Grief and Gratitude

This morning, my shower was once again my sanctuary. As the water ran over my tired body, tears also flowed as if they finally had space to be set free. I thought of the people in Nepal whose lives have literally been shaken up and torn apart in a matter of seconds; of the after shocks that must be rippling through their land and their hearts; of the unimaginable pain and fear they must be going through. I inhaled and called upon God and the Angels to help them and then me, so that I didn’t feel so much. But in that same breath, I stopped myself.

‘Why not feel it? Why not feel the pain for a moment, whoever it belongs to?’ I thought. As a sensitive person, I am acutely aware of how important it is to stay in my own energy and not to carry other people’s pain but in this case, I wanted to stay with it. To allow my beating heart that was One with everything to just feel what it felt.

As my mind was flooded with images of the devastation in Nepal, and other places I could not name, I could barely think straight. It was unimaginable, even though it felt like part of me had been transported there. It all happened very quickly but I sent as much love as I could and soon, the pictures altered to remind me of those closer to home. The grief of losing a child, a sister, a partner; those who had lost their hair, their limbs, their money, the life they once knew. It all came rising up. My heart ached for them, and suddenly myself, as my own grief surfaced in the tears. Tears that I could not run to lift my nephew up yesterday when he wanted a hug; for the times that will happen over and over again, for the kind of passionate love I am yet to experience, for the touch I am yet to know, for how it all feels so far away. For the way my teenage years were spent being in pain every day; and how I have to think so much about whether I can travel to London tomorrow to see a friend because I can’t just jump on and off a train or a tube like hundreds of others do. For all the things I have missed out on and those that might always remain a dream. And, and, and…

I began chastising myself for being so self-pitying when I was enjoying a hot shower in a comfy, safe home. I do not have a life-threatening illness, I have not lost a child, nor was I in Nepal. My feelings seemed a little ridiculous at first. But grief is grief. How often do we stand in judgment of ourselves or others rather than remembering how alike we all truly are — how we are all doing the best we can with what we know? And honestly, what I know right now is that it doesn’t serve anyone — least of all ourselves —  to compare anything or to belittle our feelings. They matter. Because we matter.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason. But I also believe that some things may never make sense. I do believe that life is amazing and there is so much to be thankful for but it is also HARD and to deny that is to be a robot. I don’t want to be a robot, I want to be a human. I want to be REAL. I want to be surrounded by others who show me who they are, too. Including their tears. To me, that’s when I get to bear witness to how beautiful and brave they are.

And so, I believe that grief and gratitude are not exclusive. They can walk hand and hand together in our life experience. In fact, I think allowing ourselves to ride the waves of human loss, to break down, to fall apart, to allow ourselves to be cracked open, so to speak, is actually what makes way for a deeper sense of gratitude and faith. It is the reason I do what I do, the reason why I celebrate life as much as I can because I know how painful the flip side can be. It is the reason why some of the people I love most have epic stories of triumph in adversity, because I am drawn to that same fire behind their eyes that says ‘I survived. I now choose to live and I will not waste a moment.’

So whatever you feel, feel it. Give yourself permission to go into that place where you’re mad, sad and heartbroken, even for a few minutes. That is where healing begins, even when we least expect it. Even in the shower on a Sunday morning with the Beatles playing on the radio.

My love and prayers are with you all. Whenever you are in the world.

Anna
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14 Ways To Make 2014 Fabulous!

Are you ready for a brand new year?! I am! Here are some tips from me to help you make 2014 your BEST year yet!!

14 Ways To Make 2014 Fabulous!

 
Be CLEAR – Be clear about what you want and then ask for it! As the saying goes, if you don’t ask you don’t get. So spend time contemplating your true desires and set your intentions accordingly. When you are clear, miracles are set in motion!
 
 
DREAM BIG – You are a powerful manifestor who deserves all the blessings in the world! The only limits are the ones you place on yourself. Your dreams are yours for a reason. So visualize them, believe in them and let go of how they might come true! God and the Angels will handle that!
 
LISTEN – If prayer and intention is asking, meditation is listening. Take time out of each day, even five minutes, to consciously connect with God, your Angels and your higher self. You needn’t be still or in total silence to do so – if walking or dancing or singing expands your awareness, then do that. But listen – to your inner voice, your gut and to the repetitive, inspiring thoughts you receive. This is your guidance, your connection to an infinite source of Divine wisdom. Trust it!
 
COMITT TO YOUR DREAMS – It’s important to ask for what you want but if you are not focusing your time and energy on the things that matter to you then you’re giving mixed signals. Say YES to what you want by taking guided action towards it!
 
ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT – Apart from asking God and the Angels, who are always there to support you, you are also one of seven billion people on the planet, with unique gifts that can assist and make a difference to eachother in many, many different ways. You are not meant to struggle alone. Allow yourself to RECEIVE. When you do, you have even more to give!
 
