Thought distortions, blame games, and external influences are all ways we inadvertently deepen our wounds in grief. While we would never intentionally make our feelings heavier, sometimes we may need a reminder to revisit the script we read each day.
What stories are we believing about ourselves, our lives, and our healing? Today I want to introduce you to a few simple concepts to help you take back your control, influence, and confidence when processing life or loss.
When we take an honest look at our lives and the grief we are carrying, it is really easy to lay blame…
My job title has changed a number of times, but the undercurrent of learning never stops.
In addition to being a writer and editor, my background includes coffee, wine education, travel, finance, teaching, journalism, anthropology, religion/spirituality, music, cooking, graphic design, marketing, social media, storytelling, interpersonal communication, personal development, photography, public speaking, large event coordination… at what point does a hobby become a resume line item?
I’m also a small business owner, a mom, a wife since ‘07, and PNW native. I read around 50–60 books a year. …
Boundaries are crucial in every relationship, including the relationship with have with ourselves. When what you think impedes what you want, your boundaries are broken, toxic, and uncomfortably secure around the comfort zone of another. Have you ever said yes to an event, volunteer role, creative task, or project out of an obligation? Do others know exactly how to apply shame as pressure to commit? Today is the day we learn how to “hear” between the lines of another’s pitch and enforce our boundaries while preserving the relationship.
The first step to a resounding, enforceable NO is to remember that…
Answer: It’s not. Hard stop.
I live across the country from the majority of my family, and normally it’s not a big deal. We see one another occasionally but we’re just not that close. But recently, my aunt passed away unexpectedly. She and I were extremely close, despite conflict within the family itself, and I am heartsick and angry at the complicated responses within my family to her death.
The funeral is in two weeks. Technically I have time to make travel arrangements, but I’m not certain I want to attend. However, I can’t seem to convince my…
Answer: It’s your story to tell.
My family is suffering a loss that we didn’t see coming. Not that foreknowledge matters, but the way I’m handling the loss seems to be quite different (outwardly) than the rest of my family. And as you might guess, I’m catching a lot of flack and criticism for it. It’s like no one wants to believe I might feel differently about this death than they do, and I’m so frustrated. I can’t articulate how I’m feeling because I just feel attacked and defensive. …
This morning, I was drinking coffee (black) and holding a sleepy, pajama-clad first grader on my lap. She noticed a stack of coaching notes and one caught her attention. “Mom! We learn about facts and opinions in my class! Can I do this one with you?”
I use this technique with coaching clients for various reasons, but would like to explain how becoming open-minded means you’ll never lose an argument again! Inviting the reality of a growth mindset allows us to engage in meaningful, sometimes intimidating conversations without the anxiety of taking home an “L.”
I know grief is full of painful emotions and I know that eventually, I will feel them less and less. It’s just that most of the time, I’m feeling more calm and in control. But certain things will trigger me and I lose all the composure and feel like I’m back at day one. It’s happening almost weekly. How can I avoid having these total meltdowns as often as I am?
It can be so exhausting to feel like your grief and emotional upheaval is cycling so frequently. Some cycling in grief is completely…
There is an empty chair at my table
one I hoped you would fill
instead your ghost arrived
and sat quietly
like feathers on the breeze
your memories float
and fall to the floor
our tears followed
when food finally came
we feasted and dreamed
of how you would
have hated this restaurant.
Are you hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Thirsty? Overwhelmed by uncertainty? Struggling to make sense of a loss? Whatever the unknown source of this anxiety may be, let’s look at a practical way to manage ourselves when anxiety settles in.
Anxiety is communicating to you that something deserves your attention. Treat yourself with the same compassion and curiosity you would offer a child in distress. You are not broken; you are an incredible human who experiences anxiety.
How do we get to a place where we stop asking for friends and start befriending ourselves? To love our stories with honesty, integrity, and a willingness to be seen? Your story is not mine; your relationship to yourself is and should be wholly different. But I would like to share why I finally decided to befriend myself (without the parenting admonition of a self-administered Golden Rule).
Despite a capacity for empathy, I realized I am not inherently a relational person. I truly enjoy others, and love learning what makes them move. But in all my years trying to build…
Writing about grief, beliefs, & psych/mindfulness. Editor of Ask a Grief Coach. Happily Tweeting & doing other “Very Good Things.” I apologize in advance.