I devastatingly had a friend lose her son recently after a tragic and freak accident. I am so sad she and her family are experiencing this. While there are no words that will alleviate this type of pain, this blog helps me process these feelings and hopefully provides insights to others on parental loss. The note below is how I am feeling today.
Come in and sit down in the club, the club that no one wants to join.
Please don’t take offence when I say I wish you weren’t here.
You see, the cost of joining is too much.
To join me here, you must lose a child.
This club is not one of happiness, but there is a genuine warmth.
There is sadness, but there is also compassion.
So take off your coat, and take this blanket of support and sit with me.
I promise you won’t be judged here, so please speak your mind.
So sit and tell me about it.
In the club that no one wants to join.
In loving kindness to all that have lost a child and in memory of all of these beautiful children that were taken too soon. I hold you all in my thoughts.
Well friends, here we are again. Scary times, threats of hospitals being overwhelmed…gatherings for New Year’s restricted…again. I know I’m suffering from “pandemic fatigue” how about you? How are you doing in all of this?
The struggle to stay positive and less anxious is real.. especially when life throws even more hardships at you. Life at times can be incredibly hard, so what do you turn to when you need to pull yourself up.
For me, it’s paying it forward. I don’t necessarily mean monetarily, I mean pulling someone else up. Doing something kind for someone just to do something kind. Without looking for recognition. Without telling everyone what you did.
It’s seeing someone that needs support or a pick me up, and then doing something – anything even something really small for that person.
In life, it’s easy to get caught up in your own shit. It’s hard to see beyond your own little circle, it’s human nature to be self involved. When you look beyond yourself, and are compassionate to others, it helps your own mindset.
Have you ever selflessly done something kind for someone and not bragged about it? Have you done something just to help without expecting something in return? Try it today. See how you feel inside. Did it bring you to a better level emotionally?
I challenge you today to do an act of kindness and tell nobody. Expect nothing in return. Not even “good karma”.
Spread the love as we cautiously step into another new year that we hope and pray brings healing to the world and another step towards normalcy.
It’s been a bit! I have not been in the best writing space lately. Alot has been contributing to this..the ongoing uncertainty of this pandemic is the big one. I have been letting some great practices slide, becoming complacent in my mindset.
The last few weeks I have been growing increasingly fatigued and frustrated with the way people are treating each other. We are living in a very divided society and I’m sure these shitty times will be well documented for our future generations to shake their heads at.
There are many different opinions- I am refusing to acknowledge”sides” because that to me seems like I’m ok with it. And I’m not.
I’m not here to change anyone’s opinions or mind on any of it. I know that no matter what, I will not convinced you that my opinion is the way to go, just like I know that you can’t sway me from mine. That’s called respecting others.
What I would like to suggest is a truce. A place where we mutually respect each other and just carry on. Where we can actually co-exist in peace!
Until that happens, here is my plan: I’m committed to living in my own universe. My own reality where none of these ugly words are happening.
Yep. I’m ignoring it all. You can call me naive if you’d like. I really don’t mind.
I used to very blissfully exist in my own reality where everyone had the best of intentions for everyone and everything and honestly I was good with it. If it meant people took advantage of my kindness, oh well.
My ex husband made me feel like it wasn’t ok to think like that. He would tell me I lived in my own little world in disgust. I should have known then that relationship was doomed but I didn’t.
Well, I’m older and wiser now. And isn’t it funny that I’ve had to read books and do activities to come back to something that is naturally how I exist?
You can choose to live like this. It doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to what’s happening in the world. It means you remain neutral unless there is really something that needs action for your personal wellbeing. It means shutting out the noise and formulating your own way out of this mess. It means respecting people’s privacy and comfort levels.
I know many of you are with me.
So off I go, to wend my way blissfully into the calm world where peace and love exist. Come with me, it’s wonderful here.
I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks now…life’s been really busy, my mindset has not been in the best space to focus on writing. Today though, I had a bit of an epiphany.
Today’s post is not as much about my grief journey as it is about mindset and about loving yourself enough to put yourself first.
