February 2009

When I had my miscarriage, I was devastated.  I felt so much pain I couldn’t express it, nor did I think I would ever feel joy again.  As I went on my healing journey, I was shocked at how society treated women who had suffered from miscarriage.  And thus began OurHopePlace.com – I wanted to make it better for those who came after me…  

Well, I have to write about a more painful loss right now…  someone I know, her (teen) son died last week.   How I wish this didn’t happen!  How I wish I could help her more…  I wanted to share some ideas on how to help, give your courage to help, b/c maybe someone will read this and help another!  If you have any other ideas, please add a comment.

Healing is a process, and everyone grieves differently.  Try not to judge someone b/c they grieve differently than you (would expect).  Just let the person guide you each day as to how they are feeling and if they do or don’t want to talk (about the death or about anything).

Healing is a process that takes place over time (can be a LONG time).  Supportive family and friend are very important!  

Maintain contact; this may be a lonely time b/c family and friends often don’t know what to say or how to help.  Don’t be one of those people who disappear…  the parents will never forget, there won’t be a “good” time…  be a friend and call/email/write a letter or card, do something.  And if someone reaches out to you, be supportive.  Be there.  Listen.

Family members are grieving, and like I said earlier, everyone expresses grief in their own way. Make sure you check on adults and children alike.  Be there for each other:  tears, anger, and silences that give way to memories and maybe even a laugh (eventually).  Listen to it all, share.  Don’t be afraid to mention the child’s name… 

Expect that important dates (e.g. holidays, mother’s day, father’s day, anniversaries, birthdays, first day of school, graduation day…)  all holidays will be a challenge.  Realize that planning for special day will be trying.  And, know that often the days leading up to the important date are often worse than the day itself.  On those days be supportive of the parents needs, help them/enable them to do what’s best for their emotional needs…  that could mean whether that means a day of distraction, or surrounding yourself with family/friends, or planning a quiet day of reflection.  And be flexible, b/c what may seem like a good idea before the day could differ on the day itself.

Lastly, when offering help, try to be specific:

– I’ll drop off dinner tonight

– I’ll take the kids for a day

-I’ll do the gardening this weekend

– Can I get your dry cleaning for you

– I’m going grocery shopping, I picked up a few things for you

– It’s Monday, let’s get dinner

Whatever you think your friend would like, offer…  

Thanks for listening/reading…  this has been a tough week for me, but it pales when compared to others.  I am so sorry for your loss my friend!  Maybe someone will read this and help you…  maybe they will help others…

If you have any other ideas on how to help, please leave a comment.

Dear OurHopePlace.com,

Here is something for your blog on getting pregnant naturally.  I have helped couples get pregnant naturally even when doctors said that IVF may not be successful. Recently, I got to hold the baby of of one of my clients and it was pure joy!

Here are some tips on increasing fertility. I use my SPISE framework (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Sexual and Emotional) to help clients. Stress and lifestyle play a large role in the body’s blocking pregnancy. It is very important to take a holistic integral approach.

– Spiritual. Visualizing seeing yourself getting pregnant. Meditate for one minute each day with this wonderful vision in your mind,

– Physical. Diet and exercise are key to preparing the body for a new baby. Try these different innovative foods such as Goji berries and Kombucha drinks. For exercise, do cat stretches for one minute. They get the energy moving in vital parts of the body and reproductive energy centers.

– Intellectual. Worry about not getting pregnant has a powerful psychological effect on the body. Reading funny and inspirational stories increases endorphins, which help the woman’s well-being.

– Sexual. Orgasms increase the likelihood of conception. Have fun with your sex life!

– Emotional. Is the woman/couple happy? Unhappiness puts a large stress on the woman’s body acting as a barrier to conception.

Have a blissful day,

Dawn T. Clare

President, Spisebliss.com


“Do what you love, be with those you love, and your whole life falls into Bliss.” D. T. Clare

Hi www.OurHopePlace.com,

To answer the question: What advice would I give my 20-year old self, knowing what I know now:

  1. Beer does not make you smart or sexy; and
  2. ‘Shock value’ is not a good reason to get married.


Advice from the Blender

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If I could’ve given my 20 year old self wise words, here’s what they would’ve been (from two books I read in my late 20’s/early 30’s):

