I’d Love to Support You and Your Grief Journey

Grief is often an uncomfortable topic in our discussions with others. Not only is it difficult to lose a loved one, but feeling adequately supported during times of loss can also be challenging and disappointing. 

Are you ready to carry your grief differently? Are you needing some tools for more ease in managing your experience with grief and loss? Whether you’ve lost a loved one who was human or animal, grief is a cumulative experience. so your current pain is often not only a recent or enduring primary loss but also a trigger for previous losses.

Through Thursday, June 28, 2018, I’m offering a significantly special price for this generous eight-week journey of support, exploration, healing and reinvention. Save $225 now; increased pricing as of June 29. Click here.

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Click here to learn more about this offering. Each week of this eight-week program, you will receive an e-mailing with content that introduces a path of easing grief–mindset, practices and approaches that allow you to transform your grief on spiritual and emotional levels. Each week we will also have some type of formal check-in, and we mix it up: phone or video call, e-mail, or in-person or video (Zoom) or phone session, in order to see how you’re doing and to provide feedback, reflection and guidance.

© 2018  Erika M. Schreck  |  All rights reserved.

 

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Four Steps to Heal Past, Body and Self-Esteem | Seven-Part Healing Journey

We’re in a bit of a funkalicious time–the current astrology, change of seasons and other factors seem to be creating an interesting mix of extra sensitivity and emotions-that-need-our-attention. I want to give you a little love and support.

Enjoy this not-quite-four-minutes video to learn more about healing your past, body and self-esteem with four helpful steps:

  1. Let go of whatever is blocking you and causing suffering.
  2. Identify your sacred space and most helpful tools, practices and support for healing.
  3. Reclaim your power.
  4. Maintain your practices and self-care to put yourself in the best place possible to manage any new challenges or old stuff visiting.

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This video is part of series added to typical monthly content for my Spiritual Warrior Tribe membership site. I decided to share this seven-part series publicly!

This week I’m providing a FREE Full Moon (Blue Moon!) Ceremony, as well as the other six parts to this Seven-Week Healing Series–brief, helpful videos to offer you some extra love and support at this time. Be sure to subscribe to my channel, so you get all of these goodies.

As long as you’re at my YouTube channel, please Subscribe, so you don’t miss a thing. Here’s my official channel welcome…

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I’d be honored to and would love to support you!

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Originally created for Spiritual Warrior Transformation: Seven-Week Healing Journey
March-April 2018 Members-Only Material
Week Three: Four Steps to Heal Past, Body and Self-Esteem

SpiritualWarriorTransformation.com
Membership Site for Spiritual Practices and Life Support
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© 2018 Erika M. Schreck. All rights reserved.
TurtleHealingEnergy.com

Activating the Bat-Signal for My Deceased Father

This Father’s Day is the 18th without my father on the physical plane.

After so many years without him physically but with an ever-present, still-growing spiritual practice and much gratitude, I’ve learned that we can simply ask our deceased beloved to show up, and they will. Most recently, I know my dad helped me fix my clothes dryer. He was a fix-it type–and still is, it seems. I spent a significant part of my childhood in the garage with my dad, handing him tools and keeping him company, whether he was building his ’35 Ford Coupe from the shell-in-primer state, changing his oil in his Ford station wagon, working solo or with his buddies on his latest race car that hadn’t been demolished at the Slinger speedway (Wisconsin favorite), or fixing his Yamaha motorcycle and later his Harley Davidson. I got up at sunrise to join him at many hot-rod car shows, and he quizzed and trained me about car parts at the swap meets. Three years ago, I wasn’t afraid to research YouTube, buy the necessary parts and replace my blower motor and resistor, so I could have working heat again in my Honda CR-V and save a couple hundred dollars. I am my father’s daughter.

The clothes dryer. In the same week a few weeks ago, my clothes dryer and five-year-old smart phone went kaput. For mechanical woes, I’ve learned to put a call out to my deceased father, just as you might pray to the appropriate saint or angel for a lost object, protection or house sale. I shine the Bat-Signal (RIP, Adam West) for my father when I need mechanical help or driving directions. I first had my human-experience panic: I was already in financial struggle, and now two not-so-cheap replacements were needed, in the same week. Then, I went into my famous research mode, checking “new” dryers but gravitating toward Craigslist. And asking Dad for help.

