Grieving Consciously

Grief is an odd thing. Most of us associate it with death, but it’s actually a bit broader than that. Death is, of course, a common cause of grief, but it can certainly be experienced due to lesser experiences than the loss of life. Loss, versus death, is really the key word when it comes to grief.

Grief defines grief this way:

[A] keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.

If this is true, and I believe it is, we likely experience grief at some degree more often than we imagine we do. I believe many of us view grief as an intense experience, thus we don’t label it as such when it’s happening at a lesser degree. Maybe if we did, we could be more gentle with ourselves in times of grieving; no matter the level of grief we are experiencing.

Right now I am grieving, but not at the loss of the life of someone I loved and cared about. No, the cause of my sorrow, does not nearly meet the level of one who has lost someone dear, but I’m still grieving none the less.

Yesterday I was laid off from my job as part of a massive reduction of staff. I was just shy of 12 years of when I started working for this company. And if truth be told, it was probably about 2 years too long.

I knew then that I had reached a logical end point of my career at this particular place, but I simply didn’t want to step out into the unknown and begin again. You see, I was really good at this job. It could be stressful on occasion, but I had developed the skills to manage those situations. I could do it without making myself crazy and get the job done efficiently and effectively. Then there was the fact that I was within walking distance of my place of employment. All together, it simply made it too easy for me to continue taking the path of least resistance.

But sometimes life does for us what we can’t, or won’t, do for ourselves. And that’s what happened to me at about 9:35 AM on the 6th of March in the year 2014.

The layoffs were of no surprise to anyone. When knew they were coming. We even knew in advance when they were happening. But because I was such a high performer, and because the work I did supported several ongoing projects, I hoped that I might have been spared. When I opened my work email from home on the night of the 5th, however, to find a meeting scheduled with my boss’ boss at 9:30 in the morning, I kind of knew what was coming my way.

So I’m grieving my loss, even though it was clearly time to go.

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced the 5 Stages of Grief in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. They are:

denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance

And as I’m sitting here looking at these words in front of me, I am realizing that I began the grieving process even before I ever learned my eventual fate.

When I initially saw the meeting request, and that it was only for 15 minutes, I kept telling myself that this wasn’t enough time to go through the process of laying someone off. They had to build in time for emotions and reactions, didn’t they? I mean, wouldn’t it take longer than that just to explain the exit package? And why would they be getting rid of me? The type of work that I did wasn’t going to stop, and I preformed with utmost efficiency and timeliness. The internal customers I supported all raved about me after all. I know that to be true. Nobody, including my managers hid that fact from me.

Yet it wasn’t until I opened the door to that conference room and saw a Human Resources representative also present that I truly knew my destiny was sealed. But I also understand that this is hope. And without hope, most of us simply wouldn’t want to go on.

The anger came today. But anger often comes easiest to me. I really took the whole situation personally. It also wasn’t’ so far fetched. The man who gave me the news and I didn’t always see eye to eye and I’ve never been the shy demure type. So his demeanor and the words he chose seemed particularly harsh to me. It wasn’t until I spoke with a colleague, who worked for Human Resources and had been laid off the day before, that I understood that everyone who had to deliver the bad news was trained to do it exactly as he had done it to me.

The bargaining came to me in the form of a dream last night. It involved my coworkers and this man I was so mad at. And in that dream I was being allowed to stay on and train others to take on my responsibilities. For me, the bargaining was more about being released in a way that I found more respectful of all of my time and efforts over the years. And I think that it’s coming in dreams because on a conscious level, I am fully aware there is no going back.

Depression is something I will try to avoid. I realize I will feel sadness. I already do. It comes in waves and passes on. But with the right support and actions on my part, I will work very hard to keep it from devolving into full on depression. This isn’t about death after all.

And acceptance I welcome. For it is through acceptance that truly lasting change comes about. By accepting a thing, meaning to see it for what it is without all of the emotions and judgments attached, I can only then fully see all of my options and choices. Let’s face it; this is a time and situation where I really do need to clearly see every possibility. For this is an opportunity if only I choose to make it one.

So back to where I started; grief is an odd thing. Most importantly, it is a thing that I cannot escape simply because I don’t like it. And by going through it fully, and consciously, my hope is that it guides me to the next best thing.

There’s no need for pity. It was truly time for me to move on. Yes I will grieve because it’s simply part of the human spirit. But I will be okay. I already am okay. And when it’s all said and done, I will have learned some things about life and myself and be better prepared for what’s ahead. And I really think grief, when we don’t push it away, give us the time and space to do so.

DIY for Your Soul Radio – Following Your Passion

Are you following your passion? And what does it mean to follow one’s passion anyway?

Join me as I discuss this very topic with Wine Expert, Anthony Giglio.

Anthony is the Wine Director for American Express’s The Centurion Club, has written 10 books (including three editions of the annual FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE Wine Guide and five editions of the enormously popular Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide on top of his highly-regarded first book, Cocktails in New York.

He is currently a wine reporter for CBS News Radio, as well as the wine columnist for La Cucina Italiana and the “Online Sommelier” for the FOOD & WINE Magazine’s Connoisseur Club. He has written for numerous publications, including Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, New York, Esquire, Details, The New York Observer, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Parade Magazine.

