Have you felt like you’ve been on a rollercoaster ride, emotionally, lately?
My kids are now home due to COVID. So, aside from that, and all the other things come with life, work, and business, I’m tired. And, I know I’m not alone.
One thing that I’ve found that has helped me not to lose my marbles lately is taking at least 45 minutes every morning for myself. Every weekday, I do a workout. Periodically, I give myself Reiki. One day this week, I also journaled. The point is, taking time for my body, my heart, and my mindset has dramatically kept me from lashing out in frustration.
How often, though, do we go about our day without making our body, heart, and mindset a priority? How often do we lax on our self-awareness and go about our day mindlessly? A lot.
I recall many times throughout my life, where the littlest things would set me off. This response is not uncommon to us when we feel as if we’re on an emotional rollercoaster. So, how do you suppose this quick-to-anger, being easily poked by the bear – way of being is impacting your life, work, and business if you have one?
Back when I had my first business, I was struggling in a lot of ways emotionally. I was having physical symptoms, including unexplained body aches, headaches, and hair loss. Also, I had or have never been diagnosed with anxiety. However, since having a better understanding of our energy, I look back in hindsight and recognize that the physical angst I would often feel was anxiety. Even today, when my thoughts start to tailspin around overwhelm (which I’ve come to learn is due to lack of prioritizing) and the future, I begin to have episodes of heart arrhythmia and feel like I could jump out of my skin. Again, I don’t know if this is what anxiety feels like to those diagnosed, but this is when I know I am out of energetic balance.
I’ve come to understand that grief and energy go hand-in-hand. I do feel that is why Reiki found me after going through the grief recovery program and starting to unravel the years of emotional dis-ease I had carried.
When I look back on the years when I first joined the workforce at 14 and onward, I recognize (with new awareness) what emotional dis-ease (i.e., grief) has cost me. There were many jobs I never applied at because I didn’t feel like I had a snowball’s chance in you know what of getting the job. I also got so scared about the future, finances, and all the things when it came to college. I spent a weekend in a dorm when I turned 18 to pack the car and leave before ever giving myself a chance. I gave up on myself before I even tried. And, all because of fear and money.
I did not trust myself. I did not understand intuition and how to tap into it. I always looked to the external for affirmation that I was doing the right thing or looking for permission or just someone to tell me what to do. It was this confusion, and yet, also a knowing that I could do hard things that led me to join the military. If money was the problem in attending college, well then, I found my solution. What I didn’t realize was that I still had to pay that money upfront (which, I believe, is still the case).
I’ve learned to become resourceful through struggle, but I’ve also learned how to be resilient. That said, it’s taken me decades to dig in and tap into how to utilize my resourcefulness and resiliency. You see, when we’re emotionally suffering, it’s often difficult to see potential and possibility – in ourselves. Our minds become a fog of illusion that we’re okay and fine. However, if we take a birds-eye view of our life, we often see that we have blocks that keep us repeating the same self-sabotaging behaviors. Or, we become hyper-focused on performance, results, and outcomes – all the while neglecting ourselves and those we love (hello, burnout)!
Below is a rundown list of all the ways, I believe, emotional dis-ease creates blocks and hinders our progress in life and business. These are ways I self-identify with, and I am sure there are many more I haven’t thought of that I could add. If this list resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you! I’m curious if there are others I haven’t included that you found to be true for you?
The Ways Emotional Dis-Ease Impacts Life & Business
questioning/second-guessing every decision or difficulty making decisions
seeking outside validation/affirmation
unable to see other perspectives
lack of discernment
money drama – money comes, money goes // lack of growth in account or savings
quick to anger
difficulty connecting with others
feeling like others are out to get you // victim mindset
lack of self-awareness or not conscious of your physical body // desire to “numb-out.”
The more of these that resonate with you, the more likely you’ve got some emotional weeds in your heart garden that need some tending and pulling. With each weed we pull, we’re clearing out space for more beauty to enter and unfold in our lives.
