Are you struggling with grief, loss or loneliness right now? If so, you're not alone. The "most wonderful time of the year" is often the most difficult time of the year for many of us - especially when you're missing a loved one. In today's episode, Deb shares the key steps for coping with loss this time of year. She also leads you through a soothing meditation to lift your spirit and receive signs from your loved ones in spirit.

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Dana (0s):
Spirited straight talk episode 10, receiving science from your loved ones during the holidays.

Deb (12s):
Welcome to spirited straight talk, the ultimate podcast for anyone who is ready to live a life with intention and help from spirit. I am your host of shepherd, spiritual teacher meeting and author hoping you open up to the whole enchilada or like, we like to say the soul in Jalonda so you can truly make your soul rise. So let's go! This is Deb Sheppard I'm here with Dana, my partner, and we're here to discuss the holidays. Because they're coming up! We're actually in them.

Dana (50s):
Oh gosh, it's coming quickly.

Deb (52s):
And you and I have not been completely prepared. And this whole year most people have not had any normalcy. So how do you create this holiday season where we feel like we can still celebrate whatever our belief system is, and for one thing-the people who've lost loved ones. this might be a really difficult time where they're not only grieving them, but they don't get to celebrate with family. So there's all these different layers with holiday season.

Dana (1m 19s):
Yeah. That's been quite unusual. I think not celebrating the way we're used to not being around family. If you're following the COVID rules, you know, we're having just your COVID pod or a select few that you see.

Deb (1m 35s):
So it's not a typical year, which means we're doing it all differently. And for you and I, we haven't even put one decoration out well, which is front door wreaths. But you know, I really want people not to feel guilty for not doing what we would be our normal and especially for those who've lost a loved one. And you know, one of the things I want to share is actually in my book, reading to believing my children's father just loved the holidays and he would go all out. He would buy his own Christmas gifts and then we would wrap them up.

Dana (2m 11s):
There's no surprise. You didn't, you didn't have to really worry about surprising him.

Deb (2m 16s):
And right after he died, which was the end of October, I wanted to do something different for the kids. And so they were really young 11 and 15, and we went to Vegas, which they loved, but it was definitely stressful, but I wanted to do something really different. I know with COVID we don't have that kind of flexibility.

Dana (2m 31s):
You went to Vegas for the Christmas holiday . It was very different. So why did you choose to do that?

Deb (2m 38s):
Well, we didn't have passports to go out of the country because I wanted to go somewhere that would be a lot of fun and that we can get away. Tt was just a struggle, trying to figure out a good place to go. So he passed away right before the holidays. He passed away October 27th of October. So right before the holiday, right before the holidays. And he was big into that.

Dana (2m 56s):
So, so you decided not to celebrate

Deb (3m 0s):
Not the normal traditional way, And you get judged. Like people were kind of like, what are you doing? How come you're not doing this? And I think that it's important to do what you feel is right. And you don't need other people's approval. And I always say that you don't need to explain for never lost is for, so each of the children had a different experience with their father. And of course I had a different experience. It was what I thought was the best thing to do, just to have something different. I didn't want it to be as sad. I wanted some distractions, but other people may want to just stay and do what they've always done.

Dana (3m 31s):
And I know I've heard some people were putting out decorations when Halloween ended, they had their Christmas decorations up because it helped with their mood and their process this year, they wanted that celebration feeling around the holidays, which helps them because we're so locked up.

Deb (3m 54s):
Right. Yeah. You know, and just trying to find a way to honor your loved ones and to celebrate and that it's okay. And with no guilt, Yeah. That's a good thing. And you know, We've talked about this before, Dana, when my, my son came home from school on day after his dad died, he said, you know, people are wanting to know if I'm okay and he said "I'm not okay, but that's what people want to hear. So what can I say?" I told him, "tell him that today sucks, but you hope tomorrow's better." You have permission to say whatever you want to people, because they may have feeling about how you should grieve or what you should do. For some people who are in grief, they do not want to put up a tree or they don't want to celebrate Hanukkah or the new year.

Deb (4m 36s):
So pay attention to what you want and let people know how you feel and what's best for you. Like you said, not having that guilt. What I like to explain- is the more joy and laughter and bringing up joyful memories of them will help you receive those messages from your loved ones, because they want to let you know they're okay. They want you to know that they're with us and they're celebrating with us. So I think what our goal is today is to give you some insights and tools to be able to create that joy. So you can hear them because people want to know that their loved one is okay. And as a medium, we try to help with that.

Deb (5m 17s):
But people are still want their own kind of experience of connection.

Dana (5m 22s):
When you talk about creating their own joy, that doesn't mean you have to skip around the room and be joyful. I would add myself. It means feeling that love that you felt when they were here. Right? Absolutely. And so just, if you just think of it in those terms, as feeling that love that they gave you when they were here, that's the joy you're talking about.

