The Missing and Harnessing Loss

It’s now been a month since Tessa passed. The first few weeks were intense, indescribable really. Missing became a noun, a thing – “The Missing”. I would be going along, doing life, and The Missing would reach up and grab me, freezing the breath in my chest and flooding my eyes. It jumped me even when there was no obvious trigger beyond a lovely memory wafting through. In truth, it was so deep it was akin to a phantom limb; a beautiful part of me I expected to be there that wasn’t. I had to start adjusting to going through life a little lesser, a little less rich, quieter.

I am still grieving, tears still springing at unexpected moments (like now, as I write this) but it is softening – love and gratitude far outweighing the loss. I sometimes now feel her presence on the breeze, and it makes me smile.

I really don’t know if loss, transition and trauma happen for a purpose but I absolutely do know we can make purpose of everything that happens.   Tessa’s passing shifted me out of my normal state of being. After the first week, as the most jagged edges rounded a bit but the grief was still incredibly powerful, I found myself in a softer, slower energy that was just perfect for finishing my book.

I know I announced late last year that I’d finished the book, but after speaking with the publisher, editors and doing market research I realized that for it to fill the niche I’m hoping for the book needed to be a good bit longer. I have worked throughout this year to get it where it needs to be and within a few weeks When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention will be headed to the editor, cover designer and graphics team and finally to completion and launch! Whew, it has been a JOURNEY! I am so proud of myself for seeing it through and for not rushing it, for allowing it to become something I really want to put forth into our world.

Loss isn’t easy and grief really can’t be rushed, but it can be harnessed. It can open us to gentler, more vulnerable and therefore more creative energies. Once I get this book fully fledged, I’m thinking about doing another titled, Soul Dog, for all of us who take the beautiful risk and reap the rewards of giving our hearts fully to a four-legged, furred or feathered friend. Thanks for the inspiration Tessa, my sweet pea.

This pic of her has become my favorite since her passing. It was taken just two months before she passed and before I had any idea how soon that was to be. We were out on a hike and, as I had done so many times before, I looked back at her and my heart flooded and I said, “Do you know how much I love you?” As she had started doing in the frosty-faced portion of her life, she looked right into my eyes and smiled, her way of saying, “Yes I do know and right back at you.”

Life is process and man it hurts sometimes. Change is guaranteed even if we wish it weren’t. We are never what we have lost. We are not what has been torn from us and we definitely are not broken beyond repair, ever, unless we choose to build the brokenness and victimhood into our beliefs, our stories and our identities. Even when it all blows to pieces we still are everything we were before. We might not still have what we had — the positions, the possessions, money, the athletic body, the children, the loved ones — but we still are the culmination of experiences, talents, current and former abilities and impactful relationships that make us uniquely us. Every one of us is the sum total of all we have experienced, felt, learned and unlearned before. There is never only one way to view a challenging event and never only one possible outcome.

I still have Tessa’s urn and little shrine on my front room floor. Cards and letters and even lovely drawings poured in from people whose lives she had touched and who cared about us – I am really touched by that and I just love it that so many people loved her. I expect at some point I will spread her ashes in various places that she loved, but not just yet. I will know when that time is right. In the meantime I feel for her on the wind and allow my heart to open a little further.

Love,

Cylvia

P.S. For those of you facing a period of transition and reinvention, whether it be grief, loss or just wanting to find clarity of purpose in the next chapter of your life, I have four openings for complimentary Reinvention and Empowerment Breakthrough sessions. Just schedule a time here — https://calendly.com/cylvia/30min. I very much look forward to talking with you.

Crisis or Awakening?

Are you at that mystifying place called mid-life wondering how the heck you got here and what’s next? Maybe you’re facing some unexpected challenges or just wanting to have more of a sense of purpose and direction. Maybe there’s an urge to hit the reset button.

It might not feel like it but I promise you if you are facing major transition and challenges at this particular turning point in life you are sitting on a gold mine of possibility and potential.

I was devastated and freaked out when my life and career blew up in seeming catastrophic fashion in my late 40s. It felt like everything I’d worked for was destroyed and the best was behind me. Well, believe me, I am thrilled to report that I couldn’t have been more wrong! My unasked for life reset opened up whole new pathways to understanding, self-forgiveness and peace that utterly transformed my way of being in the world and with myself. My crisis turned out to be a mid-life awakening and it was the best gift I never imagined!

Here’s one thing I know, surviving, overcoming and thriving isn’t so much about analyzing and hustling gathering information as it is about remembering what we already know; it’s about coming home. There is no need to become better or more or different; all you need is to remember who you already are.

Here are a few tips for mastering mid-life transition:

  • Learn to question and manage fear.

Mark Twain once said, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” The simple truth is we tend to harbor a lot of fear about future “what ifs?” that may not even come to pass. Learning to release unproductive fear is a key to empowered transition.

  • Do a Can and Can’t Control exercise.

The secret to success and happiness is knowing that there are some things you can control and some things you cannot. Think about the situation or issue you are concerned about and make a list of what you can control and what you can’t. Spend your effort on things you can control and let the rest go.

Most importantly remember, you are more than a body. You are more than a job, a title, a financial status, a role. You are more than you know. You have a choice to make. Every single moment holds the opportunity of rebirth, no matter what is swirling through the circumstances of your life just now.

It’s a damn shame that in our culture there is no mid-life rite of passage and celebration. I mean for goodness sake it’s a big deal making it through early adulthood and getting some seasoning and wisdom under our belts! But we don’t even have a way of pausing for breath and celebrating our success in getting this far.

I encourage you to do that right now. Take a breath. Give yourself a moment to appreciate all that you’ve accomplished up to this point. And remember, in so many powerful ways you are just getting started. After all, in any really great play all the best stuff happens after the intermission!

Something powerful is happening to you because you have something powerful to do.

With love,

Cylvia

 

If you’d like some support launching the next awesome chapter of your life I would be more than happy to talk with you. You can schedule a complimentary Mid-Life Mastery Breakthrough session here.