Unleashing the Genius Within

John and I attended a concert at a local jazz venue in Santa Cruz, CA on Monday night. The band was Acoustic Alchemy…a couple of English men on acoustic guitar, a drummer, bass player and keyboardist. We had heard them once before in Big Bear Lake, CA at an outdoor venue and fell in love with their passion and musical genius. This venue put us up close and personal, only three rows back from the stage.

Sitting closest to the keyboard player, I witnessed his hands dance along the keyboard. Each finger found its perfect place on key and in tune with the rest of the band. His body bobbed up and down to the beat of the music. At times he appeared to be making love to the keyboard. His energy was so present and intense, as his fingers gently tapped each key. At others, he appeared to be attacking it with fierceness and passion. The drummer and bass player smiled frequently and acknowledged each other with a nod of the head. Both exuded joy and clearly loved what they were creating. The lead guitar players were brilliant musicians. The man sitting next to me suggested they were the […]

By |July 5th, 2012|Living Fully|

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Saying YES to Life after Loss

Relegated to the couch once again, bundled up in a blanket, not only was I in physical pain, but I was angry. It had been more than three weeks since I had gotten sick with the flu around the time of my father’s and brother’s anniversaries of their deaths (see previous post about anniversary reactions). Now, because of a lingering cough, I had fractured a rib. Why is this happening to me? When am I going to feel better?

I longed to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and longer spring days. All around people were celebrating life. Music played, young folks walked down the street dressed in flip flops, bathing suits and shorts, headed for the beach, while I was stuck inside feeling sorry for myself.

Prior to this illness I had been feeling really good about the progress I had made with my health and with strengthening my immune system. For several months, I had received acupuncture and hadn’t gotten sick. Further, I had been involved in a business training program and had experienced increased prosperity. Now, my business was crumbling and my doubts were growing. Would I ever be able to sustain my health and energy long enough […]

By |June 22nd, 2012|Acceptance, Grief and Loss|

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Don’t Hold Back! Re-engage in Life after the Initial Grieving Ends

By Karen Mehringer

Locked into my seat on the Double Shot ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, I grabbed tightly onto the handle bars and turned my head towards my husband, John, for assurance. We were facing the beach where kids played soccer and volleyball in the sand. Umbrellas, the colors of the rainbow, were set one right next to the other. Sailboats cruised around near the wharf. It was a gorgeous sunny warm day. As the ride pulled us straight up 125 feet into the air and then quickly dropped us, leaving my stomach in the ethers, I screamed at the top of my lungs. It shot us up and down one more time before coming to a gentle stop. Laughing, I stumbled off the ride and exclaimed, “That was a blast!” I felt like a kid again.

The grieving process takes a tremendous amount of energy. Initially, it is normal to withdraw from engaging in life in order to conserve our energy so we can heal. Perhaps we no longer feel like attending social functions and prefer to spend time alone or with close friends and family. We may find ourselves going to bed earlier than normal, watching […]

By |June 1st, 2012|Acceptance, Grief and Loss, Living Fully|

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Anniversary Reactions; a Part of the Grieving Process

At a distance we noticed a hawk flying. In the next moment, it headed straight towards us and circled over head. Smiling, I knew that Kyle was with us as we celebrated the 13-year anniversary of his death. We made a ritual of hiking to his tree, a small oak ling; we planted in his honor, a year after he passed. I hadn’t been there in three years, so was happy to see how the tree had filled out and was big enough to provide shade for me and my family, protecting us from the scorching sun.

The next morning, the day of his actual anniversary, I placed a picture of him as a baby along with a fresh yellow rose from my garden on my altar and meditated. Immediately, I felt his loving, spiritual presence. Tears flowed as I was overcome with intense love, gratitude and joy. I recognized how integral his life and death, his journey, had been to my own. His death helped me to awaken spiritually and sent me on my own journey of healing and transformation which led me to doing work I love, helping others to heal and transform their lives. It seems that […]

By |May 24th, 2012|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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Allowing Grief; Awakening New Possibilities

Where two rivers joined, I spotted a large dead Ponderosa pine which had fallen down a steep ravine on its side, half of its trunk submerged in the water. Carefully navigating my way down the ravine, I felt excited….This was the first day of my vacation and the tree was the perfect place for me to relax and meditate. As I lay down with my back fully supported by the trunk of the tree and my body soaking up the warmth of the sun, I dangled my feet in the water. The snow melt from the mountains was fresh and the water was freezing. I promptly removed them!

