Transforming Grief Into Gold With Dr. Joan Rosenberg

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On today’s episode, I am talking for the second time with Dr. Joan Rosenberg. We had a great conversation the first time, but after the show was over we realized there had been something we had missed and that was a discussion around hidden and suppressed grief. This is something that shows up in many different ways for many different people but it’s an essential element to master if you are an entrepreneur, creative or really anyone that wants to understand and get better at this as we navigate these uncertain times. I talked to Joan about her process of understanding, uncovering, and working with grief and transforming that into gold. We talk about transforming it into something you can improve your life with and make meaning from.  

Joan I. Rosenberg, PhD, creator of Emotional Mastery™ and Emotional Mastery Training™, is a highly regarded expert psychologist, master clinician, trainer, and consultant. As a cutting edge psychologist who is known as an innovative thinker, trainer, and speaker, Joan has shared her life-changing ideas and models for emotional mastery, change, and personal growth in professional and educational seminars, psychotherapy sessions, and graduate psychology teaching.

Dr. Joan shared many great insights and practical strategies that can be used to acknowledge and transform grief. She shares the steps she takes using the GRIEF acronym and great questions you can ask yourself to move through the process.

We discuss:

  • [02:43] Dr. Joan shares about her defining moment in college.
  • [04:33] The three big things that define her are work, home, and relationship. She had an awareness of the vulnerability that she felt and of the experience that security is fleeting.
  • [07:17] Dr. Joan wrote a book called 90 Seconds to Life You Love. The book is all about how to master one’s difficult feelings so that they can cultivate confidence, resilience, and authenticity.
  • [08:54] Often people keep their feelings too vague and then they never have a chance to replace and resolve it.
  • [10:44] When we experience loss, we also experience feelings of grief.
  • [11:50] We are currently experiencing loss of the familiar, work, wages, human touch, anticipated events, and more. We are all experiencing some measure of loss right now.
  • [13:05] The first step when experiencing grief is to name specifically what you are experiencing.
  • [13:39] Are you experiencing any sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment, or frustration?
  • [14:21] Next see if you can attach what that feeling is linked to.
  • [17:23] When people try to shut down feelings, they tense up, swallow, or stop breathing.
  • [18:00] The key is always choosing awareness and identifying what is going on.
  • [19:57] Resilience thinking includes asking resilience enhancing questions and holding resilient attitudes.
  • [21:42] Loss accesses memories of prior loss.
  • [23:27] First, listen to the words you use. We often have distinguished grief.
  • [25:31] Whatever is being projected on the outside is actually inside.
  • [27:15] The next aspect to distinguished grief is looking at experiences when we got something we didn’t deserve or what we deserved and didn’t get.
  • [28:47] Different emotions point to a different kind of grief.
  • [31:27] Identify why you are grieving and what is tripping you up. If it goes back to the past then make sense of the experience across time.
  • [32:36] Her process is to acknowledge the grief is present, reflect on the experience, inquire more deeply, extract the good, and forgive yourself and others.
  • [35:34] Dr. Joan shares one of her great success stories.
  • [38:24] See if you can go through life adopting the perspective that you want to turn every life experience into a learning experience.

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