October 17th, 2011
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Photo credit: Samantha Kira Harding


When you are in a place where you are searching to rebuild your life after the loss of a loved one and trying to find “a new normal” for yourself and your children, recognizing, addressing and expressing the strong emotions associated with grief can be helpful in getting you to a heal place.

Moving forward takes time.  Unfortunately, there is no set schedule for when you are considered to be officially “healed.”  It would be comforting to be able to predict exactly how long it will take for you to deal with your painful feelings of grief and bereavement but healing is different for each person.

Personally, I would say it really took me several years to get through the layers of sadness, guilt and exhaustion of my grief.  But I think I speak for most people when I say that the healing cannot start until you look honestly at what has happened and then work through the pain.

I know that confronting the actual death of your loved one and the pain of that person no longer being in your life is the hardest part but if you choose to ignore it and tamp it down within yourself thinking that it will eventually just go away on its own, you are making it harder on yourself.  Unfortunately, it won’t go away and the process of trying to put your life back together will take so much longer.

Each person needs to move through their grief at their own pace because each person’s circumstances are unique.  They know when they are emotionally ready to let go and move forward.  Writing about your feelings, talking to friends or other widowed persons either individually or in a support group or seeking advice from a therapist or a spiritual counselor can help you discover a variety of coping skills.

I found the following positive story about creativity and its healing powers on a fantastic website, http://www.crazysexylife.com/, and thought I would pass along to you.  Enjoy!

The Healing Power of Creativity

By Lynn Zavaro on October 13, 2011

Creativity is a tremendous life-transforming tool that we all have the ability to access, whether we feel like we are artistically creative or not, to know more deeply who we truly are and to support us to create the lives we really want.

Creativity also heals.

As a child, I always wanted to express myself, to be free without limitations. Yet, I was conditioned to believe I needed to color in the lines, choose the right color that matches the others and make sure not to make a mess. I wanted to speak out loud all that I felt. Yet, I was taught that I needed to use my quiet voice and speak only when spoken to. I wanted to be bold, big and uninhibited yet, I feared I was “too much” and lessened my size.

The little one in me soon learned to wrap it up tight, be concerned about what other people would think, compare myself to others and worry if what I was doing really mattered. I learned to doubt myself, question myself and got caught in needing acceptance out in the world.

But now, as an adult, I am free to be own person. I am free to create my heart’s desire. But, I can’t do it alone. I need the little one inside of me to join me.

Igniting the energy of our child-selves, we tap into our free, authentic self-expression with total permission to be whomever and however we want in the moment. When we meet a project, a dream or an endeavor focused, concentrated and in the present moment, being true to ourselves and making choices based on this truth, creativity purifies.

Imagine your body (emotional, spiritual, physical and mental) is a chamber like a pipe. Inside the pipe are calcifications that have built up over time. Crud, roots, mud and waste corrode the pipe and create blocks. When we are fully present and engaged in a creative endeavor, the energy moves through us like water through the pipe and pushes out whatever is blocking it.

Creativity burns like a fire through the stuckness and disease held in our bodies and turns what doesn’t serve us into ash. It dissolves the layers of conditioning that were put upon us and brings us closer to knowing who we truly are, our absolute nature and what we are capable of.

When we feel sleepy or bored and resist what we are being called to create, we fall into the trap of questioning who we are as a creative being. When we take ourselves too seriously, the energy in our body may get stuck, calcified or heavy. We may find ourselves depressed, ill or without real, palpable, expressive joy. Yet, when we connect to the creative aspect of everything we do, our body will awake, and we remember what it feels like to be vibrant and alive again.

Here are four ways to engage creativity to bring healing to our lives:

1. Play, laugh and have some fun. Choose to do something today that is fun and playful. This healing act supports you. Let go of pain from the past and know in your heart of hearts your life is of purpose. You will feel lighter, experience a sensation of release or anticipate with enthusiasm the direction you are headed. Celebrate and bring healing as you joyfully find laughter and experience a healthy release.

2. Let out the kid in you. When we played as children, we had a rich fantasy life. We dared to dream, run wild and had active imaginations. As adults, we lose this childlike, innocent quality. This is why it is good to reconnect with our little one within. He or she is still a large part of who we are and it is essential to our overall health and well-being.

Ask your child self what he or she would like to create to express themselves fully. Does she want to dance in the living room, throw a pot on a wheel? Does he want to climb trees or go for a hike in the wilderness? Schedule a creative play date and make sure you follow through.

3. Jump into the Unknown. Choose something new, daring and risky that will cause you to let go and dive into the wild abandon of the unknown. Maybe something in your life feels ready for a change. Why don’t you jump and make that change today? Prepare to jump into the unknown, to brave the height of the mountain and leap into mid-air. Begin by investigating the mystery of who you are to better discover yourself.

4. Be an Adventurer. Welcome the places that may make you feel uncomfortable or fear and use these situations as creative moments that create catalyst for change. Welcoming what makes you uncomfortable will cause you to immediately birth into a new way of being.

Loosen your grip, relax and be an adventurer in life. Are you drawn to paint? Pick up a brush! Have you always wanted a motorcycle? Take a cycle safety class. Are you interested in learning how to meditate? Start with sitting for five minutes a day.

Invent what you want in your life by getting out of your own way and allowing your creative expression to come through. Create for the pure joy of creating and strictly for the love of doing it. And as you do this, watch your body fill with light like the sun coming out behind the clouds.

Live freely! Live healthfully! Be you!

Lynn Zavaro has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and her book and card deck set, “The Game of You™- An Interactive Way to Know Yourself, Create the Life You Want” offers a powerful, profound and fun experience of self-discovery and transformation.
Photo credit: Samantha Kira Harding

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