Transformation

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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Ocean Magic – A Celebration of Life

“Life is a celebration of awakenings, of new beginnings, and wonderful surprises that enlighten the soul.” – Cielo

The sun felt warm on my skin. It was mid-morning late in October and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt while walking my elderly dog, Rennie. Smiling, my heart was full of gratitude for the beautiful day.

I peered down the street towards the beach, only three blocks away, and wondered why there were sailboat masts bobbing up and down so close to shore. Earlier, I had read in the newspaper about the humpback whales feeding just outside the harbor. I wondered if the boats were there to see the whales. Excited, my pace quickened as I headed straight to the beach, away from our usual route, dragging Rennie by the leash.

Approaching the beach, I saw hundreds of pelicans and seagulls circling in the air, some diving for fish, creating huge white splashes of water. There were also dozens of kayaks, paddle boards, sail boats and motor boats floating as if gathered for a party. They must be watching the whales, I thought.

Then, a sleek black hump surfaced in the water, white spray shooting straight up into the air. Close by, another […]

By |November 7th, 2011|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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Grief Counseling Services Now in Santa Cruz!

If you’ve experienced a major loss in your life such as the death of a loved one or pet, a divorce, illness, miscarriage or job lay-off, it is normal to go through a grieving process. Unfortunately, society today does not honor the mourning process and encourages us to “get over it”. Many of us feel we have to quickly move on with our lives. If we repress our grief, though, it can cause all sorts of problems such as anxiety, depression, physical illness and a general feeling of dissatisfaction. If we express our grief on the other hand, we will experience more joy, vitality and purpose in our lives. Here are some suggestions to help you express your grief:

1. Feel your feelings. Meditate and journal every day to get in touch with your painful feelings. Start writing using the prompt, “What I really lost is…” Write for ten minutes without stopping. Then, sit and meditate for ten minutes. Continue to write as new thoughts, feelings and insights surface.

2. Engage in activities that keep you in the present moment. Move your body through exercise. Engage in hobbies such as painting or gardening. Spend time in nature to help you feel […]

Dive into Life!

Sobbing, I exclaimed, “I finally have my life back!”

Sitting on a catamaran on a beach at Mission Bay in San Diego last week, my step-mom, sister, her boyfriend and I took time out to celebrate my brother, Kyle’s life on the anniversary of his death. He had been gone for twelve years now. We talked about what his life might be like if Cystic Fibrosis hadn’t ended it at the early age of fifteen. Would he be married? What type of work would he be doing? What type of person would he be?

As we reminisced, we also spoke out loud what we would want to say to him as if he were sitting right there with us. My response was, “Thank you! You have helped me get my life back.” Since Kyle’s passing, I had often felt his presence in helping me open doors, bringing about opportunities for my business and life. I especially felt he played a huge part in bringing me all of the amazing healing opportunities over the past several months.

A year ago, a medium channeled Kyle for me during a healing session. She shared, “I see him bouncing you on a high board. He wants […]

Emerging From a Cocoon

Discouraged, I thought, “I wish I could afford to go to therapy.” The grief over my last miscarriage and my pet’s illnesses weighed heavy on me. Further, for the past nine years, I had experienced one early pregnancy loss after another. Tired of leaning on my husband and friends for support, I largely dealt with my grief on my own.

Within days of crying out to the Universe for help, I received an auspicious e-mail in my inbox announcing…”A New Mourning: Healing after Pregnancy Loss Therapy Group offered at NO COST.” I was astounded! Soon after, more offers for free healing were made…a massage given by an energy worker who specializes in grief and loss; a healing session with an intuitive friend who channels and does body work; three healing sessions with a Reiki master and Re-connective healer; a Watsu water therapy session.

Once I made the commitment to heal my grief, the doors opened and I was supported in ways I could have never imagined. But, not only did I need to be willing to reach out for support, I also needed to be willing to receive it. When I met with each healer, I consciously said to myself, “Open […]

Riding the Waves of Change

By Karen Mehringer
 

Large snow flakes swirled and danced as they floated softly and gently outside my bedroom window. A few seconds passed and they came down hard and fast like rain pellets. Moments later their descent slowed again as they fell steady and straight. Life is akin to the snow flakes – constantly changing. When we flow with life and embrace change rather than resist it, we open ourselves to all of the possibilities available to us. Change then becomes a means of expansion. But first we need to let go of the old, so we can show up fully present – open, ready and available to embrace the new.

When John and I sold our home in Parker, Colorado, we felt sad saying “goodbye”. With the house completely packed, boxes stored in the garage, and only large furniture items remaining, it felt empty inside. Standing in the family room, waiting for the movers to arrive, I stared out the window and cried. I had loved this house for its comfort and beauty and even though this change was for the better, it was hard to let go.

Settling into our new home was an adjustment. Sleeping in our new bedroom […]

By |February 13th, 2011|Transformation|

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Healing Through Intention

By Karen Mehringer
Driving to the emergency room it dawned on me…”Today is the seven-year anniversary of my father’s death.” I thought, “How odd that my sister and I had lunch today and didn’t even acknowledge his anniversary.” Soon after, I glimpsed a sign saying, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. I was struck by the coincidence as this is where my brother, Kyle, passed away. Sitting in the emergency room, I was further astonished that I had sat in the same exact room at Stanford Hospital ten years earlier, as Kyle was days away from dying in the adjacent building. Not only that, but a similar complaint brought me there…abdominal pain.

Puzzled, I wondered, “What is this all about?” Two days earlier, my family and I gathered to celebrate Kyle’s ten-year anniversary at an oak tree we planted in his memory. During the ceremony, per the suggestion of a friend, I set my intention to release all of the painful memories stored in my body related to watching Kyle suffer and die. I questioned, “Could my body be reliving the trauma of what I witnessed?” “Maybe the trauma is surfacing now to be released?” And, “What about the reoccurring pain in my abdomen?”

Both […]

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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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 […]