Goodbye and Hello – Passing Through Grief

Terese CastellanosLife is a fairly constant flow of goodbyes and hellos.  Sometimes, those goodbyes are incredibly painful.  The death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a job or role.  All can be painful.

And sometimes, those goodbyes feel like the end of the story.  But many times, there is more.  More to the story, more to life.  More to live.  Those are the hellos.

When you are caught up in the grief of a goodbye, it may seem like a hello is impossible.  It takes courage.  Vulnerability.  A willingness to live again.

We can live behind a fortress, trying to protect ourselves from hurts.  But that also keeps us from connecting and loving… living.

Sure, the goodbyes hurt.  But that is part of the deal with life.  Sometimes, the pain breaks us open to new possibilities and new people.

In this Thriveology Podcast episode, I interview Terese Castellanos.  As a therapist, Terese helped people through losses and life struggles… and one day realized that she, herself, was faced with the same thing.  Her husband was dying.

In our interview, Terese and I look to her story of goodbye… how that felt like the end of the story… but it wasn’t.  So, we also discuss hello.  And how to live through the goodbye, open to the hello.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Grief
Lessons From A Chaplain
Lessons From A Chaplain, pt. 2
Terese’s Website

 

Young(er) At Any Age

Dr. Ron Kaiser, author of Re-juvenaging.

My friend tells me, “Aging ain’t for sissy’s, but I ain’t ready for the alternative!”

It happens to every single one of us who are fortunate enough for it to happen.  We get older.  Moment by moment, day by day, year by year… and hopefully, decade by decade.

Personally, I am planning on being around for a long time.  I’m already in what I refer to as “Bonus Time,” after a health scare over 15 years ago.

One of my things to do is look for “aging mentors.”  These are people who are older than me, at varying levels, who seem to be doing it right.  Not so much in the fact that they are still alive, as in how they live.

Ron Kaiser is one of those guys.  81 years old, still a full time psychologist, still doing yoga and exercising, still engaged in learning… still engaged in living.

Recently, I had the good fortune of interviewing Ron.  He and I met at a conference and I said, “I have to get you on Thriveology.  Your information is important at any age!”  And now, I have.

Be sure and listen in to the interview below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
The Mental Health Gym
Dealing with Grief
Showing Up
Your Thriving Body

Emotional Potty-Training

An Interview with Rachel Kaplan

Rachel Kaplan - Emotional Potty-TrainierHow are you with your emotions?

This isn’t a question on whether you are “in touch with your emotions” or not.  It is how you process the emotions.

Some people have, well, “emotional diahrrea.”  Emotions just dump wherever and whenever.

Others have “emotional constipation.”  They just can’t get them out.  Emotions get stuck, lodged in hurtful and painful ways.

Maybe we all need a little “emotional potty training.”

When Rachel Kaplan was 14 years old, her boyfriend killed himself, leaving Rachel emotionally wounded.  She blamed herself and tried to make sense of such a tragedy at such a young age.  The emotional wound stayed with her for years.

And it led Rachel on a quest of healing.  First, she wanted to find her own healing.  But over the years, she began to use her new knowledge and skills to bring healing to others.  Trained in Western and Eastern healing approaches, Rachel began to see her work as “emotional potty training.”

She helps people who have buried their emotions deep in a “basement of shame,” which means the emotions cannot process through.  Her task is to help people to find their Authentic Self, to heal their core wounds, and discover their worth.

Listen in as Rachel and I discuss Emotional Potty Training.

RELATED RESOURCES
Discover Your Core Wound – Rachel’s Quiz
Healing Feeling – Rachel’s Podcast
Resilience
Dealing with Grief

Never Too Late (until it’s too late)

An Interview with Lorraine Hoving

Lorraine Hoving - It's never too late to changeIt’s never too late!  Until it’s too late!

We all have an expiration date!  But up until then… there is time.  But don’t take up too much time not getting there.  The sooner you do, the better your life will be, for as long as it goes on.

Isn’t that a dichotomy?  It’s never too late to make a change.  But don’t put it off!

Here’s the thing.  If there are things you have wanted to do, but haven’t… you can really be hard on yourself.  You can chastise and shame yourself for not having taken action.  All the while, you are putting it off even longer.

