What Breaks Your Heart?

what breaks your heart

Recently, I was recording with a podcast host and was asked to share one thing listeners could do after listening to the episode. It could be something helpful, a tip, etc. Rather than sharing a tip, two questions came to mind that, in a nutshell, help us to name areas of grief in our lives and those were:

  1. What do you wish (about your life) would be different, better, or more? 
  2. Where in your life do you have a loss of hopes, dreams, or expectations? 

As I have been reflecting on that conversation, there is another way I would challenge you to ask those questions.

What breaks my heart?

What breaks my heart lately is knowing how fleeting time truly is.

Time was also an aspect of the conversation with the host that has gotten me thinking about my relationship with time.

The first question the host asked me was how I felt at that moment, which was unexpected. All the same, I appreciated the question. My response was that I was feeling overwhelmed.

I know the next eight weeks of my life will feel like a time warp; I already feel like I’m in some time machine. Time is moving so fast that it’s challenging to get my bearings, to feel grounded and centered, and amid the excitement, joy, grief, and feelings of overwhelm, there’s a strong desire to make it all come to a complete stop. However, there is no stopping it.

Many events are happening between now and mid-May, when our oldest child will graduate from high school. And I think it’s all starting to hit us. And what’s breaking my heart the most these days is that our family dynamics will soon change. One of our “pack” will leave to start a new chapter of life, shaking up our sense of “home.” And, I think to myself…”My God, if this is what it feels like when one leaves the next, how will I ever deal with the last one leaving the nest?”

Parenthood brings up all of the childhood junk we’ve yet to address in our hearts, and what comes up for us changes with the tides of parenting life. And what if you never had the opportunity to be a parent? Or, what if you had the opportunity to be a parent but, because of any number of scenarios, the child passed away before being allowed to see them leave the nest and spread their wings?

There is grief – no matter which way you dice it.

So what’s been breaking my heart? 

Knowing that my family is approaching change and what will that change mean? How will that change affect each of us individually? I can say that I’ve already noticed small shifts – in a good way. I feel as though communication has improved. We are almost trying to squeeze the juice of each day a little more. These are good things. However, is my heart still breaking? Of course.

I know change is a necessary part of life. Without change, we would remain stagnant; growth would be a foreign concept. Changes that bring challenges are an opportunity to look within ourselves.

It’s a poignant question to dig deep into yourself today. Give yourself an intentional 15 minutes, and immerse yourself in the gift of time to uncover something simmering below the surface emotionally.

much love from victoria




Break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside. The only permanment solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problesm with reality. – From The Untethered Soul

Five Qualities to Look for in a Therapist

Five Qualities to Look for in a Therapist

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, or another mental health challenge, it might be appropriate to seek the support of a therapist. 

You don’t always have to be going through something to get therapy. There are a plethora of benefits to seeking therapy. However, therapy can allow you to open up about it and speak to someone when you are struggling. Ignoring or repressing your emotions is unhealthy and often leads to unhealthy behaviors. The sooner problem areas are addressed, the sooner one can pivot, make necessary changes, and gain positive momentum.

Seeking therapy will help you in the short term by providing someone to air your problems with while gaining valuable insights and tools to help you manage your emotions and struggles. And usually, but not always, family and those closest to you, aren’t the best options because they are too close; they have “skin in your game.” Meaning, that if you realize that you need to make necessary changes in your life, it is likely those changes may have an impact on friends and family, too. And change, by human nature, isn’t something we’re always comfortable with within our lives. By using discernment in who you choose to be your “heart with ears,” you will likely find yourself more open and honest.

Therapy will also help you in the long run, as issues often persist over time. As you develop tools to deal with your struggles, you will learn how to utilize them in everyday life and properly deal with any other curve balls thrown your way. Information and tools are great, but if you’re not integrating them into your life and taking action, information is just information. A therapist can assist you in maintaining an onward and upward momentum toward the life you desire.

We don’t get to the place in our lives where we finally seek help overnight. Therefore, we can’t expect one session to take away all the pain and hurt. Accountability with a trusted therapist is a wonderful investment in you and your future. 

