Shade to Light

When something horrendous happens, our brains automatically shut off the pain as protection. We need some time initially, to come to terms with what we’ve been told has really happened. It’s not a dream. 

Reality sets in all too soon with making arrangements. 

Each day passes and you feel a little bit better. 

Fast forward two years…..

You are still feeling good,  but…. mmmm! There’s the BUT

I remember feeling good yet, there was still a haze, like I was punching life whilst inside a paper bag. I could feel the resistance and it is nowhere and everywhere. What is this all about?

It was already a slog getting to this point. I wanted to wake up and life would be rosy. I would be attracting clients; making new friends…. communicating without the paper bag in between us. 

Don’t get me wrong, I had already picked up loads of gems in the darkness. My life had been transformed. After all, I had changed country, made new friends, found a new way to earn an income. What is this paper bag all about?

The paper bag

For me, this was about protection. 

Protection from being hurt again, of throwing myself completely into something and find it disappears. I know totally irrational. Feelings have a tendency to be irrational. 

Once I got a handle on what was happening, I could start to dismantle it. 

I created affirmations and mantras reminding myself of my new life and how I wanted to show up in it. 

I stepped out and met new people every week. Early on, I met at least two new people every day. This doesn’t mean I made friends with them. I engaged in conversation. Sometimes it didn’t amount to much, other times it became more like a paragraph and it extended each time I saw them. 

Little by little, of course, I didn’t notice in the beginning, or even for months, The paper bag was beginning thinner and translucent. It’s role of protection became less important. 

What was truly empowering was that where I found people didn’t quite match how I wanted to be and interact, they ceased to be a part of my life. This may seem harsh. I felt it was harsh at the time. It felt so important to have people in my life who got me, who accepted me for who I was, I am and still to be. 

Looking back, this act alone helped remove the paper bag. See, I emerged true to me. Coming out of a transformational experience with grief, it is really important to be true to who you are. 

Some two years later, I am part of some amazing groups of people of different ages and interests. These groups and people are still evolving and growing. It excites me just to write these words. 

Some days, even now, I feel like the paper bag reappears. Days like Mother’s Day can be especially hard. 


Another strand for increasing your shine is learning. All to often, we experience grief alone. Just like love, grief needs to be in the company of others. 

By opening to our vulnerability, we become stronger. 

By listening to other perspectives, ours become broader. 

By becoming open, we drop being so judgemental.

By making a habit of baby steps each day, we climb to the summit and beyond. 

Of course, there is introspection and reflection. These are two necessary activities but not to the exclusion of opening ourselves to other ideas. 

This is one of the great things about social media. We have so many opportunities to be part of groups that aren’t in our neighbourhood. With social media, we can gravitate to people who have shared interests even though they may live miles away. 

Slowly, slowly, our light starts shining brighter. 

A first it is a tiny flicker. 

Over the months, it grows to be bright and constant. 

Yes, we are out of the paper bag. 

We are ready to live our best life. 

We are ready to live our purpose however that means for us. For some, it will be taking to a bigger stage. For others, it will be about being the best neighbour. 

The beautiful thing is that what we do is irrelevant. As long as we are being true to ourselves, living from love than fear, everything will be right for us. 


Want to learn more, I am running a free webinar, please register – and come at the time or watch the recording.

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