Archive for the ‘Dianna Bonny’ Category

Gasping for Air and Healing with Every Breath

Monday, August 25th, 2014

When I was in high school, I volunteered at a camp for kids with Cystic Fibrosis. Each summer was an amazing experience because these young, beautiful souls came together and spent time enjoying themselves in the company of others living with CF. No questions were asked. No explaining needed to be done. They were just free to be kids at camp.

The counselors were known as “Thumpers,” because we were trained to administer a therapeutic practice, known as thumping: a rhythmic pounding with cupped hands over different areas of the chest to loosen phlegm, and aid in breathing. Some of the kids were so tiny it was hard to imagine accomplishing this task. Think of playing a carefully orchestrated drum solo on a small child.

We didn’t tap on them. We thumped.

In the mornings, the halls of the buildings were filled with the collective sound of thumping and coughing. Rhythmic beats, eliciting breath and life.

Buddha statue

We took thumping very seriously and I remember my arms getting so tired I thought they would fall off, but the spirit of why we were there made anything possible. The kids spoke openly about death and possessed an incredibly deep understanding of the finite quality and fragility of life. There was no guarantee that they would return the next summer. (more…)

A Forensic Exploration Into Understanding Suicide

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Gilda Radner quote photo | Dianna Bonny Photography

I have been pondering suicide from a more forensic point of view, trying to understand what it is that makes the subject so very difficult for us to explore and discuss in a way that will ultimately be healing and expansive on both the collective, and individual, levels.

This exploration has grown out of the soil of my own discomfort at speaking about it in the beginning, when it was a raw and terrifying void.

To examine the question of what it means when someone we love chooses a self-inflicted death is wholly uncomfortable. It asks us to explore uncharted territory. In many ways, it holds a mirror up to our own life for reflection, and this is not an easy task.

When my world was impacted by my husband’s suicide, it was a devastating assault on my view of the world. It utterly shattered my sense of safety and I felt as though my identity had been stolen. It introduced an excruciating uncertainty into my life that was very difficult to tolerate. (more…)

Unearth Your Inner Compass and Find Your Passion

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

I first posted this over a year ago and when I re-read it I thought a reprise would be appropriate because my daughter has a job at a cool salon and this past week moved into a house.  I couldn’t be more proud of her.

When our lives intersected with the events in 2010, all the plans we had been making for college, getting into college, doing the right activities for college, looking good on college applications, and so on, became somewhat meaningless. I had one child going into senior year and another into sophomore – both crucial entry points as far as the college application process, but we simply stepped off that train. Thrown off at full speed is probably more accurate.

No one had the brain-power to fill out an application. No one had the capacity to think out into the future and calculate the best courses for the path, although we had a rock star counselor who monitored things. Quite frankly, college dropped in the priority ranking, well below getting through the day and emotional survival.

Looking back, I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for my children. All three were attending school within two weeks. I contemplated pulling them out for a while, but it seemed like establishing some normalcy in the midst of such an aberration was the best thing to do. Having a familiar routine dropped an anchor that held us steady, while the storm raged on around us. (more…)

Discovering Your Truth and Healing After an Affair

Friday, August 15th, 2014

reality quote |Dianna Bonny Photography

In my other life, I knew a woman who was involved in a long-term affair. This went on for years, and she spoke about it — and her vision of their future together — often and openly, as though it was the most normal thing in the world.

I was always surprised by her confident tone of inevitability.

At first, the man was going to leave his wife when the kids left for college. Then, when they left, he was going to leave her after she had adapted to life without them, and so on. The story just seemed to keep morphing over time and I couldn’t help but wonder when she might catch on to the fact that he wasn’t leaving his wife, ever.

Regardless, she chose to believe the stories he told her.

I thought of her when I learned about the women in my husband’s life and wondered what kinds of stories they were told about me and why they chose to believe them. Of course, I was told stories as well that I chose to believe on some level. (more…)

Honoring and Dealing with Anger for Healing

Monday, August 11th, 2014

truth | Dianna Bonny Photography

I was speaking with Terri over at Bone Sigh Arts last week. She and I couldn’t figure out how we found each other, but decided it must have been on Twitter. One of the wonderful benefits of the Internet is connecting with kindred spirits in this way. I really encourage you to explore her art because her creations are heartfelt, soulful and truly gorgeous.