All this to say, therapy can only be as effective as it can be if the therapist possesses the qualities that align with you and make a great therapist. Your therapist needs the qualifications and experience to help you with your struggles and the compassion and listening skills to make you feel comfortable enough to open up. But also important is that they bring comfort to the room and you. 

A therapist who is burned out will not be the best match because they are bringing that energy to you and your life, too. And, if they’ve managed to compartmentalize the problems in their own life and aren’t addressing their struggles with therapy themselves (if needed) and self-care, then you’re not receiving the best therapy possible either. This is often not talked about, but I think it’s important. In doing the work I do with grievers, either in a counseling-like session or in energy healing, I have become keenly aware of my mental health, self-care, and the importance of managing my energy. If I’m not tending to my needs first, I am no good to anyone else.

Five Qualities to Look for in a Therapist

Here are some top qualities you should look for if you are looking for a therapist. 

#1 Qualifications 

You must hire a therapist who has the qualifications to be able to work with you. Therapy deals with sensitive issues, so you want to make sure you are in safe and capable hands. Therapy is supposed to help you, not make you feel worse. Don’t be afraid to ask for your therapist’s qualifications and skills; check that they are a regulatory body member. 

As an Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, I have been trained and certified to work with individuals (and groups) both online and in-person in the area of grief specifically. People are surprised to learn that traditional textbook study programs do not prioritize grief. It’s not studied much at all. So many therapeutic studies, from my understanding, focus on everything but grief. This is great if you are looking for a diagnosis that will end up in a prescription. However, if you are depressed, it’s likely because, as a child, your anger was repressed. And, in grief recovery, you learn how anger is important and a valid emotion that needs to be honored and expressed.

#2 Specialism

If you are struggling with something like drug or alcohol addiction, it can be helpful to find a therapist specializing in this area, for example, Pathways Real Life Recovery. This approach is because a specialist will have skills beyond a typical therapist and invest time and money into learning more about your particular issue. A specialist can help you develop and progress in therapy and tailor the sessions to your needs. 

This also applies to grief. If you know that the emotional pain and suffering you’re experiencing is due to grief, that’s where someone like me can offer an evidence-based approach to address it and not with years of talk therapy. Rather, in 8-12 sessions (depending if you choose to work with me one-on-one or in a group), you will have addressed the most painful relationship(s) of your life.

#3 Good Listening Skills

Listening skills are key when it comes to finding a good therapist. When you speak to a friend or family member, you may find that they have something to say or provide unsolicited advice. And, advice, I might add, is based on what they value.

A good therapist will not try to tell you what to do. Instead, they should have been trained to listen to what you have to say carefully and reflect and paraphrase what you have said back to them. They should strive to understand what you are saying, ask you plenty of good questions to deepen their understanding, help you see what you are going through from a different perspective, and help you draw your conclusions. A good therapist can also hear the things you don’t say, connecting the dots that, for most of us, are difficult to see ourselves. 

We are so deeply tied to our stories, and by the time we get to the point where we seek therapy, we have likely repeated our story more than a hundred times. Or, perhaps have never spoken it before because there wasn’t anyone with which we felt safe to do so.

A “heart with ears” will never criticize, analyze, or judge. If you feel this way leaving a session, they are not the therapist for you (and probably shouldn’t be practicing).

#4 Passion for Helping Others

The role of a therapist is to help a person struggling with something. Most people will enter the profession because they have a passion for helping others, and this should be obvious during the sessions as they work with you to resolve your issue. You will be able to tell straight away if they lack the passion or enthusiasm to help you, as you will find it difficult to open up to them, you won’t be able to relax, and you will be able to sense it. 

When a therapist is burned out, that passion will also dwindle. This is where it’s important to listen to your body’s cues. Your body may tense up. You may make yourself small in your seat rather than opening your shoulders and sitting straight. There might be physical symptoms; headache, upset stomach, and emotional shifts. These body cues may also respond to what is being discussed or fear of discussing difficult topics, too, so it’s important to discern between what is a response to the therapist and the topics of discussion.

It’s best to pay close attention at your initial meeting; before any parts of your story come up and feel into the vibe of the therapist. If you feel a sense of support, comfort, and openness, you may have found a great therapist for you.

