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Archive for the ‘Taking care of yourself’ Category

There needs to be a song entitled “All I Want for Christmas is Someone I Miss”.  I may write one.  Holiday music, commercials, others talking about their exciting plans and the action of purchasing gifts for others can make the pain of loss surface during the holiday season. Anyone who cares deeply and loves passionately can be wounded on earth.  Yet we can soar—even through grief, fear, and anger.

A tragic loss can come from the death of a child, loss of a spouse (death or divorce), loss of a pet, loss of a job, loss of a best friend, loss of a parent, the list goes on and on. We have to adjust to living without someone or something that is an essential part of our life. Every person responds uniquely to the grief, disorientation and shock of ‘now you see it, now you don’t.’ Loss is meant to teach and carry us, not bring our lives to a standstill. Resistance to reality creates suffering. Stress occurs as the mind resists. The first step moving forward emotionally is being tolerant with WHAT IS.

How Loss Transforms Our Life

  • We are in too much pain to pretend.
  • We lose the energy to play games with people, so we don’t pretend to be something we are not.
  • We question what life is all about, so we look around with a new set of eyes.
  • Words that held important definitions in our lives no longer make sense, so we speak less often but in a more meaningful way.
  • Our plan for happiness and security disappears, so we begin to take life in the moment and have no energy to do much more than let life happen and trust the next moments.
  • We are no longer filled with plans, beliefs and motives so moments of truth can easily be recognized by the way our body feels, not what we think.
  • Moments of truth become who we are, not just what we fleetingly think.
  • We move from our head to our hearts and live our life with purpose and dignity.

Suggestions to soften the pain of loss:  

Be real and accept your emotions; don’t fight or be afraid of them.

All emotions are a valuable part of your learning to live with love for yourself and purpose in life.  They will not last forever if you let them flow.  If you don’t let them flow through you, they will return like a tidal wave when you least expect it.  They are telling you something about who you are and what you value – listen to them.  Are there any emotions that you find yourself trying to avoid?  Are you aware of what happens to you when you do avoid those emotions? What can you do differently?

Surround yourself with people who let you be who you are each day.

            Take action when you will know it is time to ask for help – tell people what you need. From the moment you are impacted by a loss, your heart begins crying for help.  Receiving help can be a group dedicated to healing from an event similar to yours or a special person in your life who is with you through thick and thin. Do you have a group or someone in your life that you can go to for a helping hand when needed or to provide helpful suggestions? Is there someone who will let you be who you are each day, even if you change from hour to hour in your moods and needs?  Do YOU let yourself be who you are?

Simplify your life

It is important to connect with yourself more and release as many deadlines as you can that you have created for yourself. Get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel beautiful and loved. Emotional clutter begins with too much business and trying to keep all of the plates in the air that you are trying to juggle. Weeding out makes space for choices. You have the power to park your mind where you want if some days all you want to do is breathe. Is there an activity that you dread? What gives you gratification or satisfaction? Is there something you can give away to make space for something you would love to have in your home or closet? Make a list of your weekly activities and assess if they are all necessary for your well-being or happiness.

Take steps to learn to love and trust you.

Strengthen your discernment skills of what is real for you during a conversation – what you can use to help you along your way and what you need to discard that others are saying to you.  You are your best expert of who you are, where you are and what you need. Look in the mirror each morning and assure the face you see that you will remain emotionally present all day, no matter what happens. Take care of yourself so you will have a reserve of energy to help and share with others. What positive message can you give yourself if you find yourself being pulled into negative thoughts stemming from past experiences or comments from others? What can you do to nurture yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed? Is there an activity or behavior that seems to be unhealthy for you but you tend to repeat? If so, what is it? Do you have a small, smooth stone or anything tangible to keep in your pocket to rub when you need assurance?

Play with a child or run with a dog.

It is hard to remain sad when a dog wags its tail or a child looks up and smiles at you. If you are having trouble sharing your pain with other people, children and animals will not judge you. If you are self-conscious about crying in front of others, you will be comforted as an animal looks at you with devoted eyes. Just begin talking to a dog and see if you don’t relax as you pat him on the head. Do you have a child or animal in your home or that you can visit from time to time? What activity in your childhood would you like to do today by yourself or with a friend?

Find a quiet place for retreat from the world.

