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.
Once upon a time, 2016’ish, to be more precise, I thought I was doing pretty well emotionally. I had officially closed my boutique photography studio, started a blog, and was writing regularly about what I had learned and experienced throughout the previous two years. I had also hired a life coach, was reading a lot of self-help books and landed a job that matches my desire for flexibility and variety. Things were on the up and up and, I was optimistic about my future. However, for two years straight, I felt like a trainwreck.
During those two years, as my health declined, and I felt like I was never going to do anything meaningful with my life (being a mom wasn’t enough for me), it was a discovery process of what I needed to address emotionally, what wasn’t working in my life, and what I needed to change. This was also on the heels of unaddressed post-partum depression. And ultimately, what started to happen was decades of unresolved grief started to manifest in my business and life during that time, too.
Fast-forward to 2017, after three years of personal development work, an opportunity fell into my lap and the book that I longed to write was starting to come to fruition. My dream of one day writing a book was actually becoming a reality! Nearly every weekday morning, for two months straight, I got up at 5:30 AM to write. Then, while in the editing phase of the book, I would be hit with a loss that would bring up the deepest, unaddressed wound I had – the loss of my dad. My dad’s only living brother, and the one whom my dad was closest to, had brain cancer. And, the moment I heard the news that he was in the hospital, I decided right then I needed to see him, despite the thirty years that had passed since my dad’s funeral, which was the last time I ever saw him. So, the same day of receiving the news, I went to see him; not knowing if he’d want to see me, recognize me, or even if he was well enough to have a conversation. With a knock on that hospital door, the trajectory of my life would change, solely on that one decision, to knock on his hospital door. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and yet, I felt with every intuitive bone in me, that was exactly where I was meant to be.
The visit was incredibly healing, and the timing divine, because within fifteen minutes of my arrival, his daughter and niece arrived, neither of whom I’d seen since a kid. We were all shocked to see each other there and it was a moment I will never forget. And, the months that followed, were the greatest gift to my heart, as I would be gifted with several more visits with my uncle, and with his passing, I had felt we both received a gift we hadn’t expected, and one that would have never been possible had I not chosen to put my ego aside, risk my own heart, and knock on that door.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, grief makes us feel like we don’t have choices. Let this story illustrate to you that we always, always have a choice. And, doing nothing is a choice, too. That one act led to me realizing that I wasn’t okay. The inner-work that I had been doing up to that point, albeit not wasted, hadn’t actually addressed the root of all of my issues – the grief! It was that experience with my uncle that prompted a Google search that landed me on The Grief Recovery Institute website, which led to me registering for certification that was later canceled (I couldn’t believe it), that led to me booking a flight to Austin, TX to do my training there scheduled for the same time. I knew what I needed and I wasn’t about to let anything stop me at that point. Again, I had another choice to make. Do I take that cancelation as the end-all, be-all option? Or, do I find the resources to make, what I knew I intuitively was guided to, happen no matter the extra cost? I obviously chose the latter. Again, I had a decision to make; I could choose to live in my grief another year, which is what it would’ve been before another training within driving distance would’ve taken place, or answer the call of my heart. Thankfully, I chose wisely and, my heart has not been the same since.
It was not until after grief recovery where I knew I was healing. Surprise! But, it’s absolutely the truth. Because, for the first time in my life, I was able to have conversations I had never been able to have with the people closest to me, and not find myself a wreck for days that followed. The more I utilized the tools and knowledge of grief recovery, the less I looked to others to give me what I needed to be giving myself (love, affirmation, validation, etc.). My confidence started to grow and my self-awareness was through the roof. It was as if the veil of grief (which I’ve spoken about on my podcast) had been lifted and, I was seeing my life (past and present) with new eyes. I had the most life-changing experience when I went through the grief recovery method. And, it’s in knowing how hard it is to do the work, how emotionally and physically taxing it feels in the process, that I can guide others through the same process. It is anything but easy. And, it brings up stuff that you thought was long buried. However, in grief, you’re already suffering. You may as well be suffering and moving your feet. You may as well be moving one foot in front of the other, knowing that week by week of going through the process, you’re shedding another layer, and lifting that veil of grief higher and higher, until you, too, see clearly. Grief recovery is a clarifier of your life, a purifier of your heart, and allows you to be an emotional processing plant rather than the emotional storage tank you have been.