#5 Reliable 

Therapy is an ongoing thing. It is not something you do once, and you are fixed. This is why it is important to find a reliable therapist. A reliable therapist is an important part of your journey, as you need to be able to work with someone long enough to trust them, and you need to work with someone consistently to make progress on the things you are struggling with. If you work with a therapist who doesn’t feel fulfilled in their work, they may suddenly become disengaged in conversation, be difficult to reach, or lack empathy in their approach, their reliability will show itself. 

Finding a good therapist is vital if you want to progress in your life. Follow these top tips to help you find a therapist with the right qualities. And, if you know that grief is holding you back, please reach out to me; I am here to support you – you are not alone.

much love, victoria




P.S. I will announce an online group program soon, at this writing (Sept. 2022). If you’d like to be kept “in the know,” you may find it helpful to join my bi-weekly newsletter, The Unleashed Letters. My newsletter is where I share personal aspects of my life, content not shared anywhere else, and business news. If you know you’re ready to move forward and get beyond the emotional pain of grief (due to any of the 40+ losses), click the link to learn more about my one-on-one program, Do Grief Differently™️.

5 Ways to See the Silver Lining and Make the Most of a Difficult Situation

5 Ways to See the Silver Lining


When it comes to tough situations, there are always some ways to make the most of them. Blaming yourself and mulling over what has happened can be one the unhealthy ways to go about unplanned or negative situations. Instead, looking for silver linings can make things a little more tolerable. So, how exactly can you make the most out of a difficult situation? Here are five ways how you can achieve that.

1. Challenge Yourself to Think More Positively

I’m not talking about taking a “Pollyanna” approach to your problems. It’s one thing to try to bypass our emotions, which is not what I mean. I’m talking about bringing awareness and intention to the situation, not emotional bypass.

Thinking positively isn’t easy. In the midst of challenging times, being the “half glass full” type of person is not likely something that will come naturally. I’ve found myself victim to the “glass half empty” mindset many, many times. Is there anything wrong with not being overly optimistic? No, not at all, especially when it comes to calling out toxic positivity. It’s okay to be realistic, and it’s okay to be negative from time to time. We don’t want to fall into the trap of negativity, downward spiraling in our thoughts, and not taking proactive action while we’re spiraling. This inaction of succumbing to your thoughts is like fuel on an already blazing fire.

Seeing the silver lining in things will make most situations slightly more bearable. However, I don’t believe we can take a passive approach. It can be helpful to bring Byron Katie’s, The Work into the situations you face. Her work is about looking for the proof, or the evidence, of what your thoughts are screaming but may not have valid proof to back up. As your brain looks for the evidence and doesn’t find it, you see the situation differently. Your thought pattern changes. Therefore your feelings and actions towards that situation change as well. This is reframing in action. So no, it’s not emotional bypass or taking a passive approach – not in the least. And, it’s not as simple as when people say, “Just think positive!” either. 

2. Seek the Right Support from Others

Having a different perspective on a bad situation makes it so much better. It doesn’t mean that the situation you’re facing isn’t any less harmful, but getting another perspective could help you see why this situation is happening and the good side. Another perspective can help you out with this too.

As you’re taking action towards reframing your thoughts and perspective through step one, it’s helpful then to bring a disinterested third party into the conversation. Why do I say “disinterested third party?” Because when we are faced with challenges, it’s usually best to bounce thoughts and ideas off of someone who does not have skin in your game of life; there is nothing in it for them, nor do they have nothing to lose. This strategy is also important to consider because, according to mental health statistics, there are many people struggling right now. Choose your neutral heart with ears wisely. Carefully consider reconsidering asking for support from someone who simply does not have it to give because they’re in need. That doesn’t mean that hearing other people’s perspectives isn’t a good thing. However, people often provide values-based advice, and what if your values are way different? This comes back to intention; go in asking for support from the other without getting advice. Sometimes just speaking out loud and having our voice heard is enough for us to discover the answers already within our hearts.

