Words hurt, please treat gently upon my soul when you speak

Welcome Back

I have a long ‘practiced’ response to threat, which is shock and shut down. Its my default to difficult situations, I wish it wasn’t, it gets me hurt. A whole new world of pain has opened up in my grief, its been 4 years since hubby died, feels like yesterday and forever ago in the same heartbeat. I recently was speaking to someone I haddn’t met before, and fell into a whole new painful trap. When the found out hubby died, the sentance after the shoe shuffle and ‘Oh I’m so sorry’ was ‘When did he pass?’ when I said, the reflex response I received was a shock, BIG TIME. 101 ways to meet new people, get back out there, find someone new.

WHY for the love of sanity why does society feel the need to fix and to have ‘deadlines and goals/targets’ for every thing in life. Grief doesn’t come with a clock, it just IS and I’m doing the best I can with the resources I have. I am NOT remotely ready to get back out there, find someone new. My soul mate was not a pair of shoes, that have worn out and needs replacing. First it was once the funeral is over ‘you should’ have bounced back to your old self, or embraced this ‘whole new you and start exploring’. It just doesn’t work like that.

I’m not sure where all this back of a fab packet advice on grief comes from, is it from greetings cards? Is it what happened to you and since no one has shown you another way, that’s the line you are going with? Each grief is different, how it happened, what lead up to that moment, what happened during, just after and since. All these things impact on how we react to events.

Death is not like on TV, its not always gentle, quiet, or quick. Grief is not like it is on TV, emotions are messy, noisy and loud. I forgive you if you can’t be around me when I have a meltdown, but that IS you and your reaction. It is NOT ok to correct, blame or shame me for how I’m doing, or what I’m doing. I’m not hurting anyone, I’m grieving, and its not pretty. I don’t have the capacity to ward off your advice when it hurts, so I avoid you, just as much as you avoid me. The separation hurts, but not more than hurtful words that I just can’t file as ‘well she means well’ any more. I’ve been hurt too much, too often for too long now and I’m done people pleasing my way through this.

Most people have forgotten this has happened, their busy lives were barely touched by this, and other thing fill their time. It is different for me, I don’t understand why they cannot see that, cannot show compassion. What have I most needed in my grief, company, a silent witness, who will be there by my side for a while. Someone I can talk to day or night, who gets me, even though they don’t know what this is like, they don’t try to change it, or fix it, they are just THERE.

Talking about grief is needed, every single one of us will experience this, if u have another living anything in your life this will touch you too one day. Like they say ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’. Is this the only thing I want to talk about? No but I’m done trying to find someone to talk to about this, done seeking permission to grieve how I am grieving. I am doing this alone, because there is no other option. I’m doing this alone because when I reach out and am corrected judged and shamed it hurts too much. So I journal, I scribble, I drum, I cry, I hold crystals, and I read books, or have audio books when I can focus to read. I write poems from the depths of my soul that Emily Dickenson would be proud of. Those poems those journals, they are the one place I can express how this feels, what it is like to live this day by day.

Everything born will one day die, loss will happen. Can’t we just walk each other home and be there for each other in a kind loving gentle way?

Billie

If you are trying to support a grieving friend, please read this.

Welcome Back

If you know someone who is grieving, please follow this link and watch the film with Megan Devine in it. If you are asking yourself the ‘what do I say?’ question, this post is for you. It really, really hurts when you are grieving and need someone to just be there to just listen, if they ASK you how its going, or what you need, it takes so much energy, strength and courage to respond, then they hit you with advice, they try to fix things and  it hurts so bad when you are least able to deflect it or ask them to stop.

Please follow this link to a piece from a show that Megan Devine was on, for what you *should* say.

Yes I have a pet peeve on anything that starts with ‘should or must’ but when you watch you will see why, I am posting this.

This was aimed at bereavement but so much of this also is totally relevant to anxiety, depression and mental health issues as well. What I and a lot of others most need, is someone to be there, to listen and as Megan says to ‘witness’ NOT fix. Everyone’s path is theirs, they are doing the best they can with the resources they have in that moment. You may have been through the same situation, but your reactions may not be the same as mine. You  may have the same condition as me but our reactions are unique to each of us, because we are unique.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

How do you help a grieving friend

Welcome Back

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

Missing my Dad. Fathers Day and grief

Welcome Back

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

Welcome Back

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

 

Wellness Wednesday: Art Saves

Welcome Back

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

 

Winter Survival Plan: November 2016

Welcome Back

For a number of reasons I find the winter months very difficult, so for all those whose hearts also sink as the light levels drop here are a few sites n projects that I would like to share to help us through the long winter evenings. These are just a few ways I’m going to use to distract from the anxiety and depression and hopefully add to my mindfulness options as a gentler way to deal with difficult times. Enjoy

Poem A Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge over on Writers Digest

This is a twice yearly event one in April and another in NOvember, where the lovely people post daily prompts for you to write poetry too. You can post your finished pieces to the site, or submit them to the competition itself, but for me I just like to write down all the prompts and write as the muse grabs me. If you would like to join in, I’ll add a link at the end of the post. All you need is a journal and a pencil so its free to play at this level.

Susannah Conway e-course Daily Guidance

As those of you who read this regularly may know, I have taken Susannah’s The Sacred Alone course earlier in the year and it was AMAZING!!!!! I adore Oracle cards and it was mention of this course that got me into them when I first visited her website earlier in the year. Daily Guidance is going to cover using Oracle cards and Tarot cards in an intuative way, for personal growth and journalling. I adore journalling, when my hands allow. I have to admit that until recently I have had no interest in Tarot and if I’m really honest viewed it in a bad light. BUT being open minded I wanted to learn more and although when I signed up for this course was going to focus on the Oracle deck side of things, I am now the proud owner of two lovely Tarot decks, and am eager to learn to use them for healing and spiritual growth. Link to the class at the end of the post. My two Tarot decks are The Dreaming Way and also The Gaian Tarot, I could continue of my love for these decks but that is for another post. I’m trying to sit on my hands and NOT fall into the collector of Tarot decks like I have become with the Oracle decks but perhaps different Tarot decks also share different energies like the Oracle decks do so more may well happen in time.

There are other e-courses on different subjects on Susannah’s website too.

Joanna Powell Colbert e-courses

One of the Tarot decks I purchased was Joanna Powell Colbert’s The Gaian Tarot, there will be a very gushy post at another time as to how wonderful this is but on visiting her site and following her on Twitter I found out about an E-course called 30 Days of Hecate –  A Daily Sacred Pause of Welcoming Hallowmas. Link at the end of the post. I admit to knowing nothing about Hecate but I am expolring my spiritual options this year, I adored Denise Linn’s book Kindling the Native Spirit and my body is certainly very in tune with the weather and seasons as pain levels and more are also very effected by them so I am interested in learning more about earth based practices. Join up quick on this one as it starts 24th October.

When my hands allow I have also been batch making soup n such for the freezer so when I feel exhausted or my hands don’t work there will still be another option to a ready meal as an option in the freezer. Yes food does make a big difference to mood, so eat as well as your health allows. May the weather be kind, may you find hope courage and comfort in what ever you do to plan a coping strategy through the long dark evenings. Let me know what your strategies are, would love to hear about them, and your fave Oracle and Tarot decks too. #Confession I’ve also started a collection of Tarot books, but not all have arrived yet and I will hold off reading them till AFTER Susannah’s class.

Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell

This is my book of the month, need to swap the copy I have as it arrived damaged but she is an amazing empowering writer and since I loved her Light is the New Black book so much I HAD to get this too.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, look forward to hearing your strategies for winter.

Namaste

B x