We are more familiar with loss than we think we are.
Especially since the pandemic broke last year.
There are more than 40 loss events that may be experienced over the course of a life.
Did you know this? It's kind of mind-blowing.
In our society, we have a better understanding of how to go after a gain and what to do with a "win", than we are with what to do with a loss... or with feelings of grief, for that matter.
Often we don't know how to "be" with our own feelings of loss... or others's feelings of loss when something devastating, tragic, or even disappointing happens.
There are tools, there is a method
The truth is, we aren't taught or given the direction, tools, or even the emotionally helpful communications to help us navigate losses... or be there with real emotional support for others either.
The right tools and education just haven't been that widely available over the last 4 decades... but there are effective, evidence-based, repeatable tools to learn. I've learned the tools myself, and have been trained to share them with others. That's all that I've been doing since May of 2020.
When you look at the list of losses...
Please bear in mind, not everyone may experience all the kinds of losses in the following list.
(This is definitely not a Bingo Card...)
Browse this list to help you identify and clarify specific losses and how they may have affected you in your life, including in your relationships.
While you scan the list, remember that feelings of grief are normal and natural when we experience losses of every kind. Also, conflicting feelings may arise when familiar patterns or behaviors end or change.
Take a look... what have you experienced in your life so far?
This list shares very nearly 50 loss events that can happen in a life. The feelings of grief and loss may include myriad other feelings and symptoms as you navigate and process the loss/es.
The Grief Recovery Method (which I teach) may be applied to all of the above loss events in order to move beyond the pain, loneliness, and isolation that arise when a loss (or losses) occur.
Schedule your Connection Call with me today.
Winter tips for when you're grieving during the holidays
Thanks for joining me. On today's podcast, we're going to be talking about grief and “good enough.” I have two small actionable tips, ideas, suggestions… call them what you will ...
They are tools that I use frequently... And most especially during the holiday season.
What are they for?
It's a way of gauging what's going on inside without having a long, long period of time going through lots and lots of feelings without having an end result in mind. So this is a way to take sort of an inner gauge, help you through the holidays to help you decide whether or not you're really actually interested in going through maybe a holiday gathering or call whether or not you could be doing something else. I'll also have a couple of ideas, um, or maybe just one big one about, uh, what to do when you find yourself just staring out the window. And when we're in grief, oftentimes we time gets real different emotions, get real different, and there may be some numbness that goes on. I have some, idea on how to reframe exactly what that is.
And so stay tuned for that.
I'm so glad you're here.
Let's get started
For the next couple of weeks. We at this time of recording are in a space of between the Thanksgiving holiday and the United States and the onslaught of the winter holiday season, uh, which kind of started in Halloween time. So it's not fair, but it is what's happening. And, uh, it's also a particularly tough year, 2020.
So the next few podcasts that we share together, the time we share together is really gonna be about small things, reminders, tasks, ideas, suggestions, and they're going to be presented in a way that is number one, gentle number two, maybe a little bit humorous and number three, practical and actionable as in instantly actionable without it being a big, scary, potential inner journey. Okay. So these for today, when I want to talk about are a couple of ways of checking in.
Now, if you're a person who is suffering from grief, um, either due to loss of a loved one due to death or a loss of health, perhaps, maybe even loss of a pet, perhaps you've experienced loss of a job, perhaps you have multiple losses, like most of us in the world and the grief, well, it seems to be hanging around.
You feel like your inner capacity is being taken up by all these things that have happened, that you don't know how to deal with.
Number one, you're right... that emotional pain does sort of stay with us because we either replay what happened, what it was that happened. Plus, we don't know how to process it.
Not to worry what I have is a method (The Grief Recovery Method), but I also have a couple of suggestions for what to do if you haven't learned the method... yet.
So this is going to be a good thing for everybody. These are suggestions that I try to remember myself and practice. Here's what they are. If you're scared of checking in, because you're not sure how you're going to feel, and you don't know, you don't know what to do, but you just don't want to feel this bad, or the heaviness, or a blues season.
Does it feel like it's getting bluer and bluer? Maybe you have seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? These kinds of things.
Tip 1: Identify where can you lower the bar
One thing that I would ask you to ask yourself is, “Hey, where can I lower the bar?”
In our society, we are kind of cattle prodded into always being on the lookout for being the best; being the most excellent; the most. For everything to be either “massive” or “epic”.
There are a couple of the words that I really don't enjoy in marketing and they are “massive”, and the other one is “epic.”
So what if for some things like if you find that you're just constantly reminding yourself to be the best live your best life, make it appear to be THE most amazing best Christmas ever. These kinds of things. That's a lot of pressure. And, you know, I would suggest that maybe lowering the bar on expert expectations might be something to consider.
How do I do that?
How do I do that? If I'm always rooting for kind of the A+ in my mind, what would a B- look like, just for today?
What would it look like to be slightly above average?
Heck, average is not bad when it comes to things like taking a shower, brushing your teeth well, checking in with a friend... it doesn't have to be the most epic, the most amazing, the most everything.
And for me, when I am feeling the pressure to be all the things and do all the things in a way that looks really great and leaves me feeling empty, I need to look at where I can... just for myself... lower the bar.
So, shooting for a B minus might actually be more sustainable in the long run when it comes to a couple of things that you may or may not have on your list.
Do you have to have the most amazing napkins and napkin folding ever for this year’s Zoom, holiday gathering?
Maybe not. Maybe not.
I'm asking since I don't know. But this is something that I use. Like, how can I shoot for a B minus that feels good around this aspect? Or task. I'm not saying for your whole life, I'm saying for today for right now. And especially when you're feeling a lot of pressure… or, maybe some overwhelm, maybe some anxiety and you're judging yourself. Cause that's, that's so inspiring and motivating in a gentle way... Not at all.
So that's one way of sort of checking in and asking like, Hey, I'm feeling a lot of pressure. Where can I shoot for a B-? I'm not gonna say things like “lighten up” or “relax” or things like that, because that just really makes me feel like I can't do it.
And it makes the veins in my forehead pop out from tension and increased...irritation.
So where can I shoot for a B minus? And maybe even just asking the question will feel a little bit better for you inside. It does sometimes for me, sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it does, but it's a gentle enough question. It's a fast enough question.
It's just another tool that you can pick up and say, Hey, where's my B- or some really hard days. How about a D+? D+ is still a total pass. Give yourself a lot of generous room around what that D+ could look like.
And if you can play with it all the better.
If you can laugh at it all the better. It's about feeling better and not about doing more, especially in, you know, an already kind of loaded season when it comes to retail, family, past experience, and maybe the year that we've all been trying to sort of wrap our heads around and our hearts around.
