Surviving Grief, with Philippa Bennett
Welcome to this inspiring series by Philippa Bennett, curator of The Mindfulness Moshpit, who’s planting seeds of joy and gratitude in those who are suffering under the weight of grief, loss and trauma.
Having come through the ordeal of losing her father to suicide, Philippa has come full circle to sow the seeds of happiness. She is going to give us the strategies she used to go from angry, grief-stricken no-hoper to a thriving well-being therapist, helping hundreds of people to pivot their lives into joy and gratitude.
All of us will experience grief at some time in our lives, and yet we don’t regularly talk about it. Why? Maybe it’s because many of us believe that if we bury that grief, it will diminish, or go away. What we eventually discover is that it has seeped into every part of our lives, making it difficult or impossible to experience unmitigated happiness and joy.
If you have experienced any level of grief, please read on. What Philippa has to share could change your life.
What you’ll read here has been taken directly from the Brand Builders TV episode called From Grief to Gratitude with Philippa Bennett. You may wish to view the entire YouTube video here, or read on to experience this, the first of a three-part series on grief.
It’s time to learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s go!
Meet Philippa Bennett
Philippa Bennett is a homeopathic practitioner and well-being therapist, helping metal heads to “channel their inner rock-god and be confident in any situation,” and she’s accomplishing it with the help of her podcast, The Mindfulness Moshpit. Formerly known as The Well-Being Gardener, she also has tonnes of information to share on grief, and how to navigate it.
Philippa has helped countless people who have suffered trauma (and the grief that results) to experience joy in life. She knows this pain herself because her father committed suicide, and she spent years weighed down by grief, just going through the motions but not experiencing genuine happiness.
She has empowered entrepreneurs and professionals to break through the trauma that’s holding them down, so they can follow a path to gratitude and joy.
And now, Philippa is going to tell us about her traumatic experience (and the pain that resulted) in her own words.
Surviving Grief is Possible
Hello! I’m Philippa Bennett and I think it’s appropriate to start off by telling you that I have experienced trauma and deep sorrow. I was in a terrible, really low, down-low, down-on-my-luck, grief-stricken part of my life. Now I am a happy, healthy well-being therapist, full of joy, full of love and full of gratitude.
You need to know that this type of transformation is possible.
I’m going to start you off with a question. It could be tricky, difficult, or easy for you.
How would you define happiness?
I would define happiness as freedom, being in the countryside. For some it could be material or monetary possessions, feeling light, free or at ease. Or feeling uplifted.
Happiness is a tricky thing to define, isn’t it? That’s because it’s as subjective and as individual as we are. It depends upon your values and what you deem important in your life. That can be different for every single human being on the planet.
Before we continue, I’d like to tell you my story.
The Start of my Grief
About 30 years ago, I was an angry, frustrated teenager. I was already throwing temper tantrums and really wanted to get out of my parental home. I wanted to do my own thing.
At the age of 18, I went to university and threw myself into partying like never before. I really enjoyed going out and drinking, and I got very much into the rave scene—or free parties, as we called them. I tried to enjoy life as much as I could, but in hindsight, this wasn’t the way to do it.
After university, I ended up in a job I absolutely hated. It was the worst job I’ve ever had in my life. I was working in a call centre that had a bad reputation. I would go to work in the mornings crying. I would party on the weekends, have Mondays off, Wednesdays would be the dip (with the Wednesday blues) during the week, only to come back up again as the weekend (and partying) approached.
One Thursday night, I was sitting at home with my partner and friends, we were having some cans of lager and playing Nintendo 64. I got a phone call. My partner answered it and I could tell by his face that something was really wrong. The call was to inform us that my father had committed suicide. I went from being miserable and unhappy to absolutely and completely broken.
It was the worst time of my life. For two weeks after we got the news, I laid on my sofa and cried.
Then a bit of normalcy crept back in. I went back to work (to the job I hated) and really threw myself into partying. I partied as hard and as often as I could. But it got to a point where I thought, this can’t go on. I cannot keep trying to get rid of these painful, dark, horrible grief-ridden feelings by drinking and taking recreational drugs while ignoring what is going on.
Running from my Grief
I thought the best thing to do would be to move, which I did. I thought a change of scenery, change of life, change of everything would do me good. But the problem was that the grief was still with me. The happiness I wanted was in front of me. I was chasing it, but it was just moving further and further away.
I did that for a few years. I moved to Germany, to Australia, back to Germany, back to Australia…every time, thinking this time it’s the right thing to do. This time it’s going to make me happy. This time I’m going to find happiness and my life is going to get better.
But that grief was still inside me, and I could actually picture it. At the time I started my homeopathic process, my homeopath asked me to describe my grief. I knew exactly how to do that: it was a big, black, sticky, sludgy ball sitting in my gut. I’d been carrying that around the world with me and it had been stopping me from being happy.
I realised that I was doing it wrong. I was running around the world chasing happiness. The grief was running around the world with me, and it was all wrong.
Surviving Grief: Philippa's Journey
Wow! What an ordeal! My heart goes out to Philippa, as I’m sure yours does.
Philippa is using her transition from grief to gratitude to help others move from sorrow to joy along their own personal journeys. In the next instalment of this three-part series (Find Happiness in Spite of Grief), she’s going to help you take the first steps necessary in the pursuit of happiness, so you can do those things you enjoy most without grief weighing you down. And then, in the final article, The Impact of Grief on Happiness, she will be sharing wisdom to improve every area of your life—from health, to relationships, to livelihood, to finance—all in spite of grief.
Have you enjoyed the Brand Builders TV episode at the heart of this series? Are you looking for more on surviving grief and other important topics? If so, then you’ll want to subscribe to the Brand Builders TV YouTube channel for access to future recordings. Or, if you’d like advance notice of live Brand Builders TV episodes that are coming up, Like and Follow the Brand Builders TV Facebook page and we’ll keep you in the loop.