Memories, Mandalas, and a Medium

Annah ElizabethHappy Happens ™, Mental Health, Spirituality2 Comments

Happy Sunday, Journeyer!

Last week sort of passed by in a blip! Warren returned from a six day trip around midnight on Wednesday and then I had to have him back at the airport at the crack of dawn on Friday.

Though his absence means I am able to devote my attentions strictly to whatever projects I need to work on, it also means I am tending the home-fires (literally!), the home, and our four legged mammal friends by myself.

That there’s the yin-and-the-yang of life, isn’t it? Balancing the good with the bad, the easy with the difficult, and the relaxing with the laborious…

I finally got in to see an endodontist for that bad tooth, only to learn that it was split in two places and would need to be pulled. The good news is that we won’t have to shell out more than a grand in dental work but the bad news is that she doesn’t do extractions, so I have to make an appointment with an oral surgeon…aye, aye, aye

No worries, though, because both ends of that trip were filled with joy. Beauty and I stopped for a Thai lunch before the appointment. She was excited about that given she’s never had that cuisine before and she’s heading to Thailand next summer to work with elephants, tigers, and a local animal shelter.

Taste of Thai

Afterward, we stopped at this adorable little indoor mall where I found some fantastic stationary for writing those handwritten notes I love to send people. To me, there’s nothing better than actually holding a card in my hands. Speaking of THAT, I received the most amazing, hand-painted thank you card from Squirrel! Her birthday package finally surfaced weeks after I sent it. Look at how she captured the view from the porch of her and Fave’s lake cabin.

Handpainted Card from Squirrel

Most of this past week was filled with glorious, almost-too-warm-for-autumn weather and bright, full sunshine graced the clear skies of nearly every day.

Some of the best news I received came late Friday morning when my district office called to tell me they finally approved my request for a leave of absence! Though it’s not nearly as much time as I had originally requested, I am eternally grateful for the coming five days they have granted. I have BIG plans to finish pulling together some of those BIG projects!

The Grief Diaries series release date remains on track for December 15th and I am honored to be writing the chapter introductions for both The Loss of a Child and How to Help the Newly Bereaved.  If you or someone you know is grieving or has grieved, head on over to check out this collection of anthologies on loss, grief, and healing. Collectively we are helping to heal a world of hurt and sharing the message that, though our journeys are uniquely our own, others are traveling beside, in front of, and behind us.

Grief Diaries Loss of a Child Cover

This week off also provides me ample opportunity to tie up all of the loose ends for my upcoming presentation at the North Carolina Social Worker’s Fall Conference. THE NORTH CAROLINA SOCIAL WORKER’S FALL CONFERENCE!!

Aside from being thoroughly grateful that they see merit in this model, I am SUPER STOKED to finally, FINALLY have an opportunity to share this work with the people who can put it to task, who can get it into the hands of those who need it most.

There are infinite ways to heal each of our facets’ woes, Journeyer. Sometimes the traditional works and sometimes we have to think outside of the proverbial box. Sometimes one thing clicks for us and sometimes we have to blend portions of several different processes that make sense. But the sheer, glorious beauty is this: As long as you are seeking answers that will bring you solace, puzzle pieces that will help you to be okay in the face of whatever loss you faced, then YOU ARE HEALING YOURSELF.

That, Neighbor, is what drives me to keep going with this program, it’s what sits my ass back down in front of the keyboard after I’ve been denied for the fourth–yes, the FOURTH–time to speak at a local event. My belief in the overwhelming need for The Five Facets Philosophy on Healing reminds me that J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected a reported twelve times!

Persistence, Journeyer. Persistence is key to unlocking whatever it is we want. Fave, my boy-next-door-son who also happens to be a 2016 Olympic weightlifting hopeful signs his posters: “Always follow your dreams.”

Overcoming grief can feel like a freaking Herculean task with us trying to hold the world over our heads. If we act on our dream, if we put in the time and expend the energy to ask ourselves questions and then seek out the answers that work for us individually, then we will succeed in some fashion or form that we can be okay with. WE CAN BE OKAY, Journeyer. NO MATTER OUR STORY, WE CAN BE OKAY IF WE CHOOSE HEALING.

