.Click here to learn more about the third eye chakra. This is your center of truth. In life, whether we know it or not, we are on a continual search for truth vs. illusion. This is the energetic area that helps us define our true self-imagethat we were made in the likeness of God and God lives within us. Truth or illusion? You decide. The freedom to define God as you choose is your God-given birthright. There is no one that knows better than you what that is. What is the most gratifying path for you? That is your truth. An imbalance in this energy center shows itself via problems with the head, eyes, ears, nervous system, brain and even nightmares. We learn our truth through life lessons. Allow yourself to experience lifedetach from the experience and see the truth that is happening underneath everything in your life. It is thereI promise.

The last chakra is located at the very top of your head and is called your crown chakra.Click here to learn more about the crown chakra. This is the area I like to call your prayer center.” We receive information and the answers to our prayers through this energy center. The sun even acts as an information source for us believe it or not. The top of your head is a very sacred space. Did you ever wonder why the bones in this area take so much longer to close on an infant? I am sure there are scientific, physical reasons but I choose to believe it is because the longer this area stays open, the longer that infant is connected to God. This energy center is focused on living in present time.” Our entire life is about building our relationship with God to one where we can go about our physical lives as a Divine beingconstantly connected to our sourceGod. Have you ever had a life threatening illness or a wake up call?” That is a perfect example of this chakra trying to get your attention. How would you define your relationship with God right now? Is he your bud” or a distant stranger?

When you finally drop your guard and begin to believe the truth, that there is a Divine plan for your life, fear disappears and your life purpose suddenly presents itself. The truth has been there for you all alongyou just have been blind to it.

In your darkest hour, can you believe there is a higher presence guiding your life? What is your truth?

Become someone great!

Hugs to you always,


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Photo Attribution

Achy, Breaky Heart

I knowit hurts. That ache in your heart from being disappointed, betrayed once again, losing someone you love, words that sting so bad you feel them physicallyouch! Welcome to the power of your heart chakra.

The middle of your chest is an extremely powerful area. When we are surprised, our hand automatically goes there. When we are hurt, our hand automatically goes there. We know that part of our body is the core of our very beingthe place where all of our healing occurs so we do what we need to do to protect it. The center of your chest is where your heart chakra sits. This chakra is so powerful I decided to single it out in this blog. Click here Fourth Chakra to view more information about this chakra.

The life and spiritual theme that resonates from your heart chakra is love is divine power.” Lovewe are motivated by it, inspired by it, controlled by it, destroyed by it, healed by it, and hurt by it. Every single one of our life lessons is in some shape or form a lesson in an aspect of love; lessons on either how we love one another or how we love ourselves. How we respond to our life lessons is recorded in our physical cell tissue and in our heart chakra the choices we make, whether we like it or not, show up in our biology. We physically manifest the consequences of our choices and lack of honoring ourselves or others in the form of illnesses.

If this chakra is imbalanced at all, and it is for most people out there right now, you will notice issues around your heart, circulatory system, lungs, shoulders, arms, ribs, breasts, diaphragm, thymus gland, and breathing issues. All of these are a clue that there is some lesson in love you are being called to learn.

Two weeks ago I was swimming laps in the pool as usual. On about lap 5 I started to panic because all of a sudden I couldnt breathe. I became overwhelmed with terror that I was going to drown and die. I felt an extremely heavy sensation in my chest. It was so strong that I began to hyperventilate. I got out of the pool and experienced a momentary black-out, came to and spent the rest of the day wondering what the heck happened to me in that pool.

For the last several months, my heart chakra has taken quite the beating (I think many of you can relate). I have had disappointments in relationships, my career, finances, etc. All of which have felt like a blow to my chest. It has been hard to get over. Especially the romantic onesfinding out through Facebook that the man I dated at the beginning of the year who I just broke up with in February, who swore he didnt lie to me or cheat on me just got married in June…well, to say the least, that was a whopper! How do you recover from that?

I realized, with the help of some great friends, that my heart experienced an opening in that pool. When we have been hurt so much in life, we tend to do what we need to do in order to protect the sacred space around our heart. I apparently decided at some point to put a rock over mine. Stone cold! That rock broke and out came all of the emotions I had been bottling up for so longhence the terror I felt.

