Hiya Kristi! Okay, Kristi and I don’t know each other but we sorta, kinda do. See have an awful lot in common; we both battled breast disease, both lost our hair and now neither one of us will stop until world domination is ours. Oh and get this; it was our mutual friend (and GEM columnist) Rachel Vidoni all the way out here on the East coast, who figured out that Kristi and I both grew up in Sacramento, California! Small world, eh? Kristi’s on the brink of some really exciting, monumental stuff and I’m thrilled this busy lady took time to answer our Life Lessons questions. Take a moment to read what keeps Kristi on track and remember we’d love to hear from you. If you want to be a Life Lessons subject, drop us a line; we’ll get the questions right out to you!

Are you happy at the moment?

Blissful. Dreamy. At the moment, my three kids are embracing one of life’s more energizing (and expensive) lessons: all day ski school. I love that they are experiencing the rush of cold air in their lungs, the thrill of speed, and the natural high that comes with being physically active. Blue skies and light flurries – Mother Nature in one of her finest ensembles. Couldn’t be better….for them! As I am having my own cozy moment with a hot Earl Grey tea, laptop on top of, uh, my lap, and socked feet on the coffee table. Making fresh guacamole is on my list next for tonight’s taco dinner. And lunch with my husband in the lodge.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Be kind, be genuine. Question daily, “Am I enjoying the journey this very moment?” If not, can I change my outlook or what I am doing? (It’s the same thing I tell my 41-year-old self.)

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

To allow. Allow what is inside me to direct my path. Sure, I Google, survey friends, or put dilemmas on the back burner…but when it comes down to making a decision, I close my eyes, listen to my one and only voice, and follow. Whether it is the question of should I write a book, become a beekeeper, or push the refrigerator contents to survival mode, the decision is the right one when it comes from the core. (Beekeeping was moved to next year’s calendar.)

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Travel, connect with audiences as a speaker, grow-nurture-inspire the Choose Wiser nation, laugh, go dancing twice as much as last year,  and do yoga on the beach facing the Pacific Ocean. Build a free range playground for my bunnies with my kids. Oh, and change the world. That should get me through next February. (Look at that – I don’t have to clean out my car. Whew.)

What’s your secret to happiness?

Follow what I love even if it is odd or pushes the “norm.” Life is growing, shedding skin, and evolving. Repressing these urges doesn’t make them go away. Don’t repress. Embrace.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Chicken-conversation. My  self-imposed obligation to visit my lady-hens daily pulls me away from keyboard tapping and into the outdoors (step 1) and forces me to “just be” (step 2). Twenty minutes of this and I return with more than breakfast. I am recharged, centered, and I got to soak in a bit of Vitamin D in the process.

What’s your biggest regret?

I don’t really like that word. I live 15 months in the future and work 28 hours in any given day. There really isn’t a lot of memory bytes left in my brain for big regrets. Smaller grumbles include the amount of pesticides I applied to my own yard over the years (I wish I had known years ago how easy it was to grow my lawn without drugs..for them, not me). That and the amount o’crap we bought for my children in their younger years.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

I am proudly watching a metamorphosis as they become lil’ advocates for their own beautiful bodies. I am delighted they find pride in their choices, which has to be very hard in the world of peer pressure and uber-marketing. I am crossing my fingers this will go a long way in future decisions (ahem, teen years) and self-confidence (daughter). I hope, after dear ol’ mom is gone one day, this will be ingrained in them and they will revel in loving life by respecting their bodies.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

My husband would say that I leave the curling iron on too often. (Of course he is wrong; it’s just plugged in). I don’t remember friend’s birthdays very well. I am a clean-counter control freak, yet when it comes to my own closet or bathroom, they look like a mouse nest. (I am not sure which of those is the bad habit?) I secretly like my bad habits and have no intention of changing them!

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I couldn’t be more proud when I receive emails from women I have never met who take the time to thank me for doing what I do. That by sharing my intimate story, I am able to make an impact on the health of others, and possibly their kin. Some share their stories of cancer as well. My eyes well-up and I print and post their emails onto a cork board above my computer. I know I am on my right path with Choose Wiser.

When were you happiest?

Any time I am on a road trip heading down the highway and facing west, kids in the backseat. Or winter mornings in pjs surrounded by my kids, all of us reading books in front of the fireplace. Or any given evening when the kiddos are snuggled into sleeping bags in the “Roo” (my camper).  Yep. Those do the trick for me.

What ten words best describe you?

Grateful, passionate, and protective. Gregarious yet private. Playful yet cautious. Classic yet flowy. Complicated.

Kristi Marsh is an “Everyday Me” bent on rounding up any woman who thinks health is kinda important into one big arm-in-arm virtual social party. She celebrates life and encourages others to do the same through her nothing-like-it book, Little Changes and Choose Wiser website. Play, like, pin, tweet, link, chat, grow, and dance with her today!