10 Ways You Know You’re Healing Emotionally
You find yourself changing your behaviors. Where you used to get angry about something someone said/did, you can step back from the situation and consider why that reaction provoked you. You may also be choosing healthier options in food, drink, or even friends.
You’ve discovered what your boundaries are and have implemented them in your relationships and life.
You’re no longer a pile of tears in the fetal position after you start talking about a story of loss or something that happened to you.
You no longer feel the need to share the story with anyone who will listen. By this, I mean that you’re not sharing with the intention of needing or getting something in return: sympathy, validation, affirmation, etc. You find yourself sharing because 1. you were asked 2. because you have found your way beyond the pain and want to share to inspire and connect. You understand grief because you’ve been there. You understand life beyond it, too, though, because it no longer dictates your life either.
When other people share their emotional stories, it doesn’t bring up your emotional pain thereby, causing an emotional reaction in you.
You see opportunities where there was once fear.
You feel hopeful about your future.
You find yourself pausing, bringing awareness to your feelings, before responding to situations or people with your emotions. The phrase I tell myself, “I don’t know what I don’t know” is my go-to to help me with this one.
When wounds from the past, that you long thought you buried, come up out of the blue, rather than resort to the same behaviors you used to, to feel better at that moment, you sit with all of the feelings, and seek support or help to work through it.
You ask for help. We do not heal on an island. We heal in community with others; with support, guidance, and a heart with ears.
I hope today’s blog post provided some good insight into healing; that it’s a journey of self-discovery and every choice you make can either make or break your path to healing your heart.
We go to the doctor when we have a broken bone. We go to the dentist when we have a broken tooth. And yet, when we have a broken heart, we somehow think we can intellectually and logically heal hearts.
You can’t heal the heart with the head. You must tap into your heart. It is necessary to dig up the past if you want to heal it. Those that feel differently about that are likely not ready (or willing) to face what has long been emotionally unresolved within themselves.
My word of caution to all those hurting today reading this: be careful who you take your advice from; it could potentially be more harmful and hurtful to your healing. Many people value freedom. However, where most people miss the mark is understanding that the most difficult prison to break free from is the prison of one’s own mind. Being attentive to your heart will bring you the kind of freedom that can’t be bought. The caveat? You have to choose to do the difficult inner-work to get there. And, doing that is also choosing a more fulfilling, emotionally stable, and joy-filled life.
P.S. TODAY, 6/11, is the ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my podcast GRIEVING VOICES!!! 📣🥳Thank you so much for listening, sharing, reviewing, rating, being a guest if you have been one (or are upcoming), and overall support! I am a one-woman show when it comes to the podcast, and I’ve definitely learned a TON along the way. And to think, I was hesitant and unsure right away because I wasn’t sure anyone would want to share their stories. And now, people wanting to be guests pop up left and right. And, if you are wanting to be a guest, and share your story, please head HERE and fill out this form. I don’t care if you’re an expert in a field or not; the premise of the show is to share your grieving voice and story. Everything beyond that is secondary.
Grief comes in like a freight train and with it a rollercoaster of feelings that are impossible to ignore. Whether someone close to you has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, a beloved friend or family member has died, a relationship has ended, or chronic disease has entered the picture (or any of the 40+ losses), grief manifests in many similar ways no matter the cause of grief.
Grief opens us up like a gaping wound. It’s important we validate the grief and feelings we’re experiencing from those wounds.
It can be rather easy to close yourself off from others while you’re on the rollercoaster. It’s tempting to do everything in your power to avoid and ignore what is feeling unsettled within you. However, allowing it to fester is reflected in continually disregarding that which is trying to get your attention. Repressing your grief will eventually manifest in physical symptoms or external behaviors.
In grief recovery, we use a tea kettle for an analogy. Like a tea kettle, grief experience after grief experience causes energy to build within us. This buildup of blocked energy is what we refer to in Reiki as byoki. Over time, this built-up blocked energy either causes us to implode or explode – or both. When the steam builds up in the tea kettle, it whistles. Once released, like our emotional energy blockages, the pressure is gone. When the energy is allowed to flow or put another way when feelings are felt and processed, the pressure (or stress, anger, resentment, dis-ease) is alleviated or even removed (if you did the inner grief work).
Why It’s Important to Feel Your Feelings
Acknowledgment: By acknowledging how we’re feeling, we can’t deny those feelings. Thereby, we’re given an opportunity to either stuff or honor them with time and space. This is a choice we make.
Openness: By sitting with our feelings, we are actively opening up our hearts and releasing the emotional energy they carry.
Freedom: Embracing and fully experiencing our feelings provides a sense of freedom when we get to the other side.
Overall Health & Wellbeing: It doesn’t feel good to experience our feelings fully. However, it sure beats using a bandaid like drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, fantasy, social media use, or anything else where the goal is to distract yourself from your feelings by using these things to feel better at the moment. Because what you’re often left with is more grief due to shame, guilt, feelings of unworthiness, etc.
Grief is a shock to the system on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. If you want to feel fulfillment in your life, though, eventually, you have to lean into the pain so you can move forward without it dictating and filtering into every area of your life. It’s not weak to allow yourself to feel the despair and vulnerability, any more than seeking help is weak.
Recovery from grief doesn’t mean you forget the love you have for someone. If it was a less than a positive relationship, it’s not about condoning any behavior you feel was an offense against you either. Recovery in either instance isn’t about forgetting either.
being able to enjoy fond memories without having them cause painful feelings of regret and remorse.
understanding your potential and no longer allowing past experiences to dictate your future.
claiming your circumstances instead of your circumstances claiming you and your happiness.
acquiring the skills we should have been taught in childhood.
one day realizing that your ability to talk about the loss you’ve experienced is normal and healthy.
When we lose someone close, it’s common to incorporate rituals and routines for the loss into our lives. This helps us to make sense of what we’re experiencing. Some people also create shrines and memorials in memorial of a loved one. Rituals, shrines, and routines, memorials are ways many grievers use to cope. The way that we feel when we grieve is physically, emotionally, and spiritually painful, and the need to remember that loss is a normal and natural part of our lives. However, these things can also entrap us and keep us leashed to the event’s past.
We desire to find purpose and meaning in everything – it’s human nature. I am no different, despite the training, tools, and education I’ve received about grief. And, I’ve thought about how I’d cope with the loss of one of my children. The honest answer is – I have no way to know unless it happens to me. And so, we can pass judgment on how others are coping with their loss, but in truth, every single relationship is unique. I don’t know whether I would leave their room as-is, or if it would feel too painful, I’d want to change it completely. That’s a form of enshrinement. And, it’s a space that could bring great comfort or it could be a reminder of great sorrow and all of the unmet hopes, dreams, and expectations or anything we wish would be different, better, or more.
The effects of loss infiltrate into every aspect of our lives, often without connecting what’s happening to the grief and loss itself. We can move in tandem with our grief; meeting ourselves where we’re at in the process of time passing. Forcing yourself to move forward doesn’t help you. And yet, we also need to consider, as grievers (and I’ve been a griever since 1987), that there has to come a time when enough is enough. When the craziness we feel within ourselves is a disservice and a hindrance to our overall health and wellbeing.
Grief is as natural as happiness and love.
One Final Thought
I think, spiritually, if we believe our loved ones are always around us, there is no specific room, shrine, or memorial spot needed. We can feel close to our loved ones always and forevermore, no matter where we are. This is the aspect of grief, I believe, that has the potential to offer so much healing to grievers, but isn’t often talked about. I’m definitely going to share what I’ve been learning about this topic as of late. If you want a head start, check out the Netflix DocuSeries: Surviving Death.
Sending you all the love today, friend.
P.S. Did you find this post helpful? Please share it with a griever you love or care about. Sharing is caring. 💛
Piece by piece, the puzzle of ourselves starts to come together. For many, it doesn’t begin until mid-life. For the lucky, it happens much sooner. Although I don’t believe it’s luck—instead, several things like awareness, a desire, and synchronicities that unfold in perfect timing.
Personal growth and development have been a life-long mission of mine. It wasn’t until the last couple of years, where I’ve sought personal development as a means to function at a higher level in my life. Up until a couple of years ago, the driving force was to gain an understanding of what was wrong, needed fixing, or just written into the D.N.A. of who I am. In truth, I have been on a quest to know myself since I was a child when I had an interest in understanding and researched the lines on my palms (I have a single palmar crease on both hands if you’re wondering what had me so intrigued about my hands).
If you’re like me and are kind of like a personal development junkie, do you seek knowledge to fix, or do you seek knowledge to grow? The goal will definitely change the process. Why? Because, if also like me, you intended to fix what you believe to be wrong with you, then you’ll always be spinning your wheels. You’ll never arrive at this all-knowing place and meet a level of satisfaction with what you’ve learned. That is until you pursue knowledge to grow and follow it up with action.
