When Will YOU Awaken?

When will you have an Awakening experience so you can follow your Spiritual Path?

First, what does “Awakening” to follow your Spiritual Path mean? Many people have a “moment” of “awakening” or a spiritual epiphany. This may be an experience where, in an instant, you have an insight into what the “State of Grace” really means. A feeling of Universal connection, “Oneness,” Unconditional Love, Universal Wisdom, Freedom from Time and the three dimensional world we have incarnated into. Maybe we remember God, or Jesus, or Buddha, or the Divine Spirit, or whatever it is that you know and remember as the highest consciousness. Many spiritual teachers will tell you that this requires years of devotion and careful contemplation to achieve. I am not sure that this takes a long time. For many people, this “spiritual awakening” takes but an instant! Your path to “Enlightenment” is yours to travel AND travel there you must!

So, when will it be… for YOU?

Will it happen during a NDE (Near Death Experience?)
You can read many books and articles about this type of “Awakening” and “Remembering.” (I say “Remembering” because when achieved, it is familiar and we realize that we have been there before. It may be the feeling we have when we are between lives AND the feeling that we are working to “remember” in this current lifetime. No matter what your experience, whether you believe me or not, this spiritual wisdom and “knowing” is already within you. You are learning how to recall your connection with the Divine!)

Will your “Enlightenment” or “Spiritual Awakening” be triggered by:
an illness or accident?
or
By the loss of a loved one (and your experience in Death, Dying, Grief and Loss?)
or
By Your Midlife Crisis? (Female or Male Menopause) WHEN, you realize that your goals and plans are not enough. You have to do or be something more. Perhaps, you have yet to finish your search for your “Purpose” in this life!
or
An Epiphany from a Meditation, a Dream, a Spiritual Practice?
or
A drug related experience? (Which shakes you out of your belief and your current “reality.”)
or
A Breathing Technique or Vision Quest?
or
A religious practice?
or
A trauma or a nightmare?
or
The birth of a child?
or
An experience of “Guidance” or other worldly “Protection” (when you were steered in a more positive direction)
Or…???

Yes, what will be your experience which triggers your remembering your connection to the Divine Spirit!

Will this manifest as a single moment in your life or as a series of moments (and experiences?)

Will it be a Clear Message or a vague, to be discovered, feeling or thought?

Will it cause a Dramatic Shift in your life (and way of being in the world) or a slower unfoldment?

Will this come to You alone or in a group?

Who will you tell or share this “Awakening” with?

Will it change your relationships? (Perhaps to be more loving or accepting?)

Is it triggered by being “Old” and/or infirmed? (BUT, young people, even children, can experience this State of Grace!)

Is this experience Dramatic or Subtle? Is it soft and quiet or loud or colorful or Black and White (or even Gray?)

Is this Spiritual awakening taking place in a natural surrounding or in a more mundane environment like your home or a building?

Are you with other people or alone?

Are you in a state of Fear/Anxiety or “Grounded” by a Meditation?

Do you feel like you have drifted out of your body to a higher realm? Do you find this in your heart & soul?

Does this trigger a feeling of “Acceptance” or a violent flight/fight emotion?

Is this happening to you in the: morning or afternoon or at twilight or at night?

Are you in a foreign land or a more familiar (closer to home) place?

Is your insight focused on your physical state or on emotion or thought/mental state or in a spiritual place?

Does your epiphany manifest in feelings of: happiness, joy, confusion, fear, or the relief which comes from finally “Remembering” your deepest Spiritual Nature?

Many people have these Awakenings and never know how to share these experiences. They may even think that there is something wrong or even “crazy” in feeling these “different” wisdoms… But, we all have these moments and these learnings. We sometimes do not appreciate them at the time of the experience, but these will resurface after some other life experience or conversation trigger the remembering… An experience which I had early in my life became an epiphany which has shaped my life is a story available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/bjQuoEK-2SE

No matter what, remember that YOU are a blessing and You have a spiritual Master dwelling within your soul.