If you have a hectic personal or professional life, it can be difficult to find a relaxing moment of peace and quiet. Experiencing your tranquil side is vital to leading a healthy and happy life. It is important to find a place in your home or yard where you can shut out any loud messages in your head. In that space listen for that quiet voice that gives you strength despite loss and pain in the moment. Do you have a space to escape from the pressures of the outside world? If not, what would you like to have in your space and where would it be? What objects would be meaningful to you in that space? What is your favorite flower, gem stone and candle scent?

Pray away doubts that keep you stuck in despair

Every divine transformation contains one common thread, a desire for spiritual growth above all else.  It all starts with a connection to a larger essence of strength and wisdom – a prayer.  Prayer invites the spiritual realm to join with you in your experience.  It does not have to be just you against the world. Prayer changes things.  If you could ask God for anything right now what would it be?  Do you ever thank the heavenly realm for something you have in your life?  What prayer comes to you that would invite the heavenly realm into a process of eliminating areas of your life that are unhealthy for you?

Do something physical to release the depression and stress built up in your body.      It is amazing how physical activity can serve as a pain killer.  Exercise can put you in a zone of acceptance and faith.  Regular physical exercise improves how you see yourself and enjoy life.  It helps to control your weight, improves your outlook on life and always lightens your mood and grip on life.  A number of studies prove that exercise helps with depression.  Do you engage in any physical activity?  If not, are you willing to experiment and find out what you might enjoy doing?

If you have found something that works for you during the Holiday Season please share it in the comment box below.

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Challenging my beliefs and self-image is my answer, to stop judging myself by internalizing the judgment of others – past and present.  Learning to live with the pain of losing my daughter brought observations about who I am and my resilience.

picture_speakI experience ME more than anyone else in my life. The emotions that arise when a frightening or painful event happens are within me. They are invisible to people around me, they change nothing outside of me during those moments. My judgment about a certain experience dictates my heartbeat and how I see myself within the context of the event. Ultimately my emotions bring about action or no action that shapes how I see myself and my place in this world. I am not responsible for emotions that surface but I AM responsible for my actions and how I treat myself and others as I sometimes wrestle with life’s learning experiences.

I have been reminded recently that every new challenge serves as an initiation: I meet discouragement; I overcome discomfort and frustration; and I ultimately find what I have been searching for to continue my spiritual path. I have moments of sadness and pain and sometimes useless actions when I rely on solutions from the past. Deep down in my heart I know there is something more. There is something I am not seeing, something I am not doing on a grander spiritual level. That is what drives me to search deeper and eventually be grateful that the experienced challenged me.

I often call such an experience the “tail end of a fear dragon”. A swat in the face when I least expect it. That is often the dragon of fear of rejection but the good news is that it is walking away. My fear is fueled by my beliefs and perception and that often sets me up for suffering. To be alive and live life fully as ourselves is the greatest fear of the human race. We learn to survive by becoming what others want and to satisfy our belonging. The greatest dragon I have to slay is not rejecting myself and who I am. Finding that love and peace for ME propels me on a path of non-resistance to life and erases my fear of the actions of others – erases my fear of the future.

Leave a comment below if this resonates with you and you have wisdom to share with me about how you overcame a fear of rejection.

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Your loving intent and bravery diminishes illusions and YOU KNOW THAT A PROCESS IS COMPLETE WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE A TRUE CONNECTION WITH YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATOR.  From this new perspective you will live life in the moment with sincerity and experience a freedom to look above, below and beyond any horizons and let life carry you in its arms.Payment for Passage

The Perfect Moment

The Perfect Moment

Living in the moment and flowing with life has been essential for me the past few weeks.   Once today, I strengthened my spiritual muscles by overcoming a “come apart” moment.  After talking with a loving friend on the phone, I closed my eyes, breathed deeply and remembered that I ONLY EVER EXPERIENCE MYSELF IN EVERY MOMENT.  It is up to me – my future, my being, my life is up to me and nobody else. I have the choice of just killing time in pain and anger or living with an open heart while I expect miracles.  BTW, this winter I would consider sunshine in Tennessee a miracle .

I interact moment to moment with what I perceive as reality and how I feel during that flash of time depends on how I choose to respond and my attitude.  Last weekend my car broke down in the middle of another town.    I paused, called someone for help, called a wrecker service, walked 2 blocks to take care of why I was in the town.  I then walked back to my car and not having to interact with traffic, relaxed as I waited for someone to come get me and enjoyed watching life happen around me in the parking lot.   At times, living truly as ME involves getting angry (like today) but once that emotion serves its purpose, I thank it for teaching me something about myself and ask it to leave.

