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How to feel inspired when you feel darn tired!

By | health & well-being, manifesting & abundance, spirituality, women's life changes and transitions, Written Articles | No Comments

Flicking this morning through the gorgeous book by Dawna Markova, “I will not die an unlived life” which I used years ago in a women’s group I ran, I was re-inspired when actually feeling darn tired!

Dawna Markova's poemHow am I tired?  And how are you tired?

Well for me, most people see me with bundles of energy, vibrant, vivacious, effervescent and someone who can speak with anyone, “up” the energy in a crowd and inspire people to live a less weathered and less busy life.  And yes I am a natural at that, and also good at pulling off the “I’ve got loads of energy” trick!

Truth is, I am very tired.  Nigh on 50, I have not had a decent night’s uninterrupted sleep for years and my body is exhausted, and it takes up a huge part of my reserves to even muster up physical or mental energy to create anything.  It is a wonder I do!  At times I feel heavy in my spirit, with the occasional glimmer of light and lightness.  This is frustrating, because I live a spirit-guided life, trusting that my path gets revealed, rather than me spending too much time trying to work it all out.  Such a way of living is often a patience game, and that game, truth be known,  is wearing a little thin. At times I get inspiration and create – much like my recent book I wrote in just 30 days, or when I put on a women’s event that everyone raves about.  Other times, if you saw me in my quiet, secret place away from the world, you would realize I spend more time than most in bed wondering what my next step is, why am I still doing a lot of stuff feeling alone and unsupported and why my best efforts, talents and service often still remain unrecognized or taken for granted, leaving me feel even more depleted. But serving others and always putting others up the priority list also zaps me of my own pizazz on occasions.

Actually nowadays I lead a much simpler life after years of caring for my big family, but I am still feeling tired – physically, mentally and soulfully. Yes I am also perimenopausal, and that is beginning to show itself in the feeling that I have of now “re-birthing” myself and my own soul needs, versus the years I have looked after many others’ needs.  But this too is a tiring transformation process with its ups, downs, swings and roundabouts.

Today I also know when aligned with Spirit, life is not all roses.  It is often bloody difficult as we are called to live a life of trusting and surrendering to the will of Spirit that sometimes takes us to “places and spaces” which may give us that “wobbly feeling” even though we know it is best for us to step into that place and space – whether that be the beginning or ending of life location, vocation or love-relation!

So how did Dawna Markova’s book today inspire me?  Well I flicked randomly through it asking for the page to be revealed that would help me today.  Without going into the story Dawna told, it reminded me of the joy that fills me when I do random acts of kindness that so easily and effortlessly come from my inner being.  To befriend someone who feels lonely or different and let them know they are gorgeous and loved, brings me to tears.  To do a simple act that makes someone’s life that much easier or grief less, I notice a “less tired” me!  To speak with a random stranger in a bar of cafe and invite them to feel less anxious by connecting with someone in Spirit is my norm, and to see them physically relax into themselves and their current situation with less angst lifts my spirit too. To travel and experience new cultural delights and see the human spirit from an angle that is not my own, is refreshing.  I have wander-lust indeed.

But I realize too that this can not come easily from the place where I often sit within my four walls or in the surrounding of my duvet.  It will also not come from denying these simple acts I love doing and instead committing to a dead-end 9-5 pm job again under someone else’s jurisdiction.  This kills my spirit and always will! My energy will not come from continuing to serve others before myself.  It will also not come from doing the same as I have tried for many years in my business.

Dawna Markova’s book is called “I will not die an unlived life”.  Intuitively it feels like I don’t need to exhaust myself adding better stuff to my life now to finally say on my death-bed, “That was flippin’ fantastic”.    I need to die to my life that is right now,  to abandon my past ideas of what my business and life could look like, and to start afresh.  And that kind of change actually doesn’t scare me funnily enough, as I enjoy plunging into the unknown!  I will keep you posted!

Hey gorgeous, I would love you to send me what this post has sparked within you by sending me an email at janelle@janellefletcher.com or by posting a comment at the somebody beautiful facebook community.  

And if you love this blog wisdom, why not share it with a friend using the social media links below?

And if you haven’t already, go to www.somebodybeautiful.com and get on my mailing list to update you with more goodness and help you flourish more in self-love, body-honouring and reviving your feminine spirit.  There are also some great free resources on this website, upcoming events, coaching/healing options and updates on my up-coming book – Dancing in her own Full Moonlight – the ebb and flow of being fully woman.  See you there!