If you would like support and a community to share your story of awakening and spiritual development, consider the Masters of the Journey as a place to connect with fellow travelers on the path toward remembering the Divine Spirit within each of us.

Learning from Loss and Tragedy

Have you ever suffered a loss? Of course, who hasn’t? Even if this loss was a “Tragedy,” was there some benefit from the lesson you had to learn?

Every human has suffered from a loss? The loss of a job. The loss of a relationship. The loss of money or property. The loss of your innocence. The loss of a loved one, a friend, a parent, a sibling, a close family member, or a child can be a difficult, if not devastating, challenge. The most difficult group I ever had to speak with was a support group for parents who had lost their child. Many in this group were suffering. Some even after many, many years after the death. A parent’s grief is especially difficult.

My reason in writing this blog comes from my own experience with loss and grief. I seemed to manage with the death of my father when I was 35 years old. My mother passed when I was almost 51. I thought I knew something about loss and grief. The greatest lesson was when my life partner, wife, and friend, Barbara, passed away from Ovarian Cancer when I was 61. I thought that I was prepared because we had 8.5 years after receiving her “terminal” diagnosis. My naivety protected me right up until the reality of the “void” set in… It took me one year before I could even began to look at the trauma this health challenge and loss of my wife had manifested within me. Some people get angry, bitter, sad, or anxious. For me, the loss of my partner of nearly 30 years was a vacuum that could not be filled.

Today, 4.5 years later, I realize the amazing blessing I have received from this valuable lesson. The blessing comes from learning much about myself, grief, and the empathy I developed from this painful personal lesson. With surprise, I have grown from the experience of this “misfortune” as I realize the new perspective on life and even the “joy” that came from the ashes of a loss.

Sheryl Sandberg speaks about her appreciation and the lessons of gratitude she learned from losing her husband, suddenly, to an unexpected cardiac incident. Her speech at the 2016 UC Berkeley Commencement was removed from youtube however, know that I was moved to tears as I listened to her story.

“When life gives you lemons, learn to make lemonade,” the old saying goes. But finding your strength and resilience from a difficult loss can provide you with one of life’s greatest challenges and benefits. Learn, accept, and share the lessons. (Remember, you learn best by sharing your story AND you can be of service as you help to create awareness in those who you offer your experience.) When you “KNOW” the value of surviving your loss, you can move on to other lessons in this life.

Life is precious. Joy and Gratitude can be derived from unexpected appreciations of even the darkest moments. Learn from your challenges and reach around to assist other pilgrims as we move along the pathway of our lives.

Blessings.

Share this blog, if appropriate. More support for your spiritual development can be found at the Masters of the Journey website: www.mastersofthejourney.com or at the Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney

By the way, if you want to explore more information regarding death and dying, consider reading the many books written regarding Near Death Experiences (NDE’s) which can shed light on the situation your departed person experiences but offers little for your personal grief created by the void generated from the loss of your “Loved” one. In doing this research, it allows me to gain spiritual insight which helps me to live more easily in a state of grace.

Please take good care of yourself!

Thoughts About Dealing with Grief

What is the process of surviving grief? How can we manage to go through the stages of grief and learn the lessons that this experience is demanding that we learn? Can we enhance the processing of our grief so we can get through it most gracefully and maximize the benefits of this painful process? Can we be assisted by others involved in grieving or by a coach who can guide you through this unique experience? Can we maximize our learning as we process our grief AND serve others by sharing the process?

Everyone is different and each experience of loss and grief is unique. Since loss and grief are unavoidable experiences in life, can we engage in a process that can maximize the benefits and the learning that comes from this painful, but common, experience in life? In fact, from the moment we are born into the world we experience loss. From the warmth and safety of the womb, we are cast out into the world with the rudeness of cool air and gravity after the loss of our mother’s warmth and the buoyancy of floating in our prenatal environment. We must learn to adapt to the changes and the growth that living provides. With every learned adaptation we release our old self and enter into experiencing the world with new information and insights. This is how we develop from being a baby to growing into a child and finally into the more adult stages of life. With every step of growth we take there is a loss of innocence and we try to make the most from each of these developmental steps.

