Ep #194: Handling Grief with Grief Expert Krista St. Germaine

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Handling Grief with Grief Expert Krista St. Germaine

Many things can bring us grief…including the loss of a loved one.

But not everyone experiences grief the same way.

Grief is so often misunderstood and isn’t just about feeling sad. It encompasses a whole range of emotions in response to significant life changes and events.

In this episode of Health, Habits, and Epic Living, I sit down with my good friend and grief expert Krista St. Germaine to dive into how grief can affect us and how we can learn to heal and move forward.

Krista St. Germaine is a Master Certified Life Coach and host of The Widowed Mom Podcast. When her husband was suddenly killed by a drunk driver in 2016, Krista’s life was completely flipped upside down. While it would have been easy to believe that her best days were behind her, thankfully, she discovered life coaching and post-traumatic growth and was able to move forward and create a future that she is excited about. Now she helps coaches and teaches other widows that they can have a life that they love too. 

Krista discusses how grief manifests differently in each person, the common misconceptions we have about grief, healing and post-traumatic growth, navigating the change process, and whether grief is a disorder.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Three common misconceptions she encounters about grief in her clients
  • The key to getting out of the grief plateau and accelerate your growth to where you want to be 
  • How post-traumatic growth can help you become resilient again after experiencing trauma 
  • The tools that best help you navigate the change process and start living your life as fully as possible again

No matter what type of grief you or someone you love may be experiencing, I hope this episode helps you better understand how to promote health and healing.

Featured on the Show:

  • Improve the 3 areas of your life that matter most – your health, habits, and mindset in my EpicYOU Program.
  • Learn more about Tone in 10!
  • Download my free guide “Dealing with Setbacks” and begin your journey towards unstoppable resilience.
  • Check out my Detox Reset Program here!
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  • Do you have questions about EpicYOU or Tone in 10? Send me an email here!
  • Connect with Krista by visiting her website or get in touch with her at krista@coachingwithkrista.com.

[00:00:00] [00:01:00] Well, hello, my friend, Krista St. Germain. Super excited to have you on the podcast today. Thanks for having me. It’s funny, like, I feel surprised almost that so much time has gone by and we’ve known each other for so long and we haven’t had a conversation about grief. So I’m really happy to be here. Yeah.

And as, um, we were chatting before I hit record, um, it just, I just felt my intuition wanting to reach out to you and bring you on. It could be partly because of what we’re going through here in the household. And I’d mentioned on the podcast previously that my husband lost his dad and it’s just brought up all this grief and I really want to unpack grief.

Because I think it’s so [00:02:00] misunderstood and being around you and in the rooms where we’ve hung out and got to know each other. And as the grief expert that you are, I just feel you’ve really opened up my perception of what grief is. What it isn’t. Um, I think we have these certain buckets or certain Misconceptions about it that I want to get into eventually, but let’s start with the conversation first of, how you define grief and how you look at grief.

Cause here, here’s where I had to help my husband. He was like, but I’m not sad. That’s not the primary feeling I have. So it’s not grief. And I’m like, honey, I think you’re, you’re thinking grief and sadness is grief is just sadness. So can we start there? Yeah, totally. And let me just say, even before we get into that, this is exactly why I do what I do because I found myself in a grief situation and kind of quickly realized that what I thought I knew wasn’t actually accurate or helpful.

So to me, these kinds of conversations are so valuable because maybe somebody listening [00:03:00] is. Is having some sort of grief experience and it will help them, but also maybe somebody listening is going to have a grief experience and this will help them. So yes, to all the things. So I like to think about grief as an umbrella term for a human’s natural response.

To a perceived loss, but that’s way more than bereavement. That’s way more than sadness. It doesn’t just mean emotions that we might classify as undesirable. It really means all the thoughts and feelings and experiences that we have in response to something that happens in our life that for us feels like a loss.