Janelle Fletcher  www.janellefletcher.com 

 

Is your name stopping you from being fully fabulous?

By | body love & body image, health & well-being, self esteem & self confidence, spirituality, Written Articles | No Comments

This morning, I was prompted by a woman online to fully claim my name.  So what did I take that to mean and what did that make me think of? The first memory that popped into my head was something that occurred several years ago, when one night I was molested.

Without going into the whole deal, this man said my name in such a sleazy, degrading and sexual way that I really felt disempowered when I introduced myself to others.  Saying my name took me back to what happened.  It took me back to the deep feelings of shame, hurt and anger within my body.  It makes me cry with sadness as I type as I recall the fuller story of being betrayed by a friend who believed him over me.

Some years later I was on a Presenter’s course and we were asked to participate in a simple name exercise.  I wept in the “remembering”.  However I also took the opportunity right there in that moment to reclaim a more assertive, powerful, louder and more confident “tone” to my name when I spoke it out.  I reclaimed the love of my mother when she birthed me and gave me that special name.  I declared there and then that who I am is powerful, not powerless and I am a woman of courage, not a victim of circumstance. I also honoured my unsilencing and finding my voice by going to the police even though they disappointed me in their lack of follow-though and ability to take things further.

So what’s in your name(s) that you go by, and do you want to keep, change or give your name(s) new life and energy?

As part of my workshops with women, I have often done an introduction exercise where people write down all of the names they have been given or have assumed – family name, christian name, middle name, adopted name, married name, sexual names, belittling names, teacher’s pet names, names teachers, parents, the church or community have called them, nicknames, names they have overheard people saying about them, adjectives they have been described by, names of endearment, spiritual names, names spoken over them ( eg. “I wish you were never born”), names they have called themselves and their body by and whatever else springs into their awareness when they think about name-calling including the words, tone, volume, attitude and intent behind the name.

This becomes a very powerful opportunity to feel into what names they wish to ditch, and which ones they wish to assume or give energy to again. For some, having divorced, they now wish to assume a different surname that energetically feels uplifting or right for them. For others, they wish to ditch the degrading names they have called themselves or their body, and to start speaking out more body gratitude and body positive messages, not to mention more lovingly describe their body parts.  They have released sexual names – whore, bitch, frigid….through body ritual and cleansing.  They have created ceremony around their new assumed name.

What does this spark within you today?  What is your intuitive voice sounding out for you to consider when it comes to names – for better and for worse?  What names are denying you of being fully fabulous?

For me I thank the woman this morning who prompted this enquiry.  I claimed the name “vibrant, courageous femme extraordinaire”.  I also thank another woman who shared this picture – Your vibe attracts your tribe.  This helped me feel into what my vibe and tribe is and I claim these as part of my name today.

vibe attracts your tribe

I am real, vibrant, authentic, alive, natural, feminine, sensual, courageous, simple, graceful, elegant, open-hearted and shining my unique light, love and loveliness.

 Wow, what an awesome name!

Hey gorgeous, I would love you to send me what this post has sparked within you by sending me an email at janelle@janellefletcher.com or by posting a comment at the somebody beautiful facebook community.  

And if you love this blog wisdom, why not share it with a friend using the social media links below?

And if you haven’t already, go to www.somebodybeautiful.com and get on my mailing list to update you with more goodness and help you flourish more in self-love, body-honouring and reviving your feminine spirit.  There are also some great free resources on this website, upcoming events, coaching/healing options and updates on my up-coming book – Dancing in her own Full Moonlight – the ebb and flow of being fully woman.  See you there!

Janelle Fletcher  www.janellefletcher.com 

 

 

Can SELF CARE stop you aging? Yes! Here’s why.

By | body love & body image, health & well-being, self esteem & self confidence, spirituality, women's life changes and transitions, Written Articles | No Comments

As you know I’m all about learning the art of Ultimate Self Care and helping others do the same.

Why?  Because I was super-woman for many years and got burnt-out, dried up and lost a lot of my mojo.  I also have no doubt that playing superwoman for far too long  has aged me somewhat. Perhaps more wrinkles (worry lines) that I may not have had.  Some angst in the stomach from too much worrying about everyone, while I ignored my own needs.  And the breast-lump (benign), that becomes more prominent when I menstruate, reminds me of the many years of “feeding others’ needs and letting them “milk me dry”.  I am thankful this lump stays there to remind me regularly (cyclically) to take care of my own needs and to quench my own thirst. (In other words, feed my own soul needs)

So why have I asked this question?  Can self-care stop you aging?

