How Being at the Beach Surprisingly Encouraged My Health

I found myself at a familiar place this morning, one of our local beaches. Remembering all the times a beach, pond, river or lake has supported me emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally, I felt at ease. Growing up in Massachusetts, we often went to Wollaston beach in Quincy or Nantasket beach in Hull. I loved playing in the sand and the surf. As I grew older, we went to White Horse beach in Plymouth. My preference was to bake in the sun and hang out with the teenagers my age. As an adult, I find the most solace in walking the beach, when it is off season.

The beach saved my life

Once in my twenties, I had suicidal thoughts. Rather than acting on them, I got in my car and drove to the beach. This was a dark time of uncovering past abuse and facing the fact that some people I thought I could trust, denied the reality I lived through. My world was broken and my sense of self was shaken. I remember standing out at the water’s edge, praying to God for help. It was a slow road but I was supported and guided away from these thoughts, to health. I am grateful to not have acted on these thoughts and have a career that has helped many others, in their healing journey.

The beach helped me grieve

The summer after my brother-in- law died, I was fifteen years old. I often went to the beach with my sister, nephew and niece. It was nice to have a sense of normalcy and be around people without having to talk to them. Despite my sadness and loss, I could reconnect to the present moment through my five senses. I felt the warmth of the sun, sand and water on my body. I heard the seagulls and surf. I saw the beautiful blue sky, waves and brown sand. I smelled the salty air, coconut oil and suntan lotions. I tasted the salty air and sandwiches we brought for lunch. I found myself again at the beach every month for a year, after my Mom’s death.

The beach is my church and home

I found a special connection to God and my soul at the beach. This place calms and grounds me. As soon as I walk out on the sand, I am received, held and supported. Slowing down, I receive guidance and marvel in the beauty of this life.

I find myself being drawn back to the beach because of the ongoing pandemic, political divides, worldly issues and even my own uprising within, known as perimenopause. All of these instances, hold a grief but on a different level. l know without a doubt, the beach supports all of this and me too. I am truly grateful to live so close to a variety of water bodies.

For Empaths: A Special Section

Water in any form is highly healing for empaths. I know many of you may not live near natural bodies of water, but you can incorporate water into your daily energy routine. These practices help you clear others’ energies, hydrate, ground and release what you no longer need.

How has water or a body of water helped you heal?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

How to not leave anything unsaid with loved ones

Death will touch all of our lives at some point, as it is a part of life. For myself, I learned about death when I was five years old and my Daddy died suddenly. I did not understand death, all I knew was he was here one moment and gone the next. My brother-in-law died when I was fifteen years of age, after three months of becoming ill. I learned early, why it is important to live life to the fullest and express my love to others. By the time, my Mom had her second severe stroke, we didn’t leave anything on the table. She died when I was thirty seven. I miss her but I don’t have any regrets. The same can be said with a couple of close friends of mine who have passed on to the other side.

These losses shaped how I view and live my life.  For example, I am an avid photographer because I enjoy capturing moments to savor later. During this time, I find myself cherishing these visual memories until we can all be together again safely. The most difficult part of social distancing is not hugging or being physically close to those you love. In this in-between time, we need to communicate our deepest feelings.

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Express your love verbally at every chance. Whether you have phone or video chats, tell your loved ones, “I love you.” Be vulnerable and open your heart.

“Be” with one another as much as you can- Talk about other topics besides the virus, politics and the supermarket. Although, these can be good ice breakers, dive deeper and be in the present moment with one another.

What do you personally need to say to your loved one? This answer may be different for each one of you. You may have said these things before but I urge you to say them again and again. If you are more comfortable with the written word, write your friend or loved one a letter or type an email.

Some wording to dive deeper can be:

  1. I love you- Express the warmth in your heart.
  2. Forgive me- Release regrets and move on.
  3. Thank you for__________________________. Express gratitude for who they are or what they have done.
  4. Remember when_______________________. Connect with fun memories.
  5. I admire you for_____________________. Be specific and tell them how proud you are of them.
  6. You have helped me with ___________________. Tell them how they have changed your life for the better.

Life is all about loving and letting go. At first, you may feel awkward having these types of conversations. Keep practicing, it will get easier and you will notice a change in yourself and all of your relationships. Give with all of your heart and you will never regret it.

Stay safe and I am thinking of you all.

