Refreshing Your Outlook By Looking To Nature

In your grief, it’s easy to become numb to yourself and to the world. The vibrancy of the world – its colors, noises, smells and tastes – can be too much for you to manage. Add the lack of touching, which you miss so much, and you just want to climb into your hole and ask the world how it can go on when your life has stopped. Consequently, you may revert to not wanting to feel anything and, hence, you make yourself numb.

Numbness will work for a while. In fact, it's a tried and true method to get you through those beginning tough days, weeks and months. Yet, in order to truly heal, you’re going to have to let yourself feel again – and that includes feeling the immense pain of your loss.

As you move through your grief, I do suggest that you consider the advantages of taking baby steps. Thus, you don’t have to open the floodgates and let the onslaught of pain hit you all at once. A good first step is to commune with nature. This reactivates your five senses, and the beauty of nature lets you see that there are things greater than yourself. In fact, Alfred Austin said “There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.”

Here's something easy that you can do. You can purchase some bright flowers to keep in your home. As an alternative, with spring just around the corner, visit a garden shop to check out planting times. Planting flowers, and nurturing them as they grow, serves as a reminder of how the cycle of life works. It is filled with losses and rebirths, and so your life is too.

Here’s another way that you can enjoy nature AND learn valuable actionable tips on how to cope with loss.

I have teamed up with Global Eventions to offer a seminar at sea. If you’re not aware, an evention is a combination of a vacation and an epic learning experience, which is set in a beautiful location. This particular evention is a Waves of Comfort cruise down the Mexican Riviera, set to sail in November 2014, and can help you to refresh your outlook and get you “unstuck” from your grief.

I especially like the idea of conducting interactive seminars on coping with loss and how to find love after loss on the high seas. Here are some reasons why:

1. The rocking and rolling ocean naturally echoes the ups and downs of life. Nature beautifully illustrates that after EVERY down turn comes an uplifting wave.

2. The act of communing with nature is, in and of itself, a very healing activity. Meditating, journaling or just staring out at the vast ocean – these are all serenity inducing pursuits.
3. Your sense of awe is activated as you admire the beauty of the ocean, including the magnificent sunrises and sunsets viewed as you look across the horizon.
4. When you reflect upon the vastness of the ocean, especially when there is no land in sight, it reminds you that you live in a very big universe and you are only one tiny little cog in a vast world.

When you’re sorrowful or experiencing difficulties, it’s so easy to focus on the obstacles confronting you. You tend to keep your head down, so the rest of the world melts away. You almost “forget” that there is still joy to be had, beauty to see, new knowledge to glean, successes to be gained, goals to be determined and on and on. Sailing on the ocean affords you a new perspective and lets you realize that the world does not rotate around you - that there is still plenty of life going on around you AND that you can join in as soon as you’re ready.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not negating your loss or the attention you must give it. I just don’t want you to cut yourself off completely from the world. Keep tethered through (at least) one or two good friends/family members. When you’re ready to start living again, you can give these lines a little tug and they can pull you up and out.

So, please take a listen to the following video to hear some of the topics about which we will be speaking, as well as glean some coping-with-grief tips.
For more info on how to sign up for the cruise, message me or email the cruise planner, Suzy Gustafson at

Click here, to view the coping with grief seminar. 

Ellen Gerst is a grief and relationship coach and workshop leader. She is the author of several books on both topics, including: Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey of Loss; Suddenly Single: How To Move From Loss To Renewal; Understanding Grief From A to Z; How To Mourn: Help For Those Who Grieve and the Ones Who Support Them; and Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story. For a full roster of her books, visit her website, or go directly to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can also connect with Ellen on Facebook to receive tips on how to find love after loss and to receive words of comfort to pave your journey of loss.

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