Managing Grief Over the Holidays

Managing Grief Over the Holidays …

brought to you by Elizabeth Garland with Soul Nourishing

Good grief! The holidays can surely frazzle one’s nerves with extra food to prepare, gifts to buy and places to go; it doesn’t get any easier when we lose a loved one. The ‘empty chair’ in the room can be a reminder.

1. Allow the griever(s) the freedom to express how they feel.

2. Honor & acknowledge the loss when friends & family gather for old traditions.

3. Create new traditions so something fresh is happening.

4. Know how triggers such as alcohol, television, etc. affect the griever.

5. Avoid falling in the trap of “retail therapy” & shopping too much.

6. Create a connection with a grieving person as to avoid an isolating feeling.

7. Avoid saying “I know how you feel”, & acknowledge that in truth, you do not. An alternate phrase may be “That must feel like the rug has been pulled out from under your feet.”

8. Be a heart with ears. If you have created a safe and sacred place for them to open up, allow the griever to share without interruption, analysis or comparison. Just listen.

9. Don’t try to fix them. The griever is not broken.

10. Grief is a natural process and has a timeline. It will end.


In love, light & gratitude,

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, GRS

Founder & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC




Copyright  Soul Nourishing 2011-2013

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Healing Your Inner Frankenstein

Have you read Mary Shelley’s original novel, or seen the different movie adaptations of ‘Frankenstein’? Or  perhaps seen the Mel Brooks spoof, ‘Young Frankenstein’?  I was watching it recently during my list of Halloween favorites. Many of you have been introduced to this classic tale of duality, ugliness and compassion. So I propose to you a question – “Who was the true Monster?” Let that sit for a minute and we’ll come back to it.

In recovery, self-help and the multitude of therapeutic options out there, we learn that we are not broken, there is nothing wrong with us, we are an example of the Divine and part of the healing is learning to accept ourselves as we are, flaws and all. In the same regard, we learn to love others with this same compassion and understanding, and perhaps eventually, forgiveness. On the flip side, some cannot accept these theories. They do not see others who have hurt or abused them, or those they loved, as acceptable, and rather they see the ugliness, cruel nature, and fractured personalities. The perpetrator of these unforgiveable or misunderstood acts is outcast and isolated from society. Maybe they deserve this treatment for such heinous acts. Or maybe not – after all – how are we to determine this and who is to judge? So, now I ask the question again, “Who is the true Monster?”

In the story of ‘Frankenstein’, I believe we have multiple monsters:  Victor Frankenstein (the mad scientist doctor), the male monster, the female monster, and Society. Society in it’s own way created Victor, who then created the male and female monsters, who really are versions of himself and his longing. The storyline is about Responsibility, Morality, Blame, Fear, Isolation, Compassion and Acceptance. Now that I have removed pitchforks and lightning rods, can you relate to that?  I thought so. We each have had a piece or part of this in our own lives at some point or another, perhaps in the distant past or maybe today.  It is possible that when we react to others in judgment, the ‘sutures’ of our own healed ‘parts’ are being gently tugged, ever so slightly. It is at that moment we can remind ourselves to act with compassion and love, allow the opportunity for better understanding and avoiding misperceptions of the Monster outside ourselves, and not become a Monster inside.

In love and light,

Elizabeth Garland, CEO & Soul Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC


Copyright 2012 Soul Nourishing


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Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

While there are other critical dates and times that affect grieving people, the holiday season is the biggest stimulus to provoke memories and feelings about important people in our lives who have died or who are no longer present at our holiday celebrations and rituals because of divorce or other estrangements.

The principles and actions of The Grief Recovery Method are dedicated to helping people discover and complete what was left emotionally unfinished by a death, divorce, or other loss. In the interest of helping both grieving people and the friends and family near them, we present a set of holiday tips that give some basic, practical, and emotionally helpful guidance.

Here are ten tips. The first five relate primarily to the death of someone important to you. That person might have been a loved one or may have been what we call a less than loved one, but you will probably still be affected by their absence. The second set of five tips relates either to the death of a spouse or to divorce. We are not comparing those experiences, but we are suggesting that the tips can be helpful in either situation.

