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I'm humbled and thrilled that you're here!  I already mentioned that I love journaling, so buckle your seatbelt ... you're in for a crazy, messy ride!  Remember, we're all perfectly imperfect

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(FYI, this post is also featured as a guest blog on Laurel Box’s website: https://www.laurelbox.com/blogs/news/navigating-grief-loss-holiday-cheer) Are you navigating grief, loss, and holiday cheer this season? With the falling of the leaves and crisper air in most parts comes an awareness of the upcoming holiday season.  In the midst of transitioning décor for fall, I’ve already […]

Have you ever wondered if you’re failing at grieving? While this may sound like a silly question, it’s fairly common for grieving hearts to consider it throughout the grief process. Let me explain … In one fell swoop, grief knocks you off your feet. As a result, you come crashing down, attempting to regain your […]

Have you ever felt, in the midst of life’s challenges, that hope is a mirage? You know … the more you look out into the distance, the foggier and more blurry the scene becomes? Yeah, me too. For many, the pandemic has created a bit of a standstill on multiple levels. I find myself etched […]

We often ask what we can do as we wait in life, but have you ever thought about what we can be in the waiting instead? A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a girlfriend for lunch at a local eatery. It was a rainy and cold day, so I was quite content […]

What does it mean to embrace slower rhythms, especially when we live in a world that reinforces busy-ness? First things first … let me be clear. I am a DO-ER. While I’d love to say I feel zen and relaxed throughout most of life’s ebbs and flows, unfortunately, it’s simply not true. I like the […]

Sometimes along the grief journey, you simply have to trust those around you. I learned this head-on after the death of my mom, when those closest to me recognized that I was falling apart. In my view, however, everything was “just fine.” Despite the fact that I’d walked straight into the darkest season of my […]

What happens when grief doesn’t match? Following my mom’s death in 2012, my already tiny family was one person smaller. Left to manage her affairs, my brother and I were my mom’s sole surviving children. Years prior to her death, my parents had divorced, resulting in our family becoming two teams of three versus four. […]

‘Wherever you go, there you are.’ This is the title of a 2005 book by author, Jon Kabat-Zinn. At the time, I’d become increasingly interested in the concept of mindfulness. If you’re curious, as I was, you can read more about Kabat-Zinn’s book here: https://www.amazon.com/Wherever-You-There-Are-Mindfulness/dp/1401307787. For whatever reason, I found myself restless, in search of […]

After experiencing a significant loss, have you ever asked the question: “What happens when my friendships die too?” Friend, I’ve always considered myself to be an extrovert … that is until I hit my mid-30s. At any rate, anyone who’s known me over the years would describe me as an outgoing person. As part of […]

The year, 2013. Just two months after awakening to discover my mom’s lifeless body next to me and my brother, I stood before a class of academically hungry doctoral students. My role, Associate Professor. Each breath I took seemed insurmountable and forced in that moment. The problem? I was leading while grieving. Before I share […]

Fanning love’s flame while grieving, though potentially beneficial, is exhausting. Trust me, I know. Just 6 years after my mom’s death, a year and a half after my Beagle’s passing, and 4 years into my transition to a new state, I met David. The year, 2018. Little did I know that just a year and […]

Have you ever considered the reality of grieving while Black? If you don’t identify as BIPOC, it’s like that you haven’t. In society, we often ascribe wide-sweeping assumptions about the grief process. As a result, we’re less able to take into account the reality that all grief is not created equal. Caitlin Forbes (https://www.baby1stnetwork.org/news/blog-how-do-we-address-black-grief-compounded-centuries-racism-loss-and-trauma) writes […]

Have you ever considered the role of faith in the face of grief? Prayer and faith, as it pertains to grief, can be a tricky territory, I know. Faith is a multidimensional and layered muscle that is influenced by a host of things. For instance, family upbringing, trauma exposure, grief and loss, and community play […]

Isn’t it time to adopt a new definition of resilient leadership? My quick answer: a resounding YES. My longer answer, however, is that we need to explore the concept of resilience. This, I believe, will help us better understand its role in leadership. Psychology Today defines ‘resilience’ as “the psychological quality that allows some people […]

Have you ever considered the role of the 5 love languages in grief? Equally as important, are you even aware of the love languages? If not, let me offer a bit of context. Dr. Gary Chapman outlined five primary ways people feel cared for in his landmark book, “The Five Love Languages.” Here’s a link […]

In 2013, another question my therapist asked was “Mekel, what do you think about unleashing the power of movement in grief? Hmmm … I hadn’t really considered how the two might be connected at that point in my grief journey. After my mom died in late 2012, and my body began sending non-stop signals in […]