My favourite women’s health expert is Christiane Northrup and I just watched one of her videos. (see below) This woman has some great wisdom about aging gracefully. In fact, aging seems a bit of a fallacy really that we “buy into” because we think “something RUNS in our family”, or because society, the medical system and the media tells us what our menopausal symptoms will be like and what to expect, what will happen to our bones during “the change” or what will happen to our mind as we chronologically get a “bigger number” to put in the “your age” box.

“It is our belief system that “runs” in our family, not a disease.” Christiane Northrup

Christiane Northrup

Wow I relate to this!  Self care was not part of our family belief system.  It was all about giving to others, doing unto others, and service and self-sacrifice.  I learned this off my mother, God bless her!  And yes, she would indeed think that God is honouring her for her sacrificial lamb tendencies.

Unfortunately this has aged her in terms of heart health.  Loving others over loving herself.  Caring for others, over caring for herself.  An imbalance of the artery and vein, pumping out blood from the heart – giving -and pumping back into the heart – receiving!  It is no wonder she now needs a pacemaker to “artificially balance that”.  She also lived into the belief about heart health because her mother died of a sudden heart-attack in her early sixties.  My mum has “had her affairs in order” since her early sixties.  She made her funeral plan back then, my sister knows “where everything is” and she has not entertained a “heart/love” relationship with another man since my dad left her before she was 60.  and she has a daily concoction of pills to keep her heart going. Yes, she is a great woman.  But yes I am learning that I do not want this legacy of heart health to “run” in my family.

Christiane in her video below – Belief changes biology –  has some great ideas on this and it all comes down to what we believe and I would like to add, what new “self-care” rituals we would now like to enjoy and pleasurably indulge in as 1. we age (numbers wise) but 2. as we become age-less in our mind-set and body-set.

Goddesses never age -Christiane NorthrupAgeless Goddess Video Series – what you believe changes your biology – Christiane Northrup 

And as I sit in stillness this morning and again ask myself what my SOUL NOURISHMENT needs are, here’s what self-care rituals are intuitively calling me this morning to help me be “age-less” and impact my biology – a.k.a state of health.

1.  Heart medicine – not of the medical type, but things that stir my soul.  Thanks Spirit, that today I have been considering what to do for my upcoming 50th birthday in September.  Nothing would “stir” my soul more that to follow my philanthropic love.  I have looked at a project in Mexico building a house for a poor family. This stirs my soul and makes me smile.  Yes it is for others, but yes too, it makes my heart and soul sing. My ritual therefore will be sitting regularly and asking for support from the Universe to allow me to be part of this project.

2.  Be more active in my body and in nature  Lately I have noticed I am more inactive physically than I used to be.  Not just that, but the nature of my activity has become more sedentary.  I no longer go out dancing like I used to. I know longer walk as often.  I sit behind my computer far more than ever.  What is my soul asking of me today? Exercise and communing in nature.  Random trips to the beach.  Stop off at the forest.  An hour in my garden.

3.  Connect with Goddesses of Nature.  Who intuitively springs to mind?  Flora.  Let’s google her!  Here goes…”Flora is the Roman Goddess of flowering plants, especially those that bear fruit. Spring, of course, is her season, and She has elements of a Love-Goddess, with its attendant attributes of fertility, sex, and blossoming.”  So yes, perfect. Flora medicine – flowers, love, sex….some great self-care remedies!

If you love this wisdom, why not share this with a friend?

If you want more, head to www.somebodybeautiful.com and get on my mailing list to update you with more goodness and help you flourish more in self-love, body-honouring and reviving your feminine spirit.  There you will also find my great audio on creating a Soul Nourishment Menu.

We also have a somebody beautiful facebook community – a gorgeous place for gorgeous women to commune daily!  Why not, come over and join us?

The pain and joys of being mum

By | relationships, intimacy & sex, spirituality, women's life changes and transitions, Written Articles | No Comments

Isn’t motherhood often difficult?  It brings us the deepest joys and often the deepest lows.  Some reflections in poetry today and the intense feelings that we can feel as mothers, especially when our children leave home or in split/blended/separated family dynamics.  I trust something resonates in you.

