How do you help a grieving friend

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Today I’d like to share Megan Devine’s new You Tube video ‘How do you help a grieving friend’. A lot of this also works for anxiety and depression too.

SO much of this also applies to mental health issues too. People judge you, correct you (which they show by telling you what you SHOULD do) and shame you by saying ‘why don’t you just…’. It hurts so bad and it makes you stop talking, they skip off feeling great, while you are left hurting even more. Abandoned in your pain, alone and they are now someone else for the ‘keep you mouth shut n don’t tell the truth’ when they ask ‘how are you’ list, which is so long you can’t remember who is safe anymore so you pretty much stay silent.

Please don’t ask ‘How are you?’ its right up there as one of the most hurtful things to say, and here is why.

  1. You know I’m struggling, to you this is a throw away comment, something people just say. To me its a time bomb. By asking that question, I face the dilemma of; do I lie so you might stay, and it makes YOU feel better, or tell the truth and watch you shuffle your feet, look at your watch n leave at the speed of light. If you don’t wanna know, please don’t ask me that question.
  2. I don’t have the energy or strength to make up some dismissive line. I don’t want to lie and you don’t like it when I tell the truth.
  3. This one is also very important so I’m going to underline it. If I make sentences after your question, this isn’t a to do list, you don’t need to take action unless I ASK you too.

Look at me before you ask something, do I meet your eyes, do I look like I’ve slept in the last week? If not, don’t ask me how I am, ask me if I’d like company, would I like a hug, would I like YOU to make a cup of tea and just sit silent in the same room, so that just for a while, I don’t have to do this alone.

You can’t fix this, you can’t change this, and right now I can’t handle it. If you have to you can ask me if I want to talk about it but don’t EXPECT me to have the words.

I can’t handle hearing your ‘here’s how perfect my life is going’ stories, you tell me to ‘cheer me up’ because they are hitting me like; ‘here is what you HAD and don’t have now’. They make me feel more lonely, and depressed.

What would I like to hear?

What would I like? Company on the page I’m on. Meet me on the page I’m on, be there, hold my hand if I ask, give me a hug if I ask, hear the crack in my voice that says ‘today is WAY too heavy and I can’t process’. Make me a cup of tea coz I don’t have the strength, maybe run me a bath coz for me to do that feels like climbing a mountain, even tho it would feel nice.

Please don’t bring your expectations and think I will embrace them with open arms, I don’t have the strength to explain, to defend or to process.

Please don’t give me advice, unless I ask for it. The irony of people who will pummel you with every ‘you should, why don’t you’ in the book but go silent when you actually ask them for advice or worse still give you the ‘I can’t get that involved’ line which makes me feel like pond mud.

Lets keep this simple, what I most would like is, a cuppa, some company and someone to hold my hand, without feeling the need to fill the silence. That costs nothing, can you do that for me? If you can’t, if you can’t let me be on the page I’m on without judging me correcting me or shaming me, then please, do us both a favor and just DON’T ASK.

Say Hello and leave it at that.

Because for some of us gravity is a whole lot heavier than it is for you. We know you can’t can’t handle this, its written all over your face, just know, NEITHER  CAN WE BUT WE DON’T HAVE THE LUXURY OF CHOICE.

Links

Megan Devine is a wonderful person, she has a website and online journalling course and a fantastic book. Many thanks for telling it like it is Megan and for helping the rest of us gradually find our voices and say ‘This is not ok’ how grieving and (people with mental health issues) is treated right now is not ok.

Sending you all peace, love light and hope in the darkness. I wrote this after being repeatedly treated badly and not having the voice to let that person know. If this is happening to you and you want a post you can point them at to say; ‘This is how I feel and this is how you make me feel when you do this’.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post if it helped you.

Billie x

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When you are hopeless

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I wanted to share this video from You Tube, it has some good words but approach with caution as there are some violent scenes in it, which some viewers may find upsetting. However that aside, it does speak to your soul when you are in the dark place, where you can’t hear those around you and all is darkness and swirl.

Missing my Dad. Fathers Day and grief

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This poem is for everyone missing their Dad today.

Missing my Dad on Father’s Day

Father’s Day sucks when your Daddy is dead,

And memories of good times, are on loop in your head.

