Tag Archives: #bereavement

What are you running from?

Courtesy of Calm app

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.

You need to learn how not to run away.

Patti
Xo

Your words and thoughts create your reality

I did a post this week on my social media after I had a big epiphany and I thought we should talk about it here because it was so incredibly powerful.

I have been doing alot of self reflection type of work and working on loosening my grip on trying to be in control of literally everything and for a bit, it had me upside down and sideways in my mindset.

The biggest self discovery happened this week:

I figured out that turning 50 messed with me more than I thought it did. 

When I was close to that magic number, my body was suddenly against me, or so I thought. I was gaining weight “for no reason” I “needed’ to move to lower impact workouts because well you know, “I’m getting older and I need to accept that’s where I’m at”. Looking back and reflecting on that, I mind fucked myself. I know that now. I believed that to be true, I said the words and that is the shit I manifested for myself. Wow. Mind blown. LIke seriously?

I found myself eating things that I KNEW my body hated, because what was the point? I’m getting older and you only live once so eat the cake. And yes, eat the cake is a thing that you should do, just not the WHOLE cake.

In the midst of all this shiz, I started doing the Unlimited workbook that I spoke about last week on the blog. Every morning, you read a few pages of information, then you say an affirmation, meditate and you write what you’re grateful for. You also write 3 things you want the universe to achieve for you and then you let that go. This workbook goes for a 40 day period.

Doing this every day really gets you digging in your heart of hearts. You start to see where you are working against yourself simply by thinking or saying things a certain way. 

This was the start of my epiphany. 

Then, I listened to an audio lesson on mindful eating. There are meditations you do to understand why you want to eat and helps you to determine if you really are hungry or if that’s just because you’re programmed that way. There is an exercise to write down how food makes you feel. By the way–mindful eating is really just that, it’s paying attention to your body and your food. It’s still ok to eat a certain way if it makes you feel good or you’re trying to achieve a specific goal. 

This got me thinking about life in general and what makes me happiest. Then, I made a list. I sat there at 5 am and wrote a giant list about what I practice when I am at my best. 

This simple task, showed me in black and white, what I needed to do in order to pick myself fully back up. It’s a few days later and I am back to eating the food that best fuels my body, working out pretty hard core, I’m organized and focused at work and in my personal life and I’m HAPPY! Like so happy. I encourage you to do this activity for yourself and let me know how you feel afterward. 

Patti

xo

Back at it! Sweating it out like a champ!
Yummy fuel!

Someone out there loves you

This week, I want to cover something that happened this week that was absolutely awful. 

Trigger warning: this post talks about suicide and mental health.

I’m part of many awesome online communities of strong women. Safe places where we can lift each other up in mental health, fitness, nutrition, all sorts of things. You end up meeting lots of individuals. Over the past week, in one of the smaller communities, we discovered that a very active participant had lost her battle with mental health, and took her own life. I don’t actually know her, never met her face to face but have seen her pictures and messages she posted. And when things like this happen, you look for past signs. Did we in the group miss something? You ask yourself, could I have been the one to have saved her? 

To me, the answer is a resounding no. And there’s a reason for this and you may agree and you may not. You see, I’ve been through so many losses like this and I’ve examined every single one under the strongest microscope you could possibly find, and the answer is always no. If I were the one to save that person, the one that made that difference that day, it would have happened. Those people would still be here today. It was not meant to be. 

I have mixed feelings about suicide. When it’s someone that is terminally ill, and in pain..I am on board for the most part. Now this is where the inner conflict gets me….what about mentally in pain? For these precious individuals they are in pain that is so unbearable, there is no other way out. No light at the end of their dark mental tunnel. And to me, that is tragic in itself. It’s almost mentally unbearable to me to think that someone would or could ever feel that way. It is also a scary feeling to understand that they would feel that way.  

The other side of the coin for me has happened since I lost Kayla. When it’s a young person and they take their life, part of me gets ANGRY. Like blood boiling, How dare they give up their life, when I know she would have done anything to stay here? It’s hard to let those bitter feelings go. That’s where I loop back to my empathy and compassion for the person and how dark a place they would need to be in. And those feelings win. I hate to think of how dark a storm must be for them to do this, because, with all the darkness I have seen and in the lowest moments of my life, never have I felt that level of despair that I even contemplated this. 

