I hope you're doing well and your time (mostly) spent at home during the pandemic is a good one. I still find it sometimes tricky that I can't move as freely as before. However, I'm always happy to spend the summers at home in Nova Scotia. Glad to see that more places can open up.
It has been a while since I wrote here. Do you also feel like the pandemic time is a weird one? Time either seems to stand still, or days rush by you?
In April, I released my short-read ebook 'From Grieving to Grateful: How to Heal a Broken Heart'. Thanks to terrific reviews, it became a bestseller on Amazon Canada for three days. (hahaha)
Always fun to see those sales metrics at work. And yes, I admit that it did feel good. (smile)
Following that, I had so many ideas about how I could help more women.
I'm working towards a new offering for grieving women. I want to reach and help more on their healing journey and create a supportive community at the same time.
Just keeping you in suspense for now, but in about two to three weeks, I'm ready to talk about it more and let you in on the secret. (smile) Stay tuned.
We all know that the journey of grief is never a linear one. You and I, we have our up and downs. Some days we breathe in joy, and some days we are just deeply sad and miss our loved one so much that our heart feels like someone is squeezing it.
Be assured that I'm not here to tell you how to grief or that you shouldn't be sad or cry. Instead, I'm here to help you find your healing journey through this messy and sometimes chaotic feeling of grief.
I leave you today with a quote from a young woman that I admire deeply.
"We were scared, but our fear was not as strong as our courage."
- Malala Yousafzai
You might be scared of your feelings sometimes. I assure you there is courage in you. And you can tease it out with love and compassion towards yourself. A good laugh with a dear friend helps too. (smile)
From my heart to yours, take good care and stay safe,
PS: Do you have questions? Just press reply, and I'm happy to answer.
Are you interested in my ebook From Grieving to Grateful? Get it on Amazon. (You can download the free Kindle App on Amazon to read it on your mobile devices or desktop).
Jacqueline Steudler, Artist, Art Therapist, Creative Grief Coach, and Lover of Nature's Beauty
Rituals help you to connect to your heart and ease your pain.
Today, I am happy to announce the launch date of the Healing Rituals online course.
Learn to create rituals that help you cope with your unique grief
and the overwhelming feelings of pain.
The Healing Rituals course will launch on January 19, 2018.
Creating your own personal rituals to remember your loved one allows you to access and work through your grief in a safe and constructive way.
While working with several clients, I realized that I suggest rituals often and how they can help with the chaotic and overwhelming feelings of grief. I am in the process of finalizing an online course that will give you creative ideas how to create rituals that resonate with your heart, honour your loved one, and at the same time support your healing process.
Interested to get early access? Sign up here.
(You don't buy anything at this point.)
Let me know if I can be of help in any way.
Take good care,
Two weeks ago, a group of like-minded people met and we talked about all things life.
One of our group members shared her recent experience of grief and helplessness over the suicide of a loved one.
We all went silent. Most of us cried with her and for the family that was left behind with many unanswered questions.
There were no words to comfort. No words to make it easier for her.
There were only our open hearts to listen and be with her fully.
Just being there for each other and listening is healing.
We all know that it doesn’t take the pain of grieving away but the sharing helps to realize that we are not alone in this.
Are you in the midst of grieving or a painful anniversary date is coming your way soon? Reach out to people that are open to listen to you and/or just be with you.
May you all find loving support even when your own words are missing.
Take good care,
PS: Give me a call. I am here for you. ☎️
When we are grieving if feels like our brain shuts down. Our focus shifts to the hurt in our heart and soul.
Our normal thought processes are interrupted by the experience of our feelings. More often than not we don’t have any words for what we feel. Our heart clenches. We have difficulties breathing. We long for a moment of peace and quiet inside our torn hearts.
In our younger years we have experienced loss of love and belonging before. We might have lost a pet, a friendship, a job, or had to move to a new city. Our younger self dealt with these loses. Most often it stored them and packed them away under layers of belief systems, we created, to survive the hurt.
At one point we encounter a new loss. This one can become the straw that brakes the camel’s back.
Talking about what is going on inside becomes difficult. We are missing the words that might bring us help.
This is where art therapy can help because we all think in images.
Don’t think of a tree right now.
No really, don’t think of a tree.
Did you see a tree with your inner eye when you read it?
Art therapy uses our ability of visual imagery to help us find the expression of our feelings. We don’t have to be artists or have knowledge of art making to do so. Our soul will guide us to find the expression that is helping us the most in that very moment. It will help us to shed layers of sadness and believes that are not necessary anymore.
By expressing our grief, our sadness, our heart break in a hands-on art making process the soul feels recognized and heard. The healing process starts.
If you want to know more about art therapy and how it can help you, give me a call.
I am here for you.
Take good care,
PS: Want to receive these Healing Notes every second Sunday by email? Sign up now.
I get asked that question a lot. Here is what I say to those that aren't sure:
There are no clear defined stages of grief. Every person grieves in their individual unique way. Trying to put anyone into a defined stage of grief only leads to more hurt.