I’m not talking about saying no to everything and everyone, nor am I saying it’s ok to be selfish. Because, loving yourself is only about you, and doesn’t depend on anyone else.
It’s not selfish because of this. Its internal and personal and I felt it was something to discuss today because I struggle with this.
I found over the past few days, I have not been honest with myself..thanks to a beautiful group I am in with an amazing person leading. Sure, I’ve been doing all the things: meditation, journalling, blogging about mindset and selfcare and all the other “buzzwords” you can think of.
And yes, I have come a LONG way from the person I was, but, I’m slowly and painfully realizing that I have so much more work to do.
I am saying yes to things I want to say no to. I am doing things that don’t support me. I’m dimming my light in order to keep peace and not make others uncomfortable.
This morning, as I was drying my hair, I really looked in that mirror with only love and compassion. It sounds cheesey af, but I said to myself “I love you enough to put you first”. And I meant it.
We need to be our own number one priority. If we aren’t, then we can’t be our genuine selves and our loved ones, our friends and coworkers, people we see on the street..they deserve to see our beautiful light.
We are all here for a reason. I really believe it’s a path to enlightenment: whatever that means for you.
My authentic self is someone that just loves the world and sees the light in the dark. That is just who I am. I smile at strangers, I help others when they need it. I love life.
Please put yourself first. I want to see your brilliant light.
Things are starting to change again in the world at a rapid pace. Businesses are reopening, people are getting vaccinated, less people are sick and workplaces are preparing for employees to come back to work in person.
All of this is long awaited and for many, very exciting. We all need to be around other humans and have that social interaction, but let’s face it..for most of us it’s been quite some time and we have changed our lives to match being solitary!
So now what? How do we prepare ourselves to reintegrate into society? What if I am anxious about it? What to do?
Here are my thoughts, and they are just that…they are not medical opinions by any stretch of the imagination.
Now is the time to really embrace our mindsets and make sure we are practicing our self care the most!
There is alot going on and it is ok to feel anxious about it, I know that I am myself.
Let’s chat quickly about some of this stuff. The vaccination debate is really divisive. People have super strong opinions about it. It is perfectly ok to have your own ideas! Let’s just start there. It is NOT ok to push your beliefs/ideas on someone else. Whatever side of the discussion you are on, my advice is to keep it to yourself. No matter what YOUR belief is, other people will continue with theirs NO MATTER what you tell them. There is way too much emotion involved in this debate for you to sway anyone in either direction and it is not up to you to change that.
If you believe in vaccination and you don’t want to be around people that aren’t, that is up to you. Just calmly inform those people that you will be keeping to people that are vaccinated and leave it at that. No discussion. That’s all. The same goes if you don’t believe in vaccination. You do you, and keep your opinions to yourself.
There doesn’t need to be conflict or debate or arguing or even violence! We can agree to disagree and go with whatever path we are personally comfortable with. I’m seeing so much debate and division among families and that makes me sad. I really hope that we can find some common ground along the way.
So that addresses one thing. Let’s talk about the anxiety levels and what you can do to alleviate them.
You know I’m going to say meditation! Obviously. It is the BEST way to alleviate anxiety and work out what is happening in your brain. You need other self care too. Enjoy time outside, go for a walk, read a book on your patio, do a puzzle, knit-whatever makes you happy and calm.
When it comes to reintegration to society–yes I am calling it that because that is really what it is, I have some ideas.
So many of you have made a lot of really positive changes over the past year and a half. There are also some habits that are not so positive that have developed. My plan for myself is to write it all down and decide what I want to keep and what needs to go away. Then, create an action plan to make sure this happens.
The other idea, is to go slow. Baby step it back to seeing people. Go with your comfort level and be ok with saying NO. If there is a situation you are not quite ready for yet, decline politely. You don’t need to offer an explanation. Just no thanks or not today. That’s it. If your people don’t respect that, get new people.
This is a change and it has potential to be overwhelming and overstimulating. Make sure you’re building that reset time into your schedules. Most of all, ENJOY! Get a little social, wear your mask and be present.
There is no doubt that loss changes us. That fact is indisputable. The loss and resulting grief is and always will be there. And that is the same for every person in this world. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you believe, you will lose someone at some point in your life that is important to you. This is something we all share as humans.