And that’s so many things, right? And it’s so unique and so individualized. And so, um, not something we want to put in boxes or stages or have rules around. So yes, that’s how I define it. A human’s natural response to a perceived [00:04:00] loss. Yeah. And for him, his main one seems to be anger. Right. And a little bit of resentment.

And so he’s like, this isn’t grief. And I’m like, but honey, it is. And I’d love for you to explain a little bit more about other myths or things that we’ve heard about grief that you have found that. Um, maybe doesn’t follow exactly the way, like it could be those five stages we talked about. Um, but just really, , how people think about grief and maybe how that’s not entirely the whole story or the truth.

Yeah. There’s kind of three main ones that jumped to mind, but the five stages for sure is, is the place to start. I know when Hugo died. That was really the only thing that I thought I knew about grief. I had heard about the, there were five stages and I knew like anger was part of it and I, you were supposed to get depressed at some point and like bargain and then, you know, I didn’t really know what it was, but, but I, that was the first kind of book I [00:05:00] bought was to learn about the five stages.

And what I learned was a little surprising in that, first of all, that work was done initially in 1969. Which, you know, it was like pre me, pre birth. And as with any field of study, it evolves, it changes. People do more research. Right. And so really valuable in its time because Elizabeth Kubler Ross was, you know, paying attention to a subject that a lot of people weren’t talking about.

But it was really based on , her anecdotal studies of hospice patients. It wasn’t even about. people who were, you know, experiencing bereavement or who were experiencing a loss. It was about people who had been given a terminal diagnosis and were coming to terms with that diagnosis.

So the first book that she wrote, um, was on death and dying related to this subject. And then those five stages were extended into on grief and grieving, which is [00:06:00] another book that she wrote, uh, along with David Kessler. Even in her later years, she really actually expressed a lot of remorse that people had taken her work, which was never intended to be linear.

It was never intended to say, this is the way to grieve. She was saying, hey, I’m noticing that this is what people are experiencing. Some people are experiencing, right? It was, she saw something in the world and then wrote about it. And what people heard was, there’s a right way to do it, and this is it. But that’s super frustrating when You try to put yourself in a box, right?

And you try to make the experience you’re having match something that is really an external should when that wasn’t her intention, right? It also gave the idea that, that grief ends, which I think is, is the second myth. Right? So the first one is, is this not really about five stages? The grief is unique and it’s individual [00:07:00] and there’s no wrong way to do it.

And the second part of it is that. Grief isn’t something that actually ends in that the loss all will never not happen, right? The loss happened. We will always have a response to it. The response over time Might change, right? We might think and feel differently about the response, but it’s not something that has a finish line and it, and it’s not something that when we get to a place of acceptance, as though that is a place, which it isn’t, right?

It’s not a one time thing, but it’s not as though when we get there, we’re done. It’s no, like I will, I have had this experience that feels like a loss to me. I will go from, you know, one way of thinking about it to perhaps more intentional ways of thinking about it. And what I’m really doing is trying to integrate that loss experience into my life.

Right. It’s, it, as I see it, it’s about integration, not about finishing or ending. So five stages, old and outdated. So [00:08:00] many other like works on grief that I think are more relatable to people. Um, definitely doesn’t have an end. And then also the third one is that we’ve gotten the impression that time in and of itself heals.

Right. And so we tell people, Oh, just give it time or just stay busy. Um, you know, we, we say things literally, you’ve heard it a million times, right? Time heals all wounds. You hear that. And while I do think there is value in allowing time to pass, because as time is passing, the human brain adjusts. And what I mean by that is

our brain, especially if it’s like a loss of Significant to us and I’m talking about bereavement here specifically, but it could also be other kinds of losses. Our brain is used to knowing where people are that we care about. Right? So when we’re going to see them again, [00:09:00] where they are, it does not consistently keep us spinning and worry about, are they okay?

When will we see them again? Right? Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to function. Our brain has just accumulated enough Information enough repetitive data that says, okay, we’re going to see them here. This is where they are. If we wanted to find them, here’s how. And , then if they die, all of that old data and.