It makes your heart heavy and so sad you could die,

And you sit there alone in your sadness and cry.

 

You hear those around you, enjoying their day,

Those family groups, enthralled in their play.

You wish and you wish, as hard as you can,

That he was still beside you, that wonderful man.

 

He’s there in your genes, in your DNA,

He’s here in your heart, and there he will stay.

Its just there are times, you miss holding his hand,

And to hear his kind voice, you both hatching a plan,

To escape from the space, that’s bringing you down,

And go seek adventure, wherever you can.

 

In loving memory of my Dad, who was the best adventurer of local spaces, and could do ANYTHING! Who took me on the best walks in nature, for always taking time to listen, who showed me how to be kind to all things in this world. For his never ending patience, for his wisdom, for his kindness for his love.

Thanks Dad , I love you, I miss you, you were the best Dad ever.

 

Billie

 

 

Wellness Wednesday; Self Care Package for May

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It would be fair to call this a bumpy year so far, but I’ve taken a big step into self care practice and the difference is amazing. I have recently had my first Reiki treatment and it was THE most incredible healing experience ever. It has made a massive difference to my anxiety, depression and grief issues and physical pain issues too.

Now I know this is a game of managing symptoms not things that are ‘fixable’ but this is the first time I have found something that has had this much of a positive result. I felt so blissed out afterwards and had the most comforting, nurturing feeling of being held for days afterwards.

I totally agreed with the lady who suggested meditation daily would be useful for me.  The lady did a lot of grounding work with me and this is the most IN my body I’ve ever felt and in a good way. It felt like my soul had come home. Now its my job to make this body and this house a place it wants to stay in.

Goddess calls, Sound Therapy and Shamanic Drums

Recently I discovered Elen of the Ways, she is an antlered goddess, one who has associations with reindeer, following their paths and lay-lines. I have long been interested in lay-lines and dowsing with rods, and recently had help to create my own dowsing rods. I love my crystal pendulums which I regularly use too.  I have felt so lost and scattered for many years and Elen seems the perfect goddess for me at the moment and I hope we journey together for a long time.

Elen of the Ways helped me find the Reiki healer, led me to my Shamanic drum, more grounding crystals came home and I re-learnt the importance of grounding and how sound plays into that journey. Many thanks to Jonathan from Heron Drums who creates the most amazing drums, much like crystals drums seem to choose those who need them most in the moment. I am the very humble, honored owner of a reindeer drum which has a smokey quartz crystal in the lacing at the back. I cried when I heard it played. FIle it under ‘Your soul speaks only as loud as it needs for you to listen’. Lets just say if I ignore my soul she just gets louder and makes me cry when I see what I most need on my journey. Limited dexterity means I can’t play the drum for long but the sound is very grounding and she is totally going to be part of my healing journey.

I’ve put a singing bowl on the landing, which I sound when I pass it, so I take a moment or two to be with that sound and being still.

Also on the sound therapy exploration I have invested in the Koshi chimes, the first one arrived today, the Ignis, OMG its soooo soothing, so I will live on weetabix to enable me to collect the others; terra, aria, aqua too.

Some new crystals have settled here and are helping as well.

I hope this doesn’t read as a boastful brag post because it really isn’t. I have seen self care as self indulgent and felt guilty just for buying a magazine. but after the healing effect of the Reiki, I realise that self care is not just important its vital. We live in a society that expects us to keep going till breaking point. WHY???? We have been fed this idea for so long it feels like its our idea too and we are bad people if we do not or cannot keep up.

Well I’m stepping into my power and saying this is what I NEED to survive right now.

Gentle soothing sounds, rest, sleep, to be still and process.

To be cautious of who is around me, as an INJF and empath, I feel the emotions of others really strongly, often way more strongly than they do. So I need time away from others to recover from intense energies and emotions.

I don’t drink, smoke, have holidays or even go out, so I will cultivate my meditation space, create a place I want to be in; be that a womb room to feel held, a zen den to step into silence, a shamanic area to drum, a place of solace within these walls.

I need to surround myself with what make me feel safe, nurtured, held and comforted in that space because that is what I most need in this moment. Others cannot fix this for me and I need to nurture myself and surround myself with what feels healing.