OR, you can decide that the moment for change is NOW.  Not “someday.”  Not “maybe tomorrow.”  Today.

On her 60th birthday, with a full day of celebration planned, Lorraine Hoving woke up in a panic.  It occured to her that if she was fortunate enough to live to 90, she was 2/3rds of the way through life.  And that was assuming she was headed for 90!

That very day, Lorraine thought about all the goals, hopes, and dreams she had… and had not yet hit.  At that point, she was overweight and hiding from life.  And on that day, she decided things had to change.

Lorraine says she took “100% responsibility for how” her life went.  She forgave herself.  She forgave others.  And she took control of her life.

Now, she is on a mission to help others build their life… they way THEY want it.  Starting now.  It’s never too late… until it’s too late.

Listen in as Lorraine Hoving and I discuss how she took control of her life and made it a life she loves.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Lorraine’s Website
Taking Responsibility
Starting Now
Forgiving
Book:  The Forgive Process

Healing From Heartbreak

An Interview with Nada Hogan

Nada Hogan, healing from heartbreakLife can turn in an instant:  a phone call, a letter, a knock on the door.  Everything you thought you knew, everything that was “normal” is pulled apart and thrown upside-down.

In that heart-stopping moment, you know life will never be the same.  And sometimes, it can feel like life isn’t just changed… but over.

For Nada Hogan, that knock on the door was a pair of police officers.  While Nada was trying to figure out what was going on, she noticed that one officer’s badge said “Chaplain.”

Nada’s 18 year old daughter had been killed in an accident.

Her already-stressed life was thrown into a tailspin.  Some days, she could barely pull herself out of bed.

Then, she decided to make a change.  To honor her daughter, Darah, in living a life of purpose.

One little step at a time, Nada pulled her life back together.  She found a connection to something bigger than herself… and eventually, to a purpose bigger than her grief.

Now, Nada helps others move through their heartbreaks to find healing.  She starts at the place where you might not even want to get out of bed.  She knows that spot!  She’s been there.

Join Nada and me as we discuss how to heal after heartbreak.

RELATED RESOURCES
Video Series – Giving Your Dreams Direction (by Nada)
Grief and Loss
Accepting What Is
Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

Your Purpose

Living Your Engagement

The Engaged Life Series


How to live an engaged life.  Find wellness, joy, and creativity as a way of fully engaging in life.
Over the last 2 episodes, we have been talking about YOUR Engaged Life. How to build a life of passion, purpose, and presence.

Amplifying that life through gratitude, spirituality, and awe.

Here’s the thing… not to be a downer here… you and I, we are going to die.  Someday.

Likely, you don’t know when that will happen.  I don’t know when I will die.  I just know that it is in my future.

Why does that matter?

That very fact is what makes life valuable, makes TIME valuable.  If you live forever, what you do today doesn’t matter so much.  You could do it tomorrow or next year, or in a hundred years.

But knowing we only have so much time… that changes things.  We have 2 tasks:  to live as fully as we can, in the time we have… and make that time last as long as possible.

At least, that is MY task.  How can I live fully?  And how can I live fully?

If you are thinking that might be YOUR task, listen in to the podcast below.

RELATED RESOURCES
3 P’s Of Engaged Life
Amping Your Engagement
Your Thriving Body Series
Stress To Rest
Book:  The Thrive Principles

Running Loops

RunningLoopsLike a broken record… or an endless audio loop.  Those thoughts that just keep turning in your mind.  Okay, in MY mind.  But I bet it happens to you, too.

Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that I get up to 2 emails.  One is complimentary, thanking me for resources, books, podcasts… things like that.  Then there is another email, critical and harsh, telling me how useless my info was.

I read them both and head off to walk my dog.

Do you think I ponder that kind one?  Or keep looping back to that unkind one?

Yep, you guessed it.  And I bet you guessed it because it happens to you, too.

And that thought… it isn’t just a passing thought.  No.  I find my body tense up, the anger/hurt churning in my gut.

