Leadership in times of crisis and uncertainty.

A piece I wrote for Religica.com

Leadership is a tightrope to walk at this time in history. As a leader in any profession or industry, one must look out and look up to God as to the way forward given that the answers to many of the questions and decisions we are faced with are nebulous. No person on this planet has lived through a pandemic coupled with the political and religious upheaval we are facing, a situation that feels very Biblical in nature and worldwide in scope. With the internet, we can see and communicate with people all over the world in real-time. Nostradamus predicted this would be the age of the antichrist and from the inside of our quarantined lives looking out into the world at large from our television sets and smartphones, we can see that the world is going through massive change — on the precipice of both enlightenment and disaster.

Most do not recognize that we’re at such a critical tipping point because the changes we are experiencing have been spurred by grief over the loss of our lives as we knew them — and for many, the loss of loved ones. Normalcy is now non-existent. A New Normal is in the making, being molded and formed from each and every decision made, from the individual level all the way up to national and global levels. No person can claim to have not been affected by this monumental worldwide event. even if a person’s world has not changed much, the world around them has.

Grief is a life-altering, mind-blowing, game-changing experience; it hits and shakes a person at the very core of their being. I experienced this personally, and as I worked with a team to build out an international grief support organization, I saw how similar the circumstances and impact were for others going through the exact same experience. These series of individual experiences are now amplified out into the human experience and we are seeing from a societal perspective how grief affects humanity as a whole. Without knowing it, everyone is now awakened to the experience of grief even if they do not yet recognize it as so.

These times will make or break a person in a leadership position because true trailblazing is necessary to guide your family, community, organization, or business through the transition to the New Normal. Every human being is unique. We come to the table with different views and different values, and the striking differences in opinion are leading to complete breakdowns in relationships among families, co-workers, communities, and even nations. This was the reason I used the tight rope analogy earlier.

If you’re a leader in an organization, now is the time to define your organization’s culture and how you will keep the peace within the turbulence of stressful emotions and ensure the forward movement of your mission. In this time of strife, gas-lighting, and angst, a polarization is happening, and ideologies are becoming clear grounds for the breakdown of relationships both in a personal and public way. The very platforms that host humanity’s communications are taking sides and redefining their objectives, leaving millions of people disenfranchised and others believing in storyline narratives. Trust is truly broken in many ways.

How does a leader navigate through such circumstances — ones that threaten our very existence on this planet? You stake your claim. You decide what you believe, and you build around those principles, while still maintaining an openness to others. A new definition of life is upon us because collectively we are no longer naive. What you know and understand has changed. This is normal in the grief process. To deny this is the new reality is to get pulled down in the undertow in waters of grief and chaos. This is the time to Let Go and Let God or the Divine help you see the way forward because the path forward is a maze. Go back to the core principles and morals of your faith system and work from there, even if it seems impossible.

Life is about our connection to each other. Do you want to be surrounded by only those who think the same as you? Then make that declarative statement and do not hide your intentions. Do you want to be open to others with differing thoughts with compassion and understanding, then build out that concept within your network of connections and declare it so. Now more than ever, it is important to be transparent about your goals, mission, and actions so that others know your intentions. Trust has been broken from a macro-human standpoint as we stand mired in a time of misinformation when lies are often told as truth for the benefit of a few and the detriment of many.

Every human that comes into this world has their heart on display for God (or the Divine being of their faith) to see, so there is no hiding intent or deeds. Those that have sewn discord, chaos, and evil will be exposed to the Light. Those whose hearts are true and live a just life will be rewarded. Each of us must decide which path through this maze we will take. Those who hold positions of leadership need to be especially thoughtful in our decisions as many are relying on you to guide them forward into this new life.

I personally have returned to reading more in-depth about the teachings of Jesus. I am re-reading his stories and the parables he taught his disciples and followers during a time of great turmoil when the Romans had invaded the Holy Land, causing much strife and warring among differing cultures. To me, it seems we are living in the time of Jesus now, and just as before, it is up to us — using our faith and moral systems as a guide and Lighthouse — to navigate these waters and find our way to safer shores.