There is hope on the other side of all of this. I’ve been having some wonderful conversations with some incredible healing hearts for my podcast, Grieving Voices. And, these guests have proven this to me over and over. There’s no such thing as joy or sorrow – the two co-exist within a matter of moments of each other. However, when the scales tip further one way than the other in a way that doesn’t sit right with you, then you have a choice to do something about it.
There is no timeline for healing emotional dis-ease. However, how much time are you willing to give sorrow? How much of your life are you ready to gamble? We all reach a point where we get sick of our own crap. My friend, that’s when the magic happens. That fire in your belly for wanting more for yourself and your loved ones – it’s the stuff that dreams are made of, and we often give up on our dreams before we give ourselves a chance. We often don’t think there’s hope.
Take your life by the horns, my friend. It’s waiting for you. Will there always be painful and challenging things that put a boulder in your way? Of course. Life isn’t a fairy tale or movie. But, why write the final chapter before you’ve lived all the chapters in-between? Resiliency is learned through experience and growth, a by-product of suffering. I don’t care which way you slice it. It’s just some people are more willing to allow the unfolding than others. Fear and resistance keep the rest stuck in the past.
The future will not be found in the past. It took me 30+ years to discover this. That said, our pain often becomes our message. And, maybe that’s just a part of my walk here on earth. I don’t know. As a podcast guest stated recently, “I feel more awake now than ever.” And you know what, this woman lost her 17-month-old son suddenly. A loss I cannot even fathom. So, please don’t take it from me; tune in to the podcast and hear the stories of hope for yourself—just incredible stories I am honored to share with listeners. I feel so inspired by their faith and trust in what is possible for them. And, for a time (like myself), they didn’t see it for themselves, either.
There are gifts of grief (i.e., emotional dis-ease/suffering). Get empowered by what is possible, regain emotional control of your life (and body), and watch that list above fade into the rearview.
P.S. Need a lifeline of hope? Reach out to me. Here to serve and create more healing ripples in the world.
Carrying grief is exhausting. It ripples into every corner of your life, dimming our light and brightness along the way.
Grief is a burden we all shoulder, and despite the passage of time and positive thinking, we are unable to bury it or wish it away.
And many of us do not even realize this load on our shoulders; causing us to snap at our loved ones and reach for food, alcohol, and other crutches to numb and pacify ourselves for a short time.
Grief is not spoken about and because of this, we don’t even realize how it is preventing us from living the life we desire to lead.
Have a listen to my guest appearance on Michelle’s Podcast in preparation for this workshop. This is a great conversation where ample examples are given of the different ways grief presents itself.
My beautiful friend, Michelle Marsh (Aromonosis Coach + Facilitator, Podcaster, Writer, and Natural Living Advocate) is bringing me into her community to hold a Grief Healing Aromanosis Experience. With her expertise in the area of hypnosis, aromatherapy, and holistic wellness, and mine in all things grief + reiki, we are bringing our hearts together to facilitate this very special healing workshop.
Is this workshop for you? If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you may already identify yourself as a griever. If not, I encourage you to check out my podcast, Grieving Voices, where I offer bite-sized, weekly grief education.
Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss or any change from what is familiar in life. It is the emotional response to change. It can be defined as a feeling associated with the things we wish might have been different, better, or more in any relationship. Whether it is with a person, a pet, a job, an educational experience, or even a place of residence doesn’t matter. Grief can be a result of unmet hopes, dreams, and expectations in any relationship as well.
The Ways Grief Manifests
Some people find that the confusing feelings that grief generates interfere with sleep, while others find it challenging to get up and function after waking up.
Some people find that they feel sad or cry over things that never seemed to bother them before.
Many find themselves longing for that relationship lost, and others find, especially when they discover that friends seem to be able to offer little meaningful help, that they lose some of their ability to trust others.
Some find themselves easily irritated, while others do not have the energy to feel much of anything.
For some, the memories leading up to and including the moment of loss overshadow all of their fond memories of that relationship.
Simply stated, grief can be overwhelming! Just as overwhelming can be the labels that are put on grievers and the advice that they are given.