Deb (5m 47s):
Right? And so some of the ways is asking your friends, family, whomever is to give you some stories about their loved one. And most of us have funny about those loved ones. Even if that person was stubborn or whatever, we can look at those personality traits and those things that bring that kind of gift to us, which opens up our energy to be able to feel our loved ones. I mean, I'm almost, teary-eyed now thinking about, you know, when you hear these stories and sometimes we only do them during the celebration of that person's life versus people sometimes think, well, maybe I don't want to say anything. I don't want to bring it up. I don't want them to remember.

Deb (6m 25s):
But in my opinion, if you're the one grieving, let people know that this would be important to you. And that may be the gift that you want for the holidays and say, write me the stories..

Dana (6m 37s):
Having somebody else write the story. I know it could be hard. I could think back, like when I lost my grandparents, which were my parents, I can think back and wonder if I would have been able to bring that joy and those stories up in, you know, when I was deep in grief, I don't know if I could have remembered those funny stories. So having somebody else tell the story for me to be able to read it, I think, you know, would, would have been helpful at that time. I can think about some of the stories now, because it's been a few years, but it's been some time. So I can, you know, I can imagine how, if it's a new grief its difficult to be joyful.

Deb (7m 22s):
sometimes people, you know, sometimes people still feel the same grief after 10, 15, 20 years. There's no time limit on it. We want to make sure that when people say, well, it's been 15 years, it doesn't matter. Right. It's grief and you are entitled to your process, it's your own process. The other thing we think we talk about is this is a great year to do this is pick a family or, or organization charity, something in the name of your loved one who has passed that you want to honor them to keep their name alive. And that people can remember that individual. And this doesn't have to be a lot. It can be five or $10. You can be taking cans to the food banks, because that's a big deal right now.

Deb (8m 9s):
These days is our food banks and where people are struggling in this, this time of year. So those kinds of examples are doing something by paying forward and the honor of that person, and maybe that individual or individuals had certain things that they really enjoyed or were charitable towards. Those are things that you can also do.

Dana (8m 30s):
So we've said try the holiday a new way. Yes. Do some things in honor of your loved one. And if you need to can't you cancel the holiday. Absolutely. Can't you just say, I'm not doing it this year. I mean, if that's where you're at and that's what you need and to not feel guilty about that,

Deb (8m 50s):
I had this friend that had lost her spouse and she didn't want to celebrate the holidays like normal, but her kids bought her a treat anyway and had it decorated. And she was not happy about it because they really thought that she should be able to celebrate. And I know that people have the right intentions, but if someone plainly tells you, this is what I want, honor, it don't do what you think is right. Because the next year they may say, you know what? I do want to celebrate it, or I do want to do it differently. And your holidays will always look different.

Dana (9m 24s):
So if somebody says they don't want to celebrate it's okay.

Deb (9m 28s):
That's right. And you can change your mind 10 times even to the last minute. Yeah. I mean, it was great to have a plan, a and plan B plan C plan a

Dana (9m 36s):
You join in, or you were on zoom or, and plan B, you don't, or you watch your favorite movie that you, that makes you feel good. I know we have our three go-to movies, Hitch, Under the Tuscan sun and we have defending your life.

Deb (9m 53s):
But sometimes the devil wears Prada. Whenever I get into that funky stage, Dana will and we all do. I mean, we all have those moments and she knows my go-to. So she'll sit me down with comfort food, maybe some wine. and Hitch which of course, I laugh and I know every line, I know every song, whenever the song comes up and we're out and about, I go, you know what movie this is? And she'll say, yes of course I do. So I think we have some of them memorized.

Dana (10m 22s):
So be gentle with yourself

Deb (10m 25s):
I talked about this on Wednesday at my Facebook live. I was, I went to ups to mail some packages up. I see this time of year. And there was a man outside selling for charity-collecting donations for schools. And of course my name means be the Bee (Deborah). He had a hat there that had a bee and said Bee Kind, I wanted to give enough money so that I could have the hat which I liked. And I also donated for a toy for a child. But being kind to yourself is such an important thing that we forget that the holidays are also about you, you know, whatever you need during this time and nurturing yourself.

Deb (11m 12s):
And if you need to eat an entire pie, do it, do it, you know, without feeling like this is a bad thing, whatever your soul and your heart needs to get through this time. Because when you see people excited, Christmas 2020 is never going to look like any other holiday that we've ever had, but there's still gonna be people that are gonna celebrate and we want to feel like we can manage and maneuver through it?

Dana (11m 38s):
So what's really cool. Is you planned to do a meditation today because you want people to feel like they connected with their loved ones. And so light candle for your loved one, surround yourself with candles, get in the bath, whatever makes your soul feel good. Like you say their favorite church and do this meditation. Yeah.

Deb (12m 4s):
If you're driving, of course and listening to this we don't want you to do it now, but you know, if you've never meditated, don't feel like there's a right or wrong way to do it. People want to do it right and there is no right way. So the first thing is to just be present, feel the energy. And for some people you may need to play this over several times in order to really feel that energy, it can bring up emotion, it can bring up happiness or sadness and whatever it is , it is perfectly fine for you. If you get nothing, don't stop. Because basically you're creating the space to be able to receive messages from that loved one or loved ones.

Deb (12m 46s):
If you have more one that you want to hear from and receive messages from or signs or just feel them around just know that if feel like you're making it up. People would think it's weird. Am I making it up? I'm say no, that's just what it feels like. You know, it feels like you're making it up, but you're really not. It's using your right brain, the right part of your brain is your imagination. And when you go to a medium, our intention is always to give you messages. So, you know, it's true. But for me, I wish for you hear from them directly also.

Dana (13m 20s):
I have a question before we start this meditation, because I think, I think a lot of people struggle with what I'm going to share, but having regrets, like maybe you were angry with your loved one before they crossed, or maybe they were angry with you and you weren't speaking, or maybe the last, maybe the last conversation you had with them, you didn't tell them you love them. Or, you know, you didn't get to say goodbye, which is probably the biggest one. Right? I think they all are the top of the, the chart. So how do you handle it in a session when somebody has those regrets?

Deb (14m 3s):
Well, what I feel when there's those kinds of tensions before someone passes is normally the loved one does not carry that on the other side. And so they do apologize, but trust me, they're listening to you. So if you need to ask them to forgive you, or you need to say I'm forgiving you, or I'm still working through it, they do hear you. I'm only the one that can, you know, immediate was one that can go, guess what? You know, this is what they're saying. But bottom line is they don't carry that information or those heaviness, those disappointments that we carry. And I hopefully that's helpful. So in the meditation only go through this if you have something you need to say to them or ask them, please do so.

Deb (14m 49s):
And does it have to be out loud? It can be just mentally. Okay. So should I get started? Yeah. So in meditation be kind to yourself, but just try to be in a place that doesn't have a lot of distractions, the temperature in the room and where you're sitting feels comfortably. You don't have to kind of mess with it. If you have animals in the room and they're not going to bother you, that's great. But sometimes you need some alone time. If you get into that kind of energy, animals love to feel an energy and like to come say hello. So if you just want to make sure you're not distracted, bathtubs are great, warm water, absence, salt. If you drink a glass of wine or maybe water or whatever you'd like to enjoy, just making sure that you're very relaxed as much as possible candles.

Deb (15m 34s):
Like we said, candles are really great, but it's really about your breathing. And so what we're going to do is go into this. But the more that you take, deep breaths, you relax your body. The easier it is for your mind to relax. So we're going to go into this. So as you breathe in and exhale out, the intention is to, yeah, the intention is to feel your loved one around and to be able to get messages and visitations from them. This is my favorite. I'm ready to meditate. And hopefully Dana doesn't interrupt anymore. Sorry. No, it's great because Dana's job is always to keep me in my lane because I really like to go off track and we have an intention of what we said we're going to do.

Deb (16m 20s):
And we'd like to keep that, especially if people are new to something like this and I've done it for so many years, it's really good to have someone on the opposite side. Kind of keeping me aware and helping everybody. So I'm pleased. I'm honored. Good.

Dana (16m 34s):
So find that comfortable spot wherever you are, warm bath, sitting on your sofa, your very best chair, maybe on your bed. And remember if you fall asleep, it's okay. If you go in and out and you start thinking about the things it's okay, but with each breath as you take it in and you exhale, feel your body or your shoulders stress, maybe you need to move them up to your ears and push them down.

Deb (17m 9s):
If you're a person that your jaw gets tight, open up your jaw, your mouth, squeeze your eyes, breathe each time deeply and excelling out. Feel your fingers, your arms tighten them. If you need to relax and breathe into them again, feeling your thighs, your back, your toes, just scan your whole body and anything that is feeling tight or tense or uncomfortable, adjust it, tighten it, breathe into it.

Deb (17m 48s):
(Listen to the podcast for the guided mediation) How has that Dana?

Deb (27m 31s):
Oh, that's beautiful. Thank you. It's beautiful. I really hope I loved that journey. I hope that you guys can try this several times, whatever it takes to be able to feel your loved one. And it doesn't have to be this way. There's so many different ways. So, you know, in our podcasts and our Facebook lives on my blogs, we have all this information to help everybody to make their own connections. Do we have a soul enchilada?

Dana (28m 0s):
I think the, I think the sole enchilada for today is to be kind to yourself.

Deb (28m 7s):
Don't put pressure on yourself to do things you don't want to do this holiday season and allow yourself what you need a hundred percent and ask for it. Okay. Listen, we really want to support all of you where you're appreciative that you're supporting us and joining us, take care of yourself. Be safe.

Deb (28m 31s):
Thank you for joining us for this episode of spirited. Straight talk. If you enjoy the show, make sure you subscribe so that you get notified of new shows. We'd also love it. If you'd leave us a review and let's connect, visit Deb shepherd.com for more insights support workshops, and to book a session with Deb plus enter to get a free reading with Deb. All you have to do is sign up for the email list and you'll automatically be entered. Just go to Deb shepherd.com. That's Deb S H E P P a R d.com. .