Tag Archives: Grief

Writing To Heal 30 Day Online Writing Program Starts Today! Plus 7 Day Challenge Index…

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HealMyVoice

Thanks again to those who joined The Heart of Awakening Blog community for the 7 Day Writing To Heal Challenge focused on Cultivating Self-Compassion.  I hope you enjoyed the exploration and plan to bring this format back with other themes in mind.  Just in case you missed it, here is an index of the daily posts for you to explore or come back to in the future:

The next session of Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change 30 Day Online Program, which I co-faciliate with Andrea Hylen of Heal My Voice is beginning today with a special Autumn Equinox Ceremony & Telegathering at 3 PM ET.  This call will open the group energy and space to bring in our intentions for the 30 days of writing.  Daily prompts begin on Wednesday, 9/23 and our time will include 3 additional teleclasses and a private Facebook group for community sharing.  If you are feeling called to dive more deeply into a process of Writing To Heal, I invite you to join us!  See below for details…


 

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program

(With Teleseminar Support)

September 21 – October 22, 2015

REGISTER NOW

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ~ Rumi

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

Screen shot 2012-04-06 at 7.40.51 PMThis 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change and transformation
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (Audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion
  • BONUS CALL Audio: Tips on How to Write a Book (or E-book)
  • BONUS Fall Equinox Ceremony on the Phone. Live Call and Recorded. September 21: 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe

Three Teleseminars. All Teleseminars are recorded.

Wednesdays, 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/9pm Europe (September 30, October 7, October 14)

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Cost: $97.00 for full 30-Day Program

REGISTER NOW

Payment automatically Registers Your Email Address.

Facebook Group Opens on September 21.

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Writing To Heal September Program Starts 9/22 Plus 7 Day Writing Challenge Starts Monday on HOA

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“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” 

~ Rumi

HealMyVoice

As I shared prior to the June Writing To Heal Program, writing and journaling has been a tremendous blessing in my life. As a child and teen struggling with an incredibly chaotic and dysfunctional family life, I found my journal and writing poetry to be a way of staying connected to myself, of exploring a world beyond what I knew and a safe space to express who I was when there seemed little room for that in the life I knew.  As an adult, writing has become an important part of my life and my work.  It is at the top of my list of “healing tools” and one I recommend to all of my clients.  Even after many years addressing trauma, I’ve found that writing and sharing stories has allowed me to heal on a much deeper level; and, it is something I continue to do.  It is a joy to be able to support others in exploring this powerful healing tool as well. I am excited to be continuing my journey of co-facilitating with Andrea Hylen, founder of Heal My Voice, for a September Writing To Heal 30 Day Online Writing Program beginning on September 22nd. I’ve shared all the details below if you’d like to learn more or register to join us!

7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge Starts 9/14!

Additionally, I will be offering a 7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge starting on Monday, 9/14 right here on The Heart of Awakening Blog.  This will be a way to explore writing as a tool for healing and change and offer an introduction for anyone interested in the full 30-Day program.  So stay tuned for posts starting on Monday morning with reflections and daily writing prompts to jumpstart your own writing to heal! I hope you’ll join us!


I invite you to join myself and Andrea Hylen for a 30 Day journey to explore writing as a tool for transformation and healing…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

September 21st – October 22nd, 2015

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

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This 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (12 audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion

Teleclass Time: Wednesdays, 3 PM Eastern time with a special Autumn Equinox Ceremony to open the space and set intention on Monday, 9/21 at 3 PM.

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Investment: $97 for Full 30-Day Program 

or $197 for Full Program plus one Individual Coaching Session with Beth & Andrea.

To learn more or register, visit http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/.

Here are some of my stories featured in Heal My Voice book projects for you to explore…

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

I’m Okay, Really!

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30 Day Virtual Writing Program Starts June 1st!

