3 Non-Actions To Take When Anxiety, Brexit & Not-Knowing Abound

Uncertainty-100x100Fear gripped me, like a vice around my guts.  I treaded water in the swimming pool in which I had arrived for an early morning dip, before the heat of the day became too much. Brexit had arrived.

My friend had called from the terrace rooftop of the villa in which I was staying in Italy, on holiday.

‘Do you want the good news or the bad?’

I had paused in my leisurely breaststroke, and cocked my head.

‘We’re out,’ she called.

I swam to the side to hold onto the bar. Surely not? I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that the people of the UK might really vote to leave the EU.

Now, nearly two weeks on and the shock waves are still coming, though like the ripples in a still pond when a stone is thrown in, they are lessening from the centre out.

Uncertainty, doubt, confusion, fear, guilt, anger, tears – you may already be very familiar with these emotions.

They all belong to grief.

In one way or another, the citizens of the UK are in mourning; yes, even those who voted to leave. Because when any kind of ending comes, whether you realize it or not, a letting go has to happen, and that involves a mourning of some kind as the old dies away and makes way for the new.

Just as in the death of a person.

And as you will know if you have ever suffered a major ending of any kind in your life, let alone the death of a loved one, the resulting emotions can be very turbulent, with uncertainty and unknowing a common thread through them all.

At times like this, the mind goes into overdrive, trying to sort out how to cope. Trying to find a clear path forward, and bring things back to a sense of order. But the qualities of grief are the exact opposite of that.

Grief includes not knowing, wondering, and anxiety when a major change happens. You’re not supposed to be able to make decisions easily, be organized or able to think clearly.

It helps if you realize this, because then you can catch yourself being self-judgmental or self-critical (which often shows up as judging and criticizing of others, as in mutterings such as ‘the idiot, why did he do that?’ or ‘it’s not fair, I didn’t want that!’ or ‘why didn’t I …. (or why did I….)’.

When you notice yourself thinking these kinds of thoughts, what may appear on the surface as an opportunity for you to be right and others wrong, is in fact an opportunity to go deeper and understand what is really happening.

And what’s really happening is a natural human reaction to loss.

It occurs with all major losses.  But the way that individual humans react to these losses is very variable, and can make the difference between experiencing pain, and prolonging suffering.

Here’s 3 non-actions you can take to help you move through anxiety and grief more easily:

  1. Watch out for statements that keep you separate from others. These are easy to identify as they usually keep you right and the other wrong (e.g. blaming someone for dying in the first place, wishing you had behaved differently, justifying your actions). Breathe and go deeper to find the underlying opening your heart is showing you.
  1. Withstand the emotion-based demands from your mind which likes to control and feel certain. The ability to withstand these usually urgent messages, which nearly always dictate that you take action quickly, are messages that are coming from fear. Fear-based actions will always eventually create trouble. They have that inherent in them. Instead, just wait and see what happens.
  1. Be willing to experience the sea of uncertainty and unknowing. Become familiar with how this ocean feels. Let yourself be tossed about, or even just bob around, in these waters until clarity shows itself.  This is not an easy task, because of points 1 and 2. But if you can do that, you may find yourself surprised at what can then arise to the surface.

The Brexit campaign leaders have been judged as not having prepared properly in the event they won this referendum. There was no clear leader, clear strategy, clear list of instructions of what needed to happen next. Some kind of preparation in advance would have undoubtedly helped UK and EU citizens  to manage this transition more easily.

If you’ve been recently bereaved, then any advance planning that person did before they died will also help you.  That’s what happened for me when my husband died, and I was incredibly grateful he had taken the time to do at least some death prep – it helped me hugely to know I was carrying out his wishes.

Most people instinctively know that, at the minimum, a will is a good idea.

But most also do nothing about it (79% of people in the UK and the USA have been quoted as saying it’s a great idea to be well-prepared for their own death, and only 21% have anything written down).

If you’re one of the 79%, then take my free quiz here to find out how well-prepared you actually are: https://janedr.leadpages.co/big-quiz-webinar/

 

My new book Gifted By Grief is out NOW!

Gifted By Grief is finally out! here I am with Robert Holden (who wrote the wonderful foreword):
And here is a doodle of what I feel like doing – standing on the top of a high mountain, telling the whole world about it!

You are getting to hear about it first, as you’re on my mailing list.