The following passage from Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV) has been a guiding force for me during this time of crisis:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the laws and the prophets.

This is the foundation and the rock that I am building my house on for all the rest of my days here on earth.

What is your foundation?
Where are you leading from?

– Amen

You can find my article and many others at http://www.Religica.com

Holly C. Barker is the founder and president at Grief Resource Network, LLC and Grief Anonymous, an international online grief support organization and owner of the Launching Pad on Route 66 in Wilmington. http://www.Geminigiant.com

2015 in review

I wanted to send out the Year In Review for my blog to those that follow me. Viewer from 137 countries and approximately 5,500 people a month came to read.  Thank you for continuing to stay with me on this journey and know above all else- LOVE CONQUERS ALL and we must do our best and utmost to LOVE ONE ANOTHER!  I am truly hopeful for 2016 to be the year of at least 2 published books!  Gotta have goals, y’all!

Love and Light to Us All,


Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 54,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Healing Humanity: from my Native American Spirit Grandmother:


Through Divine Light, God asked Mother Earth, the Sun and Wind, and Father Ocean to bequeath all the beautiful natural elements from every corner of the globe to create us in his image. And it was done.

In the hot regions of our Earth the soil was rich with ancient plant matter and volcanic ashes and sand. Precious elementals formed from the heat and from there came the dark-skinned beautiful beings. From the red-clayed cliffs and slopes of the mountains we shall take the vibrant ochre elements of this beautiful area and make the passionately-spiritual red-skinned souls. The salty rocks and seashores of the North are tough and rugged and majestic. The sun shines brightly here through reflected ice caps. Here the tall, light-eyed, light-skinned humans took hold. From the East humans emerged from the green landscapes and jungles and steamy heat. Shielded from the sun and warmed by the humid lush surroundings they become a golden yellowy hue.  All special, all gifted from the elementals of Mother Earth, and all Divine.

There is beauty in all color and hue and tone. We were all created with love and made of the majestic sources from Mother Earth. We must celebrate this beautiful capacity for this plant to create such amazing diverse humans. Yet we have fallen off our path and have forgotten our origins and intent. God created us all beautiful and all unique for our enjoyment and for the opportunity to live and to learn about others so that we may grow within. This was the intent. This is not what has happened. Mankind has fallen off this path. We got suck during our time of personal developmental understanding and personal recognition and we did not take the step to look outward for beauty and diversified existence. We stayed inward and began to fear the others. We caste them out when they came into our environment.  We threw them out when we came into theirs. We disdained their differences and called ours best. We did not seek to see the beauty of where they came from and we tried to assimilate them into what we considered good and right and beautiful. A terrible imbalance formed and the Negative Elements of the underground took this open opportunity to plant roots within our world. At some point the choice to stay within our personal views became the tipping point. The pendulum has swung to far and we now have to do our utmost to find our true path as a human race.  As One.

The pendulum is slowly beginning to swing back. We are starting to see the error of our ways. We are beginning to appreciate the beauty of our differences. We are able to reach out globally and are truly seeing the vibrant lives of others. We no longer only have to use the definitions our governments or our media give us to teach us about each other. We now have the ability to really communicate through the Internet and other sources in real time and see for ourselves. We see that you love your children. We see the beauty of your festivals and traditions and foods and songs. They makes us want to jump through our screens and join you in dance and song and fellowship. We don’t want to hear only about the negativity because usually it’s a small segment in a grand beautiful story. We need to not rely on what the headlines say because the story is in details that are often unheard. We need to focus on our humanity and our diverse beauty.  We need to forgive ourselves for losing our way on the path of humanity and right this awful wrong. We should all ask forgiveness of our ancestors in any of their transgressions and aspire to correct that which caused hurt, disease, hunger, poverty, and separation.  Our futures, all our futures depend on this. Love and its surrounding Light has risen up to meet this challenge because we are all worth this battle ahead. The fundamental core truth is in the end: Love Conquers All.