If something “calls you” in this writing and you “get it”, why not head to www.janellefletcher.com , enter your details and I will keep you posted in early 2016 about more writing/inspiration called The Write of Passage – a place where you can share your story, poetry, thoughts, reflections and also be updated on somebody beautiful events and a new free online self care series and a Divine Deva Ultimate Self care Experience.  Or why not also head over the the somebody beautiful facebook community where women love to share their fabulous, messy, joyful, painful lives and be real and raw?

The return

My son

My son

Oh how I have missed you

Having graciously let you

Go where YOU needed to go

And not where I wanted you to be

Safe in my heart

Under my wing

And in my embrace

Of Mother love

 

The pain

That you are now adult

And I have missed some years

Of you becoming that man

Having walked the rite of passage

Into such extraordinary

and sometimes difficult times

Of emerging manhood

 

My pain of

Womanhood
Being a mother

Simply wanting to make your way

Easier

Brighter

And with a softer landing

And to hold and rock you

So you feel secure

Is entwined somewhat with my own deep desire

To feel needed, wanted and respected

 

On your short return

I feel intense sadness

That I have missed those few years

And I notice it even more intensely

Than when you were absent from our home

Your return has rifted my heart

And reminded me of that pain

Of letting you sail

Into unknown waters

And reminded me

Of how powerless

I have felt

To be the mumma

I wanted me to be

Not what you needed me to be

 

But as I shed buckets of tears

Into my well this morning

Which has for some time now

Felt dry

I am filled more with more sustenance

Admiration

Pride

And

Motherly love

Of the way

You are becoming the man

You were destined to be

And the path you have walked

Which may not have been

The trail I planned for you

But one that has shown you the way

To who you are today

 

You have done well my son

Minus me

In the last three years

 

And my cup runneth over

With respect for myself too

For the foundations I set

The seeds I planted

The water of love I sprinkled

And the ever constant knowingness

Not an easy one

But an important one

That it is not a mother who determines

How a seed grows

As much as she would like to think this

 

The seed himself

Grows

With his own knowingness

Inside

 

 

The prison of insignificance – keys for the prison door

By | body love & body image, health & well-being, relationships, intimacy & sex, self esteem & self confidence, spirituality, Written Articles | No Comments

The prison of insignificance  – A life sentence of depression and keys to finding your freedom

“Depression has many guises.  It can be the mask of loneliness, the veil of insignificance, the not good-enough-ness cap or the scarf of sadness and grief. Let’s try on that they are different, but part of the same outfit.”  ~ Janelle Fletcher

It can run and leap on you at a moment’s notice, or it can secretly slither around your body until it wraps itself around you like a strait-jacket.  It can feel like your long-lost friend who you know well, or an enemy that you want to vanquish with any energy you do have.

It can begin with a known trauma or incident, or it can come seemingly unencumbered with no major life story attached.  What I do know is that depression is heavy.  Sadness is heavy.  Loneliness is heavy.  Feeling insignificant or unnoticed is heavy.  What one desperately cries out for is to see the light between the prison window bars as a sign that there is life beyond the darkness of depression, and to know that a key is available to unlock the cell that has confined them in their own prison, and perhaps even kept them safe for so many years.

Just as crimes are named and labelled, so too is depression widely the label of what could be more accurately described as something else. My own life sentence of depression is perhaps better described as my prison of insignificance. For me, 11 years was a long time to sit in my familiar prison of isolation, aloneness and insignificance.  I sat quietly in my cell that I had created for myself, and by myself, from the age of 13 until I was 24, yet I never understood until hindsight granted it to me, the reasons behind my self-incarceration, not only within my bedroom and in my social community, but also within my own body that was also shrinking in insignificance in the form of anorexia.

My prison cell existence consisted of me staying under the radar, having set times and routines for what was familiar and safe for me, excelling in my own world of academia and study and by closely and rigorously training my body like a master or mistress of obsession and compulsion – all in aid of having some kind of control that would allow me to feel my life, and I, were not out of control.    I exercised madly in the exercise “yard”, came out for rations of bread and water and low calorie food, was part of several groups, but somehow didn’t belong, and suffered the craziness, heaviness and intense loneliness in my own cell of silence.  Even the prison guards didn’t know of my pain and heaviness. The occasional visitor into my life didn’t know. The world at large didn’t appear to notice or care, or at least say something. I was a master of disguise, showing my well-perfected smile, calmness, rationality, discipline, success and got-it-together-ness, occasionally interspersed with monosyllabic answers, periods of obvious isolation and sadness and finally an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

Many of you will recognise the prison of insignificance and not good-enough-ness which may feel like depression or lead to it, but which I believe is something in itself. I did not understand what lead me through the prison doors of insignificance and invisibility at age 13, but now as a mature woman with self-awareness through years of personal and spiritual growth, healing and a recent insight, I do know.