That’s when I called “Dan” about the dryer he posted on Craigslist. This man could barely hear me when I called, and I practiced patience as I repeated most of what I needed to say and ask. My gut said to trust him. He wasn’t hearing me that I just wanted to buy his dryer and that I’d need to arrange help; he insisted that he check my dryer first, completely confident he knew he could probably fix the 1970s dryer I had. So, we scheduled a time, and then I did the responsible thing of letting close friends know that I had a stranger coming to my home while I was alone; I texted his name and phone number and the time of his visit to said friends.

Dan exited his large, white truck, carefully lifting each foot, as his legs wobbled a bit, and he firmly planted one foot on the ground, as he advanced toward me. He’s in his 80s, since he later shared that he’d been in Colorado since the 1930s. I exhaled, now trusting that there was no stranger danger. I shook his hand, and he met my dog, and we all entered my home. After I let him assess the dryer, I asked if he needed water or anything else. He handed me a crazy-dust-and-lint-filled metal piece, and I understood I needed to vacuum said piece. No words were needed. After that task was complete, I returned and saw him struggling with thick, shaky fingers to undo a necessary screw in the dryer, and I asked if he needed some help. “I usually have an assistant,” he assured me, but we knew that’s why I was there and so willing. For the next 40 minutes, we were a seamless team, sweating in my small laundry room and exchanging only fix-it-related words. I wasn’t afraid to jump in and find myself covered in the dust–more vacuuming and helping where I could. It was in the first moment of his asking, “Hand me that socket driver,” that I knew exactly what he meant, and I was suddenly a young girl in my dad’s garage, handing my father tools he’d taught me to distinguish. I knew.

And when I noticed the dryer vent had come off the back of dryer and couldn’t quite reach it and grabbed a mop handle to hook and lift it within reach, Dan smiled at me and laughed and said, “Well, that’s a smart thing to do. [pause] Are you married?” No. “Well, how come no one has snatched up a beautiful, smart woman like you, yet?” And then he went on to say he’s been married 62 years to his “beautiful bride.” Our affection grew when I noticed the end of the rescued dryer vent end coming apart and announced, “Duct tape–right there, a few inches from your right hand in that basket on the shelf.”

An hour and only $60 later, my 1970s, still-awesome dryer was working again because Dan replaced the faulty thermal fuse. Like my father, I’m apt to try to fix something before tossing or replacing it; I couldn’t have found a more perfect form of help. I nearly cried with both the relief and the gift of this man. We hugged as he left, and he continued his careful, strategic gait with exaggerated knee lifts and foot placement, and only after I handed him a bag with blueberry scones I’d baked him that morning. Because somehow I knew.

© 2017 Erika M. Schreck. All rights reserved.

Loss Can Feel Like This… But You Need to Be in This

Sudden loss can feel like this.

It’s like a car accident that includes a plunge into water: You’re driving along, maintaining and staying aware, and suddenly there’s the crash, the impact, and you’re free-falling off a bridge and find yourself thrown into the water below. At first, panic. Then, realization that you’re going to be here awhile.

And even though breath can sometimes be a struggle, you realize you can breathe.

Others may swim by, offer a life preserver, effort to pull you out… but you need to be in this. Feel it all. Know you won’t drown even if you feel you will—at first, every day. And even if you feel you’d like to drown and slip into the promised peace of letting go and surrendering.

But we can still surrender and LIVE. That’s one of the secrets. But we need to be okay with allowing the float, the awareness, and that hollow, odd sound and solitude we uniquely know when we are submerged under water.

Grief is like this.

© 2016 Erika M. Schreck. All rights reserved


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I lost my beloved dog Harley last month and have been in the thick of processing grief and integrating the hole and new routine that show up each day. Read my public tribute to my boy at this link here. I’ve had several significant losses in my life, which you can read more about here.

