… Change the usual route home. Pretend you’re lost in your neighborhood and look at everything differently. Same community, different flowers, houses, and route. It makes you recalibrate.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Karina Pacific.

Karina Pacific is a residential real estate agent in Los Angeles, CA, and the author of the memoir Choosing Magic. She is actively involved in the Richstone Family Center, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse, strengthening and preventing violence in families, schools, and communities. Find out more at choosingmagic.com.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

I was born and raised in Mexico to a father I never knew and an overworked, reticent mother. My story unveils as a childhood filled with colorful characters, dark secrets of abuse, and a nomadic existence that bounced me all over my native country, eventually returning to the land of opportunity — America. Now living the American dream!

I say return because, while writing the book, my very non-communicative mother mentioned she had met my father and procreated me in Los Angeles and left for Mexico, where she had me. She forgot to mention that tiny fact.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Interestingly enough, I always wanted to sell Real Estate. It was always in the back of my mind. This conviction resulted from watching my mother work hard to purchase her own duplex. She rented one out, and we lived in the other. She was smart enough to realize she needed a second income stream to raise me alone. Real Estate offers security, long-term growth, and pride. That is the feeling I hope to give my clients. Homeownership is an extension of each human being, and I do love humanity!

After many years of consulting my clients through the selling and buying process, I’ve learned that no matter the price point, everyone ultimately wants to be heard, validated, and seen through what can be a very complicated but rewarding journey. I love what I offer my clients!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Most real estate brokers are like a gym. You pay your dues, but it’s up to you to do the work- alone.

After dating many brokerages, I finally found one that helps the realtor elevate their professional game.

The management team helps each realtor put systems in place to grow our business, ultimately elevating service to our clients, which is the bottom line!

And the realtor collaboration and support to help one another is top-notch. It’s a super special group of people — realtors wanting to grow together.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Oh yes! I’ve had MANY people help me along the way. So many to list. I call them angels and heroes on earth who have helped me with doses of wisdom, encouragement, support, and nudges to help me believe in myself.

I pretty much raised myself as a child, so everyone’s guidance and support along the way became the parenting I so much yearned for. This has taught me that we can help and elevate each other with simple acts and kind words, which I received along my journey. I’m so grateful for them all, and I hope I have helped someone along their own journey.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience to me is being able to shift from a challenge to a possibility, being agile, and rising to the moment with confidence you didn’t know you had.

It is turning something negative into a positive or a lesson. It is switching gears without overthinking.

It’s not always easy, but if one can tap into self-awareness and assessment before negatively reacting, that’s where our gold shines.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

Good question. Courage, to me, is about confronting something or somebody. Courage is about facing some fear, and while it may seem scary and uncertain, the other end is typically rewarding. There is growth and empowerment in being courageous in a situation, or with someone. Courage is about a truth that needs to be faced.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

I don’t have just one; I have three resilient bad-ass humans that have inspired me to rise by example: my BFF, actress Maria Canals Barrera, my husband Jerry, and my daughter Kyra. Maria has changed my life via her resilient conviction of self. I needed to experience her resilience in my life to break out of my shell. My husband has a Jersey baller type of resilience that has served me professionally and personally. He has a get-it-done, quick-witted personality, and he always rises to the call of duty, even if it’s a little intense. And lastly, my favorite human, my daughter, who will be 21. God sent me Kyra for a divine reason — Kyra is a lover of life, strong, a gamer, a self-starter, and an all-around great gal at 20. Her resilience to do the only child lifestyle with joyous grace, pivot for Covid during college, and maneuver through friendships, family, and work in this wild social media era take cojones. I’m a pretty lucky gal to have all three of those people in my life!

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

When I shared that I wanted to be a luxury realtor, someone looked at me with significant doubt. There are many realtors in your area; everyone knows five realtors, they said.

I ignored that person. Since then, I’ve sold luxury real estate for over 11 years and wrote my memoir, Choosing Magic, too.

Everyone is allowed their opinion and doubt. It doesn’t mean I have to believe their belief.

I believe in me.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

Because I wasn’t parented or guided as a child, I have made many mistakes; one was not managing money. In my early 20s, I went flat broke. I had a job, but I never figured out how to budget and balance my financial life. I led myself into debt and hit rock bottom.

Financial literacy is not taught to many of us as children or adults, but thankfully someone guided me to create a better budget system and save. Budgeting is super crucial whether one earns 30k or 30m a year. I have a better handle on it now, but it’s a daily practice not to overspend and to invest long term.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Being raised by a reticent noncommunicative single mother made for a very flexible only child.

My mother worked a lot, an honorable act, but she never shared where she was going or when. She always assumed I should know and would rush me out to the next place with little to zero notice. As a result, I became trained to be extremely agile and go with the flow.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

That’s a tough one because we are all unique, which means what works for me may not work for you.

What I try to do weekly,

1- Change the usual route home. Pretend you’re lost in your neighborhood and look at everything differently. Same community, different flowers, houses, and route. It makes you recalibrate.

2- Be okay with immediate plans changing. While it may be inconvenient, just drop what you’re doing and shift into the next plan. I have friends that cannot do this. It takes resilience to change from one thing to another in a hot second.

3-Make friends with ALL kinds of people, speak to strangers, and learn from them. Learning from those with opposing opinions is very wise and resilient.

4- Self Compassion. Develop self-kindness and self-compassion at the end of the day or struggle. It is fundamental to my resilience. This one took me 40 years to acknowledge and learn. Be kind to yourself.

5- Move your body and take your sleep very seriously. They go hand in hand and we need both to function with excellent resilience and efficiency.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

There is an abundance of parentless kids and individuals who have had to fend for themselves. There is also a child-abuse epidemic. If you have been parentless or sexually abused, or both, it is not your fault. It is not your shame to carry, and it is simply not personal. Like Peter Crone says: “What happened happened, and it couldn’t happen any other way.”

Even then, you are super valuable; you are worthy; you are loved. Please believe in your goodness, hope, and simply YOU. You did not go through it all in vain.

Reach out for help and guidance. While you wait, help others. I promise you will find angels and heroes on earth who want to help you heal and rise. You will find those who need you to help them shine in the same breath. It goes hand in hand.

Be kind to you and others, and observe the healing circulate around you and others!

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

This is so fun! Great questions!

Salma Hayek would be a great lunch date. I’ve heard several podcasts in which she’s been a guest. She’s so very interesting and open; she and Alfonso Cuaron would be amazing to speak to both culturally and artistically. I gave Hilary Swank a facial when I was in skincare school. She had just finished Boys Don’t Cry, for which she won an Oscar. The roles she takes are so meaningful. Lunch with Hilary and Michael Beckwith would be enlightening.

The world is blessed with so many interesting and empowering individuals! Peter Crone and Byron Katie together would be all kinds of feelings! There are so many more, though; the list goes on!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Sure! For the daily, Insta @karinapacifichomes is great. www.karinapacific.com and www.choosingmagic.com are also great! Pop in and say hi!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you! Great questions!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.