Want to feel better fast? Click to learn how

In this new series, you will hear from a variety of impressive coaches about their successes and how they are each an example of awesome.

To kick it off, Master Certified Life Coach Judith Gaton interviews the multi-passionate, ambitious, and successful Cris Berlingeri.

Cris is a Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist by trade. She’s also pursuing a masters in theology, opening a bakery, is a Certified Life Coach, and just launched a Spanish life coaching podcast.

Her mission is to empower Hispanic women to create their most purposeful and fulfilling lives.

You also hear from Brig Johnson in conversation with Judith about how they found their coaching niches and what inspires them to keep going.

Prepare to find inspiration in these examples of awesome coaches. Cris shares her passion for bringing thought work to the Spanish-speaking world. Judith and Brig explore what happens when your outsides match your insides. Each of these exceptional coaches show you what’s possible when you go after the life you want.

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Life Coach and becoming your own example of awesome, there is no better time than now. Check out our Coach Certification Program today!

What you will discover

  • Why I wanted to do this series.
  • The thought work Cris had to do to launch her business.
  • Cris’s passion for bringing thought work to Spanish-speaking people.
  • Why Cris loves journaling.
  • How Brig and Judith each found their coaching niches.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode 478.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hey beautiful friends. I’m excited about this episode and here’s why. I am starting a new series called Examples of Awesome, and I’ve asked a couple of students, master coaches from our student body, to do some interviews of people in our community, life coaches in our community who are doing amazing things, who are examples of all sorts of different things.

Examples of success, examples of making a million dollars, examples of overcoming challenging emotion, examples of getting so much work done, balancing their lives, all sorts of great examples.

And I’m so excited to share this with you. And this first episode, the whole episode is an interview with Cris, and you’ll see Judith Gaton is interviewing her. And at the end, I added the intro of Judith and Brig, who are doing some of the interviewing of some of the people that we’ve asked to be on the podcast, there will also be a couple more segments where I have different people interviewing.

But for this first one, you’ll see the interview with Cris, which is amazing. And then at the end, you’ll hear the intro with Judith and Brig, and who they are. And then some of the other episodes, I will tag on to the end of a regular episode and you’ll hear that intro again.

The reason I wanted to do this is I feel like some of the stories that I hear and the voices that I hear within our community are so dang amazing and so inspiring that you all would love hearing from them and benefiting from.

I think sometimes when I talk about my own personal achievements or my own personal success, it’s easy to discount it and see that it’s maybe an anomaly. Whereas when you see all my students taking these tools and applying them to their life and having tremendous success, and people that don’t look like me, people who have different backgrounds than me, people that have very different attitudes and personalities and communities than me having amazing experiences and success by using the Model, I think can be very inspiring.

So today, this interview will, I hope, inspire you and we will keep adding to this. Like I said, some of the episodes will be just the interview and many of them will be at the end of my regular podcasts. So again, all their information of all the people being interviewed and the people conducting the interview will be in the show notes. If you want to find out more, you can just go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com/478 to find out about this one.

Please enjoy the Examples of Awesome series on The Life Coach School Podcast. Here we go.

Judith: Hello and welcome back to a species guest appearance by moi, and a very special guest for The Life Coach School Podcast. I’m Judith Gaton. I’m your guest host for this little short segment. I’m a Master Certified Coach, personal stylist, a.k.a style coach for high-achieving women, and I have a very special guest with me today.

What we’re going to talk about today is a woman who’s doing all the things, and I say that tongue in cheek, but some of you might have some big goals. You might be multi-passionate, and you’re wondering, can you really create successes in different places?

Maybe you want to start a podcast, maybe you want to open a restaurant, or a bakery, like my guest. And maybe you have another degree and a whole other profession all going on at the same time. So we’re going to talk to her today about how she does that. I’m going to introduce you to my guest. Cris, take it away. Let the people know who you are.

Cris: Hello. So yes, I’m Cris Berlingeri and I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and I have been living in Texas for the last almost 15 years. And I am a physician by trade. Like Judith was saying, I have many other interests that seem completely unrelated, but they do. They do relate to each other.