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“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” 

~ Rumi

HealMyVoice

Writing has been a blessing in my life.  As a child and teen struggling with an incredibly chaotic and dysfunctional family life, I found my journal and writing poetry to be a way of staying connected to myself, of exploring a world beyond what I knew and a space to express who I was when there seemed little room for that in the life I knew.  As an adult, writing has become an important part of my life and my work.  It is at the top of my list of “healing tools” and one I recommend to all of my clients.  Even after many years addressing trauma, I’ve found that writing and sharing stories has allowed me to heal on a much deeper level; and, it is something I continue to do.  It is a joy to be able to support others in exploring this powerful healing tool as well.  I am excited to be joining with Andrea Hylen, founder of Heal My Voice, to co-facilitate a new 30 Day writing program.

I invite you to join me for this 30 Day journey to explore writing as a tool for transformation and healing…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

June 1 – 30, 2015

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

Screen shot 2012-04-06 at 7.40.51 PM

This 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi


This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (12 audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion

Teleclass Time: Mondays, 7:30-8:45pm Eastern time (4:30-5:45pm Pacific time) ~ June 8, 15, 22

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Investment: $75.00 for Full 30-Day Program

or $175 for Full Program plus one Individual Coaching Session with Beth & Andrea.

To learn more or register, visit http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/.

Here are some of my stories featured in Heal My Voice book projects for you to explore…

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

I’m Okay, Really!

 

I’m Okay, Really! ~ A Healing Story…

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I recently had the opportunity to share some of my healing stories as part of a shamanic healing workshop while my mentor, shaman Ross Bishop,  was visiting in Maryland last month.  As I read the stories, I realized how much I have changed since I have written them and even more so, how I have changed since the time I was a child.  The other thing that I realized is that I am still healing and this is a lifelong journey for me.  There is certainly today a lot more balance, joy and ease of well-being than I have known throughout my lifetime, but there is no “magic pill” and there is no “this work is done”.   I share this as a survivor and thriver of trauma, but I know that it’s not just my story – healing and transformation are part of the ongoing journey of being human.

Our stories may differ.  Yet, what I have learned through my own healing journey, and my work supporting others as a shaman, holistic practitioner and recovery coach as well as a writer is that there are universal themes that we as human beings experience, especially those of us living in a modern world.  These include feelings of unworthiness, disconnection, isolation, shame, abandonment and the list can go on.   I touch a lot on these themes in my story, “I’m Okay Really!”, which was featured in Harmonic Voices: True Stories of Women on the Path To Peace, a Heal My Voice collaborative book project.

I had the honor of supporting this project as a facilitator in training for the Heal My Voice process and will now be co-facilitating a new project with HMV Founder Andrea Hylen starting this Fall called, Recovering Voices: True Stories of Women and Men Healing Grief.  This will be the first HMV project open to men as well as women and we are kicking it off with a Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief Workshop in Annapolis, MD on Saturday, May 2nd and a 3-Session Teleclass in June, dates/details TBA.

Here is my healing story from Harmonic Voices...

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“I’m Okay, Really!”

by Beth Terrence

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon when I headed down to my favorite coffee shop with my journal in hand.  It was just a few weeks after joining this Heal My Voice Peace Project and I was ready to begin to invite in an idea for my story to emerge.   It wasn’t until I actually sat down and began to write that I realized it was Mother’s Day.  It’s usually a day or two before that I realize this day is here; and as others begin to celebrate in various ways, I feel this huge wave of sadness and loss wash over me.  It still seems to catch me by surprise each year.  

It’s been 11 years since my mother passed away and yet, this feeling of loss was one I felt long before.  My mother died when I was 35 but I really lost her when I was about 8 years old.  Whether I actually knew it then in a conscious way or not is a question, but I remember when things began to feel different.  On the outside everything seemed pretty much the same and as any good suburban family would do, we did our best to keep it that just that way.  As time went on, it was evident that something was wrong.

The “something wrong” became clear for me one day when my mother forgot to pick me up from school.  I lived too close to school to be bussed and too far away to walk, so part of our daily routine was my mother driving me to and from my elementary school.   On this day, I was only in the 2nd grade; and I stood waiting for her, just waiting outside the school.  I waited and waited until everyone else was gone.  Still, she did not come.  

