Is There Room For An Abundance of Emotions in Your Life?

GeneralAbundance. Dying. End of Life. Plentifulness. Not words you would normally think of together.

But there’s often an abundance of laughter on my Before I Go group programmes and workshops. There’s plentiful amounts of stories, some amusing, some poignant, others educational.

Then there’s also fear and anxiety and concern, more traditionally words associated with death and dying.

But here’s the thing –

it’s BECAUSE fear, anxiety and concern are welcomed that laughter, stories and even enjoyment are found.

You wouldn’t think it, would you? It’s one of the reasons that Western society (on the whole) has become afraid of death – we have associated this thing, which we rarely see nowadays, with fear.

And things we are afraid of we naturally want to avoid (and in some cases, that’s really sensible!) But avoiding the end of life, especially when one reaches a certain age, is not a great idea really.

With avoidance, resistance, anxiety and fear grow, and all contribute to a state of unhappiness. 

And that applies to anything in your work that you have to let go of – any kind of ending at all, not just the actual death of someone or something.

Ignorance also plays a part, and in itself begets beliefs based on ill-formed knowledge.

Before you know it, myths such as ‘It’s better not to mention the fact someone is dying, otherwise you might prevent a miracle happening’ or ‘Only hospital or hospice can care for your last days properly’, or ‘Better not mention the end of that project, I might hurt her feelings’ are seeded and then take on a life of their own.

These become assumptions, which then become beliefs, and before you know it, everyone is joining in under the same set of assumptions.

The antidote to all this is creating a welcoming stand to ALL emotions.

Just as I wrote in Chapter 27 of Gifted By Grief, it’s important to be open to them all.

Not try to push the ones we don’t like away, and only let in the ones we do like.

That’s not what life is (nor death for that matter).

Thrills for riders of the roller coaster.

Life is full of ALL kinds of emotions and feelings, and that’s what makes it so much of a rollercoaster ride.

How you behave on that rollercoaster is up to you – the ride of life is going to happen anyway, and by welcoming it all (no matter what it is), you’ll be engaging more fully in life, and therefore able to enjoy it more.

And death (or an ending of anything)  is just one of those rollercoaster ups (or downs, depending on what you think about it).

So, what do YOU think?

Is there room for an abundance of emotions in your life?

How much can you embrace both life and death, the death of anything? Reply in the comments below and let me know!

Why An Assumption Is Your Biggest Trip Up

“The greatest difficulty is the mental resistance to things that arise, and the underlying assumption that they should not.”

Eckhart Tolle

Reading this quote right now, I understand why an assumption I had made was my biggest trip up.

Basically, I had had such a difficult time accepting the fact my husband had died. Even given that we knew it was going to happen, and that I was there with him when he died.

Even knowing that he would be better off dead (his body was riddled with cancer), for months afterwards I did the opposite of this quote – fell into a pothole in the road of life that said ‘No! It shouldn’t have happened! It’s not fair!’

And of course kept myself stuck in the hole for even longer.

Let’s just look at this phrase of Eckhart’s.

 

“Mental resistance to things that arise”

 

That’s these kind of thoughts:

I don’t believe it!

Surely not, that can’t be true?

No. I won’t accept that, I’m going to do something about it.

Why? That’s not okay

 

Or even just grumbling, muttering and feeling anything other than neutral about the situation.

We have mental resistance when we don’t like what it is that is happening. We don’t exactly resist things we like, do we? In fact, we welcome them with open arms.
So the real challenge is the judgments and assumptions we have made around whatever it is that is happening.

 

warning sign protects from falling into a sewerage hole

 

As an example, let’s look at what occurred when Philip died. I went in and out of the pothole called ‘it shouldn’t have happened. He should have looked after himself better. This wasn’t the plan for my life. It’s not fair. Why did it have to happen?’

All of which kept me stuck in the hole, because with something as final as death, I was never going to be doing anything other than go round and round in the bottom of the pothole forever. When someone has died, you cannot fix it or make it better.

Fortunately I did have some insight into what was really going on, and very quickly had moments when I would arise out of the depths of the hole, and see the world more clearly for a while.

But you don’t have to fall into a hole in the first place.

 

This was highlighted for me when I met someone whose husband had died and who hadn’t fallen into the hole, or at least hardly at all. Her choice of thoughts was ‘Game over. Bonus life’.

These 4 magical words allowed her to see any potholes there might be, skirt round them, averting her eyes from looking down, and instead looking ahead into the distance, to a different kind of life.

Focusing on the idea that this could be a bonus life, with hope, surprises, and possibility allowed her to honour the life she had had with her husband, and at the same time, move forward, step by step, into what she called a bonus life.

She did not wander towards the crumbling edge of the pothole, which assumes that the death should not have happened. She avoided that entirely, by not assuming it in the first place.

Which brings me to the work I do now.

