Get Up and Get Going!

pool of waterWhat is holding you back from stepping on the path that waits beside you for a better life?

How many of us are waiting for some outside force for a jump start?

How many of us use boundless excuses to stay stuck in the same place? Might it be an unsatisfactory job or work environment, or doing what it takes to get in shape, or a relationship that isn’t meeting the desires of your heart and soul, a friendship that continues to pull you down?

How many of us stay in a woe as me frame of mind saying over and over, “You have no idea what I have suffered or gone through”?

How many of us allow feelings of fear of what we don’t know trap us from doing something new, something different, something even exciting yet possibly challenging or different from the norm?
How many of us are missing the blessings that are all around when all we need to do is get up and get going?

How many feel like the man by the pool in Bethesda many centuries ago who had been ill for 38 years? When asked why he continued to lay right beside the pool waters that could heal him, he responded, “That no one would put him in the pool and if he were to try another would beat him to it.”1  What in your own current situation is keeping you from getting into the water? What is keeping you from getting up and get going?

I love Jesus response, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”* Do you know anyone whom you would like to say to them, “Get up and get going?” Better yet, notice the command was not only to rise, but to pick up, clean up where he laid, and walk away from it. Putting an end to all that had come before. Everything that lead up to that moment didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was moving forward. All that was needed was to step into the blessing that awaited.

How telling for us in that command to get up, pick up, put an end to what has been up to this day and to walk forward.
How freeing! I love what Eileen Caddy wrote, “It is resistance which causes suffering. The new is unconventional and that goes against the grain with many. People find it hard to understand or even believe that I would ask anyone to do anything which does not fit into a nice, neat, conventional pattern.”2 Our creator designed us to desire more than just a status quo life, he designed us to be open for greater possibilities.

Are you laying in a mess that needs to be cleaned up and stepped out of to live life well? Do you know someone that is struggling with all kinds of excuses and hang ups as to why they can’t get up and get going? Sometimes we need someone to say, “Get up, get going, clean up where you are at, walk towards a full life that awaits. You must get up and step into the blessing by your side, instead of watching others part take or staying stuck in a puddle of excuses -Jump into the pool of life.”

See you on the path where blessings abound!!!
1 John 5:5—8 Holy Bible Modern Version English Personal size large print edition copyright@2015
2 Caddy, Eileen (1971). Resistance Causes Suffering God Spoke to Me 68-69.

copyright@2016 Austin Lifestylist, Margie Presley Burciaga

Grief – A Journey to Living with Loss Part 1

Grief quote of running into youDeath leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

The last couple of weeks have involved a lot of loss and as a grief coach it is even hard for me to grasp the measure of what has taken place. Yet I know professionally it is a place we can’t remain; it must be a place that we pass through if not for ourselves to live for those we have lost.
Some say grief never ends instead we only change how we continue to walk through it. My grandmother lost her oldest son, my uncle, when he was 55. She said then what I have heard many times since that we should not out live our children. She changed that day she lost him. Not who she was but how she walked through life with a different set up eyes and feelings that guided her. Since then I have experienced seeing over 30 in fact almost 40 people I know lose their children. This journey began when I was pregnant with my last child with one of my dearest friends losing her little girl as she was crossing a street. In the last two weeks, a class mate and friend here in Austin lost their sons to tragic car accidents – all these losses of children have been tragic actually.

Words- what words we know we could speak thousands and not bring the lost back or comfort the loss. Tears of which there are plenty,in the millions, and beyond and yet they too do little to soothe the soul or bring back the lost love of someone so dear.
So how do we move forward? Baby steps for those that feel like they are drowning on life, can’t come up for air, exhausted from treading griefs waters.

Next posting will be on the steps of grief. Rest assured to grieve is not a sign of weakness nor lack of faith it is the best measure of love for those we lost or for those we love that lost.

LIVING WITH LOSS Part 2

tear picThursday will be three years since I lost my fiancé, best friend, and the dreams we voiced for our future together. Though I have had a lot of loss in my life over the years, nothing could have prepared me for losing a life partner whom we were so soulfully connected. Like many who experience deep emotional loss, I too, even as a professionally trained bereavement coach, had to walk my own journey through grief. In the last few months I have had to say good bye to three friends, join others in grieving the loss of a friend’s son, and learn of the passing of a high school classmate’s son. Though Kubler-Ross has set a globally known standard for stages of grief, we know there is no one standard or set of rules for the steps through grief. Each person handles grief differently and every one experiences loss.
There are all kinds of losses ranging from divorce, a pet dying, letting go of a dream, breaking up of a relationship, sense of security due to a traumatic event, loss of a child, partner, parent, friend, colleague, financial stability etc. We all must face loss, and the time frame to reach acceptance of the loss in order to carry forward in life will be different for each of us.
From bewilderment to shock, numbness, being dazed, overwhelmed, and convincing oneself they’re fine and ok are all symptoms of denial in the grief process. Even guilt can be when used to think “if only”. I must have played every scenario over in my head hundreds of times in the last 3 years about the conversations my fiancé and I had with doctors of what we could have done differently. Never did any of those times bring back the man I lost. Yet I have been able to use the information obtained from reevaluating circumstances to assist others in their own journey to fight their illness and help them realize this is a step to the stage of acceptance for loss.
Anger is a crucial step that many will find themselves in after loss. Anger after loss will vary in length along with feelings that will ebb and flow as one encounters various life experiences especially when memories are triggered. In anger, one can find oneself trying to assign blame; be it to a doctor, another person, misplaced rage or envy towards someone that seems like the right target to dump those feelings onto whether they were responsible or not. Many will blame God too. Those supporting a person at this stage may find it very difficult to care for them or be with them. Abandonment often surfaces at this stage along with resenting others that are happy and enjoying life.

