Sometimes you have to do more than one thing to put it all together because sometimes one will be working better than the others. That’s how puzzles work. Cristina Smith, founder and the CEO of the Subtle Energy Center, found herself infinitely bored on a flight to visit her brother when she decided to give Sudoku a try. She bought a 300-page puzzle book on her way back home and posted a challenge to herself to finish it all 300. As she delved into the puzzles, unexpected deeply spiritual quotes began to pop into her head.
Sudoku, like anything in life, could be approached as an act of mindfulness to deepen spirituality and life purpose. Cristina says doing these puzzles is like yoga for the brain. When we stretch our bodies the way they‘re not used to, they become more flexible. These puzzles do the same thing for our brain. Being a subtle energy researcher, this discovery led her to do research on why and how that happens. It turns out that training and maintaining our brains work best by entertaining them.
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Yoga For The Brain with Cristina Smith
I have somebody with me who is definitely heart-centered. Her name is Cristina Smith. She’s been a heart-centered entrepreneur her entire 33-year career. She is the Founder and the CEO of the Subtle Energy Center, Founding President of the San Diego Holistic Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she is the award-winning author and publisher of the Yoga For The Brain Series Of Profound Philosophy And Fun Puzzle Books. We’re going to talk about having that happier heart-centered life. Welcome to the show, Cristina.
Thank you, Terri. I’m so delighted to be here. I love your show. It’s an honor to be on it.
We talk about heart-centered business. You’re a heart-centered entrepreneur. Tell us a little bit first about your journey. How did you come to find the Energy Center, the Holistic Chamber? Tell us a little bit about your journey if you would.
I have always felt driven to follow my passion or follow my heart in business as well as in life. It’s a lot like what’s become the modern model of business work. My work supports my life unfolding and everything that I do seems to unfold into the next beautiful art center journey. I started out as someone who had a profound experience of feeling subtle energy when I first glanced the pyramids in Mexico to a camp with my parents when I was fourteen and that changed my life forever. I got there and all of a sudden, I knew where to go. My hands were full of energy and it opened me up to the truth of how beautiful life can be if you are in touch with your heart and soul and allow it to lead.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into not only writing these books also publishing them. How did that come to be?
I have gotten into publishing because my dream led through this exploring Subtle Energy on all levels. As it led me to follow the Subtle Energy Centerpiece, Chief Energy Officer, I’m always also in my heart-center career as an entrepreneur. Sometimes you have to do more than one thing to put it all together because sometimes one will be working better than the others. Additionally, I’ve been a freelance writer. Like many of us who have a lot of interests and deep study, I started writing many books, but I never finished one, probably sounds familiar to a lot of us. I went on this amazing journey as I was traveling regularly and happened upon puzzles as my technique.
I was going to visit my brother, Rick, in Colorado for the holidays. I was all buckled in at 30,000 feet and realized that I was bored. It was the dreaded truth. I was bored. I read everything on my iPad. I have read the entire in-flight magazine earlier in the month and I’d done the crossword puzzles. In true desperation, I considered the Sudoku. My inner voice said something like, “Yuck, Sudoku, I don’t do those,” but I decided to get over myself and give it a try. I figured I was going to be terrible at it and I was. In fact, I can’t figure it out at all trying the easiest one.
I got off the airplane and my brother picked me up at the airport. He is a retired technologist, game designer, and mathematician. On the drive to his home from the Denver Airport, I asked him if Sudoku was easy for him. It was, and he added some easy puzzles for me to try while I was there. I didn’t do much better on the ground than I did in the air. After a good visit, he dropped me off at the airport to head back home. In the security line, I made an important decision. I was going to see if I could learn to solve Sudoku and find out if it did help me and see if I could do it as a practice.
I went checking out. I went straight to the airport bookstore because you know how that can go. You can make resolutions. I bought a book of 300 easy puzzles for myself and post a challenge. I wanted to give myself plenty of allowance for the learning curve and not flat-out failure, but then the most amazing thing happened.
It was strange. As I delved into the puzzles, unexpected deeply spiritual quotes began to pop into my head. I was super surprised but being a good spiritual practitioner and wanting to track everything that happens, I wrote the sentences down next to the puzzles in the book. I began to realize that doing Sudoku was not as puzzling as I thought. Sudoku, like anything in life, could be approached as an act of mindfulness to deepen spirituality and life purpose. That first book took me three months to finish. I was surprised to discover that this supposedly straightforward puzzle had its own magic. My logical abilities became more finely honed as I sharpened my pencil and play any race. As my skills grew, a cognitive vision started to happen when I first looked at a puzzle.
It was a bird’s-eye overview and I could only relate it to being f a puzzle vision superpower. I recognized patterns in a quantum time work, super neat, indescribable way in all aspects of my life, not just puzzles. It’s pretty cool. I realized that doing these puzzles is kind of a yoga for the brain. Since I knew that when we stretch our bodies the way they are not used to, they become more flexible and these puzzles do the same thing for our brain. Being a Subtle Energy researcher, this discovery led me to do research on why and how that happens. It turns out that training and maintaining our brains works best by entertaining them.