At this point we had only conversed via Twitter and email, so it was delightful to put a voice to the name and correspondence. At one point she asked me how I handled my anger over what happened and honestly, I hadn’t thought about being angry for a long time, but the question prompted an interesting stream of consciousness that led me to writing this post. (more…)

Thoughts on Google Alerts and Breaking the Cycle of Suffering

Friday, August 8th, 2014

scapegoat quote | Dianna Bonny Photography

I discovered sometime ago that members of my husband’s family have a Google Alert on my name. I assume it is how they discovered and subsequently sabotaged the webinar I wrote about last week. I have to admit it is rather unsettling and eerie to think that they are watching my every Internet move.

I use the Google Alert feature to keep up on topical subjects that help me write the blog so I can stay abreast of what is happening in the world of healing. It is a useful feature for collecting data and information that otherwise might take hours to find.

To have an alert on someone personally, for the sole purpose of surveillance and sabotage, is an entirely different matter, particularly in the aftermath of a tragedy, where there is a blatant unwillingness to face the truth and move on. (more…)

A Healing & Delicious Vegetable Smoothie Recipe

Monday, August 4th, 2014

vegetable smoothie | Dianna Bonny Photography

It is hard to imagine that one can put the words vegetable and smoothie together and expect anything delicious to emerge, but I have recently found this to be absolutely true. My discovery was the lucky result of perusing my self-help laden bookshelf last week while trying to find inspiration (and trying to decide if I really need all these books), when my eyes fell upon The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates.

I discovered Donna’s work a few years ago and was quite taken with her ideas, but overwhelmed by the thought of eating the mainstay of her diet — fermented and cultured foods — so I put the book on the shelf.

I must have been ready for her principles now, because the book (more…)

On David Whyte and the Fierce Heat of Living

Friday, August 1st, 2014

cultivate courage | Dianna Bonny Photography

I posted the following poem by David Whyte last year. I was profoundly moved the first time I saw it and it continues to be one of my favorites, inspiring me in different ways each time I read the words.

It reminds me that I am smack in the center of this fierce heat of living, looking outward with firm eyes that say: this is where I stand.

Self Portrait

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God

or many gods.

I want to know if you belong or feel

abandoned.

If you know despair or can see it in others.

I want to know

if you are prepared to live in the world

with its harsh need

to change you. If you can look back

with firm eyes

saying this is where I stand. I want to know

if you know

how to melt into that fierce heat of living

falling toward

the center of your longing. I want to know

if you are willing

to live, day by day, with the consequence of love

and the bitter

unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

 

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even

the gods speak of God.

 

– David Whyte from Fire in the Earth

Sending you fierce love and support.
(more…)

A Healing Trinity of Tools for Self Discovery

Monday, July 28th, 2014

know yourself | Dianna Bonny Photography

I call the following the Trinity of Healing, born from the three-legged stool analogy, because we all need a supportive foundation upon which to sit as we heal in the aftermath of loss. Nothing fancy, just three concepts that seem to bubble up to the surface over and over as I travel this path. And since you and I are on this journey together, I felt compelled to share them.

(more…)

On Blaming Others: The Insidious Nature of Blame

Friday, July 25th, 2014

unhealed | Dianna Bonny Photography

There are a lot of pieces to my story that I have not shared yet. Some things are in the book, others I am still working through and processing. It continues to amaze me how long it takes to make sense of the emotions and pain that go along with suicide.

One aspect I have not spoken much about here is blame. I have chosen to remain mostly silent about the fact that certain members of my husband’s family have chosen to blame me for his death and continue to go to extraordinary measures to slander my name and hurt my family.

For the sake of my children, I remained silent, hoping that time would give them perspective and the ability to understand that there is more to the story than the parts they want to believe. I truly believed this would happen, but it has not, so I have decided to begin speaking of it openly now. This decision was sparked by an email I received the other day (more…)