Happy Father’s Day, Dads… We celebrate you! Yet also, here’s to the Moms-as-Dads…those who are often over-looked and over-worked. We see you. We see how tough life can be. Know too, that you are part of an amazing tribe of resilient women who are […]
For Immediate Release OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN POSTPONES JUNE CONCERT DATES May 30, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV — Olivia Newton-John is reluctantly postponing her June U.S. and Canadian concert tour dates. The back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert […]
About three years ago, I sat at the piano and started to play a melody I’d been hearing in my head. The only lyric that came to mind as I was playing it was “fulfilled.”
I remember sitting there thinking about my father-in-law who had died and how my wife, Martha, had lovingly cared for him as his life was coming to a close. During that time, I’d truly become aware of how fragile life is and how fortunate we are to have it. I remember feeling so lucky…reflecting upon the fact that love, positivity, laughter, and healthy communication are the “secret sauce” to our 22-year marriage — one that has blessed us with two beautiful, healthy children.
Yet still, as thankful as I was, I sat there at the piano that day, wanting to write a song about what the above message meant to me and yet, the only word I had was fulfilled!
Thankfully, my friend Marlen Landin agreed to help craft the lyrics, so I could bring the song in my heart, to life. In collaborating with her, I was able to unlock the message I’d been trying to convey. Amazing how sometimes we go into something as a solo project, only to discover how much a friend can help us.
That was the case once again, when I recorded the song as a solo. It simply needed another layer of love and attention before it would be ready to share with the world — so I asked my dear friend, Olivia Newton-John if she would bring her beautiful voice and gentle heart to it. She so beautifully took it to the place I was wanting it to be.
Below you can hear our song, “Fulfilled,” which explains the importance of living life one day at a time — knowing that no matter what, there is a big, beautiful rainbow that can appear after every rain.
We hope you’ll share this song with those you care for because while this life is filled with challenges and adversity, it’s also possible for each of us to see through eyes of love and feel fulfilled. / With gratitude, Steve Real www.steverealmusic.com
Butterflies are often associated with bright rainbows, promises and joy… and though I’m sure they’ve always lived on the luscious land I call home, I didn’t notice any during my husband’s two year bout with Stage IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma. To his public audience Dan […]
The LIV ON project was conceived out of the desire to transform my grief into healing. My sister, Rona had just died of glioblastoma and I was suffering greatly from her sudden death. I’ve always turned to music to process my emotions and help heal […]
Recently, a dear team member was preparing for the death of a beloved pet and the sorrow in his words was palpable. Though I was honored he reached out, I felt inept at helping him as he waited for his pup’s kind veterinarian to come to the house for one last visit. I wanted to do the right thing….say the right thing!
As the texts between us flew back and forth, I got to thinking, “Oh my gosh! This is his “child.” This sweet little 13-year-old pup is his family! Of course, he feels he’s about to lose it.” Instantly, I was transported back to a time when I had to help my own four-legged family member die and it wasn’t pretty. In fact, I became momentarily unhinged after her death.
That’s right. When my golden retriever, Jenny died, I had a full-on grief attack while standing outside a Boston conference hotel and my then-boyfriend looked at me like I was losing my mind. I couldn’t disagree with him either — as the grief felt similar to what I felt when my child had died years earlier. I remember standing on the sidewalk feeling nauseous, breathless and broken-hearted. Yet, though the grief felt familiar, I felt different and I couldn’t figure out why.
Then it hit me: The loss of my child had been validated. I had received hugs, prayers and stacks upon stacks of condolence cards when my son died. I had given myself permission to grieve and yet when the protector of my home, my best-buddy-through-life, the one who bore witness to my journey, died suddenly, I was expected to simply get back to work the next day as though my grief did not exist. Even I felt at odds with myself about deeply grieving the loss of my pet. Why WAS that?
Because overall, we as human beings do not acknowledge that the body, whether it has four legs or two, is simply the covering for the soul… that Love Is Love.
So how to help someone who has lost a pet? How about we look to the starting line of Love: that it’s mysterious. Who knows how souls connect? We just know they do and that losing a physical connection with someone or some “being” can often tremendous emotional pain. In short, we grieve because we love (regardless of form).
Here’s what else you can do to help a grieving pet owner:
- Recognize that he or she may feel they have lost a family member and above all else, that grief needs to be validated…often and aloud. Say the pet’s name and ask about him or her in conversation.
- Ask your friend to share a funny or memorable story about the pet.
- Care for your grieving pet-owner friend or family member the way you would care for someone who had lost a beloved human. Send a card, cook a meal, take a walk together, just listen. They all help.
- Recognize that grieving well takes time. The length of time a person grieves is not dependent upon the species or form of love. So text, email, whatever it takes for a few weeks or months. Just don’t forget to stay in touch! Your grieving friend will let you know when they’re doing well again.
- Most of all, help your pet owner friend shed the self-imposed shame caused by grieving their beloved “prince or princess of the castle.” Why is this most important?
Because the only way to heal grief is by going through it, not around it.
Your grieving friend (and his or her pet from beyond) will thank you…
For more on pet loss? Read on: http://grishastewart.com/pet-loss-grief/
To kick off our 40th Anniversary Celebration, on May 1, Capital Caring is excited to bring Grammy Award-winner Olivia Newton-John, Grammy nominee Beth Nielsen Chapman, and SOCAN Award-winner Amy Sky to our nation’s capital for a special benefit concert that will feature an evening of […]
Sometimes you’ve just got to take the chance to live your dream when the opportunity shows up. It’s here and now. The moment won’t come back. I experienced one of those opportunities during the Dublin LIV ON Concert with my childhood idol Olivia Newton John, who […]
Though this is a blog about grief and the journey, it’s also a blog about LIFE and I want to share my story with that in mind. Today, I am more confident than I have ever been. Not because of the way I look but because I have learned to love my body just as it is — living (on) as fully as I can.
When I started my blog, I vowed to be transparent and real — and to be honest I feel like I’ve let you guys and myself down.
I struggled with the vicious cycle of anorexia for years and became a person I didn’t recognize. I lied to people I loved the most, pushed those who tried to help me away and became severely depressed. ALL of my self worth came from the number I saw on the scale that day.
At my lowest point, I remember doing lunges across my bedroom floor at 1 AM because I couldn’t sleep without knowing I had worked off the handful of grapes I ate before bed that night. I would “study” during lunch at school because I knew I didn’t have to eat if I was alone. I would starve myself for days in anticipation for an event or birthday dinner where I knew I would be required to eat. My hair began to fall out. I would go through a minimum of 10 different outfits a day and frequently miss special occasions because I was having a full on breakdown in my closet.
As ridiculous as all of that sounds to me now, it was once my reality. I weighed about 90-95 pounds at the time and the vicious disease took over every. single. aspect. of my life and mind. The food deprivation led into a series of binge and emotional eating episodes. My depression worsened and I have never felt so alone and empty.
Today, I am more confident than I have ever been. Not because of the way I look but because I have learned to LOVE my body just as it is. My thighs touch, I have cellulite and I usually don’t go a day without eating some kind of chocolate. Sometimes I work out 4 times a week and others I’m lucky if I make it to the gym once. Some days I eat salads and egg whites… others I eat Pad Thai and ice cream. But guess what? I’ve learned to forgive myself. I’ve learned that there are more important things in life than a number on a scale.
I’ve never shared any of this publicly and I am hoping my story will resonate with someone, as I have encountered so many beautiful women battling insecurities and comparison lately. A few weeks ago I read that teenage girls in America are TWELVE times more likely to die from an eating disorder than any other illness. Let that sink in for a second. You might not be able to personally relate to this post, but I guarantee someone close to you can.
Everyone’s journey with health and fitness is unique, but I’m sharing a few of the things that have helped me overcome my eating disorder and get on track to lead a healthier and HAPPIER lifestyle.
Love Your Body EXACTLY How It Is. Not tomorrow, not next year, but right this minute. This mindset has helped me more than anything. Sure, we all have days where our jeans fit a little tighter and we don’t feel our best. Guess what? Your body is just as valuable on those off days. I became a victim to the “things will be so much better when I weigh a certain weight” or “I can really be happy when I look like this” mindset. I even skipped out on my senior spring break because of how terrible I felt about my body. It’s so important to remember that you are deserving of love right now as you are… not at a different weight, not under different circumstances.
Embrace Intuitive Eating. I used to label all foods as “good” or “bad” and I would NEVER touch the so-called bad ones. I thought I was being healthy, but there was no balance in my diet. When I was going through all of this, I don’t think I touched a french fry or slice of pizza for over two years. I would eat the same 3-4 “approved” meals over and over again. I’m all about a healthy lifestyle but you have to cut yourself some slack and mix things up.
Find A Workout That You LOVE. It took me years to learn the difference between a routine and an obsession. I used to run 5-8 miles a day because I told myself I HAD to. I’m so thankful to have found Pure Barre because I now look forward to working out. On the days I can’t make it to Pure Barre or the gym, I have found that simply going on a walk elevates my mood and keeps me from feeling discouraged about my fitness routine,
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. I constantly remind myself of the quote “comparison is the thief of joy.” My friends joke about my overuse of the saying but I truly believe that it can change your outlook. Focus on yourself, celebrate others and wonderful things will happen.
My journey to self-love has wound a complicated path, but I am so thankful to be where I am today. The fact that I’m even able to post these pictures makes me realize just how far I’ve come. If you are dealing with an eating disorder or even a lack of self-confidence, know that you are not alone and you can get through this. Thank you for taking the time to read my story!
Empowered Through Grief! Until now, HealGrief has been an online social support network for people who are grieving, bereaved or for those just wanting to support them. With an average of 2 people dying every second, potentially we serve the millions of those left behind. […]