The Ways Emotional Dis-Ease Impacts Life & Business

Emotional Dis-Ease

Have you felt like you’ve been on a rollercoaster ride, emotionally, lately?

I have.

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

  • self-worth issues
  • questioning/second-guessing every decision or difficulty making decisions
  • seeking outside validation/affirmation
  • unable to see other perspectives
  • lack of discernment 
  • physical symptoms
  • money drama – money comes, money goes // lack of growth in account or savings
  • quick to anger
  • fractured relationships
  • difficulty connecting with others
  • feeling like others are out to get you // victim mindset
  • trust issues
  • lack of self-awareness or not conscious of your physical body // desire to “numb-out.”
  • avoid important issues within life or business 
  • not sure what you value
  • don’t see the value you bring to others
  • lack mindset // inability to see opportunities
  • difficulty focusing/concentrating
  • procrastination // difficulty prioritizing & planning

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. 

much love, victoria

 

 

 

P.S. Need a lifeline of hope? Reach out to me. Here to serve and create more healing ripples in the world. 

Self-Worth and Healing

grief self worth and healing

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.

Hope and healing is just an email away: [email protected] 

much love, victoria

 

 

If You Wait Until You’re Ready

If you wait until you're ready

If you wait until you’re ready

You will, forever, be waiting.

I self-published my book in September 2017. I had been talking about it for two years.

I talked about becoming certified in grief recovery. Within weeks I had registered.

I had talked about looking into reiki certification. Within weeks I registered.

My podcast, Grieving Voices, is launching this coming Tuesday, June 30th. I had been talking about this with some entrepreneur gal-pals for several months, and next week it finally happens!

There are many examples in-between 2017 and today of the negative self-talk going on in my head of things I want/wanted to do but never got around to – countless. I have filed so many ideas in the back of my mental file cabinet over the years.

However, when it has come to things I have been so sure about; those things I feel, in my bones, I am being pulled to do, my hesitation time has greatly decreased.

Nowadays, if I feel a pull at my heart, and I recognize it as an inner-knowing, I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.

My intuition has not steered me wrong in this way – yet.

There are other goals/desires that have been stewing in my heart, too. And, I find myself pushing pause. Perhaps it’s just not the right timing. Perhaps, there is a better, more fitting offering that will come along? I don’t know, but for now – I wait. I’m leaning but I’m not feeling that pull, and I haven’t yet identified why.

You may be thinking: “What the heck?” I know I said that if you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting forever. And, so why am I saying then, that there are goals/desires I’m being passive about? The difference between the things I acted upon and the things I haven’t is based solely on my intuition.

Is it your intuition talking or is it excuses that keep you from pulling the trigger on that thing you desire?

And, how do you know the difference?

Simple. What is the conversation going on in your head around it? If it is intuition leading the way, we will seek out and draw in education/support/guidance to make the thing we feel pulled to do – happen.

The podcast idea took me several months to execute because I struggled with all the things related to podcasting. It takes time and effort to create content on yet another platform. And, not to mention there’s a learning curve, which also takes time. However, my intuition was telling me: “Victoria, put your message where your mouth is!” If I truly meant that I wanted to reach a wider audience to share my message about the importance of grief education (like I was to everyone and myself) than I best do something about it. I needed to jump in before I was ready. Because I was never going to “be ready.” There always would’ve been another reason (i.e., excuse) to wait until I was ready.

Before I wrote my book, I was full of excuses (in my head). I didn’t know the path and, was getting wrapped around the axel surrounding the logistics, how-to’s, and what-not; not knowing that was keeping me stuck. Sometimes, we just need a guide or a coach to pave the way for us. Sometimes, we need to lean on someone else who’s a few steps ahead to shed light on the next steps forward. And sometimes, by George, we just need to jump headfirst and allow ourselves to become educated along the way – missteps, failures (i.e., learnings), hiccups and all.

There’s a caveat to all of this, however. We may lean on procrastination tactics while believing we are executing on our intuition, too. If we’re using education/support/guidance as a form of procrastination than we’re excusing ourselves from taking the leap. See the difference? I was notorious for doing this when I started my photography business. I jumped in head first, but there were leaps I avoided taking for years because I felt like there was always more for me to know. I know, today, that doing this stunted my potential right out of the gate. I was more invested in staying comfortable with what I knew at the time. I felt like I was a fearless person because hey, after all, I took the leap to be an entrepreneur. However, I was an entrepreneur that was comfortable with not playing a bigger game.

