Liminal days…

 

Liminal spaces are the spaces in-between.

They are the calm before the storm and the moments after it as well.

Liminal moments are pregnant with potential and unknowns and mystery… and they’re exhausting.

 

As we move into 2021 with the US election settled, many of us are breathing easier but there are many things still unknown.

Will our favourite businesses open again?  

Will the ripples from the pandemic change the face of our neighbourhood forever?   

 

Those who are old enough will never forget the year(s?) that the world stopped.  

From now on, there will be things that will be marked as BC and AC.   (Before CoVid and After…)

 

All of this change and all of the potential hanging in the air, has everyone on edge.

We’re all weary of it.   We’re all doing our best.

Be gentle with yourself.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We weave a life…

There are things that we don’t understand… and maybe can’t… until we do.     Life-lessons that seem antiquated right up until the day when life makes them real and relevant and very, very important.

Why keep food in the pantry?   Why do I need a stocked medicine cabinet?   Why do I have to tell people that I love them?   There will always be time for those things….

Then one day there isn’t time… and suddenly you can’t reach out and hug people that you love, or say goodbye to those who are dying.

I was talking to a young woman who is balancing more than her share of family drama right now.     We talked about the wonderful memories that seem to come out of tough times.  The kind words, just when you need them.  Neighbours, looking after neighbours.   Shared laughter that seems to bubble out of nerves stretched too thin.   Without ever thinking about it, humans take the good with the bad and we weave the events of our lives into stories.  Over the years our stories become the tapestry of our life.

This year CoVid has changed the usual ways that we weave ourselves together and create memories.   We are learning that with care and effort we can weave a tapestry even when our strands cannot come together.

Life is testing our creativity and forcing us to make new patterns this year.

Whatever your beliefs this holiday season, I hope that you will take the time to make memories for yourself.   I wish you a tapestry filled with twinkle lights and hope for the coming year.  xoxo

 

Faith, Hope, Dreams, Belief and Grief….

I was recently invited into a conversation about the difference between Faith and Hope.

Although I declined to explore the topic when invited, today I realized what the difference is for me.

First let me say that I think Faith, Belief, Hopes and Dreams are all quite uniquely defined for each person.   Each of us weighs them a little differently and prioritizes the importance of them according to our own heart and understanding.

In Grief Recovery we talk about the grief that comes when life changes and our Hopes, Dreams or Expectations die unrealized.

I realized today, that Hope is what I hold, when I have no Faith.

Hope in the unlikely, is often the glimmer of light that keeps me stepping forward when I’d otherwise curl up and give up.

I have Faith that CoVid will end one day.
I have Faith that I will hug my loved ones one day.

I had Hoped it would be this year.
I had Hoped that the pundits were wrong and that we wouldn’t have a second wave.
I had Hoped that what we’d done to flatten the curve, was going to be enough.

It wasn’t. It isn’t…

We’re in the midst of an enormous second wave… and I am grieving, for the hope that has died and for the hugs, that are still very, very far away.  xoxo

the remainders of war…

Microwaves, GPS, Duct Tape, Crazy Glue

Epi Pens, Blood Banks and Transfusions…  

Inventions that feed us, find us, keep things together and keep us alive

a lot of what we take for granted

exists now because of war.

 

For those who have been blessed to live their lives in free and safe conditions, Remembrance Day can seem far removed from the realities of daily life.    Yet every day we take advantage of technologies that came to us, through wartime innovation.    There have been countless medical and scientific advances born on battlefields… but very few that advanced our standards of mental and emotional care.

We who live in peace, have the luxury of time and safety to heal our wounds but most of us were never taught how.    Instead we fall back on emergency coping skills that were never meant to be used long term.  

 

Don’t Be Sad

Be Strong

Stay Busy

Give it Time

Replace the Loss

… and if none of that works …

Grieve Alone

 

 

These old standards are useful for coping, moving forward and feeling sane when we are in the midst of tragic and dangerous circumstances but if you are reading this, you probably aren’t in tragic and dangerous circumstances.  