Since, the pool incident,” I have had bursts of aches in my chest and back between my shoulder blades; all symptoms of the process of an opening of the heart.

We are entering a time in history where it is not an option anymore to have an open heartit is a necessity. These new times call for heart-centered living and in order to live from the heart, the heart has to be open. It is not as easy as it sounds. It calls for mastering the process of letting go and letting God”not so easy for us control freaks.

Spend some time today nurturing your heart. Take a stroll in nature; listen to some classical music or burn a rose scented candle. Its okyour heart is meant to be open. Being open and vulnerable to what is out there is scaryI know. But trust and allow life to guide you to the experiences you are supposed to have to learn about love. Love makes the world go roundremember? 😉

Loving you with my open heart,


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Reclaim your health and beauty!

Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self blog. ~ Chris

It seems that the longer I eat a high raw, low glycemic, gluten-free, health promoting diet, the more beautiful I feel inside and out. It’s not just about looking in the mirror and seeing clear skin, sparkly eyes and rosy cheeks (although it is quite nice); it’s also about how we feel on the inside. The holistic approach has never applied more than when it comes to feeling and looking good.

What is the Holistic Approach? It is being aware of our entire being. Not just the physical body, but also our spiritual body and its need for solitude, silence, reflection, gratitude, journaling, prayer, and meditation. Then there is our sweet, beautiful, innocent emotional body that craves and desires to be loved and comforted above all else. One thing I know for sure is that the better I eat, the better I feel, and the worse I eat, the worse I feel. Emotions are directly tied to our food choices. Our moods are so tied to our eating habits that it’s almost funny how simple it is. Try fasting for a day or 2 and you will know what I mean. All those things that usually annoy you or make you depressed just fall away easily. I have spent many a fast or cleanse laughing at how I take myself so seriously sometimes. It’s all a cosmic joke and the joke is how easy it is once we decide to make feeling good a priority.

The question for some of us is why don’t we make good choices even though we know what is good for us? There are a lot of obstacles that can stand in the way such as cravings, too many “bad” choices, being hungry when there are no good choices in sight, and so on. A conclusion that I have come to over the years is that it is not about what you do some of the time (10-20%) but more about what you do 80% of the time. If you spend 80% of your time berating yourself for what you did during your 20% you are missing it! Missing the good parts of life! Sure, there are going to be times when all you want to do is indulge, and there is nothing inherently wrong or bad about that!!!! We are hard-wired to eat and survive; it’s what we do! We are in human form, and part of taking form is that we desire to experience the sensual side of things such as getting a massage, making love, sleeping in and eating delicious foods.

The balance is in finding the right times to cleanse and eat well and the times to be decadent. At Pure Joy Academy we teach the 80-20 principle which is 80 percent of the time you are building and maintaining and 20% of the time you are cleansing and repairing, whether that is drinking a green juice every morning (or 2x a week), doing a 7-day juice fast at the change of season, a 6-day liver flush or just one day of 100% raw foods once a week. Pick what works best for you, create a plan and put it on your calendar so you will be accountable.

Here are some recipes to get you started:

Chia-Coconut Breakfast (a great oatmeal replacement!)

cup chia seeds
1 cups purified water (to soak the chia seeds)
1/3 cup macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts
2 Tbs. coconut oil (make sure it’s high quality and smells fresh)
3 Tbs. xylitol, honey or yacon root syrup*
6 Tbs. orange juice (about 1 orange)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
tsp. vanilla, butterscotch or rum extract
6 drops liquid stevia

1. Soak the chia seeds for 2 or more hours, you can soak them up to 12+ hours.
2. Blend everything but the chia and water together until creamy.
3. Mix the cream with the soaked chia seeds.
4. Refrigerate or enjoy immediately.

* You may substitute another sweetener for yacon such as maple syrup or honey, but yacon will be best for people with sugar imbalances and diabetics.

Lasts 4 days refrigerated.

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Summer Cucumber Tomato Special

1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small cucumber peeled in stripes and chopped (seeds removed if big)
1 large avocado cut into cubes
1 half of a lemon or lime squeezed
1 half to 1 tsp. Himalayan Salt Crystals
1 Tbs. of olive oil (optional for a richer flavor)
Mix everything together and enjoy!

To your inner and outer beauty!

Elaina Love
480-788-5581 Raw Food Culinary Academy Products and Recipes

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .