Join us today for the Interview with the Founder of the Loving Life After Loss Movement Marie Alessi...
This is the interview I had with author, influencer, and speaker Marie Alessi.
In today’s interview with Marie Alessi I ask Marie to share with you her journey to writing a book and founding a movement about dealing with loss. Marie also talks with you about her faith and how this helped her on this journey. Marie also shares with you how all of us need to learn to deal with grief and support others with their journey through grief.
Join in on the Chat below.
Episode 1274: Interview with Founder of the Loving Life After Loss Movement Marie Alessi
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1,274 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:09] Marie Alessi: I'm Maria Alessi. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to choose hope and healing when dealing with loss is key.
[00:00:26] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.
[00:00:42] And here's the thing. You do two things with that. You train your brain to focus on the things that you want to see. Rather than on the pain and you focus on what you actually need in your life and when you focus, what we focus on is what we attracting to your lives. So [00:01:00] it's a very simple game that everyone can play that really prepares
[00:01:05] Scott Maderer: you for.
[00:01:06] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself.
[00:01:25] Invest in. And develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:37] In today's interview with Marie Alicia, I ask Marie to share with you her journey to writing a book and founding a movement about dealing with loss. Marie also talks with you about her faith and how this has helped her on this journey through her own loss. And Marie also shares with you how all of us need to learn to deal with grief and support others with their journey.[00:02:00]
[00:02:01] One reason I like to bring you great interviews like the one you're gonna hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read, and that's why today's podcast is brought to you by Audible.
[00:02:22] Go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. , there's over 180,000 titles to choose from, and instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast.
[00:02:49] Marie Alicia is a mother of two boys, a bestselling author, an influencer, and a speaker. After her husband passed away from a brain aneurysm, she found and created her way [00:03:00] back to Joy. She instinctively knew it was the only path worthy for their young boys. Her husband had taught her the concept of two choices, and this one was made in his.
[00:03:11] To make him proud, Marie has become a shining example of choosing love over fear and sadness. Inner movement. Marie offers hope, healing, and happiness to the world when people expect it the least and need it the most. Welcome to the show, Marie. Thank you. So we talked a little bit and I shared a little bit in the intro that you've had some pretty life changing events that brought you to the point of kind of writing this book and starting this movement.
[00:03:43] Would you share a little bit more about your journey and why you decided out of that to put this out into the world?
[00:03:52] Marie Alessi: Yeah I'll give you a super nutshell version because the story in itself is super long. I think it could fill three hours, but , I'll give you the nutshell version. You can ask me [00:04:00] more details where you want to.
[00:04:01] So in a nutshell, I worked as a mindset mentor at that time. When the story starts and I had my own coaching business, I focused on helping. Business people with personal growth to achieve business growth, basically. That was what I did. And Rob, my husband, went on a business trip to the other side of Australia and never came home.
[00:04:24] So it was literally this moment of our life was super happy. Everything was going well, everything was working for us. We were known as that couple that everybody looked at. It's oh my God, look at you two. They were always like very smitten with us and besotted. And it was really, And then all of a sudden that happened.
[00:04:44] Rob went away and never came home. Our boys were 10 and eight and Rob had a brain and aism, so he died instantly on a spot. There was no pre warning, no preparation nothing could've indicated that he was 45 years old in the prime of his life and super fit, [00:05:00] healthy, a surfer, loved life, and collapsed.
[00:05:02] And died. That was the beginning. Of what I do these days, it's an incredible start to a story. I understand that and quite shocking. You can only imagine a shock that we had when we received the news, but about four months into it, I noticed very significantly, and I knew from the beginning, but it was just so apparent that I was handling my grief very differently to what people expected.
[00:05:28] Rob and I were lucky enough that we had a couple of situations in our lives that triggered us to have this conversation about what if, and our answer was always very simple. We looked at each, I was like, I want you to take the boys and create the happiest life possible. But of course there was theory when it all of a sudden happened.
[00:05:45] You, you don't expect that to become reality ever, and you don't expect it to become reality at the age of 45. And when it happened, I knew that's what I had to do. I just knew that's. He wanted me to do, that's what I would've wanted him to do. Love is [00:06:00] simple. Love just wants you to be happy. And that's what I went with.
[00:06:03] So people were naturally quite confused when they looked at me and thought, what on earth is she doing? Is she not grieving her husband or is she still in shock going in Nile? And it was none of that. I was grieving, but very, in a very different way. And that didn't mean that I never cri.
[00:06:21] but it meant that my focus was always on how can I create happiness for the boys, for myself. And about four months into it, I decided I'm gonna write a book about it. I actually had a nervous breakdown in my kitchen and out of that I knew I had to see somebody who to help me through the thickness of it in the beginning.
[00:06:43] And Emily, she was a positive psychologist, still is. is really. She was such a catalyst in my life. She helped me really make sense of my choices and how I was dealing with it. And one day she asked me, I was [00:07:00] sitting in her office in one of our sessions and she asked me, what does grief mean to you, Marie?
[00:07:04] Because I told her about all these expectations from others and how they put so much pressure on me, and I said, empowerment. It's a very bizarre answer that came up, but that was the answer that came up for me. I believe it was due to the enormous strength that I felt after Rob passed. I really felt so guided.
[00:07:24] I felt like I was always looked after and my path was always clear ahead of me. It was really quite miraculously. So I did, I wrote a book about it. I decided I said to you, I think I need to write a book about that. And I did. And that book became an Amazon number one best seller and ranked in the top of top 100 of Australia.
[00:07:46] I. Not expecting that. Absolutely not. And yeah, that, that was the beginning of our story. I'm not sure how much further you wanted to
[00:07:54] Scott Maderer: take, but lemme ask you a couple of follow up questions. Cause you, you mentioned in that, [00:08:00] that the expectations that kind of others were putting on you about grief what. From that experience, what lessons would you share with others? When not, we'll talk some later about when we're dealing with our own grief when somebody who you care about is dealing. With grief. Yeah. Loss of a spouse, loss of a child, loss of a job loss of a business.
[00:08:28] All of the different ways it shows up in our life. What are some of the things that we need to be careful about doing and maybe not doing to help them through it?
[00:08:39] Marie Alessi: There are a couple of things that come up straight away that I wanna share because they're all like really quite important tools.
[00:08:44] First of all I always say, The hardest one, but best one is to go into gratitude. And I have to be honest with you, Scott, I was not able to do that the first few months, probably even a year. If somebody says to you, you just lost your [00:09:00] husband, it'll just be great reward you have. It doesn't work like that.
[00:09:02] Let's be honest. We all know that it's impossible. And I was always a big believer in when adversity hits you to focus on what you have and step into gratitude, step into. And that is something really challenging to do. I knew that was the best option, but I just couldn't do it. I have to be honest. It was really hard.
[00:09:22] And the reason why I'm mentioning that is because you probably come a lot across a lot of people who try to have that approach with you and say be grateful that you have kids, or be grateful that yes, of course I am. I love my kids with all my. But it doesn't mean that it makes it easier. So what I had to learn was to do that interim step to, and I call that neutralizing thoughts, to really take the thoughts and just take them as is.
[00:09:51] These are the two magical words as is. Just repeat that as an ongoing mantra, really. It's yes, my husband died. The whole [00:10:00] effect on it. People put judgment on it straight away. That's the worst thing that can ever happen to you. That's so horrible. Your life is over da. Of course it's horrible, but it doesn't mean that your life is over.
[00:10:10] And then there's this other myth. Your life will never be the same, will die. Of course not. My, my life's never, ever gonna be the same. Of course not. Yet, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is really up to me. What I make outta my life is really up to me. And I always say that healing and happiness are both just a decision away.
[00:10:29] They are choices that we can make in our lives. It doesn't mean it's afflic to switch solution, but there are choices. And that is the one thing that we often forget, the choices that we do have in that situation. And I always have to choice how I respond to it. And the last thing I wanna say here is, To not succumb to society's expectation that how you are supposed to grieve the falling apart, the crying, how your grief looks is really up to you.
[00:10:57] And so many people I work with have got [00:11:00] this very early intuition or feeling or need for laughter, for joy, for happiness. And they don't ever dare to admit that because how dare you? You're supposed to be grieving, you're supposed to be sad, and I don't think so. I think that sadness, grieving, let's name it by the name that we are talking about here, that grieving and joy can absolutely coexist.
[00:11:25] And that's the most important part that I wanna say to people. It can coexist. Just don't let yourself be swayed by what other people expect you to do.
[00:11:34] Scott Maderer: So one of the interesting experiences I've had a couple of times is where I've gone to, A a funeral ceremony, but it was followed by a celebration of life ceremony.
[00:11:47] Yeah. That's it's you grieve on the way to the grave. Yeah. And then the point is as you leave, You go get together and you remember the happy times, and you remember good [00:12:00] memories and you share food and and you laugh and you play music and all of that.
[00:12:05] It's you've seen this like in new or in movies in New Orleans they do that. Say, I've actually participated in those and know, I've told, I've actually told my wife, I'm like that's what I want y'all to do if I pass before you, that's what I want. I want, because I don't think.
[00:12:22] Again, like you said it's that idea of, I think people try to make it I can be sad or I can be happy, and it's no, actually you can be both of those at exactly the same time.
[00:12:33] Marie Alessi: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. We had that for Rob as well. We had an absolute celebration of life. I could not believe how much laughter there was in a room.
[00:12:39] People shared so many beautiful and really fun stories about Rob and it made my day and I knew he would've loved it. It's exactly what he would've.
[00:12:48] Scott Maderer: That, I guess that's in some ways the worst thing about a funeral is the person that kind of needs to hear the events. it's, is Austin the trigger of the events too in, in terms of the stories [00:13:00] that are told and whatnot?
[00:13:01] Yeah. So how did your faith journey evolve and adapt and affect or your spiritual feelings through this? How did that interact with the journey that you.
[00:13:13] Marie Alessi: Yeah I have to say it was a really. Intense journey for me from a spiritual level because I was brought up in a Catholic family very Catholic family actually from both my parents' sides actually.
[00:13:28] And so I was brought up in that faith, but when I was about 20. No, when I was 20, actually not about, it was exactly
[00:13:35] When I was 20, my dad passed away. And I have to say that really shook my faith tremendously, really tremendously. I went into, If there is a God and his soul loving, why on earth would he take my dad away?
[00:13:50] I went into blaming into all that questioning everything phase, and it took me quite some time and I did find my own faith, my own [00:14:00] spirituality again. It was not the Catholic faith anymore, I have to say. And I could not really name what my faith was, but I did believe in. Someone bigger up there looking out for us.
[00:14:13] I couldn't put it into words and I was not really in that. Do you name him? God, do you not? I was really, I had no words for it, but I had a lot of feeling for it, and I felt a lot of guidance. I felt very strong guidance. And about two months before Rob died, I had a really strong call. To go to Hope Church and that is our Christian Church here in town.
[00:14:37] And it's interesting cause I had known the pastor for quite some time and he had a background in coaching and we actually did a workshop together as coaches side by side once and I had no idea he was the pastor. And then I learned about him and the way he was so passionate, how he talked about the board.
[00:14:53] Talked about God, I really, I just wanted to go and see him preach. I thought, this is incredible. He's so passionate and [00:15:00] he told his story how he came from no faith to faith and became a pastor and devoted his whole life to God. And so there were so many spiritual. Things happening that I felt surrounded by and really held by.
[00:15:14] And for about two years, we were absolute weekly visitors at church. A church became our family, and we were very well surrounded by that. I had a realization and I felt like the wordings that I used were not very well received by the Christian community, and for me it was this realization that I. Rob and I had a all contract.
[00:15:39] That was what we had chosen from a soul level. That was so our path and it wasn't very well received. The Christian community did not really like that wording. I understand that, but this is how I see it. And maybe they would use different words and say, God has chosen this path for you, and I'm okay with that too.
[00:15:57] But I knew that was our path and [00:16:00] I knew that I was so looked after and I've never been any more spiritual and. Believing than I am now. I just haven't put a label on it. If it's the Christian or the it's, maybe that's what people expect from you. And I work a lot against expectations from people, and it's not out of wanting to.
[00:16:24] Wanting to be like that. It's just, I don't know. I don't know if that answers your question, but I feel very well it's guided on the path that I'm on. No
[00:16:31] Scott Maderer: It answers the question and I actually think the two answers are connected in that. What I mean by that is you were like dealing with grief, you were dealing with it in a way that was authentic Yeah.
[00:16:43] For you, not necessarily the way that everyone else would do it, and in the spiritual journey, you're doing it in a way that was authentic to you. Doesn't necessarily mean it's the way everyone else would do it but I think a lot of times within many faith communities, [00:17:00] there can be a feeling of if just again, within grief, I've seen the same thing where people are like they're not grieving the way I would grieve.
