Misti Rains on Our Parade
By Carin Chea
Within minutes into our conversation, I felt myself open up to Misti Rains in ways I would only to a trusted girlfriend.
Appropriately named, Rains is exactly that - a much needed oasis of hope and motivation in a world that can appear as dry and never-ending as the Sahara.
Rains is an educator, author, and inspirationalist who (if she had a tag line) would be something like: Joy starts here.
The world's heartaches slowly melted away during my conversation with the author of Misti Moments, whose insights are now available for the world to bask in.
Your roots are in education. What led to your transition to motivational speaker, life coach and (now) published author?
I started out as an elementary school teacher. One of the books I have coming out is aimed toward elementary-aged children, giving life lessons for that age group. I want to help children overcome things like comparison and jealousy in order to live their best lives.
There was also a series of life events. One of my sons is dyslexic, and I home schooled him along with my other son for a few years. I also went through a cancer scare. I went through a divorce. Ultimately, I remarried after I got divorced.
I learned a lot from that experience and ultimately divorced again. I then had a brain aneurysm in 2016.
For a period of time, my hand, mouth, and face - the whole right side went numb. I lost partial vision in my right eye. The neurosurgeon told me there was nothing they could do for me because the aneurysm was in the middle of my brain stem.
There was a moment there when I woke up the next day and I wondered if I would ever have the ability to write or speak again. There were things I wanted my children to know, and that was the inspiration behind Misti Moments.
This past fall, I lost my step-father. Two months later, my sister and I walked in and found our mother dead of a heart attack in her sleep. That was a massive Misti moment, which I share in my book.
When we went through my mother's things, we saw that she had been writing to us our whole lives, and we didn't know it. She kept notes and told us, "If anything happens to me, I want you to know this." She had been doing her whole life what I wanted to do - writing things to her children. It's been therapy for me to leave these little nuggets for my children.
As a result, I began to heal myself. I noticed a change in my body. My tumor (which had previously been growing at an abnormal rate) literally began to shrink. I knew that my body was connected to my emotions.
Misti Moments is the name of the entire collection, and each volume in the collection is themed. One of the volumes is Collections from a Mother's Heart, and it contains the notes that my mom left for us.
She was the greatest source of wisdom in my life. She was my best friend. She was actually a guidance counselor. She was always looking at the meaning behind things and say, "Life is not always what it looks like."
You are a deeply spiritual and self-aware individual. Is there a specific religion or spiritual practice you have your roots in?
I grew up Baptist and I've been to every different denomination you can imagine. As I grew, I became more spiritual and less religious. I began to focus on being what that message was trying to convey rather than preaching about it.
I've really connected a lot more now to the power that God gives us in every person. So, rather than focusing on what divides us, I like to focus on what unites us.
Congratulations on your first book being published! Tell us about Misti Moments.
Misti Moments contains messages that resonate with anybody who wants to become love and share that love. That's really the focus.
This first book is actually called The Collection and it chronicles this journey I've had from the loss of my mom, through the brain aneurysm, through the divorces. It's about self-love and care, healing, letting go, forgiveness, and release. There's also a lot of spunky stuff. You've got to let go and stop caring what people think about you. You have to choose to be happy.
What do you want your readers to glean from Misti Moments?
I want my readers to know that they're not defined by their trials. It's about what it was there to teach you. It's not about the villain in your life, but about what the villain taught you. We're not defined by our failures or successes, but by what we learn from them and how we go forward.
You are actually releasing volume one of Misti Moments this fall. When can we expect volume two, and how will it be similar or different from volume one?
I haven't decided what I'm going to release first, but there is one entitled Letters from a Mother's Heart. She left us a letter before she died. It's a beautiful message about what love is. I want to take that and make a commentary on that.
When I was 18, I gave my mother a book that asked her to fill out all the things she had learned in life. After nearly 18 years, she pulled it out from behind her back and said, "It took me almost 20 years, but here it is."
There's a sense of sacredness our family assigns to our time here, especially after my brain aneurysm. We're very aware. My mom always raised us to look deeper, to look at the meaning of things and to rise above hardships. The universe really arranged to give me the mother that I needed; it knew ultimately what I was called to do.
I'm not a fan of perfection, but I am a fan of progress. Our failures can be our greatest teachers. All my life, I had been performing. And then, my hand and my mouth went numb. It was as if they were telling me, "We're tired. We're tired of performing."
What inspires you as a writer?
My children. I want to write to the future versions of my children.
I'm also inspired when I see people go through tremendous circumstances. It's the people who rise from tremendous adversity who inspire me. Every day when I write, I think about those people. That's who I write to. It's the people who get back up that inspire me the most.
Who would play you in your Lifetime Television biopic?
I think Rachel McAdams would be great. She has depth, but she's also playful and light-hearted.
Let's say you have a fortune cookie in front of you. You break it open. What does it say?
Your life is anything that you believe it to be. Create something beautiful.
To keep up to date on Misti Rain's latest works, please visit MistiRains.com.
You can also follow her on Instagram @misti.rains and also on Facebook at facebook.com/mistimoments.
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