Okay, are you ready for the next one?
What’s your percent?
Here it is. And this is one that my partner and I practice when we can't decide what it is that we really want to or need to be doing next. She came up with it or she passed it onto me. So all credit goes to Jennifer, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
And I love it when we played this game, it's called
“What's your emotional inner percent?”
Let me give you an example:
Let's say that we're in a time of holiday and somebody invites us to a Zoom happy hour and the person is not very close, even like just kind of a passing acquaintance who's looking to load their Zoom room. They do exist. These people do exist.
And Jennifer and I will sort of look at each other if we're kind of stumped and like ask “what's your percent?” like how much are you wanting or feeling like doing this thing?
And it could be going to the hardware store. It could be going into the grocery store. It could be going to a Zoom happy hour or another Zoom meeting.
You don't have to have a person to play with (either). You can also ask yourself, “What's my percent?”
And the key here, if you can, is to not to think about it too hard. So usually how we play it is if it (both of our numbers) adds up to a hundred (as in, 100%), we may talk about what that would look like to go ahead.
And so, if I'm at 8% and she's at 41%, then that's 49%... and we’re probably not going... we're just not into it.
But that's a way of sort of checking in below your neck without thinking about what you should be doing, what you need to be doing, all these sorts of things to discover the “how do I do that?” in terms of checking in, identifying, assessing… especially if you’re grieving or feeling off.
A small practice, step by step
And that's kind of on a project by project or a task by task basis, really relying on something inside of you to let you know how interested you are in moving forward with a partner, going out, staying in… try conducting this test (or you could call it “playing this little game,” too).
When you can’t figure it out
So these can be used all year round, but these are also really important reminders and tools that you can pick up during the holiday when you don't feel like you don't feel really like you're equipped to make decisions.
When we're in grief and we're suffering from loss, our focus and attention is already hampered. It's impaired. This is the nature of it. If you're, you know, suffering from grief and really in it, you may just find yourself staring out a window and not knowing why that is when you have “all these other things to be doing.”
Here's my extra little bonus for today.
It could be that staring out that window is the best thing you could be doing to sort of just give yourself a break.
So if you find yourself staring out the window or you're just staring at the TV without really watching it, you're reading the same paragraph over and over that you're not really comprehending in a book or in anything else that you might be reading...
It's okay, this is normal and natural in grief. And again, nobody needs to have died or passed away in order for you to be experiencing a feeling of loss. Heartbreak is it's a thing that we don't talk about very much in society... but we do talk about it here.
So I'm going to invite you back for the next podcast episode or to go ahead and review some of the other ones if you haven't heard those already, you're always invited.
And if you're ready to do something different, so you get a different result, so you feel different, then ask me about working one-to-one through the steps of the Grief Recovery Method.
I’m thinking of you. And I'll be back with more suggestions and ideas and tools for you to put in your emotional heart healing, toolbox.
Wendy Sloneker, Heart Healing from Loss. So glad you joined me today for this short little podcast, and I'm looking forward to the next. Here we go.
Food, Grief, Loss, and Freedom
Plus, the holidays are right around the corner. Let's get into it! Welcome to Episode 3!
Wendy Sloneker: Host
Hi, welcome back. I'm so glad you are here with us tonight, back on the heart healing from loss podcast tonight, I have something really special for you and it's actually someone who's really special. Her name is Catherine Dickson, and I met her just a little while ago. She is a holistic health coach and she and I have a lot in common around food and grief and freedom.
So tonight is going to be pretty exciting, just our conversation about what she's up to and how she helps women with food freedom, and also where that all intersects around grief and loss and healing. hHealing is what we're all about. So I'd like to take this minute to just welcome Catherine Dickson to the podcast.
Hello Wendy. I'm so happy to be here.
Thank you so much. It's really like, I wish you could see the smiles on both of our faces. We are just kind of grinning and being excited to just be here and talk with each other.
So here, we're here and this timing is kind of auspicious too. I do want to check in… we're going to be talking… I'm going to prep you Catherine, because I have a question that I haven't told you about and it has to do, we'll save it for later, but I want to plant the seed and that is we're in kind of like the fourth quarter, which, and we're running up close to like the holidays, the winter holiday season, which are largely food related.
For some they're focused, and for others, they may be obsessed. So I do check in around that, but first of all, I'd love to hear just a little bit about you and your story and how you got into the practice that you have right now.
Absolutely, absolutely. Yes. This time of year is kind of like the super bowl for me because it's just, there's so much, there's so much happening for all of my clients. And so it's, it's important to really hold space for that. Um, but well, as far as my story is concerned, I kind of came to the holistic health coaching world by a pretty circuitous route. I am from Louisiana.
And I mentioned that because I grew up most of my life being super unhealthy and it was very much that whole concept of the laissez Labon tone relay, let the good times roll. It's all about food all the time. I mean everything. And so that was most of my life. And up until I was, um, about seven years ago, I just was living there and just decided, you know what? This is just not, this is not the life that I want to be living.
I want to be, I want more venture. I want to feel healthier. I want to live somewhere beautiful where you can spend time outside. And so I picked everything up and just moved to Seattle, kind of on a whim and just was hell-bent and determined to change my life. So at that time I was not free from food. I was, I have was still struggling with bingeing and, you know, coping with food all the time. I was, you know, desperately wanted to lose weight. Didn't know how to do it in a way that felt good. It was just always on the kind of the yo-yo dieting spectrum.
And so I ended up meeting this young perky girl who was a personal trainer, and I thought, you know what, I'm going to give this one more try, let's see how this goes. I've come all the way up here. And let's, let's do it and ended up working with her. And I lost about 130 pounds through diet and exercise, but
It was a big old journey. And I mean, it's so emotional and there was such a transformation both inside and outside in that was absolutely incredible. And I learned how to take care of myself and actually eat healthy food. And, um, you know, what a concept and, and, and really fell in love with, um, the, the strength training part and feeling empowered by that.
So that made me decide that I wanted to go become a personal trainer. So I went and I got my dream job working at that same gym and went through that whole process of transformation. And then really pretty quickly realized this is not enough. This is not it because even having done that, even having dieted and, and, and gone through that whole process, my relationship with food was still not great and not healthy. I had just gone in the complete other direction.
And so I realized I've got to change my relationship with food. It's not just about what you eat, and it's not just about the diet or the weight loss. If you don't change from the inside out the outside, it doesn't really matter because it'll, it'll, it'll shift and change, and you're just kind of miserable. So
I ended up feeling, “Yeah, I am miserable. I am still thinking about food all the time. I still want to eat the sheet cake.” I just didn't get to be mad about it. You know what I mean? And so it was just, it was just this whole, long transformation and years of life, just finally coming to this place of going, okay.
