I find it difficult to believe that I was 40 years old before I found out that I had a choice about how I thought and how I felt. Up until then, if “A” happened, I automatically did “B.” Yes, I was living on automatic. Then one day a friend of mine said, “You know, you have a choice. You don’t have to get angry when she does that.”

Wow! Talk about a light going on! I’d just never thought about it that way.

Since then I’ve learned that what we experience in life is actually what we are thinking and feeling about what happens around us. If we can control – or at least change – how we respond, we’ve taken major steps toward changing the quality of our life. We always have a choice in how we respond.

I knew that when my husband died. I also knew that grief is a natural response to loss. What bothered me was that I was in deep, deep grief, and I didn’t know how to change that.

I have since learned that when we feel overwhelmed by great loss, we’re actually exactly where we need to be, feeling what we need to feel. At this early stage, we cannot accept what happened. It’s just too much to wrap ourselves around. But what we can do is surrender to the fact that we’re going to have work through it. The power of the event won’t let us ignore it. Our only real choice is to surrender to the work that has to be done.

The mind isn’t going to be of any real help with this. The mind looks in the wrong direction. It wants to change what happened. It wants to change what’s “out there,” but that isn’t where the solution is.

The overwhelm we’re feeling started a process, and it is the process that has to be handled. So what can we change? We could begin with how we are feeling. We don’t want to feel this way, right? So we begin by de-fusing the negative energy we are experiencing through our emotions.

A really helpful technique my teacher gave me is to simply bring your attention to your heart whenever those emotional floods start coming. Emotions are energy surges. When you place your attention in your heart, the energy in that emotion begins to de-fuse. You’ll be surprised, just as I was, at how much this helps. You can literally feel the energy of it start to subside.

Something else you can do is to try not to label what you feel. Labeling strengthens the negative energy and tends to sustain it. Instead of labeling, just keep observing what you’re feeling. Facing the situation directly like this is a form of surrender. That act of letting go, of letting it be what it is, allows you to open up to the Greater Power that is there waiting to help you.

You see, you don’t have to do this all by yourself! The universe knows exactly what you need, and it will lead you and guide you every step of the way.

So what is your part? Your part is the deep inner work that is waiting to be done. Hang in there. Search for answers, and be open to them when they do come. And yes, trust in the process.

You can do this! Absolutely, you can do this! Why? Because there is That within you which is more than capable of handling these situations, and It has the power to sustain you, no matter what.

The mind cannot resolve your grief. You can’t think your way out of it. Neither can your limited personal self handle the overwhelm, and that is the precise value of these crises, because they force you to go deeper to where your answers are.

When you find those answers, you will also find the peace that is waiting for you on the other side of grief.

Donna Miesbach

I have been on a spiritual path all my life. I was first introduced to meditation when I was seventeen. I knew this was an important tool, but I wanted to go deeper than that particular method allowed, so my search began. I attended workshops and classes, read books and tried every form of meditation I could find, to no avail. Then in 1994, my life changed dramatically. My husband died very suddenly. Soon after that, I lost both parents, too. They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This student was certainly ready. About a year after my husband’s sudden death, I learned about Dr. Deepak Chopra and his teachings. It was like finding the light at the end of the tunnel. I took meditation training from Dr. Chopra and began attending his courses. They fed my deep roots and made such a difference in my life that I committed to being certified both in meditation and yoga so I could share these wonderful practices with others. I have studied with Deepak and also Roger Gabriel both here and in India. I also studied sound healing with Jonathan Goldman, and remote viewing with Dr. David Morehouse, having completed all five levels of his training. As my teaching became established, doors began opening that allowed me to teach meditation to at risk youth. Then another door opened and I found myself working with Playmakers Mentoring Foundation, a Sacramento-based outreach. Together with their Executive Director, we wrote a book and then opened a chapter here in Omaha. In addition to my work with Playmakers, I continue to teach meditation in the Omaha NE area, offering both private and group instruction. I also hold group meditations and programs five times a year, and speak to groups on various aspects of spirituality upon request.   It has been an amazing journey, one I never could have anticipated. I didn’t know it then, but I know now that it is possible to get to the other side of grief, and that is what my book, “From Grief to Joy, A Journey Back to Life & Living,” is all about.

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