Tag: grief solutions

Hillary Swank in the movie, New Years Eve, reminds us…

New Years is a time to stop and reflect on the past. Hillary Swank in the movie, New Years Eve, reminds us that possibly, we get another chance to do more, love more, let go of what was and embrace what is or what will be.

But NY is often thought of as a celebration.

I could not bear to watch the clock strike midnight, although there is so much about last year that was beautiful and some parts that I would like to leave behind, still others I want desperately to hold onto, even though it haunts me.

I often find myself deep in reflection. Pondering the purpose in life itself. I have found spiritual growth assists me to bridge myself, the past and the future. I have found comfort.

Mother Teresa once said, we suffer because we have forgotten our connection. And I agree, because I have found that a spiritual connection makes me feel more connected to everything, there is a comfort knowing that there is a bigger meaning in life. But that doesn’t ease how terribly painful it is at times.

I still hurt. I did managed to put up a tree but cried as I placed each ball. It was a day of deep mourning. I felt like I needed to step into the experience in order to process my loss, and it resulted in a beautiful tree that I enjoyed for the remainder of the year.

Why can it be so hard? My grief can feel like a narrow and challenging passage that wedges against my chest so hard until I squeeze through, it can take much energy and great effort.

I have found some parts of this grief passage to be very steep and I at times, I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread, but then, just when it feels to much, there is grace. Grace can appear in many ways, a friend calls, a message within a movie or a book, something that resonates provides even the narrowest of plateaus where I can take a full breath. It feels so good to simply breath.

And so make it a practice to draw my attention towards breath, I engage in meditation, a practice that helps me to ground my energy.

In some ways, I saw my own journey in a documentary I just watched, called “The Dawn Wall”. If you are going through something tough, then I encourage you to watch. Because this true life story is inspiring.

We know that resilience rises out of adversity and this true-life story has much to inspire us all.

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson literally scale the face of a 3000-foot granite face of El Captain, in Yosemite National Park. But it was a life-threatening experience that came before that gave Tommy his grit.

There is a point where the journey could end, when Kevin struggles day after day, failing to cling to the face of a lateral vein midway up the face. From 2000-feet he fails and falls through space, dangling by a thread. You just watch it again and again, time after time.

Exhausted, beaten-up, and deflated he reaches a point where he doubts his ability to go on.

But he does… and his “heart” to overcome is inspiring, because at times I feel like I am on a precipice and that I might fall.

And I too need to draw on something deeper within me to rise above my pain.

And I understand that I am not the only one, I hope that by sharing I am healing myself while supporting someone else who hurts.

And there is a powerful truth that that I want to share. This has helped me rise above my grief, and that thing is, finding a connection to something more.

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

In the past 6-months I have found building an inner bridge of spirituality to be one key to my wellbeing. Some say spirituality is a psychological evolutionary necessity.

A great example would be AA. Spiritual connection within this 12-step process has helped more people overcome addiction than any other.

The idea of psychological evolution isn’t news. If you want to, take a look at Maslow’s, I prefer the breakdown in the Barrett Institute, but both lead us upward, into spiritual realms.

The stepping-stones to psychological growth are so visible in children, yet as we get older, possibly we forget, that our mind and its’ needs are still evolving.

We see ourselves repeat, repeat, repeat, witness so clearly and yet clarity yields and many times we fail to connect what is happening as the demand of thy self for evolutionary growth. At midlife we see it again, some call it a mid-life crisis. What if it is something more…

But how can I relate psychological evolution to personal growth gained through the experience of losing someone I love so deeply.

I remember long ago learning that the death of pets is an invaluable stepping stone to the death of a grandparent, a parent, a friend, family member, spouse and ultimately ourself. That we practice the grief several times, to prepare ourselves for the ultimate death of our very being.

As I supported Willis move towards the end of his life, I witnessed his process and him coming to terms with his death. At many times it felt surreal to him, and yet he reached a point where he was at peace.

He had accepted death, not given up, but surrendered to the pain and the loss of his physical body, and he GLOWED.

He looked luminous. How is that possible? I wondered if he was recovering, but then a young friend allowed me to hear something I needed to hear.

Chris came to visit, after he left, he texted me. He mentioned how Willis looked radiant. He said Willis’s soul was excited.

He went onto say that he first recognized soul excitement when his sister was pregnant. She also glowed.

And we often see this in pregnant women. So radiant.

But it was the first time I would think of this as “Soul Excitement”

Could it be possible that his soul was excited? Now, I think maybe it is true.