The other day, I was out for my morning walk with my sidekick, Ziggy (our silver lab).  We were about half-way through and I realized my palms were sweaty, tightly gripping the leash (which is a waist leash, so I don’t even need to be holding it!).  My chest is tight, my stomach is tight.  I ask myself, “why am I ready for a fight?”  Nothing had happened.

Nothing.

Except a thought I was having… not just having… looping.  It was about an experience that happened 3 decades ago.  One I don’t typically think about.  But today, it popped in my head and I was stuck in a loop.  Looping on an old thought that was making me feel a certain way in the present.

I dropped back and followed my own little routine when I find myself looping.

You can’t stop the loops from starting.  But you can decide how long you run the loops.

Let’s talk about how to stop those pesky loops.  Podcast below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Thoughts are Thoughts
Anxiety and Thought
Dealing with Depression
Living In The Present
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living

How To Handle Tough Days

HowToHandleToughDaysKinda like taxes, tough days are unavoidable.  You may see the tough times coming.  But sometimes, they just roll right over us.  A conversation, a text, a phone call, or an event.  Something hits and the bad time is here.

Some people will say that tough times are a sign that you are “off-course,” not living right, not doing what you “should” be doing.

But guess what?  One cost of living is dealing with tough times.  Illness, accidents, losses, and deaths — they are all a part of life.

You don’t have to like the tough times.  But we do have to get through them.

Which raises the question of how to get through the tough times.

I cover handling tough times in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Growth Mindsets for Tough Times
Lessons Learned as a Chaplain
Building Your Resilience Muscle
Dealing with Roadblocks
Two Targets to Thrive
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

Clean Pain vs. Dirty Pain

CleanDirtyPainAnyone who tells you that you can go through life without getting hurt and feeling pain is either lying or hiding.

Life is rough-and-tumble.  Pain is unavoidable.

But there is a type of pain that we can leave behind.  That is more a result of our own thinking than anything external, any injury either physical or emotional.

Call it “Dirty Pain.”  Which is distinguished from “Clean Pain.”  Clean pain, that is the initial hurt.  When you hit your foot, it hurts.  That is the bodily response to the injury.  When someone says something to you that is mean and spiteful, your feelings are hurt.  That is the emotional pain.  It is initial.

But what if you chastise yourself about your being “clutsy,” or about your “stupid action” that led to that foot injury?  Or what if you made that hurtful comment about you, and not about the person who said it?  What if you kept dwelling about it?

Let me be clear:  it is fine to ask how you might prevent an injury in the future.  It is fine to listen to feedback from others, that might give you some insight into things you need to change.

It’s the next step after that.  When you keep berating yourself.  It’s when you take the next step… you attach to the pain.  Buddhism refers to that as suffering.  You and I can think of it as “Dirty Pain” (a term coined by ACT – a mode of therapy).  It is dirtied by our own mental state — not the cause of the pain.

What do you do about that?  We discuss it in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Life Is Tough
Letting Go
What You Can Control
The Forgive Process Book

Why Being Thankful Matters

Be thankful. Be grateful. Shift mindsets and thrive. 4 ways to focus on gratitude.If you are in the States, we are on the cusp of the Holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving in just a few days.

For me, the Holidays throughout the year are moments to step into gratitude.  Not just in a little “thank you for that gift,” but in a gratitude for being alive.  For being here.  For experiencing life.

Each morning, while walking the neighborhood with my dog, Ziggy, I reflect on 5 things for which I am grateful.  That starts my day with an attempt to shift my attention to thankfulness, to gratitude.

Granted, some days, that feeling quickly evaporates when the work piles up.

But I try to remember to be grateful on a daily basis.

How about you?

Did you know that research shows how simple gratitude habits can re-wire the brain… away from fear and threat?  Away from depression and anxiety?  Just by thinking with gratitude.  Just by focusing on things for which you are grateful.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss the power of gratitude to shift your thinking and re-wire your brain… just in time for a day we set aside to be particularly Thankful.

Know that I am thankful for you, my reader/listener.  Wishing you the best of Thanksgivings!

RELATED RESOURCES
Gratitude & Appreciation
Two Targets To Thrive
The Appreciation Approach
Stop Trying To Change The Past
Thrive Principles Book