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I wanted to share this with you because the speeches in it got me thinking for the better. It was exactly what I was needing. This goes so much deeper than equestrianism. Even if you're not into horses, just listen.. & Yes, I made this video, but I do not own the clips or audio.

Posted by Kaitlyn Brooke on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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12 Tips on Helping a Friend in Mourning



beingthereHaving a high level of emotional intelligence is more valuable than being the smartest in the class when is comes to comforting others who are hurting.  Feel from the heart rather than think from the brain. Listening is more important than talking in efforts of simply filling the awkward space of silence. Here is a valuable list of tips that will assist you on delivering empathy, compassion and comfort to your friends who are grieving and mourning. Kudos to you for “being there” for your friend.
 
1) Please don’t say “I am sorry” or “I know how you feel”
“I am sorry” makes me feel like I have to say “it’s okay” and obligated to console you.  It’s not okay.  It won’t be okay for a while and that’s okay.
 
“I know how you feel” hurts me.  How could you possibly know how I feel?  My loss is unique. My loved one is unique. So my grief is unique. 
 
2) Please say their name – Speaking his/her name and hearing my loved one’s name is comforting to me.  It lets me know you remember him/her.  Not saying their name is like avoiding the elephant in the room.  Talking about my loved one, sharing stories, and speaking of the death are all ways to help me cope and bring me comfort.
 
3) When I ask “why” and talk about “what if’s”, answers and solutions are not necessarily what I am seeking. Questioning, pondering and contemplation is a way for me to process my grief out loud and begin my mourning. It is not a cue for you to feel you must answer or fix the situation.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is sit with me, hold my hand and listen.  BE there for moral support while I try to make sense of my loss.
 
4) Please recognize I am grieving AND mourning.  My grief is what I feel inside, the roller coaster of emotions. My  mourning is how I can express my emotions on the outside.  I may yell and scream, cry, sleep, repeat, and tell my story over and over.  Please be patient with me and don’t get sick of me, I am NOT stuck.  It’s not only okay for me to feel and express all these emotions, it’s it NECESSARY.
 
5) Please remember me and don’t avoid me.  I may turn you down when you ask to come see me or invite me out. Please continue to ask me more than once to join you for coffee or the movies.  I may decline invites. Do not give up on me and avoid me.  Eventually I will have the strength and energy to join you.
 
6) Please acknowledge that I am in a time warp as my world has stopped while your world and everyone else’s is still going.  I am currently in slow motion.  I am grieving as fast as I can, working on processing the loss as my heart and head are still disconnected.  I ask for patience and understanding.
 
7) Please don’t judge me.  You are not living my journey.  I understand you are concerned about how I am sleeping and eating.  You may be tired of hearing me blubber my story.  You may feel I am not where I am supposed to be on my journey.  Instead of judging me, and possibly urging me to ‘get over it’ or ‘get on with my life’, practice kindness, be my friend.
 
8) Please forgive me if I say or do something to hurt you or don’t return phone calls.  I am not myself right now.  My emotions are all over the place and I can’t think straight.  I can be frustrated, pissed, sad, and scared all at once with no warning.  My focus and concentration is depleted.  I need patience and understanding.  I may feel and express harsh emotions. Please do not get angry with me. I may not remember you called, please call me again.
 
9) Please don’t “SHOULD” on me.  Try not to tell me what I “should” be doing or what I “need” to take care of. Be my friend and don’t try to fix me.
 
10)  Please don’t compare my loss.  It hurts and diminishes the significance of my loved one and raw emotional circumstance.  My loss is all I can see, hear, feel and breathe right now.  I don’t have the capability to think about someone else’s losses, stresses, and misfortunes right now.
 
11)  Please don’t say, “Call me if you need anything”.  I have little capability to recognize what I need.  I have little to no energy to pick up the phone and reach out for help.  My head is cluttered and I am not thinking straight most of the time.  If you would like to help, bring me a meal or take the kids for the afternoon. Send me a card to let me know you are thinking of me.  Leave a voice mail or a text message. Pick up some groceries and toilet paper. Mow my grass.  Come sit with me and be my friend.
 
12)  Please don’t say, “At Least”.  At least you had ‘X’ amount of years together.  At least he/she is in a better place. At least he/she is out of pain.  Saying things like this only hurts more and diminishes the significance of my loved one, the love we shared.  I wanted more years! The best place was here with me! I do not have the capacity to see or hear the silver lining. I am hurting, I miss my loved one and I want (need) to feel this pain.