As part of my journey, I was given a book called SIGNS, by Laura Lynne Jackson. It is fascinating research. If you have lost someone, and you are searching, I recommend it for you.

Within the book another was mentioned. It is called the Souls Journey, by Michael Newton PHd

What I know for sure is no one can do the work for us, but there are tools that gave me tremendous relief.

Through my experience I recognized how little I knew about losing a spouse. I recall myself engaging with friends and family’s grief without truly understanding the depth of this process.

I am sorry about that. I just didn’t know….

There are many things that we just need to experience before we understand. We can’t read it in a book or watch a movie and truly “get it”.

I was sitting with my grandies yesterday watching “People are Amazing”. It is a collection of hundreds of mini clips of humans doing amazing things. People that have put in those 10000 hours and became masters at something.

I sat there and listened to my 5-year-old grand daughter repeated say, I could do that, I could definitely do that, I could do that and I felt inspired by her youth and infinite belief in herself.

But in saying that, the wise older self knows that doing something takes the doing. We must do, to become something more.

Personal Growth is just that, it’s personal and it takes the doing.

The French have a saying; You can never escape life, ever.

But I also believe that there is a difference in perspective that changes the outcome.

So, I ask you, because Einstein once asked, do you believe the universe is a friendly place?

And I still think this is a powerful ask. Do I believe the universe is friendly?

What is your answer?

I think your answer and mine holds one key to how we approach life, death, and the journey between.

Because even though we can not control everything about our life experience there are things we have absolute control over.

It is the tough things that push us to go beyond where we are right then. Adversity asks us to get back on the wall, to do it and “glow.”

My answer was YES!

I believe the universe is friendly.

My short list of these things, and please add in your own are:

Love

Forgiveness

Authenticity

Generosity

Gratitude

Truth

Trust

Acceptance

Humility

Kindness

In closing, rituals are an integral to healing, writing about my experience is a ritual that I have found cathartic.

I hope you feel my writing is not all about death and mourning, but about life and living and celebrating all of it. Stay well out there, xoxo Adele Anderson If you would like a session for yourself or a friend or family member, please connect.

Mother Theresa once said, humans suffer because..

.. we have forgotten our connection to the divine.

Connection makes us feel safe, gives us a sense of belonging, and when we feel distant from ourselves or others, our inner safety triggers engage.

And right now, I am experiencing both my ability to suffer and may ability to find peace of mind, in my connection to God.

As part of my ongoing healing process, I have found the greatest relief in my spiritual practice. Embracing it, breathing it and in my connection to my spiritual self. I have always prayed and had a belief in something more, even though I never did belong to a church.

One practice is my bedtime gratitude ritual. Dear God hear my prayer, thank you for…. And I delve into the ordinary things we could take for granted.

I once heard

 

I have opened my experience to acceptance, sadness, allowing uncertainty, , find peace, embody gratitude and grace.

These are old processes, long before man stood tall, or evolved a cranium containing a Neocortex, an ancient reptilian brain processes warned us of potential danger outside the cave.

And more evolutions take place, inside our brain, as we age. We know them as the terrible two’s, the rebellious teen, Saturn returns and mid-life crisis. But what are they really? Natural evolutionary steps in brain development.

Different ages are meant to teach us and allow us to process different things. As we age, we may find that the work we do, leaves us dissatisfied. But what if we could think of it another way. Find the excitement and promise in your graduating to the next level of your psychological evolution.

But what is holding us back, and we remain feeling dis-satisfied. Allow yourself to be curious. What am I feeling and why is it important? What could be the bigger motivation behind these feelings? Without resistance, allow the feelings to register inside your body.

This is a dissociative technique. Taking an emotion, then labelling it, then without resistance rest in the visualization of the sensations. Stay with this focus, without resisting it and simply breath long sow breaths and focus. The feelings naturally dissolve.

I even tried this with joint pain the other day. I exercise daily and sometimes my body hurts. Two nights ago, I began having sharp knifelike stabbing pain on the side of my left knee. They made me wince. I wanted to move my leg away as these pains pulsed, stopped and then returned with vengeance.

This time, I decided to try this letting go technique. I focussed on the pain, without resistance. I winced aaarrrg, and so I leaned in further and let the pain jab, stab and pulse. I maintained long slow breath and kept focussed on that spot and after two minutes or less, it went away.

My knee felt numb, like the muscles were so tired, but there was a non-sensation present. The absence of pain. This is the idea of dis-ease. It is the sensation that draws our attention, and then we make a choice.

