Archive / Women

RSS feed for this section

Tips for Managing Overwhelm & Maintaining Well-Being During COVID-19

IMG_20200322_091539_527 (1)

Dear Ones,

Thank you for taking time to join me here on my page.

As you know, emotional well-being is critical during this time. As such, I’m focusing my work on sharing ways to help you manage the overwhelm and providing you healthy ways to maintain your emotional well- being.

Last week, my heart skipped a few beats when I received a message from Maria Shriver. She requested that I write a piece for her “Sunday Paper”. My piece  “8 Ways to Help You Maintain Emotional Well-Being”  is live today.  It is an honor I’m beyond grateful for.

I was given the privilege to be a guest on CNN’s New Day with Alisyn Camerota. I shared some ways to manage COVID-19 anxiety. This interview is based on my Medium piece I wrote for Katie Couric’s daily newsletter “Wake- Up Call”.

New Day / CNN - March 19, 2020

New Day / CNN – March 19, 2020

I hope that you’ll find these pieces helpful for you in managing your stress during this unprecedented times. If you find your fears are disabling and preventing you from working or being able to keep up with your daily responsibilities, you should contact your doctor immediately. They may recommend you seek professional therapy. Many mental health professionals, like myself, do work remotely, so you won’t need to worry about a commute. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It can help you discern what actions and next steps are healthy for you.

If there is a topic you’d like for me to write or speak about, please email me at kristin@kristinmeekhof.com

In Good Health,

Kristin

Considering A Career Change?

P1000083
If you are thinking about a side gig or career change, and perhaps you read my recent piece “5 Things to Consider When Making A Career Change” which “Psychology Today” listed as an “Essential Read” and you’re wondering what your next steps may look like, my “Finding Your Voice” two- day individual retreat can help guide you in creating a blueprint for your transition.

Continue Reading →

Saying “YES” to Giving & “YES” to YOU

Photo: Kristin Meekhof

Photo: Kristin Meekhof

Shortly after my husband died I was in a local grocery at the check out counter and barely holding it together. I avoided all eye contact with the clerk. Then I heard her ask if I wanted to donate a $1 to a local food bank. For whatever reason it grabbed my attention.
I said “YES”.

At that moment something inside me lit up.

Continue Reading →

Celebrating New Office Space

Do you feel like you are sinking due to unrelenting stress? Do you feel like you’re holding your breath and living under water just trying to make it through the day? Do you think your inner world is a tangle of chaos?

Continue Reading →

Asha Patel’s Beautiful Designs

Loving kindness is a mantra that describes the care and intent Asha Patel uses when she makes each piece of her jewelry. With each earring, ring, necklace and bracelet Asha creates, in her home, she choses from a variety of materials – gemstones, gold, sterling, vermeil, brass, leather and silk, which allows for an accessibility in pricing options for clients. Each piece carries with it a special message. For example, these earrings represent the “less is more” mantra.

Continue Reading →

Refinery 29

I was honored to be included in Refinery 29 ‘s piece, “What to Say in Life’s Most Difficult Situations.” They featured five troubling situations and offer words of wisdom on how to handle these sensitive situations.  We all know that it is often a struggle to come up with the right words to say and just as tough to show support. My thoughts were included in the fifth situation, What to Do and Say When Someone You Know is in Grief. You can read the piece here .

Unbounded Gratitude

Last month I went to Nairobi, Kenya with a small group of widows. We were connected with a charity organization that services widows and their children. We were given the opportunity to meet with the widows and visit their homes. I had the absolute joy of meeting Peninnah, a mother of three young children. Peninnah is one of those women who you would expect to be depressed and pessimistic, and frankly who could blame her? She lives in a slum, called Kibera, the largest slum many believe to be in Africa. At times it is estimated that nearly 1 million people live here. Peninnah doesn’t have running water, electricity, a bank account, or even access to even a bicycle. She spent part of her afternoon with me telling me about her daily life: how she waters down the food to get two meals out of it, cares for her infant, and how she makes necklaces (photographed below) to earn cash.

Peninnah explains the process necessary to make these necklaces. She uses discarded paper, measures and cuts it, then dyes it. Once the paper is dry, she rolls each strip of paper with a toothpick and then puts it together, like you would stringing beads on a necklace. I ask her how long it takes to make one necklace. She responds by telling me that she can make five a day, and has even taught other women in the group how to make the necklaces so that they too can earn a living.

This all seems rather hopeless to me. I think she’s living in a disaster zone, and I can’t believe that she is smiling and loving on her baby while telling me this. When I ask about how she accesses health care, she calmly explains that she has to save up money to obtain transportation to get to the NGO hospital whenever one of her children needs medical attention. She is a warm and even asks about my late husband. Our conversation comes to an end when she realizes the women are getting together to participate in a group activity. I tell Peninnah that I can hold her baby so that she can participate with the other women.

2014-11-16-20141025_110408

Photograph is property of Kristin Meekhof

The next morning our group met the women, and I immediately saw Peninnah holding her baby. Upon sitting next to Peninnah, she opened her purse and gave me a bracelet. I am speechless. She was so grateful for my time in taking care of her baby that she’s giving me this bracelet as a token of gratitude. Full of love she said, “This is for you because you held my baby (so) I could be with the group.”