I was an only child, but I don’t think I had ever been “forgotten” before.  As I stood waiting by myself outside the school, I began to ponder my choices.  Could I walk home on my own?  It wasn’t that far to my house, but I knew for sure that I was not supposed to walk alone.  And, yet here I was all alone.  Perhaps this was the first time I really felt alone in this lifetime.  

Oddly, I remember wondering, rather quickly, if I had done something wrong to cause my mother not to come.   I couldn’t think of what that might be.  I began to question if I was in the wrong place or if I was supposed to go somewhere else that day.  I couldn’t think of where.  I just felt alone, afraid and abandoned.  I don’t think I was old enough yet to know that I would be okay.  

Alone.  Afraid.  Abandoned.

As I waited and waited, I wondered where a teacher was or why no one had noticed I was there.  I was at the back of the school where I usually met my Mom, so not many folks were often there.  Still, I thought, “how could no one know where I am?”  As I reflect on this, I wonder why I didn’t seek out a teacher or think to ask someone for help.  It didn’t occur to me to ask for help – that’s how old that pattern goes.  

I remember feeling a wave of shame come over me and somehow I knew I should be able to figure this out on my own.  A few times I made the move to walk home but wasn’t sure the best way to go.  One way was through the woods; the other was on a street with no sidewalks.  Both were options I knew not to take alone.  As I struggled to find a solution in my mind, I felt scared, really scared and all alone.

Ashamed.  Don’t ask for help.  Not knowing which way to go. 

At some point I began to cry in that silent way that I had already learned.  Instead of letting the tears flow, I tried to suck them back and be brave.  A “brave little soldier” was a phrase I had heard.  Maybe folks said that more about boys than girls, but somehow I knew this was a good quality to have.  As I stood there alone and scared, I tried as hard as I could to suck back my tears.  And, I did!  I told myself to just act like it was okay and I felt the façade of “I’m Okay” wash over me, perhaps for the first time in a conscious way.  

Brave little soldier.  Hide your tears.  The façade of “I’m Okay”.

As I reflect on this, it seems so strange because I stood there alone, all alone.   There was no one to hide my tears from, there was no one to be a brave little soldier for and there was no one to put the “I’m Okay” façade on for except me, just me.  There I was, at only 8 years old, standing alone and putting on a mask of protection that I would wear for decades to come as I told myself that life was okay when I knew deep inside it was not. 

I know that something changed in me that day.  I stood alone trying to prove to myself and to the world that all was well, when in my heart I knew it was not.  Thinking back, I have often ”accused” my family of this very thing.  After all, I was a child and they were adults.  I don’t know what I could have done, but as I grew older I thought “they” could have done something and didn’t.  Now I know they were doing all they could do to be okay with a situation that was truly not “Okay”.  

Denial.  Protection.  Isolation. 

It is this kind of unspoken truth that can destroy families and lives, and yet seems to happen so often.  For me, it was a truth that remained unresolved for many years as my mother descended into  the depths of mental illness untreated.   Although she remained present in body, the mother I knew was gone long before her death.  This created a deep thread of abandonment and loss I carried with me throughout my life.  It was not long after that day of being “forgotten” at the school that I remember beginning to feel abandoned by God, too.  

I had always felt a strong connection with God.  I still continued to pray each night;   sitting by my window, looking up at the stars and asking for that same support, protection and love.  Yet, I had a sense no one was listening and in some odd sort of way, I felt like I had to make it “Okay” for God, too.   Like what I was carrying was too big for the Creator.  It’s hard to imagine how I could come to that conclusion at only 8 years old, but I know it’s true.  Today, I know I was not the only little one who made that conclusion, many of us do.

When my mother finally arrived that day, how late I cannot say, she was very angry.   She blamed me; somehow this was my fault.  “I was a bad child” was a message I was already familiar with; it was intermingled with messages of love and caring, at least still at that time.   If something went wrong or my mother did something not quite right, it was usually not her fault but mine.  This was a pattern I learned early on in life.  Later my mother’s words got harsher and ultimately, my own words to myself were just as harsh – I came to believe that I could do no right.

It’s all my fault.  I am bad.  I am wrong. 