I loving being peaceful but also realize I am here to learn through human emotions.   I believe that everything has a purpose and beauty and this belief assures me that no matter what, I will always be OK and well cared for.

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How many of you can remember every word to a song you liked in high school but cannot remember why you walked into a certain room today?

Music has a way of taking you to a magical place you cannot reach any other way. It methodically surrounds you with the moment while putting your body in a rhythm that closely resembles the beat of your heart. I find it to be just the right spiritual tool when nothing else eases my mind. I hope you enjoy a few of the songs that carry me into a higher spiritual realm.

I am sure I will be adding to the list. I am always given a resource for peace when I ask for help.  If you have a song that has soothed your soul please share it in the comment section of the page.

Joann saw John Denver at a live concert, sitting on the front row at age 4.  This was always her favorite song – It was the last song everyone heard at her funeral – I could feel her spirit soaring in the sky as we were about to lay her body into the ground.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf7qEvXBW_k

Encouragement

Josh Groban – Brave
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=63BnhyTQJlw

Kathy Mattea – Only Heaven Knows
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph6lAggq62g

Tenors – Lead With Your Heart
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_En2FVuIzhM

Tenors – Forever Young
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E6-AYce-_M

Enya – Only Time
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h348HGTm1uk

Jana Stanfield – If I Were Brave
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF5V2PEujqs

Jana Stanfield – Your True Calling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5y0p-CjkVc

Jana Stanfield – I’m Not Lost, I am Exploring
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vwekshBtyg

Tenors – The Perfect Gift
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRovL3nvQOM

Tenors – Instrument of Your Peace
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjla_FHNIWA

Tenors – Halleluiah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTx8IGPwrIk

Josh Groban – You Raise Me up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VqRlO3wa1A

Templeton Thompson – Guardian Angel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USWsRL_mGGU

If you are uncertain

Josh Groban – Hollow Talk (There’s never been bad
There has always been truth)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOrZ5NHQpVQ&list=UUZs1jDLdpy7_UJD4fu0Iuxg

Josh Groban – I Believe When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSLE4chWSKE

Josh Groban – The Prayer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckH3V_xOCnQ

Tenors – You Anchor Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqsiHRCuJdo

Templeton Thompson – We’re All on Our Way Somewhere
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8iL_vguVcQ

Templeton Thompson – I Can Do This
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WN98Ku4Dxw

If you have lost that special someone

Celine Dion – Because You Love Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTxnqUhhlIY

Josh Groban To Where You Are
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIAQCiMIEEQ

Share a song below that has gotten you through a hard spot in your journey or lifted you to an higher rung of your spiritual ladder.

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A friend of mine is devastated because she lost her job. She asked me yesterday how I survived the death of my child.

 

I found out the hard way – the only way I will not survive a challenge in life is if I abandoned ME to escape the pain – today I remain in my own life and stay emotionally present, one day at a time. .

At some point I realized I was the only one with me twenty-four hours a day and needed to begin nurturing myself. I’d like to share a few of the things I told MYSELF. If you have experienced a loss you might identify, if you want to comfort someone dear to you, this might be helpful.

“I will not leave you emotionally. We will make it through this together.”
“It is OK for you to cry as much as you want; even if others think it is time to get on with life.”
“Just be real, you are perfect just the way you are.”
“You don’t have to smile if you don’t want to.”
“You will know when you need help.”
“Feel your feelings, no matter how painful and learn from them.”
“Listen to your body and take care of yourself.”
“Be patient with yourself and celebrate when you do something that feels like a victory.”

 

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True PeaceHere’s a picture of my grandson Kyle during one of our hikes in the woods when he was 3 years old.

In this age of information overflow, loud noises, violent games and movies, there is a wonderful gift in finding a place of solitude and peace where our minds empty and we are in the moment with no distractions or worries.

Mental stress and worry affect your ability to receive the answers you are seeking. The term “you can’t get there from here” truly applies to this situation. At first worry may seem to motivate you to look for options in situations where you are feeling a sense of powerlessness. However, worry does not lead you to feeling powerful. Worry, when prolonged, simply reinforces your sense of powerlessness.     -Payment for Passage

How many times have you realized the answer to while doing something totally unrelated?

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