I never really considered the power of putting pen to paper until 2012. That’s the year my mom died. As a result, I found myself in a club I never wanted to be a part of, namely one filled with grieving souls. After resisting everything associated with grief for roughly one year after her death, […]

“Are you just seen or truly known?” This was the question my therapist posed to me last year as I explained how misunderstood I felt in my grief. In the midst of coping with the impact of a global pandemic, my dad died of sudden heart failure. And after nearly 8 years of navigating grief […]

Have you ever considered the impact of grief on relationships in your life? Remember being a kid and pinky swearing? Sometimes, it represented a guarantee of secrecy between friends. The pinky swear not only signified togetherness in the moment, but also a forever bond. While I often equated this to childhood, as an adult, I […]

Grief takes you here, there, and everywhere. The day I realized just how much grief had thrust me into a whirlwind, I’d already hit rock bottom. Roughly 8 months following my mom’s death, I traveled from LA to Washington, D.C. for a business meeting. The airplane, minimally full, provided the perfect cocoon for me to […]

Have you ever wondered where others end and you begin? Over the years, I certainly have. This is based, in part, on my natural giving nature, as well as my profession. (Yes, there are days when working as a licensed psychologist doesn’t work to my advantage!) I’m reminded of a season in my early 30s […]

Have you ever wondered how to decompress after experiencing a grief trigger? First things first. Let me define what ‘grief trigger’ means. A grief trigger is basically anything that sparks memories of a loss. It’s not uncommon to think of birthdays, anniversaries, the holiday season, or special events as triggers for grief. What may not […]

Let’s face it. Showing up for someone who’s grieving isn’t easy by any means. Grief is messy and complicated, as well as downright uncomfortable to sit in. The tendency to want to avoid the pain associated with grief is human and understandable. At the same time, doing so can create a situation in which the […]

Friend, have you ever thought about the gift that resides in the mundane rhythms of life? The regular trips to the grocery store. Folding the laundry. Tending to the yard. Sitting in that chair staring at the same scene day after day. If you’re anything like me, the all-too-familiar aspects of life can seem boring. […]

Quick question, friend … are you betraying yourself? I know, I know … it’s a direct question. Honestly, I’m in a season where straight shooting is becoming more of the norm. So there’s that. You might be wondering where this question stemmed from. The other day, I had the pleasure of spending time in my […]

Let’s face it. Asking the tough questions — whether about ourselves, others, or events in our lives — is hard. 2012 proved to be the year that I began asking them. It was the year my mom died 30 days after being diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Just 30 days! Questions flooded my mind […]

This seems like such an obvious statement, right? When you’re alone, you may begin to experience feelings of loneliness. It makes perfect sense. Grieving alone can feel … well, lonely. First, let me acknowledge that this isn’t the case for every person who grieves. And of course, experiencing seasons of alone-ness as we grieve is […]

“Routine is rather like the egg whites in a batter: it imparts little flavor, but it holds everything together.” — Josiah Bancroft Experiencing a significant loss opens your eyes to see many things, including just how lopsided your life has become. From learning how to live life apart from a loved one to exploring newfound […]

Years into my grief journey, I finally surrendered and let grief have its way. I think it was pure emotional and physical exhaustion that led me to that place, coupled with spiritual overwhelm. See, I’m a gifted fighter. My original coaches, Darnell and Patricia Harris (aka, Daddy & Mama), announced early on in my life […]

Yes, I said it! STOP relying on your partner … to meet all your needs as you grieve. Before you stop reading, please let me share a quick story. After my dad died last year, my sweet partner, David, put his work to the side in order to fly to Texas and spend two uninterrupted […]

Did you know your story matters? Yes, that’s right … YOUR story! One of my favorite entrepreneurs and host of MarieTV, Marie Forleo, says it this way: “The world needs that special gift that only you have.” You can read more about who Marie is and what she offers here: https://www.marieforleo.com/. I remember the first […]

In recent days, I’ve sensed the fresh winds of change. Perhaps it’s the gradual transition away from all that was 2020, with all its hurdles and obstacles. Or this week’s reminders, in the form of lingering sunshine and scarlet-colored birds, that winter barely remains. Maybe it’s simply the soft and gentle whispers from God Himself […]

Are you ready to re-imagine … life after loss, that is? OK, first let me explain … Grief is exhausting. And overwhelming. It can also be all-consuming, if we’re not careful. Trust me, I know. Early in the morning on December 9, 2012, my beloved mom died as a result of stage IV pancreatic cancer, […]