 

 

Grief Healing Resources: Please click here to see a started list of some of my favorite resources lately, as I grieve; I’ve started a list of books, on-line video and audio, and on-line articles. These resources have been game-changers for me.

Beautiful and Necessary Grief Healing: Death, Reinvention and Support

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Cindy Chadwick, Erika M. Schreck, Sue Frederick and Ann Worthington: Grief Healing Workshop, July 2014

Today I sat with another beautiful client during a grief intuitive coaching session. I recognized and remembered the ache and unstoppable tears as she told her story of loss. And I felt the honor and gratitude of being a witness and support for her. I know that most people are afraid to talk about death and may not know some of the amazing, effective ways to receive and provide healing, which are some of my main drives for offering grief intuitive coaching services.

This past July, I was in beautiful Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, at the Shambhala Mountain Center, assisting, supporting and participating in a grief healing workshop with well-known, amazing numerologist, coach, author, speaker and professional intuitive Sue Frederick. I heard stories of loss that even more so displayed strength and bravery. What a gift and honor to witness beautiful souls shine in such vulnerable, inspiring experiences! I listened, I held space, I coached, I offered reiki, and I showed up in service for a lovely group of 22 grieving participants for this beautiful and necessary process. WebSeal-Bridges-Schreck_June2013I am so grateful for my grief intuitive coach certification and grateful and inspired by Sue, who trained me. Sue Frederick’s book related to this work, Bridges to Heaven: True Stories of Loved Ones on the Other Side, is available on Amazon at this link here.

After experiencing many deaths of family members and friends at a young age, my father’s death when he was 48, and my grandfather’s passing and actual transition a couple of years ago, I know that each person has a unique journey with loss and grief.

Because my father’s funeral director wisely told me, I now tell others who just experienced the death of a loved one, “People are well intentioned and will tell you they know exactly what you’re going through–but they don’t.”

I honor the personalized journey of grief for each of us. And, especially as I’ve learned in my grief intuitive coach training and practice, I honor your journey–what you still have left to do this lifetime and why you’re still on the planet. Want to learn more about my grief intuitive coaching session or know someone who could benefit? Click here.

One of the largest gems I know to be true, based on my own experiences with losing loved ones and supporting so many others through their losses is the following: Death is all around us to remind us of our own mortality, remind us of priorities, and urge us to be truthful with ourselves about our lives.

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© Erika M. Schreck, 2014. All rights reserved.

Caretaker Extraordinaire No More: Confessions from a Recovering Caretaker

I am participating in Diane DeBella’s
#iamsubject project
.
Here is my #iamsubject story.


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There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.
—Maya Angelou

At times I feel I’ve spent a lifetime of healing my wounds, recognizing triggers and trying to be a healthier, clearer, happier person. Experiencing so many forms of pain, either on my own path or codependently through others so close to me, allowed me to live through divorces, abuse, eating disorders, religious judgment and silencing, abandonment, drunk driving accidents and fatalities, alcoholism, depression, assault, secrets, Al-Anon, several house moves, several schools, deaths, codependency, extreme caretaking, guilt, financial struggle, walking-on-eggshells, kicked-out-at-17, suicide threats, over-responsibility and endometriosis.

I graduated with and continue with a double-PhD in Empathy and in Caretaking. Yet, I really only wish to be lauded for the fact that I still somehow have hope in this world. And joy. And kindness. Because somehow I know no other way.

My untold yet somehow obvious story is that I am a recovering caretaker. In fact, people in my life might even challenge me on the recovering part I declare. I learned from only the best caretaking, including enabling, women a girl can have. I learned that putting others’ needs first helped me feel safer, feel good and feel more purposeful. And I lost myself, becoming a mother to many and finding I really liked that role. But then I learned the big lesson over and over again: How can we take care of others when we’re not at our best because we’re not taking care of ourselves?

Nearly every day, though, I am tempted to fall back into old, unhealthy patterns with family, friends and clients. While neither perfect nor striving to be, my 30 years of off-and-on therapy have trained me to be so much more aware and so much more willing to act from a place of self-care, anti-enabling and truth. I’ve learned that caring and care-taking are different things.

