Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grief & Love - The Ties That Bind

When watching world affairs on television, I have often commented that we all grieve.  It is one of those things that like love, if we remembered we all experienced it we might be less likely as a human race to let our differences come between us.  I think this when I see crowds carrying coffins through the streets, when I see family members crying over their loved ones who have been the victims of bombings and when I see natural disasters and the suffering it brings upon humanity.  We all grieve and we grieve because we love.  The two are intertwined as closely as life and death itself.

“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character....Would you slow down?.... Or speed up?” 
- Chuck Palahniuk

So here we are, on this journey and in this very moment.  No matter what your beliefs are for the afterlife, spirituality or being we can all agree that we love and and that we grieve.  Even those with mental illness have experienced one or the other.  Thus you can take away the ego's definitions of grief and love and they still remain fundamental parts of the human experience.  Both cause us to reflect, to grow and to become.  What we become, well, that's up to us.  Grief and love are so powerful in their effects on our brains that we can self destruct at their influence or we can strive to be better.  We can move through them with acceptance or we can dig our heels and stay stuck.

Maybe you're thinking what's so wrong with being 'stuck' in experiencing love?  Anytime you take anything and place it out of balance, where it dictates your not doing something in yours or someone else's best interests, that's when you're stuck.  How many of us have done things without much forethought as a result of love? Exactly! :) On the flip side, how many of us have via someone's love for us or cultivating love for ourselves accomplished amazing things and created amazing experiences?  Now do you get it?

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone 
deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu

Self destructing because of grief verses moving through its stages with acceptance is all too easy to do.  I see it all the time, in those I love and in others I observe.  I even read it on our local newspaper comments section online surrounding the passing of a beloved local high school member. I myself have even had moments of lingering sadness over people lost on the journey, of the changes life has brought that aren't even death related that bring with them feelings of grief, of mourning what was.

Watching the Deadliest Catch last week, Northwestern Captain Sig Hansen said it best when he acknowledged that there is in fact a time for the fleet to grieve.  This from a man, whom if you have ever watched the show you know works and works and works some more. Thus again, we must find a balance to it, to not let it become all consuming.  After all, we are still alive in the here and now.

So, if we can remember that we all grieve and that we all love, maybe just maybe that compassion can lead to acceptance of our differences.  Maybe those two fundamental life experiences can shift the consciousness of people one by one towards being and away from ego.  It's already happening really.  Those of us who aren't experiencing grief tend to show nothing but compassion and love to those who are.  We lend a helping hand, a dollar, or our time.  We are moved to act by both grief and love and by doing so we become who we're meant to be.

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Want vs. Need

This has been a tough couple of weeks for me in the want vs. need department of life.  I have reached some pretty important milestones in my life and there are opportunities around me to grow and stretch further towards other goals and desires.  As a result of all these options, I once again feel the need to keep in perspective balance and when trying to prioritize all of it, WANT vs. NEED!  Ugh, where's my easy button when I need it?  I know, I know, sometimes things are not easy, they're not supposed to be.

Many of those who know me well (sometimes better then I know myself because they can see what I am too close to see) say I have a tendency to 'over think' things.  Me?  Over think?  Really?  What types of things do I over think? Typically major decisions.  Yet it doesn't stop there, I have been known to think 'natural' things, i.e. relationships, respect, love, etc.  Interesting....okay, I see it, really I do....I AM AN OVER THINKER!

What does this mean exactly?  My first guess would be that I have yet to get to the point in the journey where I have fail proof self confidence and self belief in my choices.  My second guess would be fear (evil word) of making a mistake.  That is when I have to remind myself that I am from the universe, one with the universe and that I have an abundance of knowledge from the universe.  It is also when I have to remind myself that there are no mistakes, only lessons.  Nonetheless, this over thinking issue IS a work in progress. ;)

Bottom line, I think that you really have to be mindful when trying to balance in life want vs. need because if you don't, you will just risk creating more problems down the road of the journey.  Every moment we have choices to make.  We should not live our lives on auto-pilot with those choices.  Is it easy to be mindful? No!  Is it worth it? Yes!

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Your Closest Friend

Am I the only one who seems to routinely place others needs ahead of their own?  No.  Is this a parenting phenomenon?  Maybe.  A woman thing?  Most certainly.  Exclusive to women?  Not exactly.

I recently had a conversation with my dear friend Angel Shannon and we were discussing this awakening that appears to happen to women in their 30s.  How we as women seem to wake up, take notice, conduct inventory and clean out our lives.  It is almost as automatic as nesting when we are pregnant.  We just do it, full tilt, without apologies and without looking back.  Here I am at 35, finally peeling away my own layers the past few years, listening to the calls from within.  Listening and taking action.  It is a powerful thing, to put yourself first, to take notice and inventory.  You just get to this point where you realize what truly matters.  You learn to let go of what does not and you walk strongly forward into the unknown, looking forward to it.  As my friend said so nicely, you're standing in your own two feet basically, in your place in the world.