[00:17:09] So they're not grieving and it's Not necessarily. What how do you know? You're not in their head, you're not in their heart, you're not feeling what they're feeling. How do you know? I think the same thing happens with spirituality. Sometimes. We put labels on it that I'm Christian, but I firmly believe that those decisions are well above my pay grade.
[00:17:28] So what are some of the things that kind of helped you as you went through this? I
[00:17:36] Marie Alessi: think it's going back to the previous question, really, that guidance, I felt such a strong guidance along my way. It was almost like my path was constantly presenting itself. No matter where I went, it was like all the doors just opened up for me where I went.
[00:17:52] It was incredible. And it's like the same as for me being a sole parent. Me [00:18:00] starting the movement, the business that I run now, everything was. Ahead of me and I had moments of really questioning it and really thinking, is that my path? Am I supposed to do that? With the work that I do now it does take up a lot of emotional strength and I have a lot of emotional strength, but I also already have two burnouts where I didn't pay enough attention to my needs and where I stand and how I need to protect myself in order to be great at what I do.
[00:18:32] And in order to be a great mom as well, and to look after myself just as a woman. Do you know what I mean? There's so many needs that you have in life. And for me, one of the biggest realizations was about three years into it, it took me that long. Can you believe it's God? About three years into it, I had this epiphany that I thought, I'm not a single parent.
[00:18:51] I am a sole parent. When you talk about a single parent, there's always another single parent launching around, sharing holidays, sharing decisions, sharing financial [00:19:00] decisions or burdens. And I didn't have that. I was a sole parent. There was nobody else around. And that, to me, shifted so much because I actually owned it even more I already owned being a single parent because I didn't fall into this. Poor me. Oh, now it's only me and nobody else. I had moments where I thought, oh my God I wish Rob was there so I could discuss it with him. No questions asked. But it was almost like when Rob died, I just accepted that this is it, I'm it, and I'm making the decisions and I need to step up and I need to be there for them.
[00:19:32] And I wanted to, that's a big thing you. And then I realized I'm a sole parent, and it was almost like this next level, stepping into it and owning it, and that was really quite incredible. So I think very much being in a moment and trusting, surrender in the most positive way. That was my path, really.
[00:19:51] Scott Maderer: Do you think the writing the book, was that part of your grief recovery or is that [00:20:00] when you first started to write it? Was that kind of where it was coming from, or,
[00:20:04] Marie Alessi: I think it was more there were a couple of little reasons that all came to this big, I really need to write this.
[00:20:10] First of all, I really wanted to leave it as a love legacy for Rob. I wanted to write something that showed people that didn't know him, who we were as a couple, who was, and. And. I also thought it would be nice for the boys one day to read it because they were only 10 and eight when Rob died, so they were quite little.
[00:20:30] I would've not let them read their book back then, and they still haven't read it. They're 12 and 14 now. They know exactly what I do. They're very involved in, you know what I do? I tell them every day when I have an interview Media piece comes out and I was interviewed by our two biggest TV channels here and they were so excited for me.
[00:20:49] They're always my biggest supporters and rooting for me. But it was also, I thought if I could just give a couple of people hope, That there is a different way of grieving, a [00:21:00] different way of dealing with that. I want them to feel validated because people feel so lonely with wanting to be happy because they feel it's not allowed, or society doesn't expect them to do that, and then they're all bled and there's so much judgment around how people are grieving.
[00:21:16] And my big shout at here, if you take anything away from this podcast is to please don't judge, just open your heart. Just be their whole space for the people that's what they. .
[00:21:27] Scott Maderer: So how did that lead to starting the movement piece of this? As I said the book ranked in a top 100, and I did not expect that.
[00:21:41] Marie Alessi: It was so surprising for me. And only a couple of weeks after the book was published, maybe two or three weeks after the boys and I boarded a plane on a trip around the world. I decided to take the boys away from all of these first milestones without their dad I thought. I'm gonna do exactly what I [00:22:00] promised Rob.
[00:22:00] I'm gonna create new and happy memories. So we are going on a trip around the world. , pack your bags. We're going. And I literally, it took me, I know I'll say as a spontaneous decision, it took me weeks and weeks to make the decision to decide where we're gonna go. And then I finally had the itinerary.
[00:22:16] And I remember walking in and out of the travel agency like two or three times. And again, I got a very strong sign, which was really beautiful. I got so many signs. On my way when I was questioning it and one of those things was Rob and I had, one of our favorite singers is Jason Morale, and there's a song that's called, I Want You to have it All.
