How to use the feelings of grief, loss, or losing a loved one as a tool to move forward in life and business

I am often asked how do I do it.

And although I want to state for the record that I hardly do it all, most days I can lay claim to juggling my mama/partner title with writer, cageologist and essential oils health advocate. All of this while afloat on a boat in the Caribbean (Tobago as of writing). And just so we are clear, that means I have 9.5 meters of living space that I share with a 3 and 5 year old.

And yet, although I do have days when I want to snap – and days where I do – most of the time I am able to live my life based around my goals and needs. I think I am doing a good job hitting that balance of me time versus biz building time and family time.


Part of how I do it is the common answers given.

I have a supportive mastermind that I check in with every week and I make a point of carving out the time for myself to do my work every day.

But those are surface-level answers. A mere tip of the iceberg sticking up that is easy to see and pinpoint. We confuse this tiny peak with the entire package. And then based on this tiny iceberg sticking up we judge and condemn ourselves setting off our own spirals. Say it with me, “Instagram is a curated feed intended to give you photo envy. It is not the whole picture.”

At Creative Mermaids we are not afraid of the depths. We dive deep. And by going deep we find the true reasons we can (or can’t) do something.

Although my mastermind and coach keep me accountable (huge! Not downplaying that) the only reason why I was finally able to commit to financially investing in both myself and my business was because I set up the boundaries needed to protect the very core of who I was. With motherhood I had let all my boundaries fall down around me. I allowed everyone to come in and I put myself last. And then, when I was figativerly lying on the floor and writing the “true” me off as dead, grief came in and kicked me so hard in the guts I realized I wasn’t dead at all.

People often ask why after a traumatic experience people wake up to what it is they truly want in life. After having my own heart ripped out I think I know why.

And it’s because when your world is turned upside down, when all the promises and compromises you made trying to keep yourself safe from the big bad world explode in your face and you realise they were never real to begin with, just illusions of safety, you are left with a choice.

You can give up, retreat, embittered by a pain so real it is a physical presence.

Or you can surrender to the lessons of grief. Lessons that teach you to put your heart back together again, lessons that show you that there is no true safety but there is the glory of being alive, even if a loved one isn’t. And there is in fact just this life. Or at the very least it is the only one you get to experience.


Suddenly, the pain of breathing without the person you love also becomes a question. “What would they want me to do do?” is a common one. But not one that helped me. However, “what would they have done if they knew the exact amount of life they had to live?” has. 

To paraphrase Daneille La Porte, suddenly saying no to the good so you can say yes to the great is a no brainer. Telling someone you can’t meet for coffee because you need to write is no longer an unfathomable event. Laying claim to being a writer isn’t the big deal it was just a few months previous. And you show your kids you love them on a daily basis so when they flip out that mama wants to do a Yoga class solo or disappear to write,you drop the whip you like to use to self flagellate and instead model the behaviour you hope they will adopt.

That of a multifaceted, so far from perfect but still dancing within the lessons of her messy middle woman who is powerful enough to say her boundaries and needs are important.

Because tomorrow may never come. And I already had my wake up call.


About the Author

Sherrie McCarthy

Sherrie McCarthy is a creative mermaid afloat with her family on their boat Falkor and is passionate about breaking people out of their cages. You know that voice that whispers “there has to be more to life than this?” Sherrie uses her cageology system to help you find your personal key to freedom so you live the life that sets your soul on fire! She writes historical fantasy about samurai under her pen name Lynn Francis and is forever looking to grow her #oilywriter team on Creative & Vibrant Living. You can also follow along with her as she co-hosts the Creative Spirits podcast, where she shares with her cohost Kate the raw and the real of creative life on a spiritual path in this wounds to wisdom transformational podcast.

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