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The Parliament of World Religion

I’m honored to be a panelist at The Parliament of World Religion. On October 17, I will be on a panel with the esteemed Professor Robert Thurman. Professor Thurman is an author, speaker, co-founder of The Tibet House, and Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential people in America.

The Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Marianne Williamson, Krista Tippet, Dr. Karen Armstrong, Dr. Eboo Patel are just some of the keynote speakers. 10K people, 80 Nations, 50 Faiths—I hope to see you there!

Psychology Today

Hello Friends, I am honored to announce that I’ve started writing for Psychology Today. A few of my pieces have been featured as Must – Reads. Here is one of my recent pieces “9 Things Success- Oriented People Do”. You can read the piece here and then visit me here as well. I’d love to address any issues or topics that you are curious about. Please contact me at Kristin@kristinmeekhof.com

Gratitude For This Early Praise For My Forthcoming Book

Dear Readers, I am grateful to be able to share with you some very early praise for my forthcoming book. This first ‘blurb’ is from my dear friend Dr. Deepak Chopra. I am grateful beyond the telling to have these words from him. It is difficult for me to put into words what he means to me.

“This a very valuable and practical guide for any woman who has lost her husband due to an untimely death.  Kristin Meekhof’s journey is both inspiring and courageous and something we can all learn from.”-Dr. Deepak Chopra 

I am beyond honored to have Maria Shriver give her support. I have the joy of being able to contribute to her online website as an Architect of Change.

“I’m proud of Kristin Meekhof, who has written this inspiring and insightful book to help guide widows through their grief. This book is by an Architect of Change, for all of us who must deal with grief.”-Maria Shriver

I’ve had the privilege of meeting Lord Loomba, CBE, founder and trustee of the Loomba Foundation. Most recently, I was his guest at a UN event in New York. The Loomba Foundation supports and empowers widows on a global level.

“This is a book that should be essential reading for every woman struggling to make sense of life after the death of a husband. I recommend this book because it is highly accessible and will surely improve the lives of many widows and those who help widows.” -Lord Loomba, CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee of The Loomba Foundation

I am grateful for the gracious support from these three beautiful individuals who bring luminosity to the world simply by being who they are.

– Kristin

#ThankList With American Greetings

Last week, I was honored to be a part of the American Greetings #ThankList initiative. An interview that I did with the American Greetings Card company is now live (a link is below). This is part of their ‪#‎ThankList‬series, and if you follow them (online) you will see additional pieces about my story a bit later this month.

Working with Meghan Olmstead and her team at American Greetings card was an honor and joy. I can tell you that this #ThankList initiative is very special to me because of the focus on gratitude. This project is supported by The Huffington Post President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington, Oscar award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, Dr. Deepak Chopra, psychologist Randy Kamen and motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein

An interview that I did with the American Greetings Card company is now live. This is part of their ‪#‎ThankList‬ series, and if you follow them (online) you will see additional pieces about my story a bit later this month.

Working with Meghan Olmstead and her team at American Greetings card was an honor and joy. I can tell you that this #ThankList initiative is very special to me because of the focus on gratitude. This project is supported by The Huffington Post President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington, Oscar award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, Dr. Deepak Chopra, psychologist Randy Kamen and motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein

Thousands of people viewed my #ThankList story and many people wrote to me as well. I am overwhelmed with this response, and I would love for you to share your own #ThankLists with me as well.

Here is the link to my #ThankList Story with American Greetings http://www.americangreetings.com/blog/kristins-thanklist/

Exciting News

I am beyond grateful for all of the good people who generously offered their support to help make this book possible. It has been three years of writing and research. Our final manuscript was submitted. It is all bittersweet since the impetus for the book is loss. I am honored to have met so many beautiful people as a result of this project, and I hope that you will join us in November for our book launch.

Our book-  A Widow’s Guide to Healing: Gentle Support and Advice for the First Five Years.

Detroit’s Vintage Auto Show

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Astro III , 1969 photograph by Bill Rauhauser, Pigment Print on Archival Paper, used with permission from the Hill Gallery

 

Later this month, thousands will attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan; however, the other must see auto show is the Bill Rauhauser Photography: Detroit Auto Show, 1960s – 1970s at the Hill Gallery in Birminham, Michigan. This vintage auto show is a step back in history. And for many it will be their first opportunity to get a flavor of what it was like to attend these classic auto shows. Long before Instagram, digital photography and Photoshop, Bill Rauhauser, 96 was capturing the images here at these auto shows and on the streets of Detroit.