So, when it comes to working through the emotional “stuck-ness,” are you filled with resistance and hesitation? I get how fear of the unknown can derail even our best of intentions. However, this is what fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real. Our perception is given a lot of power in our decision-making. If you can be an observer of those fear-filled thoughts, acknowledge they’re just that – thoughts, you can choose to take, even the smallest action, toward the next best feeling, which could be the feeling of frustration. Do you see how frustration can move us into action? When I get so annoyed no one else is cleaning out the fridge, eventually, I get so frustrated I just do it. We can apply this idea of reaching for the next best feeling to every area of our lives.

I challenge you to dig deep into why you’re not doing certain things you feel pulled to do and then, pay attention to the monkey chatter going on in your mind as you go about your day. Keep asking yourself “why” until you get to the root of the stalling/inaction.

If you’re on the fence about grief recovery, I’d ask you: “what’s stopping you?” If the answer is financial, I encourage you to reach out. I never want money to not be a reason you don’t help yourself. Of course, I can’t do this work for free, but I am willing to work with someone who is willing to do the deep, heart work in their lives. Uncomfortable with technology and completing the program online? Again, reach out to me. I can explain how it all works and what to expect. Concerned about the time it will take? I know, as a mom, employee, and business owner, I am pulled in many directions every single day. However, what if I told you that last week alone, my phone time use was over 5 HOURS! FIVE HOURS!!! I would bet, if you added up your phone, tv, mobile time – you’d be pretty close to that, too (maybe even more). And, I don’t even watch much television! I think most of us have no clue how much time we truly waste in a day with our faces buried in screens. And, we wonder why our youth are married to their phones! Ha! We, adults, are just as guilty!

Do you see how easily we come up with excuses rather than legit, not-in-our-control reasons?

Sifting through the reasons from the excuses can be a painful pill to swallow. However, only a refreshing glass of awareness can help you choke it down. What awareness are you avoiding to recognize? What desire, placed within your heart, are you waiting to do something about until you feel ready?

More importantly – why?

much love, victoria

 

 

 

P.S. The presentation I gave earlier this week is available. See the form below and please, share this with a griever that you know or love. 

 

If Not Now, When?

If not now when

Typically, I don’t share content from my newsletter anywhere else. Likewise, I don’t share content from my blog to my newsletter, other than a round-up of the blog posts. A weekly newsletter and blog post since January 2019, and you can imagine the sheer quantity of words I have written during that time. I love the theory of repurposing content; however, I’m just not that good at doing it. Lol!

So, when I found myself struggling for content for today’s blog post, I found myself thinking back to this week’s newsletter topic on motivation. I feel like it’s a message for the masses.

While cleaning the fridge recently, my thoughts drifted to motivation. Cleaning out the fridge is something no one else in my home ever finds the motivation to do. Lol! Likely not uncommon in your household as well, if you share your space with others.

Motivation can and will go one of two ways. We are either motivated toward pleasure or away from pain. So, I guess you could say that if pleasure was to the right and pain was to the left, we will usually always take a hard right.

And, this is why, friends, no one else in my home ever cleans the fridge. It’s also why no one else cleans the shower unless I make a deal with one of my kids or spouse (because I really…really dislike cleaning the shower).

It wasn’t until the fridge got bad enough, as in noticeable ick on the back-side and week-old left-overs still inside.

Meet Motivation Half-Way

And, this is exactly how motivation shows up in our lives. There are days where I have to drag myself outside to get in a run. There are nights when I hop on the treadmill at 7:30 PM to move my body because it’s ugly out and, I haven’t gotten any movement in all day because I’ve been stuck behind a computer. And, there are days I get up before 6 am to do Pilates Live because I know if I show up Live, I enjoy it more.

We have to meet motivation half-way. We have to take, even the smallest action, or we risk falling into the same old patterns of behavior. This is how we uplevel our lives. This is how we crawl out of the ruts in which we find ourselves (often mid-life like I had), and this is how we find our way from pain to joy.

