Pick Me Up – February 18

Feel free to add your own contribution to “Pick Me Up” by sharing a link to a similar post on your blog.

This is something new we’re doing this year as part of our new focus.  The first thing is our “It’s Never Too Late” book club.  This will be our second addition, a daily “Pick Me Up”.  It’s our gift to you for when you need inspiration or something to brighten your day.  I’ll be using my photos and quotes that I love.  Sometimes we’ll use graphics that friends send to us.  No matter the source, we hope you enjoy the end product.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

Pick Me Up – February 17

Feel free to add your own contribution to “Pick Me Up” by sharing a link to a similar post on your blog.

This is something new we’re doing this year as part of our new focus.  The first thing is our “It’s Never Too Late” book club.  This will be our second addition, a daily “Pick Me Up”.  It’s our gift to you for when you need inspiration or something to brighten your day.  I’ll be using my photos and quotes that I love.  Sometimes we’ll use graphics that friends send to us.  No matter the source, we hope you enjoy the end product.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

Pick Me Up – February 16

Feel free to add your own contribution to “Pick Me Up” by sharing a link to a similar post on your blog.

This is something new we’re doing this year as part of our new focus.  The first thing is our “It’s Never Too Late” book club.  This will be our second addition, a daily “Pick Me Up”.  It’s our gift to you for when you need inspiration or something to brighten your day.  I’ll be using my photos and quotes that I love.  Sometimes we’ll use graphics that friends send to us.  No matter the source, we hope you enjoy the end product.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

Pick Me Up – February 15

This is something new we’re doing this year as part of our new focus.  The first thing is our “It’s Never Too Late” book club.  This will be our second addition, a daily “Pick Me Up”.  It’s our gift to you for when you need inspiration or something to brighten your day.  I’ll be using my photos and quotes that I love.  Sometimes we’ll use graphics that friends send to us.  No matter the source, we hope you enjoy the end product.

Feel free to add your own contribution to “Pick Me Up” by sharing a link to a similar post on your blog.

 

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

My first AHA! moment

My first AHA! moment that I had while reading “It’s Never Too Late” was that my career for decades has been as a professional sick person.  Julia Cameron was talking about how people feel lost when they retire.  They’ve always seen themselves as their profession, and when that’s gone they don’t know who they are any more.  That’s exactly how I feel.

For those who haven’t read my Lyme story, I almost died three times from Lyme Disease.  I have finally healed to the point where it isn’t a daily threat, and then I spent a couple of years learning to trust that I was better.  I haven’t worked in ten years because of Lyme, so I never had a career.  But I realized while reading Julia Cameron’s book that I was really a professional sick person.  My job every day was to work to stay alive, then to rest and regain my strength.  But I’m “retired” from that job now.  And I’m trying to figure out what’s next.  So this book has come at the perfect time for me.  I am hoping to find more of my creativity and find a new avenues to explore my desires.

By the way, you don’t have to be a retired person to benefit from this book since I am technically not a senior citizen yet.  You do have to be willing to see your life through a bigger picture.  If you can do that, I bet you will have your own amazing Aha! moment.

No doubt more will be revealed to me through working through the book and with our Bookclub.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

Pick Me Up – February 14

This is something new we’re doing this year as part of our new focus.  The first thing is our “It’s Never Too Late” book club.  This will be our second addition, a daily “Pick Me Up”.  It’s our gift to you for when you need inspiration or something to brighten your day.  I’ll be using my photos and quotes that I love.  Sometimes we’ll use graphics that friends send to us.  No matter the source, we hope you enjoy the end product.

Feel free to add your own contribution to “Pick Me Up” by sharing a link to a similar post on your blog.

This is our entry to Cee’s Flower of the Day, February 14.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

It’s Never Too Late

I promised you a new focus this year, so read on for what’s coming up next.

Twenty-five years ago, Julia Cameron wrote her best seller “The Artist’s Way”, a book that has helped countless people rediscover their creative selves.  She recently wrote “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again:  Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond”.   I’m in love with the book, because she challenges those of us who are retired, or are now “senior citizens” (what a horrible label), to awaken our inner child’s sense of wonder and creativity.  

I’m telling you about the book because it includes a 12 week course in “reigniting a sense of

  • wonder
  • freedom
  • connections
  • purpose
  • honesty
  • humility
  • resilience
  • joy
  • motion
  • vitality
  • adventure and
  • faith

Wow!  Doesn’t that intrigue you?  It does me, and Cee.  So we want to start a book club where we can all explore it together.

Every week we’ll post a discussion of what was in the most recent reading assignment.  We’ll talk about what we discover and uncover about ourselves.  Weekly summaries will be on private pages on this site, open only to book club members.  We’ll also form a private FaceBook group for book club members to encourage and support each other.

Who can join?  Anyone.  While it’s geared more for people of a certain age, there is still plenty of content relevant for younger people.

What do you charge for membership?  Nothing but your sincere desire to learn and grow.  We may decide to charge a small fee in time to help defray costs of hosting a book club site, but we’ll let you know well in advance.

What do I need to buy?  Will I need supplies?  You will have to buy or borrow a copy of the book.  (You can follow the link to Amazon and read a sample.)

