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

 

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

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

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

Forgiving: Resources To Help

Stuck in the past? Time to forgive.Since the publication of my new book, The Forgive Process, I have had lots of conversations over the topic.  Enough to know that it is an incredibly important topic… and a thoroughly misunderstood topic.  Myths abound.  And many people just don’t know how to do it… even if they wanted to!

I knew that when I wrote the book.  But I have become even more clear about it over the past month.  People see the book and have a question.  Which generally leads to a conversation about wanting or not wanting to forgive.  Those who want to just don’t know how.  And those who don’t want to often misunderstand what forgiving is about.

So, I wanted to provide some resources to help clarify and even start the process.  Each link below will take you to a special training to help you make a shift toward forgiving.

FORGIVE RESOURCES:
Misunderstanding Forgiveness
Why Even Forgive?
Find Freedom From Forgiving
How To Forgive
The Forgive Process Book

From Heartbreak To Wholeness: Kristine Carlson

Kristine Carlson, Author of From Heartbreak to Wholeness

What do you do when you think your life is right where you want it… and then it all falls apart?

That’s what happened to Kristine Carlson.  Her husband, Richard, was traveling the world and sharing his message of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.  Kristine was doing some writing in the series and raising their teen girls.

As his plane was descending, on the way to yet another presentation, Richard suffered a pulmonary embolism and died.  He was 45.

Kristine was left with life without her soulmate, and with the mantel of her husband’s message.

What did Kristine do?  She grieved.  She questioned her life.  She questioned “why?” and “what now?”  And then, she found a path through the grief.  She found herself on what Joseph Campbell called, “The Hero’s Journey.”

And here is what Kristine realized:  we ALL suffer losses.  We ALL have struggles.  And we ALL have to make a choice about the path we choose.

Many of us want to take that same journey, that path to our Hero-ness… but we don’t know how.

So, Kris decided to share her journey in her new book, From Heartbreak To Wholeness.

And I had the joy of having Kristine on my podcast for this second time, to discuss the journey.  And to discuss how this is everyone’s journey.  How do we choose Hero over Victim?  Listen in as Kris and I discuss this important journey.

RELATED RESOURCES
My First Interview With Kristine
From Heartbreak To Wholeness Website
Kristine’s Blog and Website

Beyond Apology

BeyondApologyYou apologize.  Now what?

Are you finished?  Is it now up to the person to whom you apologized?

Nope.  That is only one part of the process.

Understand that apologies, forgiving, reconciliation, and trust are all separate functions.  Each is tied to the other, but independent.  Forgiving does not require an apology.  An apology does not mandate forgiveness.  You can apologize or forgive, and still not reconcile.  And in the end, it is a choice to trust or not.

So, let’s step back into what you can do, so that you can “clear the air” and move forward.  In other words, to make sure you do your part.

I suggest 6 steps to this process, and I cover each one in this episode of the podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Anatomy Of An Apology
Forgive Resources
Making Change
Limiting Beliefs
Responsibility
The Forgive Process

Weathering The Storms Of Life

WeatherStormsLifeLife can really dish it out, can’t it?

A sunny (metaphorically speaking) day suddenly gathers rain clouds.  And then, the storm (metaphorically speaking) hits!

As I recorded this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, people were still trying to dry out from Hurricane Florence.  I had family in the path, so I had a vested interest in following it closely.

Which reminded me of those other “storms of life,” when something hits you… illness, loss, change… things you were not wanting or expecting.  They hit, though.  Sometimes, with some warning.  But sometimes, “out of the blue.”

What do you do?  How do you weather those storms of life?

Because, guess what?  They WILL hit.  Not if they hit.  But when.  What do you do?

I talk about some strategies for weathering life’ storms in this week’s podcast episode.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Loss
Live Each Day As THE Day
Control What You Can
Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

The Forgive Process Book