1.  “Now that I don’t have to be perfect, I can be good.” (from East of Eden ) The pressure to have everything be perfect, or to be perfect myself, was deeply damaging and pushed me to make some really bad decisions and led me to always comparing my worst to other people’s best (which is all we usually get to see of them.)  In my teens and early 20’s, I would keep trying to tweak things, keep searching for “just the right” thing/person/place.  I passed up opportunities, and some really nice men, because either they didn’t look good enough – or I thought I didn’t.  I was chronically late everywhere because I had to be sure that my appearance was “just so.”  Heaven forbid if I broke a perfectly manicured nail!  I’m proud that one of my teen son’s favorite expressions is “pretty good’s good enough” – he tries his best and leaves it at that.  I’ve learned to do just that, too, though sometimes I still need a reminder.  😉

2.  “Remember it’s written in the Good Book that trouble shall come to pass, but nowhere is it written, child, that trouble shall come to stay.” (from another novel, don’t remember the name, but a grandmother was speaking to her teenaged granddaughter.)  Not only did this apply to recovering from mistakes or failures, it was especially helpful in the area of relationships.  I was one of those girls who felt everything in the extreme so I believed that every mistake would be fatal, or at least “ruin my life forever!”  Because I loved deeply, without reservation and with commitment, I believed everyone else did, too, so when a relationship ended, it felt like a part of me died as well and I would never recover.  I did, and went on to have other great loves and successes.  In my mid-30’s I managed a customer service department in a high-stress medical field so any little mistake we made – missed a shipping deadline, made a typo so the wrong sized product was sent, etc. – could have had a negative impact on a patient’s health and well being at worst, sent a prestigous doctor into a rage or, at the least, screwed up the hospital’s, doctors’ and patients’ schedules for a day or two.  So naturally we each had days when we felt like we carried the weight of the world because we’d slipped up on something.  One of my reps made a little needlepoint tapestry that said “And this too shall pass” and we hung it on the front wall.  When one of us was having one of those days, it moved to our cubicle so we could read and reflect on it to regain our equalibrium.  It always helped so by the time we left, or at least returned in the morning, we were back on track and the plaque was back on the wall.

Dear OurHopePlace.com,

Thanks for the good work you are doing reaching out to those who have experienced the natural death during pregnancy.

My wife and I have an experience with a miscarriage that is most unusual.

Our surrogate birth mother had a miscarriage 18 years ago. She felt so horribly, like she had let us down. We on the other hand felt so horribly that she was in pain both physically and emotionally.

We decided to take a break from and give us all a rest.

Miraculously, shortly after the loss of the fetus, my wife became pregnant with our son, Charles, who was born on Feb 21, 1991.

Through the agency, we continued to stay in touch with the surrogate. She wanted to go through with another round of inseminations. We wanted another child. Today, we have a beautiful, soon to be 16 year old daughter, Anne. All things do work for good…

Frankly, I wish the term weren’t miscarriage – it sounds like the mother fumbled the ball so to speak. What a misnomer! Isn’t there a better term or phrase that isn’t euphemistic or clinical? Also, I would prefer the loaded term abortion not be used. Would the term “Natural death of a fetus” or “natural death pregnancy” work? This takes the possibility of guilt, blame, or burden off the mother if for some reason she thinks she is less of a woman for the loss of a life within her.

I remember our high risk pregnancy specialist telling us that a miscarriage was nature’s (God’s) way of caring for children who would not be viable once born and that it had nothing to do with the mother. I’m no doctor, but it was a comforting explanation from a man with both a PhD and MD in the field. By the way, I ended up dedicating my book, The On-Purpose Person, to both children and allude to their miraculous arrivals. It just seemed the right thing to do. To this day, we are still on friendly, albeit infrequent, terms with Anne’s surrogate.

Be On-Purpose!

Kevin W. McCarthy Author, The On-Purpose Person



Dear OurHopePlace.com,

I have been through many challenging experiences including: going from homelessness to attending Harvard; healing from a near-fatal car crash and multiple family deaths.

I wish I had known then what I know now about happiness and support.  It is one of my mantras and is in the attachment.
Have a blissful day,

The Bliss Guide

“Do what you love, be with those you love, and your whole life falls into Bliss.”  D. T. Clare
A little about Dawn:  I am The Bliss Guide, intuitive coach and business consultant, with a Harvard MBA.  I am President of a company, SPISE BLISS, that sells products and services which expedite bliss, success, wealth and well being.  I have consulted with both organizations and individuals including Jerry Levin, former Chairman, Time Warner.  I have been featured in several publications including:  The Albany Times Union, Awareness Magazine,  The Dallas Morning News, Goddess Queen Magazine, Harvard Business School Alumni Magazine, National MBA Magazine, The New York Times, Plug LA, and WorkWise Syndicated Column.  In addition, I was on Fox News, NBC TV and LA Talk Radio.
Dear OurHopePlace.com,
From the ripe young age of 51, I can say unequivocally that at 20 I wish I’d known to hold still until my mission in life came to me. My twenties were a shotgun attempt at fulfillment; when I hit 30, I learned that my mission was creating peace on earth through individuals, through teaching about inner peace, and knowing it has made for a much easier life.
So to those in your 20s, yes, work by all means, and spend your inner time seeking your purpose here on earth. It will make EVERYTHING easier!
I write a blog on peace for Ode Magazine. check it out if you would like – thought your readers would be interested:   http://www.odemagazine.com/people/Susan%20Corso/blogs
Be blest,
Dr. Susan Corso
website: http://www.susancorso.com
blog: http://www.seedsforsanctuary.com
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
                                                        Eleanor Roosevelt

