How to tell if you are grieving & heal your Self from grief

Got Grief? Bereavement, job loss, divorce, break ups, empty nest syndrome, ch cha cha

CHANGES!

Changes can cause grief, you know. If you are all mixed up and don’t know what to do, consider whether or not major change has caused you to grieve.

YOU MIGHT BE STRUGGLING WITH GRIEF IF:

(10) You are considering taxidermy at all. Sure, who doesn’t want a life-size representation of the past? I get it. Don’t though. Please don’t do that.

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(9) You have used your own shirt as a Kleenex. I get it. You’ve been wearing that shirt for days anyway. I’ve been there. This will adversely impact your self esteem and exacerbate the pain you are feeling.

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(8) You wonder when God is coming to pick you up already. Take you home. You keep looking around for someone to save you. Anyone other than yourself.

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(7) You relive the moment over and over again, feeling confused about unrealistic hopes for a totally new outcome despite your best efforts to let it go already. It’s called bargaining and it’s one of the 5 stages of grief. Relax. Bargaining is a natural form of healing from the pain caused by major change.

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(6) You feel silently resentful despite your assertion that you are over it. Are you sitting down? Good…Resentment is a part of the anger stage of grief and is evidence that you are healing from major change.

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(5) You are constantly being asked “are you ok” like you survived some sort of tragedy, yet you feel nothing at all and wonder what that’s about. Denial is 1/5 of the grieving process and is necessary for healing growth.

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(4) You feel mildly startled by the anger inside of you, like you had no idea that much unbridled rage was there and you don’t even know where it came from.

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(3) You are struck by the feeling that everything around you is a metaphor for this profound life changing experience—the sound of silence, the uneven blades of grass, the car pulled over on the freeway with the flat tire—everything you see is connected to the major change that has occurred in your life and the epiphanies are visceral.

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(2) You have considered the notion that you might have lost your mind based on the VARIETY of emotions you feel about any given circumstance.

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(1) You are a human being. Human beings grieve naturally as they grow because growth involves major change.

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HOW TO HEAL FROM GRIEF:

Mindfulness. Major change triggers the cycle of grief to heal your growing pains. Calendar your feelings of anger, depression, acceptance, denial, and bargaining. There is an app for that. iHeal because iFeel helps you heal grief. You are going to be ok. Meditation is a great way to quickly improve your mood and the exciting thing about the iHeal because iFeel app is that it has 5 meditations specific to healing each stage of grief. It’s not easy to go from bargaining to acceptance to denial to anger and then into depression. The order of your grief cycle does not have to be a mystery, though. Download the iHeal because iFeel app and begin charting your own personal grief cycle today.

download the iHeal because iFeel app on Google Play to heal grief

Get it on Google Play

Heal grief now: download the iHeal because iFeel app on the App Store

Available on the App Store

THE BEST MEDITATION OF ALL TIME!!!

Guided meditation is an excellent way to heal dark feelings. Have you ever felt so angry or so sad you could burst?

 

I think the worst part about grief is the feeling you get when you tell yourself:

 

We can’t be together anymore. Ever.

 

Or:

 

I will never hold them in my arms again.

 

These statements cause tremendous pain inside, right around your heart and your gut. The pain is uncomfortable and can lead to anger or resentment.

 

Instead of replaying agonizing statements in your mind that cause you to feel pain, listen to this:

 

You can meditate a heart to heart hug with any one at any time.

 

I do it all the time.

 

It feels AMAZING.

 

It works so well, I have to share it with everyone.

 

Click here to experience the best 15 minute healing meditation of all time.

 

You don’t have to suffer from estrangement, loss, divorce, death or any other major change. Mindfulness about grief heals grief. If you want to feel better right now, then press play on this video:

 

 

We can all heal through mindfulness.