We’re really excited to get your input, to gauge your interest.  I think this project will be exciting and fun.  Cee and I would love for you to join us.  Add a comment below and let us know if you are interested.  But don’t wait.  We want to get started on the 25th of February.

Lots of love, hugs, rainbows and balloons.

Chris

Chris@Cee-Chris.com

Grief is…

Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss.  Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.

I recently asked an adult peer support group to define grief.  Their answers were at times eloquent, and at times the stating of raw emotion.  They talked about how grief feels in their bodies, and of how it affects the mind.  But no one really understood or could express what caused those feelings.

Grief is the feeling of reaching out for someone who’s always been there for you, only to discover when you need them one more time, they are no longer there.  

The quotes above come from the “Grief Recovery Handbook”, the basis for the Grief Recovery Method (GRM).  When I wrote about Fog Busting last week, Lois Hall left a comment about the Grief Recovery Method:  “I believe the Grief Recovery Method is that next step – indeed teaching us the new skills needed to complete with the past so that we can indeed be more present in the present… leading to the next future. Many have found this to be the case, in my experience. Thanks for writing!”

Lois Hall has been using GRM since 1998, and been teaching GRM certification classes since 2002.  She’s a lovely and engaging person to chat with.  And she knows her stuff, having had a distinguished career in public health in addition to her GRM work.

Cee and I took the Grief Recovery Method certification training a year ago.  When I signed up for it, my friends in the grief community thought I was wasting my time.  I’d been doing grief groups for nine years.  What more could I possibly learn?

A lot more, as it turned out.  GRM could explain grief in a way that gave me an understanding and insight that I lacked.  It gave me a practical way to demystify grief.  Beyond that, it is the single most effective way to recover from grief that I have ever seen.

Get the book.  Read it with a highlighter and pen in hand.  You will see a lot of your story there.  Then go to the Grief Recovery Method site and find a group class or a specialist in your area who does one on one sessions.

Hugs and blessings to all of you struggling with grief.  There is a way out, and a brighter future.

Chris

Chris@Cee-Chris.com

The Step after 12

I’ve been doing grief work for ten years now, helping to facilitate peer support groups for children and their families.  We facilitators meet for a pre-group session before our families come.  The purpose of that is to talk about anything going on in our lives that might influence our ability to be present and focused on our grieving families.

Last week at pre-group, I said that I didn’t have anything to say because my life was wonderful.  Cee is healthy.  We’re loving our two new pug puppies.  We’re looking forward to exciting new adventures in our life and in the work we’re planning to do through this blog.  Life is wonderful, but I felt like I should apologize for being so happy and upbeat.  My good friend Mia told me that I shouldn’t apologize for having a wonderful life.  She said the world needs examples of people who have come through heavy duty life experiences and found happiness waiting at the end of the tunnel.

As I sat through the group session that followed, I thought about all the people who were stuck in their grief.  I’ve seen so many of them over the years, just telling the same old story over and over again.  No wonder they are stuck.

One of the biggest complaints from people dealing with loss is that everyone around them is telling them it’s time to move on.  I’m going to encourage them to keep telling their story, but do it by taking a slightly different path.   Shift it just a little bit away from the pain, to start remembering something good.  Something funny.  Something heartwarming.   Don’t make massive changes.  Just little changes.  Little tiny shifts in how you tell your story.  That’s your way out of the fog.  That’s your next step.

So that’s one of the exciting new things we are going to be working on.  The 13th and 14th and 15th steps.  And all the steps that come after that.  They are boundless in number and beauty.

Love, hugs and peace, my friends.

Chris

 

Fog Busting

The thing about the mental fog that comes with loss, loss of any kind, is that you can’t just rent a wind machine and blow it away.  You can’t will it away, or wish it away.  For that matter, half the time you don’t even realize you’re in a fog.

Nasty stuff, fog.  And when it starts to lift, it tends to do what fog so often does.  It rolls right back in again.

But eventually it dissipates for good, and then you’re left to figure out where you are, where you want to go next.  Sometimes you even need to know who you want to be next, because you were in the fog for so long that your world changed shape while it was waiting for you to come back.  Friends left.  Your job changed.  The world moved on because it exists in a fog-free zone.  Lucky world.

I’ve always thought that the biggest failing of the 12 Step programs is that they don’t have a thirteenth step and a fourteenth step.  Why stop at 12?

Because the thirteenth step involves leaving the past behind and joining the present.  No one has written a program for that.  But they should.  Maybe Cee and I will.

Peace and many hugs, my friends.

Chris

New Year, New Focus

Hi!  Chris here.  My life took a little curve last year (in a very good way), and that took me away from this blog.  But it’s a new year, and I have a new focus that I can’t wait to share with all of you.  Over the course of the coming week, I’ll fill you in on what I have planned.  I hope you’ll be interested in it.

Grief work is important to me, but moving beyond grief is even more important.  Grief can keep us stuck in the past, can keep us going over and over the same feelings of loss, the same thoughts, memories and questions that will never be answered.

What I love about my work is that I help people reframe those feelings and thoughts in a way that allows them to become a little more present, get a little more back in touch with life.  Grief keeps us in a mental and emotional fog.  I love being a fog-buster.

So stay tuned for some exciting and new ideas…

Hugs!

Chris