Another technique is the one used by Brene Brown.

If you haven’t watched Brene’ Browns Netflix talk, I encourage you to. One of the big wins for me was “what is the story I am telling myself”. Because the experience we are having is often because we have filled in the blanks. We can laugh or cry about these stories, but they are there all day long. We are filling in the scenarios and possibly not even present in the event itself.

What we often think of as “our life” are the events that we are moving through. And yet, fundamentally our experience is simple unfolding inside our mind; a perception, filtered through all our past experiences, fears, patterns, cultural, and emotional pain.

 

IE: We feel triggered, and it may feel like your mind is tumbling through space, falling, spinning the drama that in many cases does not exist, except inside our mind.

We create stories about everything! Can you relate! Think back into earlier today or yesterday and what story were you telling yourself?

Why is it important? Because often these stories come along with blame or self blame. So, what insight can be drawn from this new or recalled wisdom?

And with this, possibly you are wondering if there are tools to self correct our story-making, bridge the external with internal, and there is.

The story that I have been telling myself lately. Possibly that I am alone, will I be lonely, can I manage the property, will I have the resources I require. I could go on and on and if I was to allow my mind to tumble through space, I could create a storm of emotions, because I could get triggered.

Once the emotional roller coaster crests the top, whoa…. Maybe it’s time to get some inner sight.

Inner wisdom can be accessed naturally through spirituality. We can resist our spiritual natures, but often, in times of crisis, we get down on our knees and pray. To what every higher power we choose, we may find ourselves looking for that connection.

It is a way to refocus ourselves, to do a “U”Turn as Brene says. Grounding of our emotions takes place by doing inner work. Inner training, inner bridge building and there are tools.

And after I listened to Van Jones podcast with Tara Brach and one fundamental of black theology I also say, Hallelujah anyways

A mountaineer once said, you can climb any mountain..

… if you simply take one short upward step at a time.

Possibly, we can think about life as, one breath at a time. And we can get through anything.

Seems simple enough but being awareness of breath may be the most unconscious and wonderous thing available to us.

This year has challenged me in so many ways. Reconciling the loss in my life, feeling emotionally vulnerable and often raw.

But within the adversity of grief, I find I have become more of myself than ever before. I have allowed fear of judgement to fall away. I have accepted my purpose and feel more passionate than ever.

And with this new awakening, I wonder at times if I have been sleeping. Because at times, it feels like I am stepping through a cobweb vail into something more than I was before.

 

I have become aware of my awareness.

 

For the past 180 days, there have been times when I have hunkered down. Irrational but not uncommon, but possibly allowing the world to pass around me, made it seem like reality wasn’t real. Because it still feels surreal.

But hunkered felt compressed, limited, and restricting. That is a form of struggle.

And yet, huddling close to home, as my universe narrowed, I also got many things accomplished a lot of things at home, that needed to be done, and that was liberating. I embraced and completed more unknowns, in the past 6 months, than I thought possible.

But during the huddle, I also allowed myself extensive time to explore my inner world of experience, seeking awareness in both limitation and limitlessness. In doing that, I have witnessed and lived each focus I held, on the good days and the difficult.

And my awareness of how I am being, and what that is creating, is like watching seasons change. Nature gives us all the answers. The letting go, the ability to bend in a storm, and the rebirth and new growth we know will arrive. These things I am aware of..

 

But this morning meditation awoke something new, of awareness. As we may already know, consciousness has no location within our body, it has no shape and is not found or restricted by space or time. It is out there! Look up!?

 

What I wasn’t aware of, is that it is said that awareness is considered outside of and beyond even consciousness.

 

Through my work I understood that awareness initiates neuroplasticity, but this new awakening gave an interpretation of why that may be.

 

Dr. David R Hawkings went on to say, that awareness could be considered part of the Akasha or the energy that connects everything within the universe. Some call it the glue of the universe. Maybe you have heard the space between the space, or the god particle or even some say… God.

 

Pure infinite energy. Imagine that!  If that is not mind blowing enough, just allow your mind (without judgement) to consider being connected to this “glue” The energy that connect all things and is aware…

 

And then take it a step further, it is accessible and connected to you. The process of the human experience appears like a downloading hierarchy: awareness to consciousness to mind to sensation to body.

 

Neuroscience first became aware of this belief by observing what happens when someone is put under anaesthetic. The body and mind lose awareness and is not conscious of itself.

 

But if that person was to die…. and are then revived, about 17% of those patients may recall their NDE experience, or Near-Death Experience.