If anyone approaches us with their feelings of grief. We should just be quiet, open our heart and listen to that person without any judgement or advice. It is OK to say to them, that we have no words (for their grief).
Even if we have experienced loss ourselves in the past we still don’t know how our friends or family members feel when they experience the death of a loved one. We don’t know what they are feeling. Grief has no clear defined rules or timelines.
Please be there for each other, keep your heart open and your mouth shut (smile).
Listening from your heart is the biggest gift you can give in any grief situation.
Take good care,
I work with my art therapy clients in person or online by Skype if they live far away or don’t feel they can make it out of the house that day.
When I help a client navigate through their grieving process in person we meet at the art studio. The studio is a good size and the windows give the room a feel of lightness.
The room is separated from the other artist studios on the same floor. If one laughs out loud others outside the studio might hear it in the hallway.
One day after one of the Healing for Grieving Hearts sessions one of the artists, that knows about the work I do, said: “I was so surprised to hear laughter coming out of the studio. Don’t you work with grieving people?"
I was surprised that she would just assume, that when navigating through the process of grief, that humour and laughter would not be a part of it.
If you have met me in person, you know that humour is a big part of my personality. (smile)
If one of my clients tells a funny story about the loved one that has died then we laugh together. Why wouldn’t we? It isn’t that we are making fun of them. The opposite, we acknowledge all sides of their life by sharing these too.
Grieving doesn’t have to be all tears and gloom. Yes, there are times that humour won’t cut it, then a joke does not support a broken heart, and the soul winces thinking of being around cheerful people.
But then, who doesn’t have a funny story to tell about their loved one? No really, seriously, who doesn’t?
I wonder what would happen if we all would start to talk more about those stories and have a good laugh until the tears of humour and sadness tumble down our cheeks?
I wonder. …and you?
Sending you healing with a smile,
Happy New Year!
May it be a blessed one filled with good health, colourful days, and healing.
I hope you had a good start into the new year and that the holiday season treated you gently. It isn't always easy to get through those days of celebration when we don't feel like it.
When talking to people about their wishes for the new year they often mentioned that they chose a word for the new year.
I do that on a regular basis too. It helps me to take new steps and supports my wish for the new beginning. Plus the word can change during the year. 💜
Last year’s word was self-care. I managed quite well until the fall. Then work got busy and I forgot to keep myself accountable on my self-care promise. The result was a pinched nerve in my back mid December. Ouch! Still recuperating but I am much better.
This year’s word is Create.
I want to create:
If you would chose a word for 2017, what would it be? What will support you on your healing path?
Please share your word. 💜
Take good care,
Heal your grief. Walk in Nature.
You have heard me saying this many times.
Walking in nature can have a healing impact.
My tendency when I feel stuck in my thoughts is to get busy and take on more work than I can handle. This goes on until my body tells me it is enough. I will get a sore throat or, like last week, my back will start to hurt.
These are my weak points. They are telling me to take a moment and reflect.
It also happens because by being busy I have forgotten to move. I am not doing my ten minute yoga practice and I don’t go for regular walks.
So after I had ‘suffered’ and taken pain killers all week. On Sunday, I decided it was enough and I started to do gentle yoga moves every time I felt the pain in my back.
Breathing a lot and yes, swearing was involved too, because it hurt.
Today I went on a half hour walk in a nearby park. The smells in the forest were uplifting and wonderful. It was a concoction of decaying leaves, needle and sap from the evergreens, and wet earth.
I feel so much better today. I know it has to do with movement and the experience in nature this afternoon. I can still feel where the pain was but it is so much better.
Do you think a walk in nature could help your grieving heart too?
I know it won’t take away all your hurt but it might just give you a bit of comfort.
Don’t wait for the right moment. Just get dressed and go for a half hour walk even if it is in your own backyard.
Be outside, take in the smell of the fall season, and let nature do its healing.
I am sending you healing love.
Take good care,
Last week a former Canadian politician died in an airplane accident with three other people. My heart goes out for their families. I cannot imagine what they are going through.
This incident flooded me with memories and deep grief about my nephew’s death. He died eight years ago in a Cessna accident as well.
Often I am asked: When will my grief be over? When will I recover from all this sadness?
There is no right answer to it. Sadness and grief can flood our feelings all of a sudden when there is a trigger, like the one with the airplane crash.
Eight years ago, the feelings were overwhelming and the crying didn’t want to stop.
This week it was a reminder how much I miss and love him and how much I still grief his death. But there is a difference between then and today. The feelings of sorrow are more gentle and not overwhelming anymore.
When will my grief be over? When will I recover from all this sadness?
Perhaps the most honest answer is: It will never be over.
Your feelings of overwhelming sadness will change towards a gentler form. You will change. You will be a new you having witnessed and felt the death of a loved one.
This loss will make you more empathetic, more loving, and more carrying if you chose to go that path.
It might be difficult right now but I trust in your resilience and inner healing power.
Take good care,
PS: While we are stepping into a darker season let me help you shine some light on your healing path. 💜 Click here and make an appointment for a free phone call.
Jacqueline Steudler is an Art Therapist and Grief Recovery Specialist®.