A little (or a lot) about the founder and the beginning of SHAPED - by Kris Cruz
Hey girlfriend! That's me, Kris Cruz. Actually, my real name is Kristen Cruz but you can call me Kris. I’m a strong willed, bold Latina from New York City. Born and raised, baby! I have two children, a girl and a boy, about 11 years apart and a teenage step-daughter. I'd like to think that I'm more like her cool auntie or something less ominous. Step Mom just sounds so Cinderella and not in a good way.
Needless to say, I know a lot about starting over. The picture above was taken on a volunteer trip I went on with my daughter. We helped build the first Junior High School in a town called Chimaltenango, Guatemala. It was possibly the best experience I could ever dream of having at the time. I went on that trip with the expectation that I was going to impact the lives of the people we were serving. Instead, they left a greater, lasting impact on us. This idea of impacting others and causing lasting growth helped inspire SHAPED.
You wouldn't know it from this photo, but shortly before this trip I had went through some real STUFF. Pure devastation. It was almost as if life itself was smacking me up. The personal blows were that of a superhero comic. "BOOM!" "WACK!" “POW!" I won’t go into the gory details, or fetch the pity party, but it was some gut wrenching, confidence draining, hide under your bed STUFF. No one died, and I’m better now than ever before. But the struggle and the heartache was real. Very real.
Somehow, even with my world turned upside down, I was able to smile big for the camera. You know why that is? It's because I had finally figured out that real life was going to happen, whether I liked it or not. There was little I could control. My life wasn't a Disney movie, full of Prince Charmings, rosy cheeks and catchy sing alongs. STUFF gets real! The only thing I have full power to control is how I heal, how I think, and how I move forward. Everything else is above my slay-grade.
Before my personal development journey, old and un-personally developed Kris, would not have looked anything like this. If someone hurt me I would become enraged with anger. I would curse you, your momma, your sisters dog. Anything was fair game, if I knew it would hurt you like you hurt me. It didn’t stop at verbal warfare. My hands were known to intercede and quickly. Like 0 to 100 real quick! Not proud of myself and how I handled such conflict, or how it handled me, I would retreat to the front of the TV, eating ice cream and blankly watching something as equally depressing as I felt. I hid behind a mask that yelled: "I am strong and mighty. No one can f*** with me! I am not the one!” On the inside, however, I was as squishy and vulnerable to life’s blows as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich you try to pack safely, but accidentally smush in your book bag.
Now here is what had to happen for me to let go of reactive me and create the proactive me. I got sick and tired of allowing other people to control how I felt. Only I hold the key to my happiness and I wasn't going to allow the actions of others to steal my joy. Yes, I went through a grieving process but during that process something special started to happen. Instead of becoming angry and bitter, I read empowering books and listened to uplifting audios that made me feel unstoppable. Instead of sitting down with a bucket of ice cream in front of the TV, I sweated away the frustration and got into the best shape of my life. I prayed, a lot, not only for myself or my situation but for those who hurt me. I fed my spirituality, remained in church and kept a positive group of people around me. People who only pushed me to be better. During this healing process, I started to shape up my mind, my body and my soul. I basically cultivated the process that I'm sharing with you today, through SHAPED. (Cue the church acoustics).
SHAPED is not just a bunch of novelty items or cute accessories you get in the mail. No huh, honey! Everything is thought out, tested and strategically placed together to guide you along your self-love journey. SHAPED is literally my heart and soul. It’s my Thank you to God, or the universe, or source, or destiny. Call that guiding faith in life what you may. To Him I say:
"Thank you God, for all I've been through because without it I wouldn't be who I am today. Thank you for favoring me even when it didn't seem like I deserved it. Thank you for bringing me through EVERY situation and leaving me better than before, even when it all seemed to have fallen apart. Thank you for the constant blessings. Thank you for putting this idea into my heart. Thank you...just Thank you!”
In life you will fail, you’ll experience disappointment, heartbreak, and pain BUT if you allow yourself to, you’ll also experience the greatest joys of love, passion, and HAPPINESS! And you do so by taking the utmost care of yourself. Which are you going to choose to experience more of? How much longer are you going to put others’ feelings before your own? You don't like how things are going in your life? Luckily you aren't a tree. Change it. Make a move. Make the decision to put yourself first. To make yourself feel amazing. Make the decision, right now, to take yourself and your self-care seriously. Now, click the button below, and come get SHAPED with us!
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