A friend once said: “How we do one thing, is how we do everything.” 

I think she’s right.

We will never feel motivated to dig into our baggage. Only until we get really sick of looking in the mirror and physically see the pain on our face, or feel the ick building up in our hearts — do we force ourselves to find the motivation to choose differently. Or, unless our backs are up against the wall and we have no choice but to make a move. By not choosing differently we risk staying, with our backs up against the wall, of our own life.

This is not living; it’s fear in your mind winning over the desire in your heart.

We know (and act) upon what needs to be done in our external world. However, when it comes to our internal one, we often need a nudge, a fresh perspective, and more often than not, guided support.

 Where, in your life, are you finding it difficult to meet motivation half-way?

If I could wave a magic wand and get you from Point A. to Point B., what action would it take to get to Point B?

How can I support you?

To meeting motivation half-way and going into the second half of 2020 with a resounding “HECK-YEAH” to create your best life!

much love, victoria

 

 

 

P.S. Are you ready to create your best life? Let’s begin with the inner-work in grief recovery. I have availability to walk you through The Grief Recovery Method® Online, One-on-One. Get in touch via the Contact tab if you have any questions or would like to get started! Seven weeks and you’ll wish you would’ve gone through this program sooner! I know I sure felt that way. 

Create Yourself

create yourself

Looking out the kitchen window, I could see the church from where I sat. I often pondered my faith through the years, as they passed, and the calendar flipped month to month.

When, in God’s name, will I stop feeling this way? 

Today, I reflected on the many times I sat at my kitchen table working on myself. You may be wondering: “What does ‘working on one’s self’ look like?” Well, at the time, it had become somewhat an obsession. It was a weird hobby to find what made me tick, what made me behave and think the way I did at that time. And, what I learned about myself was pure gold awareness. However, the revolving thought I had then was how lucky I felt that I was able to sit at my kitchen table and dig deep into my inner-world.

The Only Way Out is Through

I received this beautiful reminder today of how incredibly fortunate I was to be able to dig deep back then. Financially, I was okay. I could sit at my kitchen table and create that time and mental space. Granted, I had been working late into the night and was up early with kids. And truth be told, we were not financially rolling in it either. But, I somehow knew that the only way out of the rut I was feeling I was drowning in – was to quit squirming (and resisting) my way deeper and instead, create the time, intention, and focus on working on myself. For me but also for those I love.

When we are feeling strangled financially, it’s hard to focus on anything else. There is always this undercurrent of desperation. I do speak from my varying degrees of financial hardship (which will differ for everyone), but I do remember that feeling. I remember it well – both as a child and well into adulthood. And, it’s those early financial and money experiences that shape and form our beliefs about money into adulthood, too.

Homegrown Beliefs

Do you hate to talk about money today? Look at what your relationship to money was as a child. What was the conversation around money growing up? What were the phrases and things you heard? There’s a clue there. And because it’s super-easy to tie everything into grief ( it’s the root of a whole lot of issue we have), do you think that the money talk growing up caused grief experiences for your parent(s)? And, don’t you think that rippled into your life experience, too?

I digress. The point is, is that there will always be a reason we don’t create the time and space to work on ourselves. Always. What I believe it comes down to, though, is courage. It takes courage to create change in our lives. And, personal development and growth is a long game. It does not happen overnight and it does take personal commitment and work.

One question I’d like to leave you with today is this: “What is one thing you want to do, but you have not found the courage to take action toward in your life? Two minutes. That’s all it takes is two minutes of courage to get the ball rolling. Send the email, make the call, order the book/program/course, ASK the darn thing that’s been sitting on your heart for God knows how long…

Two minutes of courage. Do the damn thing, friend. You’ve got this. It’s all learning, anyway. And, it’s impossible to fail if you reframe it as learning.

much love, victoria

 

 

 

P.S. If you need a nudge, here’s yours: I have two spots available for the One-on-One Online Grief Recovery Program Online in June. And, I offer something special for working with me – both in the form of a gift and a bonus. Have I piqued your interest? If you’ve been standing at the edge of the pool of life, afraid to dive into the deep end (i.e., your heart), I’ve got you – the whole way through. You need not be afraid. There is so much goodness on the other side; I promise you that. I encourage you to find the courage to give yourself a gift that will keep on giving. Email me at victoria [at] theunleashedheart [dot] com or send a message via the Contact tab.