How to Lighten The Emotional Load You Carry

You might think that holding on to the past to the heaviness of grievances and transgressions and negative energy of others that have hurt you is justified.  We all look back from time to time at old wounds that were inflicted on us intentionally or unintentionally and feel the sting and allow the anger to simmer on. Our subconscious carries that burden in the recesses of our memories, yet we feel and carry the heaviness of it today.  How do we truly go through the process of laying this down so our journey will be lighter?  Holding on to this pain really affects us more than we realize.  When we carry heavy negativity from the past in our backpacks with us, it forces us to take the roads and trails that we can only barely handle.  We feel the burden and do not trust the higher, more lofty paths due to the acknowledgement that we can’t possibly make it with this heavy sack of emotions on our backs.  This burdensome backpack of memories weighs us down causing us to  keep our guards up on our paths as we move forward in life often times choosing roads and trails and paths that are easier, yet less rewarding.

The key to this journey is to lighten your emotional load.  The way to do this is counter-intuitive.  When we look back at what has happened to us we must place ourselves in the circle with those that caused us harm and to accept that we played a part in some way through our decisions and choices. This isn’t easy to do, but it can be done. When we give focus to even just a small amount to our part, and accept the outcome~ we assume and accept part of that energy that was created was ours.  Believe it or not, by doing this, we lighten our loads, we do not add to them.  This is not in any way an assumption of guilt.  What it is though is a higher level of understanding as to why that person or circumstance was in our path to begin with.  What were we seeking at the time?  What was our focus?  What really went wrong?  Or was it just time to move on and learn and grow from the experience.  If we stay on guard or continue to ruminate over the actions and words and deeds of others, this weight grows.  It burdens our emotional and physical and spiritual wellbeing and can manifest into decisions of future paths that are not intended for our highest good.  When we take on personal accountability for our part in past negative experiences we lighten weight in our hearts and minds.  We rise above the finger-pointing and anger and blame.  From a universal perspective anger and blame are much heavier substances than love, understanding, and forgiveness.  We know this to be true because we all feel the lightness of a loving heart and a clear conscience.  We also know the weighted feelings of blame and anger.  One emotion builds while the other destroys.

Lay the past down if your backpack has grown heavy and is wearing you down and taking away your breath. Take a look back at the whole valley you have traveled through. See the beauty and the shadows.  Admire the clouds, the sounds of the birds, the smell of the flowers, and feel the gratitude of the higher understanding of lessons learned.  Ask for peace and accept all that was. All that is. Be open to all that will be with a hopeful heart.


To Unravel is to Heal

To be tightly wound up in grief is not a good way to walk around on a consistent basis. But it seems it’s good for society~ for your coworkers, friends, acquaintances, family, and strangers alike. We, the ones going through grief, have to keep it together when we are around others. Society wants to see stoicism, pride, and a measure of control out of us. They are looking at you to show them that losing someone to death can be handled and managed, compartmentalized and tucked away for private moments of contemplative weepiness. We feel the unspoken pressure and comply for everyone, including ourselves. An outward display of overwhelming grief is scary to behold and very disconcerting and uncomfortable for others and ourselves to witness. It seems a common value we have placed on ourselves to suffer the real emotions of grief in private. And by private I mean~ totally by ourselves. Even our core families are often uncomfortable seeing an unraveling of grief and pain. People don’t want to see the raw truth because grief is an inevitability for all of us that is better put off for another time. To talk about the true day-to-day of what I experienced and witnessed during those last few weeks is undignified and not in keeping with what societal expectations are. Everyone wants a sanitized, sleepy version of what its like to see someone you love die, like in the movies. The hand grip, the closing of the eyes, and the sweet last staggered breath, the last kiss on the cheek. That is what people want to envision for themselves. And through love, they want to believe that’s what happened to you… Many, many times this is not the case. And it wasn’t mine.