I am putting this out to all of you that read my blog: Please, I beg of you, if you are in that dark, black terrible hole and you’re even getting an inkling of feeling that suicide is your only option, talk to someone, ANYONE. It doesn’t have to be me. It doesn’t have to even be someone you know. It can be the person beside you in the grocery store, I don’t care who,..just talk to them. We want your magnificent light to continue to shine. There is always hope even in that dark tunnel. We got you. You are loved now more than ever, in your imperfection. 

You can click this link to access help and to understand warning signs of suicide.

Let’s all hold each other up in love and peace.

Patti

xo

Shifting Perspectives–Change your Mindset

Why does everything always happen to me?

How does the above statement make you feel? It brings me down and makes me sad. It makes me feel or it implies that all bad things happen to this person and there is no escaping from it. It sounds dismal and negative. It sounds like a punishment that never ends. I immediately feel sorry for this person that is saying this.

Now, take that same statement but change one word: Why does everything always happen for me?

This sounds like revelation. It sounds like self discovery. Like nothing but good things happen for this person. It sounds like the universe, or God or Angels or whatever you believe in is doing this person a FAVOR.

See how easily you can shift things with a very simple shift in your perspective? That was a change of 2 very short 2 and 3 letter words. Crazy but true.

I have been practicing this mindset shift (at least doing my best at it anyway) and it is life altering to say the least. I am in a better mood, and my outlook on life is genuinely more positive and hopeful.

When something happens that we feel is a negative…rather than asking why it’s happening TO us, let’s start asking why it’s happening FOR us. Ask what doors will this open up for me? How does this event or thing change the path I am on? What lesson is this teaching me?

Life is so full of potential with this simple shift. It’s helped me see light in tragedy, and altered my overall view on life, and in turn, my beliefs.

I’d love to see you give this a try yourself. In the coming days/weeks or even months, when a challenging situation arises, or something “negative” happens to you, shift the view to why it’s happening FOR you and see where that takes you.

I bet it’s somewhere awesome.

Patti

xo

What a year!

This week marks the one year anniversary that a global pandemic was announced. We were sent home from work “for a few weeks” and we really thought it would all be over then. Here we are..the world indelibly changed: How we shop, how we work, how we socialize and even celebrate. Looking back, I didn’t see even a twinkle of this coming. So what have I been able to learn and observe this past year personally? Turns out, alot. 

What I learned about myself during a global pandemic:

  1. I was in complete denial about where I was in my grief journey. I honestly thought I was doing well and functioning, which I was, however, life was crazy and we were always doing things so it was easy to bury what was really going on. Getting into a lockdown, with nowhere to go, forced me to deal with the emotions that were right there under the surface. With the use of my mindset tools I have to say I’m in a way better spot than I have been in my entire life.
  2. I am not quite as social as I thought I was. As much as I love people, I enjoyed not having to attend social functions and just being able to slow things down. 
  3. I am super attached to my family. I mean, I knew I was, but now I REALLY KNOW. Being away from them during the lockdowns has been absolute torture. I’m just happy and thankful that between lockdown periods we’ve been able to be together.
  4. I found some hobbies. I love birds and I love photography (and the combination of the two)and I really love writing. Both of these hobbies have been a fantastic creative outlet for me and have been incredibly therapeutic.
  5. I am more productive working from home and I love working from home.
  6. I love shopping online, even for groceries. I would have everything delivered if I could. (we are almost there).
  7. I’m a pet person.
  8. I have awesome cooking and baking skills which have served me well, especially when bread was scarce and everything was closed (no takeout)
  9. I don’t need a gym to get in shape
  10. I am very open to a power greater than myself.

Cool and Awesome byproducts of the pandemic for me:

  1. I started this blog!
  2. I got really dialled in with nutrition and exercise
  3. I got out way more in nature
  4. I got really consistent with meditation
  5. I took long breaks from drinking
  6. I started coaching for Beachbody
  7. I discovered Epicure
  8. I got to spend tons of time with Mike
  9. I appreciate my family WAY more
  10. I get to work from home 
  11. I can identify a lot more birds now
  12. I got a nice camera and I’m getting better at using it
  13. I did multiple puzzles
  14. We did a few road trips and had fun exploring
  15. I reconnected with old friends and found friendship with people that I didn’t realize I would.
  16. I got a new grandson!

The pandemic has been awful in so many ways. So many lives lost. So many businesses lost. So many people are struggling with mental health. Kids not being able to be normal kids. I am not making light. I know that I am so incredibly fortunate to be able to work and be safe and healthy here at home.