So if this is not working what's next, and that led me ultimately into health coaching, it led me to, uh, changing my own relationship with food, learning how to actually do that. And that was the, that's been the most empowering thing I've ever done.
And so it was, it is a law, it was a long process in a beautiful journey, but I feel like every piece had to happen in order for this to really, for me to be where I am today. So it ultimately was a beautiful journey.
Yeah, for sure. Well, and what I'm hearing is like you lifting weights on the outside, like the actual dumbbells and stuff, but then you also lifted some inside-weights around, what that relationship was. Does that sound cogent?
Absolutely. All the yes. Yes. Oh my gosh. The outside stuff is the easy part. Right? That's the easy stuff you gotta deal with. You have to, you have to do that all from the inside out a hundred percent in order for it to really feel good to you.
Right. And true. So tell me, I would love to hear a little bit about like, like what that freedom kind of feels like. I have that from a grief standpoint of moving beyond pain and like having more capacity for joy and for like curiosity and, Oh, I am actually interested in something else or someone else or anything else. Right. So I'm wondering if that kind of freedom feels like how that may compare or differ at all.
What, what does food freedom feel like as compared with what I've shared about like freedom from pain after grief and loss?
Oh, I think there's quite a few similarities with that. I mean, in freedom is the best word for it because it's just this, you, you, you come, you go through life each day with the ability to choose, the ability to feel.
It's just, it's more, it's an expansive feeling, right? Because you, you get to decide, do I want to have this or this, but there's not this constant ridicule and thought that, you know, those negative thoughts and belief systems that are just that cloud that hangs over you like grief or loss, right. That just, you feel like you're just being followed around by this dark cloud. It's the same thing with food, because you're constantly thinking about, you know, how do you look? How are people perceiving you? What should you be eating? What shouldn't you be eating? It's this constant just fog.
And so being able to just let food be food again, and food still gets to be delicious. You get to still have the things that you enjoy, but there's just less drama. There's just less, there's just less negativity. And you're just able to operate from a place of just your inner compass. You're in tune with that and you know what you want when you want.
And you know, when, when enough is enough and what enough looks like, and that may change from day to day.
That sounds fantastic. I, I have, uh, I got to tell you, I'm, I'm with a lot of the folks who are, you know, grievers and folks who are experiencing loss, because food is a comfort for me. And it looks different with different relationships, right?
So, for some relationships, when I am seeking comfort, it is sourdough bread. And for others, like if it's like world events that I just feel bad about, then okay, it's chocolate time. So it, you know, like these are just sort of cues. And I know I'm not alone because food is one of those things that when people are feeling loss and wanting comfort, it’s that “let's avoid pain and seek pleasure” thing.
We go to food. We are sort of trained for that in terms of, you know, as we're growing up, if we're feeling bad or have our feelings hurt, then adults in many of our lives have suggested and taught us to not feel bad. Number one, don't feel how you're feeling. And why don't you replace that feeling with something that's going to make you feel different, like, um, some bacon or maybe a cookie or something like that. So we learn to replace those feelings with different feelings. Is this kind of who comes into your door in your practice?
Absolutely. Wendy. Absolutely. I mean, my gosh, it is just, but you're so spot on that, you know, this starts at childhood, this starts as a baby. This is, oh, well, you know, they're crying. So they must be hungry. Obviously let's feed them something. Right. And it's it you're in, in with the parents when they, you know, food is happiness. Food is love. Food is comfort. Food is safety.
And when you have a parent who is not as in touch with their own emotions, right, how are they able to properly teach a child to experience that as well? Right. It's much easier to just give somebody, give a child a cookie and make them be quiet.
And so, yes, I completely agree. And most people don't think about that. They forget about that period of life because as kiddos, what else do you have to cope with? Right. It's as adults, we have all these options and different things that we can do where kids just don't have that freedom. That the one thing that they can do is let me go to the pantry and grab a piece of candy, because that feels good. So I think that it's really teaching adults how to shift those patterns that they have had their entire life, right.
They were learned from the previous generation, right. This is like the best that we have. And when, you know, kids are non-verbal, you know, like, okay, well, you do have to eat, looks like I'm going to, you know, I can't handle the screaming or the crying or the, you know, I don't know what else to do. So here it is. So that, you know, it's really interesting. And it's also heartbreaking.
So I'm curious. Hey, are there things that you know of or share about that are choices around like, okay, if in that moment, it's, you know, feeling this feeling or eating this thing or choosing something else, how do you help? Like, what is your approach around navigating that?
Oh yeah. Well, it's very, it's very specific to the person because I don't think that just handing out a pile of coping mechanisms is very valuable to antibody, right? Because obviously food is the well-worn path for if you cope with food, if food is your, your happiness, your sadness, and your everything in between, that is a, that, that is, it works for you. It works well. And it feels good for the most part, right?
Until it doesn't, it's reliable, it's easy to access. It doesn't take a lot of effort. Right? So the thing about it is, is that you have to really figure out and dig deep into understanding what feelings and what needs are you actually trying to meet. You have to tune into that before you can get anywhere, because just telling someone to go take a bubble bath. Well, if that's not fulfilling the need that they're trying to meet in the moment with the Cheetos, it's not going to work.
Right. And so you have to, you have to really look at, so one of the things that I start with is I have them start playing with the idea of actually identifying feelings. Let's build some awareness around our day, what's happening in our life. What are we? And I often have to give them a list because most people really struggle to identify name beyond just the most normal feelings.
What's really, what's really here. So we really have to look at it and go, like, what are you actually feeling? What do you know, does any of this resonate with you? And then we also look at what did you love to do as a kid? What were some of those activities that you enjoyed? What are things you've done over the years that you find that you're naturally gravitating towards before you became an adult and you were, you know, just, um, you have all these responsibilities and you forget, you lose touch with so many of those fun things.
And it's helping, it's helping adults get back into touch, maybe with some of those things that they really enjoyed, those creative activities, those, you know, if they really wanted to be outside and, and helping them reconnect, oftentimes with the things they liked as a child or something that's relatively similar that often will help them be able to, that's often one of the more strong coping mechanisms than some of the cookie cutter ones that we come up with. So it's, and it's a lot of trial and error. And so oftentimes I recommend that somebody have a few options and let's go down the list and let's try a couple, let's see what's working today. And if none of them are working and it's back to food, that's okay too. We're still learning something.