3. Stick To Your Values and Principles

Society tends to want things to be perfect. When not perfect, a person should feel bad for it. It’s too easy to beat yourself up when things go wrong. You may find yourself playing alternate scenarios in your head of what you should have done and what you could have done. But, mishaps and disappointments are just what happens in life. Lessons are to be learned; it’s just the reality of it all.

Sticking to your values and principles will keep you from dishonoring what is most important to you. Values also light the way for choices we are often faced with. When facing a challenge, consider what you value most and what is in the integrity of your heart. This ties into step two in seeking support. But, this is an essential mention for a step all its own because we often dishonor our values and remain in relationships or situations where others continually dishonor our values. It is possible to stay in a relationship with someone who dishonors your values as long as you have firm boundaries. Because, let’s face it, sometimes we can’t wholly “write off” a relationship. Sticking to your values and principles with strong boundaries (and a lot of grace) can make those challenging situations tolerable.

4. Be Patient (With Yourself & Others)

While it may depend on the situation you’re dealing with, be patient. Sometimes, you can’t fix everything immediately, and it needs to take time. The dust may need to settle; you may need to find your internal peace to make a clear, sound decision before taking action. And sometimes, action needs to be immediate, and you have to address the consequences later. But, if in a situation or challenge where time is in your favor – take it. Push pause, take a step back, take several deep breaths, and reassess. You may need to channel anger (or other strong emotions) into physical or action-based activity, fully expressing it in a medium that feels right for you, then come back to the challenge without being attached to the intense emotion. 

5. Acceptance That the Situation Happened

Of course, you’ll need to accept the situation has happened. But even this alone could be a silver lining. Challenges, and the changes that come as a result, can be a good thing. When life happens, as it will and continues to do, it can propel us forward into a new path. We can be shot out of our comfort zone like a rocket, and there’s only one thing to do: accept what was and embrace what could be. Allow ourselves to be molded into an evolved, hard-Knox-educated, 2.0 version of ourselves.

Sending you light and love as you move toward making the most of your challenging situations. đź’›

much love, victoria


Three Steps To Begin a New Life

Three Steps To Being a New Life

Covid-19 has stolen so much from so many people and left people with a desire to start a new life. It’s not enough that life poses challenges, many unexpected, then additionally having to deal with the stresses, changes, and losses that Covid brought to many lives. It’s grief on top of grief on top of more grief. The weight of all of this change and loss can feel overwhelming, even for the rich, poor, famous, and person next door – grief doesn’t discriminate. If Covid-19 has brought any light to the world, it’s shown us where the systems in place for mental health are broken and where improvements need to be made. It’s changed how we live and work in the world, and the only way is up from here. It has to be the only way. Anything but is settling for how things are and that’s does nothing to help us collectively recover from the mess it’s left in its wake.

Mental health is a tricky subject to talk about for most people, and it’s hard to admit when you are struggling. A lot of people would rather give their left kidney than explain to someone that they feel as though they are sitting in a dark hole, all alone, and don’t know what to do.  I especially felt this way when I was experiencing post-partum depression. Meanwhile, other people aren’t as severe as this, but still not in the best life possible. I’m going to be looking at some of the things that you can do to leave this feeling behind and create a new life (and the perception of it) for yourself.  I’m going to share three steps that can help you begin the journey to a new life – alongside the grief. That is if you’re ready to do some inner-work and look at life (and grief) differently. 


First, you need to understand that you have the ability to change. You need to be able to see that there is an issue that needs to be addressed rather than avoiding or burying it. Most importantly though, you have to want to change, to be better, and move towards the new life that you have been thinking and dreaming about. If you are more attached to the pain out of fear of change, that’s understandable. People would rather be comfortable than venture into the unknown and uncomfortable. I recall many years where I was adamant I was “fine.” We learn how to put on a show and wear a mask of illusion when we’re out with others. Inside, however, it’s a different story. 