Most people admit that the support of family and friends can ease the pain of growth and enhance the essential learning and development along the way. A supportive group of fellow life explorers or trusted coach can make the processing most beneficial. For many people, our parents, siblings, and immediate family can serve as these mentors, coaches, or guides, at least for a while. Teachers, neighbors, and our youthful peers often take over but these relationships lack the bond that immediate families CAN have. (We must learn the tough lessons of selecting wisely the mentors that appear along the path of our life’s developmental stages. Mistakes are made that offer the opportunities to learn from the testing that life provides.)

At some point in our lives, we are challenged by significant losses. It may be the loss of parents or siblings or friends. It may be the loss of home environments or pets or experiences (like classrooms.) Or, you may suffer the loss of a spouse, a relationship, a divorce, a child, your health, your career/job, or your innocence as your life flows through the testing times of your life. Perhaps one of the most difficult experiences of loss is the loss of yourself or of your faith.

We are all unique and the unique differences make everyone’s experience of loss (and, in fact, every unique loss) a special unique challenge. My loss of my parents may have prepared me for the loss of my wife in some ways, however, the loss of the unique relationship I had with my wife is very different, for me, from the experience of the death of my parents. I am sure that everyone reading this article has your own series of unique losses experienced by the adventure of living your life.

In my research and from my personal experience, I believe that grieving your loss will move more quickly, if not easily, with enhanced learning opportunities if you have the “right” support. The support of healthy family or friends makes the process less lonely. The positive perspective of healthy friends will allow you to learn your lessons better. An experienced coach or therapist can be beneficial in mentoring you through this process, and it is a process that requires your time, energy, and your motivation. Not all friends, coaches, mentors, clergy, or therapists are “right” for you and your unique requirements so do not settle for the first person who appears, if you do not feel that they are perfect for you… Perhaps you will require a team of supporters and coaches. Sharing your grief and the “story,” repeatedly, will assist most people to wend their way through this difficult process. But, do not fall victim to the trap of getting stuck in your own “victim” place for too long (easier said than done.) Also, give the “gift” of allowing other people to give you support!

Ask yourself, if you can thank your loss for the lesson that you must learn. Can you be a better person due to the learning the lessons of this loss? Use the terrible pain of loss as a time of self-awareness and learning. It can be an experience that will ultimately enhance your self-esteem. The wisdom of surviving this painful experience will serve you in future travels through your life.

Avoiding dealing with grief often prolongs the process.

Keeping too busy can be avoidance.

My Pain, comes from My Loss. It is difficult to understand, how you will fill the “void” created by your loss.

Your anger may be an expression of your personal loss of control. People can get stuck in their anger.

People fear being alone and avoid their own company because they may feel driven to immerse themselves in another person’s life to avoid learning to accept their own life’s flaws or imperfections.

Please share if appropriate and send feedback to the Stress Education Center.

PS August 19th is the date of my wedding anniversary. I feel the loss of my wife from January, 2012 as I write. The lessons I have learned, AND continue to learn, from this loss are very important to me and my growth. Blessings to you readers and tell your family and friends how much you love them… Do not miss this opportunity.

Coping with Grief and Loss – a Process

We all suffer from loss in our lives. Sometimes the loss relates to transitions through life that are normal and expected states of growth and development such as moving from childhood, through the teenage years, and then into the adult responsibilities that confront most people. Though this is a difficult transition, we must all face this if we live past our 18th birthday. There are more serious or traumatic losses that many of us encounter such as the death of close family member or friend, the loss of health due to accident or illness, the loss of an important relationship, or possibly the loss experienced with a career change or loss of a job. These are difficult times and hard lessons to experience in the course of life. These losses, though potentially painful, can be times of learning and personal growth. Many of these transitions can be less distracting and with a greater potential for learning if you have a positive support network. Here is the dilemma. Most people do not have a network of healthy, positive supporters to allow for movement through difficult transitions with grace and healing perspectives.

