Find Happiness in Spite of Grief, with Philippa Bennett
Hello and welcome back to this series on moving from grief to gratitude. In the first article, Surviving Grief, Philippa shared with us her heart-wrenching story of the day she learnt her father had committed suicide. And now, we’re moving forward with Philippa as she teaches us how to find happiness in spite of grief.
We at the Brand Builders Club know that people like to absorb information in a variety of ways. That’s why we invite you to view the entire Brand Builders TV episode, From Grief to Gratitude with Philippa Bennett below, or read on for the second part of the series.
Time to learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s keep going!
Who is Philippa Bennett?
Philippa Bennett has helped many people to find happiness every day, in spite of the traumatic events and grief that threaten to take away their joy. Her practice has evolved to focus on mentoring metal music lovers; however, the grief portion of her teachings is still valid and necessary.
As a well-being therapist and homeopath, she has worked primarily with business owners and professionals who wish to unburden themselves from the grief that’s been clouding their happiness. She’s used her own journey through grief (resulting from her father’s suicide) to connect with her patients and help them see that there is hope.
I encourage you to subscribe to Philippa’s podcast, The Mindfulness Moshpit. You will not be disappointed!
Now for more on grief, in Philippa's own words.
Hello! It’s Philippa again, and I’m so glad you could join me.
I have a question for you:
How would you describe grief? What does grief mean to you?
There are a few general themes that usually come up: things like sadness, feeling upset, crying. It’s a really strange subject because it’s something we’re all going to go through in our lives, and it’s something we’ll all have to deal with. And yet, we don’t talk about it. It’s not something that people come forward with. It’s such an awful, dark feeling. Some would describe it as extreme sadness or uncontrollable crying.
For me, my black sludgy ball of grief would occasionally come up and vomit grief. That sounds awful, but it would come out of nowhere and come up and choke my throat.
Often, grief spontaneously comes up. It could also be described as a dark and heavy weight. The colour black is often associated with grief.
Does it look like that for you?
Now that you have a better idea of what your grief looks like, let’s see how you picture happiness.
Get a piece of paper and a pen so you can write down answers to the following questions. You will use your answers throughout this entire series.
1. What Makes You Happy?
This is a personal question. What are the things that make you happy in life? For me, it’s nature. If I’m in the city for too long, I need to get out into open spaces. Music is a huge part of my life. It takes me back to happy memories (and some not-so-happy memories), and it’s hugely important. Food makes me happy; tasting, smelling, preparing and eating it.
Now write down what makes YOU happy.
2. Why Do Those Things Make You Happy?
This can be a tricky question to answer. For me, it’s about how I feel. When I’m in nature, outside in the peace and quiet, my nervous system is calmed and stresses tend to float away.
How do you feel when you’re happy?
3. How Many of Those Things are Influenced by Other People?
When I finished school and went to college, I studied computer science. I have no regrets about that because it’s been very good for my life and career. But I actually wanted to stay at school and do A-levels (math, physics, French). My boyfriend at the time wanted me to go to college because he was a couple of years older, and he didn’t want me being at school among "kids." So I went to college to please him. I thought I was making myself happy by making him happy, but in hindsight, that really wasn’t the case.
So is there anything on your list simply because it makes someone else happy? Because it’s influenced by other people?
4. How Different Would Your List be if you Weren’t Influenced by Others?
If you had no friends and family to worry about, or you simply didn’t care what they thought, would your list be different?
Have a think about that before moving on.
Grief Affects How you Find Happiness
So you’ve got these things that make you happy (and it could be anything, because this is as subjective as everyone is individual). But if grief is un-dealt-with and is still sitting there as that sludgy, toxic ball in your gut that hasn’t moved, that can hinder you from being able to fully enjoy those things on your list.
You might think yes, it makes me happy, but you’ve still got this feeling that’s not allowing you to fully enjoy life or go further into those things you enjoy doing. It’s always going to affect all (or many) aspects of your life.
Let’s go back to question #1, all about what makes you happy. In my work as a homeopath, I have discovered there are some general things that people really want in their lives, to improve and feel happier.
The first thing that comes up often is freedom. That’s important, and can mean many different things to different people.
The other thing that comes up in my practice is less pain. That can be mental pain, physical pain or feeling unwell (which is largely emotional).
Material and financial matters are also happiness concerns for people. Some may say that material things are not important in life, but I have a different opinion on that. You need money in this world. You can’t live without it. It doesn’t buy happiness, but it does help. If you have the money to do the things that nourish your soul, you can do them. So finance and material worth are things that come up in happiness plans.
Another thing I notice in my practice is inner peace. When I think of my patients who have gone through traumatic experiences—and my own traumatic experience—there’s always this chatter in the back of your head. It’s not loud, but it’s always nagging at you, and you can’t have inner peace. Quieting that chatter helps people to be happier.
Now I’m going to throw a spider in the works and say that grief, as a concept and as a trauma, in my humble opinion and with years of practice and working on myself, is something you can never really get over. That’s something that some people may not agree with, but I don’t think you can ever really get over grief, loss or trauma. It’s always going to be there and there’s going to be a certain amount of sadness about it. There will be negative feelings associated with it, but the goal should be to get to a level of acceptance and peace…not to make it go away. You will never make it un-happen.
You can come to better terms with your grief so you can have a better life.
Philippa is Helping you to Find Happiness, for a Better Life
How about that? Philippa is helping many people break through grief, and I hope you’ll stick with this series so you can reap those benefits, too.
We’ve all heard that you can be bitter or better. I think that applies here. We can stay in a state of awful grief, with bitterness about what has happened, or we can acknowledge it, accept it and move forward toward gratitude, happiness and pure joy.
There’s one more instalment in this particular series with Philippa, and you won’t want to miss it. In The Impact of Grief on Happiness, with Philippa Bennett, she’s going to help all of us improve the areas of our lives that are typically impacted by grief. She’s talking about health, finance, relationships and so much more. You will rate each one and learn to envision what you want so you can build your happiness in that area.
Philippa is part of the Brand Builders Club, and there are many, many more professionals sharing their life and business experience in the club. If you’re looking for a safe space where entrepreneurs gather for guidance, accountability and achievement, you’ll want to get a LITE Membership today. It’s more than affordable, with no commitment! See you in the club.