Tag Archives | loss

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND

onmyown-bepatientHappy Labor Weekend peeps!

I’m sorry it’s been 2 full months or so since I’ve posted. I’ve focused on building my business and working on some killer clients and haven’t had time to blog. Feeling exhausted, beat down, overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated and realizing that I need to incorporate more balance. More time to honor and cherish myself. So this holiday weekend is perfect timing!

And today I’m feeling a huge wave of love and gratitude. Maybe because my birthday is on Sunday and there’s this celebratory vibe in the air.

Anyhoots, here’s a lil bit of love I’ve created above for you. When life gets hectic and uncontrollably overwhelming, remind yourself of this message above.

Sounds simple and too basic??

When you trust and have faith in something beyond yourself, you know that before good change can happen, things are usually CRAY CRAY. Be receptive during this CRAY CRAY. You probably don’t realize that life is handing you this mess so that you can see the way THROUGH it. To power through the struggle because there are wonderful lessons within it.

Yep. I know it takes time.

And its not easy.

But you are so loved through all of it.

Unconditionally. 24/7. 365 days a year.

You are awesome.

So… with that, have an awesome weekend and relax!

I’ve got friends coming into town and we are celebrating my 36 years in this world tomorrow night. I’m totally blessed and grateful for such beautiful and amazingly great friends and my family and friends that won’t be able to join in, but be there with me fully in spirit. And my soul sisters are my family, they really push and guide me to be what I sometimes can’t see in myself.

Hugs + High-fives, Michelle

 

 

 

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8 WAYS TO THRIVE FROM LOSS, PAIN, HEARTBREAK.

invest-in-self

 

A good friend of mine emailed me months ago about her divorce and all the challenges she’d be going through and raising her young toddler on her own. It hurts me to hear good people going through messes. But it can be blessings. That we need to see the unseen in our paths, to see how strong we are. How possible the impossible is. To believe in you.

Anyhoots, I wanted to share what I sent to her. That to rise from pain, struggle, grief, or boredom you must invest in yourself.

Here’s 8 fab and easy ways to invest in you:

 

01.  Take good care of yourself — honor and cherish you. 

I felt so ugly, unloved, clueless, overwhelmed to who I was, what I was supposed to be doing after Tim died. And I’m sure you might feel that way too. But one thing a wise person told me, is no matter who you’ve lost in your life, you’ll never LOSE YOU. That you need to realize all the things you can and will accomplish. Do not victimize yourself. Take a deep breath, and say “I CAN do this”, and not “why me.” Because why, why, why, becomes whining.

Your work, your kids, your finances, cooking, errands, etc it’s all overwhelming and everything is screaming for your attention. Your partner (or the lack of any partner at all) isn’t there cherishing you, cheerleading you on, making you feel special, to get you through those stressful moments. But you have YOU. And as ladies (and men too), we try to do everything to everyone, but its like that analogy of the airplane oxygen masks — you need to put your mask on FIRST before you put your child’s on. That as you take care and honor yourself, you will have more energy, love, and focus on other things and for others.

That to nurture your interior and your exterior. Focus on ways to get your body moving and active. Eating well. To look good. And feel good. And when you radiate awesomeness, awesomeness comes right back at you. You are a mirror to others. Mmm-hmm.

 

02.  Map out and visualize what you want.

Happiness, peace, joy, love, etc is part of your birthright. You are absolutely deserving of everything you want and everything that you haven’t given yourself enough credit for. You need to manifest, to visualize, and map out what  you want. IF you have faith. That’s the kicker. You have to believe that it will get better. Mm-hmmm… I have just felt this love and clarity recently because of truly feeling that things will get better. I created a vision board the beginning of this year  (see this fancy vision board I created and how easy it is to make here).

I have my vision board on my dresser, and I see it everyday. It’s a reminder of my goals and dreams. I still want to be a mom, have an awesome husband, be successful, but taking small steps to achieve our big dreams and goals makes it more attainable.

 

03.  Join a babysitting co-op or find a great reasonably, priced sitter.

I’m not sure if this is big in your area, but I’ve heard friends of mine do this (or at least take turns with each other’s kids). It’s a setup, where once a week or once a month, you take care of your kids and their friends for a few hours/ for an afternoon/ evening, etc., and vice versa. Or maybe a good neighbor, friend, etc would be willing to help out. This little allows dedicated time to focus on YOU. Whether it’s a few hours or half a day, so can check emails, run errands, or just do something fulfilling and fun for yourself— maybe a mani/pedi, calling a friend, going to the movie alone, etc. Once you realize that you deserve that time, your kiddos will understand that mommy needs to pamper herself so she can be a happier, more energetic mommy.