Five Elements of Positive Change

Five Elements of Positive Change Several years ago, I was taking a course by Tony Robbins. If you’re unsure who he is, he’s what I would call a “guru of change.” His programs, books, and his entire vibe is high impact and elevating. Sometimes, just listening to someone in our ear or reading their written words can help us out of a funk. Back then, I was hanging on his every word. I still greatly admire him. However, I rely most heavily on my intuition these days. We can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on coaches, programs, books, or courses, but none of them can create lasting change without YOU. You are the common denominator in every one of those means of change, but these things are simply dust collectors, paperweights, and gigabytes taking up space – if you do nothing with them. And, this is where The Grief Recovery Method is different. A GRM program is not something you’ll purchase and then will sit on for three months before you even look at it. It won’t sit on the shelf and collect dust until you “get around to it.” And, it’s not a course that will take up digital space on your computer and become lost amidst the other 25 programs you’ve purchased over the years (oh wait, is that just me?). Nope. The Grief Recovery Method doesn’t let you off the hook, to your own devices, and isn’t knowledge that will never be tapped into, learned, or utilized. On the contrary, your ROI (return of investment) is ten-fold. Not only do you reap the benefits of the deep, inner-work, but your relationships do, too – as does your community and future. Once you walk through the steps, learning new tools along the way, you will be gaining the knowledge you will have forever that will also positively impact every griever you come in contact with in the future. You will also be able to help yourself continually. The bible says that if you give a man a fish, he will eat today, but teach a man to fish and he will eat forever. This method is teaching you how to fish (i.e., take care of yourself and every griever you know). I don’t know of any other course, program, book, guru, coach, or anything else I’ve ever encountered in all of my life that has made me feel as empowered as this program. And, it is evidence proven because it encompasses laser-focused areas for creating lasting change.

The Five Key Elements of Positive (Lasting) Change

There are five key elements of positive change that, I believe, few programs equally and fully address. I may be partial, but the grief recovery program is one of them. What are the five elements of positive change as they relate to The Grief Recovery Method? Let’s dig in! Knowledge – By learning new tools and receiving an education about grief like you’ve never received before, you’ll walk away from the program more equipped to support other grievers. Albeit your neighbor, best friend, child, or the grocery clerk – this is where the program creates ripples. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s say the cashier at the grocery store is the same cashier you’ve seen for the past ten years. All of a sudden, she’s not there. The following week, she returns to work and shares she had had a miscarriage and took a few days off of work. Saddened by this news, but ill-equipped with what to say, you innocently reply: “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Well, at least you can try again.” A well-meaning comment quickly felt like a stab in that cashier’s heart. And, you’re not the first to say that either. So, imagine what all these daggers do to her heart over time? Do you think she’s going to share her grief openly ever again readily? That’s not a trick question – that’s a “no.” Awareness – We develop awareness by evaluating old patterns of behavior, what we need, and recognizing where we need (and lack) boundaries. Through the program, these areas come into our awareness. I was quite surprised by how the need for boundaries became so apparent for me. I also recognized where my patterns of behavior were unhealthy and creating a cyclical pattern. Without awareness, we don’t know what needs to change. We don’t give much thought to how our thoughts impact our behaviors. It isn’t until we take a step back and a birds-eye view of our lives, where we can see more clearly. Beliefs – Children will learn 75% of the basic tools and concepts that they will use throughout their lives by the age of three. Even before they have developed any advanced communication skills, they have learned these things from watching what those around them do and listening to how they deal with day-to-day issues. Children gain an additional 20% of these skills, which will define how they deal with daily problems in the next 10 to 12 years. As a result, 95% of their decision-making powers are established by the age of 15. This means that by the age of 3, we’ve received most of the messages we will use to process grief and life in general. These early messages are either re-inforced as we get older or, are intercepted by a caretaker who receives educational tools to change the trajectory of learned behavior. This demonstrates why beliefs and ideas passed down, what I like to call generational learning, will either create havoc in our lives or empower us. However, considering we’re talking about generational learning, parents are only drawing from what they know and what they were taught, just as their parents did, and their parents’ parents. To choose to become educated in the area of grief and working through our belief systems, we empower future generations to do the same. Behavior – We resort to what’s comfortable when we feel uneasy. We fall back to behaviors that help us feel better, at the moment, when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or fearful. And, we repeat these same behaviors because it’s a compulsion to resist pain and move toward pleasure. However, we all know that too much of a “good” thing is never a good thing, right? Even exercise can be hazardous to your health when done in excess. If you’re pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion, spending hours upon hours in the gym, while your family is at a family birthday party, perhaps there’s an issue with “just trying to get healthy?” How healthy is it really if other areas of life are sacrificed, cast aside, or disregarded? In grief recovery, we call these STERBs (short-term energy relieving behavior). And, they’re called this because they’re exactly that, short-term – you feel good for a time, but later feel shame, guilt, exhausted, anxious, or depressed. Many behaviors may fall under the addiction category because the feeling of temporarily feeling better itself becomes the addiction. Whether it be a common addiction such as gambling, pornography, drugs, alcohol, sex, work, etc., or something seemingly innocent like shopping, exercise, or gossip – the effect during and after are similar. We feel better while we’re buying that 15th pair of shoes we don’t need (and may rarely wear) but feel guilty or shameful for spending the money. It’s a strong desire to feel better, where reason does not even win because the heart’s pain is speaking so loudly; you just want it to shut up already. We do what we do because there is a pay-off. Ask yourself if the behaviors you engage in are a way to distract yourself from what’s really going on in your heart. If the answer is yes, you are “STERB’ing.”