On New Year’s Day, Mr. Rauhauser talks candidly about the Detroit Auto Show images he photographed. “I remember it all”, he says as he is looking through the prints. “I would get there early and go by myself. There was no cropping (of the prints),” he recalls. Rauhauser is passionate about his upcoming exhibit. He is working closely with gallery owner, Timothy Hill. “Bill is interested in seeing these images on a large scale. He wants to give people a grand sense of what it was like to walk into the auto show in the sixties and seventies,” adds Mr.
Hill.

 

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Sebring, 1970, photograph by Bill Rauhauser, Pigment on Archival Paper, used with permission from the Hill Gallery

 

Mr. Rauhauser has spent seven decades on the streets of Detroit capturing the things that most see, but few pay attention to, and even fewer understand. He followed what he refers to as the three iron laws of street photography. The first law is to Being There. In other words, one does need to literally be present on the streets and closely observe. The second law is Being Ready, and this has nothing to do with having your camera on the correct setting. Mr. Rauhauser is clear that the competent street photographer is educated with a strong background in history and literature. One must understand the nuances of the culture and where they are working in order to develop an appreciation of what is critical to photograph. This is what gives depth to the photograph. The third law is to be lucky. Sometimes a stranger will give you a look, smile just the right way, the light is perfect and that moment, if you are so lucky is yours to photograph. The moment will never happen again, and it cannot be planned.

Initially, this artist had no plans of making photography his profession. He is self- taught, and earned an engineering degree. It was at a 1947 Henri Cartier- Bresson exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art that Rauhauser made the decision to make a career out of photography. He realized that photography is a universal language, an art that all can interpret and appreciate.

Then in 1951, Rauhauser was attendance at a lecture Edward Steichen was giving at the Detroit Institute of Art. It was here that Steichen discussed an upcoming exhibit Family of Man at the Museum of Modern Art. This exhibit would display common images and concerns that people could identify with in this post war era. Rauhauser had an inkling that a few of his prints would be a good fit for the theme, so he decided to send in three photographers, but heard nothing back for weeks. One of Rauhauser’s prints was accepted for the 1955 show. Unbeknownst to Rauhauser at the time that his print was selected, but this show would lead to international exposure. For eight years, this show ended up traveling the globe and more than nine million people would see his print.

For thirty years, Mr. Rauhauser taught at the College for Creative Studies. He describes teaching as his “passion” and there’s eminent joy in his face when he recalls his classroom experience. “I still have students come up to me and say that they remember me.” He quips, “I wasn’t afraid to fail someone if they didn’t understand the material.”

Mr. Rauhauser is still following his three iron laws of street photography and continues to take photographs. He plans to attend the reception for his exhibit on January 15,2015 from 6 to 8 pm. The show will run from this date until February 25, 2014.

To learn more about this exhibit, visit the Hill Gallery website www.hillgallery.com/
You can follow the Hill Gallery here www.facebook.com/TheHillGallery

Article published in Huffington Post Detroit, 1/12/15

A Walk For Widows

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The Route Mr. Parsons Will Take Across India.”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.””A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu

No one is going to be better able to speak to this Lao Tzu quote than Mr. Chris Parsons. On January 10, 2015, the 53- year-old British attorney will be walking across India to benefit The Loomba Foundation. For the past several months he has adhered to a rigorous training schedule to prepare for this monumental journey.

In 2011, Mr. Parsons was attending an event in London, and happened to be seated next to Lord Loomba, CBE. It was at this event that Lord Loomba talked to Mr. Parsons about the impetus for the Loomba Foundation. When Lord Loomba, was a young child, his mother was widowed with seven children. As a result of this tragedy, Lord Loomba created the foundation to provide economic, educational and social empowerment to widows and their children.

Before meeting Lord Loomba, Mr. Parsons had already decided that he wanted to bicycle 2000 km from London to Gibraltar to benefit a charity to mark his 50th birthday. After talking with Lord Loomba, about his foundation, Mr. Parsons chose to support the Loomba Foundation through his cycling expedition.