But the truth is at some point~ the unraveling for the grief-stricken will happen. And sometimes it is multiple times. The first inclination and instinct many have is to stand back, to turn away, or close your eyes and cover your ears. The flashbacks, the scenery, the smells and sights and sounds of your surroundings, all of it will make its way to the top and bubble over in our minds. How could it not?? I am a part of closed grief groups online. Many talk privately about wanting to die. Wanting it to be over. And some sadly find a way to make that happen. There is an underlying aspect to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I know it is often a part of grief that no one is seeing or talking about. There needs to be an outlet. An understanding. A way to go through these feelings, this experience, and project it out of our bodies and minds all that we witnessed and experienced and to let it go into the universe for transmutation and diffusion. Reliving it doesn’t help, getting it out of us- does. Keeping this inside ourselves is the most unhealthy thing we can do, but it is also the expectation and sadly and oftentimes the advice that is placed on us by society, our families and friends and coworkers, and ourselves. We must find ways to emit this powerful destructive energy out of our minds and bodies to regain emotional and physical health.

The crucial part of this is to allow one who has suffered loss to grieve at their own pace, at their own volume, and not under anyone else’s timeline or expectation. If you really love them, show patience and ride the waves with them. This level of pain cannot be sustained and it often flows in waves, many times for years. God only gives you what you can handle and waves seem to be a natural form of release, just like the tides of the ocean. You must accept this in order to be fully vested in understanding and support of this person who is suffering. Do not tire of it, do not try and fix it, do not tell them to move on and get over it and suck it up. If they are living, eating, working, and communicating with you they are already crossing over hurdles you haven’t experienced yet perhaps.

One of the ways I let this energy out is through scream therapy. If I were to allow others to hear me they might call the police or an ambulance. Yes~ it’s that powerful. I get in my car and drive somewhere where I know I wont be heard and I let out the most god-awful scream I can muster. I am hoarse for days afterward sometimes. But I can feel this energy leave with the sound and vibration in my throat and it is cathartic, powerful, relieving, and forgiving. And afterward I feel at peace and can move through my day without shell-shocking others. I’m not really advocating public meltdowns, but I am trying to help people connect and understand each other through this process. This journal is for those that need to unravel. And for those that need to understand the unraveling. And to accept this, honor it, and heal, and to form lasting bonds with those that choose to stay. One day when this happens to you, you will have someone who knows and understands be there for you too!

This journal is for my parents. Thank you so much for your undying love, support, and patience for me these last years.


HO’OPONOPONO, the forgiveness prayer

For the second day in a row a journal of mine called “Mind Stumbling”, after comments were posted, has had over 100 visits. I am going to state my position on these comments moving forward. A person in my late husband’s immediate family used a fake name and created an email address to post a vicious little message to me this week in response to this journal that was written weeks after my husband passed away. This person I have not communicated with for about a year now so the comments coming after a year in my opinion are unprovoked. This person has stated that the pain I am causing is immeasurable. That I rejected family after my husband’s death. If you are going to go on a pubic domain and state this using a fake name then it deserves a clear and direct response not under the guise of sideways communication. I will not walk away from this. I will openly respond back because you used my website and my name.

I am not responsible for your pain. I am also not responsible for your happiness. You yourself must come to terms with your behaviour, actions, and your grief. We are all accountable for our own decisions and choices. Your actions over the years, during my husband’s illness, and after my husband’s death were an overwhelming reason for me to lay an unhealthy relationship down. I am going through pain and healing and moving forward and I have chosen to do this without communication with you for healthy, positive reasons. It is my choice and I have a right to choose that. Your choice to “cyber bully” me will be on display so the choice is yours and your significant other as to whether or not you both want to continue. The number one way to demotivate darkness is to bring in the light.

Forgiveness and peace can come from both sides. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean restored relationships, it can mean this: through acceptance of what has transpired, forgiveness for the human condition, and asking for peace we can find happiness. Sometimes people are put in our path for learning and when that lesson is learned, we can accept, forgive, and move onward with gratitude for the experience and wisdom. This is how I view us. I am going to say an open prayer from an ancient Hawaiian custom that is sacred. It calls forth Divinity to ask for healing among souls. I am going to do this publicly because I want to state that these situations are a very common occurrence when someone dies in a family. Families fall apart often times and the pain stretches out sometimes for generations. My prayer is for myself, for you, and this family and all those out there that are hurting over grief and loss.