Blessings, Lisa

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

How to Regain Balance When Your World Falls Apart

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”-Robert H. Schuller

How to Regain Balance When Your world Falls Apart

From November into December, my sense of security was disrupted. I felt like a shaken snow globe and I didn’t know where all of the pieces swirling around me were going to land. It began with a sudden health issue. While I was going to doctors, changing my diet, taking medications and being prescribed more tests, I had some relationship conflicts and then a sudden death in the family.

The more I tried to control my health situation and relationships, the more my world fell apart. Like many empaths, I shifted into overthinking because the feelings of overwhelm were too much. This was not working. I began to develop a deeper trust in myself and the Divine. I am happy to report, I am feeling better and am optimistic I will continue to improve. Here are a few steps I took to regain equilibrium, perhaps you will find them helpful too.

1.) Admit this sucks. Being a spiritual person, I work to be positive. This isn’t about being cheerful, it is about being real. Sometimes you have to be in the sh**. You will let others down and you will not get to do all the things you want to, right now.

Remember, you are in a place of suffering, but it will pass. Everything in this world is temporary. When you accept and acknowledge this state of the situation, it often shifts.

2.) Accept the out of control aspects of the situation and look for what you can control. Dust off that Serenity Prayer and begin to use it. The only person you can control is you and your choices.

Educate yourself about this situation and ask professionals for their advice. Be aware of too much research, which can turn into an obsession. Get off the Google search engine and step away.

Take steps to nurture yourself. Go to bed early and keep a lighter schedule. Say no to others like never before.

3.) Pray for others and yourself. Often it helps to take the focus off of yourself and help others. Pick five people each day who are in need of healing. Pray for these people specifically by name and in detail. Take five minutes for this practice. This is more than writing a passing thought of care on social media, this is about Divine connection. You can pray for the same person multiple times a week or different people.

If you are stuck on who to pray for scroll through your social media feed to find friends, who are reaching out for support through their posts.

4.) Be mindful. Practice deep breathing and meditate daily. Relaxation practices support health and healing. Stay grounded in your body as much as you can. This will create an inner sense of security. Listen to your inner wisdom and act on it. You may also want to read 6 Ways to Reconnect to the Body & Feel Secure

5.) Seek out supportive relationships. You do not need a lot of people, look for one or two. If you have one or two people, who you can share your difficulties with, this will be a source of healing for you. When you begin to share with too many people, you receive a lot of unsolicited advice, which can drain your energy.

6.) Focus on what you have. Gratitude can be healing. Keep it to five things a day. You can combine this with a few positive affirmations. If this feels forced, go back to steps one through five.

Remember you will get through this, you are strong and you are not alone. 

If you need assistance, support or an empathic ear, I am available for psychotherapy,  spiritual coaching sessions and angel card readings.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

How I Grieved My Client’s Death with Letter Writing

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Confidential Connections

When a client dies, it presents a unique situation for a therapist. Due to confidentiality, many counselors choose to not openly mourn with their client’s family and friends. The reason for this would be because of the common question; how do you know the deceased? This puts the counselor in an uncomfortable situation of lying or breaking confidentiality, which would be unethical.

Confidentiality never dies and it is a counselor’s duty to protect the client’s identity and what was said in session long after the client’s death. Over my seventeen year career, I have experienced client death due to cancer, aging and suicide. There is no formal training on how to deal with client loss.  If you are a counselor long enough, you will face your client’s death, at least once.

I was going through some old papers and found a letter I wrote. This letter was never sent because it was written to a deceased client. I am publishing a part of this letter to show how therapy can go beyond the clinical parameters set forth through our profession. As humans, we experience a variety of emotions and connections through our work. Only a small portion of these are discussed behind the closed doors of a supervision session, most remain within the therapist. The names and situations have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Putting Pen to Paper- The Letter 

Dear Paulette,

Did you get the card? Before I left for vacation, I sent you a get well card with dogs on it because I know they are your favorite animal. When I returned from vacation, I had a message from Roger telling me to call him. I knew about your scheduled surgery but I had no idea you died.

I have many questions about your physical health and illness, which will go unanswered. I know you would have stayed longer, if you could. You were a fighter and would not give up easily. I wish I knew sooner you were dying and we could say a final goodbye. Perhaps, you did not know you were dying at this point?

I never shared with you how you helped me grow as a person. Through our sessions, I developed patience and insight. There were many times, I found it difficult to sit with the rigidity, defensiveness, and control. We both stayed and worked through these times.

During those difficult exchanges, you reminded me of a family member. This is known as countertransference in our field, when a client reminds the therapist of unfinished business in her own life. I didn’t know how to sit with her anger and blame, without feeling drained. You helped me to see I can do this and not take what was said personally.

