Monthly Archives: February 2014

Accepting Change

Change is difficult for many people. Humans are creatures of habit and familiarity – it feels safer. And at my age, you’d think I’d be ready to coast out, doing the same thing in the same place. But not only have I never been afraid of change, I have always seen it as an exciting challenge. I seem to need to reinvent myself from time to time. As I grow & evolve, I become more energized, and my interests seem to take on a life of their own.  As I see it, that can only benefit my clients.

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do – or feel like you need to change in your life? Think about it.  It’s not good to make big changes without some thought.  A decision is a mixture of whole ingredients that must be simmered together.  Maybe you can make a couple of small changes and sit with those for a while – let them evolve into new ideas and energy. Timing is important.  If you go inside, and don’t rush, you’ll know when the time is right for you.

Sometimes, it hurts more to stay the way we’ve always been than it would to change. Eventually we have to face our fears and move ahead. Life isn’t supposed to be something we go through  on autopilot. We’re supposed to ride it like a roller coaster (with our hands in the air) and experience it all. We’re here for the lessons, but we can’t evolve if we don’t step into them.

To exist is to change. To change is to mature. To mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

A Belated Valentine Post

I’m a little late here – wasn’t sure I’d even post a blog this week, since we have been in Chicago for our son’s wedding – on Valentines Day.  So I’m a little overwhelmed trying to catch up & get ready for the week ahead – and still on a love high from the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended.  My son and his new wife are two people who have taught me much about love, respect and honor for another human being.  As I have watched their relationship and love evolve, I’ve been reminded many times of areas in my own relationship (of over 45 years with my husband), where I’ve let things slip or gotten lax about showing him how much I love and appreciate him.

Recently I’ve had a little health scare, and have been reminded all too well how short life can be.  I am vowing here and now to appreciate every moment of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.  I know ALL of it holds important lessons for me and my loved ones.

Life doesn’t promise us anything, except a chance. We have a chance to live any way we like. No matter how we choose to live, we’ll have pain and we’ll have joy. And we can learn from both.

We CAN choose to have life’s biggest wonder – love. We share it in a smile, a touch, a phone call, or a note. We share it with our friends, our partners, our family. Life didn’t promise to be wonderful, but it sure is full of little wonders! And we only have to open up and see them, feel them, and let them happen.

There is no such thing as an ordinary moment.  They are each extraordinary and wonderful in their own way!

A belated Happy Valentines Day to everyone who visits this blog!

Grief on Valentines Day

Valentines Day is a day to recognize your spouse, or any romantic involvement in the present.  But if you’ve lost a loved one who was an intimate partner, Valentines Day can be especially painful.  The past can represent a hole in your heart where your loved one used to be.

Honoring that person in a specific way that meant something to the two of you together is one way to get through the holiday.  Will it still be painful? Probably.  But the choice you have is where you focus.  If you put your energy on the good memories and allow yourself to revisit those feelings and stay with them as long as possible, it may help keep you in the love a little more than in the grief.  But if all you allow yourself to think about is that he’s no longer with you in physical form, then the grief can overwhelm you.

But your loved one is with you – just in a different form.  If you look for the signs she will show up.  Those on the other side want us to know they are around.  The signs are subtle.  Don’t try to force them.  They typically come when we least expect them. So keep your focus on the here and now as much as you can, but be open and attentive to possible signs.  Here are some of the ways they let us know they are here:

  • They come through as an animal or send an animal to us. Some of the more common animals are butterflies, birds, dragonflies or deer.  The animal does something it usually would not do, such as land on you, peck at your window or scream at you.  If a particular animal held some significance for you and your loved one, it’s very likely that is the animal that will show up for you.
  • They place common objects such as feathers, coins, or rocks in our path. Again, this is often something that was significant to them – or to you. 
  • They give off fragrances.  Often you can smell her perfume or favorite flower, his cigar or cigarette smoke, or any other familiar smell they had. Once I smelled a roast that was made specifically the way my mother used to make it.  I’ve never known anyone else to use that recipe.
  • They make songs come on at the perfect time.  On several occasions, when I’ve been wondering what to do to help a client – or which choice to make in my life, I have had a song pop into my head or come on the radio that holds a message confirming my choice.  
  • They come to us in dreams. One of the easiest ways for them to come through to us is in our dreams.  A dream that is a true visitation will be very peaceful and we will know it is our loved one. We will remember this type of dream in detail many years later. (On the other hand, a subconscious dream may be frightening or feel bad. This type of dream is not your loved one.)
  • They show us the same numbers over and over. They often give us numbers that are relevant to them or you, such as birthdates, anniversaries – or repeating numbers, such as 1111, 2222, 3333, etc. These numbers may appear on clocks, billboards, license plates or any other familiar place.
  • They allow us to feel peaceful for no reason. When our loved ones are in the room, they usually make us feel so loved and at peace. It usually happens at the most unsuspecting time, so there is no logical explanation for our sudden bliss.
  • They place thoughts in our head.  Our loved ones don’t have an audible voice, so they give us messages telepathically. Pay attention to thoughts that just “pop” into your head. We can tell the difference between our thoughts and theirs by backtracking our thoughts. If you can find the thought that triggered the thought of your loved one, it is probably your thought. If something your loved one would say just pops in your head for no reason, it is probably him or her speaking directly to you!
  • They love to play with electricity. They turn electricity on and off. They like to flicker lights, turn the television and radio on and off, make appliances beep for no apparent reason and mess with computers.
  • They make buzzing noises in our ears. Because our loved ones speak to us on a different, higher frequency, we may hear ringing in our ears when they are trying to get our attention.  This is a sign telling you to listen to what they are saying.

Again, the evidence is usually very subtle.  But especially on holidays that they know means a lot to you, it’s very possible you’ll get a sign or two.  Be open to it.


What Are You Still Carrying?

This is a repost from a couple of years ago.  It’s something I need to remind myself of regularly, so I thought I’d share it with you again:

Although all we really have is this moment, most of us spend much of our energy and time in the past or in the future.  As humans, I don’t think we can completely get away from that, but we need to remember that the only place we have any power is right now.  Here’s a story that illustrates how many of us carry around events and people that are weighing us down.

The story: Two monks were walking down a road in silence as they came upon a young woman who had been injured. One of the monks picked the woman up and carried her to help. Assured that she was in good hands, they continued their journey in silence. Several miles later, the other monk said, “Why did you pick up that woman? We’re not supposed to touch women.” The first monk simply said, “Are you still carrying her? I put her down miles ago.”

How many times have we carried someone or something from years ago? Our bodies & minds work together. Although the body is intelligent, it doesn’t know the difference between what’s really happening now and a thought. So if our thoughts keep dwelling on negative experiences or resentments towards others who have hurt us, then the body reacts to that as if it’s happening now and continues to feel the pain of the event. If we continually ask “why?” that’s a form of resistance, and the pain will remain. It often even develops into physical or emotional illnesses, or compulsive behaviors whose purpose is to continue to avoid feeling.

However, if we can just accept that this is a painful situation, allow ourselves to feel it and work through it, we will eventually be able to let it go.

Acceptance is the key, as the following excerpt from the Big Book of AA says so beautifully:

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.

When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.

Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.

I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

-Alcoholics Anonymous