HI OurHopePlace.com,

My advice:  I wish I had known that being fully who I am and not being like some else is the key to happiness and fulfillment. Comparing myself only leads to heart ache.

MY Bio:   Jennifer Howard, Ph.D. is an internationally known licensed psychotherapist, Integrated Kabbalistic Healer®, Integrated Energy Healerlife coach, author, relationship expert and professional speaker. She is a co-founder of the Healing Path Center and maintains a private practice with offices in New York City and Huntington , L.I., New York , as well as an extensive phone practice. As a psychotherapist, Dr. Howard brings together her more than 20 years of experience, extensive training and expertise in mind-body psychology, meditation, and a variety of the healing arts. She has been a faculty member of the graduate studies program of A Society of Souls and is currently a supervisor.


Warmly,    Jennifer Howard, Ph.D.



Dear OurHopePlace.com,

People tell me I am very wise for my age.  I remind them that wisdom comes at a price; I’ve made a lot of mistakes that have served as a backdrop to who I am today.

There are seven things I know for certain today that I wish I would have known when I was 20.

1)      Enjoy every day.  If you spend all of your time thinking about /living where you “want to be” you will miss everything you have right now – the moments, the people, the relationships, the youth, the energy.  You may or may not achieve your goals or dreams – but if you live today thinking exclusively about them, planning for them, and living in your dream for tomorrow, you will lose today in the process.

2)      Your success is not based on what other people think of you.  Your success is based on who you know in your own skin and your own soul that you are.  If others think you’re smart, it doesn’t make you any more or less intelligent – and the same goes for every other characteristic.  If you like yourself, and you know yourself better than anyone, then let them think what they will.

3)      Just because other people look happy – just because they look like they’ve got it all together – or they tell you they’ve got it all together, doesn’t mean they do.  It just means they’re good at painting a picture.  It’s up to you to decide if it’s more important to you to be happy or to paint a picture of happiness for others to see.  Everybody laughs sometimes.  Everybody cries.

4)      Don’t try to be older.  Don’t try to look older or to get into bars before you’re 21.  You will age soon enough, and when you do, you will look back at the figure you have today, the skin you have today, the health and the energy you have today, and you will miss the woman you are right this very minute. 

5)      Try to treat yourself as kindly as you will wish you treated yourself 20 years from now.  You are your own best friend, and you are your own worst enemy – and only you, only you, can decide which role you want to invest more time in developing.

6)      Love your mother.  She has probably done something to mess you up – something you will inevitably need therapy for someday.  But she loves you the best she can.  For some moms, that love comes with really steep limitations.  But all moms love their kids the very best they know how.

7)      And one more thing.  Listen more. When you are alone, listen to yourself.  When you are in nature, listen to the wind and the sounds that surround you.  It is only natural for our bodies to yearn to be in concert with nature.  And when you are with others, even if you are not interested in what they have to say, listen.  If you really want to be a hero, if you really want to be appreciated and loved and invited out, listen.  Really listen.  The No. 1 thing most people crave in this world, regardless of what they tell you, is to be heard.

And that’s it.  That’s all I’ve got.  But it’s a primer that would have served me well if I wouldn’t have had to spend 15 years learning these key lessons the hard way.  Hope this adds hope and inspiration to your blog.

Kind regards,

Debra Yergen

Author, Creating Job Security



Note from Our Hope Place:  Given the economic environment we are all facing, Creating Job Security (blog and book) might be a helpful thing for us all…  Also check out the Graduate Group (publisher of Creating Job Security); their business sounds very cool and supportive of women authors, any asiring authors out there, should check them out… 

Hi …  so this is a little shameless (again), but here goes…

As you know, we have entered a contest with leading Moms in Business…  Please Click here to vote…  by doing so you will help us raise the profile of Our Hope Place.com…  this will ultimately lead to us helping more women and their families who suffer from miscarriage…

You can vote every day until the end of March…  we are so close!

Click here to learn more about Our Hope Place.  THANKS!!!

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