When you are brushed by death (whether your own end of life, a family member or friend’s, or just by becoming older) it is a lot easier to notice the potholes if you have come to terms with death itself; if you have faced up to the fact that you will die one day. That your parents, your friends and your family members will all die sometime.

While the thought may feel challenging to think, looking at death in the face will mean you are much less likely to fall into a pothole of resistance when a death actually happens.

So I invite you to start having a conversation (with yourself initially) about how you feel about dying, death and grief. How you feel about loss in all it’s forms.

Here’s 3 questions to start you off:

 

  • How do you react to the word death?
  • What happens when you let in the idea that you will one day no longer be here?
  • Complete this sentence: What the word ‘death’ means to me is…..

Post your answers in the comments box and I’ll contribute mine too.

And now, the pertinent question if you are self-employed or have a business:

What is arising in your work that you are resisting?

What one thing (let’s just start with one!) are you thinking ‘shouldn’t’ be happening?

Come face to face with that, just like with death, and see what gift it might have for you instead.

And feel free to post about this in the comments too 🙂

 

 

 

My new book Gifted By Grief is out NOW!

Gifted By Grief is finally out! here I am with Robert Holden (who wrote the wonderful foreword):
And here is a doodle of what I feel like doing – standing on the top of a high mountain, telling the whole world about it!

You are getting to hear about it first, as you’re on my mailing list.

(What you also need to know is that next week on 8/9/10th September, the e-book version will be FREE!  This is because I really want to get it out to as many people as possible. (I will send out a reminder re this).But it’s for sale right now, e-book and paperback, so if you can’t wait to take a peek, visit here!

You know, death and dying have never had good press, although that is beginning to change, but grief is lagging behind. That’s a large part of the motivation behind this book – to invite people into my life while it was going on. I hope it will help people become more comfortable with grief, whether they are experiencing it themselves or affected by someone else going through it.

It’s a hugely personal book, and yet oddly, I feel somehow detached from it. Like I just have to serve it.  It’s as if this book has a life of it’s own, and all I have to do is obey it’s instructions. Right now, that’s get this book out to as many people as possible. So that’s what I’m doing 🙂

Please join me by passing on this link to anyone else you know: https://janedr.leadpages.co/gbg-sales-page/

Thank you!

How Grief is Transforming Wild Wisdom

I unwittingly jumped on a rollercoaster ride when I came back from holiday a few weeks ago.Roller Coaster 1

I was plunged into a tsunami of rage towards my dead husband of 3 years.

It’s been a very long time since I felt like this, and it was a bit shocking to be taken over so much by these intense feelings. It only lasted a couple of days, but I criticised myself for not being able to work; I berated myself for not being further forward in my life; and I felt stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. Swirling around in the tears and the anger and the pain that it all brought, old habitual limiting thoughts rising to the fore.

It came to a head when I noticed how furious I was with the newly-retired man living next door. What for? Because he was retired and he and his wife could do whatever they liked on his pension. And I had no man, who had left me with a very precarious financial situation.

That stopped me. I had to laugh, it was so outrageous! He had done nothing at all, and yet he provoked my fury. Obviously, I needed help!

I got help in the form of good colleagues helping me get my mind straight, after the floods of tears which were the aftermath of the tsunami. But the washing through of this, and a willingness to trust the process (which I had been resisting) emerged again and I spent the next two days doing what I really wanted to do – have a good clear out of my flat.

Normally, I spend most of my time doing what I want to do. So this whole episode was unusual to say the least. But I’m sharing it here because it was the precursor of another event – and looking back, I can see it was the darkness before the light.

At the same time, I was working with Julia Stege, The Magical Marketer (This is the woman I mentioned to you last week – our call together has been moved from Monday 11th to Tuesday 19th May, details following in a separate email).

The result of this has been far-reaching. I am celebrating another change for Wild Wisdom, woo hoo, bring it on!  I seem to thrive on change, once I get used to the idea it is happening 🙂

Julia and I came up together with a statement that encompasses how my work with Wild Wisdom and my forthcoming book Gifted By Grief combine together:

“I help spiritual women business owners who have been stopped by grief to awaken to the gifts and wild wisdom in their situation, so they can step fully into their new life and make the contribution they were born to make.”

It was so obvious! I even remembered that my business coach had mentioned this connection to me a few months ago – but obviously I wasn’t ready to hear it, let alone act on it.

I was resistant because I thought it meant a very narrow niche – how many spiritual solo professionals and small business owners had been stopped by grief, like I was?  Well, on reflection, when I realised everyone has had grief of some kind in their lives, quite a lot!

Grief is all part of the human tapestry of emotion. It comes with being alive in a body. What’s important about grief is how it is pushed away, tolerated, or welcomed in. When either of the former two happen, it will make its presence felt (eventually) in no uncertain terms.

It is well-documented that when grief is not processed fully it can have a detrimental effect on the body, let alone on any other aspect of life. And even when it is welcomed, it can still cause problems.

