Tag Archives: A Widow’s Guide to Healing

5 Ways You Can Sustain Your New Year’s Resolutions

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The end of the year is nearly here, and if you are planning to set a New Year’s resolution you are not alone. According to this Forbes article, over 40 percent of Americans make resolutions; however, after six months only 46 percent of people are able to maintain their goals. In other words, the odds are not in your favor, yet, if you are willing to change your mindset the chance of sustaining your resolutions greatly improves.

Further, the good news is that change is possible. The brain science behind neuroplasticity teaches that our brains are able not only to adapt to change, but are able to form new connections. With training and practice our brain is able to create new patterns.

There are things you can do to optimize the chance you can succeed and reach your goals.

Here are Five Things to Help You Sustain Your New Year’s resolutions: Continue reading

I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E  A Ten- Step Plan For Creating Abundance In Your Life

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By Kristin Meekhof, LMSW

A little over two years ago, I began sharing a bit about my writing journey. I embarked on an entirely different career while maintain my day job as a clinical social worker. I wasn’t sure how to write anything for a national platform. I didn’t have a literary agent, a publishing contract, any type of media connections or a marketing background. I simply wanted to share my story and that of other widows in the hopes that they would feel less alone. I did one blind entry about gratitude to the Huffington Post and to my surprise, they published it. They were not the only major company to open their arms to me.

What followed in the past two-and-a-half years is nothing short of phenomenal. I became friends with Dr. Deepak Chopra, who did the cover blurb for my book, “A Widow’s Guide to Healing”, and I began to contribute to Maria Shriver’s platform, and she also did a cover blurb. In addition, I was interviewed by Katie Couric, American Greetings, my story was on the USA Today website, and I found myself at ABC’s headquarters doing a live hour long tweet chat. Most recently, I was at the United Nations.  By the way, Deepak did not introduce me to any of these individuals, nor, did a publicity team garner this support.

The question I am most asked is this- How did I manage this on my own? 

Many of the practices I developed evolved as my own writing / publishing process evolved. However, I can share with you that I know that because I practiced what I call I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E. this ten- step program which I developed over time, my world is richer and brighter. These practices aren’t exclusive to the publishing world. Anyone who is interested in creating more abundance can integrate these steps. Continue reading

Seven Things You Can Do To Help Someone in Grief

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When it comes to grief many times those who love  and know someone experiencing loss want to offer assistance; however, they are unsure of just where to begin. There are things that one can do that are not only meaningful, but also needed.

About four years ago, I began to do research for my book, “A Widow’s Guide to Healing” and I interviewed widows from all different backgrounds about their experiences. The widows often reported that one of the most frustrating things about their grief was that others seemed to ignore them, and didn’t offer any help. It may be the case that some well- meaning people simply do not know what to do and instead of stepping in to ask how they can help, they just walk away.

Here are seven things you can do to help someone in grief: Continue reading

Ten Things You Can Do To Create The Life You Want After Any Loss

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Loss of any type, rather it be a divorce, a job termination, the end of a friendship that you held dear, or the death of a love one can send you reeling into unchartered territory. For some it means the loss of an identity. You may have found pride in calling yourself a CEO, a partner, a wife and now that this title is removed you don’t know what to do. For others, loss leaves you emotionally gutted with no sense of direction.

I was 33 in 2007 my husband died from advanced adrenal cancer. I spent over three years interviewing widows about their circumstances for my book A Widow’s Guide to Healing, and often the conversation would shift to a widow telling me that she wants to start a new life for herself and her family but isn’t sure where to start.

This widow isn’t alone in not knowing how to begin a new life post-loss. A few months ago, I was at a dinner party and someone asked about my book, and as she began to tell me about her move, new job and starting over, I thought she was a widow. Actually, she had divorced her husband of 20-plus years and felt the loss was similar to a death.

Loss is very painful, and even thinking about it can cause a knot in your stomach, and you immediately feel a lump in your throat. And yet you do desire to shift your energy, mind and heart toward a different direction. In other words, what can you do to begin to create life that you want after your devastating loss?

Here are 10 things you can do, and these items are no particular order of importance. What is key is that you begin somewhere, and these items are here to help you create a new path for yourself. Some of these things may not work for you, while other items you may find to be a better fit. Continue reading

The Intent to Connect: One Widow’s Journey to Healing

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A few weeks ago I had the honor of being a panelist at The Parliament of World Religions conference in Salt Lake City. The Parliament of World Religions held its first conference in 1893, and since this date has attracted such remarkable speakers including: His Holiness The Dalai Lama, former president Jimmy Carter, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Vandana Shiva, and Dr. Eboo Patel.

In September, I was in New York City when a professor asked me in person if I would be willing to join a Parliament panel and talk about my book, A Widow’s Guide to Healing, and immediately my heart was in my throat. It was not one of my finer professional moments as I couldn’t even muster up the words, “Thank you.” I didn’t answer “yes”. I said I had to think about it and this was partly true. I would need to make travel and work arrangements to get coverage at my day job, where I am a clinical social worker. The other part that I did not share was that I was scared. I was intimidated by the nature of such a large conference, attracting 10k people from 80 different nations and 50 different faiths, and the other panelists I knew had doctoral degrees from fancy ivy- league schools. I flew home and thought long and hard about this amazing opportunity and why I was so reluctant to accept it. Deep down I knew that it was my own insecurity because I had never have spoken in a panel format and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, especially since I realized that the professor was taking a risk in even asking me to participate.

And a few days later, it occurred to me that I needed to revisit my original intent in writing my book. The intent was to be able to share the narratives of other widows so that a widow would be able to find herself in one of these stories and feel less alone.  Before writing my book, the words that C.S. Lewis wrote “We read to know that we are not alone” rang true to me.  And I know first- hand how lonely and scared grief can leave a person. I was 33 in 2007 when my husband, Roy, died from advanced adrenal cancer nearly eight weeks after being diagnosed with bronchitis at his family doctor’s office. Continue reading

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