Transforming Grief Blog

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So far Karen has created 70 blog entries.

How to Cope with Grief during the Holidays

The holidays can be challenging enough with all of the busyness of the season, but if you’ve experienced a major loss such as the death of a loved one, this time of year can be extremely difficult. Family gatherings where your loved one is not present can leave a huge void. Past memories of times spent together can stir up sadness. You may even experience anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping. Further, you may feel the pressure to get into the spirit of the season even though your heart is not into it.

During this time, it is quite normal for unresolved grief to surface. Therefore, it is important to have coping strategies to help you deal with it. The following are pointers to assist you:

Create new traditions and experiences. Recognize that the holidays won’t be the same if you try to keep everything as it was. For example, you might want to take a vacation somewhere new instead of following your normal holiday routine.
Engage in a holiday ritual. For example, set a place for your loved one at the dinner […]

By |December 12th, 2011|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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Ocean Magic – A Celebration of Life

“Life is a celebration of awakenings, of new beginnings, and wonderful surprises that enlighten the soul.” – Cielo

The sun felt warm on my skin. It was mid-morning late in October and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt while walking my elderly dog, Rennie. Smiling, my heart was full of gratitude for the beautiful day.

I peered down the street towards the beach, only three blocks away, and wondered why there were sailboat masts bobbing up and down so close to shore. Earlier, I had read in the newspaper about the humpback whales feeding just outside the harbor. I wondered if the boats were there to see the whales. Excited, my pace quickened as I headed straight to the beach, away from our usual route, dragging Rennie by the leash.

Approaching the beach, I saw hundreds of pelicans and seagulls circling in the air, some diving for fish, creating huge white splashes of water. There were also dozens of kayaks, paddle boards, sail boats and motor boats floating as if gathered for a party. They must be watching the whales, I thought.

Then, a sleek black hump surfaced in the water, white spray shooting straight up into the air. Close by, another […]

By |November 7th, 2011|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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Grief Counseling Services Now in Santa Cruz!

If you’ve experienced a major loss in your life such as the death of a loved one or pet, a divorce, illness, miscarriage or job lay-off, it is normal to go through a grieving process. Unfortunately, society today does not honor the mourning process and encourages us to “get over it”. Many of us feel we have to quickly move on with our lives. If we repress our grief, though, it can cause all sorts of problems such as anxiety, depression, physical illness and a general feeling of dissatisfaction. If we express our grief on the other hand, we will experience more joy, vitality and purpose in our lives. Here are some suggestions to help you express your grief:

1. Feel your feelings. Meditate and journal every day to get in touch with your painful feelings. Start writing using the prompt, “What I really lost is…” Write for ten minutes without stopping. Then, sit and meditate for ten minutes. Continue to write as new thoughts, feelings and insights surface.

2. Engage in activities that keep you in the present moment. Move your body through exercise. Engage in hobbies such as painting or gardening. Spend time in nature to help you feel […]

A Year in Transition

“Discovering your Groove and creating a luscious life is all about allowing for Grace through your next transition.” – Shann Vander Leek

The sun was an orange ball of fire in the sky as it sank lower over the horizon. I reached the end of the jetty and sat on a large rock to witness its final dip into the ocean. Dolphins surfaced only yards away as they fished for their evening meal. Two sea otters playfully floated on their backs in the harbor entrance where kayaks, fishing boats, outrigger canoes and sail boats entered and exited the marina. My heart filled with gladness and delight as I thought, I am finally home!

It had been an entire year since I first had the revelation…I need to move back to California, to be close to my family. My husband, John, and I had developed a wonderful life in Colorado over the past five years. Further, the cost of living in the Bay Area was much higher and the population more dense. We wondered how we could maintain the laid-back lifestyle we had grown accustomed to and if we would have to compromise our values to live there.

In mid-May, I drove […]

By |September 29th, 2011|Grief and Loss, Personal growth|

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Dive into Life!

Sobbing, I exclaimed, “I finally have my life back!”

Sitting on a catamaran on a beach at Mission Bay in San Diego last week, my step-mom, sister, her boyfriend and I took time out to celebrate my brother, Kyle’s life on the anniversary of his death. He had been gone for twelve years now. We talked about what his life might be like if Cystic Fibrosis hadn’t ended it at the early age of fifteen. Would he be married? What type of work would he be doing? What type of person would he be?

As we reminisced, we also spoke out loud what we would want to say to him as if he were sitting right there with us. My response was, “Thank you! You have helped me get my life back.” Since Kyle’s passing, I had often felt his presence in helping me open doors, bringing about opportunities for my business and life. I especially felt he played a huge part in bringing me all of the amazing healing opportunities over the past several months.