So I’m also pursuing a Masters in theology in seminary school. I just opened up a Hispanic bakery in Texas, and then I’m also a Certified Life Coach with the Advanced Certification of No BS with Corinne Crabtree and I also did Kara Loewentheil’s Advanced Certification in Feminist Coaching. And I think that’s it, besides being a spouse and a mom as well of three young ones. Those are all my little ventures.

Judith: I love that you said doctor by trade, which I think is the funniest phrase. You’re not just any kind of doctor, you’re a dermatologist, which requires a whole kind of specialization and more training and more schooling, if I’m correct.

Cris: Yes. I’m actually a dermatologist and dermatopathologist, which means that I’m not only a doctor who diagnoses conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. But I’m the one looking at the biopsies from the skin under the microscope and making those diagnoses, which I love. That’s my favorite part.

Judith: And totally y’all, she’s a friend you want to have when you have a weird bump and you’re like, “Can you look at this? Is this okay?” You’re laughing.

Cris: I get it all the time. Yes, it’s okay, I love it.

Judith: So you decided this year to really come out the gate kind of swinging, so tell us a little bit about the bakery and what made you decide to do the bakery.

Cris: So I’ve been baking since I was 10 years old. I’ve always loved to bake, cook, be in the kitchen. And during the Covid shutdown or lockdown, I had a little bit more time on my hands and I finally figured out how to bake my favorite Puerto Rican pastry. It’s called a quesito. It’s puff pastry filled with cream cheese and yes, it’s delicious.

I’ve always wanted to try to make it but it was a massive failure and finally I figured it out, and I literally started jumping up and down in my kitchen, calling my husband. His name is Jorge, I’m like, “Jorge, Jorge, finally, I figured it out.” Next thought, Puerto Ricans here need to know about this, I must sell this.

So that’s literally how it started. Then I met up with who was going to be then my business partner. She’s from Venezuela, my husband was raised in Venezuela and I met her through catering her food, and here we are, two years later catering to the East Texas community our delicious dishes.

Judith: So I love that, through that, it was two years in the making. I think some of us get really excited about an idea, we jump up and down in our kitchen, and we’re like, “Jorge, Jorge,” or for me, “Puki, Puki,” and we tell our husbands or our significant others or people important to us.

We want to share this with them, and that’s when we’ve decided to pursue the dream but it doesn’t always come to fruition right away. So during that two year span, tell us about the thought work that you had to do to get you to this place where you finally launched the bakery.

Cris: Didn’t you say this was a short segment? I mean, I will not lie, near of the completion of it, I wanted to give up every day. Thought work really saved me. It just required a lot of believing, not only in the dream but believing in myself that I could do this. Believing that it was possible, that it was something that was needed here.

And honestly, I was focused not on my creating a bakery, but whenever I wanted to give up, I would think of the community. I would think of how much of a blessing this was going to be, not only for the community. When you leave your home, your country, your family, and one bite can just transport you to your childhood and your home, I knew how that felt.

And I really wanted to cater that to the community here in addition to exposing the East Texan people to our flavors, like bridging the world together. So that really always brought me back to why I was doing it and kept me moving forward, but it required a lot of belief that it could happen, that eventually this was going to happen.

Judith: And you had a really strong connection to your why. So tell us a little bit about your background because obviously I know your background but you’re originally from Puerto Rico. When did you come to - and I’ll just say this for lack of a better way of saying it, mainland USA? Just for those of you who don’t know, Puerto Rico is part of the United States. I just want to clarify that point. When did you first come and what was that experience like for you?

Cris: So we moved to Texas to do actually my subspecialty in dermatopathology. They didn’t offer that in Puerto Rico, so if I wanted to pursue that I just had to go to the mainland USA to pursue that. So we moved, my husband and I, no kids at the time, to Galveston, Texas. And it was rough. It was rough.

Even though Puerto Ricans are born US citizens, it’s a completely different culture. In a way you are miles away from your family, we were actually - even though we were physicians, it was 2008, which was the year of a recession in the United States and we were almost bankrupt. We were poor and we just saw the love of the people, actually immigrant people who helped us a lot.

They literally fed us, they would give us food that would last us four days, and then at the fourth day they would invite us again and give us leftovers that would last for another four days. And I don’t even know how I got to talking about this but this is just really comes to my mind when you ask how it was for you when you came to the mainland.