 I have been up and down mentally but I chose to write about the positives today because that is what I am choosing to do from a mindset perspective. Let’s focus on the positive so that is what we continue to attract to ourselves.

Is there anything you learned about yourself during the past year? Did you develop a new skill or hobby? Comment and let me know!!

Patti

xo

Older and Wiser?

I had a milestone birthday this week. I turned the big 5-0! Turning this age was not what I was anticipating. I’m not sure what I was expecting…but I was surprised with how I felt about it. I will spare the platitudes: age is just a number and all that nonsense (although it really is). My daughter just kept saying she can’t wrap her head around me being 50, and I have to say I’m with her. I honestly can’t believe it. 

I don’t feel like what I anticipated this age would feel like when I looked toward it from my 20’s, 30’s and even my 40’s. I guess I thought I’d instantly age? Funny how perspective changes once you’re in it. 

I kind of thought that fun life would be all over at 50. Truth is, I’m having more fun (pandemic aside) now than I ever did when I was younger. Here are some of my observations:

I don’t sweat the small stuff

I may go to bed a lot earlier, but I also get up earlier which means I see some pretty beautiful sunrises

I’m way more calm

I don’t give a shit what other people think of me

Things at this stage of my life just feel better. 

I speak up for myself 

I know myself and trust my judgement

I’m an incredibly strong person, I’ve been through so much and yet, here I still am..happy and positive.

So true story here…and the reason why it surprised me that I didn’t freak out about turning this age:

I was always morbidly terrified of growing old, because I was closer to death. So I worried about it alot as a kid, and then well into my 40’s. LIke I legit worried about it almost constantly.

Not long ago, I realized that this mindset was stealing my enjoyment of the present. I attribute a lot of my mindset and being able to enjoy the present to my meditation practice, but I’m betting some of the credit needs to go to getting older and wiser too. 

I guess what I am saying is this: if you’re worried about getting older, please stop. Enjoy where you’re at! I think I’m really going to enjoy exploring my life perspective in my fifties. 

Patti
Xo

Control

The workout program I have been doing is called 9 Week Control Freak. It’s a great physical workout but it’s also strong in messaging about being in control of the things you can. It got me thinking a lot and I’m glad I am doing it because I think it’s needed by everyone given the state of the world around us.

You can’t control everything, but there are many things you can control that you may not think you can.

Let me break it down.

Eating Healthy to support your amazing body: 

Disclaimer: I fully acknowledge there are people with very real Eating Disorders out there. This section may be a trigger and I want you to know there is help out there. For the rest of you:

YOU and only you are in control of the way you eat. You make a choice when you pick up the fork. You make the decision when you pull into Mcdonald’s. You make the choices at the grocery store. I have heard so many reasons that people are not in control of their eating choices. The biggest one is it’s too hard to make different meals for the hubby, or if you have kids, for them too. The reality is, it’s not that hard. First of all, why would you feed your family food you know is harmful to them? Beyond that, you can adapt any meal and make it better for you. I challenge you to do so. The other one is that people don’t have time to cook. Please. Just stop saying that. You do. Trust me. 

Exercising to support your amazing body:

You are in control of that too. You can find an activity you LOVE that doesn’t feel like exercise. Dance in your undies in the kitchen, get a bike, buy a jump rope and relive your youth. No money? No problem. Walking is free. Running is free. Dancing is free. Doing jumping jacks and running on the spot is free. See a theme here? No time? I call bullshit. How much time are you spending on your phone? Netflix? You. Have. Time. 

How you react to situations outside of your control

You and ONLY you control your brain. What a concept!! YOU can tell your brain what to think. This does take time and practice but it’s something you can accomplish. I cannot recommend meditation enough. It is legit life altering when you embrace it. It has taught me to pause before letting my emotions get the best of me. You can then evaluate how you’re feeling in reaction to a situation and then, choose how to react. This applies to all sorts of things: disagreements with others, someone being less than kind to you, crazy world events, work situations. All of that stuff.

I’m being very blunt today, but with this stuff, sometimes you need to be. I for one, am always a work in progress and I’m proud of that. I have chosen to take a learning approach to my life, rather than the old me that would make a “mistake” and then proceed to berate myself for days. 

I’m going to leave it at this list for now, but I am positive I will think of more later, so watch for a part 2 down the road. 

You got this guys. You are in control of YOU. Nobody else. YOU. You rock, get out and show the world how amazing you are. 