(What you also need to know is that next week on 8/9/10th September, the e-book version will be FREE!  This is because I really want to get it out to as many people as possible. (I will send out a reminder re this).But it’s for sale right now, e-book and paperback, so if you can’t wait to take a peek, visit here!

You know, death and dying have never had good press, although that is beginning to change, but grief is lagging behind. That’s a large part of the motivation behind this book – to invite people into my life while it was going on. I hope it will help people become more comfortable with grief, whether they are experiencing it themselves or affected by someone else going through it.

It’s a hugely personal book, and yet oddly, I feel somehow detached from it. Like I just have to serve it.  It’s as if this book has a life of it’s own, and all I have to do is obey it’s instructions. Right now, that’s get this book out to as many people as possible. So that’s what I’m doing 🙂

Please join me by passing on this link to anyone else you know: https://janedr.leadpages.co/gbg-sales-page/

Thank you!

London Bombings, Grief and Taking a Stand

In the wake of the tenth anniversary of the London bombings I’m writing this to anyone still affected by grief after a long time.

Ten years and two days ago, a horrific thing happened, which hardly bears thinking about, even now. It affected many people, not just those caught up in the incident themselves.

When tragedy strikes in the unexpected manner in which it did in the 7/7 London bombings, it is, of course, appalling. The shock, horror and all other emotions are overwhelming. Some may have come through this and become stronger as a result. Others may still be struggling, even years on.

My heart goes out to you if this is the case; I cannot imagine what it must have been like if you were a direct victim of the bombings, or a family member of someone who died, or someone who witnessed the suffering of those affected.

I do, however, know what it feels like to have a husband die from cancer (no comparison I know, and not intended to be). What I’ve discovered, though, is that in the grieving there is a gift to be found.

If you find yourself reacting to this statement, then maybe you are still hiding from your gift. Let me tell you about what I discovered.

I found my gift as a result of my husband’s death, there is no doubt about it.

I was propelled into an obsession with discovering what it is that is in a body that makes it alive one moment, and dead the next. Everything else was irrelevant.

As I watched my husband move from breathing to no breathing, I began to need, with a burning passion, to find out what it was that had been in the ‘filled skin-and-bones bag’ that had now become an empty bag before my eyes.

The life had been literally sucked out of him, leaving behind just a lifeless body, like a deflated balloon.

Discovering that we are not a body was a profound moment of realisation.

When you know beyond doubt that you are not a body, and neither is anyone else, then when the body dies it does not matter quite so much.

A heretic statement, maybe, and it certainly doesn’t take away the pain and sorrow of the loss. But it gets to be experienced in a different way.

Because when your thinking has turned upside down, and you realize that the body, with all its thoughts, feelings and sensations, is just a temporary home for who you really are, instead of your identity being solely housed in your body, then you awaken to moments of being.

Those are eternal; not subject to the laws of time, and allow connection with those that have died.

You may have found the gift in your grief already, whatever it is for you.

It may be nothing to do with not being a body. But if you haven’t found your gift, then I invite you to consider getting curious about what a body really is.

To explore this and discover for yourself that perhaps you and your loved one really are just a breath away.

 

 

How Grief is Transforming Wild Wisdom

I unwittingly jumped on a rollercoaster ride when I came back from holiday a few weeks ago.Roller Coaster 1

I was plunged into a tsunami of rage towards my dead husband of 3 years.

It’s been a very long time since I felt like this, and it was a bit shocking to be taken over so much by these intense feelings. It only lasted a couple of days, but I criticised myself for not being able to work; I berated myself for not being further forward in my life; and I felt stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. Swirling around in the tears and the anger and the pain that it all brought, old habitual limiting thoughts rising to the fore.

It came to a head when I noticed how furious I was with the newly-retired man living next door. What for? Because he was retired and he and his wife could do whatever they liked on his pension. And I had no man, who had left me with a very precarious financial situation.

That stopped me. I had to laugh, it was so outrageous! He had done nothing at all, and yet he provoked my fury. Obviously, I needed help!

I got help in the form of good colleagues helping me get my mind straight, after the floods of tears which were the aftermath of the tsunami. But the washing through of this, and a willingness to trust the process (which I had been resisting) emerged again and I spent the next two days doing what I really wanted to do – have a good clear out of my flat.

Normally, I spend most of my time doing what I want to do. So this whole episode was unusual to say the least. But I’m sharing it here because it was the precursor of another event – and looking back, I can see it was the darkness before the light.

At the same time, I was working with Julia Stege, The Magical Marketer (This is the woman I mentioned to you last week – our call together has been moved from Monday 11th to Tuesday 19th May, details following in a separate email).

The result of this has been far-reaching. I am celebrating another change for Wild Wisdom, woo hoo, bring it on!  I seem to thrive on change, once I get used to the idea it is happening 🙂

Julia and I came up together with a statement that encompasses how my work with Wild Wisdom and my forthcoming book Gifted By Grief combine together:

“I help spiritual women business owners who have been stopped by grief to awaken to the gifts and wild wisdom in their situation, so they can step fully into their new life and make the contribution they were born to make.”

It was so obvious! I even remembered that my business coach had mentioned this connection to me a few months ago – but obviously I wasn’t ready to hear it, let alone act on it.

I was resistant because I thought it meant a very narrow niche – how many spiritual solo professionals and small business owners had been stopped by grief, like I was?  Well, on reflection, when I realised everyone has had grief of some kind in their lives, quite a lot!

Grief is all part of the human tapestry of emotion. It comes with being alive in a body. What’s important about grief is how it is pushed away, tolerated, or welcomed in. When either of the former two happen, it will make its presence felt (eventually) in no uncertain terms.

It is well-documented that when grief is not processed fully it can have a detrimental effect on the body, let alone on any other aspect of life. And even when it is welcomed, it can still cause problems.

So how does grief show up in life?  Here’s a list with a few ways:

  • Death of a loved one (person or pet)
  • A loved one has illness/diagnosis
  • Kids leaving home (empty nest)
  • Forced to move
  • Losing a business partner
  • Career change causing confusion
  • Loss of health
  • Divorce
  • Failure
  • Loss of innocence (eg if raped)
  • Loss of hope (eg infertility)
  • A dream not realised

So I will be focusing my website and my marketing to this end. I’ll be posting about the myriad ways that life ‘interferes’ with your plans, and causes you to stop, both at an inner level and an outer, more practical level. And of course, what to do about it, even if it is just being comfortable with stopping.

My heart really sings when I facilitate and witness an inner transformation, a light bulb going off in someone’s head as they see/hear/feel things differently, and which impacts their behaviour. Then I’m in heaven, grateful for the opportunity to serve, and delighted that this is my work and I get paid for it!

My Spirit in Business 5 Steps to Success programme begins with the element of discovering exactly who you are, and what you offer to the world, so that will stay the same. Likewise, there is still a place for the Radical Income Welcome Toolkit, which is full of gems that are useful in all walks of life, not just when you’ve been stopped by grief.

So the website will be changing in the next few weeks as I get my head around what my heart wants to move forward with.

 I invite you to come on the journey with me.

And if you would like to explore the situation you find yourself in at work or in your life, please contact me for a free 30 minute exploratory session, where I can listen to you, hear what’s being said in between the words, and help you get clear about your next steps forward.

Gifted By Grief – my new book

Gifted by GriefAt the bottom of my emails under my name it now says ‘Author of the forthcoming book, ‘Gifted By Grief” A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth’.  (Find out more here)

A few people have asked me about this lately – it will be published next summer probably, and today I wanted to share with you about this project, and why I’m working on it.

After my husband died, nearly 3 years ago now, I went through a major transformation, one of the results being Wild Wisdom Coaching itself, and now the book.  But I’m also on a mission to raise awareness about death, dying and grief. I joined the organization Dignity in Dying because I believe in having the right to choose the time of your death, if you are suffering from an incurable illness.

Why do I believe this?

Because if my husband had not been so afraid of dying, he could have chosen an ending of much less suffering than he had to go through.

Watching someone you love go through pain that can’t be controlled was really horrible. (Yes, he was on morphine but the side effects of that were extremely debilitating). He’d got to this stage because he was so afraid of dying, even right up towards the end. But I kind of wanted him to die so he could be free of it, no matter how I would feel afterwards.

I’ve been inspired again by this because of a video in a newsletter sent out recently by Dignity in Dying and today I’m sharing that with you because of the message from a very courageous young woman.  View it here

How does this apply to you and your business?  Listen to what she says at 6.05 and apply it.  (But I recommend watching the whole video, it’s just 6.5 minutes and is very inspiring).

And if you want to hear more about my book project as it goes along, and be one of the first to hear about it when it’s published, sign up here for that.