Becoming aware that you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, overwhelmed by fear and worry about the physical symptoms in your body that were manifesting is one way people become aware. This was my experience. I never fully dealt with the grief in my life and, after having children and in my 30’s, experiencing post-partum and other life challenges, I found myself experiencing another loss. By that time, I had done a lot of personal development work; even felt “fine” for several years. But, I was far from “fine.” We all have our own “rock bottom.” Even when I was abusing alcohol, nearly got fired from my job, and had my driver’s license suspended, I hadn’t met my “rock bottom.” When I say “rock bottom,” I mean in the sense of grief. Because grief, as I would later learn, is the catalyst for most of the problems in our lives – even the cyclical, repetitious situations we find ourselves in (the toxic relationship, addictions, financial gains, and losses, career change after career change). Grief, as you may have already learned through my work and the content I share, is both the thief of joy and the bearer of many gifts. However, we never see the difference between the two if we refuse to look at it.

Moving beyond the feelings of having no choice and recognizing the lessons grief holds, is what the step of awareness is all about.

Seeking the Right Help – for You

Society has been taught that it’s shameful to seek help – to need help. You may have grown up in a home where you didn’t talk to other people about your problems or issues in the family. Or, you may have never had a safe person in your immediate family growing up who you could go to. Any and all painful emotions were then likely stuffed down or were expressed in unhealthy ways. If you’re reading this, perhaps you have a child that’s struggling. Do you believe you are a safe person your child can go to where they won’t be criticized, analyzed, or judged? If you didn’t have that emulated for you growing up, there’s a good chance you may not know how to be a safe person for others because you never learned how to be. Are some people naturally better listeners and communicators? To a certain degree, yes. But when it comes to grief, we don’t know what we don’t know. We can easily say something that is hurtful or harmful without realizing it or without intending to do so. 

So, in seeking help – follow your gut instincts. If you aren’t drawn to a certain mental health professional, friend, or family member, there’s a reason. Not everyone will be able to hold your grief with you, and this is especially so if they haven’t addressed their own. We can only help others to the capacity at which we’ve addressed our own grief.

How do you know if you’ve found the right person to help you? You’ll know when you have – it’s a feeling. Follow the cues of how you feel after you speak with that person initially. Does your body language close up and drawn inward? Do you find yourself not wanting to reveal much at all about yourself? On the flip side, do your shoulders relax, your speech slow, and a sense of calm and hope come over you? The body is always giving us cues and, it’s no different when we’re in the presence of or connecting one-on-one with another person.

Hold on to hope that there is always help available. There are many more resources today than there ever has been; likely some services you’ve never even heard of, too. I am aware there are waiting lists and cost is also a factor for many, too. I personally struggle with this because, although I know the value of Grief Recovery and believe every single person should have access to it, However, I am not in the position at this point in my life where I can give it (and my time) away either. Not only that, I do know that if a griever doesn’t have any “skin in the game,” meaning, they don’t have anything to lose (monetarily), that they are more likely to drop out of the program completely or not put 100% effort into it. I have personally witnessed this – both during my training and otherwise. This avoidance to do the work (with little to no financial attachment) is especially true when the inner-work gets hard – and it does get hard. As hard as it is for me to not give it away or for next to nothing, I know, without a doubt in my mind, I would be doing a griever a great disservice. That being said, I’m not opposed to bartering. If you are interested in Grief Recovery and have a skill or service I would find beneficial to me, please reach out. This may also be true for other mental health service providers, too. Get a little creative with how you can receive what you need while also giving your gifts and talents, too.

Bartering aside, there may also be grant or scholarship programs for which you can apply at certain agencies/businesses. I’m looking into how to implement this for my own business.

Once you find the right help for you, it might be the case that your needs entail medication, it may be heading to rehab for a little while, or include therapy sessions. Help could include all three, but that doesn’t matter as long as you are trying and working toward the new life you envision for yourself. No matter what, listen to your gut instincts when it comes to your mental health. 

A Plan To Stay Healthy

The final thing that you are going to need is a plan to stay healthy in the long term. A lot of people find that having a routine helps them manage their life, keep out of overly stressful situations as much as possible, surround themselves with kind and loving people, as well as so much more. Be honest about what you have been through, and tell yourself you won’t be going back there as this will encourage you to stay on track as much as possible.

