Hi My name is Kimberlee Klein. I am a Grief Specialist based out of the Sea2Sky Wellness Center in New Westminister.

Grief is a big world. One that is full of

·         Upset

·         Loss of power to do something about a situation and

·         A lot of fear of things that have already not worked out.

In all of these situations, we see that people are trapped in their own minds, in their own way of thinking, in their own way of surviving life. It’s hard. It’s complicated. And it has ruined so much already.

What can we do about it?

Well, the first thing I tell my clients is that grief only occurs when us as humans have not got our needs met in a certain situation.

Triggering situations include times when:

·         You are not getting your way after asking for what you want/need

·         Your ideas are being squashed

·         You do not know how to navigate what the answer is to a question posed or the answer you are giving is being made wrong when it’s supposed to be a subjective answer.

We as humans seem like we are very complicated people but in reality we are not. We actually have a fundamental function that works like clockwork to make us tick. This is guided by your feelings and needs. When a bad feeling comes up, that is a need not being met.

In this post we are going to cover:

·         How to get your power back

·         How to be fully resourced  

·         How to maintain yourself and your mindset when life gives you crap that’s adding up.   

First, we must look at a situation in your life. I’ll use an example of one in my own life so as to show you how I actively use this tool regularly.

Example: I worked for a government organization that had a union environment. All employees rights have been thoroughly documented since the beginning of time. Procedures are in place to ensure employees have rights and can exercise their rights as needed. Examples of this is vacation time expectancy, sick leave, parental leave and for this example, funeral leave. All of these details are clearly laid out.

Recently I met one of my neighbors in my building’s elevator. I asked him how he was doing. He said “Not good, my mom died.” I was shocked as I know his mom and have known the family for 13 years. He then told me that the funeral was tomorrow. I right away said, “Ok ill see what I can do to go.” He gave me the location.

Shocked by the news, I was immediately into problem solving mode. I was eager to figure out if I could make the funeral work as I was expected at work the next day as per my normal. I then thought about the fact that as an employee, we do have Funeral Leave for anyone who has died in my community. I knew I could make it work. Shocked for the night I determined that I definitely should go.

I wrote the email and sent it to my bosses to inform them of what had happened to my neighbor and told them that I was planning to attend the funeral as I had known this person for quite some time and felt connected to the family. I also wanted to say goodbye and get closure for myself.

I went to the funeral and saw the family at the funeral. We sang songs and we all cried. At one point we had a 4-5 minute pause where people could go up to the casket and say goodbye. It was during that time I decided to look at my work phone and saw that my bosses had replied to the email.

To summarize, their email read:

I am sorry for your loss. Take as much time as you need. Based on the lateness of your request, we have decided to deny your request for funeral leave. We will be using your vacation time for the time you are taking to attend the funeral today.

Right away I had multiple reactions at once:

·         I was angry

·         I was mad that I had to fight for the rights that are clearly in our union handbook… while I was in grief and attending the funeral.

·         I was also secretly elated that this example came up in 2024 as I am currently selling grief programs to organizations to teach employees and employers on how to support their employees with the grief conversation. So in my mind, this gives me ammunition about how backwards we still are about all of this.

·         I felt unsupported by my workplace

In the company I had worked there already for 23 years and had attended many funerals during that time. Never has there been a conversation about a late request.

During the rest of the funeral I was crying harder and definitely felt a very deep sense of grief, anger and frustration coming up. And of course sadness that my neighbor died.  
I ended up taking the rest of the day off to get my needs met as I needed to get more tears out around both situations.

I was ultimately not resourced to deal with the email and was in fight mode.

Now when this triggering happens, I have a very simple but effective tool that gets me resourced to deal with whatever is in front of me.

First I grab my feelings and needs lists.

See, what I do when I need to get over something is check in with my body when it’s triggered and upset. I then have this quick reference sheet that I look at:

I look at the 2nd column. It is the feelings that are sad or upsetting. The idea of the list is that it goes much deeper than the feelings sad, angry or mad. It goes into more descriptive words like disappointment, stunned, disturbed, grief, disconnected, puzzled, exhausted. Those were definitely things that I was feeling at that time.  

Now the great thing about identifying what you are feeling is that when you can actually name them, it lets your body know that you recognize what’s going on and that you are on your way to doing something about it.  This can help to calm your mind a bit.  But it also can get your mind going with why you have those feelings happening in the first place. Instead of letting that conversation run the show we look at the 3rd column in this list… this is the needs list.

When a Need doesn’t get met, feelings that are sad or upsetting show up instantaneously. If we get the need met, the bad feeling goes away miraculously.

Look at the needs list. What need is not being met in this situation? Write a list out.

How To Get These Needs Met:

We create a mini meditation.  

We say that need and point to our body to let it in. This need identified has to get into our body energetically. In allowing this energy to enter your body the need can actually be met without having to depend on others to meet it.  

So in my case, I was still upset with my boss when I woke up the next morning. I spent about 7-8 minutes to get resourced. 

The needs that came up for me were: healing, acknowledgement, to be seen, consideration, empathy, connection, communication, security, safety, preservation of life, inspiration and reassurance.

Based on that giant list of needs still not being met, OF COURSE I am still upset!

So I did a little meditation where I imagine a big bag of each need in my room. I pull the first one towards me: Healing. A big bag of healing energy is in the room with me and I pull that energy towards me. And fill myself up till I’m COMPLETELY FULL. I go on to the next need on my list: Acknowledgement. I do the same thing. I pull that bag of acknowledgement towards me and fill myself up til full. One by one, I fill myself up with each need. I scan my body for tension and if there is tension I fill that area with the need I am working with at that moment. When all is done, I say “I seal myself up with white light.” That brings a bit of protection with it.

After that I can feel my body completely relax, I can see my mind has calmed down and I am now fully resourced to start the day. I check the 1st column of the lists with the happy face, I identify which good feelings I am feeling, I check to see if there is anything in the 2nd column newly coming through or still lingering. If there is something there I do the exercise again. In this case there was nothing but relaxation and calm, and cheerful.

Being resourced I could now calmly write an email throwing my bosses under the bus. I brought in the union and the General Manager of Engineering.  Needless to say, my request was granted! And the people brought in kicked my bosses asses.

So in all of this, what are the takeaways you can apply to yourself: Don’t mess with Kimberlee!

1)      Identify when you are triggered.

2)      Take some time as soon as you are triggered or shortly after to do this exercise to calm yourself down. This allows you to be able to fight if need be from a more calm but effectively resourced way.

3)      Identify your feelings. It’s enough just to name it. (All feelings make sense)

4)      Identify your needs not being met.

5)      Give yourself that need through a mini meditation.

6)      Check in with yourself again to see if it resolved your triggering. You can look at the list of feelings again to see if you have any of the 2nd column list. If you do, check for which needs are not met and give them to yourself.

7)      Look at the 1st column to see if you feel these good feelings. If you do, then you are fully resourced in this moment.

8)      Celebrate!

When you keep doing this, things DON’T ADD UP! That’s the key to grief. It’s one thing for tragedy to strike but if we can keep clearing grief as it comes up, then it doesn’t have to add up. When grief doesn’t add up, medication doesn’t need to be prescribed.

I hope this all makes sense and I hope that this helps you in your mental health journey. I invite you now to take a situation that matters to you and use this tool now to see if it makes a difference for you.

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