How can we view devastating personal trauma as a hidden gift?
Austin, Texas-based author, entrepreneur and spiritual medium Krista Nerestant is on a mission to answer this crucial question and explain her healing process to the masses.
I first learned of Ms. Nerestant via a fyli Founder Fridays event this fall at Soho House in Austin.
Fyli is an Austin-based Community Catalyst and Mastermind Program for Female Founders, and I have attended their excellent Founder Fridays events in the past.
According to fyli, its Founder Fridays are:
for entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives to convene and swap ideas, share experiences, and build momentum. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, Founder Fridays is the ideal opportunity to community build, collaborate, and connect.
While I was unable to attend Ms. Nerestant’s event in late September, I was able to interview the author and her publicist several times about both her Founder Fridays appearance and her gripping memoir, published in 2020.
At the fyli event, Ms. Nerestant began the meeting with a 15-minute meditation to set the mood and intention for the rest of the session.
According to her, an opening meditation sets the vibration for a sacred space, and after this important grounding exercise, Ms. Nerestant sat down for a long Q&A discussion.
While her audience is primarily women, many men have found benefits from her work. In fact, there were several questions from males, who represented 40% of the audience.
One male C-suite executive asked about how empathy in a management role can be used effectively, which Ms. Nerenstant describes as a meaningful societal shift in regards to men being more open and understanding of their own trauma and emotions.
Several weeks after the event, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Nerestant at local Austin institution Radio Coffee, where she gave me a copy of her book.
The book, Indestructible: The Hidden Gifts of Trauma, is a teaching memoir where Ms. Nerestant uses vignettes from her tumultuous life to illustrate her process of using spirituality and authenticity to overcome life’s inevitable negative events.
Check out her video about the book on YouTube:
Ms. Nerestant names the main sections of her book Coping, Surviving and Rising, and as Ms. Nerestant illustrates numerous tragic incidents from her childhood, you get a strong sense of not only the difficulties she has faced in her spiritual journey from The Philippines to America but also the resilience she has displayed on her difficult road to eventual success.
One of the epiphanies in her spiritual journey occurs when she is finally able to forgive her physically abusive father, who terrorized Krista’s mother and siblings and engendered decades-long rage within Ms. Nerestant.
Only through forgiveness is Ms. Nerestant able to finally move forward in her life.
Here is a link to her LinkedIn profile if you would like to follow her.
The book itself is an easy and engaging read; I finished it within a week by reading a few chapters every evening before bed.
I spent the next few days musing about its lessons and its applicability to my own life.
Many of you have read my seminal article "The Story of the Denim Jacket," where I discuss the bullying and corresponding shame I endured in my own childhood.
In her memoir, Ms. Nerestant frequently asks herself probing questions to help in her own healing process, and I attempted to do the same thing for myself.
Have I forgiven those who have hurt me? Have I channeled my anger and rage into productive uses? Have I quit being a victim and instead emerged from the darkness to thrive in my authentic self?
Most importantly, do I have the courage to continue working on my own spiritual health for the rest of my life?
While I hope the answer to each of these questions is a resounding “yes,” I am fully aware that I am on a lifelong journey of constant rejuvenation, and Ms. Nerestant’s book is a good reminder of the discipline and attitude necessary to have a good life.
Personally, I am highly gratified that there are other entrepreneurs in Austin who are on a similar mission to inspire others. I am delighted to count Ms. Nerestant as a new friend, and I am excited for her future endeavors, which include her second book.
If you enjoyed this article about female entrepreneurs, be sure to check out my interview with digital media CEO Shinjini Das here.