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Visions of Gratitude

Good morning!
 
In the wee hours of the morning, it is often possible to be still and listen to the quiet. When we take the time to receive from the Universe while in that space of stillness, we can come up with some amazing revelations. For example, as I sit here, I marvel at all that has occurred in my life to get me to the place I am today, to the person I have become. I think about one major thing that has gotten me to this point, and smile when I realize it is simply, gratitude. 
 
Being grateful, taking the time to be appreciative, can change your entire frame-of-mind. Let’s say you are feeling sad, maybe even devastated, because of a situation that has occurred. As you embark upon dealing with the issue, you can move yourself along the healing continuum more quickly when you express gratitude for all that is, just as it has happened. 
 
If you consider that everything in your life happens for a reason, for your highest good, then it is possible to look at an experience and ask yourself, “What is one good thing that has come from this?” It took me years to discover if I ask and answer this question when in a bad space, it gets me though my pain more quickly.

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Coping with Despair

Well, hello! It has been several days since I have written, and many of you continued to visit; thank you for that. Today’s search term was despair… how to cope with it, so I will discuss that, with a bit of a twist of hope.

When you are in the grips of despair, you feel hopeless, like nothing is worth it, that things cannot get better. You are listless and depressed… It is difficult to hear that things can be any different, and, yet, they can be.

It is possible to rise above despair, to get through it, past it. I am living testimony to that, and if what I’m going to say worked for me, it can work for you.

The bottom line is, to get through despair, it is necessary to refocus your attention on another who is in need, another who is hurting. It is necessary to drag your attention to the other person, thinking of how you can be useful to them by sharing about your pain.

First, identify why you are feeling despair. Write it down, list the reasons out. Get it all out on paper. Then look for the ways in which you are feeling self-pity, ways in which you are feeling like a victim. Choose to look for a way out, a way to feel better.

Next, write down one thing you have done that makes you feel better, one thing for which you are grateful. Is it getting a cup of coffee every morning? Does that lift your spirits? Find that one thing for which you can be grateful, that one thing that makes your heart sing.

Then seek out someone else who is feeling down, feeling despair for the same or similar reasons that you are feeling despair. Go to them and let them know what worked for you to feel better, even if you felt better for just a second. Let them know of the one reason you were grateful in the midst of your despair. Share this humbly, not with an attitude of, “look at me. You need to do this, too.” Share with gentleness. Simply share your story.

Notice the flicker of hope in their eyes, on their face, as you have given them hope, even a glimmer, that things can be better for them. When you notice this, know that you were the one who brought them some hope from their despair by sharing what helped you. Know that you got out of yourself long enough to be of use to another.

This is your way out of despair. Keep being of use to others, one person at a time, and you will notice that you begin to feel more hope and less despair, simply by being grateful for one thing and then being of service to one other person.

 

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Forgiveness for the Substance Abuser

Forgiveness and Healing for the Substance Abuser

Apart from receiving the professional medical help they need to recover, a person who has experienced addiction needs emotional and spiritual healing also. They may feel many negative emotions about themselves and other people around them, see themselves as failures or undeserving of our love.

It is important for them to forgive themselves and to actively understand that they are in turn forgiven by those closest to them who were the most hurt by their behavior. This barrier to full recovery must and can be overcome. This can be as difficult a road to travel as that of physical recovery from addiction, but when true forgiveness takes place in our hearts and in the heart of the person we love and who is getting better, then healing can and does take place.

This is such a wonderful journey, this way back to full health, physical and emotional, mental and spiritual, a joy to see someone you thought was lost to you returned. Our hopes can be re-awakened and we can look to the future again, just as our loved one now has a future to walk towards.

With the forgiveness and the healing come a state of being that we all desire, that of a deep inner peace and tranquility which shines out of us and touches everything and everyone around us.

I would like to invite you all to open your hearts and minds to the miracle of healing that can take place and wish for you all that state of grace which comes from true reconciliation with ourselves and the world around us.

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Eve is a freelance writer, mother of two and has a passion for hiking.

This concludes the post by our special guest blogger, Eve Pearson.

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The Five Stages of Grief and Sorrow

Good morning to each of you and a huge thank you for continuing to visit my site, even in the absence of new posts. May you have a wonderful day and a fabulous weekend. There were several search terms about sorrow and despair, and I’d like to discuss sorrow, or grief, and the five stages of recovery.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined five stages of grief as it applies to death and dying. These stages occur at your own rate, and often show up like a “dance,” with gentle flowing from one stage to the next, back again to the second stage, skipping one or two, then back to one again, etc. Grief is such an individual process that each of you grieves uniquely.

In this discussion about grief and sorrow, I am expanding loss to be anything from a death of a loved one, to the death of a pet, the loss of a job (even if it’s your choice), a move, and loss of a relationship of any sort (even if you left). Anything that leads to the change in the familiar is a loss and needs to be grieved.

