This episode is part of the Redefining You Series.  Today’s guest is Herdyne Mercier, The Chief Grief Crusador and Hostess of The Redefining Grief Podcast.  Herdyne and I discuss the truth about grief, and how closely aligned it is with growth. We also talk about how we do ourselves a disservice on the journey to living purposefully when we refuse to acknowledge and celebrate the lessons we learn through grieving, as well as the five anchors to redefining grief.  You can learn more about Herdyne here and follow her on Instagram here.

Book your Breakthrough Session with Tiffany here.

Scriptures Mentioned:

Ecclesiastes 7:2

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Herdyne: What it is to truly live. And so the Scripture is it is better to go to a house of mourning than it is to go to, basically a house party for death is the destiny of everyone in the living shall take it to heart. And so what I’ve gotten from that scripture is, we are all going to go through some type of death, whether it is a physical death, a spiritual death, or financial death, whatever death your experience is. But when you go to Homegoing ceremonies, there’s a lesson to be learned. be committed to learning the lesson. You can truly live.

Tiffany: hey, begin welcome home to your bounceback blueprint community Podcast, where you are challenged to be do and have God’s best as you thrive on your journey from a beacon. Hey, welcome back to another episode of struggling. Sharing, tips, tools, tea, and I’m running out of gas from Dallas and my friend are here and then I wrote a book all about welcome and shout out to God they ever since. My story, my life and the LIDAR round began traveling forever changed, and as a member of the community, called to teach you to be the same and less broken hearts to heal, so purposeful living can be restored. She believes that happiness and sadness exists in a delicate balance. She is committed to redefining how we as a society understand grief. And she defines grief as being a normal and natural reaction to any loss or change in normalcy. hurting strongly believes the goal is not to allow our unhappiness to overtake the good times the successes and the laughter enjoys in order to maintain our emotional well being. As the founder of the redefining grief, her Dean has built a community of individuals committed to living their best lives, anchored down and purposeful living, despite what life throws at them. Without further ado, a welcome to the podcast, her Dean, and thank you so, so much for being here.

Herdyne: Thank you so much for having me says I’m so excited

Tiffany: so overdue. Now I have given the people your formal bio, but please let us know who is her Dean beyond the bio.

Herdyne: Beyond the Bible, I am an individual that is committed to purposely living by making sure I unwrap the gifts that God has given me and fulfilling the assignment He has called me here to do. And so I am just committed to living this life. Because I am fully aware, can I just say I am fully aware that I will only walk this planet one time. Come on. And so if I have this thing, and I’m getting chills just thinking about it, where I get to walk you one time, baby, I’m gonna work through the mess so that I can get to glory. 

Tiffany: Let’s work through some mess on today so that we can help the people get to the glory. I’m so excited for your excitement. And I know because of our time together and what we shared, that you’ve not always been in this place, right? You’ve not always been in the space where you believed that happiness and sadness existed together. So can you tell us a little bit about your journey to getting to this place where you are?

Herdyne: All right. Okay, so my journey of getting to where I am a lot of my mess, right? That I really need a God to help me clean up. It wasn’t that I had the love. I have the love story, right? I have the children. I have the home. I have the car. It was that purpose. It was the craving it was I know God has called me to do something. But what is it? Like I did not want to be one of those individuals that went Six Feet Under and did not open up the gifts that God had given me. And so that just kept me and my husband was like baby it will come and I’m like but I’m putting 2526 it should be here are ready. You know I’m first generation Haitian American.

I’ve gone to college. I’ve done The things my parents told me to do. Why isn’t it here? Yeah, boy, when I told you that Joe was just a rumble in my spirit, I couldn’t sleep. I had anxiety about this thing.

Tiffany: That was at 2526. How long did that go on?