I took on the belief that I was a mistake.  I was not the perfect angelic child that my mother wanted and needed to be healthy and whole.  Somehow, I was defective.  I came to believe that I had failed her needs and so she left.  Her body stayed but her spirit went to dwell somewhere else, leaving space for other energies and entities to reside.  For many, many years, I truly believed this was my fault.  If I could become the perfect child, the perfect daughter and the perfect woman somehow I might be able to save her.  This mission became a driving force in my life, one that caused me much suffering – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

Be Perfect.  Sacrifice yourself.  It’s up to you to save her.

Living with the legacy of a mentally ill parent is one that you carry with you each day.  For many years, I wondered if I would lose myself in this same way, too.  I carried the burden of feeling like I had chosen to abandon my mother just to live in the world.  Often, the pain was so great that I honestly didn’t know if I would survive.  Through it all, I continued to wear the mask of “I’m Okay”.   I was like a soldier walking alone through my own internal war.  

As I write these words my tears flow as they could not flow back then.  For many years, I shed no tears or when they bubbled up, I sucked them back in.   Now I can shed tears and often do.  I know this is growth, progress and healing.  It wasn’t until I was willing to take off the mask, lay down my head and shed the tears of this lifetime that the healing began.  I came to understand that by being a “brave soldier”, I had continued to abandon myself just as my 8 year old had felt abandoned by my family, by God and by the world.  

It took a great commitment to healing for me to stay present the pain of my inner ones long enough for them to feel safe and loved.   Today, I can hold that 8 year old in my heart and soul and tell her it was not her fault, she is not alone and she can let her tears flow, too.  It was in building this relationship with myself that the façade of  “I’m Okay” finally melted away and my true self emerged in a deeper way. 

“Healing means making yourself vulnerable by exposing the core of your being and admitting how you really feel about yourself.  The decision to heal requires the willingness to accept that you may be as flawed as you fear (we never are).  It also requires an almost ruthless commitment to find and live in the truth, irrespective of the cost.”  – Ross Bishop, Healing The Shadow

Alone. 

Afraid. 

Abandoned.

Ashamed.  

Don’t ask for help.  

Not knowing which way to go. 

Brave little soldier.  

Hide your tears.  

The façade of “I’m Okay”.

Denial.  

Shame.  

Isolation. 

It’s all my fault.  

I am bad. 

I am wrong. 

Be Perfect.  

Sacrifice yourself.  

It’s up to you to save…

Through the shamanic path I came to see that although we each have different life experiences, there is a much bigger picture at work.  Our individual struggles may vary, but the feelings, patterns and beliefs that emerge are a natural and necessary part of the journey of a soul on earth.  Becoming conscious of our feelings of separation and healing through them is the path back to source and to reclaiming the essence of who we are. 

The Big Picture.  Separation.  Coming Home.

Today, I know now that peace begins with being true and honest with myself.  As I allow my authenticity to shine out into my life and into the world, I continue to move into greater harmony; this is my path home.  Rather than feeling alone or abandoned, I feel a deep connection to the greater whole.  This always begins and ends with my relationship with myself.  As I am willing to love, support and embrace all of me – body, mind, emotion & spirit, I grow in my ability to experience peace and joy in my life.  Even when it doesn’t feel okay or when painful feelings or difficult situations arise, I know, “I’m okay, really!”.


If my story speaks to you in some way and you’d like to explore Shamanic Healing, feel free to contact me for a Complimentary 20-Minute Consultation to explore what’s possible!  I am available for Shamanic Healing and Integrative Holistic Healing Sessions both in person in Annapolis, MD or virtually by Phone/Skype?  Learn more at www.bethterrence.com.

A Day In My Life: Beginnings & Endings

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“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.” ~ Socrates

Today, I was prompted to write about the most important day of my life.  It was suggested that maybe that day was one when you got married, graduated or gave birth to a child.  I spent a few moments brainstorming and came up with a list of about 5 important days.  For some reason when I envision this type of piece, I think that it will be one that is joyful and important because of the excitement and inspiration of that day.