To gain FREE access to the LIVE workshop, enter your details below and I will send you the Zoom link on Monday, September 14th. The workshop will be at 7:00 AM CST on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020. My friend, Michelle, is located in Australia, where it will be evening. No worries – by signing up, you’ll receive the recording! However, if you can make it LIVE, it is highly recommended. 😉
GRIEF HEALING EXPERIENCE
Please join me, Victoria, and Michelle Marsh of MichelleMarsh.com.au, as we take you through a grief healing experience. You get the best of both worlds; an Adv. Certified Grief Specialist + Reiki Master, along with Michelle, an Aromonosis Coach + Facilitator + Holistic Wellness Advocate as your guides.
You may also want to receive, The Unleashed Letters, a weekly e-publication where Victoria shares content not shared anywhere else + her deepest, darkest secrets. Okay, not quite, but you do get to see "behind the curtain" of her heart, to speak.
Awesome, friend! You're in! On Monday, Sept. 14th, you will receive the Zoom link to join us LIVE on Tuesday, Sept. 15th at 7 AM CST!
Your privacy is taken seriously, because, I hate spam, too.
You can learn more about Michelle and her Aromanosis Membership HERE. For questions about the Aromanosis Membership, email Michelle directly.
Do you believe you are worthy of healing? It sounds like an odd question, I know. Really, though – do you?
If you believe it’s an easy “yes,” do your actions reflect that you are?
For many years I struggled to cope with the events of loss and trauma that occurred during my childhood. Well into adulthood, my self-worth was in the toilet. During my teen years, although I was pretty thin, I would wear baggy clothes. I hid my body. I hid a lot during those years. I didn’t have a boyfriend until going into my senior year (even then, I couldn’t believe it). And, I had big aspirations for my life (travel was at the heart of every endeavor I considered).
As you know, life can be planned down to the letter. However, life always has other plans. Plans that are sometimes better than what we imagined, too.
However, what had held me back in so many ways was the fact I did not feel worthy of good things. And, even when I thought I had a good thing, I anticipated it (or them) going away or leaving, which is what happened, too. Relationships in my life were either strained or ended. I never let anyone get too close. I allowed others to take advantage of me (I didn’t know what boundaries were). I didn’t appreciate the good things I did have (including my job that I should have been fired from more than once). I even flooded out of my apartment. It was as if, if I had both shoes, I was creating chaos for one to drop, or, I was barely hanging on because I was losing one. Do you know what I mean?
It wasn’t until my now-husband came back into my life after many years of friendship, where he showed me what I was worth to him. And, slowly but surely, I began to understand my worth and how I contribute to the world around me (positive and negative). I discovered faith (and hope) for the first time, and I started to turn my life around. But, this didn’t happen until my eyes were opened to the fact that I was worthy of good things because I am, and no other reason was needed. I didn’t have to do or be anything to anyone else to be worthy. I didn’t have to perform or be someone I wasn’t to please someone else – I could be me, and that was enough. This awareness was only the start, though. Because even from this time, it took me another sixteen years (sixteen years!!!!) to put that feeling of unworthiness to bed – for good. And, it didn’t happen until I resolved all of the trauma and pain that was the catalyst for it in the first place.
Our lack of self-worth is very much tied to childhood grief. Whether your parents were divorced, a parent died, you were sexually abused (a big, big one), adopted, in foster care, you likely weren’t raised knowing you were in charge of your own agency. Meaning, you weren’t encouraged to make your own decisions (reasonably, of course, for safety reasons) and weren’t allowed to express your opinions. Perhaps you grew up in survival mode.
I’ve learned so much about the power of choice after going through what I have gone through in my life. Fortunately, my husband and I are on the same page as we raise our children, too. We do not force our children to do anything they do not want to do. And, we ask probing questions to help them come to their own conclusions about what matters to them.
Something as simple as having the ability (and choice) of not wanting to play a sport serves them well into adulthood. We don’t force our kids to do any sport they don’t want to do. However, once they start, they’re finishing. It is important to us, as parents, they learn what the word commitment means. These lessons serve them later when their friends have all gathered around and “they’re all doing it (drinking or whatever “it” is),” and they have the know-how and the conviction to say “no.” Regardless of what others may think, and because they’ve flexed their “decision-making” muscle, they can confidently stand by what they feel is right for them. I always ask my kids, “what does your gut tell you?” And, I conclude with “it will never steer you wrong.” I also tell them that nothing good happens after midnight. But, isn’t that the truth in adulthood, too? Lol!