The Death of Someone Important to You:

Don’t Isolate Yourself.  It’s normal and natural to feel lost and alone―but Don’t Isolate―even if you have to force yourself to be with people and participate in normal activities.
Don’t misuse food or alcohol to cover up or push down your feelings. As children, when we were sad about something, we were often told, “Don’t feel bad. Here have a cookie, you’ll feel better.” The cookie doesn’t make the child feel better, it makes the child feel different and the real cause of the sadness is not addressed. When we get older, alcohol and drugs are used for the same wrong reasons―to mask feelings of sadness.

Talk about your feelings, but don’t expect a quick fix. It’s essential to have someone you trust to talk to about your memories and the feelings they evoke. Ask your friend to just listen to you and not try to fix you. You’re sad, not broken, you just need to be heard.

While it’s important to talk about your feelings, don’t dwell on them. Telling the same sad story over and over is not helpful―in fact, it can establish and cement a relationship to your pain. Better to just make a simple statement of how you feel in the moment. For example, say, “I just had a sad feeling of missing him.”

Time doesn’t heal—actions do. The myth that time heals a broken heart is just that, a myth. Time can’t heal a broken heart any more than air can jump into a flat tire. Time just goes by. It’s the actions you take within time that can help you feel better.
Death of a Spouse or Divorce:

Just because you feel lonely doesn’t mean you’re ready to start dating. Don’t start dating while your heart is still broken or you will guarantee that the next relationship will fail. Being ready to date is a function of the actions you take within time to repair your heart. This is valid whether you’re dealing with a death or divorce.

Don’t get too busy—avoid hyperactivity. Be careful not to get too busy. Being super active just distracts you, it doesn’t really help you deal with your broken heart.

Maintain your normal routines. Adapting to the changes in your life following a death or a divorce is an enormous adjustment. You are learning how to move from being with someone to being alone. It’s never a good idea to add a host of other changes while you’re trying to adapt to so much disruption in your life.

Go through the pain, not under, over, or around it. It’s very tempting to try to avoid the pain associated with a broken heart. But it’s also a very bad idea. Whenever you skirt the pain, all you’re doing is pushing it away temporarily. It will always come back to haunt you.

Find effective guidance or you will sabotage your future. While the grief of a broken heart is the normal reaction to the death of your mate or to the end of a romantic relationship, it’s very helpful to find effective tools to help you discover and complete everything that was left emotionally unfinished. Otherwise, you will drag your emotional baggage into the next relationship and ruin it before it really starts.

For most people, the first holiday season after a death or a divorce is the most painful. But that’s not true for everyone. For many, the second, third, and subsequent years are very painful. Since time doesn’t heal emotional wounds, people often report feeling worse as years go by. No matter when your loss occurred, it’s most important that you become aware that recovery is possible and to learn which actions will help you.

If you’re dealing with a death, go to the library or bookstore and get a copy of The Grief Recovery Handbook. The principles and actions of The Grief Recovery Method have been used by more than a half million people to help deal with the impact of the death of someone important to them.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a divorce or romantic breakup, go to the library or bookstore and get a copy of Moving On. The principles and actions in it will help you deal with your broken heart.

If your children are struggling with a loss of any type and any level of emotional intensity, go to the library or bookstore and get a copy of When Children Grieve.

The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman [HarperCollins]

When Children Grieve by John W. James and Russell Friedman, with Dr. Leslie Landon Matthews [HarperCollins]

Moving On by John W. James and Russell Friedman [M.Evans]

This article was written by Russell Friedman,  one of the founders of the The Grief Recovery Institute. For more great information please visit www.griefrecoverymethod.com


Elizabeth (Betsey) Garland is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, trained in the Grief Recovery Method. She facilitates group classes and private sessions on Grief Recovery, and When Children Grieve, in the South Central Texas area and can help you move on. The choice is up to you to sign up and participate in your recovery. She may be reached at egarland@soulnourishing.com 210.218.2075

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Moving on with Forgiveness

A friend (“T”) was telling me how he had lost his cousin many years ago. His cousin died from the actions of someone else, whom he did not know. The responsible person ate different food, practiced a different religion, spoke a different language. Now, T is a nice person but in all this time T has been completely biased of people like this killer.  He logically understood that the people he met over time were not the ones responsible, but emotionally he blamed all of THEM. He trusted no one in this group. He relives the loss every year as the anniversary arrives and had not yet learned how to let go. The turning point for T was when a young family moved in next door to him last month, a lovely couple with 2 small children. The young man came over one day to introduce himself – he looked nicely dressed, and was polite and well mannered. T really enjoyed talking with him! When he asked the young man his name again, part of his body froze – he was one of THEM! Suddenly T did not want to talk to the new neighbor anymore. He felt uncomfortable and fearful. How could he trust him? Then he remembered, it is not him I don’t trust, this is a nice man who has nothing to do with my cousin’s death. The realization of Intent sunk in, as one person may have had ill will, this new person did not – he was different. T wanted to learn how to let go of this internal conflict and be at peace. He was suddenly awake from his illusion of who THEY were and the realization of it was really rocking him to the core. I asked him what did he think it all meant, and he replied, “I believe my God is asking me to learn how to Forgive.” I asked if he was in agreement with this and he was. T began his journey as to how.