Herdyne: You know what I think 2526 I was in preparing, I was in preparation. I just finished college. I remember telling my husband, when he when he proposed, I will walk down with all the hours you. But that is not going to happen until I get my master’s degree. Just in case. I get pregnant, I don’t want to do school and baby at the same time. That is my story. Mm hmm. And so I remember going in right into getting a master’s degree. coming out with our master’s degree, six months later, I went into a master’s degree program that if you graduated with, with your bachelor’s with a high GPA, and met the criteria, you get to waive off a year and a half. So I went in naki. But you had to be coming, you couldn’t take another job. It was just the master’s degree program. And so I guess, 27 I’m married 28. I have my first child. And I just really did think that, okay, I did everything you got to think about, I’m coming from a family that ingrained in me. They migrated by boat, my mom and dad migrated by boat, so that I can live the American dream. And they said, this is the this is the plan to go to school, when you come out of school, everything is going to work out. You’re going to have the money, you’re going to have the career, you’re going to have the joy Well, I came out of school. Did my first Social Work job that wasn’t the salary? I was hoping not for the loans that I got. If I can just keep it 100 Yeah, then I’m, then I’m on the job. But I’m not happy at that job. Something right. And so I’m like, I begin to wrestle with God. Is this my purpose?

And so I would fluctuate for years going, Okay, I think I’m happy now.

Tiffany: Oh, no, are you happy?

Herdyne: Oh, I think I’m happy now. Oh, no, I happy. But then I felt guilty because I had the husband who love me and supported me, amazing husband, I have these amazing gifts. But the joy to the career wasn’t planning out. And I needed to find my purpose, so that I can find my voice in this world. Too many times, we take on the title of being a wife, or a mom, right? Or taking on the title of being the CEO. But not connected to purpose. purpose was very important to me, because I know at the end of the day, God is not going to ask me. How were you as a mom and a wife? He’s going to ask me, what did you do with the time that I gave you? According to the my assignment?

Tiffany: That’s good. That’s good. And that’s not to say that being a mom and a wife are not assignments, right? Because no, are solely called to serve in those capacities. But you knew there was something missing? Yeah. And so what did you begin to do? When you can no longer withstand the rumbling and the stirring inside of you?

Herdyne: And just began to talk to God, I strongly believe in his whisper. Um, I just begin, I will never forget it clear as day I was driving. And I’m just like, okay, God, what’s next for my life? What am I going to do? Like, I can’t live this way. I can’t live with things I can’t live with my heart racing. I can’t live waking up another day, entertaining a work environment that does not feed my mind, body and soul. Right. And so he answered, he says to me, what about that lady you listen to every Thursday morning. And I go, Patrice Washington.

But God, I’ve never seen her advertise or talk about coaching. I have never heard her do anything. I just started listening to her podcast in January. It’s now March, April. I don’t think I’ve heard her say anything about coaching. And I remember his still voice saying, dm her. Immediately. I stopped what I was doing. I tapped into her DMS and I said, Hello. It’s her Diem, because I’ve been on and on just saying, speaking to her. And I said to you, before I provide business coaching? And she said, Yes, I do. Because at the time, my husband and I had a private practice, but I just wasn’t as involved in the private practice before or after getting the coaching services from Patrice. And she said, Yes, we scheduled I remember, I was obedient. I remember what God said. She said, her rate, we paid it, and I went into coaching. And I felt better. I felt like I had a plan. Now, I felt like he sent me the individual that was going to help me map this thing out. Right? I didn’t know what it was gonna look like I was scared. But I was committed to his word. And after doing that, I remember saying this, I think it was 90 days. I was like, I don’t know if this is enough, Patrice. Ah, have you ever thought about doing like a mastermind class, just like that. And it was me and her at podcast movement. And because at this time, we had already developed, I flew out to Philadelphia, she was out there that year, we met up, we talked and I remember being on that wall after leaving one of the sessions. And I said, Have you ever thought about doing a mastermind class? And she was like, yeah. And then I was like, Well, I’m gonna beat that accountability person, NGO dm, have you started? Have you started? going, and then eventually it manifested. And I spent a year in her mastery and momentum course or year in that mastery course. And then p2p was offered. And that’s how we met. And boy, oh, boy,

Tiffany: What a journey, which I want to be very clear in reiterating that you said it started with your willingness to be obedient to one word from God. You didn’t know what Patrice was going to say, when you got in her dm, you didn’t know what was going to happen. You didn’t know what the price tag was going to be. But you were willing to be obedient. And I think that I really want to reiterate that for anybody who’s listening, especially when it doesn’t make sense. You know, we pray and we expect God to be like, we’ll do this and do this and do this. We don’t necessarily expect for him to say hop in the DM.