Because people think, “Oh, you’re a US citizen, you have decisions, it must have been easy.” But those are beautiful memories that I would cherish forever and built up who I am right now and why I have the different missions that I have, which part of that was coming back to the bakery, using what I had in order to help another fellow woman immigrant to pursue her dreams of having her own bakery and her own restaurant.

Judith: Yeah, I mean it’s incredible. And your why, it ties back to your community. So I want to pivot slightly because you have another project. Yes y’all, she has another project she’s working on. This woman is amazing. She’s about to launch a podcast with a fellow coach whom we also adore so shoutout to Daisy. Tell us a little bit about the podcast that you’re launching and the why behind it.

Cris: So I used to have a weight loss program in English called The Joyful Weight Loss, but again, I feel like more and more, I’ve been called to serve my community, the Hispanic community. And dealing with my business partner, dealing with my husband’s cousins in Venezuela, my own mother-in-law who doesn’t understand English, she’s from Venezuela, they are not exposed to this material.

And I would just have conversations with them and then just watching them was like, they need to know. They need to know about this work. They need to know about the Model, about how most of the time our limitations are within our own mind and how to break free from that, from our own oppression.

And I partnered up with Daisy and she had the same vision, to serve the Hispanic women, and we are launching a podcast actually this week when I’m talking to you. I don’t know when this is going to air, but we are launching our podcast in Spanish, all in Spanish.

Judith: Okay, so this is I think - I want to pause here because we have listeners who are listening from all over the world who maybe English isn’t their first language, and they would love to bring thought work, the Model, everything that we do at LCS to people in their country in their native language. What’s a piece of encouragement that you would have for that person who’s listening?

Cris: I think just remember that just because we are here in this world, in this life coaching world I shall specify, we are immersed in it and we forget that others are not. We’re so immersed in this that we’re like, “Oh, everybody knows about this,” or, “Everyone has heard about this.” But no, not really.

We are really like the minority of the population in this world and just like us have been empowered to pursue our dreams and do the things that we want to do and show up in the world like we want, I think others need that chance as well, particularly others whose first language is not English.

And yes, some of us are bilingual but I see as a physician too, even though you know English or another language, there’s just nothing like communicating in your native tongue, the tongue you grew up with. And that’s why I always go back to that. Whenever, again, I want to give up, I’ll be like, no, but they need this. They need this. I mean, if it were me, I wish somebody would come and tell me about it. So that’s what keeps me going at least.

Judith: I love that. Okay, what’s the name of the podcast? In Spanish and in English.

Cris: So the name of the podcast Una Cita Contigo, A Date with Yourself.

Judith: I love that. And it’s so needed. Oftentimes in the Latin community that we’re in, we get the request, who has a podcast in Spanish for general life coaching, or for general life coaching principles because we do have some peeps, like Monica Sosa, shoutout to her. She has a podcast in Spanish about weight loss, which is fantastic, but we also I think need the basics.

We want to spread the magic that we’ve learned. Not everyone knows yet. So I think that’s even an important message for the young, I’m just going to say young in their career as a coach. I’m not going to use the word baby. For our coaches who are just starting out who maybe think everything’s been said, everything’s been done. What would you say to them?

Cris: That no, that again, that we think everything’s been said and done because we are in it. But you go out there, you start talking to some people, and they don’t know. They don’t know and who better person than you to go and tell them?

Judith: Yes, you heard it. Who better than you? Nobody. The world needs you specifically and your voice in a particular way. So the last thing I want to end on here is because you are so connected to your why and you were able to bring that up, even in moments when you wanted to give up and you were very honest about saying there were moments I definitely wanted to give up, what’s a daily practice that someone can use to reconnect to their why?

Cris: I’m going to quote one of my mentors, Corinne Crabtree. She would say she would write her goal every day. Every day. And my friends, I cannot state how much - I don’t think it can be over-said, how important is journaling. Journaling about your goals, journaling about your why, and I see it in myself.

I’m not perfect at it. Today I journal because I feel like a hot mess and the last date on the journal was five days ago. So I know. I know the difference that it makes in my life. So whenever I want to pursue a dream and I want to be laser focused, journaling every day - and it doesn’t have to be a novel. It doesn’t have to be an entire morning because I like things that are easy and not complicated.