Patti

xo

Emotions

Last week, I talked about this time of year and how it impacts me and my plan to help myself. I’m carrying out the plan and I’m doing ok, but it’s still hard and there are still so many emotions coming up. 

So that got me thinking about how society tends to look at people having strong emotions.

When we are born, we are just present with our emotions. Hiding and burying emotions is learned from society. We are taught from a young age to suck it up. If we are upset, we are told to stop crying or told that there is nothing to be crying for. We are taught (and this isn’t anyone’s fault) that our emotions are something that a) can be controlled and b) are not valid or important. I say it’s nobody’s fault because if our parents did this, they were taught by their parents who were taught by their parents and so on and so on. 

Then, as adults, since we don’t learn how to deal with these emotions appropriately, we turn to really negative ways of trying to make ourselves better. We bury them deep within, often lashing out at those that try to help us. We plod through life unhappy and depressed. We self medicate: with drugs, food, alcohol, shopping. 

All of the above makes us really ill equipped to handle ourselves when something stressful or traumatic hits, like a loss or a global pandemic. We turn to our coping skills regardless of how negative a coping skill it is, because that is what we know. We live in a culture that is talking out both sides of its face:

The side that says it’s ok to not be ok, let’s do dry February

But then the other side, on social media says it’s ok to self medicate with wine, that it’s ok to curl up in a ball and eat your way through things. 

It’s conflicting information and makes us feel like we should continue on the path of self destruction we are on.

I want us all to be ok with not being ok. I want us to deal with our emotions. I am a classic emotion burier. I have gaps in my memory from different periods in my life because it was easier to block shit out than deal with it. I have been there with the self medication. I started drinking too young and looking back, it was a way to deal with not quite fitting in, and just being unhappy in general.

For myself, I made a conscious effort recently to abstain from alcohol for the time being. I feel like there is still stuff I need to deal with mentally with the loss of Kayla and other important family members. I need to deal with my emotions in a healthy way and removing wine from the equation makes it difficult to bury them down like I know I’ve been doing. It’s not been easy -especially during this awful month. In the short term, it’s made me more sad and short tempered than normal but I know I need to do this in order to move forward on my journey to clarity and better mental health. 

I use meditation as a form of therapy to just learn to sit and understand how I’m feeling and why. 

I use physical exercise as a way to channel those emotions into something positive and believe it or not, it also brings them more to the surface. These positive coping mechanisms are helping me figure out my shit.

I am telling you now, that it really is ok to not be ok. I am telling you now that if you’re struggling emotionally, ask someone for help. If you’re struggling with self medication, do whatever you need to do to stop that. 

I have faith in you. I have faith in me. We can move through this and come out better than we started.

Patti

xo

January

I always loved January. It always felt so fresh and clean and new. It signalled a fresh start. A brand spanking new year of possibilities. I saw nothing but opportunity and positivity. When other people struggled with the January blues, I got my shit together and shone!

Then, everything bad that could happen in a month to a mother happened. 

January 23 2017. January 31, 2017. 

I get anxiety just writing those dates. 

As much as I try, as much healing and self care that I do, they are still raw and sad dates. And now we are under a stay at home order and one of my coping mechanisms, spending time with my beautiful grandbabies, is on hold.

What I have learned through all of this though, is that the dreading of the dates arrival is usually worse than the actual days. 

So how have I gotten through the last almost 4 years now? The answer is pretty simple: I don’t have a choice. I’m still here, I am still living and I still have a daughter that is very much alive who needs me, 3 grandsons I see that need me, another granddaughter that needs me that I don’t get to see, a spouse that needs me..I still have living beautiful thriving people here. I have so much to be present for. And sometimes too, that brings some grief guilt.

I often find that January brings with it now a huge lack of mental clarity. It houses a lack of focus and just a pall that lies over my normally very optimistic and positive nature. I am capable of just getting through and figuring shit out once the dark cloud lifts but I don’t want to just get through it. I don’t want to suffer through. That my friends, that is not living. My oldest grandson, who is still grieving and traumatized himself is watching me. He sees how I deal with it and I need to ensure he gains strength from me.

So, I’m devising a plan.

Daily meditation and exercise are an absolute must right now. Meditation allows me to observe my emotions without reacting. I can literally see what I am feeling and examine it. It brings a sense of calm and control which helps to brighten that outlook. The exercise is an outlet. It brings the emotions up and out. It releases a ton of negative energy while creating those beautiful endorphins that light you up inside.