Herdyne: Yeah, yeah. Right. And so I did. And in that process, I cried. I just I read, I removed a lot of deadweight.

Tiffany: Let’s talk about that. Because I’m curious, once you got on this path, and you got connected to Patrice, in this dynamic community, what happened that you decided or that God made you aware that you were going to be the chief grief Crusader?

Herdyne: Well, you know, I didn’t decide I’m just always willing to help. And I think something came up within our mastery and momentum group. And Patrice had asked me if I would do a session on grief. And I was like, Oh, sure, no problem. But what I didn’t know is that that was gonna be the night and I still have the photo. That was gonna be the night that God said, Now you’re ready. I have trained you and I can go far as seven years old. I was obsessed with funerals. I would cry if my parents would not take me to a funeral. I just went and I was one of those observing kid that was just quiet during the service, and taking everything in. And so when I think back to that seven year old girl, I think about although that night that I did the retreat, it just it was like crystal last day, the very next day, Patrice said to me and courage said to me, I know why fidence is what you’re doing. But that grief thing. That is what you need to be doing.

Tiffany: And that and again, I want to reiterate because you said you were seven years old. Yeah, that’s what funerals and observing right, observing the grieving that was happening, and I’m sure some celebrating as well. Right. Missing, but all in the midst of grief.

Herdyne: Yes. And so I have Been in training, before I even can put a name on it.

Tiffany: And then this transformational journey which I’m so happy you embarked on, because it’s how we connected and, and this transformation and redefining yourself as the chief grief Crusader, and then being in position and and purpose, to teach people to redefine grief. Can we talk a little bit about the anchors?

Herdyne: Yes, we can. So and just using myself in these anchors, right, think about what did I have to do to really grieve my, my idea of not being connected to my purpose, the very first anchor is truth. I had to tell the messy truth that I wasn’t happy

Tiffany: and say it again, please.

Herdyne: I had to tell the messy truth that I wasn’t happy. And this is

Tiffany: even though like you said you had the husband. The car, the degrees plural?

Herdyne: Yes. Yes. I met milestones that most people will think that I wasn’t supposed to be at the table, but God had another plan. And even what I want, and what I want to say is I had to get, I had to decide that I was going to be committed to looking in the mirror and telling the truth.

Tiffany: Tht’s anchor number one,

Herdyne: that’s anchor number one, anchor number two was I had to then examine my heart. And then in examining my heart, I realized, I don’t know what this is gonna look like. I don’t know where it’s gonna go. I’m heartbroken and devastated. I feel fear. I feel anxiety. But you know what, that’s what my heart is saying. And what am I going to need to do to heal my heart that’s broken around this subject matter.

Tiffany: So is his anchor number two, then where we also begin to look at forgiving ourselves?

Herdyne: anchor number two can be because the grief journey for everybody else looks different, right? You’re grieving grief journey as like your DNA. It cannot be compared. It cannot be used or substituted in any way. And so what I want people to know is this thing called grief is a normal and natural reaction to a loss that we have. And it’s not only put in this box that you only grieve when someone has died. we grieve when there’s a divorce. we grieve when there’s a move. we grieve when there is this current career wrestle, that we’re doing this internal conflict that we’re having. we grieve, friendships, friendships. we grieve workplace environments. Yes. we grieve our business, we grieve our finances. And so we grieve the pet that we’ve even lost. And let me tell you something about grief. Grief is normal. But what is not normal? Nobody’s teaching you what to do when you’re grieving. And so we, we then, because we don’t have the healthy tools, we pacify the emotions and that pacifying emotion may be sex. willingly being in toxic relationships. All right. And so food, having an unhealthy relationship with food.

Tiffany: What about unhealthy relationships with things that seem to be healthy? Like over exercising? Yeah. Indicating right information hoarding.