Right, right. Gosh, do you find that, um, that, I mean, having a few options is a brilliant idea because every day is different, right? Every single day is different. The body is different. The mind is different. Things are happening in our world at rapid, you know, rates of speed and frequency. And so, you know, and I'm thinking now about sort of like, okay, I have this day and I've tried these three things and it's still not working. So like, I imagine there's a lot of encouragement on your part as well. Like, this is the process.
Oh yeah. I mean, will you have to exercise so much? Self-compassion when you're going through this process. And a lot of times, you know, I'm often telling women, and I remember doing this myself, sitting there with the giant bag of popcorn, eating
And yet, and going, this is my choice, you know? I mean, it's just this moment of like, you have to do that. You have to,
Yeah. You have to let your in and you have to be compassionate because this is something you've been doing your entire life. You're not going to be able to undo it with a few, with a few new coping mechanisms immediately. It's a process. And it's, it's about learning how to literally self-sooth in a different way. And, and that pattern is, it's a slow one to shift, but once you do, it feels so good. It's so good.
It's kind of like the insides just open up, right. Similar to that grief, freedom, right? Like, wow. You know, in a way where your pants still fit.
Oh, I love it. Yes.
Sure. Going in now I'm curious about like, who's coming in and when people come into your practice to talk about food, freedom, do you often find grief kind of in there, things that have been disappointing or that they wish had happened or things that did happen that they wish didn't happen? Are there some, um, things that go through there as well?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. That was for sure. One of the things that I got so excited about when we met was just, as you were talking about all the different levels of grief and loss and what that really means, and really reminding people that grief is so not just this one dimensional, I, you know, even, I, I remember being surprised in that first conversation we had of just like, Oh yeah, you're right. This isn't just about losing a loved one. This is about so much more than that. And so, yes, I think that grief is so closely tied to all of this because there are these so many unmet expectations in life. There's this, um, I follow a life coach. She calls them "expectation hangovers" where it's basically, you fit something was going to go the way you thought. And then it didn't because that's life, right?
Love that. And so it's life doesn't go with the quite the way you wanted it to. And I'll just all of the pain and the hurt and the trauma that everyone goes through in life. It's, it's almost impossible to get of this thing unscathed. And so, you know, we all have these traumas in, and for women particularly, which is primarily who I serve, it's traumas related to their body and in relationship and with other women and in life. And there's just so much, we hold so much grief and more often than not, most of the women that come to me are holding it in their body specifically, they're holding it so magically. And that is the easiest way to quiet it and suppress it. And, and Sue that is just through stuffing. It literally stuffing it down again and again, in a grand cause that just feels the easiest. And it's the easiest way to know now.
Right. Right. Well, and like fast, right. Uh, in this day and age, like fast and speed is kind of demanded by, you know, external things. But also we take that on like, Oh, like I, I tend to put a fair amount of pressure on myself around like getting things done. And it's, you know, it's a lot more convenient to, uh, you know, go with the sourdough than it is to like slow down, feel my feelings, but it's something that I need to learn and process, otherwise that feelings just going to come back louder. Do you find that, was that part of your experience?
Oh my goodness. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think the more, one of the biggest things, the best things you can, you can do all of us. And what I had to do is just learn to be quiet, learn, to sit, still learn to slow down. And that is such a challenge for everyone. But for women specifically, I think because we do our expectations of ourselves are sky high. We would never expect that of our, our daughters or our best friends. Right. But for ourselves, we can do anything all day, every day, never stop. Right. And so you're right. I think learning how to really listen to yourself and learn really here, what do I need in this moment and stopping long enough to prepare your food and do all of that. It is a, it is such a process to learn how to do it. But I will say that for me specifically, when I finally got it and that light switch turned on of like, Oh, this helps every other area of my life. If I will just stop and make my own dinner, it's amazing how that will translate to other areas. Because once you start loving yourself in one way, it really starts to seep into all of the other ways too, which is so beautiful and just really fascinating to see how that happened. It just, it will literally infect you in such a great way.
It's just the best infection ever.
Exactly. But I hear you and sometimes life is slow and you have to set your self up for success. And so that's one of the things that I do is this beyond just talking about it, you do have to get into the practical, right. And look at okay. If I am really busy, but I want to feed myself well and with foods that are good. Okay. What can I do? How can I help myself with that?
So it's about solutions. It's about solutions that work in ways that we cannot see coming in some ways that that's amazing. I think that's so well efficient. Like for the folks who are still like, no, I really need to do it fast. And with lots of pressure, there's an efficiency to it. Right. I want to say that, but there's also like, Oh, there's added like benefits going on there too, that we can't forecast other than feeling better.
Totally. Wendy, do you, do you notice sometimes that with your, with your clients as well, that moving fast is a coping mechanism in and of itself. Right. And yeah. And so that's what I find quite a bit is it's and that's something that I've experienced myself. Is this moving fast, keeps me from having to think too hard about what's going on or feel anything.
Right. You're so right. Thank you for saying that because it's actually one of the major myths it's when someone's going through grief, especially a death. It's recommended by many around and sometimes directed to just keep busy, just ignore it, go down the checklist, don't feel your feelings like, and it's, you know, it really diminishes what's actually happening or what has just happened.
You know, grief and losing a loved one deserves to be honored with grief. That's a big deal. That's something we're wired for. That's something that is normal and natural: when we experience a loss, it's grief.
And so I really think that we just aren't, we aren't trained in how to deal with that. So that's why the recommendation of, well, keep busy, keep busy. And so we end up carrying around because we're stuffing all these feelings in with food or under alcohol, or, you know, sometimes Netflix or something else that isn't addressing the actual problem. So it gets different, but it doesn't actually heal. Do you agree?
Oh, I couldn't agree more for sure. Yeah.
Wow. So in light of where we are in the holidays... they're fast approaching. The candy holiday is coming up and then it's going to be the bird holiday coming up, and then like a bunch of holidays in December that each have their own like marked cuisine.
So tell me about how, how would you encourage folks listening in -- in this audience, yours, mine, and new friends -- How would you like to encourage them to approach the holidays around food choices and freedom?
Hmm. That's such a good question. I think that, that, it's the biggest thing I will say is to not, not make it such a big deal.
So it's a huge deal to someone that's really struggling with food, but let yourself have the things. So what I always say to every, everybody is pick and choose your moments.
You don't have to eat everything all the time. It's this, isn't this permission slip to just go nuts and, and treat your body like garbage. It's more of listen to your body. And if you have that favorite, you know, dish those favorite dishes at Thanksgiving, and that just really let yourself eat those things, listen to yourself that day. Because a lot of times we overeat on Thanksgiving one, because it's what we're told to do. Right. But two, because we're stressed being in that triggering environment with our families and right.
