Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Room for Change: Icing on the Cake

Grief may slow us down in our present path or swerve us along unknown terrain, yet with every perceived "loss" there can be a "gain". Loss of job, friendship, partner or health may also change our daily habits, creating a sense of emptiness or void.

What can fill this void? Think of a two layer cake. Mine would be decadent chocolate. My perceived loss my spouse , my daughters leaving and my dog dying. On top of that my role as partner, mother and dog tender was gone.

The base layer of my cake, me. The upper level, my family. In between the frosting or glue that made it so sweet and held us together.
What else can be added?

Your foundation is firm, you have not lost anything but now have another chance to build.

Take this foundation. Add a little more spatula full of thick icing. It does not have to match the flavor of the cake. It can be a different flavor and consistency. What is wonderful is that you have another chance to decide how it will taste. Take the time to frost it with experiences that are supportive to you. Others will come along to sprinkle experiences on top.

Remembering that your layers of experience, love and insights are not lost in grief, they can create a sweeter and grander masterpiece because of your foundation. Maybe a three layer cake is in order.

What flavor will your icing be? Life can become sweeter with each layer of loss.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Room for Change: Addition and Subtraction Equals Growth

How is it that one feels so stuck in grief? Is it the fact that so much has shaken up our world? Is it that because we put too many expectations on ourselves to accomplish what our role has been to us and the one lost? Is it maybe that others expect us to "move on" more quickly than we can ever envision.

First Step. Breathe. Let the air and day enter you and then simply let in go.. The exhale is rest, the inhale is nourishment for you. Our bodies during grief can become tense along with our minds. Let a deep breath allow a simple and occassional release.

Second Step. Add something new to your day. Maybe it could be reading a daily devotion or affirmation before you hit the computer to see if anyone has emailed you or before you look at that "to do" list that awaits your daily routine.

Third Step. Take away something from that list that you feel you must do today. Let the priorities rise and fall. Maybe today you take a nap with an old blanket and have your dog join you. Maybe today you buy yourself a new pair of shoes and throw away the sneakers you have been saving for when you do the dirty yard work.

Fourth Step. Add something physically new to your home. This could be a basket to contain all the incoming bills and paperwork that has become such a chore to you or even a new door mat as you enter the house. It could be a new essential oil fragrance added to your car.

Fifth Step. Take away or put away items on your counters, dresser or front closet that are not used daily. See space and opportunites, Shed just a little clutter.

Sixth Step. Add sparkle and shine. This could be as simple as removing the tarnish from an old silver hairbrush that belonged to your grandmother or cleaning the sliding door glass. It might be adding a crystal to the window where the morning sun creeps in. Adorning yourself with something bright like beads or a bracelet can lighten your day and add that sparkle that may be hidden deep inside during grief.

Grief can be like hopscotch . A toss, a miss, a step , an off balance stumble, going and returning, avoiding and landing. Remember that returning home, returning to the uniqueness and beauty in yourself are the steps that will support you in grief. There are friends around to cheer you on in quiet ways. Keep moving, adding and substrating to your days.