And in addition, he has appeared on The Today Show, The Food Network, CNBC, and FOX Business News., as well as being an occasional guest on American Public Media’s “The Splendid Table” with Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

We will be discussing how he found his passion, as well as how he has created a life and career around it. And in the end, you may find some help information on following your own passion.

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You can listen by clicking the image above, or here.

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New Year, New You – 2014

I am participating in the Life Coach Radio Network’s New Year, New You – 2014 Workshop Weekend on February 8th and 9th in New York City.

2014 WorkshopLCRNs 2014 NEW YEAR / NEW YOU! WEEKEND WORKSHOP Do you want 2014 to be the year your visualization of a new life/new you becomes a REALITY? Register TODAY for Life Coach Radio Networks’ NEW YEAR NEW YOU! WEEKEND WORKSHOP on February 8th & 9th in New York City.

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Currently, you can purchase tickets for the full event only, but soon you will be able to purchase packages for single workshops as well as groups of workshops.

My topic is Who Do You Think You Are – How Your Life is a Direct Reflection of How You See Yourself.

The full schedule should be out soon as well as further information on purchasing tickets in advance.

To find out more about the event, click the link above.

To purchase tickets for my workshop, or any part of the event, click here.

Life Coach Chat – Living From Your Heart; Not Your Head

Are you always in your head? Does fear often get in your way of reaching your dreams, or even just trying new things? Are you one that plans everything down to the minutest details tying desperately to force and outcomes that you desire?

If so, you’re probably exhausted; both physically and mentally.

Maybe it’s time to start seeing the world from a different perspective. Maybe it’s time to give one organ a rest and let another play a larger role.

Join Life & Leadership Coach, Veronica Taylor (, Lifestyle and Business Coach, Kim Ravida ( and Life/Life Purpose Coach, Tim Billiter ( on Tuesday, December 3rd at 7 PM ET for Life Coach Chat – Living From Your Heart, Not Your Head.

Learn what it means to live more from your heart center versus exclusively through the mind. See what you’re likely missing out on and what you have to gain by letting your heart take up some of the decision making tasks in your life.

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You can listen by clicking the image above, or here.

To participate in the live call, call (347) 857-2878.

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DIY for Your Soul Radio – Fostering an Attitude of Gratitude

It’s that time of the year, with the crisp autumn air and winter rapidly approaching. Soon it will be Thankgiving, North America’s national day to give thanks.

What better time than now to think about gratitude.

Join Life/Life Purpose Coach, Tim Billiter ( as he welcomes his guest, Life Coach and the Founder and Executive Producer of the Life Coach Radio Networks, Russ Terry ( on Tuesday, November 19th at 7 PM ET, to hear them discuss Fostering an Attitude of Gratitude.

Listen is as they are joined by additional Life Coach Radio Network coaches who will all be talking about the importance of practicing gratitude and how it benefits our overall life. You will also learn about Russ’ forthcoming book “My Gratitude Journal”.

DIY for Your Soul Radio - Attitude of Gratitude - Medium

You can listen by clicking the image above, or here.

To participate in the live call, call (347) 637-1960.





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Life Coach Chat – Nurturing Your Spirit

Do you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed? Do feel like your life is out of balance?

Join coaches Tim Billiter (, Lakia Allen ( and Danica Trebel ( as they delve into the topic of Nurturing Your Spirit.

Listen as they discuss ways of quieting your mental chatter and tapping into your inner voice so that you can go from feeling frenzied to creating that sense of wellbeing we all seek.

LCC - Nurturing Your Spirit - Medium

You can listen by clicking the image above, or here.


To participate in the live call, call (347) 857-2878.


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Life Coach Chat – Holiday Survival Guide

The holidays are just around the corner. Does the thought of the holidays excite you or make you want to pull your hair out? What’s supposed to be a time of joy can often turn into frustration and overwhelm if we don’t set our priorities beforehand.

Join coaches Filomena Iorio-Tasoluk (, Tracy K. Pierce ( and me, Tim Billiter as we discuss ways to survive the holiday season and make it a time you cherish and look forward to.

Tune in live on Tuesday, November 5th at 9 PM ET.


You can listen by clicking the image above, or here.

To participate in the live call, call (347) 857-2878.





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LIfe Coach Chat – Rethinking the Glorification of Busy

“We live in a society that perpetuates the idea that being busy is better, and that if you aren’t busy, then you’re doing something really wrong.”

- Tahini Al-Salem

If you, like so many of us, live a life where you are constantly on the go, where feel like you rarely get a moment to yourself, then this show is just for you.

Join me, Tim Billiter and coaches Veronica Taylor ( and Tommy Brown ( as we discuss Rethinking the Glorification of Busy.

Learn why we’ve created the “rat race” and some tips on how to ease out of it.

Tune in live on Wednesday, October 30th at 9 PM ET.

LLC - Glorification of Busy - Medium

You can listen by clicking the image above, or here.

To participate in the live call, call (347) 857-2878.





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DIY for Your Soul Radio – Leading Consciously Preview

Below are two preview clips of my upcoming interview with iPEC ( President and CEO, Luke Iorio.

In the first I ask Luke, what type of coach does he consider himself to be.

The second clip deals with what’s in it for us to become conscious leaders.

You can catch the entire interview on Tuesday, Oct. 22nd, at 7 PM ET only on the Life Coach Radio Networks.

DIY Leadership

You can listen live by clicking here or the image above.

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