We can learn from our painful transitions and losses. We can wade through these changes more gracefully, and possibly with less discomfort, if we have the best team of support surrounding us. Some people look for professional counselors or coaches, or perhaps clergy to help with difficult transitions. Some of us have personal mentors who can be trusted and who have the necessary communication skills to assist in times of need. Some of us have healthy relationships, friends or family who can help without too much of their own “baggage.” Many people do not have enough access to the positive supporters who can help us through the grief that life throws at us.

There are many books and potential sources of information which help us to understand the process of dealing with loss and grief but for most people reading about the grief process is not enough. We need to be supported by a personalized experience that we can gather around us as we muddle our way through our emotional and spiritual pains of loss. We need to be “touched” by the proper support in many ways. We need to be allowed our grief and yet “called on it” when we have gone past the limit and start the “wallowing process.” We need to find the exact, personalized process to assist in managing the stress, anxiety, pain, confusion, and the “emptiness” of replacing the part of ourselves which has been lost with the more experienced and empowered person who has survived a major change/loss/growth… Do not miss the opportunity to build a support network of “healthy” and available people. You never know when a need will arise for this special support.

Each of us need to find the best way to learn our lesson and then to move on into our new, restructured life. We need to learn the best way to take care of ourselves, benefit from the lessons, and then discover the most appropriate directions to move our new life. To do this, we need to find people we can trust and invest the resources into the process of self-care and self-development so we can move down the path that leads to our goals. This is easier said than done, but if you realize that you would survive this transition more easily and possibly more quickly with positive assistance then you must do the work and find the correct support you require.

In the future, we will be expanding and releasing information regarding a new program which can assist most people in developing an individualized transition plan. We are beginning to build a process for creating a positive support network which will enable participants to discover their strengths, accept their weakness or flaws, and to free up energy to invest for moving toward positive goals and enhanced lifestyles. The working title for this process is “Finding Your Tone.”

Please comment or send questions to the Stress Education Center at wellness@dstress.com or visit the website at www.dstress.com.

Coping with Grief and Loss – a Process

We all suffer from loss in our lives. Sometimes the loss relates to transitions through life that are normal and expected states of growth and development such as moving from childhood, through the teenage years, and then into the adult responsibilities that confront most people. Though this is a difficult transition, we must all face this if we live past our 18th birthday. There are more serious or traumatic losses that many of us encounter such as the death of close family member or friend, the loss of health due to accident or illness, the loss of an important relationship, or possibly the loss experienced with a career change or loss of a job. These are difficult times and hard lessons to experience in the course of life. These losses, though potentially painful, can be times of learning and personal growth. Many of these transitions can be less distracting and with a greater potential for learning if you have a positive support network. Here is the dilemma. Most people do not have a network of healthy, positive supporters to allow for movement through difficult transitions with grace and healing perspectives.

We can learn from our painful transitions and losses. We can wade through these changes more gracefully, and possibly with less discomfort, if we have the best team of support surrounding us. Some people look for professional counselors or coaches, or perhaps clergy to help with difficult transitions. Some of us have personal mentors who can be trusted and who have the necessary communication skills to assist in times of need. Some of us have healthy relationships, friends or family who can help without too much of their own “baggage.” Many people do not have enough access to the positive supporters who can help us through the grief that life throws at us.