I am not sure if this day qualifies but as I looked at the possibilities, something about this day wanted to be shared.  It was definitely, if not the most important day of my life, the most cathartic one.  I find myself wanting to refer to it as the day as the Trifecta.  In horse racing, a trifecta is a bet in which the bettor must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third in exact order.  Although not much of a gambler myself, for some reason when I was younger, I had a knack for picking the trifecta.  A couple of times I won some good money for my friends.  This is just a bit of an aside to the story, but in fact three big things happened on this one day of my life.

So my day began by preparing to go to a court meeting to finalize my divorce.  It was not actually at the court but at a lawyer’s office.  My relationship of 15 years was over and now all that was seemed left was to meet and sign some papers.  I had met my ex-husband when I was 22 in my last year of college.  It has been an idyllic relationship in many ways and a chaotic one in many others.  The divorce was somewhat obscured by other losses that had happened around that time ~ the death of my mother, as well as the tragic deaths of not one but two of my ex-husband’s cousins, who had been like brothers.

I was less emotional at the meeting than I imagined I would be.  I sat across the table from the man I had spent most of my adult life with.  A friend sat next to me as witness and another of “our’ friends sat next to him.  He was essentially engaged by this time, although not officially until a couple of months later, and although painful, I guess this made it easier to move on in some ways.  He cried a bit and basically said he couldn’t believe I wasn’t showing more emotion.  That was his way, to be all out there with his emotions; maybe not so much now, but at least then, I tended to keep my emotions on the inside or for more private moments.

Afterwards, everyone wanted to go get breakfast at a nearby diner.  It was me, my freshly declared ex-husband, and our two friends.  I didn’t really want to go, but also didn’t want to seem like I wanted to get out of there for some reason.  Not really sure why now as I look back.  Even without showing a lot of emotion, I was feeling a lot inside.  This was the ending of life as I had known it and it turned out taking this time may have caused me a loss in another kind of way.  I did my best to make it through the breakfast and part way through, my phone rang.  I had been awaiting a call about a friend who was in the hospital, but this was not that call.  This was one of my closest friends calling to say she had given birth during the night.

She was at a hospital a couple of blocks away and this gave me a good reason to say goodbye to my past life.  Within about 20 minutes, I was at the hospital visiting my friend and holding a newborn baby in my arms.  An ending had flowed into a beginning.  Not having any children of my own, I hadn’t been so comfortable around little ones but my friend insisted I hold her new addition.  I felt more comfortable than I imagined and it was such a joy to welcome this new life into the world.

I stayed and visited for a bit until it was time to let mother and baby rest.  I had one more stop to make that day.  It happened to be another hospital in another state, not too far away.

The weekend before had been the weekend of Passover; I had gone to back to New York to visit my family.  On the train on the way home, I had gotten a call that my dear friend and mentor for energy healing was in the hospital.  At first it wasn’t clear what was going on, but it seemed he had an aneurism and was in a coma like state.

I had seen him just the week before.  We met to do what we would usually do, check in, discuss our work, and explore what energetic shifts we and others we encountered were experiencing.  It was all big picture kind of stuff.  I never felt so understood and in conscious awareness as when I was with this mentor.  He had gifted me with the support to come to know my own gifts as a healer and how to truly be a spiritual being having a human experience.

During my divorce, I had taken on a full-time job to transition and figure out my next steps.  Due to my schedule and the upcoming divorce, I was able to get to the hospital to see him right away.  That Friday afternoon was the first chance I got to drive around DC to Virginia.  I had been told by my close friends that he wouldn’t know I was there.  Maybe this was part of my delay, too.

On that last day that I saw him, we had our usual fun.  Yes, fun.  He helped me to see the lightness of life even when I was feeling so hurt and so heavy.  We did some very deep intensive healing work as I trained in a process he had developed and yet, there was always a joy in it.  On that day, he was really excited as his son had just gotten accepted to college.  He had finished a project he was working on and had “cracked” a case with a challenging client.  He told me that he felt complete, like he had done all he came here to do.  He said he didn’t know what his next steps would be but that he was content and grateful for this beautiful journey of life.