 

Because of these NCE stories, we know that awareness and consciousness exist even while the body has no vital signs, it is medically dead.

So, for me, the bigger question then arises. If awareness is key, what is the consequence when I find myself unaware. So many times, I have heard myself or others say; I wasn’t aware of that!

 

And if I am unaware, what happens within my mind, body and therefore my unfolding life experience.

 

In other words, if the body has no ability to be aware of itself when anesthetized, what is my experience is I am unaware or unconscious in other ways!!

 

It appears that without awareness of our self in the truest sense of the word, we could limit ourselves and our life experience. So, this is my muse for the day and, if the desire to explore your “U-niverse”, then settle in. Or is you want a personalized session, connect with me.

 

Here is today’s process:

Find a comfortable place to sit and relax where you are not going to be disturbed for the next 10 minutes. (And never enter this state of breath, when operating any moving machinery)

Begin by drawing your attention towards your breath

Then

Simply breath.

With each breath, slow the cycle of breath

You can do this by counting as you inhale 12345

Hold

Exhale 54321

And repeat for 5 cycles

You should notice yourself relaxed now

NOTE: Neuroscientific ally speaking, you have now, through slowing your breath, entered a different brain wave, that is more receptive to awareness.

Theda brainwave is natural. Kids are in Theda, the genius brainwave, and we enter Theda as we fall off to or wake from sleep. This is where great ideas are born.

 

So back to breath

Next

Take an internal imaginary scan

And if you like a metaphor:

Picture yourself holding an large bright white feather, and slowly move it downward through your body

Scan from the top of your head downward

If you notice a sensation, then pause

Be curious if you then labelled it

Take a few breaths to explore the sensation rather than the label

Breath through the sensation, until the sensation dissolves

Or approach it in a deeper manner

Let go of resisting the sensation

Describe this sensation through your senses

Note location, shape, colour, textures, vibrations, movement, sound, taste, odours

And just stay with it.

Without resistance or wanting to change anything, simply breath

If another thought arises from this exploration, you can choose to explore them through this process. Or to set it aside.

The mind will naturally travel, simple bring your focus back to your task

As you allow yourself to be, you may notice innate wisdom arise

Possibly solutions to concerns

An epiphany

Thank your “U”niverse for the knowledge

Continue to move downward through your body

Breathing through and intentionally relaxing each part as your pass through

You should have entered a deep sense of relaxation as you step downward through your body

Neck

Downward shoulder

Downward chest

Down into the lungs and respiratory

Down into heart and circulation

Downward through abdomen, reproductive organs, pelvis and extremities

When you’ve moved down through all parts, organs and systems, move your focus below your feet.

Now imagine roots (like a tree) beginning to grow from the souls of your feet

These roots will connect deep within the earth.

Once deeply grounded to the earth, slide your attention upward.

Above yourself, to seek your consciousness

Then, ask your consciousness to connect to your awareness

Now, imagine you are completely tuned in and connected to the U of the universe.

Take five more deep breaths and allow peace and calm to be you

We may not always get what we want, but possibly we get what we need.

My suitcase was packed, tickets, and plans carefully laid in place. I had said from the get-go that I was not doing Christmas.

 

Last year, Christmas was painful enough, wondering if it would be our last, and still not believing that was even possible.

I desperately wanted to escape the on slot of emotions that could arise from decorating the house for the holiday season. But with an avalanche of emotions, I felt December fall onto my shoulders

 

I thought I could run away, leave my life behind… but is that even possible?

 

I cried when I booked my solo flights, accommodation for 1. Noticing that I thought about my bookings differently, daytime arrivals, prearranging the different legs of my journey, with safety as a consideration.

 

Never a concern, with my extra-large husband by my side.

 

As I opened the suitcases, two round black neck supports in zippered bags stared back at me, stopped me in my tracks. Shaking my head in disbelief that the smallest of things can bring me to my knees. Another reminder that my life had changed.

 

But still I pushed forward, thinking that a change of location would help me feel normal. Rain dripped from bowed branches; the forest seemed to be weeping to. But inside in my sadness; I could hear Willis pleading with me, to lean on the side of joy.

 

And I was looking forward to feeling the heat of sunshine on my face. Helen Keller’s once said, if you face towards the sun, you will never see the shadows. But truly, would exchanging grey for sunny skies somehow make me forget my new normal?

 

But some things still do..