 

04.  Fuse happy time into your day.

This can be yoga, enjoying your coffee, stepping outside for a quick walk, reading magazines, etc. This is small bits or an hour in your day where you can recharge, put yourself first, your sanctuary moment, create balance to your day. Sometimes for me, when things are super crazy, it’s just sitting with my coffee and turning off my phone and enjoying 10 minutes of sanity. For me, I’ve especially noticed when I step away from technology (my computer, my cell phone, etc.) that my mind is calmer and I’m less anxious. Though sometimes my happy time is watching a hilarious YouTube video for 5 minutes, but without interrupting it with checking email or whatever. You’ll notice as you prioritize these moments into your day or week, you’ll get better at it and realize that you can balance the crazy of your day with sprinkles of some smiling. Because the thing is, there is ALWAYS going to be distractions (kids, emails, work, etc) and its all about getting through those stressful moments so that we aren’t always a tight, aggro-stressball, which is so attractive, huh?

 

05.  Don’t compare yourself to others. 

I’ll admit this one was hard for me, especially after Tim’s passing. I felt like I was on island with my loss— that everyone was happy, in love and perfect—which was just my distorted view. But I’ve finally come to terms with who I am, what makes me unique, and to relish in my circumstance and situations that make me who I am. That every one has a different life situation, even though you see someone who has a life that you envy, that you become more depressed of your own life/ your situation because of comparing your situation to what every one’s situation is, that you feed that energy to your circumstance owning you vs. you owning your circumstance.

And sometimes we must go thru highs and lows, because of deeper life lessons that is part of our school of life.

 

06.  Be patient.

Good things take time. I went to a blog conference last year and the CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silberman spoke about his career hurdles. He quit his job just before the dot com crash and had a job in an industry that was lucrative, anyways after 4 years, he finally got Pinterest launched. Now I realize he had an idea and hired talented folks to execute and make it happen, but it took time and he was half fearful and half joyful about his idea and if it was going to work. But now its something everyone is using and loving. That he had to patient and trust in what he believed.

 

07.  Delegate and/or find experts that can help you if you can’t do something yourself.

We all need to give up the idea that we have to do everything ourselves. Many people want to help you out, but they don’t know how to ask you on what you really need help with. THIS really annoyed me while Tim was sick. I was so overwhelmed with taking care of him, researching his disease and treatment plans, working, taking care of my dog, that I didn’t always know the answer to when they’d say “let me know if I can help”. I knew I needed help, and half the time I knew what I needed help but the other part was that things were so intense and stressful, that the only thing I could focus on was that second or hour, not that evening or tomorrow or next week.

So, just remember to ask for help and when you don’t know how to figure something out, to ask people what you need, if they can figure it out for you. And realize the above things, that things take time, be patient with yourself and others, and things will happen.

 

08.  Let go of your ego. Find your deeper connection.

We can all be control freaks. Seriously, right!!? But you know what, you gotta get out-of-the-way of yourself. And if you keep idolizing things that don’t serve you, what good is that. Some may call it collective unconscious. Some call it the universe. And some call it God. Whatever your word of choice and beliefs, you gain a sense of peace and clarity that you aren’t all alone in this big world full of drama and adversities. That things happen for a reason. To show you signs, symbols, introduce you to people, situations, experiences to help you grow, discover and have fun.

I’m not going to force what my faith is, what I believe, onto you. NOT AT ALL. But what I can share with you, is that going through my circumstance and believing in God—he  has given me strength and confidence. That good things are still to come, that he’s got my back that he’s always been there for me, even when I didn’t believe. And still very much with me. I don’t have a religion. I have a relationship, and he’s providing some amazing miracles and filling my heart with joy. It sustains me, my family and my close friends.

My church has been my life therapy. The messages from my pastor have been like little nuggets of insight that helped me discover what I needed to do to be my best self, to take ownership of my life and situation, and to be thankful for what I had, that there’s always someone in a far worse situation. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from my pastor, Miles McPherson:

“We are all on a journey. And unless we die. You still have more life to live. Make it count.”

Anyhoots. That’s all I got for now. If there’s anything you can share that’s helped you, I’d love to hear from you. We are all getting through something and we need to lean on each other. To share. Inspire. Empower.

Love & hugs!

Above photo from my trip to Paris in 2012, near the Eiffel Tower. 

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AN UNSTOPPABLE SOUL: HAPPY BDAY TIM

tim-bday-2013

Today is Tim’s 43rd birthday. Let’s give a huuuuuge shout out and rockin’ high fives to celebrate the strong, fearless, genuine, goofy, energetic, quick-witted, creative and amazing warrior we knew as Tim. No tears, just an abundance of love and gratitude. That’s what he’d want.