I hope this article brought you some insight and comfort.  I wish you peace and joy in your hearts and love and happiness in your souls.

CynthiaGossman/Emotional Wellness & Balance Center
A Happy You A Happy Life

18 Things NOT To Say To Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One



It is very important to both the griever and the friends to read this article. When someone is hurting, most of us only want to comfort them. However, in our efforts of doing so, quite the opposite can happen.  Be aware of traditional cliches and the possibility of offending your family or friend.  Read on and learn my top 18 things NOT to say to someone who is grieving.

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1.  “I know how you feel” – even if you have had a similar loss, you really do not know. As each person is unique and individual so is the grief journey.
 
2.  “It’s just God’s plan/will” – some griever’s feel very disconnected from their faith, mad at their God and even feel like they are being punished and saying this could make things much worse; some griever’s may have a different belief system than you. 
 
3.  “Just look at all the things you have to be thankful for” TIMING people. I am the first one to be positive and find the silver lining and TIMING is so important. This can be very hurtful and detrimental to the healing process. A griever must FEEL to HEAL. Distracting or redirecting them prompts them to NOT FEEL the sadness.
 
4.  “He’s in a better place now” – Griever’s at the time feel the ‘best’ place for their loved one was with them. Especially if the death was premature and/or unexpected.  
 
5.  “God needed another angel” – This may build more fear into a griever’s mind as they may begin to think that other loved ones are going to die because God needs more angels. 
 
6.  “You’ve still got your other children/siblings or parent”. – Each relationship between people is special, unique and individual. Comparing relationships is not a good thing.
 
7.   “Don’t cry — crying only upsets you” – The griever is upset already as grief is what we are feeling on the inside. Crying is a form of love and release. It will help relieve the upsets and cleanse at the same time.
 
8.  “God will never give you more than you can handle” – PRESSURE! When a griever is feeling like they just can’t take one more thing and then THIS is said to them, they can really begin to question their faith and purpose. 
 
9.  “Get a hold of yourself” – Oh boy, does this add pressure to the griever who is already feeling out of control. 
 
10.  “It’s time to get on with your life” – This implies you, the friend, is uncomfortable seeing the griever in the state of grief and mourning. It’s a very selfish thing to say to a griever. Until you walk a mile in their shoes. . . 
 
11.  “You are so strong” “you can handle this” , or “You must be strong for the kids” – This can give the griever a false sense of carrying the weight of the world all alone on their shoulders. It can mislead the griever into judging themselves of having to have it all together and deter them from reaching out for help and asking for help.
 
12.  “You’ll get over it in time” – Nope, a griever doesn’t ‘get over it’.  A griever learns to live with the loss and integrate life, loss and love.
 
13.  “You’ll be okay in a year” – Putting a specific linear time component will set the griever up for unrealistic expectations. The grieving/mourning process does not run on a linear time table.
 
14.  “Time heals all wounds” – A griever may perceive this as a specific amount of time on a linear time table. Not possible to say ‘how much’ time until the wound is healed. 2 months, a year, 10 years? This could set a griever up for a never ending expectation.
 
15.  “He/She is ALWAYS with you” – This may seem very comforting, but the fact of the matter is many grievers are going through a biological feeling of loss and it’s very difficult to fathom that when indeed they cannot speak to or hold their loved one.
 
16.  “At least you had ‘X’ amount of time with him/her” – NEVER does an empathic response begin with ‘AT LEAST’. 
 
17.  “You’re the man of the house now” – This adds unnecessary pressure, guilt, and can affect self-esteem. 
 
18.  “You’ll find someone else” – Most grievers are NOT wanting to jump right back on the horse and ‘replace’ their loved one. That diminishes the value of the love shared and the person who died.
STAY TUNED FOR MY NEXT BLOG ON “The BEST Things To Say To Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One”
 
If you or someone you know is struggling with the grief and mourning process after losing a loved one and is yearning for JOY restoration, please contact me.  I’ve been there.  I can help.  You need not travel this journey alone.
 
Love and JOY,
Cynthia 

Please Be Patient With Me and Stay My Friend



my_idea_of_a_good_friend3-250x160What I cannot do while I grieve…
 
I cannot ‘get over it’ or ‘buck up’ – I know it may be very uncomfortable for you to see me this way.  I am grieving and mourning and my emotions are all over the place.  My loss is all I see right now with no peripheral vision.  Please be patient with me and stay my friend.
 