XO,

Rachel

p.s.: For more of my grief-healing meditations and tools, check out my grief healing app, iHeal because iFeel, available on Google Play and the App Store:

meditation heals and this app has 5 guided meditations specific to healing each stage of grief

iHeal because iFeel is a grief healing app available for iPhone and iPad on the App Store

Meditation heals. This app contains 5 guided meditations specific to healing each stage of grief.

iHeal because iFeel is a grief healing app that you can get on Google Play for Android devices

 

 

RachelVanKoughnet

June 21, 2016

 

I did it!

 

It took me about 6 months, but I invented my first app.

 

The iHeal because iFeel helps organize and heal grief symptoms.

 

grief healing app

 

First, select which of the 5 stages of grief you are experiencing from the menu. You will then be asked to indicate the intensity level that particular symptom invokes. These answers will all be auto populated into the handy calendar, together with the specific healing activities you have completed.

 

grief healing app

 

What’s really cool: I made 5 meditations specific to the 5 stages of grief. As in, I wrote, read and professionally recorded them.

 

grief healing app

 

That’s MY art work! Do you LOVE it?

 

grief healing app

 

The point of the app is to encourage you to feel your feelings. To bury your feelings is to bury your Self alive, a form of suicide. Feel the feelings, organize your healing techniques and heal your Self.

 

grief healing app

 

The point is: go out there and make rainbows. Feel it all. Heal it all. Yes cry, yes get angry, yes use that big old brain to bargain and find acceptance and above all else: enjoy sweet blissful denial, nature’s reset button. You can heal your own grief, your body knows how, you just have to stop fighting it.

 

Download this grief healing app on Google Play or the App Store:

iHeal because iFeel is a grief healing app

Get it on google play

grief healing app

iHeal because iFeel is available on the App Store

 

Thank you for your support!!!

 

XO,

Rachel

First Thing in the Morning Mourning

 

 

Have you ever taken a break from FaceBook and then come back to FaceBook…

 

And then saw a friend of yours tag another friend of yours…

 

And then thought: hey what’s up with that friend, haven’t seen him in a year…

 

And then realize he had died.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

I cannot tell you how hard I cried this morning scrolling through all the bereft posts on his page. Howled. It’s not over. I’m still crying. I don’t even have to squint, tears are flowing from my resting neutral face and landing on my damp hair and pajamas.

I have to tell you about Russell.

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

Russell was an angel. Not like the halo-wearing kind, but the kind of angel surrounded by light at all times. He lit up every room he entered. His energy was infectious and I absolutely LOVED being in his presence. He was magical.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

Russell was a performer, both onstage and off, entertaining anyone lucky enough to be in proximity to him. He dated a very good friend of mine from college and I got the opportunity to take their headshots together in Red Rock Canyon.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

This was such a meaningful experience for me.

I love to combine my strong desire to help my friends and be artistically creative. Russell made this day extraordinarily light and fun. He had this natural ability to simultaneously deliver and enhance; when I wasn’t shooting him, he was using his energy to bring all of our spirits up.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

That was just how Russell was…he was always working…but his work was love…and light. He was ALIVE. To be in his presence made you feel more alive, too. We laughed the whole time, my face hurt from smiling so hard and focusing the camera.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

When I asked my friend to join me, to dance in the One Billion Rising for V-Day Flash Mob, he said yes and made a point to tell me that Russell was so excited. I cannot tell you how that made my heart swoon—swoon? Yeah, it swooned. When I ask people to volunteer for V-Day, usually I either get a ‘not this time’ or an ‘okayyyyyy’…but Russell was excited…he was so pumped for every single aspect of this.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

If you knew Russell, you would know that a Flash Mob is right up his ally. He showed up like he always did, radiating light with this confidence that made you want to be around him forever.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

My first time Flash Mob nerves melted into laughter and excitement; Russell helped me get out of my head and into the moment.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

Russell showed me what it looks like to be ALIVE.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

Before my last Facebook hiatus, I was very closely following Russell and his dream to read every single Stephen King novel. I thought that was so cool. I have read many of those same novels and appreciated his appetite for more books!