What does the power of choice have to do with self-worth and healing?
Had I learned the skills and been encouraged to exercise my right to choose, I would have known and understood that my desires had worth. I would have grown up understanding that, what I feel in my gut, is what is right for me and would have created boundaries early on to protect myself from further pain and suffering. Instead, what happens, is we become detached from our own inner-guidance system. That muscle doesn’t get flexed, so we look to the external for all of the answers. We don’t know where to go, what to do, or why we’re here. We lose touch with ourselves. And, we base our decisions on the feelings/actions/behaviors of others.
Grief is the catalyst for lack of self-worth, and our learned behavior and generational teachings influence us like gasoline on a fire.
You want to build self-worth and heal? It takes inner-work, and it’s anything but easy.
If you don’t have boundaries in your life, aren’t sure what they are, or are reading this feeling like nothing you ever do is good enough, that you’re everyone’s doormat, and why bother because life only seems to hand you lemons? Start by digging deep, my friend. There’s healing to be done. And, you are worthy of it. Always have been, and forever will be. If only you could see it.
Sunday, August 30th is National Grief Awareness Day.
I thought I would share, in today’s post, the different types of grieving events.
In 1967, Dr. Thomas Holmes and Dr. Richard Rahe, both psychiatrists, researched the medical records of 5000 patients to look at the correlation between their levels of emotional stress and their illnesses. They created the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, also known as the Holmes Rahe Stress Scale, which was used as a scoring mechanism to rate the various stress indicators as part of their study. This list, commonly known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, is considered a definitive ranking system.
Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior; the normal and natural reaction to any change that occurs in life.
While it may be helpful in the therapeutic setting to use a numerical ranking scale in looking at stressors related to their impact on medical conditions, this serves no purpose when used in the context of those events that can result in grief. It’s also important to remember that each individual grieves at 100% for their particular loss. There is no need or value to rate one grief-generating event as having more impactful than another since the grief that each person feels is based on his or her own unique situation.
We have all been in situations where we have heard someone say, “you may think your situation is bad, but mine is even worse!” Comparing losses does nothing to help with recovery. To suggest to Griever A that his or her loss is less significant than that of Grievers B only creates more emotional pain for Griever A, in that they may feel the need to further internalize their feelings since they have been told they are of lesser value. Our focus, in grief recovery, has always been that grievers are far better served in taking recovery actions, rather than in arguing over who is hurting the most!
Below you will find the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale for Adults. Some events, such as marriage, may bring to mind more memories of joy than pain. In this case, we need to remember that there is grief associated with changes from normal behavior patterns, of which there can be many in moving from “single” to “married.”
Death of a spouse
Death of a close family member
Personal injury or illness
Dismissal from work
Change in health of family member
Gain a new family member
Change in financial state
Death of a close friend
Change to a different line of work
Change in frequency of arguments
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
Change in responsibilities at work
Child leaving home
Trouble with in-laws
Outstanding personal achievement
Spouse starts or stops work
Begin or end school
Change in living conditions
Revision of personal habits
Trouble with boss
Change in working hours or conditions
Change in residence
Change in schools
Change in recreation
Change in church activities
Change in social activities
Minor mortgage or loan
Change in sleeping habits
Change in number of family reunions
Change in eating habits
Minor violation of law
Loss of Trust, Loss of Approval, Loss of Safety and Loss of Control of my body
The greatest value to this listing is in helping people understand that grief is not just about death. Stress and stressful events come in many packages, which is true for grief as well.
A slightly modified version of this Stress Scale was created for those over 55, to reflect those life events that come with aging. In many ways, this scale is similar to the one for adults, but it likewise fails to mention the same stressors and grief causing events that are noted above.