So, Adam_kw@yahoo.ca, aka Whois.arin, aka R. Jected this is for us, for family, and for everyone.


Divine Creator,
Father, Mother, and Son as ONE:

If I, my family, relatives and ancestors have offended you, your family, relatives and ancestors in thoughts, deeds and actions from the beginning of our creation to the present,
We ask your forgiveness.
Let this cleanse, purify, release, and cut all negative memories, blocks, energies and vibrations and transmute these unwanted energies to pure light.
And it is done.




The Healing Block


Having good memories of past fun and happiness and love is healing. Having fun is important not just for the present, but also for the past and the future. When we focus on the fun of the day we create a healing tool that can be drawn upon during future days when life becomes difficult.

In Heaven this positive experience is stored as a healing block~ an event that is used in time to heal physical or emotional pain. When we stop having fun and the good events in our lives are not created, we run low on the stores of healing blocks that are used to build us up again. Just like saving money in the bank for a rainy day, making the effort to have some fun creates positive memories as an investment into your future that you can draw upon when times get tough. The more you create, the more positive energy you store, the more is there in the “bank” in your past for you to heal yourself in the future. We need positive memories to heal. And it requires the past, the future, and present effort. It takes effort on our parts to build these memories and they serve us in ways that will come back to us magnified one hundred fold in the future. It doesn’t mean you have to pay for an expensive vacation as it can mean a beautiful walk in a park with a loved one or a picnic or a special dinner out.

Yes, grief does play out a little differently but this same process applies. Sometimes through our grief journey, good memories are painful. It is counter-intuitive on many levels as the good memories equate to loss now, and the void now that those memories are not still being created with the person that is no longer in our life. This is where we have to take the painful but needed steps towards creating new memories and new and different events in our lives and start fresh. After Jordon died it was the things I enjoyed the most that I wanted to do the least. I didn’t quite understand the level of aversion to those things quite like I do now. Now I understand the process a little better. We don’t need to stop doing fun things in our lives, as those things will lead us to healing. I have decided to go back in time to the memory of my childhood and remember things I loved to do when I was young. For me, I used to love to create art.  I decided to start doing things that were really related to things I loved to do that did not have attachments to my relationship with Jordon. I am building an art studio in my basement for me to create art from my memories and feelings and visions I have had over the past year. I am going to create artistic form and mass using color and paint and objects and canvass from my visions. I am using this childhood love of mine as a means to heal. The pain and loss and good memories that were created with Jordon need to be out of my being, out of my mind, and onto canvass where I can look at it, see it, and understand it, and be at peace with it. Writing this journal is another way I am choosing to express and heal myself. The ideas are endless. Find your outlet and just go for it.

I am telling you this as a means to help you become unstuck. If you cannot drag yourself out of the pain and anguish you feel from the physical void of your lost loved one, try and take small steps towards doing something in your life that creates a new memory, even if is for a minute each day. If you are not creating something new, you will only live in your old life and that is the doorway to being locked in a room that does not serve you. Maybe this journal can be a key for you to unlock old passions, create new energy and focus, and allow in the flow of new pathways to follow.

Authenticity and the Human Ego


So much of my focus in my recovery from grief has been about being strong and forward moving and living in gratitude. Those were pillars from the get-go for me to keep my footing and not fall into the abyss of grief. But I have recently discovered through reflecting back that I missed an important aspect of this process that I want to share.

We all have an ego. Ego is the command center of the mind and it is up to us as individuals on how we nurture and grow this power center. It can destroy us. It can destroy nations. It can empower us and ground us and protect us through life’s storms. Again, like so many simple truths, ego is a core element of the human experience. What we do with this ego is a manifestation of God-given free will. We can use it for good and learn and grow and become authentically confident, or we can feed the ego from a negative space and a path of diversion or darkness can ensue. The ego is neutral, tasteless, colorless, and lacking in definition. Free will, intent, and human emotion and thought create its color and characteristics. It takes on form and function based on what you add to it. And from what you add to your ego, you create who you are, how you act, what you think about, how you treat others, and most importantly~ how you feel about yourself.