I mean, we're sitting there and we don't want to deal with XYZ. And so the easiest way is just comfort, comfort, comfort, just throwing it back because it's just, it's sometimes can be hard to be around the people that we love now. Sometimes it's, we're around the people that we love and we all just, we food is, is love for the family and we all just eat until we're dying, you know, kind of a thing. But it's really what I always tell, tell my clients is just, just do a little check-in throughout the day and just see every, you know, I've even set alarms on my phone in years past, if just these, every couple of hours, she's kind of like a little, little reminder of, Hey, how am I doing?
Or every time I go to the bathroom and I need to look in the mirror, am I okay?
Everything going okay. And you know, am I, am I happy with what I'm having? Am I, you know, am I feeling like I'm overdoing? Do I need to pull back and really just play with your boundaries a little bit and just, but really it's about paying attention. And, and as far as Halloween is concerned, I always tell any of my only my people just eat the candy you love the most.
Eat what you love. If don't settle for the sad candy that your kids didn't want, because you're going to end up, you're going to eat all of the Twizzlers and then you're going to make it to through the, through the Kit-Kats. And then you're going to round your round, your way around to the milk does, which is what you wanted in the first place. Right? So just let yourself go straight there, beeline to the thing you love the most and enjoy it, savor it. And then you move, you get to move on, right. You to move on, right?
The conscious choice, like might actually satisfy, like having the conscious choice. Right? Absolutely. And then you don't also have to feel bad about the other, like 16 pieces of candy you ate that you didn't really want.
You didn't ever want them. Absolutely. You want get, eat, go with what you want, eat the best thing. First. Always, always, always don't settle for the sad stuff. No, no. You know, no sad candy. No. And, and, and, you know, if you, if you like the, the, the, you don't have to make all of your holiday dishes, the healthier version, if you don't want to just enjoy what you have. And then, but what we do is that what you're not allowed to do is you're not allowed to be ugly to yourself about it. So what we say, what I always say is, look, I know you're going to be it's okay. This is what, you know, this is your, your inner critic is trying to help. They're trying to protect you. But what we do is we learn how to talk to her appropriately. So that, that next day, post Thanksgiving, we're not raking ourselves over the coals for our life choices. We're just, it's Friday now. We're moving on. So that's really important too.
That is fantastic. That's fantastic! Thank you so much. It's like, I think that gentleness and that encouragement as self-talk is some of the biggest, like, cause we're always listening… we're always listening. That's a big deal. Oh, I'm so pleased to talk to you, Catherine. Thank you so much for being here with me and with us for this time. Do you want to come back? Yeah? Okay! Awesome!
Thanks. I so enjoyed it.
It's red. Okay. Awesome. Well, thank you again. Please, would you let people know how you would like to be contacted? If this is resonating with you and you really want to get in touch with Catherine? -And, I highly recommend it - Catherine, how would they do that?
Okay, perfect. Thank you. So my website is riseholistichealth.com and my Instagram is the holistic biscuit. So either of those are great. You can find me there and I would love to chat with anybody who needs a little help with food freedom.
Brilliant. Definitely get in touch with Catherine and ask her about her Biscuit Movement because it's lots of fun. Lots of fun. Thank you again, Catherine. I'm so looking forward to more shared experiences around food and grief and freedom.
Agreed. Agreed. Thank you, Wendy.
Sometimes we may be aware of what it is we're feeling, and sometimes not, especially with feelings that are less than our favorites.
I'm Wendy Sloneker. I am a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®.
I'm an educator and I teach people and help them to move beyond the pain that comes from grief and loss. We do this with an action-based program. It's evidence-based as well and proven based on cognitive behavioral modalities.
Let's jump into...How to identify unresolved grief.
It can be tricky. It can be like that feeling of heaviness that just comes around, or “the blues”, or just having kind of a low energy day. And it could be that grief is there.
Try these on
What I have are three different sort of prompts to help you distinguish whether or not you are experiencing some sort of unresolved grief. You ready? Okay.
Seasonal blues or tough anniversaries? First thing to take a look for... and just scan internally... when it comes to relationships or maybe anniversaries… we're going into the fall and winter times now… it's October at the time of this recording up in Seattle.
So it could be that there's some just seasonal blues kind of coming on, sure.
Did you want something to be different?
If so, what was it? What did you want to be different? What had you hoped for about it?
These are prompts and thoughts that we, we actually don't spend a lot of time on, unless we're in the case of where we're sort of talking about what happened without putting emotional words to it.
So we might say this happened... and then this happened… and then this happened and we'll get sort of stuck in a rut sometimes when we're talking about negative things (circumstances, situations, or dynamics) that happened... or things that happened that we interpreted as negative.
So what, what was it that you had wanted or hoped for different? Sometimes grief can be lying under that or feelings of loss, emotional incompleteness.
Ready for the next one? Okay.
So to recap, unresolved grief may be lying under your unfulfilled hopes, dreams, or wishes; things that you had wanted to be different or better or more are the things that we look for when we try to identify what’s going on inside. And we take just a glance back over our lives to look for them.
When I'm working with my clients, in order to identify what kinds of losses have been experienced and what is still left that is incomplete and painful.
What’s the point?
The whole point of going through grief recovery is to move beyond pain that comes from loss.
Now, when I'm not saying is, you know, we're going to tackle the whole “being sad thing” as a human being. Like we are wired to do this, to experience happiness as well as sadness.
So we're not going to get rid of “the sad”, but we're going to work to move beyond the pain.
And we do that with a proven method, as I mentioned earlier.
That's the work that there is to be done. It's not widely known. There's lots and lots of ground to cover in terms of getting to the helpful side of grief recovery. Plus, getting to a point where you are able to more-easily accept what those losses were and clearly identify what you had wanted to be different or better or more of the hopes, dreams, and wishes that you wanted to be fulfilled.
One more thought about sadness and pain. I want you to consider the possibility, even if it's a 0.0002% possibility that feelings of sadness are different from feelings of pain.
That you can have (experience) sad separately from pain.
They are not necessarily always paired together. All I ask is that you consider it.
What else do I have to share with you? I have a few things:
In the even shorter term. I have something else that's exciting. And in the next episode, I'll be inviting a guest, my first ever guest on the podcast. It's Catherine Dixon from Rise Holistic Health.
We're going to be talking about grief and food freedom. (Episode 3)
And how it relates to grief and loss.
So a lot of times, I don't know if you knew this or not, but a lot of times food (and sometimes drink) gets picked up and used as forms of comfort or in a way to replace the loss or give the illusion that something is happening when we’re grieving. Many times it’s because we really need to feel different from this pain that we're feeling around grief or loss.
