Charla Wistos: committed to building the life I want

Charla Wistos

Charla Wistos

Editor’s note: Charla Wistos served as a Wings intern over the past year after taking multiple Wings seminars. She is a retired high school teacher, licensed marriage and family therapist, and mother.  

In January 2014, I met an amazing woman online. I “liked” her photo in Ashland’s Lithia Park and she “liked” my photo standing at Pier 39 in San Francisco with Alcatraz in the background. Adrienne was a photographer from Eugene, Oregon. I was teaching chemistry at a high school in Elk Grove, Calif., and working part time as a licensed marriage and family therapist. We Skyped almost every day — twice a day sometimes — and visited each other as much as possible. 

Adrienne, a Wings graduate and prior intern, asked if we could do Listening Heart together. I was unfamiliar with Wings, but it was apparent that her experiences were instrumental to her growth over the years. Of course, I said yes. The catch? PES had to be completed first. I was immediately hooked. 

After PES, I signed up for CrossOver, Listening Heart, and then LifeWorks. My Wings journey was capped off this past year as I was given the opportunity to serve as an intern with five other amazing and talented people who will forever be in my heart. 

My work in Wings is completely intertwined with the development of my relationship with Adrienne, my role as a teacher, a mother of three daughters born in Guatemala, and my practice as a therapist. I was able to refer clients to PES, with amazing results for them. I sent two daughters to PES and one to True Colors. In the classroom, I instituted a “Motivational Monday” segment, introducing students to concepts of personal development, personal responsibility, and vision I learned in Wings. I also adorned my classroom with related posters, signs, and drawings.  

Upon my retirement from teaching, I moved to Eugene in May 2017. Adrienne and I began the next step of our journey to solidify our commitment together, getting married in May of this year. Our wedding vows were a restatement of our CrossOver contracts and our Listening Heart contract. It just seemed perfect: stating exactly what we were bringing to our marriage as individuals and as a couple. We even used a song that facilitators chose for us in our Listening Heart Seminar as one of the pieces of music in our backyard ceremony. 

I am grateful to Wings and the commitment Adrienne and I have together, and as individuals, to do the work necessary to build the world we want to live in. There is one thing I know about Wings and life: intention is everything. Set the intention and then flow with it. What emerges from the mystery is always perfect, even when the path seems absurd! 


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