I will be spending even more time outside. Yep, it’s January and cold but I have boots and snowpants and all the shit to warm me up. I plan on purchasing a camera for my upcoming birthday (the big 5.0) so I can take amazing pictures of all my nature and bird stuff. 

I will be writing a lot. I may share it, I may not. Maybe I’ll start writing a book. Writing this blog has been such an amazing emotional healer for me. 

I’m abstaining from alcohol. It makes everything harder to deal with and it makes me feel like crap anyway.

This January, I am more than just ok. I am a phoenix that rises from the ashes.

“All is well in my world.” Louise Hay

Xo 

Patti

This week’s post I dedicate to the following:

My beautiful Kayla (RIP)

My amazing and beautiful Aunt Lori(RIP)

Crazy Otis (RIP)

My awesome famjam and my Mighty Moms 

How will you emerge?

Image Credit Butterfly Life Cycle Vectors by Vecteezy

It’s the end of 2020. The end of what’s been a very challenging year. We’ve been separated from family, friends, co-workers. People have lost jobs. Too many people have died. It’s just been alot to put it mildly. And now, as we head into a time of year that’s already very difficult for so many, we are once again asked to stay home. We are tired of it all. We want to go out and be social. We want to travel. We just want our lives back to the way they were and I understand all of it.

Once again, I am asking you to shift your perspective on all of it. What if, rather than looking at this stay home order as a negative, we could flip to an opportunity?

Can you, just for a moment, close your eyes and picture how you want to emerge from all of this? Think of the image above. A monarch butterfly starts off as a caterpillar, unable to do anything but inch around. Then it is driven to change. It wraps itself up in it’s constrictive coccoon and waits. About 2 weeks later, that caterpillar emerges as a beautiful butterly. It spreads it’s wings and flies off with newfound freedom.

This is similar to what I want for all of us. We can complain and worry and stress about the unknown and I’m by no means not taking everything seriously or minimizing people’s very real serious situations in all of this. But..if I am being very transparant, I know we will get through this and HOW we come out on the other side is entirely up to us.

For me, I’m planning to come out like that beautiful butterfly, forever changed, but for the better. I am using this time as an opportunity to work on me. I’m still healing from the trauma of losing my oldest child in an incredibly shocking way. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do about seeing her child since I’ve been presented with that lesson in life for some reason I’m still trying to understand. So for me, it’s learning how to react to stressful and upsetting situations differently, where it doesn’t give me massive anxiety and an emotional meltdown.

I am coming out of all this, fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been, both physically and mentally. Here is my plan:

  • Fuel my body with the nutrition it needs to be the fittest and strongest it can be to support me through the rest of my life
  • Move my body to give me the best fighting chance to live as long as possible
  • Meditate to teach me how to be more intentional with my actions and reactions
  • Grow my side hustle with Beachbody coaching while greatly reducing my screen time
  • Get outside as much as I possibly can
  • Continue to write and grow this blog because it’s helped me more than you could ever know
  • Be kind when nobody’s watching

So, as you see, I have set my intentions for the year. They are not difficult and there are not that many. They are all completely within my control. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do think the start of the year is a good time to reassess and formulate a plan for yourself.

Last year, I participated in an end of the year workshop of sorts that was delivered by Rachel Brathen. At the end of all of the work, you were to choose a word that will set your intention for the year. To be honest, I had forgotten all about it until my friend Fiona posted something similar to this exercise the other day which got me thinking about all of this.

My word last year, was Joy. I still managed to find alot of that, even in a crazy pandemic that nobody saw coming on Jan 1 2020. This year, I have chosen Legacy. I have chosen this word because I want everything I do to be reflective of the legacy I want to leave on this world one day. Do I want the legacy that I really loved to drink wine, worked on my days off and was on social media alot? Of course not. I want my legacy to be greater than that. I want my legacy to be that I helped others and was always present with anyone around me. I want to be known as a great mother, spouse, nana, girlfriend and coworker. That’s what I want and that’s what I will leave this world (one day, very far from now).

So after all of this, I ask you again…how will you emerge from your “coccoon” when all of this is said and done? What will your word be for this year? What legacy do you want to leave? I encourage you to take some time over the weekend to reflect on the year that you’ve had, and set some intentions for 2021. I’d love to hear it!

Happy New Year to all!!

Patti

xo