I personally have learned the importance of doubling down on self-care when life around you is in chaos as of recently. I denied myself self-care, completely stopped meditating after 93 days straight, and completely disregarded my mental, emotional, and physical health. As a result, I ended up getting Covid-19 within two weeks of stopping all of the things that grounded, centered and brought me a sense of peace and security. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. When the chaos ensued with all of the unknowns and uncertainty, the one area of my life where I could have created certainty and security, I didn’t devise a plan to maintain it.

I recently read this quote by James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, and shared by my mentor, Kristin Sherry, which is short but profound…

We don’t rise to our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. – James Clear, Atomic Habits

As an entrepreneur or as a mom that wears many hats while raising a family, I have systems in place that help my home and business run smoothly. However, we fail to recognize the importance of systems, as James Clear suggests, for personal well-being. Think about how you can create systems for success in staying healthy. Maybe, if you are wanting to exercise, you place your workout clothes right beside your bed, have your water bottle already ready to go for the next morning, and your workout planned out so you know what you’re doing before you head to sleep the night before. These are the very steps I take to set myself up for success, by having a system that helps me make better choices. I also don’t start, first thing, with exercise. Instead, I start with 20+ minutes of meditation. This is what I was doing before my self-care went out the window and, what I’ve since learned is that, no matter what, I can’t let go of and especially when life gets challenging. Because, when your cup is empty, it’s empty. You won’t have the motivation or the energy, even if you wanted to, to tackle physical demands, much less emotional ones. Create a plan, have a system in place, and stick to it as if your life depends on it because, in truth, it just might.

I hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you are going to need to do to move forward, towards a new life for yourself. It’s important that you understand the cost of not doing anything to move forward into a life you desire. Mental health is hard, but you don’t have to stay in the dark hole forever, there is a path into the light. Follow where your curiosity and intuition lead you, and when you’re ready to take your life by the horns and create lasting change, reach out to me or someone, but don’t suffer in silence. 

As I’ve previously shared on my podcast, Grieving Voices, you’re already suffering; you may as well suffer while moving your feet. You have so much more to lose settling for a life not lived unleashed of suffering. 

much love, victoria

Chasing Freedom

chasing freedom

Chasing Freedom

The basis of your life is absolute freedom; most humans don’t know that. Because you look around and you see things you don’t want, and you feel that if you really had the freedom, you would choose differently. But, you are so free that you can choose bondage. You are so free that you can choose vibrations that are not up to speed with who you are and what you deserve.     – Abraham Hicks

Does this statement above resonate with you as much as it does with me?

I think of an extreme example of chasing freedom in the stories of concentration camp survivors like Viktor Frankl and Edith Eger. Their experiences are vastly similar and different at the same time. Viktor was an adult during his experience, while Edith was a 16-year-old child who found herself responsible for protecting her younger sister the best way she could after both of their parents were executed.

The common thread of their stories is that freedom, although felt out of touch, they had to find it in their minds if they would ever survive. And even once free, it was as if they were unable to believe it was true, as Edith described in this podcast interview with Brene Brown.

The word freedom feels good. Freedom is one of my values. I don’t like to feel restricted, boxed in, or limited. Because it’s something, I strongly value, I believe that it’s greatly influenced many decisions throughout my life.

The difficult thing about freedom is that we make decisions based on fear when we don’t feel free. Along the way, we mentally and emotionally imprison ourselves with limitations and self-sabotage. As the quote from Abraham says, by choosing to focus on the things you don’t want and feeling as though you don’t have a choice (which is a common feeling while deep in grief), you are choosing bondage.

Because we are always free to the extent we allow ourselves to be, we are more than capable of choosing what we do deserve. We are more than capable of choosing a different reality for ourselves. This is the tug-of-war feeling we can easily feel, and that keeps us stuck. That same tug-of-war feeling also causes us grief too.

Let’s say you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol. More than anything, you want to kick the addiction and take control of your life rather than feeling as though the alcohol has its hold on you. You see the impact your addiction is having on not only your life (and potential) but the lives of those you love and care about. Instead of seeing how capable and powerful you are, you choose the bondage that the alcohol keeps you in instead. You freely choose that alcohol is what you deserve; being who you are without it isn’t enough.