As a therapist, I witness care-taking as a common, sometimes deadly addiction among my clients. People become so programmed to “give,” they find themselves profoundly drained and in some cases, physically ill. Breaking this addiction cannot be underestimated. It is an addiction that keeps people alive as children and seems life-threatening to quit.

Rythea Lee Kaufman
“Care-taking: The Hidden Addiction”

Bless my fourth-grade friend who “reported” me to the school counselor, desperately seeking help because I confessed one day at recess that I wanted to kill myself and even had ideas for how I would do it. Mrs. Angyan, the school counselor, comforted me and convinced me for awhile that my parents’ divorces and abuse from both of my step-parents were not my fault—and that certain breathing exercises and journaling could help me feel better. And they did. I felt like I was supporting and prioritizing both of my parents, my younger siblings and anyone else in my life at the expense of my own well-being, even at a young age. I knew too many of the adult-problem details and empathically took on the adult-problem anxieties. Writing became my saving grace, even before that counselor’s strong encouragement, and I often journaled under bed covers after bedtime, on tear-soaked pages with the aid of a book clip-light. I bravely wrote it all, struggling to be a subject in the midst of feeling helpless in my family’s unsafe world of brokenness and addictions.

My next poignant power-claiming moment was during my senior year of high school. Years of living in fear, expecting the unexpected and being physically and emotionally abused arrived at a heightened, yet final point. Not long after dinner that March 7, my step-father again chose to belittle me and argue about a non-issue and then proceeded to get more violent than he ever had with me. Kicked, hit, spit at and slammed into doors in our kitchen that night, I was told to get out and found myself stumbling out our back door and falling onto the paved driveway, after first being pushed into the locked screen door. Stunned at first, but then amazingly clear, I was terrified but felt free.

Thankfully, my high school counselor had helped me create a plan for safety and self-care, as he and I knew my home situation was growing even more unsafe for me. I would never live in that house again and was taken in by kind, loving grandparents. Not as mindful of my own traumatic experience and loss, for the next week, I was more upset and feeling extreme guilt for “leaving” my three younger siblings and mother. I was helping raise and protect my sisters and brother, and I felt responsible for my mother, then too afraid to change our hellish home environment. Being swooshed out of my caretaking at home, I felt so lost but soon became empowered to keep going, finish high school and get to college.

More extreme caretaking presented itself when I suddenly and unexpectedly found myself at age 24-almost-25 in charge of my father’s entire estate, something I’ve never regretted. My father’s death at age 48 is a story that holds things together for me—a story that brought things together for me—because so many things fell apart. Not only was I grieving and just trying to keep my own life together, I was again finding that I was often more concerned for others and losing too much of my own energy and health. Interestingly, I had been diagnosed with endometriosis—a painful and debilitating disease that was damaging my ovaries, woman tubes and stomach, and required my first surgery—not long before this greatest life-shifter. Seemingly, the Universe was getting my attention and saying, “You need to take care of yourself first. Finally. Now. Without Delay.”

After finalizing all of my executor responsibilities related to my dad and honestly assessing the aftermath of a recent sexual assault, increased caretaking of loved ones, grad school completion, unhealthy romantic relationships and serious overworking, I had my greatest moment of choosing to be subject of my own life. I needed to leave Wisconsin, no matter how much I loved and cared for my family and friends, and choose me. Colorado had first impressed me when I was nine and on a road trip with my dad, step-mom and siblings. And this beautiful state where mountains grounded me and peace settled within me called me home.

Again, those who know me may still tell you I care too much and do too much for others. Judgment aside, I am so much healthier, more aware and preventative, and continually practicing more self-care these days and sincerely efforting to break a pattern, even with each new caretaking “opportunity” that presents itself in my life. Helping and giving are in my nature and will always be to some extent, but these beautiful attributes need regulation like most other behaviors and patterns.