We did have some laughs despite the conflicts and came to a place of more calm. Today, I would hug you and say, “You matter to me, not only as a client but as a person.” I saw your soul beneath all of that fear.

The last time we spoke, I called your hospital room. You told me, “Don’t give up my time space in your schedule.” I responded, “I wouldn’t because I didn’t want to lose you as a client,” and I meant it. After your death, I had to fill in your time slot, although, there will always be a space in my heart that is only yours. You will live on as a part of me, due to our work together.

I know you are at peace and this gives me comfort. You are now reunited with your parents, whom you often spoke about. I sent Roger, who knew about your treatment, a sympathy card. I feel you would approve. Your family will miss you and so will I.

Sincerely,

Lisa

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine.

Pick up her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Why do we care when a celebrity dies?

I felt unsettled and upset when I heard Luke Perry died, at the age of fifty-two, from a severe stroke. Logically, I knew I didn’t know him and have never met him, but I felt a sense of loss. Being a licensed psychotherapist, I know it is normal to feel sadness and even to grieve a celebrity’s death. Often times, their death triggers an earlier unresolved loss within ourselves. When you are not aware of this, your original grief can get transferred onto a particular celebrity.

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A reflection of your own life

Shortly after hearing the news, I grabbed a pen and notebook. On the page, I spilled out a deep sadness which connected to my own personal experience. My Mom died after having two severe strokes. Each stroke happened without warning and left a path of devastation. Not only did these strokes change my Mom’s life, but also the entire family. Relationships once repaired were now ruptured again. This happened seven and a half years ago, I am still sifting through the rubble.

I know how a severe stroke touches all family members and in very different ways. I have empathy for the shock and emotional pain the family faces from such a sudden loss. Unlike Luke Perry, my Mom lived five months longer before her second severe stroke and heart attack. Again, there was no warning and this stroke left her unresponsive. 

Reminds you of your own mortality  

When a celebrity is close to your own age at the time of their death, it is only natural you begin to think of your own life. Luke Perry is close to my own age. Having multiple family members die young, this death reminds me of how fragile life is and of my own mortality.

A connection to your past

Most of you can connect actors or singers with special times in your life. Whether it was a song, a TV show or movie, it became a part of the important milestone you experienced.

I grew up watching Luke Perry on the TV show Beverly Hills 90210, every week. I often viewed the show with a group of girlfriends throughout high school. We would gather at one house, with snacks and hushed voices, hanging on every word. The tradition continued in college. A group of us met in my dorm room huddled around the TV. The door to our room would be left open because it was hot in there. You could hear all the way down the hallway the same show being broadcasted. A part of my young adult life is now gone, along with many past relationships with the girls. As, you can see there can be multiple levels of grieving that occur.

A sense of community with your grief

I am not one to share on social media how a celebrity death affects me, although I have written this blog post. Many people find comfort posting about their celebrity crushes and connecting about the loss. Often grief is a solitary activity, you don’t have to feel alone in today’s world. You can see how other people care about the celebrity’s death as much as you do and bond together.

An opportunity to heal

Although you may never know the celebrity you grieve for, their passing can be a trigger to your own emotional wounds. In their death, unknowingly, they offer you an opportunity to look in the mirror and heal past pain.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Pick up her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!  at http://www.lisahutchison.net

 

 

5 Ways Expressive Arts Heal Unexpressed Pain

 “Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist.” 
― Eileen Miller, The Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art

5 Ways Expressive Arts Heal Unexpressed Pain

Expressive art therapy combines creativity with psychotherapy. It feels fun, yet is a deep form of healing for people who can’t put their emotional pain into the spoken word. Creative methods help people process post traumatic stress, grief, and terminal or chronic medical conditions. It can help anyone decrease depression and anxiety. Expressive art therapy is most effective when the client has an interest in creativity and you work with a licensed psychotherapist, who has knowledge of expressive art therapy techniques.

What is expressive art?

Expressive art is any type of creative activity (painting, writing, singing, dancing) in which you experience a decrease in symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. Its purpose is to shift emotions, in order to process them. Unlike traditional art, expressive art it is not about making a pretty picture. Although, you can end up with a beautiful piece of art in the end. Here your focus is on the process, not the finished product.