 

For the past 180 days I have continued our lounging morning ritual. With the smell of coffee in the air, I tuned into a personal growth book, massaging my mind and fuelling my own transformation, set my intention for the day. To lean on the side of joy…

 

Today, I was listening to The Eye of the Eye, Dr. David R Hawkings. Today the message was stark. Oh, how life gives us what we need. Drastic life experiences, the loss of a spouse or a child split the darkness where I sat.

 

The messenger quickly dropped deep into the philosophy, psychology, and metaphysics of emotion; the body has no understanding of itself, rather it experiences sensations. But sensations have no awareness of itself, it requires the mind, yet the mind has no knowledge of itself, it requires something beyond itself, called consciousness.

 

Consciousness can be defined a few ways: the mind having awareness of itself and the world. Or awareness of its perception of itself or something.

 

The idea of this is like any letting go technique, is based on disassociating from labels. There are several methods I use to help my clients free up the incarcerated energy. Knowing whenever we label our pain, we can embody it, FEEL it, and live it.

 

So how do we begin? By identifying rather than embody the label. I notice a feeling of anxiety. Rather than I am anxious. You can imagine yourself now, saying each of these examples and notice the differences play out.

 

Then bring your consciousness towards the sensation, location, and then, into feeling.

 

From there we enter the subconscious brains download of the emotion. Our brain downloads all experiences from sensory data.

 

So, imagine closing your eyes and getting a birds-eye view deep into your subconscious. By being curious about the shape, colour, texture, size, weight, sound, taste, and smell of that, you may tune into its expression.

 

From here, you have an opportunity for further exploration. Then, allow the deeper description of each sensory description to bloom.

 

By fully exploring how mind understands the label, we have an opportunity to free it.

 

Psychologically, known as double disassociation. A natural coping mechanism.

 

The next step requires perseverance. Being is a double disassociation, consider you are enveloped in a protective embrace. Because you are not engaged with an event or even an emotion. You are simply engaged in thinking about a colour, a shape, sensation, taste, and smell.

 

And if you still feel sensitive, possibly you would want a facilitator to help you. (And never practice these techniques while operating a moving vehicle)

But if you are feeling ok, then gently, at your own pace and comfort, swim onward and inward. BREATH long slow breaths, while holding the complete picture in mind. By staying with it, and breathing slowly, we naturally calm our physiology, assisting the sensory picture to fade away.

 

Here is my personal example. While grieving for the loss of my husband, I can feel anxious at times.

The label: ANXIETY

 

Step one: Replace the label by identify the sensation:

Located in the middle of chest and abdomen

Pressing inward on chest cavity, feels heavy

There is also compression

Dense energy

Hardness

Tightness concentrated around the heart

Shallow breath

Shoulders pinched.

Step two: Describe it through the senses. What can you see, hear, smell, taste and feel kinaesthetically?

 

Grey lateral 3-dimentional oval 4 by 6 inches in size, with loose diffused edges that are lighter in colour as the edges fade outward in all directions.

It appears to be oxidizing

In the center of the oval, there is a small solid black ball. It appears to be cracked and there is light escaping from somewhere inside.

The black ball is vibrating at a fast speed and if I tune in further, I can hear this little humming sound along with the pounding of my heart

If I were to describe the taste and smell, possibly acidic.

 

Lastly: stay with it, simply breath long slow breaths, intensify all the feelings but stay with it. And what I notice is the black ball begins to break open, light cascading and filing and washing away the black, dissolving it, and the grey diffused oval shrinks in size until it resolves.

 

What I feel after? Relief. The sensation of peace and calm fills my senses.

 

Like this exercise in letting go, it requires us to be present in our experience. There is no escaping reality of what is. But, staying in the moment and with the sensory expression of the emotion, it allows the mind to let it goooooooo

 

I know now, that by running to Mexico, I could change my surrounding for a period. But we all know, that wherever we go there we are. And I could push off healing for another year, but why would I want to delay my recovery. I know through experience, that nothing changes unless I change… and that means growth.

 

And so, I made the choice, with the updated travel advisory, not to travel, yet.

 

The gift in today’s experience? That life usually gives us what we need, not what we want.

 

And possibly, to embrace life fully present, as it is. Both the happy and the sad. I truly believe that we were not meant to live with emotional pain, it’s just that we haven’t been taught HOW to let go. But in letting go, we not only grow, but we free up all that locked energy and make it available for us to express and live the life fully in joy.

 

Today, I choose to remain in place and experience life in a new way. It will be different for sure, but never truly alone. I will be surrounded by friends and family.