[00:22:40] I never heard that song before. I didn't know about this song, although we were such big fans of Chase Morale and we listened to him quite a lot. But this was a song I never heard, and I remember when I had to make the decision and that song came on the radio and I'm like, the words couldn't be more perfect.
[00:22:56] I want you to have it all. Do you go? Do you not go? I want you to have it all. [00:23:00] And I actually examined that song cause I wanted to know what it, you know who it is,
[00:23:04] Marie Alessi: it's by. And I was like, oh my God, that's ta mor. I can't believe who that was. That felt such such a strong sign. So I thought, you know what?
[00:23:11] Back and forth. I finally paid for the trip and I came back in the car and that was like a week later, A couple of days later, came back in the car, the same song came on and gone again. And I'm like, oh my God, this is incredible. I believe in science a lot, but I do. And it was really beautiful to feel that I'm supported in that decision.
[00:23:29] So I took him on the trip around the world and when I was in Vienna, where I'm originally from, was actually sitting in my old apartment. Cause my mom moved into that apartment when I moved to Australia 18 years ago. And I had this moment. Just letting everything come through and thinking about how far we have come in those six months since Rob died and what's been happening.
[00:23:53] It was a bit of a bittersweet moment, but a really beautiful moment of just doing a bit of a recap. And I thought of that book [00:24:00] and I just shook my head and I thought this is incredible. I just can't believe what happened with that. And there it was there in that moment I thought, you know what?
[00:24:08] I've got something that the world needs and that is hope. I need to do something about this. And the same day, again, believe in science or not. I do. I got an email from a mentor that I'd had been following for a few years at that time already, and a very quick side story, the mentor that I had been working with in my business.
[00:24:28] Passed the same way that Rob did only a couple of months after Rob. It was incredible. I just couldn't believe it like it really hit me when I heard about me, his passing, and then I thought, who am I gonna turn to? Who's gonna help me with that? Because I trusted me here with all my heart. He was an incredible mentor, very heart centered mentor, and you don't find that a lot in business coaching, I have to say.
[00:24:50] And then that's with no offense to anyone, but there's very often a focus on business. I knew of him. I had followed his newsletter and his focus is [00:25:00] on building tribes, so I sent him an email and said, can we meet up? And three weeks after my return from the trip around the world, I sat in the first workshop and recorded my welcome video to the group.
[00:25:12] And then I opened the door. So it was literally such a whirlwind. I came home, I opened the movement three weeks later and there was this history, it was incredible. Like we had like hundreds of people come in the first few weeks, and then meanwhile there's a couple of thousand people in there.
[00:25:27] It's just
[00:25:29] Scott Maderer: incredible . I hear you, you felt that you were called to do this, and you felt that there was a reason to do it, and something that you wanted to share with the world. What ed, yet at the same time, you mentioned earlier that there's been several times that you've you've overdone it you've burned out a little bit.
[00:25:47] You, you've had those sorts of movements. What do you think how does that balance. Come about. How have you been working to find that balance between pouring out for [00:26:00] others and yet taking care of yourself, taking care of your boys, taking care of the, and I know the answer is not well all the time.
[00:26:06] Cause that's true for all of us. But how do you think that's evolved for you over the years? Yeah.
[00:26:13] Marie Alessi: That's that's a really excellent question because a lot of people who work in the healing space struggle with that balance and so did I, and I think the biggest thing was because I love what I do so much that you don't take enough breaks.
[00:26:27] You just keep going and keep giving, and you get into this yeah, just constantly being there, being present for everyone. I did not put any boundaries in place. Ooh, keyword. Boundaries that was so important. So I'd say there are two keywords actually that go hand in hand really nicely. That's self care and boundaries, and that was the real key for me.
[00:26:50] To have that balance of still giving, but also giving to myself. And I did something, and I've been doing it for [00:27:00] over a year now that I go to regular massages, like every three weeks I go and get a Kauna massage. It's a Hawaiian healing massage. It's incredible. It's a huge part of my healing journey and my ongoing self nurturing as well.
[00:27:13] I do take time out for myself when I feel that I'm coming to that point where I'm like oh warning signs, I just take a time, out, or I have a digital free day, or I take my boys and go to the woods, or I do a bush walk. Or nature is such a big part of this really spend more time in nature.
