Won't you save me San Francisco?

This past week, I celebrated my 30'th birthday and my husband and I took a wonderful trip to one of my favorite cities - San Francisco. When I was 5, my mother and my stepdad moved to San Francisco from Moscow, Russia. SF was my first American home. We lived on 16th and Geary, and I can remember it like it was yesterday! 

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Is this you?

When something tragic happens in your life...a breakup, a death, job loss..whatever it may be, you're going to go through a hard time. The way you process this event can be very different, and people handle things differently as well. So....this year I am processing my mothers sudden and tragic death. But whatever you're going through, it still totally applies to you. 

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i hate the word grief

Grieving. 

I hate that word. Right away I imagine some sad lonely person in a dark gray room crying. Everyone is sad around them, and the universe is gray and swirly around them. 

But that’s really not what its like. Of course there are moments when it feels like that, but it more of a black, sharp type of pain that tends to encompass your whole body. But then it goes away. The rest of your life stays the same, but with something missing. 

I like to be happy. I love my job, I love being energetic and giving people back that energy. I like to be healthy and try to keep my body in the best balance that I can. Someone reminded me this weekend that I was still grieving. It was almost a relief that I was still allowed to be grieving, but it was also a reminder that I wasn't 100% healed as well. 

Death is hard to understand. How can a person be there with you one minute, and then the next they are gone? Especially when the death is unexpected. It’s like the world doesn't make sense.

I’ve come to the conclusion over the past several months, that “your person” is never really gone. Just like in the scientific world, energy cannot be created or destroyed,  I truly believe your person, and my person are still around, just in a different dimension. (According to my own research, that place is actually very close to us as well)

When someone very close to you dies, it opens you up to many things you would have never even considered before. Things you may have thought were not even possible. My mother's death has opened me up to being so much more aware of the world, and has even taken out fear out of every life. 

I now understand, that I am definitely not the big controller in my life. I can make good and smart choices along the way, but I also know I can even die any minute as well, because nothing is guaranteed, and I'm very ok with that. Surrendering your own control is like taking a big breath of air you've been holding in. Its very liberating. 

The biggest turning point for me was listening to a Podcast on iTunes by Anita Moorjani, about her near death experience. She was in a coma, and had an outer body experience where she felt the most amazing unconditional love, could hear and know everything that was going on, and could even communicate with all of her family members that had died. This podcast episode literally changed the way I thought about my mother’s death. 

After hearing that podcast, I chose to think of my mother in that beautiful space, where she felt unconditional love, where she was happy, where she could do whatever she wanted. 

How can I be sad for someone, when they are so happy? 

This is just one way of thinking about it. But this way brings me peace, at least for now.

Grieving is a treacherous process, but I’m here to tell you that you can begin to shift the way you think about it. It does not have to be all negative. 

So if its any help to you, here are a list of steps to do that may bring you more peace in missing your person. 

  1. I ask for daily signs from my mother to show me she is around me, and still supports me. I ask for specific things, and sometimes I just ask her to show me SOMETHING. I’ve never been let down. Look around you for signs, listen to the things people say, keep your ears open. The signs will always come. 
  2. I look at pictures when we were happy. Don’t make this into a crying fest, although in the beginning I used to. Now I look at pictures, remember the good times, and literally send her love because I know she feels it.
  3. Wear a piece of clothing, or piece of jewelry, or something that the person loved. Its like a little piece that is with you at all times. 
  4. I like doing little things her way- the way she used to make coffee, make a certain food….etc. I wish I could be as organized as she was but maybe that will come with time. 
  5. Give yourself some quiet time. It could be doing a meditation, writing, listening to music, whatever activity that makes you feel connected. 

 

Remember that no matter what, our time on this earth is limited. I like to believe I will be reunited with her when the time is right :)

Why breaking my foot was the best thing that happened

In January, I competed in the Crossfit competition called "Wodapalooza". It was a 3 day competition, 2 workouts each day, and I could not be more excited and nervous about it. I had signed up for the competition in October, and after I found out about my mothers passing, I debated if I should even do it. 

But of course I went forward, pushed through, didn't slow down, and did it anyway. 

I had an amazing time, but it took an emotional toll on me afterwards, and I was forced to slow down.

During the VERY last 2 minutes of the entire competition, I got a little angry (ego getting in the way) and jumped down from a rope climb a little too hard, and BROKE my foot. 

After months and months of training up 4 hours a day, now I had a broken foot and could not workout the way I wanted to.

Now looking back, it was one of the best thing that ever happened to me . It forced to me slow down, to spend more time at home, to shorten my workout times, and just be more present. 

I was always on the go, because it was easier to deal with everything that way. But, you lose sight of a lot of things, and things tend to pile up too. 

It took me a few weeks to realize this, but those few weeks helped me put things back into perspective for me. 

Although these things seem like they may be minor, they were a big deal for me. I had more time to spend at home, which meant I can actually enjoy cooking something, without a rush. I can do some extra cleaning, organizing, and decluttering and not just worrying about work. 

There are other many benefits to slowing down- having more creative thoughts, time for meditation, time to listen to interesting podcasts/interviews- things you actually enjoy doing!

When the world is telling you to slow down....listen. Don't push it away. 

I used to laugh at the expression "less is more", and even though sometimes I still fight it, I understand it now.