Christina Kunkle is founder of Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, LLC and creator of the “SOAR Leadership Development Program” for professional women, in addition to the “Synergy Success Circle” (a monthly get-together for busy women who want inspiration, motivation, education, networking and friendship).
She is a graduate of Southern University in Tennessee, where she earned a Registered Nurse degree. After twenty years working as an R.N. in the fast paced fields of Emergency Medicine and Ambulatory surgery, she felt overwhelmed and overworked, experiencing symptoms of burn out and stress related illness. Not satisfied to settle, she set out on a journey to find happiness, balance, and restored health.
This journey with many twists and turns has helped her to go from just surviving to truly happy and thriving, finding her true calling in Life and Wellness Coaching. She believes while each of us has a different set of tough life challenges, it’s essential to find healthy mentors, seek serenity, and build resilience in order to make lasting changes forward. For this reason she has dedicated her private coaching practice to helping busy women like you transform stress into strength, so instead of getting frazzled under pressure, you can rebound quickly with grace and ease. She believes with a tough mindset, emotional hardiness, and physical resilience, it’s possible to enjoy work/life balance, managing your energy instead of burning out like she did. A confident and from-the-heart individual, her writings appear regularly in “Bloom” magazine for women, and Health Quest magazine (a lifestyle publication by RMH Healthcare.) Her passion and purpose is to use her intuitive gifts to teach, guide, and coach through speaking, workshops, and one on one with clients. Christina’s personal time is spent enjoying her home in Bridgewater, VA with Garth, her husband of 22 years, Ben, their fun-loving 20 year old son, Dani-Grace, their spirited 11 year old daughter. As a family they have a great love for the outdoors, playing with boxers Rocky and Zana, and finding the humor and gifts in each new day.
Here’s another Snippet of my Back-Story ~How it led to finding my purpose and my passion for Coaching:
The struggles I’ve faced brought me to my life’s purpose, just as I believe
your struggles are designed to do.
I’d love to know how you find this helpful,
and how you might apply this story to your own life?
(hint: How could you let your mess become your message?)
All of us are born perfect, whole, and complete. From that moment on, our individual experiences affect how well that truth is reflected back to us. Some of us are wrapped up tight in healthy expressions of Love and Belonging from the start, allowing us to know, in our heart of hearts, that we are safe and secure. This foundation of trust helps us to easily create meaningful relationships – with ourselves and others. Some of us experience stress and early trauma from the start, leading us to question, in our heart of hearts, whether we will survive. This foundation of panic and confusion is part of my story, as I was raised the last of 5 kids in a family deeply affected by my father’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
One memory stands out above all others: I was 6 years old, traveling with my family in our station wagon. In true tomboy fashion, I was wrestling and giggling with my brother as we played “this-is-my-line-and-don’t-cross-over-it” in the back seat. We must have been too loud. We must have kept laughing after being told one too many times to sit still and be quiet. We must have been on my dad’s last nerve, because he stopped the car and made us get out in the rain. And then he drove off. Running through the mud I lost a shoe, but that was the least of my worries. I screamed“please come back…I promise I’ll be good…I’ll be anything you want…I’m sorry!” In that life-changing instant, that spunky free-spirited little girl in me decided she was not good enough, safe enough, or loveable enough.
Something was wrong with me and I had to change. So I tried to be “more lady-like”, sit still, and be quiet-(none of which came the least bit natural to me!) I honed my gifts of sensitivity and intuition to anticipate the needs of others, taking care of them so they would need me and not leave me. Approval became more important than authenticity, and my real self was buried beneath the roles of people-pleaser, perfectionist, and performer. Needless to say, it was hard to make true friends or meaningful connections pretending to be someone I wasn’t. On the outside I appeared confident, was a straight A student, and seemed to belong…but on the inside I was scared and confused, taking cues from the petite, polite, popular girls just to feel like I fit in. This led to a love/hate relationship with food, cursing my athletic build, and burn out– which is part of what I now call Toxic Success.
Over the past 26 years I’ve unpacked the heavy bags of shame, negative beliefs, self-doubt. I’ve finally stopped racing for a feeling of worthiness through high achievement. I’ve learned how to restore confidence, overcome fears, nurture healthy relationships, and use spiritual practice and self-discovery to create what I now call Balanced Success. On my journey back to personal power, I’ve unwrapped many priceless gifts — compassion, forgiveness, acceptance of imperfection, connection to the Divine, self-love, and above all my life’s purpose as a resilience coach. Since we teach best what we’ve needed to learn ourselves, I hope you find these 3 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships helpful in your own life.
1. Look In and Up for Validation: There’s no need to look outside for approval. You are already enough. You are perfect in your imperfection. There is no hoop you need to jump through to be worthy of love and connection. Ask for Divine Guidance in your desire to be surrounded by a healthy circle of support and friendship. Watch for “God-Winks”, listen for answers, then be willing to take inspired actions to create more meaningful personal and professional relationships based on authenticity.
2. Befriend Yourself: The first trick to finding friends is befriending ourselves. It’s absolutely essential to Know, Like, and Trust yourself. To have a good friend, you must know how to be one, which requires genuine self-respect. Although it’s not always easy, look for every opportunity to give and receive unconditional self-love, to heal your wounds, to forgive yourself, and to feel comfortable in your own skin.
3. Find Your Tribe: Author Jane Howard says “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, Whoever you are, you need one.” I believe we all crave the deep connection that graced friendships offer. These days I’m blessed with sister-friends who allow me to be exactly who I am, who help me grow and invite me to grow with them. Who cheer with me when I make difficult choices, laugh with me, dance with me, and revel in nature with me. They get quiet with me. They listen to my vulnerable stories and tell me theirs. They don’t judge, but instead keep their heart open, gently holding space for me to uplevel. Together we are Synergy Strong. Do you have close friendships based on truth and transparency? If not, start today and take one small step ~ life is too short not to cultivate these priceless relationships! Since the Synergy Success Circle is designed to provide inspiration, motivation, practical work-life balance tips, friendships, and networking, perhaps we’ll cross paths sometime?
May we BE the kind of friend we want to have,