[00:27:34] We say that's all lightheartedly and don't do it often enough. And then I discovered something, you'll love this. This is incredible. It's called Weekends .
[00:27:48] Scott Maderer: What one of those? I've never heard of those
[00:27:51] Marie Alessi: Just last June, I literally only discovered that and I thought, how on earth did I not do that ever?
[00:27:58] And I kid you not, I know [00:28:00] I'm being sarcastic here, but I did not take weekends. For the first three years of running the movement. And I'm like, why did I not do that? Because I love what I do, so it's easy for me to just be there and just be present. Just do another live video and just do a couple of posts and just answer a couple questions and hours later and you're still there.
[00:28:16] And I thought, no this has got to stop because otherwise I can't. Regain my energy and refocus on filling my tank so I can give it's just really important and it might sound so easy, but it's not. When you love what you do, it's not easy to step away, but it's important. Yeah I think a lot of, especially entrepreneurs or people that.
[00:28:38] Scott Maderer: Run their own business and have that kind of, of drive. Coaches he you people in healthcare, healing industries, these sorts of things. I think it's pretty common for folks to burn out. I deal with a lot of nurses and a lot of other folks like that, and some of the work I do.
[00:28:57] And Oh yeah. It's really easy to do it [00:29:00] because generally the people that are attracted to those sorts of industries are want to help. Yeah, exactly. but they forget sometimes that there are people too we gotta help ourselves. Reminder, not let, write that down, . It is, it's we treat ourselves.
[00:29:14] I tell people all the time we say and do things to ourselves that we would never do to other people, or say to other people, or allow other people to do. I love that you say to Scott because so often when I had moments of, oh my God, I'm not sure you know how to get out of this, or how to feel better again, or my really closest friends often said to me, I think you should listen to your own videos a little bit more
[00:29:38] Marie Alessi: And I'm like I'm really good at teaching it, but I have to remind myself to apply it to myself as well. And that's what I often do. It's my go to where I'm like, I really need to apply those tools to myself. And those are the tools that I'm now teaching because I have applied them to myself, so I know they're working, sometimes I do need the reminder, like everybody else.
[00:29:56] Scott Maderer: So what are some of those tools that you teach [00:30:00] for folks that are dealing with grief, trying to maybe they're hearing this and they're in that stage right now. What are some of the things that
[00:30:10] Marie Alessi: you teach?
[00:30:12] I'm gonna share two of my favorite starter kit very quickly here because often when you are listening to this and you're very fresh in a journey, you listen to all the healing stories and you're like, yeah, how am I not ever gonna get there? It's impossible for me. You honestly think when somebody dies, that is so who's so close to your heart, you don't think that you'll ever get over it in that moment.
[00:30:34] Or often people think that. So there are two things that I do. One I really like because it's a little game I play that I call the color orange. And it's super easy to play. So I'm gonna explain it very quickly. I get people to focus on the color orange just for one day, and I get them to write a list of all the things orange they can see.
[00:30:52] Like me just even sitting in my office, I see a orange extreme catcher. I've got like an orange feature wall and orange clothing, an orange pillow, [00:31:00] little. Squeezy ball. I've got
[00:31:01] You know my,
[00:31:03] Scott Maderer: I was gonna say there's orange in the painting behind you. I can see it.
[00:31:05] Marie Alessi: Yeah. Yeah. But there's so much cuz orange is my favorite color.
[00:31:08] And you can replace it with your favorite color. The color doesn't matter. It's the focus. So I get people to focus on their favorite color for an entire day, write a list, and you should easily get to about a hundred items. And the next day I get them to replace the color with the emotion they're missing the most.
[00:31:27] And I'm gonna go with an easy one here that is very suitable for the space of grief and that is love. For the second day, I ask them, focus on everything. Love that you can see, feel or hear around you. That can be in a movie that you watch that can be a butterfly coming past. That can be a mom hugging her baby.
[00:31:43] That can be a couple walking hand in hand, whatever that is. That means love to you. Focus on that. And here's the thing, you do two things with that. You train your brain to focus on the things that you want to see rather than on the pain. [00:32:00] And you focus on what you actually need in your life. And when you focus, what we focus on is what we attract into your lives.
[00:32:07] So it's a very simple. Game that everyone can play that really prepares you to ease that pain. Let me put it that way. You can't just take it away overnight like that. I wish we could. I'd love to, but it's not gonna work overnight. So that is a really nice and easy game to play to, to get your brain started, I'd say, to prepare yourself to create that focus.