There are many books and potential sources of information which help us to understand the process of dealing with loss and grief but for most people reading about the grief process is not enough. We need to be supported by a personalized experience that we can gather around us as we muddle our way through our emotional and spiritual pains of loss. We need to be “touched” by the proper support in many ways. We need to be allowed our grief and yet “called on it” when we have gone past the limit and start the “wallowing process.” We need to find the exact, personalized process to assist in managing the stress, anxiety, pain, confusion, and the “emptiness” of replacing the part of ourselves which has been lost with the more experienced and empowered person who has survived a major change/loss/growth…

Each of us need to find the best way to learn our lesson and then to move on into our new, restructured life. We need to learn the best way to take care of ourselves, benefit from the lessons, and then discover the most appropriate directions to move our new life. To do this, we need to find people we can trust and invest the resources into the process of self-care and self-development so we can move down the path that leads to our goals. This is easier said than done, but if you realize that you would survive this transition more easily and possibly more quickly with positive assistance then you must do the work and find the correct support you require.

In the future, we will be expanding and releasing information regarding a new program which can assist most people in developing an individualized transition plan. We are beginning to build a process for creating a positive support network which will enable participants to discover their strengths, accept their weakness or flaws, and to free up energy to invest for moving toward positive goals and enhanced lifestyles. The working title for this process is “Finding Your Tone.”

Please comment or send questions to the Stress Education Center at wellness@dstress.com or visit the website at www.dstress.com.

After the Death of My Wife: 6 Months Into the Void

June, 2012 – Posted by L. John Mason –

It has been an interesting six months since my wife passed. Early on, besides the overwhelm, I thought I could get through this difficult transition fairly quickly due the knowledge that I had been preparing for this loss for 7 years. I am learning that this was an illusion. When my parents passed away, I handled this well and moved back into my life with relative ease, but losing my life partner of 28 years has proven to be more difficult than I had imagined. Life has a way of being surprising. And, expectations have a way of leading to disappointment.

I have no reason to whine. I have great friends and lots of healthy support. What has surprised me are the little things that then trigger the beautiful, bitter-sweet memories that float through my consciousness and cause the tears to flow down my cheek. These events are brief, and for the most part, cherished as friendly ghosts of a loving relationship. I have learned that a remembering which causes a smile and then a tear are beautiful and a celebration. Certain events that I would not have thought would trigger the flow of emotions surface like Mother’s Day. It was harder than I thought and I am not sure why. Preparing for the local Relay for Life and the beginning “Survivor’s Walk” was an event that Barbara and I participated in for 7 years and this year the anticipation was difficult.

We have all suffered loss and transitions, and we have our own unique way of getting through these times. Perhaps your loss was not the death of loved one but a relationship change, or a job change, or a move into a new environment. There are changes that are more difficult than others based on your individual life. There are times when you ruminate about your loss and seem to spiral down into despair. These are important lessons to learn from in your life, not easy or fun, but important to wade through. There are recommendations that can be made to allow you to move more gracefully through these possibly dark times. Consider the following: 1. Take Good Care of yourself… practice wellness, 2. Get the HEALTHY support from healthy friends or family, 3. Get Professional counseling support if needed, 4. Focus on positive potential plans or goals, 5. Do not be in hurry to control your expectations (easier said than done.)

Consider sharing your feelings and thoughts early and often. The more you share the story the more you can desensitize yourself to the trauma unless you are ruminating too deeply. Avoiding the healing, with its pain, by using substances like alcohol, drugs, and food can give some people momentary comfort but can slow down the process or even create more problems. For me, the best strategy has been to speak with my many healthy supportive friends. Though not everyone is as lucky as me in this way, you might be well warned that building these positive relationships can and should be done now for your future requirements. If all else fails, local hospice organizations have bereavement groups that can get you started. There are books on the subject. There are counselors, coaches, and clergy who are trained to help. Do not think that you are strong to hold these things in and to NOT BOTHER anyone else with your pain. In fact, by sharing your grief and challenges you are probably allowing others the great benefit of being able to give some support and nurturing to you (and this will allow your partner to feel good about their efforts in your support.) Listen to advice when given but move slowly and carefully on any additional transitions that may be suggested. In most cases you do NOT need to rush into anything.
We can not escape life without loss and transitions. The trick is to learn how get through these times as gracefully as possible and to learn the lessons as easily as possible (so you do not have these lessons have to be repeated…) Keep your eyes open and your heart prepared to give and to receive. No one knows how to do these things perfectly and most of the time these transitions will not be pretty. They will be tests and lessons to learn from.
When we lose a major source of love and support, you can not easily replace this relationship but you can find ways to be open to positive, healthy relationships, and new sources of love, to begin to fill the void. (Do not rush into this but allow yourself to consider the possibilities.)