It’s time to quit using coping skills and get on with healing the mental and emotional wounds we all carry.

The Grief Recovery Method teaches people how to quit coping and get on with life.   It teaches people how to talk honestly about what they’re feeling, how to listen respectfully when others talk and then, it teaches small actions that when followed,  lead to healing.

We do not honour our vets by acting as if we are at war.

We honour our vets by living the best life we possibly can.

That’s what they risked their lives to give us.

To all the soldiers and vets both home and abroad: Thank you.  

 

To the rest of you:

Listen.  Talk.   Stay Open.   Heal.

These are the privileges that soldiers have risked their lives to give us.

 

 

…birthdays…

…. they come every year and often we don’t give them much thought.   

Then someone you love dies.   You bury them, you cry, you grieve….  and you get on with getting back to life.   When friends ask, you tell them that you’re “doing fine” and you really mean it.    You think that you’re getting through and over and past missing your loved one… until your helpful automated calendar assistant reminds you that your loved one has a birthday coming up… and you lose them a little bit, all over again.

It feels strangely heartless to delete a loved-one from your contacts list… but if you don’t, this is what happens:   Siri or Alexa or Hallmark or whomever keeps track of birthdays for you, pops up a week or so in advance, so that you’ll have time to buy a card and send it.

But your person won’t be there to receive it.

What do you do?

Do you delete them from your contacts list?    Or replace their birthday with a deathday?  

If you delete the birthday reminder the day will likely sneak up on you anyway… you’ll be happily moving through your day, when you’ll be swept up in a wave of melancholy as you suddenly remember what day it is.     Or worse, the day after… and then you feel the added mix of being the schmuck who didn’t even remember their birthday…

Maybe it’s better to see that birthday coming a week or two in advance, rather than having it sneak up on you… on the day.  

And do you really Need or Want a reminder of their deathday?   Probably not.     So maybe you just leave that alone….

It’s messy.

This week my calendar reminded me that my sister’s birthday is coming up.   This will be the first without her.   She died just as CoVid locked us all in our homes.   It was a strange way to lose someone… it was hard not to be allowed to Be There to say goodbye.   Once CoVid is gone, we’ll have a gathering to remember her… we’ll hug and cry and do those funereally  things.   

I hope we get to do that before her next “birthday” rolls around.  xoxoxox

It’s Working!

For anyone who wants more information about Grief Recovery and for those who want to book time to start learning How to Heal, online booking is Finally Live! I’m available at Ki Health and Wellness in Whitby, Tuesdays through Saturday and I’m looking forward to meeting you all.

Book an Appointment Now!

What’s worse than a giraffe with a sore throat?

an Alligator with Tooth Troubles…

an Elephant with a Stuffed Nose…

a Turtle with Claustrophobia…

a Centipede with Foot Odour…

 

This week I am dealing with dental pain. (as I await my dental appointment)

Instead of being at Ki Health and Wellness I’m at home. I’m taking pain meds, not operating any heavy machinery, resting when appropriate, puddling with paperwork when I’ve got the clarity for it … and I’m feeling schtuff about all of it…

We live with expectations.

Most of our expectations are so small that we don’t even realize that we expect things to roll out in a certain way. Until they don’t… and then we feel “Schtuff”.

Like the expectation that you’ll be at your desk at your usual hour.

When something as small as a broken tooth hijacks your routine, your expectations begin to fall like dominos: without time at your desk you’ll get behind on that project you were committed to… and that will mean a delay in A, B or C… and you begin to feel anxious… or annoyed… or both… and you Certainly have opinions about being in pain. This is grief.

“Grief is the Conflict of emotions that happens when an established pattern changes”

When life takes a left turn, we grieve.

Your pain doesn’t have to be greater than mine, in order to deserve your full attention. 

When we admit what we’re feeling, at least to ourselves, life gets a little bit easier. When we attend to what hurts, it heals.