 

And if tears are served for dinner, there will also be delicious laughs, sweet hugs, and a whole lot of savoury memories. Xoxox stay well out there, Adele

The Dreaded Firsts are coming around the sun

It’s the holidays, and once again consumerism is in full tilt. Not to be a spoil sport, but this year I find myself less engaged in the whole thing.

 

I have enjoyed getting to see friends and spending time connecting. But the idea of decorating the house and celebrating was a no go.

 

Many of you are aware, Willis passed away in June. It has been a journey like no other, and I really am learning to live in the moment. When someone asks me how I am? I have started offering the truth; I’m ok, right this minute”.

 

I know it’s hard, friends really don’t know what to say, and so they ask, how are you. Where maybe, how are you today.. or right now.. may be more accurate.

 

But it is not just me. Many people grieve leading up to and through the holiday season. It was funny (not so funny) I was at a gathering and sat down next to a woman and introduced myself anew. I had met her before but too long ago to recall her name and so I asked and shared my name in return. Within the first few breaths, I learned her husband had passed away in the past year, it was hers, and my first gathering alone. So there we sat, with tears streaming down our cheeks, as Christmas carols rand out, and there was nothing to do, but for both of us to take the moment to catch our emotions once again.

 

And we weren’t the only ones, I recognized a few lone males, previously coupled up. All of us had aged in the past few years, but this seemed to be the first time that several of the group had “left the party early.” Lives change, and we must change with it. We all seem to make it through in different ways, with the support of friends and family.

But why I’m bringing this up is I want to ask you, what did you “get” last year? Think back to the day, back to all the shopping, the wrapping, gifting and giving.

 

What stood out?

 

Was it something you received?

 

Was it something you gave?

 

Or was it something else, like gathering with friends, generosity, caring, a great conversation, creation of a memory, breaking bread.

 

I wonder if soo much of consumerism is because we want to give. When we look at what seems to matter to humans, it is the feeling we receive. The smile on someone’s face. A childs’ excitement, that quickly moves to the next item. The food shared and the lounging conversations that take place after pleasantly suf-fancified. Memories created for the future. Bonds deepen.

 

Possibly, it is the experience we may crave… because it is during this time we take the time together. Why is that?

 

What other times do we stop everything as gather? Funerals… yup when we have no time and then we make time. When everything changes and for a few days or hours, we change too. We stop to hustle and bustle, and we somehow drop everything, slow down and take the time for the things that matter.

 

People.

 

And this is what I wish for you, because if you are reading my post, I believe you are a conscious consumer. We may not need more stuff, what we may need is connection. To send time with the people you love. This year take a moment to look around. Who are you spending time with? Why is it important? Tell them….. because life is precious, the people you care about will not be here forever and so take the time this season to reach across miles and hearts.

 

So, here I am, reaching out across miles and hearts. To tell you I care about you.

 

May your mind to be soothed in peace, your heart filled with love, and your soul to carefree, and may all the ones you love be safe. Wishing you a joyful Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, or Happy Hanukkah xoxoxo Adele

Grief may be the price we pay for love

Eric Clapton song tears in heaven often could make me cry. I used to love the melody as Garth Brooks sang; I could have missed the pain, but then I would have had to miss the dance.

We can touch the surface of raw emotion, watching a show, listening to lyrics, but nothing prepared us for the actual pain of losing a person we love.

Grief is not a problem to be solved, comparable to another’s grief, a disorder to overcome, or a sign of weakness, but I agree with the many quotes that say, it may be the price we pay for love.

And it is worth it a million times over. Would I have exchanged the last 30 years of my life and all my experiences so that I could avoid this experience. NEVER. The last 30 years was a gift that made my life rich and full and molded me into the person I am.

Grief maybe the one humanity we all share, but it is so unique to each of us, BECAUSE it IS soooo completely personal. And so, what can we do? We can grieve.

As I write this blog with tears streaming down my face, I know that I am still grieving. But it will not be for the entire day, I will smile, laugh, engage, be productive, love. And in between I may grieve for a few minutes, as I continue to live my life.

I believe, that grieving for a period, is necessary and healthy. It allows us time to get over the shock of loss, to surrender to our experience. Feel the pain, release the intensity of the feeling and sometimes tears help, it is like my emotions fills me up like the river breaching a dyke, my emotions overflows out of my eyes.