5 Ways Expressive Arts Heal Unexpressed Pain

Art holds a space for transformation to take place. You are in control of how much you express and when. If the process feels too overwhelming, put the art aside. Together, with your therapist, you decide when to re-enter the work. The page, paper or room where art is created, holds the space for you without judgment, as a therapist does in any talk psychotherapy session. This safe place for healing, allows you to open up, connect, and accept the pain inside. When you allow yourself the space and freedom to express creatively, healing takes place no matter what type of art modality you choose.

Relaxes and opens you to new possibilities. Play is important for everyone, not just young kids. Expressive art gives you a chance to have fun and let go. Think back to a time, when you were caught up in the moment of creation. You experienced a sense of timelessness or an expanded sense of time. Afterwards, many of you asked, “Where did the time go?” You returned to this moment, renewed and refreshed. This type of surrendering to spirit is when the most healing happens.

Helps you process terminal and chronic illnesses. It is difficult to connect with emotions when you are in physical pain. No matter how ill you are, you have the power of your imagination. It is common to experience anxiety and depression with any form of illness, including chronic pain. “The Expressive Arts, including painting, sculpture, music, dance, and literature, can bring joy, pleasure, and laughter to patients and staff in medical settings, qualities often in short supply. Making art or hearing music reminds us that no matter how ill or busy we are, we can always tap into the magic of our imagination. This frees patients from being just “the cancer patient in bed 4,” passive with no power, to the person who has cancer who still also has an imagination, a creative spark. This spark can be utilized to tell her story, imagine her healing, aid in her recovery” (Heath, 2005).

Heals Trauma. After a tragic event, people feel overwhelmed. Their nervous system reacts in one of three ways; fight, flight or freeze mode, releasing various stress hormones. When these chemicals don’t reset after a trauma, it changes the actual physical structures in the brain. The good news is with treatment these structures can be restored. Creative arts helps clients who have adversity, process these unspeakable experiences and organize them within the brain. Art helps contain these emotions and break them down into mentally digestible pieces. People find healing by telling their story in a different way, which reduces trauma symptoms.

Contains the Devastation of Grief and Loss. Often after a death, it is difficult to put your experience into words. Art gives you a safe place to express all of your feelings after a loss; whether it is anger, sadness, bargaining, depression, or acceptance. This process is also helpful when facing denial, as it helps you take in a small portion of the pain to work through at a time. There is no judgement with art; no one tells you to get over your loss or move on. Often through art, one not only heals but also finds a way to keep their loved one’s memory alive.

Reference: Creating Connections between Nursing Care and the Creative Arts Therapies: Expanding the Concept of Holistic Care by Carole-Lynne Le Navenec, Laurel Bridges (2005)   Chapter 7 The Spark of Creativity: Expressive Arts in a Hospital Setting by Wende Heath. 

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist with over fifteen years experience in counseling and nine years of experience using expressive art techniques. She specializes in working with professionals who often get drained from their helping efforts, giving them the tools and support to recharge and rejuvenate their energies. Get her free gift here a 10 page E-book: 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!  

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How to Walk Through Grief with Grace

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I woke up on the seventh anniversary of my Mom’s death, feeling depressed. Each year is different, some are a mere hiccup while others feel more intense. It has been awhile since an anniversary has hit me this hard.

This year and summer have been rocky for me. A good friend of mine died in February, I let go of many relationships, which no longer resonated with me and many family relationship dynamics have shifted.

Today, I decided to be by the water. I have found great solace at the beach in the past and knew it would help me shift into a different energy. One of my favorite places to walk is The Grace Trail in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Finding Grace in Grief

I have walked the Grace Trail many times. It is a meditative walk that asks five questions along the journey. Grace Trail was created by Anne Jolles to help her cope with the personal challenges and struggle of having a son in combat in Afghanistan. Since then it has helped thousands of people. I will share each stop with you so you can virtually travel through this blog and answer each question in your own mind.

What am I Grateful For?

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At the beginning of the trail, I start with a past and present gratitude. I am grateful to have witnessed the miracle of my Mom moving her thumb after a severe stroke because not many people get to witness a miracle like that. You can read more about the marvel of a single movement in this article from Reader’s Digest called 7 Miraculous Stories About the Power of Healing Prayers . Coming back to this moment, I took a page from my Mom and stated, “I am grateful to be alive today.”

What do I need to Release?

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A way down the trail, I find release. I let go of life needing to be a certain way. If 2018 has taught me anything, it is this. There is a higher plan at work, even when you do not see it yet. The Serenity Prayer is a great tool to aid in releasing what you cannot control.

 

What is calling out for Acceptance?

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Walking up a short hill, I come upon acceptance. I accept life as it is and remember everything is as it is meant to be, even if I don’t understand it in this moment.