I cannot ‘go back to my old self’ – That self has been changed forever. There will be some characteristics and traits that will journey with me.  Everything that defined who I was before this loss has been altered, shattered and changed.  Please be patient with me and stay my friend.
 
I cannot ‘believe this was God’s will” – Right now I am in too much pain.  I am confused.  I am frustrated.  I am searching for answers.  I am trying to make sense.  I am asking ‘why’ and ‘what if’ and saying ‘if only’.  Please be patient with me and stay my friend.
 
I cannot ‘be strong’ – Some days it takes every ounce of energy to just get out of bed or get the kids dressed or on the bus. I am not being weak when I cry or don’t answer the phone every time you call.  I like it when you leave a message as I feel less alone.  Please be patient with me and stay my friend.
 
What I CAN do while I grieve…
 
I can go towards the pain and mourn.  You will find me listening to music that makes me cry.  You will find me reminiscing through pictures and I will cry.  You will find me talking about my loved one and I will cry.  You will find me telling my story many times and it will make me cry.  You see the connection between my heart and head has been severed.  My heart if feeling everything my head can’t fathom.  Thank you for being patient with me and staying my friend.
 
I can ‘be’ and ‘suspend’.  You may get frustrated with me for not accepting all of your invitations to do things.  You may be frustrated that I am not grieving the way you see fit.  You may think I am doing it all wrong.  Thank you for being patient with me and staying my friend.
 
I can honor my loved one.  I can create a scrapbook, plant a garden, keep a memory trunk, make a quilt from their clothing, celebrate their birthday, have a special ornament for the tree, release balloons, write poetry, write a book, simply say their name in conversations.  Thank you for being patient with me and staying my friend.
 
I can try new things.  You may not agree with me in my choices and you may have your own opinion on what’s right or wrong; however, it’s up to me to learn again.  My feet have to test the waters.  I have to make mistakes to learn.  Thank you for being patient with me and staying my friend.
 
I can find things to do that are therapeutic.  I can get a massage.  I can garden. I can journal.  I can read.  I can listen to music. I can plug into new circles of friends.  I can reach out for help.  Thank you for being patient with me and staying my friend.
Love and Joy,
Cynthia Gossman
You need not grieve alone. Contact me for more information. Cynthia@CynthiaGossman.com
 
Copyright – Cynthia Gossman, Grief and Relationship Coach, Life After Loss Healing Solutions, LLC

A Happy You – A Happy Life January Newsletter



Happy New Year 2017 – Make THIS Year Your Best Year Ever! and remember to smile smile

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Circle the Date



circlethedate

Throughout the years, I have been blessed by walking with so many on their journey of loss, grief and mourning and helping them reach the path of healing. I have also been blessed with a voice to advocate for the griever and educate the non-grievers/companions on how to help their friends and loved ones who are hurting.  Here’s one of my favorite tips:

Circle the date of the loss on the calendar in every month for a year. Life resumes normalcy quick after the funeral for friends and companions, yet the griever’s life has come to a complete stop, is in slow motion, and time is greatly distorted. While the griever is chartering unknown territory, the pain, lonesomeness, confusion, and so much more slaps ‘doses of reality’ of the death in their face over and over.

A few months down the road when everyone else is back living their own lives (the out of town company has gone back home, the food and meals aren’t being dropped off anymore, the phone calls/texts are few and far between, the flourish of cards and condolences are not arriving in the mailbox anymore) the griever is often left feeling even more lost and alone.

When we (the companion to the griever) ‘remember’, it brings tremendous comfort to the griever. So, Circle the date and let that be a gentle reminder to you to send a ‘thinking of you’ card, invite them out for lunch, or swing by for a cup of coffee.  Disconnection is transparent and your act of love and kindness by ‘remembering’ will bring a sense of connection and diminish the feelings of isolation.

Love and JOY,
Cynthia

15 Ways to Find Healing in Suffering



15 Ways to Find Healing in Suffering – Embrace, Engage, and Connecthealinghands2

To heal healthily and most effectively one must allow the emotions and thoughts to be felt and expressed while your head and heart have become temporarily disconnected.  Losing someone very close and dear to you is going to hurt.  There is no way around it, over it, or under it; you must go THROUGH it.  The more intense the love was, the more painful the loss will be.