I also need Reiki in my life to help me re balance, ground and make peace with this body and this time and space that I find myself in.

I hope you find what feeds your soul, makes you smile, makes right now feel possible and can go for it, or at least take some steps towards it. All we have is right now, this moment, nothing and no one is forever, please do what makes you feel safe, feel nurtured, feel honored and respected in whatever safe way you can.

Thanks for reading

May all beings find peace, love & light

Billie x

 

Koshi and Zaphir Windchimes; Sound Healing

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I have recently discovered Koshi Windchimes. Not sure where I first saw the name but I’m sharing some links today so you can find out more about them with me and I’ll also list UK sellers of these amazing French windchimes. Don’t look now but while writing this post, I’ve found Zaphir chimes, WOW!! Seriously wow, there may not be money for food or anything else while I fill my house with these healing sounds.

Rather than all of us having to search the whole internet for these chimes here are the stockists I’ve found so far.

Links

Koshi manufacturers website in France

Zaphir makers website in France for information and wholesales only

Zaphire site with colours n sound demo’s

UK Sellers of Koshi chimes and of Zaphir chimes

I’m linking to home pages and then the items page, simply because home pages are less likely to change over time.

Videos

So far I have ordered one of the Koshi chimes to see what its like and how heavy it is as I have limited dexterity, I can see me ordering the other 3 in the set BUT I am also now very much in love with the Zaphir chimes, especially the Blue Moon, which I’d put in the bedroom, Sunray for the dining room and Sufi for the meditation space.

This latest obsession is going to get expensive…but oh my do they sound tranquil and I really need tranquil in my life, don’t you?

The Sound travels website seems to have the easiest links to what they all sound like next to the koshi right next to the product, Windchimes corner also have sound demos one by one next to each chime too. but I put a couple of video links in as well.

So if you need some sound healing in your life, I invite you to have a ponder on these and have a search on You Tube for the amazing sounds they make.

May we all find a safe place to rest and the time we need to heal.

Peace, love light and thank you for reading

Billie x

UPDATE

Koshi were not too heavy, the Ignis (fire) one was so nice I ordered the other three from Windchimes corner and they arrived safely today and played in pairs they are even more divine. If you struggling with a lot of stress I highly recommend giving these a try for soothing moments of tranquility.

Koshi are quite simply BLISS.

It would be nice to find a small footprint stand that allowed them to be played in situ. I saw a stand on one of the sites above but it looked like the chimes tag at the base was resting on the floor so that would effect the free flow for me a bit.

 

 

Wellness Wednesday: Art Saves

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Today I’d like to share some places I’ve found to help me follow my bliss in the Art Saves category. I need art like I need air. I don’t often have the mojo or energy to create but I still need art, to watch others create, to read about it, or sometimes just sitting with an open box of crayola crayons drinking in that soothing smell.

Here are some places you can find some art bliss.

Kelly Rae Roberts is a wonderful artist, her book Taking Flight; Inspiration and techniques to give your creative spirit wings was a real life changer for me, its what gave me the courage to start my other blog Billies Craft Room ten years ago. I was just in the right place at the right time recently to be able to take her up on her special offer price for all her online classes. I’ve wanted to take her Mixed media Matras classs for so long and as soon as I heard her read a chapter from that book, I cried, remembering all the reasons I loved her book and the reasons I love art, need art and created the other blog. It brought me home to my art.

Jane Davenport: PLEASE if you haven’t found her before and you like the idea of using your art stash instead of collecting it and stroking it from time to time, please come visit her site. Oh how I wish she had been my teacher in school, she is so empowering and inspiring.

Book: This is the latest book to my art collection; ‘Create Your Life Book’ by Tamara Laporte.

Links

Follow your bliss, do what makes your soul sing, and your heart flutter in a good way. We might not be able to escape the anxiety, depression and grief right now, but having a soul food parcel of things that help us hold safe space for ourselves, to honor the feelings and have a safe way to express them without judgement, correction or shame can sometimes really help.