The day Nana Mary died was the day I died inside.  As a young 13 year old woman, I remember awaking to the news of her passing.  I was distraught like never before.  The pain was excruciating.  My best nana, my best friend, my jam and preserve-making, lolly-giving nana with the chamber pots under her beds was no longer there.  I never saw her again.  I never heard her encouraging voice.  I never smelt her roast dinners again. I never got to wander to her outside toilet.  I never saw her at my dance performances or receive another 50 cent piece for doing so well.  I never got to stand with the other old ladies on the thrift shop stall selling their wares, nor tinker through her jewellery treasures.

Out of excruciating pain I didn’t want to go to her funeral.  I went because I had to.  I wanted to see her in her coffin to say goodbye.  I didn’t or wasn’t allowed to, which was perhaps a sign of the times.  I don’t remember the social gathering after the funeral but I do remember the big yellow car that took us down and around the bays and who was driving.  I don’t remember what I did with my tears, but they didn’t come out.  I didn’t know what I did with my voice, but I lost it.  I didn’t know what I did with my loneliness, but I know it got hidden somewhere.  That Sunday was the same as any Sunday dressed in our pretty home-sewn dresses.  That Friday before was like any Friday.  But the Saturday I got the news, the world was forever different.

It is only now in hindsight that I view this loss in my life from a different nook and cranny. It is now in hindsight too that I see the patterns of my life tapestry that emerged from this moment of intense loss and the lingering and long days, weeks, months and years of feeling unheard, unlistened to, misunderstood, abandoned, uncuddled, unworthy and unnurtured following my Nana’s departure from my life.  It makes sense why I have felt I have walked the world alone – literally and figuratively.  It is apparent now how my mask of competence, confidence and got-it-togetherness and my serving and supporting of others being paramount over my own needs, have both been means of protecting myself from such intensity and pain of not only losing her, but feeling the intense loss of not being allowed to be vulnerable, sad and angry and not feeling held, heard and comforted in the way and degree that I needed as a young girl of 13.

Where I found the comfort of a shelter, a hammock and a fireplace was not in people, but in the comfort and confines of the pursuit of self-worth based on excelling and perfection. That is what I knew. That is what I knew how to do well. Anorexia and bulimia, depression and suicidal thoughts became my intimate friends who would hang with me, hear me out and would reduce or dull my pain, yet ironically forge me into agony that would blow my mind, destroy my body and kill my soul.  Eleven years, in essence a life sentence, were spent in that lonely, dark cell.   If escaping into the safety of my familiar cell was not sufficient to dull my pain, keep me safe and isolate me from others, my next escape was to travel the world.  Even there I found no friends, no lover, no parent-figure, no saviour and no nurse to soothe my wounds and take away my pain, despair and anguish that followed me round like a bosom-buddy in my backpack.

I have always been drawn to help the lost and the lonely, the forgotten and the grieving. My early growing up memories were of befriending the “handicapped”, chatting to and holding the hand of the elderly in hospital,  teaching the young new skills, dreaming of cuddling children in African orphanages, writing to World Vision kids, marrying into a family who had suffered grief and disability and choosing service and helping-based professional roles.  My own personal transitioning through eating and body related disorders, depression, suicide attempt, fertility issues, miscarriage loss, molestation and blended family dynamics amongst others has given me the gift of wisdom and compassion and afforded me the skills and talents I share with others who want to be held and heard, who want a haven or place of belonging, who want to see light through the dark tunnel and who don’t want to ever feel alone, discarded or unworthy.

It was a year or so ago when I met several mothers grieving from the loss of their children through suicide.  It was through a valuable conversation which I had with a grieving mum that completed another part of my life jigsaw.  Her question was not “Janelle, why did you choose to attempt suicide one day?” but “Why did you choose that particular day?”  A very revealing question indeed which had me initially giving tangible, logical answers, but which later through dreaming and intuitive leadings revealed that I attempted the same Labour Weekend Saturday that I received the news of my Nana’s passing, albeit 11 years later. My intense and lingering loneliness, feeling of abandonment, unworthiness and insignificance wanted to be set free by meeting my beloved Nana again, not at a conscious level, but at a deep, soulful and subconscious level.

