Sad is Not Bad. Moving Through Life Transitions With Grace

15 06 2010

Our society is bombarded with transitions. In fact every few months almost every American goes through a transition, a transition from school to camp, from single life to relationship, from marriage to divorce, from health to disease, from sharing love to loss, from life to death. The list goes on. We all experience one form of transition or another in our life . Another name for this is grief. Grief is a normal process in life. In fact when dealing with grief it’s not uncommon to swing from one emotion into another. John W. James and Russell Friedman, authors of The Grief Recovery Handbook define grief as, “conflicting feelings caused by the change or end of a familiar pattern.” This means that graduation can cause grief, having a baby or going on a trip. When people experience conflicting emotions confusion and fear take over. This is due to the fact that most Americans are taught that sad is bad, anger is dangerous and crying is dysfunctional. We tell our children if you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about.
Americans in particular are extremely fearful of emotions. Yet our country is flooded with life situations that causes tremendous grief. Divorce is rampant, disease is spreading on an epidemic level and our economics are suffering greatly. What tends to happen is that when we experience a shift we are taught to suck it up and move on with our life. The truth is that by not stepping into our pain, taking a good look at it, feeling it and experiencing the waves, we will not heal and move on with our lives. Instead our pain will keep creeping at us, spooking us like a ghosts haunting us in the dark night. How can we move past our grief, live in our society and come out stronger on the other side? Another question to ponder is why do people stay in situations that bring them pain when they know there might be a better solution for them?

Let’s tackle the first question.

I’ve gone through many transitions in my life. Some of them created huge waves and shifts I never would’ve expected. My grief started at a young age when my father physically abused me, almost killing me several times. My mother also had a stroke when I was seven years old. This left me feeling orphaned and shifted me into the role of caregiver. I go into great detail in my book, The Power Within Me on how my life situation gave me an opportunity to shift from a victim mentality into a warrior role. At first glance one would look at the trauma I lived through from a very young age and agree that I experienced pain inflicted by outside circumstances. I instead decided to flip the situation and find the blessings and opportunities. But it was not until I faced my pain, cried my tears, and shed my old self that I was able to transition. I had to go through the experience fully. Walking through the fire is done by an escape artist. Sitting in the fire is done by a warrior. Allow yourself to die through the pain, the grief and the fear. By truly facing it you diminish its power.

Now let’s tackle the second question.
One major transition I went through was when I was going through my divorce. The conflicting emotions I was experiencing surprised me because it was something I had wanted for a long time. Then why did I feel so sad, angry, scared and excited all at the same time? The unknown is a scary place for us. We have nothing to base it on. We have no past we can relate the unknown future too. When we step into unfamiliar territory, a new pattern, fear is the first thing that comes towards us. This is why many choose to stay in an uncomfortable situation, simply because it is what they know. They would rather be in pain then venture into unknown land. “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know”. I was once working with a client who was experiencing a lot of pain. She kept returning to her abusive husband, clinging to him for support. All she got in return was more abuse. She later told me that she knew that he could not provide the love and comfort she was seeking and knew that there might be a better solution for her if she left him for good. It was her fear of possibly being alone the rest of her life that kept her going back to her abusive husband. After a few guided exercises we did together, allowing her to face her fear of the unknown she finally left her dysfunctional situation. A year later she met her soulmate. She was only able to accomplish this by facing her fear, feeling it, sitting in the fire.
Many of us are facing crossroads in our life. We truly know what is right for us to do but are afraid. The unknown is too frightening for us so it keeps us where we are. In order to truly make a shift and move from pain to bliss we need to face our pain, sit in it and move to the other side. Imagine looking straight at an arrow coming toward you. If you move toward the arrow and keep walking through it, the arrow will bend. If you resist and fight it, the arrow will hurt you. Let go of resistance and open your life up to what it can be. Don’t stay in fear. Don’t let it rob you of your life. Know that there are limitless possibilities. By facing your fear and keeping the faith your life will turn into a wondrous journey.