Yet another version of this scale was developed for, so-called, “Non-Adults.” Just as is the case with the “Adult Scale,” there are many additions that could be made to this list for grieving experiences for children, based on their unique relationships and level of development. This list also fails to include elements of child abuse on any level, sexual matters, bullying, and cyberbullying or such things as loss of Safety, Approval, Faith or personal control.
Death of parent
Divorce of parents
Acquiring a visible deformity
Fathering a child
Jail sentence of a parent for over one year
Marital separation of parents
Death of a brother or sister
Change in acceptance by peers
Unplanned pregnancy of sister
Discovery of being an adopted child
Marriage of parent to step-parent
Death of a close friend
Having a visible congenital deformity
Serious illness requiring hospitalization
Failure of a grade in school
Not making an extracurricular activity
Hospitalization of a parent
Jail sentence of a parent for over 30 days
Breaking up with boyfriend or girlfriend
Beginning to date
Suspension from school
Becoming involved with drugs or alcohol
Birth of a brother or sister
Increase in arguments between parents
Loss of job by parent
Outstanding personal achievement
Change in parent’s financial status
Accepted at college of choice
Being a senior in high school
Hospitalization of a sibling
Increased absence of a parent from home
Brother or sister leaving home
Addition of third adult to family
Becoming a full-fledged member of a church
A decrease in arguments between parents
A decrease in arguments with parents
Mother or father beginning work
A very important point to remember is that it is one thing to realize that these are events that can bring stress and grief into your life, and quite another thing to take action. Most people carry around a great deal of grief that they hold inside. Unlike a broken arm or leg that is made obvious by a cast, a broken heart is far less easy to see. As with a broken limb, we take action to heal the wound…action is also needed to heal a broken heart; time alone doesn’t heal a wound, action within time is required.
The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale was first utilized in looking at the strong correlation between the stressors that impact people’s lives and their actual medical issues. People under stress are more prone to a variety of medical complications. Reducing your stress/grief can have a positive impact on your physical well being.
Our focus, at the Grief Recovery Institute, is in moving beyond the emotional pain of loss. The Grief Recovery Method is a proven, step-by-step process for accomplishing this. It’s designed to help people deal not only with past and current issues regarding the stress of grief, but also to provide the tools to deal with future issues, as they develop.
As previously stated, the value of these lists is in reminding everyone that there are many life events that potentially cause grief. Society most often thinks of grief as death-related. However, as I hope you can see now, it’s a far broader topic than just being about death. And, if you really think about it, grief is everywhere. Most people you encounter in your daily life have lost someone or something; they grieve something or someone. Whether there is a relationship they wish would be/could’ve been different, better, or more, or grieve the loss of hopes, dreams, and expectations for the relationship – these things cause dis-ease in our hearts. It’s often, not until it’s one loss too many when we realize we’re not okay. And, you know what, that’s okay. The sad, angry, conflicting feelings all have value. Those feelings are your indicator that there is healing that needs to be done. And, when you’re ready…you know where to find me.
P.S. On June 30th, 2020, my podcast Grieving Voices launched! So far, I’ve shared eight educational episodes, and very soon, I will be sharing conversations with other grievers. Be a fly on the wall of our conversation, as grievers give voice to their losses, what they wish would have been there for them, how they wish others would have responded or said – all with the goal of educating all of us on how to better support grievers. And, in doing so, bring normalcy to what we experience in grief. It’s time we talk about grief like we talk about the weather!
P.P.S. Monday, August 31st is National Overdose Awareness Day. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance abuse, check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. Their National Helpline Number is: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
*Portions of this post are adapted from The Grief Recovery Institute Blog
If your days have been feeling as though they’re all running together – know that today is FRIDAY! Woohoo! I hope you can find some joy this weekend.
If you feel like every person you cross paths with is cranky, rude, or negative – know that their emotional gunk isn’t yours. But, it may help you feel better to continue to be you. Don’t dim your positivity for the sake of making the other person feel comfortable. I’ve been on the other side of this. I’m sure you have, too. You’re in a cranky mood, and someone you speak to is just full of smiles and joy and, you wonder to yourself: “How can you be so damn happy all of the time?” And, you know what? It’s more of a reflection of ourselves. We can project our joy onto others, or we can project our pain.