It was also not with conscious choice that I abandoned the need for my parents or family. I did need them and want them, and to some degree I left them. What I noticed was their “let’s get on with it” and “today’s another day in the calendar” way of being with life, and their loving outpouring to others who were needy and who wanted rescuing or saving.  I envied these people intensely but ironically decided I would never be needy again.  I could do it all on my own.  I would walk this world alone and I would deal with my own pain by finding my own way.  It was not with conscious choice that I shrunk into insignificance and unworthiness.  I yearned for approval – whether I was happy or sad, good, bad, ugly, fat or thin.  I yearned to be real, to speak my truth, to express myself authentically and emotionally and to be supported not betrayed or persecuted, accepted not told I wasn’t good enough or bad,  loved not left, cuddled not cursed and appreciated, not devalued or discarded.

My life changed and I released myself from my own prison cell after my unsuccessful suicide attempt.  I could no longer do life on my own.  I could no longer punish myself and sit out a further life sentence. I could no longer seek solace in isolation and I yearned to somehow affirm that I was good enough and significant. It was now about approving of myself, not proving myself.

My “get out of jail” keys lay in recognising what I needed in my 13 year old pain and seeking out what would gift me a sense of peace, belonging, value, worthiness and connection to others. I learned to hug myself and wrap my arms around those who needed a cuddle too, to be kind and charitable, not only to myself but to others, to be more nurturing in my self-talk, to listen with an open heart to others and unearth my wisdom with them, to hammock myself in comforting and nourishing activities, rituals and company and to on-offer the hammock or fireplace that my nana offered me.  Most importantly I learned to connect with the Divine who is ever-present within me and sees my greatness.  I am never alone.  I am indeed significant, and the heaviness of depression has been lightened as I have become more enlightened and come home to myself and the essence and uniqueness of me. My key to freedom has also been in shining the light for others who are experiencing the darkness and isolation of their own prison.

The shackles holding you in your prison can be broken and you can also find your freedom.  Remove your mask of loneliness, the veil of insignificance, the not good-enough-ness cap and the scarf of sadness and grief by seeing yourself in Divine Light, shining your unique light and being the change for others.

Unlock your door to freedom, for you hold you own keys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if my grief was my gold?

By | health & well-being, spirituality, women's life changes and transitions, Written Articles | No Comments

Grief…We’re told to get over it, get through it, get to the end of it or to get a grip on it (or ourselves) should we veer off in uncontrollable crying, outbursts or other outpourings of overpowering emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

Same with depression.  Dull it, deny it or deaden it with medication.

But what if grief and depression were our nuggets of gold and the making of us,

rather than rubble and the breaking of us?

And what if the grief that comes from death, disability, divorce, abuse, infertility, miscarriages or any other changes in our lives…was actually a gift, nor a grievous mistake.

When we’re grieving, what’s really important in life suddenly becomes more crystal clear, when previously we may have sat in confusion or lack of clarity.   Regret, lost time, sadness and unfulfilled dreams make what we want, crave or would die for all the more obvious.  In fact, grief can re-ignite a lost spark within us and spur us on to live life how we would like it, not how we’ve been living it to date.

When we’re grieving, our emotional state is in overwhelm and exaggerated – not falsely or wrongly, but in authenticity of who we really are and what we are really feeling.  Is that not powerful when it comes to the possible potency of our creative juices?  Imagine the art, the music and creative gifts that have been, and will continue to be unwrapped in the state and grace of grief.

And in grief, who comes to comfort us?  It is in those early moments, we know who are true friends are and their qualities that make them special.  Surrounded by people who care in that initial time in grief is priceless. Surrounding ourselves more long-term after that initial period of grief where people rally around, is also a gift, because who we formerly associated with, may not be ideally who we would choose to travel the rest of our life with.

And what of the learning and growth that has come from journeying through grief?  What have we learned?  What has this experience opened us up to that we would never have experienced or dived into before?  What new interesting avenues has it taken us down?  What judgement have we learned to put aside?

And often the gift of grief is that it takes us beyond ourselves into a different realm of existence, a different realm of faith or a brand new relationship with something greater than ourselves, because we may feel un-resourced without that extra “force” within us. Our spiritual fortitude is tested.  Our inner strength and resourcefulness is given wings. And even in those moments of complete devastation, pain and agony, we dig deep within ourselves like never before.

The gold is in the grief.