So we're going to be bringing on this expert, fantastic person, Catherine Dixon, again from Rise Holistic Health in the next episode. I really hope you join me as we talk about grief, loss, food, and freedom.
Okay, I'll see you then.
Again, this is Wendy Sloneker from HeartHealingfromLoss.com.
So glad you joined me and I hope you were able to identify something valuable for you
...and that you experienced a new perspective around unresolved grief in this episode.
Thanks again. Talk with you soon.
When it comes to feeling grief and loss: Death is not required
What else I'd love for you to know is that when it comes to feelings of loss and grief, death is not required.
Nobody has to die in order for you to just feel those natural feelings of heaviness, loss, concern, worry. These are things that just happen in our bodies. And, uh, it's also something that we are ill-equipped to handle as a society we know about acquiring and getting and leveraging. What we don't know is about when things leave or die or are let go of.
So we are going to focus on heart healing from loss, just like it says in the title, and grief, just to reiterate is the normal and natural and incredibly powerful emotion.
Okay, great. What else is it? Okay. It's sometimes known as the conflicting feelings caused by the end or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.
So something can change and that can inspire feelings of loss or heaviness, a sense of sadness, a sense of, “Ooh, what's going to happen now?”
Maybe even uncertainty can cause feelings, of grief, of feeling a loss. So that's when patterns change when they stop, that can also be a loss.
What do I mean by that? Well, it's 2020. So we're experiencing changes in patterns of behavior. That's a change in commute. That's a change in a job that could be a change in the job flow. That could be a change in the business that you're in.
And that's just the workfront.
What else are we talking about? Change-wise, we're talking about school. School's not held the same way this year. I've been talking with parents who have been going into these schools, which are empty in order to pick up books. And they are crying in the parking lot because it is silent in these big educational buildings where they are just ready to hear laughing and lots of kids and lots of hustle and bustle.
It's not there this year. That is a change. It is a small change in the big picture, but I gotta tell you when it comes to grief and loss, according to the studies I’m reading, it all adds up and... it gets real heavy.
So if you're feeling heaviness and loss, and you're concerned that like, “Wow, why am I feeling this? When nobody I know has died, you may not know of anyone who's died from the coronavirus directly?”
You still may be feeling grief and loss… it’s entirely natural and normal. And you're in the right place.
You're in the right place.
So what else can be “counted?” (I'm air quoting, there.) What else can be counted as a loss? I don't know if you knew this or not, but there are 40 different kinds of loss events that can happen in our lives.
They can certainly include death. It could also be a divorce or a breakup. It could be the death of a pet. It could be a move. Moving is a big emotional change. Talk about your entire center of where you live... It gets different. Whether it's from an apartment to a house, even in a happy situation, there are still losses to be counted. Starting school marriage could indicate some form of loss. Graduation denotes the end of your schooling.
Although it's a happy event too. I mean, that's an achievement, but there is a change in, you know, if you're going onto another school, it's a change of curriculum. It's a change of space. It's probably a change of your schedule.
Major health changes are another form of loss. Do you know anybody who's ever experienced a loss of health? So maybe you break your leg and it gets to be a temporary thing, but that is a big change. If you're a runner, you may be grieving the loss of running for a while. Even if you know, in your brain, it's temporary and your leg is healing.
These are the kinds of losses we are talking about. And we'll continue to talk about because what's not happening is a conversation. I understand. It's scary to think about going inside and, and feeling those emotions that aren't super fun.
These are not the top 10 emotions to feel and... it's dark in there. I don't want to go in there. Certainly not by myself.
Well. that's why I'm here. And we're just going to walk together. It's a gentle approach and let's just keep the conversation open. Sound good? Okay.
So in today's conversation, what I'd love to talk about are some of the feelings that are produced when you experienced the loss of a loved one. What else? Some of the feelings that are produced when you experience the loss of a less-than-loved one. I also want to share just a little bit about what is not required when it comes to loss. First, before dig into that juicy, juicy stuff, what I want to sorta clue in on is just some terms, gentle easy terms. So we're all on the same page when we're talking about grief and loss. Let's go,
All right. So the feelings...
Sometimes it's hard to even understand and know what your feelings are. So I'm going to just break it down with a couple of examples... Check-in, and see if these resonate at all with you. Okay. Ready?
The death of a loved one can produce emotions that can be described as the feeling of reaching out for someone who has always been there only to find that when we need them one more time, they are no longer there. I'm going to read that just one more time:
“The feeling of reaching out for someone who has always been there only to find that when we need them one more time, they are no longer there.”
Now, these feelings could come as a result of a death. They could also be a result of an estrangement, an argument, a breakup. What else, what else in your life could this be relevant to? Because that's what we're talking about. It doesn't have to be a husband/wife thing. It doesn't have to be a death per se, although it, you know, it could be in your life. And in your experience.
Part of grief, and recovery from grief, or recovery from feelings of loss, is about really coming to understand what the emotions are. So that's what this conversation is about.
It's, it's about trying to help determine or discern what it actually is that you're feeling. So that's about emotions that come up with a loved one.
What if you're working with, or smack in the middle of experiencing, a less than loved one? A loss around a less than loved one? Perhaps you had a parent or guardian who's like, you just really wanted it to be a different relationship. You longed for something different, or better, or more... sometimes, you wished for less of certain behaviors that you experienced with this person that can also summon emotions of grief as well.
And that feeling is one, maybe, one of reaching out for someone who has never been there for you. And still isn't like that whole longing of “please, be there for me,” inviting them aching for just the response that you want or need, and still not available.
In fact, if they have moved across the country or now they passed on... whatever it is, it's that, that feeling of wanting and still not being able to receive what it is you want from them.
Totally normal. Totally normal and natural to experience emotions of loss around this thing is we just don't know this. We haven't been taught this. These are the words that are needed in the world is that this is normal. This is natural. And there's a way through, Hey, before we get too much, further ahead, I do want to touch a little bit on conflicting feelings. They are totally around grief and loss as well. So let me share a little example. Let's say somebody that you love dies after a long-suffering illness, they've been in pain, they've experienced the loss of mobility, loss of health, a loss of independence all along the way.
And let's say this has happened for... two or three years. So it's been a long go of it. And they've been incrementally losing their faculties, losing just kind of their personality a little bit on the way they're grieving their own loss of health.
And let's say that you're really close to them and you're standing by and you're watching this and it's hard, and you're showing up and you're watching this and it's really hard... and it's getting harder. And then you have the diagnosis or the prognosis that says X number of days, weeks, or months to live.
There may be conflicting feelings that come up that are normal and natural. This is the thing: we want people that we love to not be in pain. We want them to be joyful and present and loving their life and in their bodies and that's not always available. And so when we see deterioration or a loss, or incremental losses, these are really challenging.