You know, predictions that our brain is used to making are no longer applicable. Right. It’s like, it doesn’t make sense to the part of our brain that is used to predicting where and you know, they are. And so time does have to pass for our brain to update the predictions that it makes so that it will stop telling us that when we reach over in the middle of the night and touch the pillow, that they should be there, right?

It will stop telling us that when the garage door opens, that it’s them and it starts then to make new predictions. So time does have to pass for that to happen. But if all we’re doing is waiting for [00:10:00] time to pass and in waiting, we’re avoiding how we feel. We’re trying not to think about it. We’re wishing it away, right?

That’s when we can develop some coping mechanisms that take us in the exact opposite direction that we might want to go. That’s when, you know, if we expect the first year is the worst and we just kind of white knuckle our way all the way through the first year. Well, when we get to the second year, it still doesn’t feel any better because we didn’t learn how to take care of ourselves.

Right. Then we’re still left with this, this mess and maybe less coping mechanisms. So those are the most common ones I, I see. We’re just a little outdated in grief theory. We think of grief as being something that ends when it really doesn’t. And we think time is going to do the work and that’s only true to a certain extent.

Yeah. I feel the exact same way on time, uh, and helping, you know, some of my clients when they’re like, Oh, I need to get this one year metal or this two year metal, or I’m not healed yet. You know, and they’re, they’re waiting for the [00:11:00] time to kind of dictate back to them that enough time has elapsed where they can now feel healed from this drinking behavior or, you know, whatever.

Program that they came from that tells them it’s time is the ultimate healer. Um, and while I agree with you, time does help, um, and it does repattern the brain, but doing the work is what’s, you know, and re and helping your brain along that repatterning, um, is really what’s going to heal you a lot more than just allowing just time, right?

So if we, if we can, augment that process. Um, and not turn to coping mechanisms or numbing mechanisms that, you know, then just give us a whole different set of problems, you know, and don’t allow us to access our feelings. Cause what we, you know, I love that, uh, quote, what you, you can’t heal what you can’t feel.

Yeah. That’s a good one. And then at the same time, it’s like extending compassion and [00:12:00] understanding to our brain as our brain adjusts. Right. And not making ourselves wrong. Like when, if we’re feeling deep yearning for something that we’ve lost, that doesn’t mean we haven’t done the emotional work, right?

That could just very well mean that our brain encoded that thing or person as important to us. And it’s trying to get us to find them. That doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong. And sometimes that, that is the part that time really does need to pass so that our brain can catch up. Hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Now you did a great, , I don’t know what to call it. Lecture for the women in EpicU and that’s in the EpicU program. So if anybody’s in there and wants to refer back to Krista’s excellent presentation, you talked about like these grief plateaus and the stagnation zone. Um, so what are some pearls from that?

That you found in you doing all the work that you have, uh, that helps us not stay in that stagnation zone and be in that grief kind of plateau, but [00:13:00] really just start to accelerate where we want to go. So, so first it is an understanding that that experience exists and it doesn’t have to be what we consider our new normal, right?

So I want to say this and I also want to preface it by saying, I’m not intending to make grief sound linear. Or stage based I’m I’m oversimplifying for the purposes of understanding what many of us experience early in a loss. Right in that acute early place feels like it’s really disruptive, right?

We’re kind of going through the days and the goal is really just to survive. We might be really struggling with grief fog. It, it, the emotional highs and lows might be very intense. We might, you know, our hormones are out of balance. We’re not sleeping very well. It really just feels like, can I put one slip in?

Foot in front of the other right in the early days for me, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to eat anything. [00:14:00] My family was like, here, drink this smoothie, right? It was showering was like to be celebrated. It was really disruptive in the early days. And at some point, most of us reach something that feels better.

But not great. It is what I call a grief plateau because I didn’t have any language for it and I see now most people that I work with go through it, but it’s a space where we’re back to functioning. We’re out of bed. We’re, you know, taking care of ourselves in that the to do list is getting done. If we wanted to go back to work, we could have other people perceive us as doing well.