Esther is a transformational coach. For more great tools become a fan of her page at http://www.facebook.com/estherhadler#!/EstherWarrior?ref=ts

Esther provides a powerful 3 step system, guiding you from the transitions you are experiencing toward the life you are yearning to create. This program is designed for those dealing with a shift in their lives and are ready to take the steps to heal their wounds and create a great life.
If you are experiencing,

A divorce,
A loss,
A newly diagnosed disease,
Abuse,
A new career,
A change in relationship
this program is for you.

Email Esther at EstherAdler@EstherAdler.com to set up a complimentary half hour session.





Responsibility; The Path to Mastering Your Destiny

1 06 2010

Have you ever felt that your life is going nowhere fast? Did you ever experience the feeling that no matter what you did bad things happened to you? Have you ever felt bitter, unwanted, alone or abandoned? Did you ever doubt your existence? These are all very real things that many people encounter at least once in their lives. In fact many people walk around feeling that way for a large part of their lives. I know. I felt like that for a long time. My life seemed to plunder out of control and I was left breathless. I began to ask myself deep questions. I was always a deep thinker but the questions I began to ask myself were different. They were ones that induced change. The questions I asked always started with what can I do to take away the pain?, or how can I make this situation go away? I took the blame away and took responsibility. The pain I was experiencing was so great I either felt like dying or experiencing a significant change in my life. I began to create a shift. Notice the word I used, Create. That’s a big word for a lot of people. Why is it so scary? If you understand the power of that word it can mean the difference between a life of loneliness, pain, trauma and anger and love, happiness, success and freedom. It was through learning to fully take responsibility for my life and my creation that I began to shift, grow and see a significant transformation in my life. My life was so significantly altered that it moved me to write my story down and make it my life mission to help others as well. My inspirational memoir “The Power Within Me”, discusses my shift from victim to warrior. There were many lessons to learn and many challenges to overcome. After years of learning, growing, searching, and experiencing I have created a 6 step proven system to help get you out of your own way. One of those steps is responsibility. As many lessons of our human development, this step seems simple but can be difficult to implement.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who had gone through an extremely traumatic experience. Her life has taken a turn where one bad thing led to another. Her life was spiraling out of control. My friend endured severe abuse and neglect at the hands of various individuals in a fairly short time. The experiences left her breathless, numb and completely unsure on how to continue her existence. I was familiar with this pattern because I went through similar traumatic events in my life. The main theme of what I heard in our conversation was blame and revenge. Toward the end of the conversation there was progress. She fully admitted to getting herself in the nightmarish situation to begin with. That’s where the progress ended. I realized that she was not ready to make the shift, to actually fully take control and become the soul creator of her life.

I think responsibility is a scary word for most people. We see it as on our own. We now have no one to blame but ourselves if something goes wrong and for some of us that is too frightening. We are taught to look outside ourselves for help and to blame others for our problems. But what happens when you make the shift and own everything that comes your way is actually the most empowering thing you can do. By taking responsibility you can make any shift you want. You become the creator, the director, the coach, ball player or actor of your life. You guide the puppets in your play and create the David you choose to create. When things don’t work out the way you want then you can choose how to change it based on learning what works and what does not work. It’s always your choice. If you keep blaming you remain a victim. You will live your life on default, reacting instead of choosing. You will constantly create unknowingly more opportunities to feel sorry for yourself. The beauty of responsibility is that it helps you grow up and find the child within you at the same time. You can create the support you want but not from a victim/needing place but from a place of empowerment, strength and love. By becoming responsible you change not only yourself but the world.

Here is an exercise to help you implement the power of responsibility in your life. Find 3 things you perceive as challenges in your life. Next write down 3 ways for each how you are responsible. Next find a new action to implement to change those experiences. The final step is to find a blessing toward the experience or person you perceive as damaging, painful. Write it down and recite it as a mantra until you believe it. I would start with Thank you for……

By changing your belief and seeing the blessings, taking responsibility you practice self love and begin to create the life you truly desire.