[00:32:31] And the other question that I often get people to think about is to separate. What they have lost from who they have lost. And people always go what? What do you mean? How can I do that? And I said tell me the things that you actually miss the most. So in my case, when Rob died, it was things like feeling safe.
[00:32:53] He was my knight in shining armor. I always felt safe when rock was around never had to worry about anything, and all of a sudden I had to [00:33:00] recreate that feeling of safety for me. It was things like he was such a good provider. He was a hands on dad. He did so much of the cooking. He helped me with the cleaning, with the household, with everything.
[00:33:11] He was a super hands on, husband and dad. So I wrote an entire list of all the things that I really miss of not being like him, not being around and of. The physical the hugs, just somebody being there, having you, that's a really big thing for most people in a space of grief. So I'll get you to write the entire list and then you go through the list because not everything can be replaced.
[00:33:36] And this is a very big keyword. It isn't about replacing, it's about recreating. You look at what can I create from that list? Or through other people, there might be things that you outsource, like my gardening. I outsource that. I got a cleaner to help me in the first few years, and then now I'm doing it on my own and it's fine, but I got help where I needed [00:34:00] it. I took all the things where I could. And then there are some things like the physical, like the hugs, it's, you can get a lot of your friends to hug you and all of that, but it's not the same. Like when your husband hugs you, of course it's not ever gonna be the same. But it is so important, and I'm saying that as an example because physical hugs are really important for every human being.
[00:34:23] There's an actual need for it. There are studies done how many hugs and how many circums you need per day to to function. It's really in incredible how it has an impact on your mental health. So I'm not saying that lightheartedly, I'm saying go out and get hugs. Give hugs. It's really, yeah, just see what you can do, what you can create.
[00:34:44] Because it puts you back into the state of empowerment and not victimhood, and I can't do this.
[00:34:54] Scott Maderer: So what are some of the things that you've seen folks [00:35:00] struggle the most with when they're going through this kind and dealing with the grief? What are some of the areas that. Are traps for people, for lack of a better word.
[00:35:13] Or stumbling blocks.
[00:35:15] Marie Alessi: There's one huge one and that's guilted. That's really reoccurring and it's very common in grave and. What I say to people is and this comes back to the field of faith and I really respect and understand that everyone's faith is very different, but from where I stand and from what my beliefs are, is that where Rob is right now?
[00:35:43] There's nothing but purest, unconditional love. And peace. So the concept of guilt doesn't exist on the other side. It's a very human concept. It's something that we are holding onto because we find it easier and it comes back to that [00:36:00] control. It's an emotion that we have control of, believe it or not. We think we don't, but we do.
[00:36:05] And because we feel so out of control and there's something that happened that we don't have control over, we don't have control over who, who lives and who dies. It's not ours to decide. And So we go into something that we have control of. We are holding onto that guilt. If I had only, if I had only said, if I had only done, I wish that were, in my last words, I wish I would've picked up the phone.
[00:36:28] I wish I wouldn't have picked up the phone, whatever. The list is endless and I look at them and I think, okay. I always do this thing, what I call shifting of perspectives. If you were to step, okay, I'm gonna play it myself now. If I was to step into Rob's shoes where he's now, and all of a sudden I'm in this pure bliss and love and I'm just at peace and my life is just perfect.
[00:36:53] And then I look down on earth or over, or whatever you might call it, and I see Marie and she [00:37:00] was struggling with guilt, which luckily I wasn't, but that's a completely different story. But there is my wife and she's struggling with guilt. Would you want her to feel that? Would you feel, or would you like whatever the reason is that triggers the guilt.
[00:37:16] It doesn't exist on the other side anymore. It doesn't exist. There's just love. There's just purest bliss and forgiveness and peace. So there is no need for guilt. It's an absolute human concept, and I understand that people often take a long time to understand that until they can finally let go. But I'm saying it's like a tab of war.
[00:37:37] You pull for no reason, and all you get is like really raw and open wounds in your hands, and all you need to do is let go. And I understand more than anyone because me, that concept of letting go took me three decades to understand. Three decades from when my dad passed, and actually way before then, but that's a completely different podcast.
[00:37:59] So [00:38:00] anyway, when I understood the concept of letting go, All of a sudden, everything became easy. My entire life. I thought, how do you just let go? How do you just let go? Just and let go does not work in one sentence it's a really hard concept, but once you understand it, it's so easy and you just can't ever look back.
