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Navigating Loss

There are times in our lives we find the need to slow down, pause, reflect and take inventory of what is most important in this one crazy life we are living. As we begin to age, there is a desire to have a bucket list of some things we always wanted to do in life but never had the opportunity. I find when you have a loss in your life of a loved one, you become more aware of how fragile life can be and so you choose a path of living a life well lived. Mindfully and slowly with the intention of being kind and compassionate to yourself and others.

The holidays will be difficult for those of you who are grieving. It will take time to heal and be whole again. My heart goes to those suffering with loss or sickness. May you know, you are not alone on this path. Finding hope and faith can be powerful tools to help you ease the pain of loss. Support groups will help you find the strength to go on.  Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, “people have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

Whenever I need inspiration, I go to the beloved Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who was exiled from his country and choose to spread the message of peace and forgiveness. A prolific author who spent his life spreading the message of non-violence and the practice of mindfulness. Present moment and mantras can be helpful in times of unease.

Transforming fear into love can be a daily practice of bringing the here and now into your life. Sorrow, fear and suffering are part of us. To acknowledge and hold space for these emotions is healing. Learn the art of composting, turning suffering into love. Transformation is always possible with a smile. Mantras can change how we think and feel. The following mantras were given to us by Thich Nhat Hanh to help support us in watering seeds of happiness and transforming fear into love.

  1. Dear one, I am here for you. Cultivate your love with your present family and friends. Your presence is your greatest gift. Be here now.
  2. Darling, I know you are there, and I am so happy. To be loved is to be recognized. Love, compassion, joy and freedom are the four keys to happiness.
  3. Darling, I know you are suffering that is why I am here for you. Manifest your true presence to your loved one. Our presence is a miracle.
  4. Dear one, I am suffering, please help me. In true love there is no place for pride. This last mantra can be the most difficult one to practice. Overcome your pride and ask for help.

The four mantras work to remove doubt and loneliness. I have found them powerful in healing and becoming whole when the ghost of loss visits me. May you find comfort in your own presence and know you are loved.  “I have arrived, I am Home. I don’t want to run anymore, I’ve been running all my life, and I’ve arrived nowhere. Now I want to stop. My destination is the here and now, the only time and place where true life is possible.” Thich Nhat Hanh

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