Do you have any idea how many women I know complain that it took to their 30s to just 'get it', for it all to make sense?  They wish they'd not lost their 20s, etc., the time spent (considered wasted), etc.  HELLO!  If you did not have all those experiences who's to say the 'click' would have come?  So, be GRATEFUL for all of it, even the BS.  It somehow brought you to the 30s point of no surrender.

My friend has already passed this stage but she said she has many clients who are in the throws of it.  I would learn that after these awakened 30s comes the tell it like it is/no apologies/scream it from the roof tops 40s.  Heh, yeah, I've noticed family members in their 40s acting just like this.  (Chuckle, it all makes perfect sense now...and I thought it was menopause....)  If this is the case, watch out world, I'm going to be a lot to handle.  I feel sort of envious of my future self.

Think about this, how many of us give advice to those we care about that we ourselves DO NOT follow?  Yeah, exactly.  Thus it is imperative to nurture your closest friend first and that friend is YOU.  Trust me, as someone who has been there and done that, it is not until you honor yourself FIRST that you find and unlock the mystery of never ending abundance with others.  We have all heard it, you can not give what you do not have.  No matter how much you want to.  Fundamental inescapable life law.

So, take a deep breath and promise to spend some quality time with yourself today.  15 minutes.  That's all it takes to start the process of becoming friends with yourself.  Let me know how it goes. ;)

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

PTSD Workbook I Wrote About by MBW

Here it is!

Amazon sells it and you can view various aspects of it there online.  That's where this image came from. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Inspired Action

Have you ever noticed how your mind wanders a lot?  How sometimes it feels like your brain is on auto-pilot?  I have read a lot of authors on the subject of your thoughts and what they lead to.  Many are familiar with The Secret and the basic law of attraction.  Some have learned the art of being present as taught by Eckhart Tolle.  It seems that in life, the energy of our thoughts and the thoughts of others can be felt everywhere.  So it is that I've been reminded yet again of the importance of acting on inspired thoughts.

What is an inspired thought?  I guess I could define it as any thought that is beneficial, that serves your or someone else's journey here in a positive way.  I've noticed in life that when you act on these thoughts and follow through, that there is ALWAYS something you needed, they needed, etc. in store for you.  Also, when you're acting on inspiration it feels effortless after the jump.  The jump being that sometimes uncomfortable place of reaching out, stepping out of your comfort zone, etc.  This is one of those blog posts that have a vision of being interactive.  I want others to tell their stories of moments where they took inspired action and what came of it.  So please chime in under the comments (until I learn how to set up this blog to be more interactive the way I see it in my head).

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

The Cloth You're Cut From

One of the themes that has been constant in my journey here is that I have been surrounded by people I care about who have not had the most ideal of upbringings.  Those who were neglected, abused, abandoned, and the like.  Those who were powerless and taken advantage of.  Those who were not protected when they should have been by those who supposedly loved them.  Those who carry with them the burdens of their pasts.  This is not the cloth I was cut from.  So, why is it I'm surrounded by these people?  What can I do to help them?  Why did the universe bring us together?  I have also noticed that resources about these subjects have fallen into my life, I have met people and learned things that are beneficial to these people I share this journey with.  As such, I would like to share one of these people and her resources here.

Dr. Mary Beth Williams
"Dr. Mary Beth Williams is in private practice in Warrenton, Virginia. She is an instructor for ICISF and teaches Ethics for Traumatologists. She is also a trained trainer dealing with school crisis. A former school social worker, Dr. Williams developed and managed a crisis team for many years. Dr. Williams has written/co-written/edited numerous books and chapters relating to trauma including K-12 school crisis team (not crisis team alone), The PTSD Workbook (New Harbinger 2002) and Life after Trauma: A Workbook for Healing (Rosenbloom & Williams, 1999, GUilford Press), among others. Dr. Williams also is a forensic practitioner and has worked at all levels of local, state, and federal courts including mitigation in death row cases in Virginia. She has trained both nationally and internationally including Kazakhstan where she was the first American to present trauma-oriented training to various organizations while she was in-country to adopt her daughters. Dr. Williams is also the mental health consultant for the EPA's Peer Support CISM team."

I met Ms. Williams via my old job in the legal profession as a Paralegal working on various cases.  I valued her insight so much that when my step-daughter needed a new counselor I brought her into our personal lives.  I simply cannot say enough good things about her, her teachings, her books, etc.  I have purchased numerous copies of her workbook for people I care about.

Her upcoming book "Trauma and the Post-Institutionalized Child" is beneficial for those families who are adopting or caring for children who have not had the most ideal of upbringings.  An excerpt from the book can be found at

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed.