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. 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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