Sunday I learned of the passing of ‘Uncle Hermann’. Growing up, I remember him at family gatherings, spontaneously spouting out these amazing chirping/whistling sounds to make a child smile or laugh (or to surprise adults!). I had the pleasure of dining with him last year and witnessing this strong urge to help an upset child at the next table, and although circumstances didn’t allow for him to work his magic that night, I’m sure his grandchildren regularly enjoyed his nature and energy – and signature sounds!
My condolences, love and sympathy go out to all his family and friends – and anyone who is feeling grief and loss at this time.
Reflecting upon grief and loss, I feel so much compassion and understanding, especially having gone through a lot of turmoil with the passing of my own mom some 8 years ago. I truly believe that no matter the type of relationship (close or distant), the age of the parent or those left behind (grown or still little), whether expected or unexpected, or even whether you think you are prepared or in process of preparing – the loss of a parent is deep and the range of emotions, wide. Processing is inevitable, as it ebbs and flows through your psyche and your heart, whether influenced by external triggers and/or internal reflections – moving through it all can be intense and lonely. I don’t pretend to understand everyone’s journey in losing a parent, however, I do understand that the impact is deep and life changing.
Maybe you have lost someone near-and-dear, where the connection was undeniably strong, unique and special – where relationship labels mean nothing, only that the bond you shared, is really beyond words – and I too can also relate to that, losing a best friend within the same year as my mom.
There is no right and wrong way to grieve, only a recommendation to remain in the present moment as much as possible, and to honour your feelings to the best of your ability without the expectation of needing to feel a certain way, by a certain time. Self-love and patience are key and not always the easiest road, but a crucial one.
As much as I can share this or that from this past week from the point of view of a newly relocated Canadian in Paris, discussing loss and grief is sticking and I’m going to see where that leads me today. And I will do my best to segue as respectfully as I can.
It doesn’t matter if it’s loss of a: parent, partner, child, friend, neighbor, grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, cousin, nephew, grandchild, or (last but not least) a family pet, losing someone near-and-dear can challenge our beliefs and understanding about life – often triggering more emotions or feelings than we thought possible. When I posted on Facebook on the anniversary of my mother’s passing, I wrote that the best way for me to honour her life, was to honour mine. And how do I do that? I think it starts by making the best choices I can, given any situation, in order to live my life to the fullest. (I feel a teachable moment coming on….)
Whether you live your life sub-consciously or with intention and intuition; or feel like life happens ‘to you’, or love to live by lists of goals and to-dos – the choices you make, create your life.
Years ago, I can distinctly remember operating on the belief that, yes, I make decisions and choices, but that some how, I was a victim of my circumstances and the phrase: “I can’t..or it’s impossible” was gospel in my life’s script, and a bountiful basket of excuses would accompany me often. That is, until I started ‘doing the work’, as Iyanla Vanzant puts it. Taking responsibility (owning it), being aware, practicing self-love/care, and being patient with myself, has been a challenging yet liberating experience. And if you read my first blog post, “Work-in-progress” signs, reside here. It’s a process and a journey.
Paraphrasing from memory, Louise Hay said in her keynote at the “Hay House – ICDI Conference” in Vancouver in 2012: “…you are the longest relationship of your life…”. That line, and ‘doing the work’, reminds me to invest, to care deeply, to respect and to value my Self. This attention-action, improves the relationship I have with myself and therefore with others, and provides a better platform in making better choices for myself. I won’t elaborate today about the amount of patience I’ve breathed through or resisted in my growing self-awareness, but all I have to say is that: School of Life is still in session…
Sidebar: Let go of the shouldas, couldas, wouldas as they serve no purpose and provide no new fertile ground in which to build or create, what it is that you want. Looking at the past from a regrettable place, means you are not looking or moving forward, so if you are living in the past (or spending too much thought-time there), who is in the driver’s seat of your proverbial car of life?
The idea of “Going with the Flow” is a practice worthy of attention. Life can feel like a flowing stream with some natural life turbulence or life can feel like paddling upstream (resistance), and getting caught in the rapids more times than you would like. When it’s the latter, sometimes pausing, and letting inspiration take over will help re-direct you to the flowing stream where you can feel more inner peace. I invite you to ponder where you are paddling up the metaphorical stream and pause a while to let inspiration (people, places, things) present alternate choices to create a shift that allows more flow, happiness and peace. In the meantime, doing something to lift your spirits and to re-focus on being in the Present moment will catalyze the shift that leads you to feel more ‘Flow’.
Supplements that may help: Expressing Gratitude (in a child-like enthusiastic way is best), being in the present moment, and TRUSTING (Yourself, the Universe, God, the process etc). Also, doing something creative, fun/joyful, and in nature are superb companions!
What I know for sure is that any great change, in creating what you want, starts with YOU. I have learned that: practicing the art of being, watching my thoughts, observing my feelings from as non-judgmental place as possible (changing the ones that aren’t working for me), seeking counsel and support, being conscious of how full my joy and gratitude cups are a flowin’, practicing something creative daily, among other tidbits, have been the stepping stones in investing in the longest relationship of my life, and in doing so, the choices I make going forward are created from a better place within me than ever before, therefore, creating the life I want, to the best of my abilities.
We are constantly changing (and evolving), and everyday is an opportunity to reflect on what you want, get excited and make some choices – and go with the flow. Even if it’s not January 1st, or your birthday, you can start your ‘New Year’ any day or time you want. The choice is yours!
So, Go to it, Go for it, Go live it! (The Allison-ism continues)
With much Love and Light,