A New Year. A New Life. A New You. ~ 10 Suggestions
A New Year.
A New Life. A New You.
I love these words from my friend, author Gary Zukav’s book The Seat of the Soul:
“The effort that you apply to each decision to align yourself with your soul is rewarded many times. The part of yourself that reaches toward Light may not be the strongest part of you at the moment that you choose to journey toward authentic power consciously, at the moment that you choose the vertical path, but it is the part that the Universe backs…
Think in terms of what it means to make decisions and try to cause the rest of you to fall into alignment with them, of responsible choice, and as you move into the healing of who you are and the conscious journey toward what it is you want, recognize that the Universe backs the part of you that is of clearest intention.
You are constantly receiving guidance and assistance from your guides and Teachers, and from the Universe itself. When you choose consciously to move toward the energy of your soul, you invite that guidance. When you ask the Universe to bless you in your effort to align yourself with your soul, you open a passageway between yourself and your guides and Teachers. You assist their efforts to assist you. You invoke the power of the nonphysical world. That is what a blessing is: the opening of a passageway between you and nonphysical guidance.”
I believe that the death of someone we love cracks us open. Big time. That cracking open transforms us. It has to. The death of someone we love cannot NOT transform us. And we get to decide if we are going to consciously participate in that transformation… or if our transformation is going to be subconscious. It’s not a decision we make once. It’s a daily decision. Sometimes a decision made moment-by-moment.
I find great comfort in the words “the Universe backs that part of you that is of clearest intention.” That has been my experience as I worked desperately to rebuild my life not once, but three different times.
My 13-year-old son Rory died of brain cancer in 2005. My 43-year-old wife Trici died suddenly and mysteriously on New Year’s Day 1999. And our 18-month-old daughter Erin died equally as suddenly on a hot summer day in 1990.
For 30+ years, I have been an oft’ times reluctant student of death, life and resurrection. My first journey with grief was shrouded in the darkest darkness. I could only hope that there was light at tunnel’s end. My second journey was different - somewhat familiar - knowing that light did indeed exist somewhere down the road. And my third journey, following the death of my most amazing son, has been illuminated. The tunnel has been lit.
So, as we begin a New Year… as we talk of making resolutions… it seems the perfect time to create a plan to consciously participate in our transformation. To reach toward Light.
“The part of yourself that reaches toward Light (your own transformation) may not be the strongest part of you at the moment that you choose to journey toward authentic power consciously, at the moment that you choose the vertical path, but it is the part that the Universe backs…”
These are my suggestions. Based on my 30+ year journey. Given to you. As gift. Hoping to light your tunnel this new year.
1. Set the intention to heal. Even if you don’t believe healing your “broken” self is possible. Especially if you don’t. Repeat the phrase, “I am healing” as often as you can. Let it become your mantra. “I am healing. I am healing. I am healing.”
2. Commit to active mourning. I define mourning as “going public” with your grief (the internal, automatic, learned response to the end of a dream). Make the effort to find a life coach, a therapist, a support group, a “grief buddy.” Healing occurs when you find a safe, sacred space where you can excavate, explore and express your grief in the presence of others. Being stoic, pretending, repressing, rejecting, ignoring all that wells up inside of you is not a path to healing. Mourning, in the presence of others, is a path to healing.
3. Commit to creating a safe, sacred space for you and the people you love. A space where everyone gets to feel every feeling and emotion that bubbles up. A space where every single corner of your being is loved and lovable – by you and everyone you let into that space. A space where you are seen. Heard. Honored. Most importantly by your self, and, of course, by everyone you allow into that space.
4. Commit to going outside and walking in nature every day. Even if it is only for five minutes and you have to force yourself to do it. Build up to ten minutes. 15. 20. Loose yourself in nature. The trees. The animals. The scents. Try and feel yourself in your own body. Pay attention to your feet hitting the ground. The breeze on your face... notice.
Over time, notice the change of seasons.
Spring follows winter. Always.
The days get brighter.
What appeared to be dead brings forth new life. Always.
5. Commit to finding ways to release the heavy, burdensome energy stored in your body. A massage therapist can not only help you physically relax but he/she can help your body release stored energy and even stored memory that no longer serves you. If you are living in a cold climate… consider a massage with hot stones on a cold winter day. Make an appointment to see a Reiki master or a Craniosacral therapist or any other energy worker. At the very least, the physical touch will be healing.
6. Commit to spending quiet time with yourself every day – to simply BE with yourself and your new life. Again, even if you have to force yourself to be quiet and alone for five minutes – do it. “The Universe will back you up...” And, over time, five minutes becomes 10, becomes 15, becomes 20. If you keep running from yourself and your new life, how can you live it? How can you consciously participate in it? Your own life. Pray. Meditate. Ask. Listen. Receive. Allow. Surrender. Feel. Cry.
7. Commit to writing in a gratitude journal every day. First thing in the morning or last thing at night. Buy a journal. Put it by your bed. Write 3-5 things you are grateful for every day. Every day. At first, you may simply be glad another day is over. You may be thankful for the soft pillow, the comfortable bed, the warm blankets. And then you may remember that the first cup of coffee actually tasted good and you’re grateful for that. And one day you notice the sun in the sky. Another day you smile…really smile.
8. Commit to asking and answering life’s fundamental questions. Questions such as: Is there a God? If so, what is he/she/it/they? What role did “God” play in the death of my loved one? We prayed and prayed for a miracle. Why didn't God save my beloved? What happens to people when they die? Do they still exist? Where are they? Is there a heaven? If so, where is it? Is the person I love who died still aware of me? Can he/she communicate with me? Can I communicate with him/her? Now listen. Listen as the answers bubble into being. As you heal deeper and deeper, these answers may change. Open to change.
9. Commit to identify and question all your beliefs that are causing you pain. Unless you want to marinate in pain. You, and only you, get to decide what you believe. It’s possible that many of your unexamined beliefs are causing you great pain. Beliefs that may include: He shouldn’t have died. She died too young. I could have saved him. I will never be happy again. Life is no longer worth living. Replace these painful beliefs with life-affirming beliefs.
10. Commit to being gentle with yourself. Really gentle. Trusting life enough so that you are willing to create new dreams takes time. Give yourself time. Healing is a process, not a destination. Let healing become your new way of being in the world. It’s a journey. Be gentle. Really gentle with yourself.
As this New Year unfolds… set the intention to heal. Set the intention to consciously participate in your own transformation.
Commit to a plan. What steps can you take to lean into your new life?
Expect the Universe to back you up. To support you. To guide you. To rise up and show you the way.
A New Year.
A New Life. A New You.
My first book, "Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief" is available in both paperback and as an eBook at Amazon. Click: Tom's New Book.
If you’d like to explore this further, or any other facet of your grief journey, I work with people one-on-one. If you’re in the Rockford, IL area, we can do that in person. If you’re out of the local area, we can use Facetime of Facebook Chat. To learn more click: working with Tom.