What is my next Challenge?

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Walking down the hill and coming back around, I find challenge. I thought of a couple of challenges or places I am growing. The one which steps me most outside of my comfort zone is self-publishing and more public speaking.

What can I Embrace as possible?

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Moving forward with confidence in my step, I embrace. I fully take in this present moment, trusting all is as it needs to be.

Feel free to share your journey through this blog in the comment section below.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. She specializes in working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, refill and recharge their energies. Get her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Here are some additional resources about the Grace Trail:

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You can walk the trail anywhere, anytime, with anyone by just showing up and asking the questions shared in this book.  Buy it here at Amazon

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Grace Trail® Hope Cards: 57 cards to wake up your life! 150 questions worth asking, plus beautiful images to nourish your curiosity and provide encouragement. Buy them at Amazon here!

Lisa Hutchison is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. She receives a small payment from Amazon when you purchase through these links- at no additional cost to you. Thanks!

Why Angels are Important in the Manifestation Process

Why Angels are Important in the Manifestation Process

Growing up, my Mom told me everyone has a guardian angel. This angel is with you since birth helping you throughout your life. It was 20 years ago, I bought my first angel card oracle deck. I had a tarot deck, animal oracle cards and rune cards yet I preferred my connection to the angels. I found them to be gentle and direct with their guidance, which is the perfect combination for an empath like me. From there, I bought thirteen angel card decks, a mediumship card deck and a goddess oracle card deck.

The angels have helped manifest many goals and intentions. They guided me to release what blocked my progress and where to increase my energy. I have found angels can help with anything, from the mundane areas of life to the most important. Your only limitation is your own mind because any area of life is a possibility for growth. All you have to do is ask!

Here are some specific areas angels help with the manifestation process, remember the list is endless.

1.) Find work you love and live your life’s purpose. When you are uncertain, the angels can show you how to increase your confidence, be more assertive, hone in on your skills and interests. Archangel Michael’s specialty is work and life purpose.

2.) Heal chronic pain and health issues. When you have tried everything you can think of, turn to the angels. Angels give you the hope to try something new in regards to your health whether you are suffering on a mental, physical or spiritual level. They give you gentle guidance to take the next step and improve your well being. Archangel Raphael is a magnificent healer.

3.)  Find your soulmate or the love you desire.  Looking for love? The angels can tell you the areas you need to heal in order to open up and attract a partner. They also give guidance to those who are in established relationships whether it is to bring in more romance and passion or how to let go of a relationship.

4.) Heal Your Grief– The angels give you comfort and help put things into perspective in a time where everything is turned upside down. Often they have connected me and my clients with deceased loved ones (humans and animals) in order to resolve unfinished business.

5.) Children and Creativity- Angels remind you to be lighthearted and to play. They can help you with fertility and pregnancy, through all the years of your child’s development. Archangel Gabriel loves to assist with children and creative writing.

6.) A New Home- Ask for the angels help in finding a new home or selling your current one. They can help with financing to relocation issues. Once you move in, they can assist you in making your house a home.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, certified angel card reader and Divine Channel. With over 15 years experience as a mental health counselor she gives you the encouragement, guidance and support you need to take the next step forward. If you would like an individual reading for angels or mediumship contact Lisa as she offers in person and phone readings all over the world. 

Pick up her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net

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How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief

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I find myself facing the transitory nature of life again. In 2016-2017, I had two friends die. Last month in February, another one joined the light. I am in a mixed state of denial, shock and intermittent sadness. You would think it gets easier to grieve when you have had a lot of practice with it such as myself, it doesn’t. Each grief experience is unique and takes you into the depths of your being. A part of yourself dies because you no longer have that shared physical experience and memory of being together.

Life is all about holding on and letting go

I have found the letting go part scary and at times I have not been very good at it. I want to recreate and sit with the memories a little bit longer. I read old texts, emails and look at photos in an effort to grab a hold of that old connection once more. Then the realization sweeps over me and the pain of the loss sets in.

I reach out but find I can’t make or control certain family members to care more. I try to force a square peg into a round hole and find myself tense up when it does not work according to my plan. I want to assure you, this is normal in the beginning stages of grief. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you adjust to a new reality. Overtime, this tensing up and holding on can translate into body pains, sleep difficulties and irritability. This is when you need to let go…

 Tips to let go

1.) Awareness– Know your own signs of holding on too tight. Are you are an obsessive thinker or doer? Learn your body signals and see where you resist letting go. A couple of days after the loss of my friend, I received a message from spirit telling me; “Relax, you don’t always have to be going someplace.”