Here are the five stages, as defined by Kubler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In the denial stage, you cannot see that what is happening is real, and have difficulty grasping the situation. This stage is all about being in shock and not being able to respond much.

In anger, you are mad at the situation, as well as at the person that is/has leaving/left you, even if they died. Many of you may feel guilty for getting angry at a dying person, yet, that is typical to be mad that they are leaving you, that they did not take better care of themselves, etc. In the case of a move or loss of a job, even if you initiated these, anger hits when you mourn the loss of the familiar, and you get angry at yourself for making the change into the unknown.

Bargaining shows up and often is a plea to God, or whatever the power is you defer to that is bigger than yourself. “If only you’ll let Susie live, I will change xyz, I will be good…” The next stage is depression and this is quite normal to enter a state of depression for a period of time in response to your loss. Be aware, however, if it becomes prolonged or if it affects your ability to eat and sleep for long periods of time, or if you become suicidal. In these cases, seek the care of a physician to determine if you are clinically depressed and in need of medication.

The final stage is acceptance, as you realize you cannot change what has occurred. In this stage, you are not saying that you think everything is okay, yet, you accept things are as they are. You finally gain some peace from the situation and are able to move forward with your life.

That’s a summary of the five stages of grief and sorrow, as defined by Kubler-Ross. Tomorrow, I will talk about another philosophy of grief and sorrow that is related to loss.

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How to Deal with Injustice

Hello and good morning to all! May this be the beginning of a glorious week! Today, I am going to share about dealing with injustice.

I am reading the book Forgive For Good by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University. First of all, let me say that if you are dealing with emotional pain from an injustice of any sort, I highly recommend this book. Dr. Luskin sheds lots of light on what we do in these situations that are harmful to us.

In the book, he talks about how we react to injustice, whether that is having to stand in line a long time, getting snarled up in traffic, being the recipient of abuse, or dealing with the death of a child. All are an injustice, and he talks about how we create misery for ourselves by our response.

We set ourselves on a path of pain when we take the injustice personally, blame the offender for feelings that are our responsibility, and tell a grievance story over and over again. Let’s look at each of these, as there is a way to have peace in your heart, even though the injustice may be difficult to deal with.

Dr. Luskin relays that we can feel the pain of the personal injustice and then move on to realize we are not alone, that many others have dealt with the same injustice. Furthermore, the offender rarely intended to hurt the other person. When we realize these things, we can allow the personal and impersonal to exist side-by-side.

There is a caution about not feeling an injustice personally, which is often denial of the situation, a minimizing of what happened. This is cautioned against.

The next thing we do which causes our misery is to blame the offender for our feelings. The thing is, we are responsible for our own feelings in the present, and blaming someone for something they did in the past prevents us from moving beyond the injustice. When we blame the other, we give away our power to someone who most likely doesn’t care about us, and certainly does not have our best interest at heart.

The third thing we do that creates our misery is to tell a grievance story. This is when we tell the story of how awful it was over and over again. Do you do that? Do you know others who do? The problem with this is, it sets our fight-or-flight response into motion automatically, leading to stress chemicals, which can be harmful to us, being released into the body.

Dr. Luskin talks about remedies for these three things. First, as I said, recognize the personal and impersonal aspects of an injustice and let them co-exist. Secondly, take full responsibility for your feelings in the present, without blaming another for them. Become willing to explore your pain, to feel it, so it can move through you.

What you resist, persists, and you want to feel your feelings so, as I said, they can move through you. Journal about them as a release, or talk to someone about them, but don’t keep them bottled up. Thirdly, look at the story you tell yourself or others about the injustice. Are you simply reporting the facts, or are you telling it in an emotionally-charged way, embellishing upon how awful it was, blaming the offender?

The more you practice just relaying the facts, the less charge the story will have and the less misery and pain will be generated.

How do you deal with injustice? Can you practice the above suggestions to minimize your pain, your misery? I hope you can and that you can relieve any suffering you are experiencing.

 

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How to Get Past Childhood Resentments

Good morning to each of you and I hope the day is wonderful for you! Today’s search term was “childhood resentments,” and that is what I shall address.

My first thought when I read this was that most all of us have them because most all of us were slighted in some way when we were children. Our parents, perhaps wounded themselves, not over those wounds, did the same things to us that were done to them. The result is most likely verbal, physical, and/or emotional abuse.

Are you angry and bitter about incidents that occurred when you were growing up? Do you suffer from the effects of childhood resentments? There are some things you can do to remedy being eaten up inside over these feelings.

First of all, admit to your feelings of anger and bitterness. Identify what happened and with whom you are resentful. Allow yourself to remember the incident(s) and how bad it was. Just “be” with those feelings.

