Have you ever sat and wondered about your existence? Why you’re here? What your purpose is? I used to ask myself these questions all the time, but they only left me in a deep, dark hole of depression.
Growing up I had plenty of friends, but was the type of person who liked to be alone. I would cry to my parents that I was bored and lonely. I used to sit by myself and get lost in my thoughts, thinking of everything that was wrong in my life. As time went on, life only seemed to get more difficult and darker.
I experienced trauma and have been in some tough situations, but who hasn’t? I survived sexual assault. I was verbally and mentally abused by my ex-boyfriends. I was diagnosed with with a progressive eye disease that caused partial blindness in my left eye. My mother had a stroke. I lost my grandmother, whom I was very close to. This all happened in the span of a decade, while I also managed to be a single mother to an amazing daughter. I’ve never considered myself a victim and used these experiences to motivate myself. It wasn’t always easy to push through. I experienced mental illness, depression, anger and lots of frustration with life.
Humans experience things that cause a great deal of stress and unhappiness. We find ourselves so busy trying to make a living that we tend to forget to just LIVE. Stress can do serious damage to the mind and body, which has been medically proven time and time again. I feel stress is the main reason I am partially blind in my eye. Modern medicine hasn’t helped me. I’ve had two unsuccessful cornea transplants within two years, which were supposed to have a 97 percent success rate. However, I am one of the people who fell in the 3 percent. My body just won’t accept it.
Doctors have asked me to take an array of medications with a hefty list of side effects that will cause even more harm to my body. I was told to simply “not look” at the black label and look at these medications as something to help me recover. If anything, I feel I am a victim of modern medicine. Not only are these prescribed meds causing damage to our bodies, but they are also extremely overpriced. It’s just like healthcare: we make sacrifices to live and pay whatever it takes to be healthy. The main things that have gotten me through all my misfortunes and have helped me live a better life are love, happiness, meditation, creativity and cannabis.
I’ve been smoking cannabis since I was 15, but I can’t lie and say I knew how to correctly use the plant. I was simply using to get as high as I could. Some moments were fun, others were not. When I got pregnant at 18, I immediately stopped smoking. At the time, cannabis was still illegal and there wasn’t information or studies about the benefits it provided. Cannabis had always been considered the “gateway drug” so I stopped and focused on raising my daughter. Cannabis, though, has never once made me want to try crack in an effort to chase an even bigger high.
Around the time my daughter turned 12 (about five years ago), I started to experience a lot more stress than usual. I was traveling hours and hours from the Inland Empire to Culver City and back home to make a living and provide a happy home for my daughter. I was leaving my house at 6 AM, get to work at 9:30 AM, leave at 6 PM and get home around 9 PM. I did this daily for three years. Ten hour work days consumed my life. On top of that, I was raising a teenage daughter, making sure she stayed out of trouble and trying to keep her happy.
I started to become so consumed with work that life became nonexistent for her and me. I was always chasing that dollar, but the money was never enough. I would buy my daughter things she wouldn’t need simply to make up for the time I wasn’t spending with her. As any young, hormonal, unsupervised teen would do, she started rebelling. I was the provider, nurturer, educator, dad and mom, all while trying to find the balance in life. Cannabis eventually became the small balance in mine.
Cannabis had always been in my life. My mom was a liberal, educated woman who would consume from time to time to help her feel good. She taught me that cannabis is just a plant and should not be illegal. She has always been a brilliant, strong and powerful woman, so I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in. Cannabis has always been magical, but I wasn’t quite sure how magical it really was until recently.
In 2016, my daughter experienced her first death of a friend. This led her to rebel more than ever. Shortly after, my mom had a stroke, which changed me and my daughter’s lives drastically. At the time, I was still going to work from Inland Empire to Culver City and would then go visit my mom at the hospital. Seeing one of the strongest woman in my life be so vulnerable was one of the most difficult things I’ve experienced. The stresses of life and work began to take a toll on me. My vision progressively got worse and I was forced to have my first cornea transplant. Less than two weeks later, I was back at work. However, my body ended up rejecting the transplant. I started smoking cannabis a lot more after this happened. It helped reduce the inflammation in my eyes, while I also took steroids to help the rejection. The stress didn’t stop, though. I still was unable to find peace or balance. I just kept going without taking any breaks.
The following year was another tough one. My grandmother became very ill and passed away. She was a second mother to me. She taught me how to be a mom and how to love unconditionally and wisely. She was my rock. After she passed, I became numb to life. Stress kept piling up and I couldn’t take it anymore. I turned to meditation in order to slow down and it eventually became a part of my everyday routine.
After incorporating meditation into my life, I noticed my words became more positive over time. Instead of saying, “Life is tough,” I said, “Life is great!” I started to always look at the positives. I wasn’t even letting my eye condition get to me anymore. I began to see my obstacles as lessons rather than pain and suffering. I noticed being positive helped me destress, which led to me doing more activities that I enjoyed rather than had to do.
Everything I went through in my life has helped me become the person that I am today: someone who is thankful for love, spirituality, creativity and cannabis. I needed to learn those lessons because it led me to creating and building my event company, Lifted Gypsies.
Lifted Gypsies is a group that helps others achieve happiness and balance by using methods that find self-acceptance and balance. It’s a space for people who are searching for healthy, safe options that will improve their health and live a less stressful life.
My overall goal is to help others achieve the same happiness using the same methods that helped me find mine, especially by incorporating cannabis into everyday routines. My company is educating people on the proper uses of this plant and to help understand the magical gifts it can provide.
We have several partnerships within the cannabis industry that align with Lifted Gypsies’ vision of spreading the word and love. We are all survivors and warriors. In many ways, all of us feel cannabis helped save our lives.
Lifted Gypsies was created with love and pain. It’s a new way to survive and a new way to live life and BE HAPPY.
Christina is one of the founders of Lifted Gypsies, an event company that focuses on giving back to people. Helping people find alternative and affordable methods of finding balance in their everyday life by incorporating cannabis, meditation, personal belief, creativity, and most of all trust. She helped herself evolve into the woman she is today. An educated and well rounded woman who has the creative mind to build a wonderful life for herself. We want to help people find happiness because we live one life, and should not be taken for granted. Lifted Gypsies events will be the magic you create to last a lifetime. @lifted_gypsies_events