With age 40 next year, I have lived in Colorado for nearly 12 years because playing it safe, staying where I was and maintaining endless caretaking for everyone else was no longer my path. In my mid-20s, my entire life changed, and I began a new era of spiritual growth, self-acceptance, power, voice, self-healing and freedom. A therapist here in Colorado, not long after I moved here, assured me, “Moving to Colorado was probably one of the best things you have done for yourself.” And she was so right.

 

© Erika M. Schreck and Turtle Healing Energy, 2014. All rights reserved.


Click Here to learn more about author, speaker and facilitator Diane DeBella and her amazing efforts with I Am Subject. Click Here to learn more about Diane DeBella’s #iamsubject Project.

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Be an Information-Gatherer

2012-12-08 23.56.08So much has been swirling lately, and I imagine your life has been churning in its own way. We’re also currently in Mercury Retrograde, which is tough to ignore when it is causing interesting hiccups and situations, especially with communications, transportation and business deals.

I have so often mentioned this idea of “information gathering” to my friends and family in the last many years, and I try to remember this strategy for my own life. As I’ve been reminding myself heavily of this approach all week, I knew it was time to share the reminder. That’s my sweet boy (dog) Harley in the picture above; animals are such wonderful information-gatherers. They put their noses in everything and use their senses to guide their journeys in the backyard and in the home. When I talk about information-gathering, I’m referring to the practice of trying to take the judgment out of events that we experience and see each experience as an opportunity to learn and an inspiration to consider our other choices and possibilities. I completely understand that we’re human, and that we often have emotional reactions to life’s circumstances, but one of the main keys is to see everything as “information.”

Let me demonstrate. Recently I thought all signs were pointing to my moving–and moving quickly; some of you know my circumstances. In a matter of a few days, news started pouring in–news that was making it more difficult to move, and just yesterday the buyers informed me they put an offer elsewhere, and other red lights appeared financially. I admit I went down the hole of sadness for a bit. Disappointing realities and exhaustion and confusion piled on, and there were even tears this week. Oh, please know I was full on into my humanness. And then it hit me (it just took a little longer for me this time): It’s all information. If I see it as such, and stop crying and stop feeling victim-y, I can instead interpret these events not as “I’ll never be able to move” but “Wow, okay, that definitely took a turn I wasn’t expecting. What did I learn? What are my next steps? What other information do I need? What other options do I have?”

There’s something valuable in enjoying and choosing to be open to research. Ask my close friends and family, and they’ll confirm that I’m a “researcher.” I enjoy looking at my options and exploring for almost any decision, so I can be informed and perhaps discover something that might even be better, something that perhaps is new and “not on my radar.” We can approach our job paths, our relationships, our interests and, yes, even moving house with this idea of information-gathering, the approach of noticing what we’re experiencing, letting go of too much judging with what’s happening, and then turning to searching for more information to better lead us to where we need to be and what we can do.

I’m not suggesting that we don’t feel, but I’m concerned when I or others get stuck. As I walked with Harley this morning, I thought about how we’d never move forward if he chose to sniff in the same spot in the grass for hours, days, weeks (God forbid!); he sniffs, and he moves on, all the while gaining more information. With my clients, I’ve noticed such relief over the years in my reiki and tarot card reading sessions when after they share an experience that makes them so sad or angry or frustrated, I say, “Well, that’s interesting information, huh? It’s all information.” I’ve also found myself sharing that if we retrain ourselves, as much as we can, to more quickly (even if it’s after the short tantrum) or even immediately respond with “Well, that’s interesting information,” we can move forward by accepting that we always have options and choices. What needs more exploration? Where do we go from here? That tunnel just closed, so what are the other options? How is the Universe guiding us, and are we listening, given to how events are unfolding? Later, in the marvelous gift of hindsight, it seems that it was all for our highest good, anyway, no matter how surprising or hurtful or triggering something felt initially.

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This post was originally generated for my July 2013 Turtle Healing Energy newsletter. Sign up for my monthly newsletter in the right column’s simple form on my website at http://TurtleHealingEnergy.com. Much Light!

© Erika M. Schreck and Turtle Healing Energy, 2013. All rights reserved.