If you want to know more, contact me next week… after my tooth gets fixed and I’m back at Ki. xoxo

Are you CoVid Cranky??

I was in a parking lot this week and heard someone “toot-toot-tooooting!!” on their car horn as if they were celebrating the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup.

Unfortunately they weren’t celebrating.

The toot-tooter was having an adult temper tantrum and toot-toot-tooting at someone who had taken “their” parking spot, or failed to wear a mask, or some other perceived infraction. Whatever it was, the encounter used up the tooter’s last ounce of patience and they were making it obvious to anyone within a 3 block radius, that they’d “lost it”.

It’s almost impossible to predict what will set someone off these days, because all over the world, folks are working at the ends of their respective ropes.

CoVid has gone on far longer than most of us expected it would and it has effected far more of our lives than we expected it would and most unexpectedly of all… it has exposed the fact that most folks Cope with life.

In spite of what the beer commercials imply, before CoVid hit, most folks weren’t Joyfully living the Life of their Dreams, they were Coping with jobs and kids and unexpected bills. After months of having to cope with CoVid too, our coping skills are tapped out.

Whatever your plans for this year, it’s unlikely that they unfolded exactly as you thought they would.

When life takes unexpected turns and our dreams don’t come true, we grieve. When we don’t have any way to express these daily griefs, they build up in us like steam in a kettle. Grief Recovery teaches people what to do with all these little day to day griefs and that’s part of why I love it.

If you’re not ready to learn new skills, that’s okay, admit what you’re feeling, if only to yourself…  and watch life get just a little bit easier.

But if one call to tech support or someone cutting in front of you in a line has you ready to Scream.   

You might be CoVid Cranky. See if you can find time for a nice nap this weekend. xox

video connections are better than nothing…

… but not by much …

There are Grief Recovery Specialists who have been trained and licensed to guide you through the Grief Recovery process online.

I am Not one of them…

I believe that in-person, human to human connection brings magic to the process. Human connection is one of the reasons I became a Grief Recovery Specialist. I just don’t think that anything else is as good.

CoVid has pushed a lot of us to accept online connections as “the new normal”.

I’m not buying it.

For folks who are bedridden, or living in remote communities where working with a Grief Recovery Specialist just isn’t possible, except by video… it’s the perfect answer. Because Grief Recovery work, done by video, with a properly trained specialist Is Better than living with a broken heart.

It’s just not one of the services that I offer.

Because it’s not right for me.

… and that’s unlikely to change. xox

Grieving what used to be…

Lately I’ve been grieving the tiny things I think I’ll miss in the unknown future.

It’s usually a small thing that starts it. For instance, it seems unimaginable, after all the CoVid disinfecting we’ve done, that I will ever again feel comfortable rummaging through old jeans at a second hand shop. (No more bargains??) If I’m not the only one with these residual feelings, how is that going to change our world? No more church bazaars? No more rummage sales? What about shops like Value Village and Goodwill?? These potential changes are small things but I feel sad when they cross my mind.

Maybe your thing is rock concerts or theatre, or even opera… all of which put people together in far closer proximity than what will be safe for the rest of this year. What will our world look like when we are finally done with CoVid? Will theatres and other stadium venues survive the closure? Or will they simply become relics of an earlier time?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions and I expect that the truth will be a lot like the truth that follows when I have a head cold. About 1/2 way through any extended bout of snuffles I’m certain that I’ll never get my sense of taste and smell back. But I do. And maybe this year of CoVid vigilance will be just like that… Maybe 2 years from now it will be as if CoVid never happened.

Somehow I find that a sad thought too… For after all this fuss and struggle, it would be nice if we actually learned something good and useful from it.

The Grief Recovery Method gives us skills to deal with change. Right now, the change that I’m grieving is the unknown future. Six months ago we all thought we knew what 2020 would hold. (more or less) Today, we all know that we don’t know… and knowing that we don’t know, brings a whole new kind of grief.

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