Where do tears come into play for loss? Some cry a lot; others cry hard then are done; for some it comes and goes. What we know is tears are a big part of grief.
When facing impending death many will enter what is called a bargaining stage of grief. This is more often done with one’s God. Promises are made to do something if only the one facing death could have more time. If only I could see my child marry, a grandchild be born, or attend a graduation, etc. We will use this to sooth our pain and create hope for another tomorrow.
Depression, though a very normal part of grief, yields to caution for those you know that enter into what is termed “complicated grief”. Complicated grief is where a person gets stuck mourning the loss for generally beyond a year or so and can involve feelings of suicide, self-destruction, and an inability to cope with day-to-day activities including work. Depression tends to be the deepest stage of grief for most. It was hard losing Steve as well as some other difficult losses, when it seemed like the world just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why it didn’t stop and pause with me, but instead kept moving forward along with those around me. Some like myself will realize once through this stage there may be little you remember about those weeks or months when going through this part of grief. A common symptom due to loss is physical pain. It felt like my heart was truly broken when losing Steve, and I wondered if it would ever heal. I can truly say moving out of this stage was due to incredible support of friends and family. Other physical symptoms might be fatigue, insomnia, weight loss or gain, and even phantom afflictions. This stage would probably be a good place to tackle what not to say to someone struggling with grief. However, I will save how to re-frame comments for another post.
How does one get to acceptance? First, acknowledge the loss is real no matter what kind it is. Helping one get to this stage will involve lots of positive affirmations and encouragement to reach out for support along with taking baby steps to move forward with life. I remember a dear friend showing up right after I had gone through my divorce and then again after Steve’s death to get out my Christmas decorations and just start doing it so I would follow along. The décor probably would never had gone up had she not taken a time out of her day to help me take that small step forward. Additional small steps taken were helping raise money to fight lung cancer, advocating for others fighting the disease, and assisting others on how to save their relationships or to get out well due to my own experience with divorce. Today as a certified life coach, all the circumstances surrounding my own losses are used to help others work through their challenges and reach their personal and professional goals. Loss is hard as it is already!

Having found out the hard way, one doesn’t get over loss; one learns how to live with it.

@2015 Austin Lifestylist, Marjorie Burciaga

Seizing Life’s Opportunities – Will You?

What challenges in life’s uncertainties cause you to play it safe verses taking the risk for a greater life? King Solomon, considered one of the wisest and possibly the richest man to walk this earth, shared the necessity to seize life’s opportunities. He knew life had no guarantees and to wait for the perfect condition, which might not ever come, we could lose out having it at all.
Ecc 11:1 “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.”
(Life Application Bible NIV)

As we begin a new week, what conditions have you been waiting for that if action were taken might yield grander results? Where’s your spirit of trust and adventure for facing life’s risks and opportunities? Worry less about the Red Sea ahead and trust in faith the waters will part when needed.

“A vision is not the same as a plan…A vision forces us to “see” something, it’s very different from a list.”
(Kristin Armstrong, Happily Ever After @copyright 2007)

How do you vision your life ahead? What does it look like? When traveling this past week, there was a lot of time to reflect on times I took risks for the better, times I missed out when not seizing the moment, smiles and tears for that which has come upon me over the last several years. On the journey home, I found myself choosing to vision God’s favor on a life that fills my hearts desires. One filled with great passion, joy, contentment, surrounded with family and friends always.

What risks are you willing to take for a fuller, richer life?

@copyright 2015 Austin LIfestylist, Marjorie Burciaga

Give The Gift of Love

Married/couples, those in relationships, can play a big part in introducing your single friends to a future of happiness. As we move past the traditional holiday season into a new year many singles would rather not go through another holiday season single. Giving the gift of love could be a priceless gift you could give to a friend or colleague. There are so many wonderful stories out there of how people have been introduced by someone they knew. This year consider being one of those great conversations of how you introduced a couple to each other.
Singles, if you are serious about not being single start telling everyone you know you are interested in meeting singles they know. And those in relationships or married let others you know that you have an awesome friend that is single that deserves to find love. Ask those you know if they know other singles and neither of you should feel responsible for the outcome of making an introduction. Ask those you do business with or services, friends, tennis partners etc. who they know who is single. Make the introduction and let them take it from there. Keep in mind most people did not meet their mate after one introduction so be willing to continue to introduce single friends to others. Also, very important, do not prejudge who would be best for your friend or colleague to meet because more often than not you are making assumptions based on your own tastes and knowledge of that person. You won’t be dating them so let fate take its course without your two cents.
A woman I know had signed up for an online site after over a year of dating and meeting like over 30 men that friends had introduced her too that had not worked out. Then she decided why not give online dating a try. So one evening after a work function she and her friend were walking to their cars so she shared she had finally bit the bullet to try to meet men outside her circle of influence to see who else might be out there. Her friend asked if she knew the man’s name she was meeting which she did but the friend said nothing except to let her know when she was home safely from the outting. Thinking she could do anything for about an hour she went and met the guy close to home for a drink. What she thought would be 45 minutes to an hour turned into 3 hours and finding a life partner. What’s important to note that after the two had been dating a bit it came out that this man and her friend had been neighbors but she had chosen not to say anything to influence the out-come. Mind you the friend would have never have thought to set them up to begin with, but could not believe how awesome they were together.
Lesson learned for all their friends not to prejudge who is best for one another. That is not to say that when you know certain things about a person that it might be useful at some point to give a heads up by finding an appropriate time to share just in the case the information might help in determining red flags in the relationship. That being said let things take their course to get started! No better gift to give a person you care about than the “gift of love”.