What is different is the WAY in which it impacts us. The side effects of that loss so to speak.
Grief is such a profoundly personal experience that I truly don’t feel there is anyone that can truly understand anyone else’s loss. I can only speak to my experience and how my losses have impacted me.
I have had some significant losses in my life and to tally them up, well it is just too much to think about. Some of these losses had minor impacts and those were impacts that were fleeting.
Others, especially the loss of my daughter, shaped how I view the world. It brought to the surface beliefs that were long buried (the side effect of losing my dad).
It has given me severe anxiety at the mere thought of something happening to my surviving daughter, grandchildren and spouse. Thankfully, I have my tools to help me with this.
These are what I refer to as side effects of grief and loss. Some good, some amazing, some awful.
I had noticed another personal side effect and really started to be more aware of it recently.
I feel other people’s pain and suffering for loss stronger than I ever did. I mean, I feel it physically and emotionally. I feel like I am looking straight into people’s heart and soul. I unintentionally take it as my own.
This happens with people I know and complete strangers.
I see mothers crying for lost children on the news and I cry for them, feeling a fraction of their pain.
I hear a child crying at the loss of a parent and want to hold them.
I see something online about mass deaths and I worry for their friends and family.
A friend loses a parent. I see their pain and I know I can’t make them better.
Someone loses a pet and I know they are hurting just as much as if it were a human child.
These are all situations that are personal to them, and their grief will be different from one person to the next, but the pain is not really different. I am not saying that I know how they feel, I just know that I can see it and I know the sheer depth of it.
So, my side effect of grief is empathy and compassion to the extreme. And I am good with it. It’s turning me into the kind of person I always wanted to be and really was on the inside. It’s made me more inclined to give people grace, It has made me far less judgemental and made me take a few steps back to try to understand where others are coming from. And to me, this is a blessing in spite of tragedy.
This week so far has been awesome! I’m on vacation, Epicure “sidegig” is taking off and Mike got his second dose of the vaccine! All positive things.
This morning, I did my daily calm meditation. These are guided 10ish minute meditations that end with some thought provoking prompts and quotes. Today, it spoke about your identity, once you strip away your ego, titles, jobs etc..it was VERY deep. I actually sat in silent meditation for an extra 5 or 10 minutes and just let that idea of identity swirl around in my brain. It was time well spent and it brought me to earth and deep within myself.
I thought first about all the “things” I am: a mom, a nana, a spouse, an employee, a blogger, a beginner photographer, an entrepreneur(of sorts), a healthy eater, a cook, a cleaner, a bereaved parent. The list went on and on.
Then I started thinking about all that I want to be: a healed person, an incredibly successful “entrepreneur”, an author, wealthy, an influencer, a world traveller, etc etc etc
Then I thought..ALL of these things are Ego based as well as titles and societal expectations. When you start to strip that away…what am I actually left with?
I’m still pondering it. If I am not all of these things…WHAT am I? Is it that important that I figure this out right now?
Where I am at as I write this week’s post is this: I am an amazing compassionate spirit/being that is doing their best to receive and act on the guidance provided by the Universe.
That’s where I am. I am going to continue to ruminate. I am going to see where these thoughts guide me.
I also know, that it is still ok to be all of those things I listed and to want to achieve my goals. I love being all of those titles. I love being who I am in society and my family. I just need to understand who I am deep down inside of me. The part of me that has zero to do with my physical body.
I encourage you to sit and really pull the layers back and ask yourself who you really are.
This week was super exciting! My new business has really taken off and I was interviewed for a podcast!
On the podcast, I was asked the question: What would you tell your younger self?
My response was twofold: I said take care of your body sooner and don’t care what everyone thinks.
Got me thinking about how I would expand on this and why I would say the things I would say. So..knowing all that I have been through in my life. Here are the things I would tell myself:
You are beautiful and are going to make a difference
You are smart enough to do anything you want
Don’t let anyone else influence your decisions
Trust your gut and act on it
Believe in angels
Know when to change direction-it’s not quitting it’s rerouting
You are awesome
Don’t take no for an answer
As a younger version of me..I was so insecure. I let so many other people influence me. Even though inside I was a leader…I always allowed myself to be a follower. I allowed other people’s opinions of me to shape who I was.