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY – Your body is the reason you can be here on Earth and it is a precious gift. Instead of focusing on shape and size, honour your body by treating it well. Eat and drink healthily and pay attention to anything it needs, including whatever exercise is right for you and plenty of rest. If you feel great, you always look great and shine from the inside out!
 
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT YOU – You can tell a lot about someone by the friends they have, so be honest with yourself about the company you keep. Are they really true friends? Spend time with people who are happy to celebrate your good times and who are there to comfort you when you’re having one of those days. If these kinds of relationships are something you are manifesting more of in 2014, see the tip below!
 
BE WHO YOU ARE – You were born to be YOU so trying to be someone other than who youreally are does not work, even if it might seem easier. It may mean saying goodbye to people and situations that no longer resonate with who you are, but when you are unapologetically you, everything flows and any void you may’ve created by letting go, means you can attract the people and situations that are for your highest good!
 
MAKE PLEASURE A PRIORITY – People pleasing is draining and exhausting and you cannot be the source of anyone else’s happiness. So please yourself! Embrace your sensuality and your passion. Do the things that make you feel excited and wonderful without guilt or hesitation and in turn, you will inspire and uplift others because your passion is your purpose! You are meant to live joyfully!
 
FORGIVE – Be willing to forgive yourself and others. We all make mistakes and we are all doing the best we can with what we know. Some things may seem easier to forgive than others but remember forgiveness does not mean condoning someone’s actions, or even welcoming them back into your life, it means deciding to let go of the toxins and the pain you are carrying about the situation. You cannot change anyone but yourself. So by forgiving, you are releasing the past and freeing up space for your dreams to come true!
 
LIGHTEN UP –  Don’t take life too seriously. It is an experience. And never underestimate the power of laughter. It is the best medicine and literally lightens your energy! Watching funny movies or playing games with children are sure ways to make you giggle!
 
TRY NEW THINGS – Life is full of opportunities and going  to a new place, learning a new skill, or doing something you’ve never done before may mean pushing past your comfort zone but it could end up being the best decision you’ve ever made, or the answer to your prayers. If not, then that’s OK. You can say you did it. But if you don’t take the leap, you’ll never know!
 
BE GRATEFUL – Taking time to recognize all the blessings already in your life is the quickest way to raise your vibration and lift your mood, therefore opening you up to even more good! No matter what you are going through there is always something to be grateful for. You may even decide to keep a gratitude journal and write three unique things you are thankful for each day. It’s an amazingly simple yet profound practice.
 
SAY I LOVE YOU – When you say those words and mean it, you change the world. Why? Because love is who you are and when you express that love, when you share it with another, you are acknowledging the Divine truth of All That Is. Especially when you look in the mirror and say ‘I love you!’ You are entirely loved and loveable exactly as you are. Choose, right now, to begin to see the amazing, powerful, beautiful soul that is YOU and 2014 promises to be the best year ever!!!
 
I’m with you all the way and look forward to sharing more with you this year!
 
Much love and thank you for being here,
Anna and the Angels

That’s What Friends Are For

It’s no coincidence that the dear friend I talked to on the phone today, also just posted a blog about friendship. When I called, I hadn’t heard her voice for several months but as soon as we began talking it was as if any time between our conversations or miles between our homes vanished. And despite the fact that we’d talked over an hour, it was as if we’d only just begun to catch up!

On the other hand, our honesty meant we got right to the core of what had been happening in our lives. I know there were times when we both felt vulnerable, but that’s what made it beautiful, too, because we were sharing our hearts – the painful, inexplainable, changeable, enjoyable experience of life without edits and yet, without having to share every detail of our stories or what we felt, we just knew.

It got me thinking about close friendship. That it’s when we allow ourselves to be open – hearted, we get the most in return. Not out of expectation but because that’s just how life works, how acceptance of ourselves and eachother works. We may not have walked the same path but to be able to walk in the shoes of those we love for a moment and truly say ‘I hear you’ is such a gift. Even in words unspoken. Especially in words unspoken.

It is a rare treasure to find such a safe place to BE but a place I feel blessed to share with a handful of wonderful people and is perhaps why it can come as a shock or disappointment to be met with an occassional, less than supportive experience from others I wanted to trust as much. Having said that, I am aware that those who push my buttons actually give me the opportunity to look in the mirror and face the parts of myself that are not so healthy. So while they may never cheer me on in the same way my best friends do, my uncomfortableness gives me the impetus to make changes I’ve been tip-toeing around, and reminds me of the abundance of love I share with the true friends who are there for me no matter what!

No man (or woman!) is an island. We’re in this together! So if you are wishing for closer friendships or new ones to share your life with, reach out and share your heart! Our pain may have us believe it’s safer to remain hidden but the world is full of kindness if we choose to see it that way. And then instead of focusing on the risk it may take to open up, we see that there is far greater risk in the doing the opposite.

As Leo Buscaglia said:

To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” 

Will you take a risk with me?

Much love to you, to Laura who inspired this post, and my amazing friends who see my best and worst but love me anyway… you know who you are!!

Anna xxx