  1. Allow yourself to feel.  A slew of emotions are swirling together and you may find it very suffocating.  Allow yourself to embrace, engage and connect with these emotions.  Surrender and weep, scream, punch a pillow.  Then just breathe. In and out.
  2. Allow yourself to think.  Your world has changed.  Your plans for your future have changed.  Your meaning of life has changed.
  3. Allow yourself to talk.  Telling your story helps process the loss and bridge the gap disconnection between your head and heart.
  4. Allow yourself to write it down.  Get a notebook and write down emotions and thoughts.  Get them out of your heart and head.  Do not worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation etc.
  5. Allow yourself to emotionally and sometimes physically distance yourself from the naysayers and negative people.
  6. Allow yourself to listen to music.  Listen to instrumental lullabies, classical, contemporary, alternative music.  There is healing in music.
  7. Allow yourself to meditate with the flickering flame of a candle or fireplace.  Become mesmerized into a spiritual trance to connect with Spirit.
  8. Allow yourself to submerge in a warm bath with Epson salt to release the toxins.
  9. Allow yourself to have your faith and beliefs to be unclear.  Allow yourself to visit a different church.  Allow yourself to be mad at God.  This too shall pass.
  10. Allow yourself to pamper yourself with a massage for deep relaxation.
  11. Allow yourself to nap.  Sleep patterns are disrupted.  Grief work and mourning are exhausting.
  12. Allow yourself to eat something nutritious.  Church family may be able to provide a meal.
  13. Allow yourself to drink extra water to keep your energy up and body from dehydration.
  14. Allow yourself to ask for help and to accept help. You are low on energy.  Ask a neighbor to mow the grass for you.  Ask if another parent can take over the carpool.  Ask a friend to help you pick up groceries.  Ask for help with the kids.  Your friends and loved ones in the neighborhood and church don’t know what to do for you.
  15. Allow yourself to seek emotional help.  You need not grieve alone.

I wish you peace and happiness in your hearts, love and joy in your souls.

Love & Joy,
Cynthia

Emotional Wellness & Balance Center www.CynthiaGossman.com 757-635-5379

Grief Has No Gender



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Men and women grieve differently, not because of gender, but because of the masculine/feminine parts of the brain and societal conditioning/stigmas. In all actuality, EVERYONE grieves differently. One’s grief is as unique as the relationship with the loved one.

The masculine part of the brain tends to process grief with action, doing, fixing, like going out and building the temple. Little to no conversation is necessary sometimes.

The feminine part of the brain tends to process grief with nurturing, comforting, connecting, like sitting inside the temple and ‘kumbayah’ing’ with others over a meal, talking, crying, expressing emotion.

Neither one is better than the other and the action makes for good mourning.  All men and women have both masculine and feminine parts in their brain. Therefore, a man may feel absolutely comfortable sitting in the knitting circle and expressing emotions just as much as a woman may feel more solace going out to the shed and building a new swing set.  Society has prevented individuals from grieving and mourning effectively by conditions, stigmas, and conformity. Our society is ill equipped to assist in the healing process due to rules and roles of what the griever should or shouldn’t do or how to express oneself as well as what the gender should or shouldn’t be allowed to express.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. A griever cannot THINK (brain) grief away. A griever must FEEL (heart) their grief and express it outward by mourning. There is a huge gap between the brain and the heart. Due to an ill-equipped society that tends to focus on THINKING for solutions, a griever is hindered, shunned, even shamed on FEELING towards healing.

Regardless of the gender role, rules and regulations society has placed expectations on others, all individuals have emotions. Through the healthy healing process of both grieving and mourning, a griever can eventually let go of the pain while keeping precious memories.

Love and JOY,
Cynthia

Emotional Wellness & Balance Center
www.CynthiaGossman.com

5 Simple Choices Happy People Live by JOYfully!



Five Simple Choices Happy People Live by JOYfully!5stepsjoy

1)      Lighten Up – Carrying burdens such as guilt, judgement, anger, grief, resentment, jealously and more are all so heavy to your mind, body and soul.  Lighten Up by letting go of that unnecessary weight.  Free yourself of the responsibility and give up the ownership of what you cannot control.

2)      Get a Grip – Hold on baby, it’s going to be a killer ride.  Develop a strong foundation to handle the storms of life.  Work on your foundation more and what sits on top less.  Be less the roller-coaster and more the track.  Choose what anchors you and develop your foundation.

3)      Wipe The Slate Clean – No matter who or what has hurt or disappointed you start every morning start with a clean slate.  A fresh new beginning, another chance, a do-over.  For yourself.  For your loved ones.  What happened yesterday is not nearly as important as what happens right now.  LOVE today.