My question for you and myself at the beginning of this year is: “Where does your loyalty reside? I’m pretty sure we’ve all breathed a sigh of relief on some level after surviving 2020. Whew, what a whirlwind in so many ways! I found myself juggling several balls last year in my career, home life, […]

Have you ever thought about what it means to experience unforced rhythms of living? This was a question I asked myself years ago as I listened to a pastor preach on the topic of grace. He shared that many people don’t experience the full grace of God, in part, because they are focused more on […]

‘Christmas, Christmas time is near … time for joy and time for cheer …’ always rings in my ear this time of year. Growing up, I loved Alvin and the Chipmunks, and this was one of my favorite songs. To be honest, it still tickles me to hear Dave scream, “Alvin!!!!” throughout the song. Christmas […]

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘fake it ’til you make it.’ It’s a phrase used to inspire us to jump into action in the face of trials or accomplish a seemingly insurmountable goal. On the heels of my mom’s death in 2012 and even this year following my dad’s death, many people offered advice about […]

My mother, a woman who would absolutely be defined as a ‘strong Black woman,’ raised me to be a fighter and an overcomer. Born in the late 1940s, she was reared by a single and hardworking mother who’d mastered the art of grit. grit/: courage and resolve; strength of character From cleaning White folks’ homes […]

Here we are, yet again, experiencing life in the election dash. It’s the middle of the day in my neck of the woods. And while I dictate this blog post, there are many who are wrestling with feelings of uncertainty, preemptive disappointment, and overwhelm associated with the U. S. presidential election. Last night, I did […]

2020 has been a year filled with hits that won’t quit, right? COVID-19. Business and school closures. Job furloughs and losses for some. Racial and social unrest. Political upheaval. Community death. Personal loss. And on top of this, the very thing we’re wired for — namely, social connection — is the one thing we’ve needed […]

What does it mean to ‘show up for yourself’ as you grieve? It’s a common catch phrase we read on social media and hear on TV these days.  And it’s a phrase, in my opinion, that can evoke frustration and overwhelm as we consider the need to show up for one more doggone thing. Let’s […]

Grief cracks wide open many things within and around you. Prior to my mom’s death in December 2012, I thought of grief in primarily emotional ways.  I understood the potential for sadness.  The tears.  Desperate longing.  Pain. I’d sat with many clients in the years leading up to her death – clients who sat across […]

What do you do when the world is temporarily closed? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves this year against the backdrop of a global pandemic. 2020 has brought with it a lot of doubt. Confusion. Uncertainty. But most of all, it’s ushered in a laundry list of questions. Like … what is the meaning […]

‘Showing up for yourself’ … It’s a contemporary catch-phrase we see plastered across social media platforms these days. But what does it actually mean? I’ll answer this question by sharing a story. The year was 2012 and for all intents and purposes, my life was fabulous. I lived in Southern California, enjoyed a fruitful career […]

One question I’ve asked myself often this year is: “Mekel, are you loving well in the midst of stress?” And quite frankly, depending on the day, the answer might be a resounding ‘no.’ Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not easily angry and keeps no record of past mistakes. You may be familiar […]

This year, I discovered the beauty of weight, and I’ve never felt better. Sounds crazy, right? Let me explain by sharing the year’s happenings thus far … February 2020 – I first learned of a public health crisis, what later became known as COVID-19, followed by significant shifts in society March 2020 – my dad […]

Grief has a way of unraveling you. Thread by thread. Painful moment by painful moment. December 2012 thrust me into uncharted territory — the dark and messy wilderness of grief. On the ninth day of the month, my spunky and outspoken mother died after receiving a diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer just 30 days […]

Serving as a leader within this fast-paced society requires the contemporary “leadership girl” to be able to wear many professional “heels,” if you will, while at the same time, master the art of balance.   Balance … a word that has become more commonplace in recent years, yet still remains elusive to many fearless leaders.   How is […]

Every now and again, I like to switch up my workout routine. This is due, in part, to workout boredom, as well as a desire to challenge my body in new ways. So last week, I returned to an ‘oldie, but goodie,’ workout — barre. Not only did it energize me physically, but it also […]

Whether you embrace the title or not, you’re a leader. As a professional, parent, friend, or all of the above, you lead others. And as a leader, it’s important to lead well. Why? Because not only do others need you, you need you. I’ve always felt comfortable serving as a leader over the years. It’s […]

Who would’ve thought one could glean such wonderful life lessons from a garage sale? Let me explain … I’m an incredibly sentimental person. From cards and handwritten letters to items of clothing to physical knick knacks, I enjoy being able to spend time in reflection on individual mementos from the past, as well as experiences […]