Sitting at the Feet of Grief

Five months ago I quit my job. I had known for at least two years that I needed to quit but I kept giving myself all of the excuses of why I needed to keep that job. Eventually, my mental and physical health crashed. I was struggling to make it through the workday and had no energy to complete anything when I came home. So, I quit without a really Plan B. I convinced myself that I would work on my business and figure out the rest.  And then I commenced to sleep almost all day every day for 4 months. 

This scared the hell out of me. Something had to be wrong. I never just do nothing. I had never slept for days at a time. And being an overachiever and a self-diagnosing physician I could not just flow with this. Something had to be wrong. So, I started researching causes for fatigue because this wasn't just ordinary tiredness. What was it? Was it depression? Was it cardiac disease? Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Adrenal Gland Insufficiency? Could it be grief?

I came to the conclusion that a few of these diagnosis were probably in play. But grief was the main culprit. I wasn't taking care of myself because of the grief and it was causing me to be unhealthy. I was depressed because the grief was becoming overwhelming. The grief was overwhelming because I hadn't fully addressed it. Or I was only looking at a part of my grief.

So, I did more research on grief and read my tarot cards. It was getting close to my birthday so I did my yearly tarot reading. I wound up doing three because I was trying to find a tarot spread that gave me only the information I needed to know. For all three spreads Five of Cups was my theme/overview for the year. Five of Cups is all about deep loss, sorrow and grief. My friend and tarot teacher, Lindsay Mack, states that five of cups invites us to deeply feel our grief. To explore the depth of it. To feel what we have loss but start to remember that there are good things that are coming in their own sacred time.

One would think the obvious cause of my grief was the lost of my parental unit. My mom and dad died three years ago five days apart. And my uncle, who raised me like a daughter, died five months ago. This was grief I understood and could easily see and identify with. The grief I had not noticed was the loss of self.  That slow, steady, unconscious giving away of your values and blurring of boundaries. It starts pretty innocent and then you realize that you have given up dreams and goals to stay somewhere that no longer allows you to grow. I also had to acknowledge that my thoughts and beliefs about myself and my roles were a major part of the root cause of this grief. 

This isn't quick or easy work but I'm committing to starting the unpacking of the beliefs causing this deep-seated grief and loss of self. I know that tools such as meditation, journaling, tarot reading and herbal support with be the foundation of this deep dive. But sharing what I learn, staying true to my soul work and setting boundaries that allow me to expand will also be just as important and healing.

I would love to hear about your experiences with grief and self loss. How did you navigate the pain and sorrow? Did you use specific tools or resources?  Post below.

Big Hugs and Much Love,


Dr. Vickie

The Body Knows

I have been posting about detoxing since 2012. I still believe there are times that the body needs breaks from foods, toxins and information stressors. But I must apologize for the misinformation I have given on the topic.  I now feel like we have been going about it all wrong. Most detox programs have strict, inflexible guidelines of what you can eat, drink, and poop. But the body knows better.

Where I think we get it wrong is that our body needs the same strict detox each time it needs a break. We take our body's intuitive knowledge out of the equation. We think that somebody else's rules are better than what our body can tell us. Sometimes the body need food that will let the brain flourish and the next time it needs food to repair the gut. Only our body can tell us which food it needs. Those headaches, stomach ache or joint pains you get are the body's way of telling you that your life is out of balance. That it needs you to slow down and listen to the cravings or subtle wishes it is trying to tell you.

What I forgot in the process of healing my body, increasing my energy and upgrading my brain was to listen to my body. My body was created with innate systems to keep itself in balance. It will tell me when to eliminate a food, beauty product, television show or friend. Yes, it takes more work and consistent practice to hear what our bodies are telling us. It takes spending quiet time with our bodies. It takes taking an extra breath before we respond when we are angry. It takes saying sorry to our bodies for all the times we have ignored its subtle moans and groans. It takes letting go of overnight or 21 day programs that claim to change our bad habits for life. We have to listen. We have to slow down and let the whispers become roars that we can hear no matter what the latest expert says.

It took me participating in an intimate program called Feast, that was created and facilitated by the outstanding coach Rachel W. Cole, to remember this fact. Feast didn't start with a focus on the food like most programs that deal with food. It began with focusing on self-compassion. Self-compassion is so important when things don't go the way you thought or you don't loss the weight you want.  The other important factor was that Feast didn't deal with weight loss at all. This was not a weight loss program but a body acceptance and awareness program. I learned to tune into the body and the body will let you know if it needs to lose weight. It may not need to lose weight and you have to trust that the body knows best.

I have to admit that I'm still struggling and working with this new approach to my body. It is so much easier to just follow some rules. It's hard to have every food as an option to eat and have to listen to what feels good in my body and makes my body feel good.

Start listening and the answers will come.

How I Got Hijacked

airplane.jpg

I got hijacked by an email. This morning I received an email concerning a work issue. The issue has been an ongoing problem for 3 years. It will probably never be solved because it swirls around beliefs. And it is hard to change someone's beliefs even with facts.  I logically know this but I let this email hijack my life for 2 hours.

I spend two hours ranting and raving about this damn email. I was threatening taking off earrings and putting Vaseline on my face. I was ready to fight. I couldn't respond to the email because I didn't trust what I would say.  The more I got upset about the email the more pissed I got that I was pissed about the email. My husband finally talked me off the edge. My entire morning was gone. I didn't get any work done nor did I change the belief associated with the email.

I had totally given my power, energy and thoughts to someone else. I had been hijacked. After I calmed down I instantly started thinking of ways to prevent or minimize the next hijacking. A few things I came up with are:

1. Breathing - If I had taken a few minutes to solely focus on my breathe I may have been able to get myself off the edge. It may have taken me more than a few minutes but I would have been able to regroup. You don't need to go anywhere special or sit on a cushion. Just step away from the swirling emotions and breathe in deep counting to five and then release. Repeat until you feel the shift in your body. I promise you will feel it.

2. Movement - In order to slow down the runaway feelings you have to reconnect to your body. Another way besides the breathe is movement. And I don't mean random movement of flailing arms or specific movement of a middle finger. It has to be focused movement that forces you to feel your body. Yoga is a great way to do this but you can't roll out your yoga mat at work and to a downward facing dog. But you can find a quiet space like the bathroom and do a forward fold. This can give you similar effects as a downward dog or headstand. The increase blood to the brain calms your nervous system and helps reduce the stress. It also changes your blood flow to your heart and respiratory system thus slowing your heart rate and increasing oxygen intake. Which, helps you to calm down.

3. Look at the other person's perspective - Okay, step back and try to see the issue from the other person's viewpoint. The majority of the time things that we get worked up about aren't personal. The other person is responding from they limited perspective. They are responding to a perceived threat, real or imaginary, that really has nothing to do with you. You just happen to be the messenger. They could also be responding this way from a lack of knowledge. So, try seeing how they got to the view they have. You don't have to agree with them. You just need to be open to understanding their view. You also need to think about how you could have contributed to the problem. Could you have voiced your opinion a different way, did you communicate clearly or was your "smart-ass" statement really needed? Alway try to take credit for the drama you add to your life.

I'm still getting hijacked by other peoples issues but I'm not staying on the Tarmac as long.

In the comments below share with us your stories of being "hijacked".