Although it makes me sad to think about the person I was, I am grateful for it.
It gave me compassion when listening to other people’s stories that are going through this.
It gave me the life experience to help others.
It gave me so much mental strength.
It showed me who I don’t want to be.
It provided me the insight to know when my gut(intuition) is leading me on a different path.
We all have the power within us to stand up for ourselves. We just need to find our voice.
I would tell my younger self to just relax and embrace the journey. It will be a crazy ride, but you will come out on top in spite of it all. You are powerful.
I woke up today in such a space of gratitude, that it started a chain of feelings and events that made things just start to click in my mind.
I feel like I am finally truly grasping the lessons I took in my daily Unlimited 40 day practice. When you exist in such a state of being thankful for all that you have in the present moment, it welcomes in to you all that you could ever want.
I have been focusing on how happy I am in my present life:
I have a comfortable living space
I have a supportive spouse
I am tight with my family
I have a good job
I love writing this blog, it has helped me with so many things
I love my super supportive friends
Are there things that are not best in my life that I wish were different? OF COURSE!! But, I choose to focus on that which is good and therefore attract more of that to myself. The Universe will take care of the not so great things.
I have been writing a daily affirmation even when I didn’t truly believe it: My life is really really good. I am happy where I am and reaching for more.
This affirmation has brought me to where I am today, in this moment of happiness, satisfaction and excitement for the future. It has welcomed a new opportunity in my life that is bringing me so much joy and allowing me to express myself in different ways and leverage my creativity. I am so thankful for all that I have now, all that has happened to bring me to where I am today and what I will accomplish tomorrow.
What are you grateful for? What words are you speaking to yourself and what impact is this having on your life? Does this need to change?
This process is not something that happens overnight. It is gradual and it requires you to do some work. It’s not hard work but it is something that you must be consistent with. Here are some recommendations based on my findings:
Try incorporating a morning and evening gratitude practice for 30 days. Then, add in a daily positive affirmation for 30. Observe how this makes you feel and what amazing things start to magically appear in your life. Then, level that up; thank the universe/angels/god whomever you speak to for something you want in your life as though you already have it.
This is where I am at and it’s amazing what comes your way. Report back.
This quote this morning during my meditation grabbed me. I have faced more than my share of difficulty to put it mildly. And it has all changed me. It’s changed me in so many ways that when I run into people from my past, they are blown away by the transformation. It’s like being reborn.
The reason this quote got my attention today and got me thinking was the last piece…”we just need help in learning how not to run away.”
Powerful shit. I have been guilty of running and hiding all my life until the last little while. I just would avoid dealing with anything uncomfortable. I still struggle with some things but I am light years ahead of where I was.
I remember even as a child avoiding the uncomfortable. Vividly remember actually. Getting invited somewhere by friends, only to be questioned when I arrived as to why I was there. Little girls being mean just to be mean. And me not confronting it. Just mumbling that I must be mistaken and leaving hiding my tears
Being spoken down to as a teenager by a teacher who told me that math just wasn’t my thing. So I dropped the class rather than trying.
Cheated on by my ex husband for many years and not facing it. Turning a blind eye and pretending it wasn’t happening just because confronting it was too painful.
Stuffing down the pain of Kayla’s death because I didn’t feel I had the capacity to deal with it. Not feeling strong enough. Terrified that this would be the one thing that broke me forever.
All of these things are a lifelong pattern of not believing enough in yourself to just deal with it and end your own suffering. Believing that you’re just not worthy. You can spout all the self help and affirmations you want, but you have to face the feelings you have deep within yourself if you want to step into that radiant amazing being you really are.
Mediation has helped me start to emerge from my self imposed cocoon of doubt. Daily affirmations, and physically taking care of myself has also contributed to this. If you want to transform into your true beautiful self, you have to immerse yourself in the work. You can’t half ass it. You need to get in there and see the ugliness that’s there. You have to deal with it all.