And, I realize that’s the difficulty. I’ve written about telling the emotional truth about ourselves many times before. Yet, here I am saying that if you’re feeling negative, not to mention the emotional truth about yourself- not to project it onto others. However, there’s a difference between telling the emotional truth and treating others poorly because we feel – emotionally deficient.
We will not always be happy – about our life situation, the state of the world, a decision that’s been made, our health, the weather – you name it. However, if we can acknowledge, within ourselves, that which isn’t working, feeling right, or aligning our soul with joy, and meet that hurt within us with compassion, then we are more equipped to share the truth – without mistreating others in the process.
As we start to work through our emotional stuff (and continue to do so), we are less affected by others’ emotional dis-ease. And, I can tell you, I am much quicker to recognize now (because I keep applying grief recovery to my life) when I am a projector of the negative. I have learned that that’s when it’s time to step out of my head and into my heart, and know where there’s emotional work to do. As a result, this makes me a happier person – in my skin and to be around.
Life is for learning. When you feel like you’ve messed up – apologize. When you feel like you’re at your breaking point – step away, take a break, and hit the reset button. Ask yourself what you can do in the situation rather than focusing on what is out of your hands (I’ve been doing my darndest to put this one into practice as of late).
We are in community with each other whether we like it or not. So, rather than fret over others whom you can’t change, fret over a situation that’s frustrating the, you know what, out of you, and being frustrated with yourself – hit reset. Sometimes, we need to be alone – not in community with others, to do just that. When we’re in each other’s spaces, we’re also in each other’s energy. You’re doing the best you can steeping in everyone’s energy. But the most important person’s energy you need to pay attention to – is your own.
I know it’s not easy these days to manage our own energy either. I had been struggling with this, too. And, you know – I gave myself Reiki. True story. I gave myself Reiki before bed a few nights recently, and despite having fewer hours of sleep, I had better quality sleep. Another thing that feels like a reset at the end of the day? A shower. Yup. Sounds silly, as the majority of the people I know typically shower in the morning. However, I prefer to shower at night. You literally wash away the stress of the day down the drain and crawl into bed, feeling refreshed (and reset).
So today, I want you to pat yourself on the back that yes, you are doing the best you can. And, I hope this helps you to reflect on your energy and the energy of those around you. How is the energy of others affecting you? How is your energy affecting those around you, too? When I feel good, I influence those around me to feel better, also.
Even if it may seem annoying to others who project their pain on others (because they’re not tapped into their energy and their impact it has) – work on a reset for YOU. This reset is the best thing you can do this Friday and throughout the weekend, before the start of a new week.
Set the intention today for a fantastic weekend, regardless of the chaos that may be ensuing around you. Turn off the phone if you need to. Get a hotel room or an Airbnb by yourself for a night, if you need to. Take a drive on the backroads, or in the country, and photograph what you find along the way. Take a lawn chair and sit by the lake (or the ocean) and steep in the stillness.
Reset for your energy (and your mindset), so you can continue to do the best you can! And, if you need help with an emotional reset for life, reach out to me. I know the program that’s perfect for doing just that. 😉
P.S. Are you looking for support for a grieving child in your care? I am looking for four participants to walk through the NEW online group program, Helping Children with Loss. We meet on Zoom only four times – once a week, for no more than 2 1/2 hours each time. And know that there’s lots of material to cover. You won’t be a silent listener (bored out of your mind) as I lecture each week for four weeks. It’s participatory and engaging content, where you interact with others in the group, and learn some new skills and tools to utilize for the rest of your life. This program is prevention, so whether you’re a parent, daycare provider, social worker, school faculty, a child therapist looking for more knowledge around grief specifically, or work in the foster care/adoption system – this program is for you – the adult. The first group will be offered at a discounted rate, which will allow me to make sure all of my systems and processes are correctly in place and that there aren’t any hiccups—interested in learning more? Please email me at [email protected] or message via the Contact tab.
I look forward to sharing this amazing program with you – for the better of the child(ren) in your life!