In my early 20’s, I relied on alcohol to make me feel “free.” However, I was accomplishing the complete opposite; I was keeping myself tied to some false idea of how others wanted me to be. I was choosing the bondage of alcohol – and I had the freedom of choice in that. I am, by no means, saying that people can quit whatever their addiction is cold-turkey on their own, as I did. My mom was able to kick her smoking habit cold-turkey, too, after being a smoker for over forty years. For forty years, my mom gambled with her health. She had the freedom to choose to get support to quit any time before she chose to do it independently. I believe we all have that power within us.

We have freedom in the United States that many other cultures of people dream about. And yet, in the U.S., we are one of the most unhealthy (physically and/or emotionally) and medicated of all. So, how free are we really?

When we chase freedom, we need to be careful not to be chasing an external means to give us the freedom that is otherwise accessible and is readily available – in our minds. It starts with our thoughts which influence our feelings.

How free do you feel today?

We will always have something that will challenge our ability to shift the focus of our minds. It takes conscious effort to keep our eyes on the prize of mental and emotional freedom, especially with so much chaos and disruption around us, whether in our personal lives or the world.

I’ve personally been putting a lot of effort into a morning regimen that has had such a positive influence on how I start my day and handle the day’s stresses. I have made morning self-care non-negotiable. This action alone creates momentum for the rest of the day. I then make it a goal to keep that feeling of freedom going as long as possible. And, when I notice I’m allowing those thoughts of bondage to creep in, I do something to shift my energy from a list I created (and included in my latest newsletter).

Have you found something that helps you get out of a funk when you’re feeling less free in your mind?

What is it worth it, to you, to feel freedom?

What are you willing to let go of to experience freedom?

No matter what you’ve experienced or been through, I want you to feel hopeful that freedom is possible. Like Viktor and Edith have proven, in the outcomes of their lives and their work, freedom is in the mind. Let them be the guides for the rest of us in demonstrating that, regardless of what we experience, it’s possible to live an expansive life.

much love, victoria





Destined for Misery?

destined for miseryDestined for Misery?

I initially had this post titled: “Is Healing Possible?” But, that felt too predictable given my occupation as a Grief Recovery Method Specialist®. So, I wanted the title to feel more poignant of what we often feel in our grief – miserable. I thought I was destined to feel miserable for the rest of my life. I lacked direction, abused alcohol, lacked emotional control and tact, felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride I couldn’t get off of, and it took every ounce of my energy to focus and concentrate. I was also a “rage-y” mom, unfortunately for my kids.

Do you feel as though you are destined for misery? This post is for you. đź’›

I recently read a LinkedIn post that prompted me to share my two cents, which has also inspired this week’s blog post.

This is the beautiful thing about perspective; we all have a point-of-view we bring to the table, and it’s formed through experience. And because all of us uniquely experience life, every perspective contributes to every conversation, even conversations about grief.

The post’s author talked about how, as someone who counsels the bereaved, she has stopped using words and phrases like heal, recover, move on, move forward, or thrive.

I did agree with a lot of what she wrote. However, a bigger part of me feels like it’s important for all grievers to feel like there’s hope. If you don’t have hope, what do you have to hold onto that gets you up and moving the next day?

The opposite of hope is hopelessness and, that’s a slippery slope that I personally know, too. When dark thoughts start to enter the mind, it becomes harder to crawl out of that dark hole.

Additionally, I believe by not using the language of possibility, then what language is left?

Is it important to sit in our feelings to process and work through them? Absolutely! Do I personally want to stay there? Absolutely not. Do I want the clients I work with to stay in that dark place either? No. Taking action moves people forward.

Moving forward is an action.

Thriving is an action.

Recovering is an action.

Healing is an action.

And, my friends, there is hope when you’re taking action.

So, you will always see me use these words because they’re important in the language of grief that grievers see that there’s a path forward. There is a way out of the misery, pain, and emotional and physical dis-ease grief causes.

How Do You Want To Feel?

Is grief normal and natural? Yes. Everything about it is normal and natural. 

Do you want the experiences that grief often brings to be your “new normal,” or do you want to feel empowered and stand emotionally confident in your grief experience?

The shortest line in the Bible is two words: Jesus wept. It’s normal and natural to weep. But, do you want to be a sea of tears on the floor because you’re holding on to the pain of what you cannot change? 