 

This morning, when I saw my friend tag Russell on FaceBook, it reminded me that I hadn’t seen him posting about his novel reading status in a long time and it hit me—you probably didn’t add him as a friend when you rejoined FaceBook—so, I clicked on his name thinking I would add him and get all caught up on what he had been reading…which shows he would be performing in…

 

I did not expect to see so many people mourning Russell. How could I? How could this happen? I don’t understand. I began to sob instantaneously, thinking about how I was not done…I intended to hug him again…I had plans to be in his presence more…

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

You don’t understand. Russell was an angel. It was healing to be in his presence. I am crying so hard as I type this out…oh Russell, do you see and feel my grief??? It’s not just me, it’s almost been one whole year since you’ve been gone and there are so many people aching from losing you.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

Many people are using this god-picking-flowers analogy for you, Russell…I had never even heard this one before and MANY people are using it to describe what has happened here. I get it. Put Russell in a crowd and he does shine the brightest.

 

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

I don’t really pick flowers though, I let them grow.

 

This is what I will be doing with our relationship from now on, Russell, allowing it to grow. I feel you. I hear you. I will not resist that. It’s okay to cry because I can’t hug you or watch you perform onstage. It’s not okay to convince myself that it all ends here because that is simply not true. Relationships never die.

 

I’ll hold you in my heart forever and feel so much lighter as a result.

 

Thank you.

 

XO,

Rachel

Russell Ray Slouffman

 

Bill Murray in St. Vincent

Went on a hot date over the weekend to the movies and saw Bill Murray in St. Vincent.

 

Bill Murray in St. Vincent

 

I love Bill Murray. I am not done considering my overall opinion of this (very) dark comedy, but I am way overdue in sharing the part that immediately resonated with me…

 

Yes, it has to do with grief.

 

Bill Murray plays a character who (spoiler alert) loses his wife. The conversation he has with the little boy he babysits is very relevant to me. It went something like this:

 

(little boy) I’m sorry for your loss.

(Bill Murray, angrily) Why do people always say that?

(little boy) Because they don’t know what else to say.

(Bill Murray) How about, what was she like?

 

Bill Murray in St. Vincent 

 

So I’m in the movie theatre and I just burst into tears, trying to tell my husband (yup, I’m talking during the movie now, too) that: IT’S NOT FAIR!

 

What’s not fair?

 

The way society forces us to shut down our grief. I’m sorry for your loss is the same thing as saying: that’s enough, shut it down, this conversation is over. That is not polite, that is cold and rude. It’s also unhealthy. What was she like? Now that’s a conversation opener. Brilliant. Much warmer. Demonstrates that you care.

 

So I have already started doing it. Asking people who are grieving: what was she like? And the result is beautiful. I recommend it. Relationships never die. Trust me. Even if the other person dies, your relationship never dies because it lives inside of you. Keep talking about your loved ones who have passed, it strengthens your relationship; makes it grow.

 

I was trying to tell my best friend about this concept and saw the 1987 version of the movie The Secret Garden in my head. Remember when that little girl finds the key and opens the Secret Garden door for the first time? What garden?! The brown overgrown piles of sticks and dead leaves were so high and thick; you would never know we finally made it to the garden but for the title of the movie. That’s where your relationships go that you think are dead. That’s where the relationships go that you wish were dead. Relationships never die. They are just waiting for you behind the wall you put up.

 

SecretGarden

 

Am I blowing your mind? Watch this video I made:

(Relationships Never Die: The Secret Garden).

Revisit your relationships—every single one of them, as they are all living inside of you. Take inventory. Roll up your sleeves and be willing to do the hard work. Gardens don’t bloom in a day.

 

XO

~Rachel

 

A Double Haiku by Rachel VanKoughnet:

 

Always with Despair,

sometimes I think I can count

my friends on one hand…

hand orchids

…then I remember:

you keep your friends in your heart.

I’m never alone.