What a journey my family has been!

We supported my father in his passing. He had been suffering from a prolonged chronic brain disease for over a decade. It has been what I call the ‘long goodbye’ - those of you who have family with degenerative brain conditions know what I am talking about!

We had the gift of him returning to his more normal mental faculties a few months before his death. It was a treat to be with him again. As I anticipated his passing this holiday season, I expected to feel bittersweet, but there is no bitterness. Sadness…. yes, at times deep grief... but also joy, wonder and gratitude with what we witnessed as my father passed and how we grew as a family.

It was a beautiful process. I was honored to have a front row seat to his transition to another level of being. It was a sacred space I shared with our extended family and friends for weeks over this holiday break.

I enter the New Year emboldened by what I have learned. Here are a few tips I gained in his passing as he was bathed in light. These are morsels of wisdom that came out of my time with him these past weeks. I wanted to share in case they serve you as well.

Here’s the thing - your life is the journey. The goals we set are mere stepping-stones to the next one. If you are not enjoying the journey you need to either change your goal or your perspective.

What energy or feeling is behind it? Does it feel like love and joy?? Or it is fear and lack?

Does it feel like a push or a pull? ‘Push’ is using will power to change something we think we ‘shouldn’t do’ or ‘should do’. ‘Pull’ is the desire for something better we feel inside so we do not need to use will power to make it happen. Several studies have shown that will power only lasts for minutes to weeks!

What can you do so you can enjoy the journey to your goals?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Change your list to something more pleasurable to you- perhaps you can take up dancing instead of going to the gym, if lifting weights has no feel.
  2. Attitude change: from “I need to lose this weight” to “I want to feel strong, vital, and flexible into my old age”.
  3. Add in creativity and fun. My dad laughed and joked until the last 48 hours of his life on this planet. It brings me tears of joy to remember this time. What brings you joy? Add this to your life daily.
  4. We tend to act out of fear and this is not necessary. We can trust more, we can be more present with the process, create our goals yes, set them high and reach for them, but be more focused on the process and how it feels. Again, the goal itself is transitory, it is the journey that counts.

With love and light,

Jenny Tufenkian ND 

photo credit: picture of my Father by Dr. Jenny Tufenkian

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