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I’m finding this fascinating because I’m not good at puzzles. My husband is gifted at puzzles. However, I do puzzles, and I do it based on my training and experience. Years ago, I was a speech-language pathologist who specialized in Alzheimer’s. I know that people who do a lot of puzzles have less Alzheimer’s. It’s one of those things that’s factual. I love what you said. It made so much sense.
I do find it to be something that’s a mindful process and it allows me to get back in touch and quiet. At the same time, I love how you gave the analogy of the yoga for the brain and the flexibility of your brain. There’s proof of this with Alzheimer’s. When we’re doing puzzles and we’re using those areas of our brain and engaging them, those areas tend to stay fired and they don’t get wasted away like they do with Alzheimer’s.
That was another thing that I was surprised to find in my research. What else I do is solving a puzzle sends out happy thoughts of biochemical dopamine, brain bliss that gives us a boost of pleasure when we’re solving the puzzle. It doesn’t have to be like Sudoku or Word Search. It could be learning a new language or packing a car with more stuff than possible or getting something somewhere where it could possibly fit.
I like when you said brain bliss and I get that because when I do simple puzzles, I get that happy feeling. How can people get your puzzles? Where can they go to get them if they want to start playing a little bit more?
They’re on Amazon.com and you can just type in Yoga For The Brain. The way the Sudoku story ended, I felt, “Maybe this is the one book that I can finish.” I called my brother Rick to share my excitement and discoveries. What really shocked him was when I asked him if he would like to create puzzles for a Sudoku book and he said, “Yes.” We went on to create the Yoga For The Brain Series. We started the Sudoku and when people started going nuts over the benefit, I started collaborating with some of my colleagues who are spiritual teachers and very wise to create Word Search books and with a twist.
The Word Search books have a reading within that’s about a couple hundred words. That’s a very positive message. Let’s say blessings and it talks about blessings. You look at the Word Search puzzle and it has words associated with the reading. The cool part is after you find all the words in the Word Search puzzles you’re left with a positive affirmation from the leftover letters as a secret message to decode. It’s so cool.
That’s something I like doing. I like doing Word Search. I find those fascinating. Even on Facebook, sometimes people put up a post like that. I’m all over it. If there was a positive affirmation to solve in the end, that’s awesome.
The fourth one is cool. It’s featuring animal communications. I’m working with an animal communicator who has talked to not only cats, dogs, and domestic animals, but sharks, elephants and hippos. We have 60 communications from animals and the secret message is what they have conveyed to us that they want humans to know. I’m really excited about that one.
Can you give maybe a short tip that our listener can have, something that will help them enjoy their life more, being heart-centered and have more joy and bliss in their life. What’s the tip that you can give us?
The best tip I can give out, because being heart-centered, what it does is it brings us into the now. What I would suggest is to spend a few moments in your heart every day. I do this first thing in the morning after I get up and have a glass of water. I like to sit for a quiet moment, as the water’s boiling for my tea or coffee. Sit and find my energetic center in my heart. Send myself love by whatever name I call it and just go deep inside and center in that love. As I feel very strong in that then I allow that to emanate into the world and surround the world with love. That sets my day off on a better tone and it helps me enjoy my life better.
Thank you so much. Cristina, how can people get in touch with you? Where can they find you?
You can find me of course on social media and my website, which is www.CristinaSmith.com.
I recommend that you go over there. Find out more about this very heart-centered entrepreneur the amazing things that she’s up to. On Amazon, go ahead and look at Yoga For The Brain. We would all enjoy doing some puzzles and keeping our brains young and staying more heart-centered. Cristina, it’s been a pleasure having you here. Thanks for joining us.
Thank you, Terri. It’s been a pleasure. I love sharing heart words with you.
Thank you so much. For the listeners, make sure that you do subscribe. You couldn’t miss this episode with Cristina Smith. You don’t want to miss the upcoming ones either. Make sure that you go over to Heartrepreneur.com, and keep coming to us here at Heartrepreneur Radio. Thanks for tuning in.
- Cristina Smith
- Subtle Energy Center
- San Diego Holistic Chamber of Commerce
- Yoga For The Brain Series Of Profound Philosophy And Fun Puzzle Books
- Word Search
About Cristina Smith
Author, healer and medical intuitive, Cristina Smith is a member of the Biofield Viewer™ U.S. research team. Her writings, sessions and programs skillfully weave proven techniques and profound wisdom from the subtle energy realms of healing and the esoteric into ways to make your life better now.
Voted Favorite Medical Intuitive on About.com in 2013 and practitioner and teacher of Bio-Vibrational Healing, Cristina is a longtime spiritual student. She serves as a Panacea Life School Core Master Teacher, is an active member of the Wisdom Council of the Energy Medicine Exchange, and is a featured columnist in Om Times magazine and Women’s Voices magazines. Cristina is a contributing author to and editor of ’27 Flavors of Fulfillment’ . You may also hear her on Energy Medicine Exchange Radio with her ‘Subtle Energy Salon’ show.
She is the founder/president of the San Diego Holistic Chamber of Commerce. San Diego regional facilitator in the former life of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM) and creator of three Subtle Energy Retreats, Cristina loves being a part of the subtle energy communities both locally and globally.