We are hearing things like, Oh, you’re so strong. You’re doing so great. And we kind of understand why people are saying those things, but also on the inside, we don’t feel excited about life. We are not looking forward to tomorrow, right? We don’t have dreams and plans and visions. And the narrative internally is something like, yeah, it’s probably not going to be as great as it once was.

I’ll just, you know, for me, it was, I’ll just take care of the kids. And at least I [00:15:00] knew what loved look like. And, you know, I’ll probably never be as happy as I once was, but I’ll be okay. Right. And it’s like, well, and, and that’s what I call a grief plateau. Yeah. And part of that grief plateau happens because we don’t have hoping skills around feelings.

And it makes total sense, right? If you have not really ever been taught how to take good care of yourself when you’re having intense emotions, and you have just been through something that had a lot of intense, undesirable emotion, of course, you don’t want more of that. Right. You don’t really know how to take good care of yourself when it’s happening.

And of course you don’t want any more of it. And so then very often we turn to behaviors to avoid avoid the intense undesirable stuff. Right. So that’s, you know, for me, I did a lot of shopping and I did a lot of eating and I did a lot of distracting myself with work. You know, it’s not about judging the behavior.

It’s about, [00:16:00] I was doing it to, to try to escape how awful I was feeling. And then conversely, because Doing something that might take us in the direction that we want to do, but feels a little scary also requires the potential of undesirable emotion. We avoid that. So we end up, you know, using behaviors to avoid intense and uncomfortable emotions.

And also, we then don’t do things that we might want to do because we want to avoid intense emotions in the future. And so, yes, we might limit the emotions that we don’t want, but also we limit the emotions that we do want. Right? So we eliminate the lows and we eliminate the highs. And then what we end up with is this stagnation zone of mediocre, where it’s not awful, but it’s also not great.

And then what I see, and it’s just so sad to me, is that because nobody taught us how to navigate that, , what we internalize is, Oh, this is the new normal they’re talking about. [00:17:00] Right? And then we stay there when what’s really possible is the full rich human experience where we do have the skills to feel all the feelings so that we don’t have to escape the ones that we don’t like and so that we can, you know, allow ourselves to dream again and be vulnerable again and fail again, right?

Because feelings are no longer things that we see as barriers or obstacles, and then we can go and create what we want again, which, you know, sometimes looks like post traumatic growth. Yes. And that’s, you are the first person I’ve learned that concept from. And we were sitting in a room together and I remember when you said there, but there’s this whole post traumatic growth.

And I had only heard as a healthcare practitioner up until that point. And because, you know, I was in acute care, it’s all about post traumatic stress, right? PTSD. And I’m like, wow, post traumatic growth. How come I never learned about this? How come nobody’s discussing this? And so I’d [00:18:00] love for you in case people haven’t heard this term, um, and then how you become, in my opinion, resilient again, right?

And how life does become better, even though you didn’t want that tragic thing to happen, even though it was unfortunate it happened, but moving into this space. And so what does post traumatic growth look like? I, I just so relate to the experience you have when you heard about it, cause that’s how I felt too.

It was like, wait, what? What are we talking about? So post traumatic growth is a phrase that was coined by a couple of researchers in the mid nineties. Tedeschi and Calhoun were their last names. And prior to their work, what was thought was that when someone experienced , event that was traumatic in nature.

Also, at the time they were doing this work, the way we thought of trauma was a little bit more objective than the way we think of it now, like, now we know it’s very subjective and what’s traumatic to one is not necessarily traumatic to another, but what they found was that, or what we thought before their work was that you would have a level of wellness [00:19:00] or quality of life before something traumatic happened.

And then once something traumatic happened, some people would dip down to a level of wellness or satisfaction with life that was lower. Right. And then the best you could hope for was to get them back to the level of life satisfaction or wellness that they were experiencing before. Like that was the goal.