In full transparency, and as I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been hitting personal development hard since 2012 – about a year into having my first business. Entrepreneurship, it seems, brings a lot of ghosts out of the woodwork. I started to see the shadow-side of me coming out around 2014. And, that’s when the unraveling began.
And truthfully, it wasn’t until today that I connected some dots for myself in why I’ve struggled with consistent creation in my life (of what I want my life to look like). Coincidentally or not, I don’t know, but while pregnant with me, my mother drank. Back then, it wasn’t unusual, I guess (?), to put 2 oz. of beer in the bottle to get me to sleep. I am told, “it’s what we did back then.” Not surprisingly, I had to stay in the hospital after I was born for several days because I was jaundice. I also was apparently due on February 14th, and didn’t arrive until March 5th and still only weighed a little over 6 1/2 pounds. Again, obstetrics were not then what they are now. But, it helps to paint a picture that, before I was born, I was suffering. And that’s the dot I connected today. It’s all I’ve seemed to know. It’s the one emotion I have been working to transmute my entire life into something meaningful, which brings me to today and the continual unraveling. Like Patsy said in this podcast interview (and I’m paraphrasing) when you start to pull one thread, the unraveling begins. And so it does.
I pulled my thread of unraveling in 2014. However, it wasn’t until I went through the grief recovery program where I started to see the impact of that pulling I began five years earlier.
The process of unraveling continues for me, and it’s led to so many beautiful experiences and connections in my life. It led me to Reiki, which serves my curiosity and inspires me to continue to learn about energy (and whoah, have my eyes opened). I’ve continued to look for opportunities to continue to grow and expand my healing around relationships and complete education that will help me to serve others on a bigger scale (Online, One-on-One Grief Recovery, and Helping Children with Loss programs). And, I’ve found some incredible support along the way, too. These opportunities and people didn’t magically appear in my life. It all started with a strong desire to, like I said, transmute my suffering into meaning and serve a greater purpose in my life.
What I’ve also been learning is where I’ve been standing in my own way, which brings me back to the single palmar creases on both of my hands (which, by the way, one of my children also has and makes total sense to me #icanrelate) and what a palm reader once told me. She said these are gift lines. Yes, they have their challenges, but the gift is in intense focus and (along with my other “gift marker”) my ability to “deep dive” with people into their own emotions. In a nutshell, I was made for the work that I do. And, on days where I’m feeling discouraged, it’s been easy to forget that. On days where I feel like doing this work full-time is so far away on the horizon, I have to remind myself. Keep grinding. Keep showing up.
There is no one standing my way – but me. And, for whatever reason, I’ve felt this hard today. Ironically, I had not written this week’s blog post in advance, as I’ve always done. Perhaps this message is divine timing for you. That you, too, are the single denominator standing in your way. It’s not your circumstances (trust me; I live through my version of “suffering” each day). It’s not your physical health. We create these circumstances long before they become “problems.”
I have so much more to write on this, but I’m still unpacking this big a-ha I had for myself today. So, I’ll leave you with some wise words I came across today that struck me (because I’m in the work of feelings):
When feelings become the means of thinking or if we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorized self.
Stay tuned to the unraveling taking place – in our world, our communities, homes, and within our hearts. There has never been a more keen awareness in recent years, for this collective understanding of what isn’t working, what we desire to change, and where we need healing.
You can look at the current times as a life sentence for more suffering or an opportunity to set your inner-most self free. I’m choosing the latter. You, too?
Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you for reading. If this resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you in the comments, on social, or via email. 🙂
When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. – Matthew 5:39
It’s a sorrowful time. I have tried to tune out the news and, instead, turn inward. Fortunately, this week offered a lot of road time and, for me, that’s thinking/reflecting time. I also enjoy listening to various types of podcasts when I’m traveling as well. This week, one podcast interview arrived in my inbox with the title: “Racism, white privilege, and healing America.” It was this conversation between Reverend Michael Beckwith and Lewis Howes. There is one stat that Reverend Michael Beckwith mentions that I did find to be false. Beckwith stated a staggering statistic that 80-90% of the prison population in the U.S. is Black. I had to know if this was true. Indeed, it was a false statement. Instead, 33% of the prison population is Black, whereas 30% is White. However, Blacks are incarcerated more than 5X the rate of Whites. A far cry from 80-90% but none the less, the rate at which Blacks are incarcerated is significantly imbalanced.