I made a pact with myself that I was going to journal for two or three minutes while my coffee is brewing. And I end up of course usually journaling for more, but whenever I tell my brain it’s just going to be two minutes, I’m like, “Okay, okay, I can do this.”

So make a commitment, the minimum that you can commit to, but journal every day, even if it’s one sentence because it just gives focus to your brain the rest of the day. If I would have had more time, I would tell you all the opportunities that I was able to seize because I had primed my brain that morning with my goal. Otherwise, that would have gone under my radar.

So every morning, make a commitment just to write one or two sentences about what you want to do, why you want to do it, and acknowledging that it’s not going to be easy, that you’re going to be willing to feel some discomfort.

Judith: Bam. The two-minute journal, the one-sentence journal. Make it doable, right? I love that. Thank you Cris. Where can the humans find you and find out more about all that you’re up to?

Cris: So I have right now a podcast called The Joyful Weight Loss podcast. If you’re interested in that, you can go there. But I would love if you know of people who speak Spanish, it’s their primary language, or yourself, to check out, to be on the lookout for the podcast Una Cita Contigo or A Date with Yourself.

And then I’m also on social media. On Instagram I’m @coachcrisberlingerymd and on Facebook I’m Cris Berlingeri MD. And if you want to write me an email or a love note or anything that you would like, my email is [email protected].

Judith: And we’ll leave all those show notes for you. Don’t worry guys, we got you. Thank you Cris for coming on today. Thank you everyone for listening. We are out.

Judith: Hello everyone. I’m Judith Gaton and I have a special co-host, Brig Johnson, and we’re going to be doing a really special guest hosting of The Life Coach School Podcast, so we wanted to introduce ourselves to you, interview each other so you can get to know us, and explain what we’ll be doing as guest hosts of The Life Coach School Podcast. So Brig, I’ll let you take it away. Can you introduce yourself to the people?

Brig: Yes, of course. I’m Brig Johnson and I’m a life and mindset coach, Master Certified Life and Mindset Coach, got to keep that in there, right? And I coach high-achieving Black women.

Judith: I love that. And as your fellow Master Coach training sister, I know that sometimes people have to pause. It’s like, oh yes, there’s that thing we did for six months.

Brig: Totally, totally. And I’m excited because as guest hosts, we get to interview and introduce you guys to some incredible human beings and you get to hear some of their stories and some of their challenges, and apply with some amazing takeaways all related to this thing we call the Model, right?

Judith: I love that, and we get to hear their stories, but also you get to hear yourself in their stories. And we’re pulling things out of them that are like, “Oh, that’s so relatable.” So we hope that when you’re listening, you’re thinking the whole time, how does this apply to me? And when we talk about a concept, after this episode airs and that concept is brought to you, how can you apply that in all the different areas of your life?

Brig: So good. So good. So Judith, what do you want them to know about you? I just think you’re amazing as a friend and a sister Master Coach. But what is your niche? Who do you help?

Judith: So I help curvy, high-achieving women, so I say the curvy, nerdy women how to feel stylish, feel confident, ultimately because I believe confident women build legacies. So everything I do through that style lens is to help bolster women’s confidence so that they can build a legacy.

Brig: I love that. I absolutely love that. All about the legacies, for sure.

Judith: And I think style is just a beautiful conduit to someone’s heart and mind. That’s why you’ll often hear me joke about people’s panty drawers and their undies, but it’s usually just for illustrative purposes about a greater point. What else are they doing in their life? Where else do the concepts we learn in your underwear drawer apply to the other places?

Brig: So good. No more janky panties.

Judith: No more janky panties. That is the moral of the story. If you take nothing else away from this interview. I’m just kidding.

Brig: So good.

Judith: So tell us a little bit about your background because you weren’t always a coach. And I think most people come to coaching and they weren’t always a coach, so what was your background?

Brig: My background was I was actually a nurse anesthetist and it’s so funny to do something that you could barely spell or pronounce but was actually very good at it. So I was the person who would put you to sleep, and most importantly, wake you up in your right mind, or put in the epidurals, and anything anesthesia-wise. And I did that for close to two decades.

And before that I was an ICU and trauma nurse for two decades. So a little over two decades, so yeah, I’ve been at the bedside in some form of another, and I think that really did help me for coaching, especially my assessment skills and my ability to deal with people in stressful situations. My training was primed for that.