Have you ever had someone take something from you that you loved and you felt resentful towards them or anyone like those who were responsible? How did you handle it? How did you find Forgiveness? Forgiveness really is not about the Other person, or what was lost or the approval of any action that was done against you. Forgiveness is to release Yourself from the pain and suffering you felt related to that relationship. It frees you from the past and the future, and allows you to live right here and now in the Present, not grieving what you
don’t have but appreciating what you do have.

We do not have to live in Fear. We have a choice. We can choose right now, today, here and now, to be in Peace, to live in Love. You truly are in control. The past is that …past. We may choose at any moment to celebrate our loved ones, let go and forgive, or hate and be angry.

I choose Love. Care to join me?


This is shared with T’s permission in hopes that someone else may want to move on past tragedy. The details have been changed.

Copyright 2011 Soul Nourishing





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As Your Soul Coach, How May I Help You?

Would you like to learn to manage your daily life & relationships better, reduce anxiety & stress, perform better, attract abundance & enhance your success – personally and professionally? Elizabeth will help you resolve any losses that have occurred in your life. Get unstuck! Nourish your heart, mind, body and soul. Move forward with joy! Call today!Elizabeth is a Soul Coach. What is that, you may ask? Elizabeth is a holistic life coach that will help you resolve inner conflict, identify resources and personal power through private and group sessions, change limiting beliefs that are no longer serving you, and guide and nourish your heart and soul. She is a motivational speaker and teller of healing stories. She also brings groups together for fun, goal-filled, action-oriented adventures too, so grab your parachute and let’s go!

Elizabeth is a certified NLP Practitioner, Grief Recovery Specialist, and Theta Healer. She has studied Stalking and the Enemy Way, Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling.  She has a Masters in Science and has taught college courses. Elizabeth has had an active career as an Environmental Engineering Scientist and Consultant to Fortune 100 and Federal clients since 1995, utilizing negotiation skills, finance, conflict management, health and safety, task management, in addition to my technical training. Elizabeth works alone as well as in partnership with different centers to help individuals in San Antonio, Austin & the surrounding Hill Country areas of south central Texas. She also works over the phone and/or Skype if needed.

A wonderful selection of workshops are available to select from in addition to your customized Soul Session! A unique combination of NLP, Art Therapy, Clean Space, Symbolic Modeling, ThetaHealing, Writing for Wellness, Shadow Work, Hypnosis and much much more is available and should be experienced. You deserve it! Please contact me today to unleash your inner resources and improve your life and interpersonal relationships!

In love and light, Betsey

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., NLPP, GRS

CEO & Soul Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC

210.218.2075 egarland@soulnourishing.com www.soulnourishing.com

Memberships: Holistic Chamber of Commerce, Natural Awakenings Network partner, Celebration Circle, San Antonio Ladies Empowerment Group (SALEG). Group members receive special price benefits! If you would like to learn more and to join each network, please visit www.TheHolisticChamberofCommerce.com, www.NaturalAwakeningsNetwork.com , www.celebrationcircle.org, www.saleg.org, respectively. Please call me about location details and to find out how your organization may get a discount! Options available for disabled clients.

For more information – please contact me at:  Elizabeth Garland   c/o  Soul Nourishing, LLC, PO Box #702067, San Antonio, TX 78270  tel. 210.218.2075  email   egarland@soulnourishing.com

Follow me on Twitter :  @soulnourishing

Friend me on Facebook at: facebook.com/soulnourishing

Skype me at : ChatWithBetsey

Thank you,

Elizabeth (Betsey) Garland, Soul Coach

tel. 210.218.2075


Copyright 2011 Soul Nourishing

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19315 FM2252, Suite 302 Garden Ridge, Texas 78266
Phone Number : 210.218.2075