Just get them back to where they were bouncing back to baseline. Yeah. But they started noticing that. Yeah, some people were bouncing down and, and never really bouncing back. Some people were going down and then bouncing back. But then there’s this third group of people that they found were like actually bouncing down, but then forward.

Right. Not just stopping where they started, but actually going on to self report that they were experiencing higher quality of life, higher satisfaction with life. And it wasn’t in spite of what they had experienced, it was because of what they experienced. Something had happened and they decided what to make of it and made [00:20:00] choices in their lives that then had them living a life that was even more aligned with what they valued.

And that’s post traumatic growth. And it doesn’t require that we experience post traumatic stress. It’s just simply to say we get to be the ones that choose and everything that happens to us in life is an opportunity for us to evaluate and make choices. Sometimes I like to think about it like, um, because I live in Kansas and we have tornadoes here.

Like if a tornado comes and knocks down your house. You didn’t ask for that to happen. You’re not happy about it, and you don’t have to be. Right? But now you are going to need a house, so you could just go back and get the initial plans that you had for that house, give them to a builder, and have them build a house that’s as close to the house that you had.

No problem. Right? You could do that. But also, if you wanted, because you lived in that house for a while, Right, because you learn some things when the tornado knocked it down, right? You could also update the [00:21:00] design of that house. Maybe you put a tornado shelter in there. Maybe you wanted more light in your kitchen.

Maybe you want a larger closet. I don’t know. Right. But you update the design of your house, not because you’re happy that your house got knocked down, not because you didn’t love the old house, but because you can, right? You’ve learned some things and why not? Why not? And so that’s how I think about it.

It is. What are you, am I doing what I want to do for a living? Am I experiencing the quality of relationships that I want to have? Right. Am I being who I want to be in these relationships? Is my spiritual connection where I want it to be? Like, am I appreciating life the way that I want to appreciate it?

Those are the things that they found are really possible for any of us to do. I find that’s almost the beauty of what I get to do with the clients I work with is yes, it sucks that it happened. And most of them didn’t want to lose their spouse. And also it can be such an opportunity to really get in [00:22:00] touch with what we value and what we want next and get off the autopilot that many of us were living in, right?

Where we were just going through the motions and go, wait a minute, what? What do I value? What is important to me? How can I create this life to be exactly what I really want it to be next without it meaning that I was happy that the thing happened or that I wished for it. Yeah. A hundred percent. You know, I have a friend who had cancer in the past and she talks about how that was a turning point for her and she’s almost thankful in a way that it came to be because it woke her up to.

You know how she was just kind of squandering life and just living on on the autopilot and not appreciating things. And now she’s become this like advocate. She helps out so many people. She’s so passionate. She’s got so much life in her and so much vibrancy and meaning and purpose and joy. And she’s [00:23:00] like, I appreciate every single day, like these next 24 hours, I’m going to live to the fullest because there was a point in my life where I didn’t know how much time I would get and to not be sick and to not run to chemo and to not need surgery.

And like these joys. You were, you know, that pain was so hard to go through, but now these joys on the other side are so much like almost like blooming, right? Like just you ignore them before if you’re on autopilot or just not staying present, but now they’re just like, wow, life is so beautiful. And she just wants to make every day count.

And I don’t think many of us live like that, like make every day count. And I, I just really admire her and her vivacity and her life. Yeah.

So you also mentioned, something during the presentation at that time, which kind of struck me as I was looking back on it, um, that grief is not a disorder. Mm. [00:24:00] You know, I think alcoholism, they call it a disease. And a lot of times I’ll say, Oh, I don’t know if it’s really a disease, right? I see where it could be.

And I see why the medical system calls it a disease so we could get insurance and reimbursement. And of course, if it’s the medical model of the United States, but really we’d like you to unpack grief is not a disorder. Yeah. So there’s a lot of controversy and, you know, as with anything that people want to put a label on, there can be some disagreement around that.