Grief Has Been The Pandemic

The world is talking about Covid-19, and grief is also a topic of discussion as a result. However, we’ve been in a pandemic far longer than Covid-19. Grief has been our pandemic. And, if you disagree, just look at the ripple effects of Covid-19 and the grief it is stirring up in people’s lives. People had STERB’s, presumably reliable belief systems, and didn’t futz with awareness because they had preoccupations shifting attention elsewhere. Covid-19 has brought grief to the forefront of society. But, I would argue, it’s always been there. Always. Because, every single day, there are new grievers around the globe and that has not changed because of a virus. All the grief of the world has been amplified because of this. This is a blaring, sound-the-alarm, wake-up call. I cannot even begin to imagine the ripple-effects of all of this global, unresolved (and unaddressed) grief that will result once the dust settles. And now, doctors are begging their states to get back to business and open up because they see, first-hand, the after-effects of grief in their communities. The rates of suicide, alcohol/drug abuse, people fearing seeking treatment for known conditions or health concerns, and even cancer screenings are down 90% due to fear of going to doctor’s offices. But, there is hope in all of this. GRM (grief recovery method) is HOPE. It was my hope when I needed it most. By utilizing and addressing these significant components of lasting change, I say, without reservation and with conviction: GRM changed my life. I know I sound like a broken record. However, I can’t and won’t apologize. If you’re reading my words for the first time, this blog post could change the trajectory of the rest of your life – if you choose to let my words sink in today. If you are open to hearing them. And, if (and only if) you are open to feeling better – once and for all. Not to mention, creating ripples in every other area of your life.

Emotionally well people create healthier homes, communities, states, countries, and world. And, that, my friend, no one can argue.

And to think that, when I sat down to write this week’s blog post, I wasn’t feeling inspired. Nearly 1850 words later, my heart’s plea passed through my fingertips. It is your time. Now is your time to take even just 1% responsibility for your life and how you will choose to respond to the chaos in your heart you may be feeling. Hope is here, as a gift for you on Christmas morning. How did you feel this past Christmas morning (if you celebrate)? How do you WANT to feel Christmas morning 2020? I’m here for you as a guide through the hardest shit you’ve ever faced in your life. We all face hard shit. And, in GRM, there are zero comparisons. There is only love, compassion, empathy, and results in a set amount of time, and far cheaper than years of therapy. *Not discrediting therapy/therapists – we all serve our place and purpose in the world.* I’m an email away, friend. much love, victoria       P.S. Know someone who needs to hear this message? Did reading this have you thinking of someone that you know? Listen to that nudge in your heart, and pass this along to them. Did this speak to you personally? Listen to the whispers of your heart – it will never steer you wrong.

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