The Greatest Gift; Seen For Who We Truly Art

July 22, 2010 by  
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I usually read a book while riding my stationary bike.  As I have just finished “Company of Liars”, I was looking through my husband’s books for something new to read.  I found “Paint It Black”, written by Janet Fitch a friend and a neighbor.

I had only read “White Oleander” by Janet and so I was excited to start on something else written by her.  I sat on my bike and started on the book.  The time the book is set in is John Lennon’s death and the setting, my own neighborhood, Silver Lake.

On page 7 Janet writes about Josie Tyrell, the main character and her boyfriend Michael: “She held on to him, her eyes closed, drinking in his smell, pine and moss and some peculiar chemistry of his own, that she craved the way an addict craved freebase.”

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Life Sometimes Can Be Truly Strange

June 30, 2010 by  
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I received an animation file from a director I’m working with and after playing it on my computer another file came up that I clicked to play.  It was of my late husband in a trip he had taken to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  He was by beach being taught how to prepare a Caipirinha (our national drink).  I saw his face, I heard his voice and I again wondered “what happened?”

Most of us go on after losing someone who was very close and who we loved very much.   We make new friends, have new experiences, and maybe even fall in love again, but the space within us that a picture, or a recording can bring us back to, I believe never gets filled up with something else.

We are a thinking species and we want to understand life.  We write books, we research, we dialogue, but certain questions continue to go answered.   Death? Soul? Spirit? Consciousness?  Religion and science try to come up with explanations but so far nothing has really quenched our thirst for an absolute certainty.

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The Mind Of The Soul

May 26, 2010 by  
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I really like the below blog posted on the Huffington Post today by Dr. Judith Rich.  Among many things it talks about the importance of embracing our pain and difficulties by acknowledging and giving them the room they need.  That is not to say we should be depressed and anxious.  But what we should do is let the pain breathe instead of wanting to bury it with money, sex, drugs, partying or whatever else we use to hide our hurts.  Only by giving enough room to pain, making friends with it, do we come to understand ourselves and not suffer so much.  We learn to make the pain be part of our existence and experience rather than be destroyed by it and the result and wisdom.

The soul is not interested in homes and cars but is interested in experiences and beliefs.  And they include everything and anything.

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Soulful Living: Why Is It Cultivating The Soul So Painful

“Everyone should know that you can’t live in any other way than by cultivating the soul.” – Apuleius, Roman writer

Several readers responded to last week’s post, How To Know The Way Of The Soul, with observations that their own soul’s process was extremely painful. One reader asked, ” Does it always have to be so painful?” while another wondered, “How can I stop this pain?”

Thomas Moore, author of Care Of The Soul, writes:

Care of the soul speaks to the longings we feel and to the symptoms that drive us crazy, but it is not a path away from shadow or death. A soulful personality is complicated, multifaceted, and shaped by both pain and pleasure, success and failure. Life lived soulfully is not without its moments of darkness and periods of foolishness.

Soul is the font of who we are, and yet it is far beyond our capacity to devise and to control. We can cultivate, tend, enjoy, and participate in the things of the soul, but we can’t outwit it or manage it or shape it to the designs of a willful ego…Continued

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Believing In Miracles

April 18, 2010 by  
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There are days when I’m reminded of a moment in time that I’d not thought of for a long time. My heart smiles. My soul dances. My tears fall. I am trying so hard to stand strong and trust. The path that leads you to a place where your prayers and dreams come true is there, trust and believe in miracles…

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by my old familiar name,

speak to me in the easy way which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone;

wear no false air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed

at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play… smile… think of me… pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.

… I am but waiting for you, for an interval,

somewhere very near just around the corner.

All is well.

Canon Henry Scott Holland, English Clergyman and Theologian

[1847-1918]

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Surrender Is Not The Same As Giving Up

April 17, 2010 by  
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There is a huge difference between giving up and surrendering.  Giving up can often mean a few things like: 1 – The task or desire at hand was too difficult and I gave up because I didn’t have the stamina, 2 – I gave up because I didn’t know how to proceed.  I’m sure there are other definitions but you get the negative connotation to this type of “giving up”.  Let me give an example:  I want to learn a language because of a job I want to apply to, but it’s too difficult to learn something now so I just give up and forget the job.

On the other hand surrendering is accepting where we are today, and opening up space for life to happen.  In this instance, as we embrace where we are, our goals may even shift as a result of life having an opportunity to express itself.  This is a positive attitude.   An example:  I want to be in a loving relationship and I think I have found a guy that might be a possibility, but after a while I realize he’s not interested.  I surrender to the situation and stop trying to force something to happen.  I still want to be in a loving relationship and am letting the guy and my desires pass me by so I can create space for the right guy.  I keep on living, learning and feeding my soul.

Surrendering takes faith, courage and a strong relationship to oneself but promotes a positive relationship with life.

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Grief

March 17, 2010 by  
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I’ve recently received some emails on the topic of grief, its journey, and how to live through it.  I know grieving is very personal and there is no right or wrong way of living with it and through it.  I also know sometimes the pain is huge and we feel we can be squashed by it.  So I reflected on my own nineteen month old journey and here are some thoughts I wanted to share.

The things that can certainly help us are remembering how much the person we lost wanted to stay alive.  Life is a gift no matter how hard sometimes it feels.  We have to honor this gift for ourselves and the people we lost.

Don’t put any pressure on yourself to do anything or to be anything.  Loss is such a rupture in our lives that it gives us permission as well as a chance to see life in a different light and to live it in a different way.  With the loss of someone really loved there is also a loss of ourselves as we were.  I am today more of myself than I actually have been before.  My sense of values and needs have also been readjusted and I actually respect more the person that I am today. So take this time to give yourself the space to go through all the changes YOU need to go through.

Stay close to yourself.  Really listen to your needs.  Do I really want to stay alone?  Should I go out with a friend or a family member for some distraction?  Sometimes we feel paralyzed and if we are in touch with ourselves we know that just a bit of effort will get us out of the house and that will be a good thing.  Sometimes we need solitude to think, to feel and to be with ourselves.  We need to honor those times as well.  Learn to listen to the differences.

Do small easy things that will cuddle and sooth your grief.  We all have easy to do things that sooth us; a massage, facial, a glass of wine, a nice meal, gardening.  Think of something you enjoy doing because you need to feed your soul.

Change your living environment a little or a lot.  Living in a somewhat different home lets us know that life has changed and it’s okay.  It psychologically reminds us that we have stayed alive through the change and new things and people will be moving through our lives.

Find things to do that you REALLY think are worthwhile and important.  Helping of service gives us a sense of worth and purpose while helping us focus on others for a period of time.

With the internet being so much part of our lives it is easy to look for a group or an activity that interests us.  There are group meetings for wine and cheese tastings at different restaurants or clubs.  There are book reading clubs, hiking clubs, language clubs.  Whatever you can think there is a club for it.  So find one that interests you and join it.  Meeting new people that don’t know anything about us gives us a taste of what our lives can become; a life that is not all about the loss.

As time goes on we start building a new life.  We never forget and there will always be those moments where we feel overwhelmed by the loss.  But at those times we take a deep breath and remind ourselves that life is in constant motion that new people and situations will undoubtedly enter our lives and we will learn and experience.

I have learned to live with my loss and while knowing this deep scar will never heal, I look forward to my new experiences and new people.  My wish is for all of you going through your own loss to have the strength and the love for life to continue on in your never ending quest of happiness.

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