Judith: Yeah, literally to be the calm in the storm. And I’ve witnessed you do that for people and it’s such a gift to see you in action and to see where you built those skills up. How did you find coaching though? Because I always love how did people find the podcast, or how did they find Brooke, or how they found The Life Coach School. How did you find coaching?

Brig: I found coaching through a girlfriend who was in Self-Coaching Scholars, The Life Coach School’s continuation program. And we were in Thailand on a rooftop celebrating my birthday. We had got tired of doing all the tourist stuff so we just decided we were going to go up to the rooftop and order drinks and just have a day in.

And so she was taking her stuff and she was like, “I think you should do this. Take a listen to this.” And I did, and within 15 minutes, talk about a fast action person. Within 15 minutes, I joined, and then I heard about the Certification and I decided to actually certify too. So there was a waitlist so I didn’t start for another bit, but yeah, that’s how I did it.

Judith: I love it. And I love your niche. So I mean, it’s one thing to certify, but then a lot of us will what we call niche down. We’ll pick an area of focus, people that we specifically serve. So how did you come to choose high-achieving Black women?

Brig: I think it was because of my experience with building my business. It was a different experience. I’ve always been successful and so I wasn’t as successful in building a business and I couldn’t figure out why. And it wasn’t just me. I had some other friends who were at the same level who were Women of Color also and we were all struggling, but yet we were lawyers and doctors and everything.

And I’m like, there is something more to this. And so, it wasn’t about the same thoughts, like we had the thoughts like, “I can be successful,” but it was the thoughts that we had that other people didn’t have that needed exploring and where did they come from and what’s going on, and why are we stuck.

And it was always we think there’s something wrong with us, and I’m like, no, it’s just a different way of thinking and believing and we get to push through those hidden doors that we have or hidden walls or obstacles that we have. So that’s how I did it. But tell me, what about you? How did you come to the style for coach for curvy, sexy, nerdy women?

Judith: I love it. Honestly, I think it’s because when I finally allowed myself to be that woman, then it was like, oh, oh, secret sauce, I have to go share it with all the humans because I think so many really intelligent, smart cookies, really intelligent women are told they’re only allowed to be that.

Go be smart. Don’t worry about that other stuff like style or your appearance. Just go get the degree so people will take you seriously. And I think their parents when they say these things, they’re well meaning, but there’s this real concern for their futures. And I found that so many women would get to a certain stage in their career and they were feeling like their outsides didn’t match how they felt about themselves on the inside.

They know they’re brilliant, they know they’re smart, they know they’re capable, they run things, but they’re almost afraid now to take the spotlight and the stage. And there are bigger audiences, bigger stages, more spotlight once they reach that pinnacle of your career, your profession, you’re going to get invited into more, that if you have that disconnect like, “Oh, my outsides don’t reflect the brilliance on the inside,” that disconnect can feel so jarring.

And then you’re kind of like, “Where do I go for help with this stuff?” Because it seems so silly. It’s so vain. And I’m like, “Oh wait, hold on love, it’s not vain, it’s not silly, it’s actually super important.”

And then I get to break down the science for them. Here’s how human heuristics works, here’s how body language works, here’s why it’s so important that your outsides match that brilliance that you have on the inside, and here’s how we bridge the gap for you in an intelligent, smart, thoughtful way that is true to your values and how you want to show up in the world. And it’s amazing to see that kind of transformation for such intelligent, incredible women.

Brig: So good. Yeah, I feel the same way about my clients. It’s the same thing. The inside doesn’t match the outside. We know we have this capability and we just can’t figure out what, and helping them usher to their brilliance is amazing. A lot of my clients are so much perfectionists, like I have to represent for the culture, I have to be perfect, I can’t make mistakes, and I can’t make a failure. So just untying all of that, yeah, so fun. I’m so glad we get to introduce some people to you guys.

Judith: Yeah, and people that we love that are in the communities that we lead like the Coaches of Color Collective which you lead, or the Latin Coaching Community, which I lead. And we get to introduce you to some incredible humans in there who’ve maybe walked similar journeys to yourselves.

Brig: Yeah, totally. Alright.

Judith: Stay tuned, loves, there’s going to be more episodes coming your way.

Brig: Stay tuned. Bye.

Judith: Bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.

Get Coached in Self Coaching Scholars Today