Surrounded by tall pine trees, their needles glistened in the sun, the sound of rushing water soothed my soul. Taking in the beauty all around me, my heart opened and tears welled up in my eyes. I witnessed the abundance, perfection, and grace in nature. The river flowed naturally without hesitation. Even though there were boulders and tree stumps in its path, it conformed and flowed around and over them, but never stopped. It crossed each obstacle with ease. There was no efforting, trying or resisting. It was simply and naturally BEING […]

By |May 24th, 2012|Grief and Loss, Spiritual Awakening, Transformation|

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The Cosmic Shakeup

Have you ever had a day when everything went “wrong”? Perhaps your computer crashed or you locked your keys in the car. You feel like things are “off” but you can’t quite put your finger on it.  You wrinkle your brow, shrug your shoulders and say, “That’s strange? I wonder what it could mean. Is the Universe trying to tell me something?”

Recently, I came down with the flu…fever, cough, sore throat. The fever subsided but this nasty cough and sore throat have persisted. I finally took the time to be still and ask, “Is there a message in this for me?” The obvious answer was…YES! Since the throat chakra has to do with creative expression and communication, I suspected the Universe was trying to tell me that I needed to focus more on my writing and to express more from my heart and soul. The words I hear now as I write this are, “Don’t hold back!” I have been playing it safe recently with my writing and not showing up for it as often as my heart and soul would like. This illness is a clear message and indicator for me to get out of my own way […]

By |May 9th, 2012|Spiritual Awakening, Transformation|

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Tools for Transforming Depression

If you find yourself feeling unmotivated, lacking energy for life, grumpy or irritable, you may be depressed. Depression is typically caused by suppressed anger, at the root of which is the feeling of powerlessness. When we give our power away, our creative life force energy becomes stifled and “depressed” and we are no longer in the flow of manifesting abundance. We are unable to be receptive to creative solutions and new possibilities. Imagine a dam, and how it blocks the flow of water. This is what happens to our energy when we suppress our anger. When not allowed to flow, not only do we experience depression, but physical symptoms as well like illness or pain.

The following is a step-by-step process to assist you in transforming depression and reclaiming your power so you can engage more fully in life:

Acknowledge your anger. Give it a voice by writing about it. What does it have to say? Start by writing, “What I am most angry about is…” Write non-stop for ten minutes without lifting your pen. If you have trouble identifying your […]

By |April 25th, 2012|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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6 Keys to Re-Awaken Hope after Loss

While in the grieving process, it may feel as though hope has abandoned you. Depressed, you question your purpose for living. You ask, “Why did this happen? What is the point of it all?” You may have lost hope for living your dreams or don’t even know what they are anymore. Perhaps your loved one was an integral part of living the life you had always imagined. Uninspired, you go through the motions of your daily life without feeling truly alive.

The following are helpful keys to re-awaken hope when you no longer feel jazzed about life.

Have the Courage to Heal. Our society encourages us to move on quickly and get over it. We are taught that crying is a sign of weakness when in fact it takes great courage and inner strength to face grief head on, acknowledge it, and process through it. As you summon the courage to face your grief, remember you don’t have to do it alone and reach out for support. Processing through it, you […]

By |March 22nd, 2012|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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Creating Room for Grief

The grieving process is natural. Similar to the cycles of the seasons or the ebb and flood of the tides…it is not linear and straightforward, but it comes and goes. At times, we may feel good about life…inspired, energized and in our passion. At others, we may feel sad, fatigued and depressed. Each of these seasons requires something different from us.

          For example, if we are grieving, we may need to draw our energy inward and spend more time resting and focusing on self care. We may have less energy to give and create. Like the winter season, this is a good time to restore our energy for when the spring arrives, allowing the seeds of new life to germinate in the dark soil.

          A couple of weeks before Christmas I found myself feeling blue, heavy-hearted and moody. I was surprised to tune into my body and find hidden grief, sitting under the surface, waiting to be acknowledged. The previous month, I had felt energized and inspired about my business and life, so when grief surfaced, I was resistant at first. There is too much to do to prepare for Christmas. I don’t have time to be sad. Plus, […]

By |January 26th, 2012|Acceptance, Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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How to Cope with Grief during the Holidays

The holidays can be challenging enough with all of the busyness of the season, but if you’ve experienced a major loss such as the death of a loved one, this time of year can be extremely difficult. Family gatherings where your loved one is not present can leave a huge void. Past memories of times spent together can stir up sadness. You may even experience anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping. Further, you may feel the pressure to get into the spirit of the season even though your heart is not into it.

During this time, it is quite normal for unresolved grief to surface. Therefore, it is important to have coping strategies to help you deal with it. The following are pointers to assist you:

Create new traditions and experiences. Recognize that the holidays won’t be the same if you try to keep everything as it was. For example, you might want to take a vacation somewhere new instead of following your normal holiday routine.
Engage in a holiday ritual. For example, set a place for your loved one at the dinner […]

By |December 12th, 2011|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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