This week’s visit mentions the death by murder of Michael Jordan’s father and how grief can shift, influence, or downright pivot decisions, choices, and directions.
I was watching The Last Dance series on Netflix last week.
Before you marvel at my interest in the NBA, allow me to assure you I have none.
The series was suggested by my coach as a way to study Michael Jordan’s mindset and focus across the span of his career.
I got much more than what I thought I’d get. A lot more.
James Raymond Jordan Sr died by murder July 23, 1993 at 56 years old.
October 6, 1993, Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls team (for the first time).
In under 3 months, Jordan experienced more than one radical shift, the first, his father’s murder was incredible and tragic. The second, retirement and a shift to a totally different focus… baseball.
Was it the death of his father that “made him retire”?
No. I don’t think so.
But I do think his dad’s death brought new insight and helped him bring about his own change in making a radical choice to retire from basketball at 30.
Basketball was less inspiring and less a pleasure for him in those days. He’d been thinking about making some kind of change prior to his dad’s death. In my understanding, moving to baseball was something that Michael and his dad had talked about together… and his father encouraged him and supported that desire.
Baseball provided new challenges and whole new, literal and proverbial, fields of opportunity.
In this new focus and new direction, baseball also provided a distraction that could create new time and space to heal from tremendous emotional pain due to the loss of his father. I wonder if immersing himself in baseball might have given him moments of feeling closer to his dad… I hope so.
I think that this change, in his decision to retire from what wasn’t working for him, was the healthiest move he could have given himself. Giving himself time, space, and an environment in which he could immerse himself in something he was interested in as a means of support.
He retired from basketball in ‘93 and came back to basketball in ‘95. Two-ish years.
New awareness can be part of the pain of loss.
I work with people who have wanted to go out on their own to build new businesses after tremendous losses. We work together for a year at a time… and it’s something that is new for just about everybody: having support for a whole year.
Sometimes the prospect of having a grief coach for a year can be daunting. Most people are a little bit shocked by the idea of having a year together… but here’s the thing… Most people think of our time together as “work” - as in, “grief work”... instead of support.
Support, not work
It’s not their fault. Not many people know what moving through life with support really looks or feels like. Once some of the wins and shifts come in, it feels better. And support gets more normalized as we move through a year together.
Many do allow themselves to go for what they really want… especially since a sudden change or tragedy instantly clarifies how they are choosing to spend their time, money, feelings, and energy. There’s new awareness… new awake-ness.
Inside the pain of loss, new drive can be harnessed toward more LIVING.
Healing doesn’t just happen via distraction though.
Navigating loss consciously and directly is still part of healing. And so is rest. They don’t have to be equal parts at all times… but each of those 3 elements bring about healing.
Thinking of you.
Is it time for you to give yourself more support? I’d love to be a part of your support team and journey toward more meaningful living, and more aliveness.
It’s your move. And you’re the only one who can decide and choose more support for your own dear self.
Connect with me here and let’s have a call together. We can talk about what working together looks like.
When a big feeling comes on, grief or something else, it can take a little bit of time for some of us (me included) to tune in and know what it even IS that we’re feeling.
It’s another process entirely to be able to explain or articulate it.
Blow it out
I’d like to offer a big ol’ exhale on the notion that it’s somehow urgent to know exactly how you feel and be able to communicate your feelings at any given moment. Not everyone does. Even & especially during painful seasons.
Getting and staying quiet and allowing for time, space, and feelings in that calm is a J.O.B…. and I’d also offer it is an act of radical self care.
They don’t know
Well-meaning people may be interested and may ask about how you’re doing today, or this week. And, as kind-hearted as they are intending, inquiries can feel badger-y and insistent, and then tiresome.
I’m here to share that they don’t know, and can’t possibly know what you’re going through. Some may be able to better empathize than others.
You don’t always have to know.
And you don’t always have to share either.
I definitely don’t.
If you don’t have the words, or you don’t know how you feel in one specific moment… this is 100% natural and human. It could be that you’re trying to know or understand… or wanting to… is enough work in itself.
It’s not stupid, or defective, or anything negative. This “feelings stuff” isn’t encouraged, taught, or supported… so it’s not only possible, but it’s damn near probable that there will be some moments, especially when things are tough, when you’re just not gonna have the words.
A gentle option
Being with yourself to soothe, comfort, nurture, and normalize this temporary condition is a path that is open to you.
After all, isn't it already hard enough?
⭐ Special Announcement⭐
Heart Healing from Loss… it’s gonna be a book!
I have a book coming out October-ish of 2023! Stay tuned.
And please follow my Author Page on Amazon if you haven’t already… yep, audiobook will be in production after the Kindle and paperback versions get finished & published.
Death is the most-commonly associated with grief feelings.
But death doesn’t have the monopoly on grief or loss feelings. Not by a long shot.
There are 40+ plain old life events that can bring about feelings of loss, heartache, grief, and layoffs definitely feature as one of those life events. Sucky as it is.
Other feelings may be up as well: anger, resentment, bitterness, betrayal, shame. Yup.