Since childhood, I’ve always been a cheerleader for the underdog, likely because I viewed myself as an underdog. I love a good triumph story. I believe we all do. There isn’t a whole lot of diversity living in the midwest, as there is in other parts of the country. I only knew of one Black person that lived in my entire county growing up. Imagine being the only Black person in a whole county of White people!? I don’t know for sure, but of the few Black individuals I know of from growing up, and in recent years, from my perspective, I didn’t see them treated any differently. They were maybe safer living here, in German country, than in larger metropolitan areas.
I didn’t grow up with much racial talk in my home. I have a half-brother that is half Puerto Rican, nieces, and nephews who are half Puerto Rican-Native American. And I only recently learned in the past year that the only reason I am alive today is that, while in Vietnam, a Black man took a bullet for my dad. And, although my dad grew up in a racially prejudiced home, my dad didn’t follow the ideology of his parents. Perhaps because his faith was important to him? I can only imagine he often asked himself: “What would Jesus do?” For that, I am grateful.
Growing up, I had the understanding that people were people. We all bleed the same. However, recently while in a meeting, a White individual remarked about the protests and riots using derogatory language, I did not agree with, and I did and said nothing. Days later, I still feel an unsettled feeling and guilt around this. I did not agree with the statements made, and I remained silent. I believe what stopped me was the feeling that this person has their emotions that they are equally entitled to and, it’s not my place to say his feelings have less value than my own. And, nothing I would ever say will make this person believe otherwise, anyway. Or, perhaps I’m wrong. I don’t know. And, I’ll never know because I remained silent in the situation.
If you’re not having a conversation with your kids about the current events, I encourage you to do so. Today, I asked all three of my kids if they had seen the video and, if so, how they felt about it. They all had, of course, it’s everywhere online. And, when I asked them directly what they thought or felt about Black people, my middle replied: “We’re all the same. We’re all people.” They all agreed that we are all the same. I then shared the story above about mixed ethnicities within our family and my dad’s experience in Vietnam. This conversation was long overdue.
I want to share a passage of writing I came across today (published in 2016), such a timely piece I thought I would share.
In first-century Palestine, left-handedness was seen as evil. People never used their left hands for any public task, even slapping a person. The only way to strike a person the right cheek, using the right hand, is with a backhand. One could only strike “inferiors” back-handed: slaves, women, and children. Striking an equal, a free man, with a backhand could incur legal punishment. Hence, Jesus’ message: if someone treats you as an inferior by backhanding you on the right cheek, turn the other cheek to them and challenge them to treat you as an equal, a form of nonviolent resistance. It is an instruction about using inner strength in a noble way.
This call to respond with dignity is greatly needed in this time when verbal backhanding erupts in every forum. We need Jesus’ call to stand up to contemptuousness not by striking back, but by fostering respect. – Patricial Livingston
Respect. There it is.
Respect for ourselves, others, and for life itself. And, we bring about respect when we come from a place of love. Society sends all sorts of messages that love is something to be obtained. But, it is in giving love away that we experience it. If we give love to ourselves, we receive love. If we give love to our neighbors, we receive love.
Love is anything but an easy call to action. We have our inner demons, sorrows, and shadow-sides to fight before it can beam from us freely. We have years of stories blocking us, with learned beliefs and ideology, to discern what is right for ourselves independent of what we’ve been taught. And, here’s the thing – we’re not meant to soldier on in our lives alone. We heal ourselves and help others heal when we are in community with others.
Like Reverend Beckwith states towards the end of the interview, when asked about a mantra we can all adopt during this time: “Make me an instrument of PEACE.”
Peace. It starts with intention. And, it begins within.
We all have that thing; a horrible experience, a needling feeling in our heart, a painful itch you can’t ever seem to scratch.
If you took a drone and hovered it over your life, it might look like days not showering, angry outbursts toward loved ones; hours spent binge-watching reality tv, or hours lying in bed – your mind filled with worry, anxiousness, or fear.
It might also look like “productivity:” hours of exercise, baking, reading fantasy, getting a new pet (which requires countless hours of training), obsessive cleaning/organizing, etc..
Emotional dis-ease manifests differently in our lives for every one of us.
For me, it looked like a mom who felt anxious daily; frazzled and torn between obligation, responsibility and what my heart truly needed – healing. As a parent, I know the struggle with the relationship to time to not only be there for those around you but also create time and space for yourself to look inward.
I feel like there is a massive gap in our culture of self-work and the obligations of being a parent. How do we bridge that gap? How do we create the time and space our hearts need when we’re bombarded by life daily?
Back in 2014, things were coming to a head for me. I was faced with this very dilemma of wanting to figure my shit out so I could finally be content with myself and my life and compartmentalizing all of that so I could be present for my children.
I look back on that time now, and I know I wasn’t present. I know there are gaps in my memory that go far back to my childhood. Whether there are blocks of time I’ve consciously or subconsciously blocked out from my awareness (even as an adult), I’ve yet to discover; however, it’s what I’m currently exploring.
Trauma has a way of creeping up on us after the fact. Often, we don’t recognize it as such either. Instead, it manifests in ways I’ve previously described. But it’s there, like an undercurrent of a flowing river, just going along until it finds its way out. Eventually, it does find a way out.
Making Time and Creating Space for Healing
Self-healing is like peeling back the layers of an onion. Every time we remove one layer, another emerges. Unprocessed emotions have a way of making their presence known when we least expect them to appear, too. We must find a way and the time, even if it means going away for an overnight one day per month. That’s where a program, based on a time-frame was most beneficial for me. I could leave my obligations and responsibilities behind, so I could focus on healing and healing alone. It took years to make it a priority for myself. But, I do feel that what I needed, found its way to me in perfect timing. All the stuff I did leading up to it, stacked up, preparing me for what was to come. So, never discount the little actions, the small things you do daily to nurture healing. It’s often the micro-actions that build the foundation for major emotional shifts and breakthroughs.
The One Thing that Changed My Life
The one thing that has changed my life, above anything else, was beginning to peel back the onion and doing the inner work. Layer by layer, I’m discovering where my heart and soul need healing (even now; it’s a work-in-progress without an “I’ve arrived” date).
Our best selves go into hiding when our brains use logic to make sense of emotionally dangerous situations. All the while, our hearts put up a wall and armor up to the world around us.
Self-discovery is a marathon. There’s no one way to awareness and enlightenment. However, just like in training for a marathon, we are required to take action. And not just action for the sake of taking action. I’m talking intentional and intuitive, hearts-desire action.
I’m partial to The Grief Recovery Method; however, I know it’s the only way. Do I feel it’s the best way to get a good start on your “heart onion?” Absolutely. It’s a guided and safe process that creates a massive dent in the emotional dis-ease we all carry in a set timeframe (i.e. there is something to look forward to – there is hope). Combining it with conventional therapy (which isn’t a requirement) is an even better scenario, depending on your situation. But, I also rely on other means of doing my own “heart-onion” work, too. Reiki has been the hands around my heart, offering support exactly where I need it, as I work through processing the emotional gunk.
And here’s the thing, my gut intuition and a deep desire to live my best life has led to this post I’m writing today. If someone would have told me in 2014 when I was sitting at my kitchen table, not having showered for three days, pouring over self-help content for hours – that I’d be where I’m at today. I would have said, “Amen, Hallelujah – there is hope.”
My Wish for You Today
If you receive anything from today’s blog post, my goal is that you feel a sense of hope come wash over you. Use hope as your guide-post, affirming that better days are ahead. Allow hope to take root in the deepest crevice of your heart today and allow it to lift your spirits.
This is Easter weekend and nothing about it neither looks nor feels like Easter – on television, anyway. So, for the weekend, tune out the television and tune into your heart. Take in the songs of the birds, the smell of orchids, and the sights of new life. And, take a moment to look into your heart; asking God, the Archangels, or universe (whomever you choose) to guide you to whatever it is your heart is calling you to heal using whatever methods feel good to you.
Never lose hope; it is the one thing that keeps, at very least, one foot out of despair.
Sending you so much love and many blessings this Easter weekend.
There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin
P.S. Begining mid-May, I will be certified as an advanced grief recovery method specialist. This will enable me to offer grief recovery one-on-one to anyone, anywhere. If you would like to be in the loop as to when this becomes available (and other applicable info), enter your details HERE. You will also be given the option to receive my weekly newsletter, where I include all news, promotions, and content not shared anywhere else.
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