A year ago, a medium channeled Kyle for me during a healing session. She shared, “I see him bouncing you on a high board. He wants […]

Emerging From a Cocoon

Discouraged, I thought, “I wish I could afford to go to therapy.” The grief over my last miscarriage and my pet’s illnesses weighed heavy on me. Further, for the past nine years, I had experienced one early pregnancy loss after another. Tired of leaning on my husband and friends for support, I largely dealt with my grief on my own.

Within days of crying out to the Universe for help, I received an auspicious e-mail in my inbox announcing…”A New Mourning: Healing after Pregnancy Loss Therapy Group offered at NO COST.” I was astounded! Soon after, more offers for free healing were made…a massage given by an energy worker who specializes in grief and loss; a healing session with an intuitive friend who channels and does body work; three healing sessions with a Reiki master and Re-connective healer; a Watsu water therapy session.

Once I made the commitment to heal my grief, the doors opened and I was supported in ways I could have never imagined. But, not only did I need to be willing to reach out for support, I also needed to be willing to receive it. When I met with each healer, I consciously said to myself, “Open […]

Letting Go of Control

Skiing at Vail last week I found myself holding back and being tentative. On my first run of the day, I had ventured off the groomed snow into some deep powder and immediately fell. It took me several minutes to get back up as my left ski was buried. Digging my ski out, I vowed to stay away from the powder for the rest of the day. Preoccupied with worry that I might fall again, I felt tense and didn’t enjoy myself.

Yesterday while skiing at Loveland, I encountered fresh powder again. This time I decided to go for it and ski the powder. I repeatedly told myself, “You can do this! You can do this!” With a positive frame of mind, I was able to relax more and let go of control. Skiing fresh tracks, I experienced the sensation of being carried by the snow, as if I was floating. The difference in my experience from the previous week was tangible…I had much more fun!

Reflecting on this experience, I wondered how often we hold ourselves back in life because we have been hurt before. Perhaps, we vow never to get married again or shun off romantic relationships all together […]

By |February 25th, 2011|Personal growth|

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Riding the Waves of Change

By Karen Mehringer

Large snow flakes swirled and danced as they floated softly and gently outside my bedroom window. A few seconds passed and they came down hard and fast like rain pellets. Moments later their descent slowed again as they fell steady and straight. Life is akin to the snow flakes – constantly changing. When we flow with life and embrace change rather than resist it, we open ourselves to all of the possibilities available to us. Change then becomes a means of expansion. But first we need to let go of the old, so we can show up fully present – open, ready and available to embrace the new.

When John and I sold our home in Parker, Colorado, we felt sad saying “goodbye”. With the house completely packed, boxes stored in the garage, and only large furniture items remaining, it felt empty inside. Standing in the family room, waiting for the movers to arrive, I stared out the window and cried. I had loved this house for its comfort and beauty and even though this change was for the better, it was hard to let go.

Settling into our new home was an adjustment. Sleeping in our new bedroom […]

By |February 13th, 2011|Transformation|

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Trusting the Seasons of Life

“Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!” Absolute silence enveloped me except for the sound of my boots on the hard packed snow. I quickly shoved my gloved hands deep into my jacket pockets as I didn’t want my fingers to get frost bitten. With a scarf wrapped tightly around my neck, mouth and nose, and my wool hat on, I was fairly comfortable while walking my dog despite the frigid -8 degree temperature at ten in the morning.
         Not only was it completely silent, void of the usual birds chirping, squirrels scampering up and down pine trees, and neighbor’s dogs barking, but there was a deep stillness in the forest. The trees frosted with ice and snow didn’t move an inch as if they were glued in place by the coldness. Touching a branch with pine needles, some broke off, they were so brittle. Even the color of the clear sky was dull, silver-like, rather than it’s normal bright azure blue. I didn’t witness another being (human or animal) on my walk, as all were taking shelter. My soul reveled in the deep stillness and silence surrounding me.

During the last couple of months, I had withdrawn and taken shelter due to the emotional […]

By |February 1st, 2011|Acceptance, Grief and Loss|

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Navigating Grief

Grief is a mysterious creature. It lurks unnoticed in the dark corners of our hearts only to be un-leashed by the simplest of provocations…listening to a song, looking at a picture, watching a movie, a brief thought or memory flashes through our minds reminding us of our loss. All of a sudden, a torrent of tears wells up within and comes tumbling out, unannounced. In amazement, we wonder, “Where did that come from? I thought I was done grieving.” Just when we feel we have grieved all we can, there is still more.

There is no rhyme or reason to the grieving process. It is different for every person. What remains the same is our choice about how we navigate it. We can express our grief and thus allow it to open our hearts, freeing us to fully live. Or, afraid of experiencing another loss, we can close our hearts and hide from life. Now, not only have we lost someone we love, we die inside. Our creative life force energy is sucked dry causing us to feel anxious, depressed, tired and unfulfilled. Trudging through the day, we wonder, “What’s the point of living?”

Grief has been a constant companion on […]

By |December 18th, 2010|Grief and Loss|

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