I recognize I need my rest. I make a point to get to bed at a decent time because grief is exhausting. And a little each day I can feel myself grow peel off a layer of grief, revealing a new version of previous self. Like polishing a stone…

Eventually, I hope to find the rough edges of the early staged of grief polished smooth. My grief is not meant to break me, but it can teach me, offer me an opportunity to grow through this experience. I believe our own grief can become a bridge of hope, enhance my empathy, compassion, ability to support the ones that enter this journey.

Beyond the firsts, there will be other dates, birthdays, season, events that rebirth these raw emotions, and it is ok. Like the mini tremors that release the pressure off a tectonic plate, it is a natural release that may be needed.

In saying that, long standing grief can become detrimental to our health. It can hurt us, weaken our immune response, cause us to be susceptible to disease. And then, maybe it’s time… to reach out for support, get some tool to ease suffering and raise our ability to cope and to actually feel happy. It’s not wrong to want to feel happy or to be happy.

As you know, I am opening my thinking to many practices that I had little or no knowledge of. To help myself rebalance, grow and feel not just relief but to laugh again. I know willis would want me to “lean into joy”.

Many of us, understand the energetics of the universe. The vibration of all things, so what if… we could still be a presence? Still connect in love and joy? What if, we can’t explain everything in life or the universe, I ask you to just let yourself be and ask yourself what if…

In one of my spiritual sessions, I was told that my laughter fills him up, that my joy is his joy… so, what if..

That it’s ok to lean on the side of joy… and what if?

The other night I had this dream, I saw myself ascending upward. I was enveloped in these white wings protecting my body as I rose upward towards the stars. And then this message came through, I needed to let go… And so I did, let go. And these big beautiful supportive winds unfolded and released me, then ascended high into the sky. They became this bight star, that burst into a beautiful shower of light that rained down on me in such love and abundance, that I knew absolutely, that letting go only made room for more love, that nothing was lost or ever could be.

What I do accept, is that I don’t know. That there is so much of the universe is still a mystery and that’s ok. That we are only on this earth for a short period of time to experience life fully. And to grieve, is to experience one of our deepest emotions, and so it too, must be part of this amazing life.

And even through my grief, I accept with absoluteness, the love I experienced, was a million times worth it.

Stay well out there. If you would like to connect: https://live.vcita.com/site/pj6nd2nw1oky5ogs/online-scheduling?service=0ysw6r3k4pmbqj6z

Death tunes us into the times we wish we would have better

Perceived or otherwise, death encourages us to make amends. It is a time we reconcile ourselves.

I witnessed this as my husband died, he had the need to make amends. I recall the day he apologized for not being “onboard” early in our relationship. He felt he had wasted so much time and cause both of us grief. Things that I thought I had put behind me decades ago, as I hadn’t thought about it for years.

But there it was, pain. He never wanted to remarry, and so he resisted the love that grew out of our relationship. He broke not one but two wedding dates., and I thought it was all in the past, until he felt the need to face his regrets.

I realized then, I had an unresolved emotion in my system, I made a note to release it later that day. Why would I waste any of my energy on the past when there was so little of the life we shared left.

In that moment, I simply stroked his cheek, nodding my head and with tears running down my face, in mutual understanding. There had been pain that needed to be reconciled, and an apology was both given and received.

There were other regrets as well. For decades, we both had worked so hard, and we’re just on the cusp on having more leisure time. I bet we all have heard the adage, no one wishes they would have worked harder. And so, it was true, he regretted not taking more time, for friends, family. It is the humanities we regret.

Bit still, he regretted leaving things for me to finalize.

When I investigated regrets, as with near death experiences, the review is on humanity. Not on the size of our house or how much money or investments we have in place. It is about How we lived our life.

The top 10 things that people regret?

Trusting their own wisdom, to not worry, to love more, did things that made them happier, staying too long in a job they disliked, or not pursuing their dreams, holding a grudge.

And so, we witness, the humanness of life and death ad what we can learn from both.

I listened to a documentary called Inner World, Outer World and I found it fascinating and I would recommend. But one thing that stuck in my mind was a quote of a dying man to his wife. Lean closer my dear, I have something you need to know, and he whispered in her ear; Remember, when you wake in the morning and lift your head from your pillow, you have everything you need.

Stay well out there,

Anticipatory Grief, are you there? Are you aware, that you may be grieving?

The time before death is unique. So many torrential emotions flooded my mind as I traversed the biggest loss I had ever experienced, the loss of my life partner and husband Willis.

It took a short 9 months for him to travel the path from seemingly healthy persons with a full life, filled with hopes and dreams to death.

Before this experience, I had experienced the loss of business enterprises, a divorce and relationships, friendships, identities, and dreams. Each one of them brought a period of challenge, emotional pain, intense learning, and the opportunity for personal growth.