If I am authentically honest with myself, I must say that through fear I have fed my ego with thoughts of strength and forward motion without stopping to think about the benefits of slowing down and allowing myself to truly, authentically feel vulnerability, weakness, and face the truth of what really happened this year. Through feeding my ego with diversion I did not allow myself to be authentic about what was happening to my family and myself. I was hiding behind strength, moving so fast as to not slow down and grieve and really allow in the feelings of what it is like to lose and to experience the aftermath of the death of a spouse and the father of my son. In a way, I am still grateful for feeding my ego in that fashion and I am not really ready to say that was not the way to move forward. But I am now retrospectively learning that it is okay and admit to being in pain and to be sad and to come to a standstill and accept the wave of grief that I have been denying myself many times. It is authentic to hurt. It is naturally human to slow down and admit life is too heavy sometimes. Sometimes it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself, to sit on the couch, and not move. My fear of never getting up from that position kept me from that space. My fear of being stuck kept me looking far ahead on the path. But now I am realizing in being authentic and honest with my core self that I have to admit that I fed my ego those elements, yet they cannot be sustained. It is not just about turning to the left to see only one aspect~ positivity; it is about looking left and right and accepting the whole picture of what comes to us. From there we have to have faith in knowing that true understanding and enlightenment comes from seeing the whole picture, living a whole life, and experiencing all emotions that come our way. Faith will carry you through and help pull you from the abyss and from getting stuck, not just our forward-moving actions and thoughts. So much is missed when we move too fast and the knowledge of authenticity is so powerful that it shouldn’t be missed. I am ready to authentically live. To really cry when I feel like it. Be angry and sad when I need to be. And I am ready to admit vulnerability and weakness is as much of an element of the human experience as all the other emotions on the spectrum. I have just turned to my right and now opened a whole new door of understanding to my world and for that, once again, I am grateful.



*Thank you for standing by me, David. Much love to you. You are an inspiration.

Our Visit to the Hospital

It is possible to live parallel lives. To me it is a blessing and a gift that God places in our hearts and minds for all of us. It is a healing and calming and coping mechanism for survival. I have spoken of it in the past- living “as if”. The need to put yourself where you want to be and living that life until you emotionally, physically, and mentally are ready to catch up to it. It is my saving grace- and Jackson’s too. It is possible in the same day to feel indescribably low and sad and then remind yourself of your “other life” and let it lift you up and out into happiness and peace. Jackson and I do this all the time. As an example- Jackson twisted his knee this weekend and has been on crutches ever since Sunday. After a couple of days we realized he wasn’t healing well we went to the children’s hospital. You don’t know when grief will hit you as you are living the “as if” life. Well, it hit us both as soon as we entered the hospital parking lot. I parked my car at the ER doors. I went to get a wheelchair. The absence and void hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m doing this alone- a sports injury with my 11 year old son at the hospital doors- the last place I want to be right now. It’s just us here with Jackson’s injury. It hit Jackson too. As he was lying on the hospital bed he looked at me and said “I’m angry at God. Why does he have to take the good people? Why did he take my Dad?” How do I answer that question? As soon as he said that shivers came over him and his teeth started chattering and I asked him if he was cold and did he need a blanket? He said “No.” He wasn’t cold, it was Jordon coming in to comfort him, letting him know he is there. He is always watching over Jackson. I told Jackson what was really happening at the moment and he settled down and a peace came over his face and we gave each other a hug. I am doing well on a personal level for myself- but with all things Jackson-related these things shatter me in a million pieces. But with grace, faith, and the love I feel for those around me, as soon as those pieces hit the floor somehow miraculously they bind back up and I am whole again. That’s what grief is to me- the momentary shattering and through love- the restoration afterwards. Breaking and binding. Sickness and then healing. Continuous learning and building upon the last experience. We both feel strong now- it is amazing to think what life will continue to evolve into in the future. I feel nothing but hope and gratitude in the end.

I love you Jackson- more than my heart can bare. Xo