Transforming Grief Blog

Grieving: A Catalyst for Spiritual Awakening

The grieving process can be a powerful catalyst for our spiritual awakening. When we experience loss, such as the death of a loved one, we long for the connection we once had. We long for what was that isn’t anymore. In our longing, we are invited to surrender and let go of control of how we think life should have turned out. We are invited into a deeper relationship with the Divine as we let go and trust the great mystery of life.

Over the past ten years, I have desired to have a baby but have experienced one early miscarriage after another, with no medical explanation. Each month I become pregnant, I get excited and think, maybe this time! Then, my period comes and I experience grief and despair only to ride the cycle again the following month.

The more I allow myself to express my grief and anger, ALL of my feelings, the more energy I have. My vital life force is allowed to flow and move…to create new life. Thus, my journey through infertility and grief has opened me to new possibilities for living a fertile life. Not only have I birthed a greater version of myself…a stronger, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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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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 […]

A Year in Transition

“Discovering your Groove and creating a luscious life is all about allowing for Grace through your next transition.” – Shann Vander Leek

The sun was an orange ball of fire in the sky as it sank lower over the horizon. I reached the end of the jetty and sat on a large rock to witness its final dip into the ocean. Dolphins surfaced only yards away as they fished for their evening meal. Two sea otters playfully floated on their backs in the harbor entrance where kayaks, fishing boats, outrigger canoes and sail boats entered and exited the marina. My heart filled with gladness and delight as I thought, I am finally home!

It had been an entire year since I first had the revelation…I need to move back to California, to be close to my family. My husband, John, and I had developed a wonderful life in Colorado over the past five years. Further, the cost of living in the Bay Area was much higher and the population more dense. We wondered how we could maintain the laid-back lifestyle we had grown accustomed to and if we would have to compromise our values to live there.

In mid-May, I drove […]

By |September 29th, 2011|Grief and Loss, Personal growth|

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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 […]