I’ve got to take my hat off to the caregivers here. Whether you're taking care of a client or a child or a spouse, this is hard. And so conflicting feelings of feeling a sense of relief that your loved one's suffering is near over. When you get that prognosis that is a part of grieving. This is something that people often talk about, beating themselves up about and feeling guilty about when it is a part of their grieving process, totally normal and natural.
And these things aren't talked about, it's the same sort of thing with divorce. There may be conflicting feelings there too. When you know, it's the right thing to do to part ways as partners, you know, whether kids are involved or not, you may have conflicting feelings because it's still a loss.
And when we go back to that definition of what grief is, it's “the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern or behavior familiar pattern or behavior”, that could totally include marriage or steady relationship.
So there may be conflicting feelings there too, yes, even though, you know it's the right thing to do, and you're going to be best for both of you. It still does count as a loss and grief may come up and conflicting feelings are just part of the bag. That's part of the bargain.
This being said, there are a couple of things that are not required when it comes to grief and loss.
Do you know what they are? Can you guess what I'm going to say?
1. Tears, or crying are not required. You can feel all the feelings and not feel tears coming on. There are several people that I've talked to who are just like, I didn't do it. I didn't, I didn't cry. And I feel bad cause I'm, I'm not sure if I did it right. I want to tell you, you did. You did it right. If tears don't come, you don't have to make them come or wait for them to come. You can just say, “Hey, that's, that's not what this is about. It's not about performing.”
It's just not. And so go with what feels right. And natural. Every relationship is totally different.
I was at my grandmother's funeral and she had an open casket there. And that was not something that was usual in our family. And I saw her and I just didn't feel it. I must've been about 12 years old and I did not feel moved to tears. I loved my grandmother. I didn't cry. I don't know why, but that's, that's what was real for me.
So if that is real for you, just go with it. You know, grieving and loss are hard enough. You do not have to pressure or judge yourself about how you are behaving. Like, feeling is plenty good enough.
What else is not required?
2. Death, actually, is not required. There's plenty of change in and around what's going on in the world for you to incur feelings of grief and loss.
It's hard enough. Like you don't have to diminish your feelings of sadness or heaviness or any of those things with what is going on just in the world around us right now, it already feels bad enough.
It's okay if nobody has died in your world. Maybe that's something to be grateful for and still honor the feelings that you have around sadness because it's real.
And it's there and normal to feel. Do we love feeling these like harder feelings? No, we don't. But feeling them is the gateway through them, getting done, and them being complete.
And it, you know, it honors what's going on around you. It's real.
3. Anger is not required during grief or loss. Anger, of course, it totally may come up. If it comes up, I recommend you go with that too. But if it doesn't come up, it’s absolutely okay.
Here’s an example: I had, I talked about this in Episode 0: it was about my dog, Otter. He was a beloved boy who was also an old man dog at the very end. I was not angry that it was time for him to go. It just didn't come up. And this could happen around losses with people too. This could happen with other kinds of losses.
Anger is not required in a grieving process. It's just not.
But the 5 Stages say so...
Maybe you have heard of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's work around the 5 Stages of Death. The five stages that were actually assigned toward people who were dying, or who had received a prognosis of dying. And those were the stages that they go through in their process.
Well, what's happened is that people have adopted the 5 stages for those grieving and in grief (but not necessarily dying) The 5 stages are denial. anger, bargaining... then, there's the other two, depression and acceptance.
She did not ascribe it to grief as a process for us, the grievers. Her work of identifying the stages was for people who were dying.
Grief in our case is not a linear thing. This is kind of like the squiggly-wiggly road that goes from point A to point B. And sometimes it feels really messy and uncertain. That's why I'm here.
There is a way through, and I work in grief recovery. And if you want to talk more about it, please definitely reach out to me. But until then anger and death and crying or tears are not required to experience grief or loss.
Thanks again for joining me today. This is Wendy Slonaker from Heart Healing from Loss. I'm a certified Grief Recovery Method specialist and an end of life doula. For more information, please go to my website, hearthealingfromloss.com and definitely reach out if you'd like to have a call with me and we can talk about what it might be like to move forward through your grief experience and process.
Thanks again. And we'll see you on the next episode.
Grief & Loss: Why would we talk about thaaaat?
This is actually my natural state. I'm not super caffeinated right now. So, truly, when you talk to me and see me, this is what you're going to get.
Yes, Even though we're talking about what is traditionally known as a heavy topic, I am not going to come to you with this kind of podcast. It's just not who I am.
So if you are looking for a more, uh, lower-toned experience, I totally respect it, but it's just not going to be here.
What will be here in this podcast are stories about grief and loss and healing from grief and loss.
Largely, what I offer is an education about not only grief and loss, but also about methods for healing.
After you've experienced a loss event...
It's often called a loss event, what you may not know is that there are about 40 different kinds of loss events that can happen to a person over the course of life. It can be death, it can be divorce, it can be a big, bad breakup. These are the common ones that we think of when we think about grieving or heartbreak or things like that. It's breakups, it's the death of loved ones or pets who are our loved ones.
However, other big losses that make the list of 40 also include moving and graduating. There are loss anniversaries that people grieve. There are holidays that people grieve.
Lives have been impacted by myriad changes.
And so what I want to share is that even though it's not talked about very often... or very well… that's part of what this podcast is here to do is to talk about it and to offer some education, to offer some options and some stories I'm also going to be bringing in some guests.
So hooray, not just one person talking!
In Episode 0: A little bit of my story.
Why would somebody go into this kind of industry that is filled with sad things and topics? And the only thing I can share is, it's not all sad all the time. The reason that I went into this well, and it's not even a reason... like, really here's what happened.
I started studying about end-of-life types of work in terms of doula work. So I don't know if you knew this or not, but there is such a thing as an end-of-life doula, which is a companion for the last days.
And they work in tandem with hospice and things like that. So I got a certificate to do this kind of work, to just show up. I really feel like people are really scared of dying. And there are a lot of people who are dying really scared and many times alone. And then I just think that's unnecessary. So that's what I went in with.
And then 2020 happened... To everyone. And all of a sudden it was this, like, there was a lot of loss and change going on... And change can instigate feelings of loss.
And... This is normal. We don't know this is normal though... Because nobody talks about it. But it's normal and it's happening... Globally.
Right? So here we all are.
And I remember running into this awesome person named Rebecca Mullins, who is a Grief Recovery practitioner here in the same city where I live (Seattle). And so she told me about what she was doing around something called the Grief Recovery Method, which is an evidence-based method, a repeatable method to help you get complete with the pain that comes from loss.
