Christina Rasmussen takes risks. She knows life is worth living every second, and she wants the world to live and feel happiness. Christina focuses on people who have experienced a loss and feel grief. She explains, “My mission is to help millions of people one day using a very action-oriented approach for the re-entry of their life.” Christina wants you to take control of your life, like she took control of hers, and not be stuck in sadness when there is so much more to experience.
In 2006, Christina’s husband died of colon cancer, which he had been battling for three-and-a-half years. She says, “You can never prepare for such a loss. I was still head-over-heels in love with my husband after being together for 10 years. He was my life.” Even though Christina was a grief therapist and an optimist prior to her husband’s death, it was still a shock to face. “Nothing prepared me for what was about to happen, and the distraction of what grief can do to us.” She turned down medication because she wanted to see and feel when she was going to come out of it. Christina “wanted to help the world figure out a way to make grief not last forever.” She realized that as humans, “we can take actions that can heal us much faster.” In 2010, she took action and Second Firsts was born and it has led her to amazing places.
Second Firsts is a website Christina started where people who have experienced a loss, or a “life interruption,” can gain help and advice from her through her blog or private sessions. Her website is very thorough, because she is very open about her experiences and wants to show that many people feel the same way. Within the past three months, Second Firsts went from 2,000 to 8,000 Twitter followers, and within nine months of starting the Second Firsts Facebook page, she gained 36,000 followers. She explains that she’s gained these followers through “authenticity and giving hope that you don’t have to suffer for a long period of time.”
Second Firsts uses “a very action-oriented approach” and doesn’t use any clichés. “Time is important. There is mourning and healing to be done, but we have to bridge grief with life. If we don’t have that bridge between the two, the longer we grieve and isolate ourselves from life, the longer and harder it’s going to be to get us back to the living.” Christina explains that there is a “waiting room” we place ourselves in when there is a “life interruption.” Second Firsts helps people step out of that room stronger and “able to survive and adapt” better in life. Christina not only helps people who have suffered the loss of a loved one, but also people who have gone through a divorce, college graduates who come home and say goodbye to the independent life they had, as well as people who have lost their jobs.
Christina plans to expand Second Firsts from a website to an ambitious full social networking site called “The Life Starters,” set to launch in 2013. Christina says that she was looking for “a way for people to experience the steps to get them to the other side through support and community, as well as action.” What makes Life Starters different from other social networking sites is that here, you can “take action, have compassion and gratitude all the way around to support you through that reentry process.” Life Starters will be open to all ages who have experienced a life interruption, like for example, “a physical loss, an emotional loss, and a professional loss.” From there, people get points and rewards as they finish each stage and their life changes. Christina explains that the idea of points shows that “there is a reward for action, not grief.”
“The fundamental part about the social network,” Christina says, “is that you take action outside of the internet. That way, you can actually graduate from one stage to the next.” Life Starters will really affect people’s lives and Christina still has more to come. She is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone, for which I admire her greatly.
The main thing Christina wants people to know is that “when a life interruption occurs, you shouldn’t try to go back to the life you had before. It doesn’t work out. That’s why you need to allow change in as early as possible and you have to plug yourself into your new life in increments. Second Firsts is about the 21st century way of healing that has to do with practical action oriented approach tool in our brain.”