Doing Grief Better with Sherry Walling

In this episode, we talk to Miss Florida 2022 Lindsay Bettis about perseverance, achieving dreams and why real talk about substance use, addiction and recovery could make a difference to the next generation of students.

Nov 1st, 2022

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

  • 2:24 Any kind of human that’s under a state of stress is dysregulated. Their body is elevated trying to react to a stressor. 
  • 2:32 To help someone feel better in the midst of stress is to reregulate or bring their body and their mind down to homeostasis. Thoughts go slower, the heart beats slower, breath is slower. If we can turn the slow-motion dial on that often helps stress feel much more manageable and accessible.
  • 3:22 When we can feel that sense of agency over our bodies and our lives, that feels so much better than feeling stuck on the tilt-a-whirl at the fair. And we’re just moving so fast and we’re like, ‘Yeah, I wanna get off.’
  • 4:47 Being in my own grief after the losses (of my dad and brother), one of the things that were so helpful to me was I really connected with my own body. 
  • 6:13 When we get into some kind of emotional expression, we can breathe again. It’s a big exhale. It’s like putting down the heaviness of all that we are carrying and being present with a different experience.
  • 6:27 Emotional expression allows you to have a little lightness, a little levity, or really express some of those negative emotions. Feel into your anger. Feel into your fear, but not in a way that feels like it’s going to be overwhelming for you.
  • 6:52 Our society is kind of set up to move quickly through grief. Like policies related to bereavement leave. You might go to your mom’s funeral on Saturday and on Tuesday, you’re supposed to be back at work. There’s not a lot of space for grief.
  • 7:09 A lot of us feel like we gotta muscle through hard things when we’re in pain or suffering. But the tendency is to just keep going, just keep moving, just be gritty. And those aren’t bad messages. I just think they may be out of balance.
  • 7:30 Don’t go around pain or suffering. Don’t avoid it. Don’t skip over it. Talk about it. Feel it. Express it. Move toward the heart of what’s difficult, knowing that that’s where all the growth lies. That’s where all the lessons are. 
  • 8:03  When you go in and through something – for instance, grief – there’s no part of you that you don’t have access to. There’s no part of you that you feel like you have to hide from.
  • 8:56 Writing can be helpful for people who like to journal. Writing about your own experience can be a really powerful way to do some of that in and through work.
  • 9:13 If you feel like you want the presence of another human, it will help to be in therapy or go to a support group where you can begin to tell the stories to give life and words to the things that feel painful. 
  • 9:33 You can also try expressive movement such as a five rhythms dance practice where you pair different kinds of movement with different kinds of emotion. It can be a yoga session. There’s something really can be quite healing about holding a warrior position and lingering there and letting your body do the work to breathe through and to hold that position.
  • 10:55 Doing grief better means talking about grief. It’s naming those that we’ve lost. Naming the hopes that we had that never came to be.
  • 11:12 Doing grief better means we’re collectively comfortable moving in and out of tender spaces, knowing that we can do that with gentleness and with some graciousness and not feel like we have to, again, skip over it and just get back to work and get back to normal life. That is quite damaging to people who are in any kind of grief.

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This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Ashley Tate, and Nicole LaNeve. For more information or if you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit

Show Contributors

Sherry Walling

Dr. Sherry Walling is a clinical psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author, and mental health advocate. Her company, ZenFounder, helps entrepreneurs and leaders navigate complex human experience. She hosts the ZenFounder podcast, which has been called a “must listen” by both Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. She is also the host of Mind Curious, a podcast exploring innovations in mental health care via psychedelics. She is the author of two books: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Shit Together and Touching Two Worlds: a guide for finding hope in the aftermath of loss. Sherry and her husband, Rob, reside in Minneapolis where they spend their time driving their children to music lessons. She has also been known to occasionally perform as a circus aerialist.