Uh, I think probably at the time that was probably after the DSM had gotten updated and the languaging has changed over the years, but essentially the, the folks who were in the business of diagnosing and, , needing things to bill insurance to right, decided, uh, to change the language that had been called.

It’s been called a few things, but I think most recently complicated grief to prolonged grief disorder. Take care. And so essentially it was saying, hey, if after six months you’re [00:25:00] experiencing what is very normal in grief, you could have prolonged grief disorder. And I have extremely mixed feelings on this.

 In one regard, I appreciate that a diagnosis for some people can help them normalize their experience. And for some people can help them see that there are resources available to them that because they are experiencing this doesn’t mean it has to be the way that it is forever and there’s support available.

But also, sadly, when we go categorizing grief, which again is the natural human response to a perceived loss and is not wrong, , when we go implying that there is a right or a wrong way to deal with it, or there’s a certain amount of time that if you don’t feel amazing afterwards or continue to experience it, you know, in a certain way, somehow you’re doing it wrong can be really damaging.

So. A lot of people then were told by friends and [00:26:00] family who genuinely love them and mean, well, Hey, like this isn’t normal. You’re, you know, what you’re experiencing isn’t right. You should get help. And, uh, heartbreaking. , So much of grief is, is secondary losses too. And I think that’s important to understand, right?

There’s. There’s the, whatever it is that the primary losses. So for my clients, it’s their spouse died, but then secondary losses just keep coming, right? It’s all the things that then feel like a loss because of the primary loss. So, you know, for a client, it might be, um, they imagined that their husband was going to walk their daughter down the aisle at the wedding.

And the daughter’s, 12 now, but later when she gets married and he’s not there to walk her down the aisle, that’s a secondary loss, right? We imagined it would go one way. It didn’t go that way. And it feels like a loss to us. Well, you’re not wrong because 10 [00:27:00] years from now you feel sad that you’re, you know, late husband is not there to walk your daughter down the aisle.

So secondary losses, we’re not going to predict them and they’re just going to keep coming. And also, this is why I feel so mixed about it, , it shouldn’t be so impactful in the quality of your life that you can’t get back to functioning in the way that you want to function. Right. And if that’s the case, it’s like you broke a bone and it’s not healing.

Right. There are interventions for that. There special attention and care, you know, you’re worth that. Right. And it’s available to you and you don’t have to navigate that alone. So I hate that we, that we call it a disorder. Cause I think it’s just a natural response to human loss. But I also get that we want to educate people so that if they are suffering to an extent that we know help is available to them, that, that they can get the help that they need.

Yeah. We just don’t want to weaponize it and use it against people or, um, we don’t want to tell ourselves that how we’re dealing with grief [00:28:00] is wrong because there just is no such thing. Right. Right. Yeah. It’s almost like punishment for some if they see themselves as not progressing in the, in a manner that they think they should be.

Yeah. Yeah. Or, yeah. Or in a manner that somebody told them they, you know, they shouldn’t be like, we don’t It’s totally okay to be a human with emotions and continue to have emotions about a loss. This is not a disorder. Right. And when you were talking about secondary losses, I find, you know, something that people lose or change and they want that change, like away from drinking or drinking so much, you know, then they have, they’re excited that they’re drinking less, but then there are these losses that they perceive , And they are unexpected.

Like they feel like maybe they don’t fit in or maybe it’s going to jeopardize the relationships and the friends and the bonds that they could now have because we’re not getting drunk together or we’re not our drinking buddies. Right. And so there’s that secondary loss. When I [00:29:00] changed my relationship with alcohol to one that I really want and one that aligns with my values.

Oh goodness. There’s some secondary losses that could come from that, you know? And then, well, how do I. Navigate coming home, de stressing without that. Like now I feel like I can’t distress because I’m just going to have to learn to like grit through the night and it’s just going to be my witching hours and that’s going to be the way it is because if I want to drink less or not drink at all, then this is what I have to kind of get used to, right.

