Astoria resident Christina Ellis wears many hats.
She is a sculptor, business coach, paraglider, mother and nature connoisseur. With the release of her debut book, “You Don’t Need Permission: Finding your path to a purely authentic life,” she also is now an author.
In the book, Ellis shares thoughts she has gathered based on her life. The book captures what it means to live through “It,” and how women are capable of taking back their time and energy. Ellis takes inspiration from self-help author Brené Brown and writer Cheryl Strayed, inspiring women to listen to themselves and pursue their passions.
“I don’t have degrees to sit on and I don’t have theories to espouse. But what I do have is a lot of real life experience, both mine and people that I talk to all day, every day,” Ellis said. “Those experiences became this sort of conversation that I wanted to have with women to say, ‘Hey, are you looking at this?’ There’s a real power in ownership, like owning your decisions and owning your values and standing up for what you believe in. It may or may not be right. That’s not for anybody else to judge but how freeing is it to be able to say, ‘This is me, this is who I am.’”
In the beginning of the book, readers are taken along Ellis’ journey of “living with intention,” an ethos that has always stuck with Ellis, she said.
“Living with intention is not like you work, work, work, or I should spend less time on social media,” she said. “That is not what I talk about. I’m talking about taking a look at the choice you have to make on how you want your day to look like and what you want your life to look like. And then do those things that will make your life get to that point. Say you want to be a writer and you don’t do anything to be a writer. You’re lying to yourself somewhere along the way. And what I’m saying is let’s get rid of it. Let’s dig into that lie. Let’s figure out what that is. And either remove it or decide that you’re not going to be a writer.”
“But whatever you choose to do, let’s do it with intentionality,” she continued. “Most of my clients have kids and I had kids. People always say, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the best time. Don’t let it slip away.’ And people go, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ And guess what they do, they let it slip away. And you can’t get that time back. And so what I’m saying is be intentional in the beginning so that you actually live your life the way you want to live it. Pay attention to what you are doing.”
As a business coach, Ellis worked with small business owners, corporations and the U.S. Department of Defense. Her clients have brought her closer to unearthing the message behind her book, she said.
“The title really came from my clients,” Ellis said. “I don’t know how many men and women I’ve met and we’ll talk about something, some aspect of their business and I’ll say, ‘OK, go do that.’ And then they’ll come back and they’ll say it was successful. And I say, ‘Why didn’t you do it before?’ And invariably, what happens every time, they go, ‘I guess I just needed somebody to tell me I had permission to do it.’ And so after hearing that enough times from business owners, these people that we look up to and are successful, powerful people in our communities and they’re needing someone to tell them that they have permission to do whatever this thing is, it became really obvious to me that it was time that it needed to be written down and put out in this book.”
Ellis invites women to join her online community, found at community.youdontneedpermission.com. The site explores the principles found in Ellis’ book and serves as a conversational collective that she hopes will encourage others for their own self discovery.
“There is a certain magic with this book,” Ellis said. “I come through the back door of this process of self help and empowerment. The real message of the book is having ownership of you and your choices. Through that ownership comes a lot of power. I think for a long time women have been told it is unladylike to access it. For me, for my book, I just want to say it is okay to own your life and make it what you want it to be.”