And I thought, “Shoot, if that could really work, maybe that's something that would help me.”
And so I tried it, I learned it online. And then, uh, and then it, it kinda, I started feeling a little bit better. It was making room by just getting complete with relationships and it's different from, “getting closure”.
This is an emotional thing. What's going on when it comes to grief and loss is about heartbreak.
My brain has not been broken: it is not an intellectual thing.
This is a hard thing.
Making the trek from head to heart
So like making the, the path or the little journey that feels like about 25 miles in very hot weather or very chilly weather, like from my brain to my heart, which is pretty much like maybe 14 inches... but it feels like... 25 miles.
That's, that's what I work with. That's what I go through.
And, you know, coming from a place of heaviness and coming from a place of loss.
I will tell you about how I felt when I had a loss of my soulmate, who was a dog. His name was Otto. He was a little wiener dog. And I rescued him with my partner at the time. He must have been about one and a half, three years old… hard to tell cause he was a little rescue and this little boy had some baggage... cute as a button, red as a penny, and just a honey.
And we connected and bonded. He was with me. I was with him, I think it was 15 years. And the sweet little boy…. he does, what one animals do. He does what we do... He got to be an old man and he was grumpy a lot, but I just loved him even more.
And so he had developed a Cushing's disease, which happens a lot in dachshunds, and he needed some medication. So we went there and got medication and he developed diabetes. And he was just not the same dog. His quality of life changed... he was not a happy dog. He was maybe interested in eating, but it really started falling off. Once we started giving him insulin shots to maintain his diabetes, which came from the medication from Cushing's disease. So, so what happened was, I had an insight and intuition around, “Hey, he's not happy being here anymore in this body.
And I took him to the vet. He had been to this vet for a long, long time. And the vet knew him. He knew Otto. And, probably one of the biggest, pieces that I've found in terms of “I did really right for myself and for him by being there” when Otto died really, truly like that was, I had never shown up for a death like that where, you know, I was there, he was in my arms and I was talking to him. I did not want him to be alone.
Even though the vet knew him, I really needed to be there to let him know that it was okay. And so he died. And this was probably 7 years ago, 8 years ago. And you can tell by my voice that, wow, that loss is still totally there.
And, and I just loved this dog. Right? So loss is loss a hundred percent and we don't know how to deal with it when he died.
And I came home, things just really didn't make sense for a long time. Like, I felt numb. I didn't know how I felt, things didn't make sense.
I had a loss of focus.
I didn't know what to do next. I had very short term thinking, and I couldn't always articulate it. Right?
Like, I didn't always know how I felt.
So it was really hard for me to answer, like, “how are you doing?”
No. Probably not very good. Right? So I really get it.
And that dog gave me so much joy. When I think about him, my heart is not broken. When I think about him, I remember just like snuggling up with him and bringing him to the beach at Ocean Shores and how he fell asleep on this pink blanket.
And he looked so stinking cute with his little back feet, tucked up against his body and his front paws just covered up. Like, he's just my heart dog. And I still have an emotional relationship with him, even though I don't have a physical relationship. He's died, but I'm alive. And I have that emotional relationship with him.
So there's value. Right?
And I can talk about him and yeah, I just love that dog. And there's so much love in, in the memories and also in the things that we lose and the people that we lose that, you know, what the Grief Recovery Method has shared with me is about, is about talking with people and things and change that's happened that have happened without coming totally apart.
Like, my capacity for happiness and joy has increased because I got to have that dog. I still have an emotional relationship with this dog. There are many things I experience in days and weeks and months that make me think of him because he's my little buddy. And... at the same time he is, he has died.
So this grief and loss is a part of life.
And I want the conversation for all of us. So I do have an invitation for you. And that is what, what have you experienced that you are confused by stuck with, I'm wondering about grief and loss.
I am not a clinical person. I am not a practitioner. I am not a therapist.
I'm an educator... and I'm interested.
So if you have questions that you would like me to answer on a future podcast, or if you want to contact me directly, you are totally invited to do exactly that. My website is WendySloneker.com and you can find all my contact information there as well as my text-friendly mobile. And if you have questions for a future podcast, please share them with me.
This is for everyone.
Thank you so much for joining me.
Reach out if you feel inspired and ready for a Discovery Call with me.
Want to? :)
One Business Died. Another was born.
My 2020 so far...
Business death and birth... mine.
This is the web address where my 3rd business lived. It was created with a full heart, a desire to serve, a tremendous amount of love (and sweat... and hours) and it was the business that died during the COVID-19 crisis during 1st quarter (and into 2nd quarter) 2020.
"Loss of a business."
"Death of a business." I'm not the only one.
This one was uniquely mine in all the ways.
The birth, the learning curves and long life, and also the death.
I was a copywriter for beloved, local businesses for 7+ years. And I specialized in smaaallll businesses. Because they are the backbone of our community and so much of the economy.
I loved this work. It filled my heart to talk with owners, to translate the core business messaging into language that would attract the right clients to the business. I watched it again and again. I collaborated again and again. It was beautiful. Sustaining. Fulfilling. For years.
A long ebb... and not much flow
The year before the pandemic, I knew change was coming, and could feel the momentum and interest in my business wane... normal ebbs and flows, I thought. This had happened before.
But as time went on, it seemed to be a loooong ebb and not much flow. I looked at other things I was interested in at times. At other times, I just threw myself all the harder into the client work I had.
Surprising new interest, new energy
In 2019, I began to get interested in end-of-life, grief, and loss work. And true-to-my-nature, I began to read, research, train, and develop more skills - and heart - around these tough topics. I was called to this work in a similar way that I was called to my previous business endeavors.
At the end of 2019, I trained to become an end-of-life midwife, a.k.a. a death doula. During the Coronavirus and COVID19 pandemic, I trained and became a Grief Recovery Specialist®, and then immediately after, an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist®. Transformation has been happening... and it will continue to happen.
It's all happening... a significant loss, and a new, uncertain venture
This is the old space. And this is also the new space.
This continues to be where I'll recreate a part of myself... the business, career, and service part.
My heart brought me here... and will help keep me going through all the gains and losses along the way.
Back to now... back to you
What I want to share, if you're going through the pain of grief and loss in your life is... even though my website isn't quite complete, you can begin to heal by identifying and completing the pain you (or your loved one) is experiencing.
These may be losses you've experienced either long ago or recently.
The wounds that time doesn't seem to be healing at all.
Let's talk about those... and whether or not you're ready to learn how to
let go of the pain in order to heal your heart.
Ready to take a small step?
Schedule a Connection Call with me.
It'll be fantastic to connect and talk.