A Life in Progress exists to offer light and encouragement to those who feel bad, wrong, or broken because they don’t fit easily into this noisy, hustle-oriented culture, or who choose a slower and soul-honouring way of being in their body and life. We do this by empowering midlife women through story, education, and community, to Befriend their True Selves and reclaim freedom, wholeness, and joy.
Hello – I’m Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui (she/her). Welcome to my corner of the noisy internet! Here’s a synopsis of some of the lived experience I bring to my work:
- Highly sensitive, strongly introverted, wholly affirming mom of 3 beautiful and creative humans, 2 of whom are/were members of the LGBTQIA+ community. My kids have taught me so much and have helped me heal, even as I love and support them, and become a far wiser and kinder person in progress.
- Lost my son to suicide/severe depression; lived experience with PTSD + dissociation + panic disorder after his death, depression + suicidality and disordered eating in my younger years, Hashimoto’s, chronic pain, and a vicious inner critic. I care deeply about helping to build a kinder, safer world for those who fall through the cracks, who don’t fit into the narrow box of prescribed “success” or palatability and can’t keep up with hustle/more is better culture so feel like they’re never “enough”, those who struggle and question and forget that they (we) are loved, beautiful, gifted, and needed. I want to help expand the tent.
- Interracial marriage, biracial kids, married 29 years to a kind, hard-working, and loving man from West-Africa (we met in the laundry room at Université Laval, Québec). Our relationship has involved hard work, joy, lots of growing in emotional intelligence and consciously moving toward each other through traumatic loss. I’m grateful we get to navigate life together.
- Left evangelicalism (where I never fit) and have come back home to my roots of justice, equity, inclusion, and a soul-sustaining way of being in the world. I enjoy working with people for whom faith or spirituality matters but are untangling themselves from unhealthy beliefs and conditioning, breaking chains, and finding their way to freedom (as I walk my talk).
- Studied education, homeschooled 16 years, nested and raised a family (dream no.1), returned to school + started my business in my 40s (dream no.2) to help other women befriend themselves and feel safe and at home in their bodies and their lives. I get goose bumps when my clients begin loving the fullness of their messy, wise and beautiful selves and tell the truth about what they want and need for wholeness and joy.
- I weave a practice of Seasonal Living throughout my life and work; it offers me hope. However dark a season, spring always comes again. It taught me to befriend my True Self and honour my wiring, while lifting up others, so we all walk in freedom, health and joy in every season. Even the hardest of them.
- I have stepped into my second spring and at 52, in spite of learning to live without my son, I’m the strongest, most honest, and integrated version of myself that I’ve ever been. I’ve grown into my True Self and I feel PROUD of myself for all the hard work it’s taken to get here. In this season I’m ‘becoming a writer’ and practicing using my voice in a powerful way (dream no.3).
Honouring Our Wiring to Build a Kinder World
My background is in French Immersion Education, I spent years homeschooling and raising a creative and connected family, and then in my 40s returned to school and built a business. Today I build brave community and serve clients from around the globe as a Writer, Holistic Mind-Body Coach and Joyful Living Educator.
I work part-time in my “delightfully tiny business” (love this term I heard from Jenny Blake of Free Time) and constantly walk out the tension between my love of a new learning curve with my need for rest and permission to simply BE. I’m not interested in hustle or constantly striving for more or better. I require ample solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to feel body, mind, spirit healthy. I want space in my life to savor, breathe, and connect.
One of my core motivations is building a kinder, safer world for ALL people, including my children. A world that does a far better job of honouring the beauty of diversity in its varied shapes and forms instead of trying to squish us all into a joy-crushing and sometimes life-threatening box.
For those of you geeky folk like me, I’m a strong introvert, a Highly Sensitive Person and stubborn questioner with rebel leanings, ISFJ (often mistaken for an IN), an integrated Enneagram 1/hopeful reformer, living open to joyful possibility.
I was looking for freedom but kept picking up another set of chains
I used to have an addictive personality and this got me into trouble until I learned to live fully conscious, eyes and heart wide open. I have walked through suicide attempts, anxiety, PTSD and severe panic disorder, intense chronic pain, child loss & deep grief, disordered eating and body shame. Not necessarily in that order.
For most of my life, I did not find living easy. I needed to consciously choose to live every single day.
I was in grade six the first time I drank alcohol and grade seven the first time I used drugs in an attempt to calm my anxiety. Though I dumped alcohol and drugs at 21 years old, I kept moving from one addictive pattern to another because I hadn’t yet learned how to calm the storm inside of me.
Along the way, I’ve learned that joy and pain can coexist and that life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful. That I do not have to be perfect to be beautiful and worthy of life and love and good things.
I’ve learned to forgive myself for all my struggle and messiness, learned to approve of myself. I’ve put down deep, hardy roots of self-awareness and self-compassion and learned to take imperfect action through fear to build the life and business I want. And over years of intentional effort I have grown into my strength, bravery and inner wisdom. I now help my clients do this life-giving work.
My Work is For…
freedom seekers, truth-tellers, and stubborn questioners,
highly sensitive souls, slow-movers, and non-hustlers,
the anxious, grieving, weary, and healing,
reforming people-pleasers, perfectionists, performers, and peace-keepers,
brave, messy, curious humans ready to quiet the conditioning and noise to (re)claim freedom, wholeness, and joy.
when we make peace with messiness we make space for joy!
I tried hard for much of my life to quell my fear and pain by ordering my world with rigidity, in searching for the perfect 7 steps to wholeness, in jumping through hoops, following the rules, seeking safety in reason and black and white. It didn’t work.
These days, I live rooted, awake, willing, in the messy in-between. I love a good evidence-base and also make room for mystery and not knowing. Our understanding of the world, our bodies, what it means to be human, of science in general is in constant evolution and we only see in part. I refuse to live in a box. My experience does not fit neat and tidy into a box.
I think STORY as much as truth-telling is healing and believe that by sharing our stories we break the power of shame and bravely lift up the light of hope and encouragement for each other. I am changed by story – largely because it is “descriptive, not prescriptive.” It makes space for us to ponder, grapple with, and then find the application to our own life.
Story also matters because as Brené Brown says, “If you don’t turn toward a painful story and own it, that story will own you.” And mythologist and storyteller, Michael Meade, writes “Hearing a story awakens the mythic story living in each of us. It places us in a ‘mythic condition’ that reconnects us to the core imagination and living story at the center of our soul. Being touched by myth carries us to the center where the world is always ending and always beginning again.”
As such, although I spend a lot of time in research and distilling big ideas into practical application for my community, my blog is primarily a tool for sharing stories and encouragement to remind you that you are not alone. That you are not the only one who struggles. That there is hope.
I take all my struggle, strength, and study and offer it to remind you that you matter. You are worthy of acceptance, compassion, and JOY right now in the full truth of who and how you are: Messy and beautiful. Weary and also wise and brave.
Not if you lose 50 pounds, when you get your anxiety under control, when no one you love struggles, you never wrestle with comparison or shame, when your life is Instagram-perfect, or some magical day when you feel perfectly pulled together. You matter right now in the middle of the storm.
And when we make peace with messiness (in ourselves, in our lives, in the world), we make space for joy.
From one brave, messy, and curious human to another, you are welcome here.
The Brave + Beautiful Community is for brave and curious women in the middle season of life. Befriend your true self and reclaim your inner wisdom, bravery and strength. You’ll also have the opportunity to build beautiful friendships with like-minded women doing this inspiring work!