[00:38:17] When you understand that there's only love and peace, you can't go back to guilt. It doesn't work.
[00:38:24] Scott Maderer: So my brand is inspired stewardship, and I run things through that lens of stewardship, and yet I've discovered over the years that's one of those words, that it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
[00:38:36] So what does the, when you hear the word stewardship, what does that word mean to you and how do you think that meaning intersects with your. Yeah,
[00:38:46] Marie Alessi: that's a really beautiful question. And Scott, I have to be super honest here. I actually had to translate the word stewardship for me because I'm bilingual.
[00:38:53] I didn't grow up like my mother tongue is German, so stewardship was a really a word for me that I had heard [00:39:00] of and knew I couldn't really make sense of. So I really sat with it and I I was glad that you gave me that one question actually up front, because I really needed to sit with it and think about it.
[00:39:10] And for me, what came up. Really one word and that one word that stuck with me is that being in and trusted in someone. And that really works on so many levels around what I do, because obviously I'm entrusted in this whole spiritual journey that I really trust my guidance, my inner guidance, the guidance from above that I.
[00:39:33] Held in this journey that I'm really led on this path. And then there's also my beautiful community that are really entrusted in me. And I don't take that lightheartedly. They really trust my guidance. And if I don't look after my own and strengthen that and know where I'm heading. I wouldn't be able to lead them.
[00:39:54] And I really like that concept, that feeling of being entrusted. [00:40:00] That's incredible.
[00:40:01] Scott Maderer: I like that. I like that, that that definition. So if I admitted this magic machine, And I was able to pluck you from the chair where you are today and transport you into the future, maybe 150 or 200 years. And through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the relationships, all of the connections, all of the ripples that you've left behind in the world.
[00:40:28] What do you hope you've left behind in the world? My
[00:40:33] Marie Alessi: biggest mission is to heal the world from grief, and I would like to see that. I would like to see looking back a different approach and that the legacy that I have left behind was that people look at grief differently and that instead of being.
[00:40:49] Putting expectation on judgment, on grief. They just open their heart and hold space for people, cuz that's all it takes and it doesn't really take much to do that. To [00:41:00] stop the judgment and just open your heart and hold space for people and allow them to have joy and happiness in their lives again. And that's what I would like to see.
[00:41:09] Very simple.
[00:41:10] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next for you as you continue on this?
[00:41:15] Marie Alessi: What's going next for me? So we do have a lot of media attention at the moment, again, which is really quite incredible. It always spreads the word so nicely, and I really love that. And I also have our next retreat coming up in September that I'm really looking forward to.
[00:41:31] It's I'm, I decided to only do it once a year now because it's just with all the parameters that we are dealing. Covid, et cetera. There's just too many ifs and buts that we need to cover to make that happen. But I really love the retreat. I only take a very small amount of numbers for a three and a half day very intense healing journey.
[00:41:49] It's re really beautiful. And I also started a membership out of that entire movement that we have where we catch up for fortnightly coaching [00:42:00] calls. And I really love that. It's called the Happy Healing Membership. It's the title of my second book, actually, that I gave that membership. I thought it's very suitable and I also started doing VIP days with people.
[00:42:13] I've already had the first couple VIP days, and I just really love the transformation that is possible in one day. It's absolutely mind blowing and just so beautiful when you see. How people walk in and how they walk out, and they have so much hope and direction when they walk out of here, and I just really love giving that to people.
[00:42:34] It fills my heart with so much joy and it has a lot of meaning.
[00:42:44] Scott Maderer: You can find out more about Marie and her movement on her website at Marie. lesi.com and of course I'll have links to that in the show notes. That's spelled M A R I E A L E S [00:43:00] i.com. I'll have links to that. Marie, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?
[00:43:05] Marie Alessi: I just want to to say thank you, Scott, for holding this space because your podcast is really beautiful and it's just amazing when you get a platform like that where you can share your message.
[00:43:15] So I just wanted to thank you for holding space for me today to let me share my story.
[00:43:19] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. I'm glad to do it. Glad to have you on. Thank you. Thank you.
[00:43:29] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this, Please. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes.
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Here’s the thing you do two things with that you train your brain to focus on the things you want to see rather than the pain and you focus on what you actually need in your life and what we focus on is what you attract into your life. – Marie Alessi
You can connect with Marie using the resources below: