Bright and early on Friday, I was talking with Uma Girish, one of my next interviews on the Rebuilding Your Life…. Podcast. I became aware of Uma through the 30-Day Podcast Challenge where she introduced her podcast, The Grammar of Grief. Grief is a natural byproduct of loss, whether we are losing a loved one or everything that we have built up in our lives so I was looking for someone to talk about the topic – and there was Uma.
The stages of grief are well documented. In the immediate aftermath of an event, the first responders and community of support (whether friends, family, church and community, hospital or the Red Cross) get us through the shock and strong emotions we experience.
And then we are home alone with more questions than answers, coping with our new reality. There are often so many things to do in our physical world that we are not paying attention to the symptoms of grieving that are popping up around us. I know that for weeks, Peter and I rescued everything we could from our destroyed home as we figured out what lay ahead of us. Although we conscientiously made efforts to get back to our normal routines, it was challenging. When we finally settled into the rental house that would be our home until the financial issues were resolved, we immediately had physical symptoms of distress and spent weeks with the chiropractor, and the anxiety was relentless. Other people may experience a great deal of loneliness, hostility and guilt.
It’s easy to sink into depression under these circumstances. That’s why a friend at church, Sue Smith (who is a therapist), gave me a routine to follow that might stave off the more serious symptoms of depression – and I was watching for any telltale signs. She suggested that I spend some time everyday doing each of several tasks: Be in beauty or find inspiration through prayer or meditation. Eat good food that has been cooked as if company was coming. Get enough sleep, at least 7-8 hours. Get some exercise. Laugh. Watch TV, listen to tapes and laugh. Talk with a friend with whom you can share anything. Learn something new. Over time, I added a couple of my own. Be of service. Helping others helps you feel better as well. And spend a few minutes every morning to express gratitude and appreciation for life and where you see movement toward restoring your life and building toward something better.
When we are grieving, we may find it difficult to make that shift toward a renewed future. We may have rebuilt as much of the life we had as possible, yet a gaping hole remains and it stops us from enjoying ourselves. We draw a blank on pursuing a different future and don’t want to lose our memories of what was before. This is where Uma Girish comes into the conversation.
Uma is a Grief Guide and certified Dream Coach, as well as an award-winning author. Her book, Losing Amma, Finding Home: A Memoir About Love, Loss and Life’s Detours is published by Hay House. In it she chronicles her own story of the grief journey she undertook when she lost her mother. That journey became the impetus for her work as a grief guide and the creation of her message: We are not the same person we were before the loss. Although we are changed by the experience of loss, it also opens a portal to a new dream that comes to us through the pain of loss. Our healing journey is to recognize that dream, embrace it and experience the joy of our new creation.
As Uma comes from a place of similar experience, she has the ability to explain some aspects of how we are able to do this through looking at the unfinished business in our lives. And I love her way of describing how gratitude can help us move from being a victim to a victor. She calls it “shapeshifting” our grief story.
This is transformational work. To facilitate progress, Uma offers private sessions via phone and Skype, as well as an eCourse From Grief to Gratitude through her website http://www.umagirish.com. She is also the co-founder of the International Grief Council which seeks to educate and empower those who are grieving a loss.
I’d like you to meet Uma Girish. She’s one of my next guests on Rebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity. The podcast is available iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rebuilding-your-life-moving/id975055547 as well as Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=62871&refid=stpr.
Please get ready to listen in as we learn more about channeling grief into creativity with Uma Girish. To Your Success, Susan
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