Not ready to create from scratch but still want to play? I give you permission to purchase one of the colouring books meant for grown ups with patterns, or animals or whatever calls to you, and raid the kids pencils cases, or treat yourself to some pencils or pens or paints, meditation for the soul doesn’t always have to be cross legged on the floor. It can also be curled up on the sofa with a colouring book and pencils. Please feel free to follow what you are called towards, that makes this moment feel softer.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

Meditation Monday: Follow your bliss

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I am in a state of bliss atm, just got my Yinyang tattoo a few days ago and I feel so connected, content and loved right now. This is not a feeling I am used too, but it is very nice.

I’m not one who has found it easy to exist in this body, it is a form with many limitations, and a lot of physical and mental pain, so I retreat to my head a lot. Yet here too there is often little peace. Tattoos are helping me heal my connection to this body and they are helping so much.

It surprises me that I have tattoos, for one thing I HATE with a passion needles and normally I do all that I can to come in contact with them, but thanks to numbing cream this has allowed me to add life lessons to my body in the form of tattoo’s which are helping me view this skin as a safer place to be, with the life lessons I am adding to it, it now becomes a sanctuary, one I can check in with my ink to remind me of what is most important.

Heart Tattoo

This was my first ink, just a little one, see how it went, see if I could hack the pain and get more. But its the meaning behind it that is important.To come at things from a place of love not a place of fear. As someone who lives in an almost constant place of anxiety, trying to remember that I was loved and that I too deserve kindness, love and respect is a lesson I often forget. When I see this heart, it reminds me to stop and ask, is my reaction coming from a place of love or a place of fear. If it comes from a place of fear, it reminds me to stop and wait till I can connect with a softer emotion. That it is ok to hide n wait.

YinYang Tattoo

This is the one I just got. I have a lot of connections to this ink. It took a while to decide if it was right for me, but the time taken to ponder, to journal helped me find out what it would mean to have this on my skin

Life lessons

  1. A friend once told me that however dark the night gets, the sun will still rise in the morning. (Thanks A). This phrase has helped me a lot, in those long dark nights of the soul.
  2. This symbol has connections to Zen Buddhism and Tao which I’m interested in learning about. It has connections to my late husband too, but he wouldn’t want me to get ink FOR him, he’d want me to get it for me. Like the previous reason, its a lesson that nothing is forever. No one is forever, impermanence and change are the constants in life. The only control we have is our reaction to those situations. Everything that is born, will one day die. I have lost too many people very close to me and carry that pain close to my heart, I still have anger, grief, sadness. But the impermanence teaches that in time all things will pass. This too shall pass, is a phrase I used to have written on my mirror.
  3. There is no shadow without the light. I want this ink to remind me that the ‘black dog’ I fight with, dislike, would like to be rid of, is just another of those things that I have to live WITH, its not something I can outrun, outwit. Like the hyperflexing, like the sensitivity to others energy its something that is about learning about what triggers it, and working WITH it, to find a manageable co habitation.

Am I ready to embrace n love my darkness, no, I’m still processing, still learning who I am, what I want or don’t want. what I like or don’t like. What I will have to carry along with me and what is safe to set down and let time and space heal. As someone whose defalt setting is making sure everyone else is ok, stuff the consequences to me, its difficult to shift a bit to, letting my needs get on the list too.

I like that these images will last my life time. That  when gravity gets too heavy I can look at my yinyang and ask ‘what does this situation need to find balance, do I need to take action or wait it out. That I can look at my arm and say ‘You were loved’.

The next tattoo I want to get is of an Enso.

In Zen the closed circle represents enlightenment, completion. The open circle, that you are on the path to enlightenment but are still learning still growing.

For me this one sums up perfectly the tag line from my other blog; ‘Its all about the journey’.

All we have is right now, this second, this moment. That this moment is a sentence, in the chapter not the whole story. What can I do to make this moment feel softer?

Like the Olly Anna song says: ‘I’m the only one who can write my story, ain’t nobody else that will do that for me.’

Links

Here is a wonderful video by Chungliang Al Huang who explains about the background to Yinyang. Please watch this video makes you feel so alive.

Here is a video talking about Enzo in Japanese Zen

I’m on the path to accepting and embracing who I am, working it out step by step, day by day, lesson by lesson. Feeling my way through this journey of life, isn’t pleasant experience but its the path I’m on, so I seek to tread carefully and with love and respect for all.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie