Unwavering Strength

Discover the inner strength and courage to overcome grief, loss, phobias and trauma. Unwavering Strength: Stories to Inspire You through Challenging Times is the first in a series of highly inspiring books by Judy O’Beirn and friends. It is a moving collection of inspirational stories from 32 gifted authors, including Daniel Parmeggiani, Jeanne Henning, and Dr. Terry A. Gordon. New York Times bestseller author Peggy McColl’s moving foreword beautifully establishes the tone for the stories that follow.

Unwavering Strength shares real-life experiences that will help you find strength and comfort in the journeys others have taken through grief, loss, trauma and heartache. As you read this book, you’ll realize we are defined by our ability to rise up from our lowest points and reach into our hidden potential for incredible growth, love and compassion. A percentage of the proceeds from Unwavering Strength book sales are being donated to cancer recovery programs.

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Allow Kindness to Heal Your Struggling Self

With the return of my son’s cancer, I have had lots of opportunities to be with fear and despair.   Sharing this journey with my son has taken me to a deeper level of presence than I have ever known. My body has been a very dear friend throughout this fierce process, especially my belly and my breath. Whenever I am caught in the fear-based mind, sometimes all I can do is soften my belly and allow a deeper breath. The belly is one of the best biofeedback mechanisms we have.  If it is tight, we are up in our… Read more.

What I’ve Learned Along the Road

It will be a life-long journey to try to get it right, but here are some things I feel were important to have learned so far: It is better to try and fail, than not to have tried. Be consistent and fair in all your dealings with people in all situations, not just family and work. Honestly is always the best policy. Truth is the truth, so easy to remember. Consider the opinions of others as they may be the ones with the right answers. It is OK to be wrong, but also important to admit it. There is more… Read more.

7 Lessons Found in Grief

Three knocks at the front door wake me. Two emergency responders greet me with news that my twin daughter is dead. She is 16 years old; me, just 40. An odd clarity washes over me… We are all rowing our boat across the river of life; all starting on the same shore, all going to the shore across the way. Some row one way; some row another way. The current runs swift in some areas; in other areas we can glide. Yet, in the end, we all get to the other shore. Eight years later, this I believe: What matters… Read more.

The Importance of Smiling and 15 Other Life Lessons of Kindness

Be still in your life. Take time to listen to nothing but the sound of your own thoughts. Learn to like your own company. Share with others what you have. Even if it is just a dollar, share it. Listen with your heart. Do not be in a hurry to tell your story. Listen as others tell their story first. See what needs to be done, and do it. Do the dishes need to be washed? Yes? Then wash them. Are there dirty clothes on the bed? Yes? Put them in the hamper. Send a smiley to someone just because… Read more.

Love and Stars (Poems)

We are all written in the stars…   Love Unending   We grieve for those we’ve never met Yet still have touched our hearts For in this world of chaos We’re consoled through the arts- For art shows us in our humanness Our condition is the same As death does not discriminate By class, or faith, or fame- So let’s create with great passion The world we want to see Appreciate each other For all we came to be- And breathe our love into the world Until our final breath For love and soul complete our whole And love does… Read more.

I Suffer Too (a Tribute to Robin Williams)

The death of Robin Williams this week has come as a great surprise. Who would of thought that such a brilliant comedian, humanitarian, loving, gentle and successful person could be in so much pain? The death of Robin has certainly caused me to look more deeply into my own patterns and the way I mask my own suffering through comedy and smiley faces. To the public, I am sure I come across as always being positive, but this is far from the truth. Watching and supporting my wife Celeste grieve the loss of her father after he committed suicide three… Read more.

How Can I Support My Suffering Sibling?

“My sister is going through a very difficult time in her life with her daughter who is suffering with depression and her son who has a fatal disease. She is usually a very strong character (type A personality). What kind of support or resources can I give her? We just lost our mom and I feel that she may be suffering with depression as well. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks.” ~ Pauline, Canada Dear Pauline, I am so sorry that your sister is in the midst of so much grief in her life right now. I’m sure she feels… Read more.

Making Room for Loss

If you found Dr. Eva Selhub’s recent Ask a Luminary response on loss valuable, we invite you to read her more in-depth look at this topic today. I am often asked by my clients and friends alike how they can possibly manage or get over the loss or death of a loved one. My answer to them is always the same. You don’t “get over” a loss, you make room for it. What do I mean by that? When someone you love dies, it is appropriate for you to feel grief.  You miss their laughter, their strange quirkiness, their voice… Read more.

How Can I Get Over the Death of a Loved One?

“I lost both parents within a year, very unexpectedly. I still pick up the phone to call them and feel such an ache inside. How do I fill this void?” ~ Jeri, Poughkeepsie, NY Dear Jeri, Your first step is let go of your goal to “fill this void.” I am not sure we ever completely get over losses; we learn to fill our lives up with other good things so that we do not feel the loss as much. Right now, you need to grieve. It is how the body and mind heal. The loss is a big hole in… Read more.

How Can I Help My Struggling Friend?

“I have a friend struggling with grief, health and emotional issues. She is extremely negative, sarcastic and angry in all aspects of her life. She has no other friends and thanks me for being a positive example in her life. Very slowly, she is trying to change to more positive thoughts and actions. Problem is I am getting drained being her only friend in life. Her complaining is constant and she needs me so much of the time..I have a husband and other friends and I love to journal and read. I don’t seem to have time for much anything… Read more.

How Can I Recover From the Death of My Spouse?

“My wife died a few months ago after a long illness. She was suffering a lot, so I’m glad she’s out of the pain, but I still miss her SO much. My friends want me to start dating again, but I can’t let go. How do I recover?”  ~ Nikhil, Arcata, CA Dear Nikhil, I am so sorry about your wife. Traumatic events sometimes feel impossible to recover from. I myself have lost a friend and fellow Marine to the war in Iraq. I recovered from that tragedy when I embraced it. Accept the grief of losing your wife; don’t… Read more.

Ask Sara: My Fiancé is Grieving… Can This Relationship Work?

“Hi Sara, I discovered you through DailyOM, which I read almost daily. I feel very stuck at the moment and I’m not sure if it’s due from my relationship uncertainty or just the fact I need more purpose in my life, but I am taking it out on my fiancé instead. I met him three and a half years ago. His wife had died a year and a half before. The family did not accept me at first and probably kept thinking this would pass and he would move on to the next. We fell in love quickly and have… Read more.

‘Lost’ Loved Ones

During the holidays, many of us become acutely aware of “lost” loved ones — family members, friends and colleagues who are no longer with us in physical form. So, instead of experiencing the holidays as a fun and festive time of year, we wind up feeling sad, lonely or even overwhelmed by a sense of grief and loss. I understand. And yet, I know with every fiber of my being that life is eternal. Those loved ones who are no longer in their physical bodies are not gone. They are simply not here in the same way that they were… Read more.

How Can I Move On?

“Recently I lost my wife to cancer. It’s been a month and I still cry myself to sleep every night. I don’t know how to get over this loss and get back to living. I don’t know that I can go on without him. Help!” ~ William, Green Bay, WI Dear William, Your wife would certainly want to be valued, but she would also want you to have a warm, loving, joyous life. Be kind to yourself. Focus on tiny little improvements every day. Every time you start to feel sad, focus on one of your happiest times with your… Read more.

Understanding Death, Grief, Healing and Living Now

Why You Need To Remember ‘WE’, not ‘ME’

Our capacity to truly touch each other, to influence each other’s lives and make a difference, is one of our greatest gifts.

It is a way our love for each other creates something lasting and real.

Bouncing with Style: Forgiveness

Nearly everyone has been hurt by something someone said, did or didn’t do. It’s just a fact of life. It’s just the way it is. The sooner we understand that and the sooner we understand that it’s not always about us, the faster we can deal with it and move on with our lives. When my husband left me with two small children while my mother was dying of breast cancer, the word forgiveness did not enter my vocabulary. I was so busy managing the day-to-day chaos of sickness, a premature baby and an ornery toddler that I didn’t have… Read more.

Why I Wore My Yellow Dress

I wore my yellow dress in celebration of Mother’s Day. It was not my regular Mother’s Day. It was unlike the times I had cherished for the past forty-six years.  The day would be different.  My life was different. I felt different. Missing was my usual anticipation of the day’s events. My former sense of entitlement that accompanied my wondering what gift I would receive was no longer present.  Before it was my day for a well-earned respite. Now the thought of it caused me to sigh. It was a few days away.  I knew I would receive many greetings… Read more.

Spring Renewal- Starting Anew

Just a few weeks ago I found myself mentoring a client who had gone through a major loss and life change. While sometimes difficult, rebuilding your life after a loss or big change can also be one of the greatest opportunities in life. When we look to Nature, we see that rebirth and renewal are a standard part of life. And like the newness of the Spring, we get to start over with the wisdom that we’ve learned from our past experience of what works and what doesn’t. Life is giving us a clean slate to create anew. I’ve personally… Read more.

Love Is the Answer

This morning I received two emails within 5 minutes of each other, from friends asking for advice on how to deal with a difficult situation. The first one wrote that her best friend’s husband was dying from cancer. The second one shared that her friend’s husband had been shot and killed yesterday. Both women were asking the question “How can I be there for my friend”? Who am I to give an answer to something like this? Yet they asked, and I felt a need to reach out with whatever I could. They gave me the opportunity to do what… Read more.