2.) Don’t think about it, just do it – Choose to let go and take a leap of faith. Do not intellectualize the letting go. Rather than focusing on how to do it, be present with releasing. Start by surrendering to your breath. Breathe in and state, “I am calm.” Breath out and state, “I let go.” You will need to practice letting go many times as it is not a natural process for most people.

3.) Remind yourself, it is safe to let go. Often our fears make letting go worse than the reality is. Believe and trust you are safe. You may need to tell yourself, “I am safe or it is safe to let go now.”

4.) Remember how letting go can feel positive. When you have fully healed and let go, you are left with a feeling of joy, release and freedom. Think back to when you were a child and rode a bike unassisted or stood up on ice skates to move on your own.

In letting go, you trust and release the emotional pain. What remains is the love, memories and spiritual connection. Now you are open to a new way of living. If you need more help through the grieving process check out these blogs:

Coping with the unexpected death of a friend  (grief, sudden loss, friend, PTSD, complicated grief, empath)

5 Powerful Ways of Finding Freedom from Empathic Guilt (petloss, guilt, empath)

This blog is dedicated to my friend Gary who would have been 63 years old today when this blog was published on March 6th. He died from a courageous battle with esophageal cancer on February 3, 2018. Thank you Gary for shining your light upon my life.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Unresolved grief or loss is one of the many ways your energy becomes depleted overtime. Lisa specializes in working with professionals who get drained from their helping/caring efforts, refill and recharge their energy.  Visit her website and get a FREE gift- 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at www.lisahutchison.net  

Coping with the unexpected death of a friend

Coping with the unexpected death of a friend

Death has a deep effect upon an empathic soul. The more you are attached to someone, the stronger your grief reaction will be. As an empath, your energy becomes enmeshed with those close to you. When a death occurs, it is a process of letting go of those physical connections and establishing a new connection that is only at a spiritual level.

Grief can become more complex when a death is unexpected or sudden. The state of shock you first experience cushions you in the initial days. It is also exhausting and draining because you are carrying the emotional pain of your loss, which has yet to be expressed. Some people experience trauma symptoms similar to PTSD after an intense loss, this is known as complicated grief.

Helpful Suggestions in Your Grief

1.) Acknowledge grief is work and it takes its toll physically, emotionally and spiritually when it is ignored. In order to heal, you need to feel. Make time for grief. If it pops up at inconvenient times, write about it at night or on the weekends.

2.) Feel the pain of the loss. This is the most difficult part of grief, without it there is no moving forward. At this point in the healing process, you may need to reach out to an empathic therapist who has expertise in grief/loss issues.

3.) Keep your routine. Structure will give you a sense of stability and control when emotions feel intense or come out of the blue.

2 friends, 6 months

One of my best friend’s died from cancer, last October. It was a month from the diagnosis to his death. Six months later on the exact date, I found out that a friend of mine that I met on Facebook and talked to by phone, died suddenly on her 54th birthday.

Sharon and I were both co-authors in 365 Ways to Connect with Your Soul and 365 Life Shifts books. I often visited her Facebook page when I didn’t see her posts in my newsfeed because there would be a variety of positive and uplifting messages. She felt this was something she needed and wanted to do every day for others. I am grateful she listened to that voice within that I often encourage others to do. I know many days, I was helped by her posts.

I read about her death when I visited her Facebook page the day after her birthday. At first, I was in complete shock and disbelief seeing a couple of posts from others that spoke about her death. I hoped it was a cruel joke, but it wasn’t. I felt angry and questioned God, why her? I reasoned saying that others could have been taken off this Earth instead. I also cried over the loss realizing that there will be no other phone calls or positive posts left by her on her page anymore. These feelings of denial, confusion, anger, shock, bargaining and sadness are all normal parts of the grieving process.

Here are some of her recent posts that inspired me, perhaps they will inspire you also. She often wrote one word to empathize the post which I have included here:

Inspire

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Courage

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Faith

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Some Days

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Practices I learned from early loss and death in my own life. 

1.) Shine your light. The Divine gave you this light for a reason. Go out there and be your best self without apology.

2.) Value your connections. Enjoy every moment of this journey called Life and everyone who is in it. Acknowledge and give others attentive love, you never know when you or the other will be called home.

This blog has been dedicated to those who have suffered sudden losses and to my friend Sharon Rothstein. I know you are shining your light down on us from heaven. xx

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

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