Transforming Grief Blog

Awakening Joy

    By Karen Mehringer
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Unknown 
Sitting at my father’s deathbed, watching every breath, wondering if it would be his last, my family and I were totally present and vigilant. We talked to my father as if he could hear us, attempting to comfort him, although we were really comforting ourselves. Already, he was in another world. His eyes were glazed over and his body was becoming rigid. With tears streaming down my face, I whispered to him, “I will always remember you every time I step onto a sailboat.”
At the early age of four, my father introduced me to sailing. I remember being on summer vacation at the Stanford Family Camp, near Lake Tahoe in northern California . Surrounded by pine trees, we sailed in the middle of a beautiful alpine lake aboard our 22-foot Catalina sailboat. Every time the boat heeled with the force of the wind, I was afraid it would tip over and capsize. Although, my father reassured me that this would never happen.
Sailing into the wind, on the San Francisco Bay in our 31-foot Pearson, the swells were […]

By |November 1st, 2008|Living Fully|

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Creating Infinite Possibilities in Uncertain Times

by Karen Mehringer

“Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a tendency when catastrophic events happen for us to get sucked into the drama, fear and negativity. Recalling 9/11, I remember feeling great sadness and shock when listening to the radio and hearing accounts of the many lives that had been affected by this tragedy. At the time, I did not see the events televised, yet I felt the emotions of the collective conscious. I felt fearful, paralyzed and drained of my life force energy.

Currently, as we are undergoing tumultuous and uncertain times with regards to our political and economic climate, it is easy to focus on the negative and to get swallowed up in the chaos and fear. What happens when we become consumed by negativity and fear? A sense of clinging and holding on pervades our thoughts, and a feeling of constriction overcomes our bodies, which subsequently blocks the flow of creation and abundance in our lives. For example, we may worry about […]

By |October 13th, 2008|Personal growth, Transformation|

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Meditation for Inner Peace

By Karen Mehringer
“The mind is the source of all experience, and by changing the direction of the mind, we can change the quality of everything we experience.”
– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living

Have you ever had the thought, “If only I could win the lottery, all of my problems would be solved and I would be so happy?” The results of a study by Philip Brinkman indicated that people who had won the lottery were not much happier than a control group who hadn’t experienced the excitement of suddenly becoming rich. In fact, after the initial thrill wore off, the people who had won the lottery reported finding less enjoyment in the everyday pleasures of life.

Often times, what we think will make us happy, when our focus is on an external source, may prove to be temporarily satisfying, but, in the end, only leaves us feeling dissatisfied and wanting more. What then will bring us lasting joy? – The experience of our true, essential nature. One method for getting us there is through meditation.

Imagine for a moment the sky. Our essence is the blue vastness, a backdrop to the clouds. The clouds come and go. They change shape and […]

By |August 10th, 2008|Spiritual Awakening|

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Emotional Surrender: Opening to Greater Possibilties, Part II

By Karen Mehringer

What does it mean to surrender? It means to be completely present, open, ready and available for the creative life force to flow through us in any moment. When in this state, our actions are guided by love (spirit) instead of fear (ego) and we are able to experience greater freedom, joy and peace. The following are some of the tools I have used in the process of surrendering and awakening to my heart’s truest desires.

Shift Your Perspective – When we are too attached to an outcome, we fear not having enough or not getting our needs met. In order to surrender, we need to shift our thinking from that of lack to that of abundance. For example, instead of thinking, “My life is incomplete if I can’t have a baby,” practice thinking, “If it’s not meant for me to have a baby, then God/Creator must have some really amazing plans for my life!”

Use Affirmations – If you find your thoughts continually going towards the negative, then practice using affirmations. One of the most healing affirmations is that of self love and acceptance. “I love and accept myself exactly as I am!” Other examples include, “I accept what is;” […]

By |July 10th, 2008|Transformation|

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Emotional Surrender: Opening to Greater Possibilties, Part I

by Karen Mehringer
Sitting in class in 1996 at Seattle Pacific University, my professor had us gather in a circle and share what we considered to be our “role” in life. Surprisingly, what popped out of my mouth was “mommy.” One of the reasons for obtaining a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy was so that I could have a part time private practice and still be a full time mom. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too…to have a fulfilling career in which I could make an income and feel like I was making a difference in other’s lives, while also pursuing my dream of being a mom and raising a family. That was the plan twelve years ago!

Today, as I sit and write this, I am waiting to find out if this “go around” is going to take. Over the last six years, since going off birth control, on many, many  occasions, (at least twenty by now), I have felt my body trying to get pregnant. I frequently feel nauseas and am extremely hungry all the time. (My mother in-law just visited for a week and couldn’t believe how much food I consumed, especially […]

Gratitude: A Doorway to Abundance

By Karen Mehringer

Daily, we are bombarded by negativity. Fear based news and events are consistently broadcast through our media. Advertisements suggest that we don’t have enough and that we aren’t good enough just the way we are. A pervasive lack consciousness permeates our culture – not enough time, not enough money, not enough energy, not old enough or young enough, not thin enough. The list goes on and on. As a result, we often feel empty, dissatisfied, hopeless and depressed. We need a positive shift in consciousness and how we perceive ourselves, our world, and our circumstances. Participating in a daily gratitude practice will help create this shift.
When we align with the feeling of gratitude, we are uplifted. Our spirits sing joyfully as our hearts open to the beauty and goodness in life. Our perspective shifts from that of lack, to that of abundance. We are able to see the sweetness even in the darkest moments because we have faith in the process of life to renew its self. We begin to see there is a higher purpose that is even more magnificent than we can imagine. The possibilities for our lives are infinite! As we perceive the blessings […]

By |March 10th, 2008|Acceptance, Living Fully|

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Trusting the Unknown; Allowing the Flow

By Karen Mehringer
Preparing for my first church talk, I revised my outline over and over again. It occurred to me that my anxiety about the upcoming event had caused me to attempt to control the outcome by over-preparing. I felt resistance to being in the flow and trusting my higher guidance. As a result, my body was tense, I experienced little joy and the talk wasn’t as powerful as it could have been. It was still “good” as I received positive feedback, but not “incredible” like my last experience at the Women of Wisdom Conference when I was able to get out of my own way and allow for the flow.

So, what was the difference? I believe it was my fear of the unknown. Presenting to a church congregation was a completely new experience and I was unsure of myself and what was expected of me. Would my message be appropriate for this venue? Should I add humor or engage the audience? After all, this was a church! My experience of church growing up was that of seriousness and solemnity. How would my message fit in?
Contrary to my church experience, was that of my birthday…I wanted it to be […]

By |February 13th, 2008|Uncategorized|

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Personal Empowerment:

A Path to Joyful Creation

By Karen Mehringer

Recently, I joined a group of women to journal, meditate and share about our intentions for the New Year. It was suggested that we come up with one or two words to describe our deepest intention underlying all of our desired outcomes. The words that I chose were…“Joyful Creation.” More than anything, I desire to create from a deep place of joy. Inevitably areas of my life where I have not been creating from joy have quickly been revealed to me.
One such area is in my personal relationships when I put others needs before my own, or when I go along with what they want/need and don’t stand up for myself because I fear hurting or disappointing them. As a result, I give my personal power away. My vital life force energy becomes drained, like a battery slowly dying and I am left feeling angry and resentful. This way of relating is based on fear – fear of not being approved of, of not being loved, of being rejected or criticized. Sometimes, it feels easier to not stand up for myself and thus not rock the boat. Many of us were taught to […]