Saturday, July 24, 2010

Room for Change: Recreating a Rhythm in Loss

Benjamin Franklin's Schedule

Nature is full of rhythms. Our lives are full of rhythms. The ones closest to us awaken us when we are busy and shake us up when they take on a different pulse. Our heart rate may soar and our respiration accompany it. Our eyes see some pending emergency and our body races to respond to it with adrenaline and action.  
In loss and grief we are our bodies are often working on this edge of heightened awareness and activity.  Our bodies and mind coordinate to move us down the road and accommodate the change in our routine, schedule or outlook.

As time passes however our bodies need renewal.  Just as I have written about in my book , Room for Change, some things about change have been hard for me personally.  De cluttering ( or Destacking as it is) and now setting a schedule for myself.

My schedule has been a non schedule , with the freedom of time in my widowhood and empty nest phase of my life, very open.  Much of my time is "free" with non scheduled activities. That has proven a blessing and a curse for my personality.  Creativity may abound in me, but I may start too many projects at once. Flexibility may arise as well, but I feel there are no "have to's " in my loss. Accountability may be sacrificed as well.  The accountability is to myself as well as others.

Benjamin Franklin's daily schedule is shown here, with it's simple yet profound rhythm.  In loss, if we can find a rhythm that supports us in our changes, time will certainly be full in both growth and nurturing of our body and mind.

As I write this , I am sitting on my sofa with my dog at my side procrastinating about my body's need to hit the gym or sidewalk this morning.  In loss, scheduling time for yourself can be a new found activity. Schedule it in your day. Create a rhythm that takes you places within and outside yourself.
Nurture your nature in loss and recreate a rhythm that supports you today.

And one more thing, as Ben himself writes on his daily schedule, "What good have I done today?" Remembering being good to yourself counts as well!  I am getting off the sofa right now, I promise!

                                             Room for Change: Practical Ideas for Reviving After Loss

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Room for Change: Facing Your Change and Value(s)

Recalling what we were before a significant loss is ingrained within us. How often have I said, " I am not strong" and others say "Look what you have done or accomplished within the last 6 years." It will be 6 years this month that my husband died, followed by the passing of two brothers in law and then my father. Change and internal turmoil and chaos were the norm.

In loss and grief we have the chance to re-evaluate how we define ourselves as well as our relationships with others. Your set of friends may change.  The places you frequent may change as well.  Most of the time may be spent at home ands that is why I am such a big advocate of making your home supporting for you. I remember being so mad at "friends" that were not friends after the death of my husband, but then again I try to remember the ones that became closer and  the ones that supported my change especially during my initial volatility.

Your life values may change in loss and what you personally value in life may follow suit. It may feel dark and lonely in the beginning but doors open and sometimes by unexpected strangers that help with your personal change and support.  Be kind to yourself.

Honor your change as you would honor the growth in someone else.  You might be surprised what you have become! (stronger and wiser in the least)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Room for Change: Touching and Handing It Over

This artist's work is not only beautiful but she adds her words in black and white to give us an insight into her ideas and herself. During grief, expression is often dampened by depression, mental and physical fatigue and the consistency of inconsistency. Grief may pull us inward into a spiral of "what ifs'", "if only", "how come?" and" will it ever end "scenarios.

Feeling the need to be needed may also run astray. Our gift of healing touch may seem not needed now if we have been the caretaker of our loved one, but this is the time when others's hugs, others need to nuture us in grief can be a light in the day. The critters in your household may sense your loss as well and this is a time to remember them with your touch.

Pardon the pun, but "handing over" some of your changing responsibilities in grief may feel as if you are losing even more control in your loss. Pass the buck from time to time. Express your desires when the willingness in others arises to lend a helping hand . Remember they are often "clueless" about the changes you are facing as well and may need suggestions from you.

The artist of the hands above also places in her artwork the words, "you are beautiful" and " i have small scars here from art and living." We are all scarred from time to time but heal with touch. We are all beautiful in a patchwork of different colors and gifts. We are all here to give a hand to those in need. Remember to reach out to others as they extend their hand to you.
It's like a handshake and mutually beneficial.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Room for Change: Honoring Yourself

honoring yourself
you honor others
this started the journey

capturing thoughts in
black and white and
momentum builds

pensive posture moves
into action with
webs forming
which to seek?
which to hold onto?

balance is perfect
neither right nor left
neither up nor down
neither highs nor lows
neither black nor white

balance just is
we are just

combining balance within us is perfect
perfect-just as you are