This mother who supports her family on less than a dollar a day, has found her way to gratitude. And once she has found it, she then decided to give with an open hand. Most humbling is knowing that the bracelet she gave me could have sold to earn a few shillings.

An open heart fosters gratitude, which in turn as Peninnah knows, produces joy. Gratitude despite any circumstances isn’t easy. And so every time I look at the bracelet Peninnah gave me I think of what this gift revealed: gratitude that knows no bounds leads to openheartedness and openhandedness.

Published in Huffingtion Post Healthy Living on 11/17/2014

Empowering Widows Across the World

2014-11-20-United_Nations_Award_Lord_Loomba__Credit__UN_NYA1

Lord Loomba, CBE, receiving his lifetime achievement award from Abid Qureshi, President, UNA-NY Photography by Melanie Quinn Photography; Used with permission from the United Nations- New York


“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Gandhi

Last month, I had the honor of attending the United Nations Association of New York Humanitarian Awards Dinner. The theme of the evening was Empowering Women: Promoting Peace and Progress. Lord Raj Loomba, CBE was honored for dedicating his life to doing just this — empowering women. More specifically Lord Loomba, CBE, has promoted the empowerment of widows and their children across the globe. As Founder and Chairman of the Loomba Foundation, he has personally taken on the plight of widows and their children by shining a light on their challenges and developing initiatives to support their needs.

I first met Lord Loomba, CBE, at his office in London, England. Lord Loomba is humble despite his vast accomplishments. In 2011, Forbes India presented him with an NRI Philanthropy award, and earlier this year Northampton University bestowed upon him an Honorary Fellowship. Lord Loomba is kind and generous. It was during this meeting that he asked if I would like to be his guest at the United Nations Humanitarian Awards Dinner where he was due to receive his lifetime achievement award.

2014-11-20-IMG_20141029_210803

Lord Loomba, CBE and I at the United Nations 2014 Humanitarian Awards Dinner; I am wearing a necklace made by a widow in Kenya. Photo is property of Kristin Meekhof

 

We met a few weeks later at this dinner which also honored Mr. Stefan Persson and Dr. Phumzile Mlambo- Ngcuka. The room was quiet when Lord Loomba shared his own story. He was eloquent in speech and explained how he used his personal loss to transform an entire group of widows and their chidren across the globe. He witnessed his own mother’s grief and suffer with the status of “widow” after his father died from tuberculosis. He was just 10, but still remembers that his mother was blamed for his father’s death, and within hours of his death she was asked to remove her bindi. Equally as troubling was when his mother was asked to wear all white and was no longer able to dress in her colorful clothing. Essentially she was stripped of her dignity.

One of Lord Loomba’s goals is to restore a level of respect and dignity to all widows. His tireless determination knows only the boundaries that governments have established, and even there he worked to bring about change. Lord Loomba spent five years campaigning with the United Nations to have June 23 recognized as International Widows Day. This date was chosen because on this date in 1954 Lord Loomba’s father died from tuberculosis leaving his wife a widow and single mother of seven children.

The United Nations uses the Loomba Foundation’s report, titled “Invisible Forgotten Sufferers” published in 2010, as their handbook to understanding the plight of widows and their children. The publication says, “One of the main reasons why widows continue to be subjected to gross human rights violations is that although they number 245 million, there has been no comprehensive research or attempt to gather information on a global scale about their existence.” Often overlooked are widows for example who are living in Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda. The publication addresses the needs and challenges of these widows.

2014-11-20-UN_IWD1

Cherie Blair, HE and Ban Ki Moon at the Widows Research Study presentation- United Nations, New York Photograph used with permission from The Loomba Foundation

 

With the Foundation, Lord Loomba, CBE has created a number of initiatives, such the Punjab sewing machine project whereby helping 10k widows. This project has a tremendous reach; it helps 100,000 individuals. In London Lord Loomba, CBE told me that when you help a widow the “impact is tenfold. You empower economically and the widows are empowered socially.” When widows obtain a job or skill, not only do they support their children but often teach others the craft.

The foundation also recognizes the value of education. Lord Loomba said, “Rual India is hardest hit. There the widows are poor and undereducated.” In India alone, the Loomba Foundation has provided educational scholarships, for a minimum of five years or longer, to over 9,000 children of widows, and supported over 50,000 family members.

Equally as impressive are the number of notable individuals who have lent their support to the foundation. Lord Loomba has garnered the respect from political figures and celebrities, such as Cherie Blair, CBE, QC, His Excellency Ranjan Mathai, Sir Richard Branson, Yoko Ono, and Sir James Bevan KCMG.

2014-11-20-RPL_Yoko1

Lord Loomba with Yoko Ono; she supports The Loomba Foundation. Photograph used with permission from The Loomba Foundation


There are vey few who have Lord Loomba’s spirit of generosity and passion for those who are first to be overlooked. He has embodied the change he wishes for the world to be.

To Learn More About The Loomba Foundation’s Punjab Sewing Machine Project, follow this link, theloombafoundation.org/helping-5000-widows-punjab-project-goes-live/

You can read Lord Loomba’s blog here theloombafoundation.org/blog/

Published in Huffintington Post Impact on 11/21/2014