Could be more that I haven’t mentioned as well.
Instead of talking more here, I suggest you click into this week’s podcast and give it a listen. It’s a relatively short episode, but it’s got a lot of information, including the stories and feelings of what I went through when I lost multiple jobs as well.
Thinking of you & sending so much care and support your way,
They came to me in a divorce - and NOW lives from self-love instead of abandonment... They unlocked their own abandonment. And if the feeling comes back, they know how to identify it, process it, and then decide how they want to proceed.
This is worth AT LEAST 200k+ in multiple areas of their own dear life since they are:
Abandonment for this client has been persistent and pervasive since they were a small child. Now that it’s unlocked and identifiable, my client can more easily and more confidently work with themselves, and not against themselves.
This makes for tremendous life quality change across the board. And they will have and use these skills, better and better, for the rest of their lives.
So what is next? In you and for you to be unlocked? Perhaps it’s abandonment, rejection, shame, or maybe you’re not sure what it is… this is okay. We can find out together.
I’d love to walk with you on your path to your desired results for your own dear self.
Let’s schedule a Connection Call together and talk about it.
It’s more than reasonable to have so much going on in a time of change and loss. Absolutely.
AND… There are also moments to catch, savor, and breathe in. As in, you can have moments where you can deeply and calmly Breathe IN…
And then exhale, of course.
These aren’t unicorn moments, though many people think that they are… Nope. These aren’t rare, mythical, or even fictitious. They can be a part of the journey… when and if you choose to make them a part of your journey.
It’s possible that a little part of your brain is telling you that you are trapped and going to feel incomplete or bereft indefinitely. That part of your brain may even be saying one of the F-words… Forever.
And it’s definitely painful to experience this thinking, plus the emotions that stem from it.
This is healthy, human brain-thinking. There’s nothing wrong with you or bad, other than what you’re already feeling is already hard, uncomfortable, and unfamiliar.
Here’s the thing… your brain won’t ever run out of challenging or painful thoughts. What you can do is take a break from those thoughts and be on the lookout for other moments during a season of loss.
They are there. Giving yourself a chance to look for them allows you to see, feel, and savor them.
You have a say. You get to take breaks. And you are wholly capable of identifying and choosing a few feelings you’d prefer to feel, and then giving yourself a chance to genuinely feel them. Without guilt or overwhelm… and without spacklin toxic positivity over already hard feelings.
This may feel confronting, the prospect of feeling something different or even something good. If you’re drawing a blank on how you’d like to feel, that's okay. Consider trying these on and seeing where they take you.
Call in and activate these feelings with the words “I feel”...
And it’s okay if you don’t FULLY, 100%, FULL BODY FEEEEEL Peaceful… Just try… for a moment… and notice…even 10% peaceful can feel better than no-percent peaceful.
The Specifics of Feeling Better
I wish someone had told me about this… it would’ve saved me so much time and pain.
One thing that will help you move through a painful season a little more quickly is getting specific.
Listen. This is not about toxic positivity or wishful thinking. This is about specific experiences you want to have and know are possible, even if you don’t know how it’ll happen.
Specifics are what the mind can work with… they can be compelling, evocative, and feelings surface when we think and create sense-based specifics.
What will I experience with my senses? Not just at the end of this journey, but also along the way?
Notice I am not asking “What will make it better?”
Many times people think that outside circumstances or people will “make them” feel better. This is not the case. Having a new job or a new love interest will continue to keep you dependent on what happens outside of you to “make you” happy, content, secure.
That’s not what I offer or work through.
I work with what’s inside of you so no matter what happens (or doesn’t) you navigate well and are grounded and secure in your own experience and desire.
Here are a few examples that my Private Clients have experienced:
* Are there any prompts here that don’t feel possible?
This is important to notice… and ask why… So. Why?
* Or are you in a place where you want to believe they are possible?
Also important to notice… And… Why?
* Which are you willing to work through to experience?
Here's My Invitation to You
I wish someone had shared this with me when I was in my deepest & darkest… I got through to the other side, but it took a long time, and I fumbled around quite a lot in the 2-steps forward, 2-3 steps back dance. It was more painful and took longer than what I offer with my Private Clients now.
So, don’t take my word for this… practice a few specifics and try them on. How does it feel for your own dear self? And how long would you like to spend “figuring it out” for yourself?
Connect with me for gentle, guided, results-based support that will avoid unnecessary pitfalls, distractions, and repeated events & relationships. Making the initial appointment starts your transformation and healing… in a big way.
Our healthy, human brains get scared when change and transformation are real possibilities. If you’ve got a sense that you’d like to explore heart healing to relieve pressure, sadness, old hurts, and resentments, a voice inside your mind may get loud.
Familiar tactics of a scared brain can include: chiding, scolding, judging, cajoling, bullying. It may tell you that you’re fine and you don’t need to, or distract you with food, drink, video games, etc… Is this familiar at all?
