We learn from other life journeys. Here’s an INNER VIEW by actress Kelsey Guerra-Cooke
Bio: Kelsey Guerra is a proud graduate of Vanguard University! She is also an Actor/Producer, Certified Health Coach, and Mother of 2 (Kennady, 5 and Clyde, 3). She and her husband Chris recently started their own production company in Hollywood and are working on their first television series, after releasing a short film (which she also starred in) called “Home” in 2019. Favorite television appearances: Royal Pains (FX), Pan Am (ABC), Enlisted (FOX), Episodes (HBO). Film projects include: It’s Been Fun (Greenhouse Prod), Life Partners (TriBeCa Film Fest, Magnolia Pictures), Black November (Wells & Jeta Ent.). As a Certified Health Coach, she finds fulfillment in developing strengths in her team members and helping them see their true potential while bringing healing and hope through natural healthcare education. Her mission is to help other parents who are also Creative Artists, realize they do not have to choose between being a good parent, and having a career. You just have to choose the right vehicle.
Kathleen Cooke: We’ve been mandated to “shelter in place” during COVID-19 globally. What has God been teaching you during this unprecedented historic time with little ones at home and the pressure to keep business going to feed and protect them?
Kelsey Guerra: My husband and I are both actors in Los Angeles, and we both have day-jobs as most others do, and now during quarantine, we have been working and auditioning at home. So recently, I’ve been learning how to give myself a LOT of grace. Grace in cleaning up my house and grace in how much work I’m getting done in a day, grace with my kids…it’s been essential to getting by with a positive attitude during this challenging season. Being a mom of two under 6 years old, homeschooling, shifting how we audition as actors, AND being in a particular position where my day job is busier than ever! I’m really blessed to have a “day job” that I absolutely love, that helps me focus on others. As a health coach and essential oils specialist, I’m really helping a lot of people who didn’t know (or care) about natural solutions for their health, until now. And I get to help and empower others while also providing for my family during this time when everything else is so unsure. I’m incredibly grateful to have found that kind of opportunity.
Kathleen: Having time for yourself to engage with God and listen to His direction is challenging during normal – pre-COVID-19 times, how have you adjusted during the pandemic?
Kelsey: This has felt like more of a challenge these last weeks, but I was reminded by a mentor this week that “time with God” looks so different from one person to another. We often put this idea of “time with God” in a nicely gift-wrapped package that looks like getting up at 5 am, sitting on the porch at sunrise with a cup of coffee, and opening up the Bible for 2 hours before our day begins. But as a mom of two kids under 6, that is just not a reality for me, and I have NEVER been a morning person. So, what this looks like for me right now, is turning on worship music in the kitchen while I’m prepping meals or cleaning up, mostly in the morning and afternoon, or sometimes while I’m working, to help me get through my day. When working from home, sometimes our temptation during our kid’s “quiet moments” is to hurry and get as much done as possible. But what if instead we took just ONE of those moments to stop and just be in His presence, worship, and do whatever it is that fills our soul?
Kathleen: Taking a moment is a powerful decision because it allows God to be the boss and not us. We often negate those momentary gifts because we constantly feel like we have to push to reach goals to be significant. What have you discovered about how God sees accomplishment?
Kelsey: My top 5 strengths are: Futuristic, Empathy, Communication, Activator, Achiever. So, ambition is something I’ve got plenty of. I’m always one who would rather shoot for the moon and land among the stars. Being in tune with your God-given gifts and being open to receiving what God has for you at all times, is incredibly important. Although God does put opportunities in our path if we aren’t prepared to grab onto those opportunities when they come, they will fly right past us. I truly believe that God has my entire life in his hands, but I don’t think for a second that I can get by without putting in the work, that it will just “happen” for me because “God has a plan”. Of course, He has a plan! But he created YOU to execute it! You will discover what God wants for you, along the way. In my own way, I have these “check-ins” with God to make sure I’m still going down the right path because there have been plenty of times, I’ve absolutely questioned it to the point of tears. But that’s really when God can work – when you throw up your hands and stop pushing so hard that you’ve pushed God out of the picture. It’s easy for ambitious people like me, to unknowingly do that sometimes. So, I check-in and make sure I never get too far off the road I’m supposed to be on. Something I also always pray during these “check-in’s” is that God would make is SO abundantly clear, without a shadow-of-a-doubt. Praying for clarity has always been a helpful prayer.
Kathleen: As an actress and a wellness advocate with Doterra Essential Oils you have an outward focus and drive to mentor, inspire and enrich other’s lives, what’s the one thing you have learned about being put in a place of influence?
Kelsey: Anyone can use influence for good or evil. It’s the capacity to have an effect on someone else’s life. That was actually my word this year: influence. And the way I have grown my own influence this year has been to allow the hard work I’ve put in to make me a better person. I often judge myself or compare myself to others, and it’s easy to do in Hollywood, as actors. To see someone (especially someone you know) have, what looks like, overnight success. I have spent most of my entire life as an actor, and I’m not really sure when or if I’ll ever have my “big break”. But it’s not about how long it takes me to get there, it’s who I become in the process, that matters the most in the end. If I can make an impact, and have a positive influence on others, I think that is what really matters most. Taking all the talents, gifts, and drive that I’ve been given, and never giving up. As long as I know I’m on the right path, I won’t ever give up.