Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
A New Path Beyond The Broken Heart
Category:
Spirit

David Kessler has spent much of his life assisting others cope and move through grief and his breadth of knowledge has made him one of the world’s foremost experts on healing and loss. In his latest book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief, David adds another stage (meaning) to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five grief stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), which he believes is vital after the loss of a relationship.

David is joined by Grief Yoga™ founder Paul Denniston and master coach Nancy Levin in Clearing the Way for a New Life After a Broken Heart February 28 through March 1. He shares more with Esalen News.

Esalen News: In what ways is the loss of a relationship different from the death of a loved one?

David: I have found in my work that breakup, divorce and betrayal do need their own weekend. It’s not so easy just to mix it in with the topic of death. As people have told me, it’s a very different loss. I remember one person telling me, “My husband isn’t dead, he’s in the world rejecting me every day."

Esalen News: In speaking and working with others, what have you seen to be a common challenge in moving through this kind of grief?

David: Many times we may be dealing with trauma and don’t even realize it and other times what gets in the way of dealing with loss is that we judge our loss or minimize it. I try to help people understand that breakup is the death of a relationship, that divorce is the death of a marriage and betrayal is the death of trust. I realized early on, that these events can paralyze us or we can make meaning of it.

And that’s the sixth stage of grief—finding meaning. We are a generation that wants more than to just to find acceptance. Who doesn’t want to accept that people die, or that they divorce you. We want more. We want to find meaning. And meaning is about finding that wholeness again.

Esalen News: In addition to finding meaning, what other mindful actions can we take to not allow the betrayal, the divorce or the breakup to define or control us?

David: Understand that it had the power to impact you. But that you can reclaim your power. We get stuck in the “why?” But we have the power to move from why to how. How can we move forward now that the betrayal, breakup and or divorce has happened? Also: remember that you are now in charge of your future, not the other person.

In many ways this is about mindfulness and compassion, because we learn how to lovingly move from the past to the present to create a future we want. How many times do we take our broken self to the next relationship? We can bring our whole self to the next relationship and to the rest of our lives versus our broken self.

Esalen News: When did you know for sure that you would be doing this kind of work?

David: It hit me when I started working as an orderly in a hospital when I was about 19 or 20 years old in Los Angeles. It was never conscious choice that, “Oh, this is going to be my life’s work. People were like, oh, you’re good at this. You’re empathetic, compassionate, or insightful. Maybe I had a kind of X-ray vision, whatever that may be.

Esalen News: Where do you feel this work will take you next?

David: To continue working with people healing with life challenges. I talk to people about having destination addiction. What’s next? What now? But I've come to learn that this moment is an amazing moment. And the next moment and the next next. This moment is enough.

Esalen News: What wisdom teachers truly influenced you during your personal and professional journey and why?

David: Leo Buscaglia focused on love, that driving force of love in our lives and that very much impacted me. Also David Viscott was an American psychiatrist who taught me that we don’t have to be a victim of our history. And obviously being friends and a co-author of You Can Heal Your Heart with Louise L. Hay. She not only dealt with divorce early in her life, but she met the last love of her life at 88. That to me says love is always possible.



“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

A New Path Beyond The Broken Heart

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Spirit

David Kessler has spent much of his life assisting others cope and move through grief and his breadth of knowledge has made him one of the world’s foremost experts on healing and loss. In his latest book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief, David adds another stage (meaning) to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five grief stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), which he believes is vital after the loss of a relationship.

David is joined by Grief Yoga™ founder Paul Denniston and master coach Nancy Levin in Clearing the Way for a New Life After a Broken Heart February 28 through March 1. He shares more with Esalen News.

Esalen News: In what ways is the loss of a relationship different from the death of a loved one?

David: I have found in my work that breakup, divorce and betrayal do need their own weekend. It’s not so easy just to mix it in with the topic of death. As people have told me, it’s a very different loss. I remember one person telling me, “My husband isn’t dead, he’s in the world rejecting me every day."

Esalen News: In speaking and working with others, what have you seen to be a common challenge in moving through this kind of grief?

David: Many times we may be dealing with trauma and don’t even realize it and other times what gets in the way of dealing with loss is that we judge our loss or minimize it. I try to help people understand that breakup is the death of a relationship, that divorce is the death of a marriage and betrayal is the death of trust. I realized early on, that these events can paralyze us or we can make meaning of it.

And that’s the sixth stage of grief—finding meaning. We are a generation that wants more than to just to find acceptance. Who doesn’t want to accept that people die, or that they divorce you. We want more. We want to find meaning. And meaning is about finding that wholeness again.

Esalen News: In addition to finding meaning, what other mindful actions can we take to not allow the betrayal, the divorce or the breakup to define or control us?

David: Understand that it had the power to impact you. But that you can reclaim your power. We get stuck in the “why?” But we have the power to move from why to how. How can we move forward now that the betrayal, breakup and or divorce has happened? Also: remember that you are now in charge of your future, not the other person.

In many ways this is about mindfulness and compassion, because we learn how to lovingly move from the past to the present to create a future we want. How many times do we take our broken self to the next relationship? We can bring our whole self to the next relationship and to the rest of our lives versus our broken self.

Esalen News: When did you know for sure that you would be doing this kind of work?

David: It hit me when I started working as an orderly in a hospital when I was about 19 or 20 years old in Los Angeles. It was never conscious choice that, “Oh, this is going to be my life’s work. People were like, oh, you’re good at this. You’re empathetic, compassionate, or insightful. Maybe I had a kind of X-ray vision, whatever that may be.

Esalen News: Where do you feel this work will take you next?

David: To continue working with people healing with life challenges. I talk to people about having destination addiction. What’s next? What now? But I've come to learn that this moment is an amazing moment. And the next moment and the next next. This moment is enough.

Esalen News: What wisdom teachers truly influenced you during your personal and professional journey and why?

David: Leo Buscaglia focused on love, that driving force of love in our lives and that very much impacted me. Also David Viscott was an American psychiatrist who taught me that we don’t have to be a victim of our history. And obviously being friends and a co-author of You Can Heal Your Heart with Louise L. Hay. She not only dealt with divorce early in her life, but she met the last love of her life at 88. That to me says love is always possible.



“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
A New Path Beyond The Broken Heart
Category:
Spirit

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About

Esalen Team

A New Path Beyond The Broken Heart

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Esalen Team

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