So how does grief show up in life?  Here’s a list with a few ways:

  • Death of a loved one (person or pet)
  • A loved one has illness/diagnosis
  • Kids leaving home (empty nest)
  • Forced to move
  • Losing a business partner
  • Career change causing confusion
  • Loss of health
  • Divorce
  • Failure
  • Loss of innocence (eg if raped)
  • Loss of hope (eg infertility)
  • A dream not realised

So I will be focusing my website and my marketing to this end. I’ll be posting about the myriad ways that life ‘interferes’ with your plans, and causes you to stop, both at an inner level and an outer, more practical level. And of course, what to do about it, even if it is just being comfortable with stopping.

My heart really sings when I facilitate and witness an inner transformation, a light bulb going off in someone’s head as they see/hear/feel things differently, and which impacts their behaviour. Then I’m in heaven, grateful for the opportunity to serve, and delighted that this is my work and I get paid for it!

My Spirit in Business 5 Steps to Success programme begins with the element of discovering exactly who you are, and what you offer to the world, so that will stay the same. Likewise, there is still a place for the Radical Income Welcome Toolkit, which is full of gems that are useful in all walks of life, not just when you’ve been stopped by grief.

So the website will be changing in the next few weeks as I get my head around what my heart wants to move forward with.

 I invite you to come on the journey with me.

And if you would like to explore the situation you find yourself in at work or in your life, please contact me for a free 30 minute exploratory session, where I can listen to you, hear what’s being said in between the words, and help you get clear about your next steps forward.

Where does your real strength lie?

When you’re sitting at your desk, head down, despairing about your work because nothing is going right

When you’re in tears because a tragedy has happened in the family

When you feel raw, exposed, naked to the world because something didn’t go quite how you expected it to

This is when you’re vulnerable.

It does feel like you’re open to being easily hurt, doesn’t it?  It’s easy to feel child-like, small and tiny, to want to speak in a very soft voice, if at all.

How on earth can there be any strength in that?

When I started to think about publishing my forthcoming book recently, and realized I was probably going to do a crowdfunding campaign for it, I began to feel a bit queasy. Writing it had been the easy part, apparently!  Now I was going to have to go out there to the world and tell them all about it, and because it’s a very personal story, that made it doubly alarming.

It doesn’t feel like I have an option, though. I’d be letting myself down if I didn’t put it out there as much as I can. So I’ll be doing that in the near future, and I will probably be feeling vulnerable – even more than I already am!

So where is the strength in this?  How can something that makes me feel teeny weeny inside, a bit wobbly sometimes, and even tearful, possibly have any strength in it?

It’s because that’s what’s going on and I’m willing to feel it.

Not push it away. Not bury it. Not pretend I’m anything other than I am.  Rather, I’m willing to feel the fear associated with being exposed, willing to say what I think and have others disagree, and willing to be seen in all my glory. Gulp.

You might know that when people tell you you’re courageous, or brave, mostly you don’t feel courageous or brave, do you? You actually feel terrified, anxious, apprehensive!

And it’s the same with being vulnerable. Others see your authenticity, your lack of guile, your being open.  They like it, generally speaking. Why?

Because we don’t have enough of authenticity and vulnerability in our world today! 

Instead what we have is people pretending. Pretending through their looks to be something they aren’t (how many magazine photos are not photoshopped these days? I’m willing to bet not many).

Pretending to be confident, safe, secure when actually they feel shaky, scared and trembling.  Pretending to have a brilliant business when the truth is there’s lots of debt and the possibility of having to lay people off.

And aren’t you fed up with that?  That’s why it’s great to see others taking risks, saying what they really think (it doesn’t have to be done in a hurtful way) and willing to put themselves out there, warts and all.

This doesn’t mean not dressing up for an interview or a presentation; it doesn’t mean not presenting yourself or your business in the best light possible. It just means you’re willing to say what’s really going on instead of trying to do a cover-up job.

The strength comes because it’s already there when you are being who you really are.

Pretending saps strength. Being vulnerable increases it.

So yes, I’m being vulnerable putting my book out there. And yes, the strength will come from that being a stretch for me, but also from being willing to shine my light more fully, and by doing that, helping others to see more clearly where and who they are too.

Which for someone whose purpose is about inspiring and awakening others is very compelling indeed!

So where are you vulnerable in your life and/or business? Are you comfortable with the kinds of feelings that go along with vulnerability? If not, why not?  Could you change that?  Could you practice being tearful for instance, without judging it as being ‘bad’ or ‘weak’?  I once spent several weeks in my twenties practicing crying in front of sad movies, cos I thought I needed to get better at it! (It worked).

What do you think about strength and vulnerability?  Is there a relationship for you?  Do you like it when you see less pretence and more authenticity?  Let me know by commenting on the blog or hitting reply to this email.

And remember, I can help you find your way again, recover your strength and identify your next steps. Just contact me and ask for a complimentary Wild Wisdom Discovery Session –  just three now available this month, so email me now!