But that’s the philosophical view, during this period I experienced anger, frustration, resentment, guilt, helplessness, confusion, self-doubt, insecurity, and overwhelm, to name a few.

In my work, I understand that grief is one of five emotions that get stuck in our consciousness. The others are hurt, sadness, anger, fear and guilt. And you may notice how they overlap? And it is said that all other complex emotions fold inside these five.

I notice that many people grieve but may possibly not even understand that they are grieving. People that leave the workforce and had a strong identity attached to their role. The “I am” I am a CEO, I am an engineer, I am representing identity and when change happens, we could grieve the loss of identity, and wonder who am I now, without the title?

In divorce, we may have many overlapping emotions mixed with grief, anger, hurt, sadness, guilt, along with loss of identity, a name, security, hopes and dreams. The loss can be enormous and can interfere with future happiness if left unattended.

The time before death offers us an opportunity to let go of resentment, to reconcile differences and to forgive. To demonstrate and open oneself up to unconditional love, to have empathy and compassion as you learn to say good-bye and gain closure. This period can help us cope for the grief that will follow.

There is grace, knowing that someone you love is dying, you get time to express and share deeply, where an accident may not offer friends and family this time. Neither one may shorten the process of grief, but I have found things that do.

I struggled, anxious feelings in my stomach were common. Sleepless nights followed by tearful days, exhaustion and feeling bad about it. Time where energy lagged, where confusion and loss of my ability to make decisions was normal.

But this was me, I could only imagine how he was coping, losing his life.

For both of us, I noticed other emotions along with sadness and tears. Questioning things we knew so little about and had never really spent much time trying to understand. But now we talked about it. We talked about it all. What it would mean to die

If there was fear of death, feeling crappy all the time and possibly irritability, loneliness. I remember feelings of guilt afterward he died. I wondered if we should have had one more test, done one more therapy, did I do everything possible? And I worried about afterwards

What happens then. After his body was taken away, and it wasn’t graceful. Two people appeared at the bedside and our daughter and me took his arms, and they took his feet. And he was heavy, and it was awkward and horribly un-graceful, and we hefted his body only a gurney. These are the things I recall and also grieve.

There are things that helped.

Acceptance of what was happening and that we had no ability to change. What we could have control over was our emotions and humanity. I encourage you to stay in this space, gratitude, compassion, empathy, love.

Talk about the future:

Have a deep conversation about death, your loved one is also processing their loss. If this is too painful then find someone that you can both talk to. Reframe as many feelings as you can, find the positive.

For example: Yes, as they are dying, and it is in many cases very painful. Death can offer a relief from the pain, they will be free of pain, no longer suffering.

There may be a period of shock, at the beginning of diagnosis, setting yourself up for coping begins with grounding.

Grounding is a process of balancing yourself. It will bring stability and calm to all aspects of your being. Grounding can be reached through breath and visualization. Find a comfortable place to sit and relax, where you know you are not going to be disturbed for 10 minutes. Begin by focussing your attention on your breath and move through a sensory exploration of breath.

IE: what it looks like to breath, what it sounds like to breath, feels like to breath. Lengthen the time it takes to inhale and exhale. Count 1-2-3-4 on the inhale and by closing your mouth and exhaling through your lips you can slow your breath out 4-3-2-1. Then lengthen both inhale and exhale time

Next visualize. Imagine a bright white beam of light starting 18 inches above your crown and directed downward through the center of your body and exiting through the souls of your feet, then expand each end, upward to the heavens and downward into the earth.

The act of balancing our body, mind and soul through grounding, has scientific benefits for more than our mood. It has been shown to decrease stress and therefore inflammation and pain. The simple act of grounding can improve cardiovascular health, immune function and help repair musculature and chronic pain, anxiety, depression and improve your sleep!

There are other ways to feel grounded, walking in the forest, and bare feet is even better. Plant your feet on the earth. Swimming in the ocean or a lake, sitting on the sand can also help. Of course using all your common sense and keeping yourself safe.

There are many more things that I did to bring myself back into a state of peace and calm and the last one I will share today is to stay in gratitude. There are so many things that I am grateful for and I keep my focus on these, and so my mind and my experience reflects my focus.

If you are experiencing anticipatory grief, I am here to support you and your loved ones. Connect with me here or ask me about an upcoming retreat. I offer intimate retreats for you and your family, so you can find the peace and comfort you desire, even in life’s most challenging times