One of my greatest dreams is that The Five Facets will become a clearing house of resources and tools that address each of the self’s five facets. And while I’m sharing that happy thought, I invite you to help me build that database by commenting below (or contacting me personally) with organizations and persons that have helped you heal some hurt. Give me the name and tell me which of the five facets–the Academic, Emotional, Physical, Social, or Spiritual parts of the self that work benefits.

See, you too, can help heal a world of hurt and it’s that easy-peasy! All you have to do is leave a comment consisting of a hundred letters or so!

Speaking of easy, I had the absolute good fortune to see Theresa Caputo in person! She mentions early in her show that though she makes it look easy, it is not. I can believe that. I’m guessing that waiting for her birthday gift to arrive wasn’t easy for my daughter, either!

You see, Beauty mentioned back in late spring that The Long Island Medium was coming to an area close to us and she wanted to attend. It turned out to be a fabulous birthday gift. If you’ve never seen this other-worldly woman in action, I encourage you to attend one of her Experience events. She is downright hilarious, bubbly, engaging, charming as all get out, and has a definite gift of connecting with Spirit.

Beauty & Me The Long Island Medium Tour

And get this, Journeyer, there were three-thousand people in that audience according to Theresa. Guess who came through? Yep. My boy, Gavin. I was fairly certain I saw him following her so I never in a million years figured she’d pick my daughter or I from the very middle of the middle section. But she did. She spotted Beauty as she was walking down the aisle and said, “Who are you? Did you lose a sibling? Stand up.”

I could write an entire post about what transpired, but here’s the gist of the validations we received: Beauty houses a piece of Gavin’s soul and he doesn’t want either of us to be concerned that we haven’t felt his presence for a while.

I’ve been pondering that for some time now because I have felt his absence. About a month ago I asked him about feeling that he was gone. For those of you who don’t know, I do sometimes hear spirit in my right ear. For many, many years, I thought it was my own thoughts, but I’ve realized in the past year that the messages are sometimes coming from the spirit world. The reply that came when I asked my boy about his whereabouts actually came from inside of me, Journeyer, from my chest area.

“I am right here, Mom.”

I didn’t understand it until I was sharing mine and Beauty’s experience with Warren. You see, there is a piece of Gavin’s soul inside of me, too. It makes perfect sense because I carried his growing little body inside of me…

Realizing that I can connect with my child wherever he is makes me happy beyond description, Journeyer. Whether or not you know it, you, too, have the ability to connect with  your child when they are not near. What beautiful gifts the universe bestows on us…

The fact that I could share this encounter with my daughter made being there even more special.

A few other things that made my happy include more and more Angel Number sightings; crunchy grass on frosty mornings; brilliant sunrises on my morning commute; a new haircut with my old hairdresser in a fabulous second-story salon that used to be a theater; making progress with my new pooch who isn’t trying so hard to go after our cats any more; a fun and fabulous gift from a friend…

Egyptian Goddess Lotion from a Friend

and this mandala…


I wasn’t familiar with this type of artwork but what I read is apropos for what the rest of my week was to bring. Indian religions see the mandala as a spiritual and ritual symbol for the universe. It is also used in various traditions as a guide to help create sacred space and an aid to mediation.

Buddha once said, “The secret of happiness lies in the mind’s release from worldly ties.”

Could that be any truer, Journeyer? Think about all the times you’ve been at peace, happy at your very center. It always comes from within you. Sure, the party might be the event that triggers the laughter or the glorious sunrise might be what draws the smile, but the happiness comes from within you…

What about you, Journeyer? What moment(s) fed your happy this week? Won’t you share? Come on…don’t keep it all to yourself! The world needs your joy, be it big, small, or seemingly indifferent. Don’t take the power of happy for granted! And a BIG hank you in advance for sharing.

Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

On Saying Goodbye

2 Comments on “Memories, Mandalas, and a Medium”

  1. Hubs and I went for a no kids reconnection weekend. I feel so refreshed Annah.

    I’m so glad that you had that experience. I’ve often felt like a piece of each of my children remains with me.

    1. Liv,
      Thank you for sharing! That message, that you and Hubs need time together, is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children and to the rest of the world. Thank you for showing us that we do have permission to take care of ourselves and for modeling that old adage, “If you don’t take care of you, then you don’t have what you need to take care of others.”

      I’ll bet you ROCK in your REFRESHED self. <3

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