This is a part of your mind that is constantly scanning for threats… and change of any kind. Even healing change can feel dangerous to that part of our human minds. This is the wiring… this is the package we have to work with. And…
A scared brain is like a startled horse
Let’s imagine you’ve got a horse in a halter, and you have the lead rope in your hand... when your horse gets scared or startled, it may rear, or resist (shy)… this is a-okay. This is a natural response.
If you were leading a horse and he got startled, what would you do? You’d give it some space to rear and have his energetic response/release… then you’d gently lead him to your destination. A stall, a trailer, the meadow, an arena, wherever.
Beyond “We Can Do Hard Things.”
The more you understand your instrument… your body, mind, heart, and energy… the more you can work with yourself… not against yourself. Burning up energy, flopping back and forth in your decisions, or chasing thought loops round and round without making the progress you really want to. You definitely do… you also have a human brain that can startle easily.
The key is gentleness and working with your dear self. Little by little… momentum comes quick, and it builds. This can be true for you. 100%
Stress, as a term, is often noted or even valued in our society. It alludes to doing or to something happening in life. Some of those things could hold grief. Let’s look at a few examples.
It is stressful to experience marital separation. I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that… but what’ isn’t noted is that the relationship is strained, in trouble, or changing/changed… so, there is a big ol’ chance that grief and loss are here too.
A major business readjustment brings stress. For sure. And… in light of recent layoffs happening throughout the country… grief is here too. There are people experiencing their first layoffs from their first-ever jobs right now. Even when a layoff has nothing to do with a person’s performance, feelings of shame, hurt, resentment, and bitterness can come up. Totally.
Disappointments, changes that bring uncertainty, less-than optimal new protocols being rolled out with some rocky transitions… anyone? Disruptions to a regular routine can bring about feelings of loss and many times a decreased capacity for concentration or focus as a very natural symptom of grief and loss.
If a loved one experiences a major personal injury or illness, it can definitely bring about new and significant stress levels. For sure. This can change aspects of a relationship temporarily, or permanently, in some cases.
Also true if someone experiences an injury or illness themselves. Let’s say someone is in a terrible car accident and they have a spinal injury as a result. This person has stress, yes. And also physical trauma, absolutely.
What else? They may also have grief over how their body may not be functioning the same way anymore. The future they envisioned is now not possible or not likely… This can be devastating… and can really affect a person’s sense of identity as well. And it can feel like loss.
So if you - or someone you love - is noting or noticing lots of stress… I’d love for you to open yourself to the possibility that grief may also be present… and perhaps a little bit hidden.
This happens. It’s nothing to judge, and it’s probably not conscious in the middle of change… but it may be present… and it will help to be aware of it.
Thinking of you,
Signing up now is easy and a great way to try on new methods of support (GI already includes)
Take what you like, your personal pace is welcomed and respected. There is no need to share with the group, even the Zoom calls can still be pretty private if you prefer. You are welcome to share, but you will never be “called on” to share.
From the Back Burner to Front Burner - for a bit
If it’s been really tough to put your own self care in the forefront, support can help in this arena too. We spend a few minutes at a time… with low-to-no learning curve tools and tech: email, paper, pen, text, Facebook Group.
A few minutes can really give you new results and new momentum… plus, pen-to-paper writing can shift some serious thought loops, minimize ruminating, and bring perspective and clarity more quickly.
This is a powerful way to practice receiving as well.
How? Well, you’ll be prioritizing a bit more time and care for yourself… you’ll be spending a few more minutes with yourself to get out of your head, with support, prompts, and the good company of our group. No shame, only support. A little at a time.
I’d love for you to say YES to yourself and I’d love for you to join me next week. Check out Going Inside and sign up for Freebie Week now.
Which “50” do you continue to choose?
If you’ve opened this message, thank you. Allow me to s’plain… Real quick…
Generally, 50% of life, life events, relationships, careers, anything can be considered at about 50% positive, 50% of the time. This can include big, high feelings of joy, exhilaration, delight, amazed, and can also include amused, content, calm, peace.
What’s left? The other 50%. Uh oh. No funs. They can be the low-lows such as devastation, sorrow, fury, bitterness, or how about boiling resentment… and they can also include annoyed, irritated, sometimes bored, or mildly disappointed.
You now know this. Ta-DA! Now that you know that life is 50/50, you can better expect it.
What we can also dig further into is… how it’s possible to better manage thoughts and feelings… proactively. If you’ve been with me for a bit, you already know I’m talking about thoughts and feelings, every Facebook visit, each weekly email visit like this one, and every podcast episode too.
I wish someone had shared this with me when I was about 6. At that time, the going line was “Life isn’t fair.” But I didn’t know what to do with that other than sulk, pout, and then suck it up… I didn’t have much to work with at 6, but now that I know it at 53, I understand way more about choices and feelings. And I know that our brains are also structured, wired, and groooooved with neural pathways that are constantly seeking threats and danger.
This is why healing our hearts is such work. We have the healthy human brains that we have.
For this week, try to notice how life is 50/50… you might be amazed at what comes forward.