Or put up with rather than looking at other modalities. that we can invite in, which can reduce the stress, which can take the edge off, which, um, and you’re right. The brain will perceive them as losses because they were our comfort zone for a long time. Right. And that’s what brought us comfort in some weird way or.

Maybe not so weird. We actually know why it brought us [00:30:00] comfort. Um, and then to take that comfort away, it can feel very, you know, alarming or discomforting, um, and feel like a loss. Yeah. So people sometimes have to grapple a little bit with that change process. And I like to call it a change process because how they feel about it.

And, and the initial phase is not how they’re going to continue to feel about it weeks later. And it’s not just that time heals. Of course we talked about how the brain will repattern and of course won’t be looking for that quote reward or that way to get the edge off. But um, this change process, right?

It is a process. And so what they’re experiencing today won’t be the same that their brain experiences in the future. Yeah. Yeah. So what are some tools that you help? People go and utilize in their life to kind of embrace the change process. I’m thinking of it else also as like almost an identity shift, right?

For your clients, it was, you know, once I was married and now I’m widowed. [00:31:00] And for my clients, it could be, you know, I once had this bad habit or this drinking behavior or overeating or whatever. And now I’m this identity, you know, what, what do you find is very helpful for navigating that change process?

Yeah, I think normalizing in the beginning, right, that it does feel, it can feel really foreign and that that doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, right? Um, it’s totally okay to, to not have a lot of confidence in this new way of being in the world. How would you, you haven’t done it consistently yet.

And so to let ourselves. I think learn as we go and develop that confidence through being that new way in the world. Right? And learning by doing is huge because I think a lot of times my clients are very critical of themselves for not knowing, not believing they know what they want or not believing they know who they are.

Right? They, they, they don’t know. Make that a personal failing [00:32:00] as opposed to just part of changing. Of course, you you’ve always identified in this way. Of course, this is new territory for you. It’s totally okay that you don’t know exactly who you are, what you want, or how to be in the world in this way.

And let’s just show ourselves some grace and compassion as it becomes more and more familiar and the identity kind of seeks in, I am for anything that helps people have a better experience of emotions. So I love tapping, for instance. Um, there are many somatic tools that I think are comforting that help us feel safe in our bodies when we don’t.

And sometimes it’s hard to feel safe in your body depending on what’s happened in your life and what’s going on in the moment. And so anytime I can give a client those, I think it’s valuable. And then of course, just like teaching people that. They don’t have to believe everything that shows up in their brain.

That’s pretty big. That’s huge. Um, [00:33:00] and yeah, just like the whole cognitive diffusion of, you know, there’s, there’s you, and then there’s all the cognitions and they aren’t the same. And if it’s, if one is taking you away from what you want, then it’s okay to not listen and, you know, start to talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself.

And that’s, I wish I had learned that a long time ago. Yes. I feel the same way. It would make the cutting back journey so much easier to process and, and, and to know that there was a process where I would feel really nice on the other side. Right. And not sabotage or beat myself up going through it. Yeah.

And I think too, just even kind of what you said earlier about being prepared for, okay, this is a change that I want. Right. And even if I’m making this change that I want to make, , there will probably be grief in that. Right. I, I might get to a place where I’m like, I’ve made all these changes. I love the, the healthy choices that [00:34:00] I’m making.

And also I experienced grief because I see that I could have done this 20 years ago. Yes. Yes. I only wish that I had had these tools then. And of course that that’s not surprising. And that doesn’t mean you’ve, you’ve had a setback. That doesn’t mean you’ve, you know, done anything wrong. It’s just even with a positive change that we desire.

Sometimes there’s grief follows shortly afterwards. Yes. Yes. When I started looking at all the chemicals and food, I got kind of angry, you know, I’m like, wow, I was thinking. We were protected by our government and la la la. And, you know, these foods were actually safe and they were, you know, looked at by the FDA.