4)      Make Time for Solitude – When all is quiet, calm and suspended is when the listening begins.  When the listening begins is when clarity and creativity flows. 

5)      Live with PAP©Patience, Acceptance, Perspective – all three together help with the first four choices. 

Here’s to your healing, growth, and happiness.

Love and JOY,
Cynthia

12 Ways The “Law Of Attraction” Can Improve Your Life



I’ve been using the law of attraction with my Create Your Beautiful Life Vision Board Workshops for years. Many celebrities and athletes as well as successful business leaders believe in this exercise of visualization and the principles behind the ‘law of attraction’. How you FEEL is WHAT you are going to ATTRACT. Our emotional wealth is vitally important.  picture source:http://justgoodvibe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/law-of-attraction-4.jpglaw-of-attraction-4

I share this article from business insider that sites the 12 ways the ‘law of attraction’ can improve your life.
Source:http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-law-of-attraction-will-improve-your-life-2012-7?op=1

12 Ways The ‘Law Of Attraction’ Can Improve Your Life
Psychologists, New Age thinkers and religious leaders have been talking about the Law Of Attraction for years, though it gained popularity again when the book “The Secret” made waves in 2006.  The law is simply this: We attract whatever we think about, good or bad.  Oprah is a fan of the law and devoted an episode of her show to how it could change lives.  Whether or not you believe in the power of the universe, there is scientific research that proves the effects of positive thinking.

We’ve highlighted the most compelling elements from one of the most popular books on the topic, The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham, by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

1. You attract good or bad experiences based on your thoughts.
“The one who speaks most about illness has illness. The one who speaks about prosperity has prosperity,” Esther and Jerry Hicks write. “You attract all of it.” By focusing on something, you make it happen.

2. Thinking about something means you invite it in, even if you don’t want it.
“When you think a little thought of something that you want, through the Law of Attraction, that thought grows larger and larger, and more and more powerful,” according to the book. So keep your thoughts positive.

3. The more you focus on something, the more powerful it becomes.
This allows you to create your own reality by “attracting” the experiences you want to have. You probably brought bad things upon yourself by worrying about them, according to the laws described in the book.

4. It’s better to trust your emotions than over-think a decision.
In other words: Listen to your intuition. Instead of overthinking your choices, let your emotions guide you toward what is right and what is wrong. This will result in a more satisfying life.

5. You can make good things happen more quickly by thinking about them more…
“Want” and “desire” consist of wanting “to focus attention, or give thought toward a subject, while at the same time experiencing positive emotion. When you give your attention to a subject and you feel only positive emotion about it as you do so, it will come very quickly into your experience,” the Hicks write.

6. To make a change, you’ve got to see things as you hope them to be, not as they are.
This is something that successful people know about. It’s also called visualization. Michael Phelps spoke about picturing himself winning every night before bed.

“In order to effect true positive change in your experience, you must disregard how things are — as well as how others are seeing you — and give more of your attention to the way you prefer things to be,” the book says.

7. You can increase your magnetic power by devoting time to “powerful thinking.” each day.
Spend 15 minutes every day thinking hard about your goals, dreams and what you want from life. The Hicks say this increases your chances for success.

8. Success isn’t a finite resource; everyone can have it.
Others being successful doesn’t limit your success. And by attracting abundance to yourself, you are not limiting another, according to the book.

9. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in disappointment.
Being disappointed only attracts more stuff to be upset about and is only a sign that you’re not getting what you want in life. So think about how to get what you want instead of what you don’t have.

10. Avoid TV shows that deal with negative experiences like crime or illness.
Letting this stuff in makes you think about it more and increases the odds it could happen to you. “Your attention to anything is drawing it closer to you,” they say.

11. Know that your relationships with people are bad because you made them that way.
Giving your attention to the negative can wreak havoc on personal relationships. This mentality can help free us from bad relationships with relatives or a spouse. “Nothing can come into your experience without your personal attraction to it,” they say.

12. Don’t worry about what you’re dreaming; instead use your dreams as a guide.
Dreams might provide some insight into the psyche, but you’re not in the process of “creating” while you’re asleep, the book says.

Cheers to your success and happiness as you incorporate the law of attraction into your lifestyle.

Love and JOY,
Cynthia
A Happy You ~ A Happy Life
Emotional Wellness & Balance Center

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