I was still in the midst of my life crumbling and yet, having this amazing friend and teacher, helped me to see and know that joy and peace were possible.  From him, I had also learned that all of what I experienced in feeling and seeing energy was “normal”.  In my marriage, there was not space for me to talk about energy or spirit; that was taboo.  And, so I had hidden much of myself and my experience for many years.  It was in connecting with this teacher that my life truly changed, and so I guess not surprising that my marriage had ended around that time, too.

It took me quite awhile to make it around the DC beltway into Virginia that afternoon.  It was just past 4 pm as I arrived in the parking lot of the hospital.  Just as I pulled in my phone rang.  It was a friend calling to tell me that Bill had passed away about an hour before, while I was stuck in traffic.  Again, she stressed that it may have been best, for although his body remained, he had seemed gone right away.  Still, here I was at the hospital, coming to say what I imagined would be my farewell, at least in the physical, but I was too late.

I was supposed to be meeting another friend in the lobby who wanted to go see Bill, too.  So, I went in and he was there waiting.  I had to now tell him the news I had received on the phone.  I didn’t realize until I did that he had no idea how serious things were.  He had just heard Bill was in the hospital and so planned to come visit.  He was in shock as was I.  We sat and cried in the hospital lobby.  There was nowhere to go and no one to say goodbye to.

There’s a bit more to that day, but it feels like this is enough to share.  After that day, I felt like my whole life had washed away.  Like there was nothing left of the me I knew before.  I felt like I had beared so much and could bear no more.  Bill had helped me through a major transitional time in my life.  Some of that was outer changes like loss of loved ones, my marriage ending, moving, changing my work, etc.  Most of it was, inner changes such as coming to know and understand my path as a healer, learning my own inner guidance system and how to trust my experience.

I truly believed I would not have made it through this time without his support.  And, with him suddenly gone, I didn’t feel like I had the foundation I needed to go on.  I wandered in this lost state for several weeks, even months.  The pain was so great that I am not sure how I functioned, but somehow I did.  I had already experienced loss in many ways, but there was a potency to this day and to having the experience of divorce, birth and death happen in such a proximal way that I will never forget.

Life is journey that includes many beginnings and endings, many gains and many losses, many births and many deaths.  As humans, it’s so natural to want to hold on to how things are but that is not the nature of existence.  I think the beauty of having all of that experience in one day showed me how important it is to just be with life, to flow and to trust that wherever we are is where we need to be.

Perhaps there is a day in your life that feels most important or impactful.  I hope you’ll take some time whether in writing or in life to share or reflect on that day, on what you felt and what you learned.

Namaste.

Bach Flower Of The Month: Star Of Bethlehem ~ The Remedy Of Comfort

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Star Of Bethlehem

“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.” ~ Arthur Golden

I have been feeling to bring Star Of Bethlehem into the monthly posts and now is the perfect time as the energy and support it brings can really be of benefit this time of year.  As I shared in my recent post, Autumn Tips For Happy & Healthy Living, this season is one that can bring feelings of sadness, loss and grief to the surface.  Dr. Edward Bach, creator of the Bach Flower Remedies, referred to Star of Bethlehem as “the comforter and soother of pain and sorrows”.   It is one the five remedies that is part of the well-known Rescue Remedy®, which is the only pre-made composite Bach Flower Remedy designed for use in emergencies and for acute stress and it is an essential part of any holistic medicine cabinet.

In the Bach Flower System, there is a category of remedies that are indicated for Despondency and Despair; Star of Bethlehem is in that group.  This can also be defined as remedies that may support “depressive feelings”.  I say “depressive feelings” because in the Bach Flower System and other holistic modalities, we do not treat a specific disease or condition such as depression or diabetes, but we focus on the whole person.  As Dr. Bach would say, “We treat the person, not the disease.”  These types of feelings or traits are an indicator of where a person is experiencing some type of imbalance or disharmony that needs to be addressed.

In determining what Bach Flower Remedies would best support a person, the practitioner and client work collaboratively to identify emotional states and personality traits that are present at the surface.  It is by addressing this outer layer of experience – i.e. what is at the surface or being experienced on a daily basis that we begin to access where a person is out of harmony with their soul and ultimately, the greater whole.  The remedies help to soothe our imbalances and like beautiful music, bring in vibrations that harmonize our being.  As we address one layer, then another will surface, bringing to light others areas that are in need of attention and healing.