There is no timeline to grief. It’s one of the myths of grief, actually. So yes, be a pile of tears on the floor; however, ask yourself if that’s where you want to stay for the rest of your life, and you’d say “No!” When the time is right for you to pick yourself up off the floor, you will. But, the pain will remain unless you do the deep work to address it.

The quickest way to get out of our own heads is to serve others. That’s an action, too. Healing is a by-product of being of service to others. Moving forward and thriving are, too.

These are a few ways that come to mind to frame these words to mean something more than what a griever should aspire to do.

I write it that way: ...what a griever should aspire to do...because the only real “supposed to” in grief is to take care of oneself, whatever that looks like for the individual.

Ask any grieve how they want to feel, and not a single one will go on and on about…

How much joy their emotional pain brings them.

How they can’t get enough of their pain and can’t wait to see how non-amazing they feel the next day, even though they may care less if they wake up to greet the sun.

We Are All Grievers

People don’t find pleasure in grief. And, if you deny that you’re a griever, think again! I don’t know a single human who doesn’t grieve something – who doesn’t have particular emotional responses to something someone did, said, or something that happened yesterday, 5 years ago, 30 years ago, or a situation that’s been negatively impacting them.

If you’ve moved, changed careers, never had a dream come true, missed an opportunity, didn’t take a chance, experienced divorce, death of a loved one, a decline in health, have chronic pain, pet loss, Covid, child loss, miscarriage – oh my gosh, do I need to go on?


And, there’s no such thing as a half-griever; we all grieve at 100%.

Now that I’ve driven that point home and clarified who is a griever, do you see how language matters?

If I told you that you would forever feel the pain you do today about your deceased loved one as you did yesterday and the year before, I would be the last person you’d want to work with, right?

But what if I spoke to what’s possible for your life, potential, and your emotional state and mindset regardless of what happened to you? You would probably be skeptical, but it sure gives you more hope doesn’t it?

When you don’t know something exists that can transform the lives of grievers in seven or eight weeks, you don’t know that it’s honestly possible. If you don’t know about an evidence-based program that walks a griever, regardless of their loss, through a structured and supported process that guides them through their own healing experience, you don’t know it’s possible to heal, recover, move on, move forward, and thrive. And, that is exactly what I felt well up in me and needed to be shared as I read that LinkedIn post.

As you read this today, I guarantee you that your unprocessed emotions are hindering you somehow. If you would be completely honest with yourself for just a moment, ask yourself this: What am I trying to forget?  The answer to that question holds a clue to what is emotionally stagnant in your heart. And, I promise you, you are bringing that emotional energy to everything you do and every interaction you have. And the more experiences you’re trying to forget, the greater the impact it’s having on you because grief is cumulative and it’s cumulatively negative. If that question doesn’t resonate, try this one on: What am I struggling with?

So, my friend…There is hope if you are ready to heal, recover, move on, move forward, and thrive. Entertain the possibility that it’s possible. Read the stories of thousands upon thousands who have gone through The Grief Recovery Method, the only evidence-based program of its kind. It is also the only grief support program to receive such a distinction. It wouldn’t have made it over 40 years if it didn’t work.

The Grief Recovery Method changed my life. And, without a doubt in my mind, I know it can change yours by allowing you to live in the present moment, start a new relationship with someone you’re grieving or who was less than loving, or heal a traumatic experience. I have applied this method to many areas of my life. It has helped me address my relationship with money, alcohol, inner-child, and countless relationships in my life with those living and deceased. It had helped me heal trauma from sexual abuse as a child, the death of my father when I was a child, and do the inner-work to have positive relationships with otherwise challenging people in my life.

Never let anyone tell you something is impossible, including healing, recovery, moving on, moving forward, or thriving. đź’›

Are you ready to go from surviving your grief to thriving alongside your grief? The difference is, the sadness is love with nowhere to go. Emotional pain is poison you take, all the while, wishing something would change. And, my friend, you do have the power to change your life experience. All it takes is an open and willing heart.

If your heart is open and willing, I am here for you and invite you to contact me. đź’›

much love, victoria


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