And although we can’t see, talk and hug him — or hear his contagious laugh, we know he’s with us. My heart  feels it deeply. He’s sprinkling a lil bit of extra love and good vibes to all of us today and this week. A day to remember those enriching memories that he dutifully and enthusiastically filled into our hearts. It’s his birthday, but he was such a gift to each of us.

He reminds us to be unstoppable. To give each day our fullest. That we are each fighting and battling something. But that we’ve got to rise above, cruise above the negativity and let go. We need to be free. See the love. Be the love. And realize the bigger understanding of who we are and how to move forward.

To carry on where his life stopped. It’s about time. It’s about today. Yeeeeeeeeeeeebra!

 

 

tim-video (Enhanced) from Michelle Gutmann on Vimeo.

When time allows, take a moment to watch this video. It’s 20 minutes. Yes a bit long, and well, Tim probably wished it was longer, hah! Anyways, for those that didn’t know Tim, you’ll surely get a sense of his love for adventure and silliness.

The song that plays halfway through, “Over the Rainbow” by  Israel Kamakawiwo’ole always tears me up. It was the song I requested for our wedding day. It played as our bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle. It was the song that magically played when we were in a helicopter through all the waterfalls on our honeymoon in Maui (such an awesome wedding gift from Stice!!), and it magically played when I was in Florence, Italy last September. Tim was my dream come true. It hurts that the dream has ended. It was a “wonderful world” – those 8 years with him. But I’m stoked that Tim is “home.”  Lots and lots of love to him today, love you shugar. xoxo

Photos above by me // Top: Maui on our honeymoon, Middle: Portland, Bottom: Australia, Gold Coast. 

 

 

 

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WORK IN PROGRESS

sail-andrew-bannecker

 

Soo, you may have noticed that I’ve updated the look of this blog. I’ve been going through a transformation personally and felt the blog should as well.

I’m still on this wave. The wave of life, but I’m feeling good. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t exactly know the plan. But I’m more focused, full of love, trusting in above and loving today. This is not easy. We are a society used to being pulled in so many directions.

In Chinese Zodiac, we are in the Year of the Snake and it happens to be my animal sign. To find out yours, go to this chinese calendar. The year of snake is filled with slow and methodical progress.

And I’m going through that transformation, like a snake. I’m ready to shed part of myself, like a snake sheds his skin. I’m still me. But wanting to showcase myself as more than a “young widow.” And the previous design, well, it yelled “young widow.” At the time, when I created the blog. That’s what I wanted. I wanted empathy and a voice for those going for that loss and death.

I’m evolving and so is this blog. I’m a creative who wants to enrich people’s lives. My ultimate goal is to be a “Creative Humanitarian.” Not sure if that’s a legit title, but it sounds deep and fun to me. And yes, I’ve got quite an endeavor ahead before I earn that title.

And I think I couldn’t have realized this new direction, had it not been for my circumstance. God smacked me down, and I totally surrendered. Tim had to surrender too. And dang, it wasn’t easy/ isn’t easy to surrender.

Anyhoots, I’m so excited about the direction and new design for this blog. Please click-through the pages. I’m still tweaking with “resources.”

Here are some of the new updates. Let me know what you think. And if you have suggestions, comments or requests, please comment below or email me.

 

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Thank you! xo

 

 

 

 

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SLOW DOWN + FEEL LOVE

slow-down-type

This song (play it below) came to me today, and I’ve been playing AND dancing nonstop! Play this loud and dance around. Trust me, you’ll feel so good.

I’ve had so many discussions in the past few days about “LOVE”. Not just love in relationships or a soulmate, but what I love, love with life, career, personal things, God, etc.

That love is bigger than just a word. It’s a verb, a way of life.

Instead of a life-style, we are in a LOVE-style. A love story. A story that is bigger than we can imagine.

So, these past few days, I’ve been formulating my business plan and in reality I’ve defined (am still defining) my plan for love and happiness. Or at least, I’ve defined my priorities, and making sure my career, life, love, and etc sync with this.

Cuz as we know, life doesn’t go as planned. I’m a witness to this. Heartbreaking reality of that!

But, I’ve forced myself to slow down and focus. And it feels good. Feelin’ that love from the universe. MMM-hmmm!

And I couldn’t have realized or done this many months ago or a year ago, too much in the widow fog, feeling lost, deep heartbreaking pain. And still demanding answers to the “WHYs.”

Anyways, I know we go through waves of emotions and thoughts of what the future will be, why certain things happened, etc. But realize that allowing yourself to slow down — to stop and pause — that all the other distractions that tug at our lives, you’ll realize what’s really important.

To Feel Love. Maybe you’ll call it Self Love. Loving others. Loving what you do. But you are unconditionally and always loved. And you are the beholder/vessel/giver/ mirror of love.

And as an ending lil nugget… someone wise once told me, to be an influence of change, just smile.

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