In my own healing journey and my work with others as a practitioner over the last 15 years, I have found Star Of Bethlehem to be one that is often needed.  Star of Bethlehem is indicated when there are feelings of sorrow, grief, sadness or loss at the surface as well as when there are old losses coming up that we have not grieved.  Also, as the remedy of shock and trauma, Star Of Bethlehem is highly beneficial for anyone who has experienced trauma, and although it is this can occur in varying degrees, most people have experienced some shock or trauma that has gone unresolved in their lives.

Trauma can exist on all levels – body, mind, emotion and spirit.  And, it is something that creates an imprint in our being that often stays with us until we attend to it.  Some traumas resolve themselves naturally, however, it is not uncommon for those energetic imprints to remain and lie dormant until something triggers a re-awakening signaling it is time to be resolved.  This is often experienced when we have a loss occur and the new feelings arising tap into the great pool of unresolved loss we tend to carry within ourselves.

We may think of this only in terms of emotional trauma, but this can even be seen in the case of physical traumas or injuries when suddenly the pain or restriction of an old football injury or childhood accident resurfaces.  And, from many of the case studies of Dr. Bach, it was seen that unresolved shock and trauma on any level might later manifest into a physical condition.  Star Of Bethlehem is the remedy indicated to help resolve these patterns that may be affecting us on many levels.

Dr. Bach shared the following words about the Star Of Bethlehem remedy:

“For those in great distress, under conditions which for a time produce great unhappiness.  The shock of serious news, the loss of someone dear, the fright following an accident and such like.  For those who for a time refuse to be consoled, this remedy brings comfort.”

Here are some questions to see if Star Of Bethlehem may be beneficial for you at this time:

  • Are you experiencing feelings of sorrow, grief, sadness or loss?
  • Have you had a recent loss or one from the past that you are still struggling with?
  • Do you have a tendency toward feeling despondent?
  • Have you experienced trauma or abuse?
  • Are you working to resolve the effects of past trauma or PTSD?
  • Are you in a state of shock or numbness?
  • Do you feel a sense of agony that comes from what you have experienced?
  • Are you in a grief period or in the process of healing or grieving prior losses?
  • Do you feel like you carry a thread of sadness that won’t leave?
  • Are you experiencing a seasonal type of depression with feelings of sadness, loss and grief bubbling up?

Star Of Bethlehem has many benefits that support our ability to move through shock, trauma and loss.  Here are some of the ways this remedy can provide support:

  • Neutralizes shock in any form, current or past, from bad news, accidents, losses, etc.
  • Helps to clear and release trauma
  • Eases feelings of sorrow, grief, sadness and loss
  • Supports inner child healing
  • Brings us a deep sense of comfort
  • Helps to bring us back into the body and awaken us after shock or trauma

In thinking about losses, we tend to focus on the loss that comes through a death.  It is important to consider that there are many types of losses that can affect us – the loss of relationship, a job, a home, or a phase of life.  Even when we have an experience that is positive, such as getting married or having a child, it is possible that we feel some sense of loss due to the change in our lives.  It is natural to need to give some time and space to the feelings of loss that may arise in response to the constantly changing aspects of our lives.  In these cases, Star Of Bethlehem can provide a support as can Walnut, which helps us to ease through our transitions.

Also, I’d just like to mention that Star Of Bethlehem can be highly beneficial for animals that have suffered any type of abuse or trauma.  In my work with Rescue animals, their histories are often uncertain.  Whether they have experienced abuse in their prior situation or merely the trauma of being moved from one situation to another, Star Of Bethlehem can support them.  Rescue Remedy is always a good starting point for “Rescue” animals, but treatment with Star Of Bethlehem can be a great support in the resolving the trauma an animal may be carrying and can help them to settle into a new situation with greater ease.

I’d love to hear your experiences with Star Of Bethlehem or any thoughts, reflections or questions that may arise in response to the post.