Next, after acknowledging your feelings, consider how they are affecting you in your life. Are your relationships in a shambles, for example? Do you get angry at others frequently? Do you think and rethink of the occurrences from childhood, while they eat you up inside? Do you suffer from high blood pressure, or have you been told you are at risk for that, heart attack, stroke, or even cancer?

There is a way through this dilemma you face. Once you have considered that hanging onto childhood resentments is slowly killing you and/or making your life miserable, become willing to consider something else.

Become willing to see the person who harmed you as a wounded human being themselves, and unhealed from those wounds. Consider that they bear scars beyond your understanding. Once you can see them as wounded, view them with compassion, just as you would any wounded being.

Revisit this compassion again and again, and after a while, you will notice that from compassion flows forgiveness. You will begin to feel your childhood resentments fade as you discover a new-found understanding of your parents’ own difficulties.

Now you can begin to realize that what was told to you was said by a sick person, and that it wasn’t true. You can begin to heal from all that was told to you in error, told by a wounded person.

You will most likely find at this point that you are softening to the memory of the harms that you endured. You will never forget them, but you will soften to them, be less resentful.

And that’s one way to deal with childhood resentments, to see the person with compassion and to offer forgiveness. If you try my suggestion, how did it work for you? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

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How to Get Past Feeling Worthless

Good morning! Many blessings to you each, and many thank you’s to those of you who continued to visit my site, even during my lull in posting. There were four queries for getting past feeling worthless, and today, that is what I will address.

There is nothing quite like feeling worthless to bring about despair. Perhaps you were told you were worthless; perhaps you came to that conclusion after trying things and “failing” at them. The result is the same… you feel like nothing is worth it, you aren’t worth it. Well, I can understand these feelings as I have been there, and I am here to tell you, there is hope.

First of all, I’d like to address you if you feel you have “failed,” and that is what is leading to your feeling worthless. Consider believing that there are no failures, only attempts to try something. You didn’t fail at something; your attempts merely were unsuccessful to reach the goal you were trying to reach.

The thing which is wonderful about looking at it like that is you can try again, and again and again, until you reach your goal. And each time you try and don’t reach that goal, you know what didn’t work and what not to do in the future. Many people try things, don’t get the result they were looking for, and then their thoughts go from, “I failed,” to “I am a failure and therefore, am worthless.”

Is that you? If it is, I invite you to redefine your view of failure as I defined above.

To address the issue of feeling worthless and how to get past it, let me say that the greatest elixir for that is discovering how you can be useful to another person or animal. For me, it was realizing my abusive past had been of use to another person because he could relate to me, he knew I had suffered as he was suffering, and a bond was created. So when I told him of ways in which I had started to heal from my past, he listened.

Had I not dealt with what I did, had I never had the experience, I never would have had to go through the steps and actions to heal that ended up helping another person. There is nothing quite like feeling that what you do or say is of use to another.

To get past feeling worthless, I invite you to muster up your strength, and determine how you can be of use, be of service to someone, sharing with them a way to do something, or a way for them to get past their pain. Opportunities to do this abound out there, as so many people are feeling worthless. I am inviting you to step beyond that to something greater. Will you take the step to healing?

 

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How to Deal with Sorrow and Grief

Good morning to each of you! It is my wish that you each have a lovely day, filled with peace and joy. The term that was searched for three times is “how to deal with sorrow,” and I added “and grief.” So that is what I am going to speak about today… sorrow and grief.

If you’re in that space of sorrow and grief, I am sorry for your loss, whatever it might be, and I wish you well in your grieving process. The focus of my writing today is on how to get through your sorrow, your grief.

First of all, know that each of you dealing with these difficult emotions does so in your own way. Each of you deals with sorrow and grief the way you saw your parents and other adults deal with them when you were a child.

The messages we are often told as children, and as adults, are don’t feel bad, replace the loss, just give it time, be strong for others, and definitely grieve alone. So, in response to these messages, we hide our grief and sorrow, put on the face that all is okay; we shove it deep within. This does not serve you and, in fact, is damaging to your soul.

You are going to feel badly until you are ready to move on, and it is beneficial to you not to deny these feelings. To replace the loss is to avoid your feelings. Time heals, depending upon what you do with your time. If you sit and wallow in pity, you will not heal, but if you take action to get to a place of peace, the time will assist you.

Know that it is okay to show your feelings about your sorrow and grief, yet that will most likely make others feel uncomfortable. Express it to those people you trust, those who will not berate you for your feelings.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has defined five stages in the death and dying arena: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Know that you will experience these things and that they are perfectly normal. You will go back and forth among them; it is not probable that you will go in a straight order with them. The length of time you spend in each stage is totally unique to you and cannot be compared to another.

I’d like to stress not to compare your grieving process with anyone else’s, as yours is totally yours alone, depending upon what you observed while growing up.

Sorrow and grief can occur after a death of a loved one or a pet, after a move of any sort, after leaving a job, from loss of self-worth, or any time there is a loss. I highly recommend the book The Grief Recovery Handbook: The 20th Edition by John W. James and Russell Friedman.  It contains valuable exercises to do to assist you through your process to heal from sorrow and grief.

Again, my condolences, and I wish you well on your journey through sorrow and grief.

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Feelings of Giving Up

Good morning and happy day to each of you! I am compelled to speak to the person who expressed “feelings of giving up.” I remember being in that state where all I could do was pray to die because I was experiencing feelings of giving up. It was s such a place of despair that I want to speak to the person who searched for it.

The reason I am so much wanting to speak to them is because I want to relay there is hope. It gets better – it really does. In fact, there are things you can do which will make it get better, which can get you out of the place where you have feelings of giving up.

One thing you can do is begin to identify the one thing that lights you up. This could be the simple beauty of a flower, or seeing a child laugh. I blogged yesterday about this, so read yesterday’s blog. Find just one small thing that can make you smile in spite of yourself and your feelings of giving up. Focus on it and bring your thoughts back to it when you begin to have feelings of giving up.

The next thing you can do is become willing to look at things from a whole new angle, with new eyes. Resolve to have this willingness. If you can’t seem to become willing, ask the Universe for the willingness to be willing to have willingness. Just keep saying, Universe, please help me be willing to have willingness.

Next, think of how you can help another. Set aside  your feelings of giving up for a brief time, and do something nice for someone else. Help an elderly person in some way, or a homeless person. Set aside your feelings of giving up while you’re helping them and you’ll begin to feel better.

Now consider what the lesson is that you are being taught, for our darkest hours can be our greatest teachers if we allow them to be.

Give these suggestions a try and see if you do no begin to get through your feelings of giving up. I hope you are feeling less like giving up and more like you have value to others in the world.

If you would like help to get to a place of feeling better about things, I coach people to get past the feelings of giving up. Simply call me to schedule a free 30 minute discovery call. On that call we will discuss what it is you want from your life and how o go about getting it. Call 415-883-8325.

 

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What If You Could Be Free From Emotional Struggle?

Good morning on this day that dawns clear! I wish for you each a day of hope and clarity. So, I repeat the question… what if you could be free from emotional struggle? Free from loss and grief, guilt and anger… depression? What if you could be free from these things?

Would you take action to do so? Ask yourself, why do you stay stuck in your pain? Are you playing the victim, stuck in self-pity?

Celebration of Choices

Celebration of Choices

These are hard and quite direct questions, and I wanted to jog your thought process. The thing is, there are alternatives. You have choices to remain in that suffering space, that emotional struggle, or to go through it to a stronger and happier you.

It is not lightly that I say these things, for I know the price it probably took to get you where you are today, and I know the work it takes to get to a place of hope. And I know these things because I experienced great angst from my own emotional suffering.

Thirteen years ago, I left my verbally-abusive marriage, expecting to start a relationship with a new man. It didn’t work out and I was so devastated, all I could do for several months was drink and cry. I was terrified to be alone and had no clue how to function on my own after a marriage of twenty years. I was in an emotional and psychological meltdown.

Then I got sober and began to develop what has now become my coaching program, Opening the Gates of Your Heart. The road to wholeness after facing 38 years of anger and bitterness against my parents for my upbringing, facing seven years of debilitating grief over my lost marriage and the lost relationship with the new man, and facing the guilt and depression over the things I did and didn’t do in the marriage, was fraught with agony and ecstasy, pain and joy.

Having taken that journey and having come out on the other side a whole and empowered woman of great freedom and peace, I offer to those of you who are caught in your loss, grief, anger, guilt, and depression my unique and individualized coaching program.

What I teach will benefit you for the rest of your life. My approach is nurturing, compassionate, and supportive as I work with you to gain more confidence and self-esteem, more positive belief in yourself and your innate abilities until you can believe in yourself.

If your life is turned upside down because you are in the middle of emotional struggle, there is hope. If you are withdrawing from life in order to protect your raw and damaged heart, you can heal and open the gates of your heart. If you have lost your confidence and are struggling to claim your independence, you can become empowered.

I invite you to learn more about my one-on-one individualized coaching program. You know my style from my blogs, and if you like what I have to say in them, know that you will receive more of that in our sessions. If you are interested in pursuing some assistance with your emotional struggle, take a look at my coaching page under the “Services” tab.

Then call 415-883-8325 to schedule a free 30 minute discovery session. In that call, we will discuss what is troubling you, what your concerns are, and, if I can be of use to you, we will discuss how you can continue to work with me.

Will you take action to begin to resolve your emotional struggle? I hope so because it feels wonderful to have surpassed the struggle and to get to a place of freedom and peace. I want nothing more than to share that with you. Be well, and if what I say resonates with you, move at the speed of instruction.

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