Tag Archives | inspiration

8 WAYS TO THRIVE FROM LOSS, PAIN, HEARTBREAK.

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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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SECOND ANNIVERSARY IN HEAVEN

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I just got back from a 4-day Sedona retreat. It was a spiritually deep and fun adventure in some of Sedona’s most sacred and visually stunning locations and trails that most don’t know about. I met 13 other like-minded genuine souls of various ages that have become new life-long friends.

One of the most important parts of the trip, was that I was also able to scatter Tim’s ashes in sacred Apache Native American land. I knew that this was a significant part for me to let go and allow us to move forward in our lives. That we both need to serve, but in different dimensions. I have felt his love, protection and strength with me these past few years, but it’s now up to me to open my heart fully to allow for new love. I’m ready and I look forward to meeting someone amazing. Being Tim’s wife was truly an honor and my time with him was the best of my life. Though, I know God has plans that are unseen to me now.

What was crazy as right after I scattered his ashes, the moon peeked up, and then I saw a rainbow flash in the dark night sky. Not joking!! Carissa, our retreat spirit guide, told me that Tim would show me a rainbow during this trip. And I can’t tell you how explosive it was to see a rainbow in the dark moon-lit sky. Just shows you how powerful an angel Tim is, and I know God is helping work this magic too.

It was such an honor to be given permission to scatter on this land that used to be a vast ocean with whales, dolphins and other abundant marine life. It was a whole-heartedly healing process. I do feel that this trip has given more wisdom and strength.

I know that time will be needed to process the trip and integrate that “stillness” of Sedona into the daily grind of life. I’m glad to be back and to honor Tim at home today. I’ll share more of my Sedona trip photos later.

With today being Tim’s second anniversary in heaven, I wanted to share some handwritten notes I found that you would enjoy. Some of his notes are great nuggets of wisdom. Let’s celebrate a warrior and unstoppable soul who is having such a blast up in heaven. He is in all of our hearts forever. All my love to you shugar. And I’ll end with a word we used during the trip to continue during our hikes… ONWARD.

 

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This note was written during Tim’s first trip to meet my family in New Jersey in 2003. He proposed in January 2005, and then we married in October 2006. We were together 8 years and married for 4.5 years.

 

 

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HAPPY FRIDAY + HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

mothers-day-01Happy Mothers Day to my amazing mom, my Grandma, my mother-in-law and all my lovely friends who are moms! What a fabulous weekend to celebrate all of you.

All these women are an inspiration and I truly feel beyond blessed to have all of you in my life. Sending lots of love and prayers especially to my mom, as my Grandma’s health isn’t good, and her and my Aunt are having to make uncomfortable arrangements. Also, my mom was such an unstoppable force during Tim’s roller coaster health issues a few years ago. Putting her job on hold and flying out here to take care of both Tim and myself! I’m truly blessed to have such an awesome mom.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day? Sending big hugs and lots of love to all you mothers out there. Enjoy your weekend!

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Photos of my mom and grandma by me. Tim and his mom photos by Brian Finch. Scrapbook collage created by me for my mom’s 50th birthday photo book.

 

 

 

 

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DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF

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For those that don’t know me well. I’m a Virgo. Have you ever read its description? We aren’t the most fun and interesting horoscope sign. This funny site, takes a twisted turn on defining Virgos, but you can get a sense on what I mean:

 

You are the logical type and hate disorder.
This nitpicking is sickening to your friends.
You are cold and unemotional and often
fall asleep while having sex.
Virgos make good bus drivers and pimps.

 

Sounds sexy and exciting, huh? Wow, bus driver and pimp. Thought you’d enjoy this description too. And no, this isn’t how we really are…

Well, because of my Virgo-ness of being über perfectionist, I tend to be über harsh on myself. I have high expectations for myself (not others) and I sometimes forget how far I’ve really come.

Because I’m right in the trenches of redesigning my life— strategizing and creating my own studio business, working on a few new awesome client campaigns, dating and trying to find love again, spending quality time and exercising Oliver and co-leading graphic design ministry— my plate is full. And I can overwhelm myself with all these tasks, my expectations for every bit of them, and trying to race to the finish line. And instead I need to ask myself these two important statements:

1) How grateful I am for myself

2) To know what I have accomplished (today, this week, month, year)

 

I thought that maybe you needed to hear this bit of wisdom too. To not be so hard on yourself. That the we need to be more grateful to ourselves. That we are creatively unique. That you are so worth it. And that life is a process. That we are ready for checking things off our lists, accomplishing big goals, and overcoming major tasks. But the more we rush and burden ourselves with doing so much in such a short time, it causes the opposite effect – we can overwhelm ourselves. That it causes burnout. Doubt. Fear. Judgement. Pain. Regret. Anxiety. Stress. Disease. Death.

Let’s try to be kinder, gentler to ourselves. To be proud of who you are. To see the beauty in the mess of life. To see failures as a source of blessing, humbling us and giving us empathy. To enjoy being comfortable with permanently being uncomfortable. That we are all a work in progress. To be present and full of intention. To see the truth of what each moment teaches us. And to let go of “perfect.”

Photo above from here

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NATURE + BEAUTY + GRATITUDE

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With Spring arriving, thought this was perfect for today. Happy Friday peeps!

This inspirational short by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg reminds us why each day in our lives is a precious gift, and that experiencing the world through gratitude can open our hearts.

I love that the filmmaker chose to document nature, and it’s because he “slowed down” with his own life that enabled him to really share how amazing nature and life is. And I’ve been acknowledging this slowing down, feeling comfort and peace with the future. My mind is more relaxed, which in turn, allows me to deepen my creative thinking.

TEDx video. Cinematography by Louie Schwartzberg, Music by Gary Malkin, written and narrated by Brother David Steindl-Rast.

 

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