And when you really get behind the scenes and see this ultra processed food and wow, how much it could set up their environments inside internally, our bodies, right. For disease, um, to take root for cancers, to take root for heart [00:35:00] disease, to take root. I, you know, Felt grief, right? I was like, how did I not know this?

I’m a healthcare practitioner. I should have learned this in school. And of course, a lot of the data came out more recently than when I went to school. And yeah, there’s that whole process of like, I should have known this. I should have done this earlier. I wish I would have known because now I’m, you know, older, this would have helped me earlier, but, but staying in that cycle and that emotional cycle is not going to help me.

Be more well and be more healthy. Right. So recognize knowing that it’s coming. And then when it happens, we’re like, Oh yeah, of course. Yes. I know sometimes there’s grief even after, you know, an intentional change that felt positive to me. Yes. It’s totally okay for me to, I can handle this too, right? This.

Right. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And, and having those tools, right. Having those tools to keep coming back to, because we know that life is a journey of ups and downs, right? No matter, no matter how much money we have, how much success, how [00:36:00] many kids and the love and everything else that we want. We just know life has these emotional roller coasters and, um, how to navigate those is an important part of life.

Yeah. I do think that is, that was a surprise to me when I, I don’t know about you, but I remember thinking, okay, coaching and these kinds of tools are going to help me change the proportion of quote unquote desirable to undesirable emotion, right? Like the goal is I’m going to use this so that I, I don’t have to experience the ick that I don’t want.

And, but then what I’ve learned is no, the value for me has been now I can, I have a greater capacity. I have more resilience so that I can handle all of the humanness because yes, my husband died, but that is not the last thing that is going to happen in life that is challenging, right? So it’s not about [00:37:00] thinking, thinking happy or, you know, being positive or you know, forced gratitude.

It’s, can I. Um, can I expand my resilience so that when life presents the next challenge, I have less suffering as I navigate it, you know? Yeah. That’s so well said. And I even want to go back to where I was before I found coaching when I would hear of these tools or some of this like tapping that you mentioned, , being indoctrinated in pharmacy school at this all felt woo.

It’s like, what’s the science behind that? Is this, this really, is this quackery on some level? And so when I’m working with particularly, you know, the lawyers, the, um, people that go to the school of hard knocks, let’s just say, right. You’re in school a long time. You’re indoctrinated a certain way to think, you know, I have some doctors, nurses who like, is this woo?

Why am I attracted to this? What’s the literature behind this? And I really dig up literature for them because it does feel kind of out there. But when [00:38:00] the tools start working for you, , you can’t dispel the beauty that they could bring and less suffering. Yeah. And so even if you’re just the end of one and you’re like, well, I didn’t think this would work, but it’s working.

That was the beauty. And that’s when really, I was like, okay, I really want to be a life coach now because there is so much value to this. And I used to put so much value into like the medical system and, and not that there’s not value. This is just a great adjunct. So you can live, you know, more passionately and wholeheartedly and more into yourself.

Yeah. Yeah. Can you use what you learned through all of that study so that you think critically and also remain open? Yeah. Where’s the balance? Yeah. Yeah. And finding what works for you, right? I mean, it’s kind of like what you said before, like there’s these global thesis or dogmas out there and we think, you know, there has to be five [00:39:00] stages and that time is the only thing that heals.

And, but then you have the lived experience and the lived experience says, you know, there’s No, my body finds healing this way. My body and brain feel good or better when I institute and do this. And so I think there’s a lot to be said for your individual , lived experience. A hundred percent agree.

So Krista, thank you so much. I just love you to tears. I think the work that you do is so important in the world. And so I really want to thank you and recognize those efforts. And then also tell my audience where they can find you if they want to learn more from you. Yeah. So they can go and listen to my podcast, which is called the widowed mom podcast.

I realize that that is very niched, but honestly, if you’re interested in grief or post traumatic growth. Just ignore the widow part and, uh, listen for the grief and then website and all socials, right. Are at coaching with Krista. com. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Krista. Thanks for having [00:40:00] me.



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