The Loomba Foundation

Mr. Chris Parsons with Lord Loomba, CBE. Photograph belongs to The Loomba Foundation and is used with their permission.

 

This time Mr. Parsons will be walking from Mumbai to Bangalore. The 1260 km distance divided into thirty days means that Mr. Parsons is walking the equivalent of a marathon (42 KM) a day. The course isn’t flat, and the high temperatures add additional challenges. Each day, he will walk anywhere from eight to twelve hours. “The reality is that I fully appreciate how tough it will be,” he notes. He is counting on locals to walk beside him, which will provide the critical emotional support often needed for such a challenging task.

“I’m stepping into the unknown,” Mr. Parsons adds. However, he will not be embarking on this alone. He has a support team in a follow car, complete with a physiotherapist who will have a full medical kit to aid with any walking related ailments. His sponsors include Apollo Hospitals, Gatorade/Pepsi, TCS and the Bombay Stock Exchange.

It is not a coincidence that Mr. Parsons decided to pursue this walk within thirty days. He chose the number thirty to honor his own 30 year work anniversary with Herbert Smith Freehills, an international law firm. As part of his work, Mr. Parsons travels to India from London each month. When in India, he advises on foreign law (mainly English and United States), and teaches English law at a number of the Indian law school, often in conjunction with Oxford University.

In addition, Mr. Parsons has visited a number of children of the Indian widows who are directly benefiting from the charity of the Loomba Foundation. Further, he has developed many personal connections here as well. He adds, “Some of my best friends live in India. It is my second home. I wanted to do this walk to focus on Indian widows and their children.”

Mr. Parsons will be keeping a blog about his journey, and you can read it here theloombafoundation.org/category/chris-parsons/

To learn about the Loomba Foundation, please check here theloombafoundation.org/.

Article published in Huffington Post Impact, 1/5/15

I Met Oprah

I was beyond honored to meet Oprah, and attend the Life You Want Tour weekend. In another blog post,  I will be writing more this beautiful experience. However, I wanted to let you know that I would like to share some of the things (with you) that were either given to attendees in a gift bag or were available for purchase. I will be putting together an Oprah themed giveaway, so please check back here for more details.

 

Grief Isn’t for the Faint of Heart

I’ve written about the death of my husband here —www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-meekhof/the-moment-i-knew — and I’ve written about the challenges that come with loss. Within months of my husband’s funeral, his older brother died. I flew to Florida to attend the funeral and obtained support from his family. From my perspective, much of this support faded and eventually diminished. Sadly, my husband, Roy, had predicted that this might occur. Soon after we found out that his cancer was terminal, I remember crying, and asking Roy if I would be alone. He looked at me with deep pain in his eyes, put his arm around me, and said, “I’m afraid you may not get what you want from my family.” He then gave me the names of other loved ones he felt I could trust.

This didn’t mean that I was sitting home alone during the holidays, but the loss of contact with his family was a secondary and painful loss. Before Roy died, there were some tensions with some of his family, but I had this magical thinking and believed that I would always be a part of his family. It was not an immediate disconnect, but it occurred over time. Could I have handled things differently? Absolutely. If I could have worn a T-shirt with a big red heart on it that said, “Forgive Me” to all of the family events I would have done so.

The first two years, yes, especially those first 24 months after Roy’s funeral were filled with awkward and strange conversations. In the face of grief and everything else, I was a mess. I did the best I could to show up at family events, write thank you notes (when I could remember), and reply to emails. Who knew I would struggle so many months after the funeral? Who knew I would be haunted by Roy’s words, so many years later?

The truth is that when you mix death and family you will fall apart all over again. At times, I felt total love and then I felt lonely and then came grace, and boom, back to feeling love. There’s often not a rhythm and the cycle is called grief. As painful and horrible and traumatic as it can be this is part of life. Grief, as you know is filled with disappointments, and that includes the loss of relationships.

Grief is not for the faint of heart. After death, you do not know what remains. You may hope for certain things to occur and for people to reach out to you, but you don’t know exactly what will transpire. This, however, is certain — you will be hurt all over again. You will feel wounded and want to give up, but as soon as you realize this too is part of the grief cycle, you will be okay. If I had accepted this earlier, I think it would have lessened my pain.

Original post can be found in Huffington Post, 9/6/14, View Here