Please take good care of yourself. Support your friends and family if they have had losses ’cause we can all learn from these times… Celebrate Peace…

We send comments, your thoughts, and your feedback the Stress Education Center at wellness@dstress.com or through the website at www.dstress.com

Anger and Death

At some point, most people who live past adolescence realize that they are not going to get out this life, alive. Death is a natural, and unavoidable, outcome of living. (As of 2014, this is a fact of life…) Some cultures and societies work at pretending that death is NOT inevitable and this denial is built into the structure of the culture. Americans seem to frown on death like it is weakness in life to give in to death. In this culture, youth is celebrated and old people should only participate in celebrations of holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. There would be more television programs about older people if the culture were not in such denial. Now, I am not saying that we should have another “reality TV” show about older people’s last days amongst the living but it has been a long time since programs like the “Golden Girls.”

But the point of this blog article is not about denial of death and dying. It is about the emotions people feel regarding the loss of family member or friend to the process of dying. In the past, people lived with or near their families and families cared for each other with process of “passing away” done at home surrounded by family. Families would embrace the transition and it was a “natural” process. It is often very different in present day families.

Image that you were a child of divorced, or unmarried parents. You have been estranged from your biological parent due to divorce, or substance abuse, or prison, or large geographical distances and you learn that your non-custodial biological parent is dying. You may already harbor anger and resentment toward this parent for not “being there” for you and now you cannot even “get even” emotionally for the neglect (real or imagined) because the object of you anger is now leaving you due to a terminal disease process. How do you deal with your anger and your ambivalence toward this parent? From professional experience, I know that people often turn this anger inward. Depression often manifests. Anxiety can surface. Adjustment disorders may become inflamed. It is natural to be depressed or anxious. Though this is a natural response it remains often elusive as to how to deal with these strong emotions in “positive” ways.

Some cultures and religions suggest that you experience the loss of a significant person to better learn “your” lessons of this life. The perspective of surviving this loss can make you stronger. Everyone deals with loss differently. Some people want to escape their pain and avoid this strong emotion by getting involved with substance abuse. Some people use other behaviors to avoid their pain like playing too many video games, engaging in unsafe sexual experiences, or possibly other dangerous, but distracting, behaviors. A healthier way of responding to this difficult experience might be to get professional support or support from “healthy” family or friends. This might involve discussing the anger or the sadness in appropriate ways. It might involve discussing the loss and the void left when the person passes. It might include discussing the unfinished business. It might include discussing life beyond and how to consider filling “the void.”

Children or poorly articulate adults have serious challenges communicating their pain, anger, frustration, upset, and loss. They require assistance in a safe, “non-judgemental” relationship. They need to be told that their feelings are not un-natural or bad. They need to be counseled on how to express this emotion in safe and appropriate ways. They often need to be supported with positive alternatives forms of expression and positive choices to move forward in their lives. Often they have been “cheated” from the experience of telling their estranged parent or significant person the anger or pain they feel about their disappointing relationship. Alternative forms of communicating their feelings should be explored such as painting, drawing, writing, photography, or forms of sculpture.

It is hard to deal with the loss of a loved one (or significant other.) It is difficult to communicate your pain and ambivalence. Some people, especially children, need more assistance and support, from healthy, non-judgemental adults. I am sorry for your trauma and your loss. I can feel your pain. I have experienced this pain, myself, and it is not easy. Please take good care of yourself.