Herdyne: You got it? Yeah.

Tiffany: So what do we do with with anger with the truth, anger in the heart anger, when we are when we are examining our hearts and we are able to get honest with ourselves and say, You know what, Tiffany, you are spending so much time at the gym because you need to do the things to work through this.

Herdyne: Well, you just you just saved us right into the third anchor. And that third anchor is connection. When you look back at the story that I said about myself, I was obedient to connect In making investment within myself to get the support that I needed for my next level.

Tiffany: So that’s it, right you get somebody examine your heart, and you get the recognition that there is some help you need those connections. Yes. And I know, I know for you, it was very well, it sounds like it was very easy. You prayed. God said it. You dm her. It sounds like it happened overnight. Right. But that wasn’t necessarily what the journey was. And I want whoever’s listening to understand that you’re not saying it’s gonna be like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Herdyne: No, as a matter of fact, I always say, healing does not happen in a sprint. It is a marathon. And you have to train for a marathon day by day.

healing does not happen in a sprint. It’s America marathon, you have to be committed to the marathon. And that healing is saying, I’m going to be committed to the day by day training needed to complete the marathon.

Tiffany: What might some of that day by day training look like? Now I know, you said your grieving process is like your DNA. So what’s going on? For everybody?

Herdyne: Yeah, this is so good. And so what I strongly believe is that oftentimes we have individuals that tell us well, this is what you need to do, this is what you need to do. But finding an individual like a therapist or grief coach, someone that is going to create a plan for you, and then hold you accountable, accountable. I like to do with my clients, what I call mental health tasks. And so I have what I say is my daily calendar. On that calendar. When I look for the month, I look at what did I do mentally for me? What did I do actively do for a healing because I strongly I’ve been talking about it on my podcasts are this year, and one episode is called New Year, same grief. Every year, we go into a new year with the resolution or this is what we’re gonna change. But if you do not spend time, unpacking the dead weight of the soveral in the pain and the heartbreak, baby every year is gonna come by you still gonna be in 1999. Jesus New Year, same grief. And so you really need someone that’s gonna help you map this out and hold you accountable.

Tiffany: Yes. And then you’ve got to be again, you’ve got to be committed,

Herdyne: you have to be committed to like showing up? Sure. Yeah. So in February, I’m so glad because I don’t want to just say this is what you need to do. I’m going to actually, in February, I am doing a 28 day, active healing, giving tips and advice on how you can heal as well incorporate self care on your healing journey. Because healing does not happen just by talking about it. That’s right. healing happens when we decide to put in the work.

Tiffany: Yes, because healing is an action word, right? Hey, yo, Herb? Yes, yes, yes, I love it.

Herdyne: So you want to heal and act and really be active in 2021, a part of your healing process,

Tiffany: join me on the challenge that is going to be on all my social media platforms. But where I really like to play is Instagram, I heard and I will be sure that we link everything in the show notes for those who are interested. And I want to say to know that even if you join after February 1, you can continue with the journey. Yes, then you can go back and repeat some of those steps because like you said, it’s a daily, yes, during It doesn’t mean after the 28 day.

Herdyne: It’s a daily, it’s a daily. And then I would say my fourth anchor is that fake anchor. And there’s a reason I didn’t put faith as number one because I feel that sometimes as Christians, we hide behind the faith, and we are scared to go to God with our ugly truth. We’re scared to go to God with our heartache, and we’re scared to go to


Because we believe that somehow he’s judging us. And that connection maker I think I need to say this because this is vital. We need support and community that will see us and hear us without ever judging us. Yes. And too many times we are trying to connect with individuals that are judgmental. And so that faith anchor is saying okay, God, I’ve done the work of telling the truth. I’ve talked to you about the messy stuff. connect to the person you’ve assigned to help me through this process. And now I’m going to anchor down the anchoring. I’m thinking about when you think about an anchor, I just heard a sermon that just really explained all my anchors when I think about, I think it’s pastor Todd Michael, who said this, or he said, you do not heal on the shallow side. You got to be willing to go deep. Yes. And so your healing has to be you have to be willing to go deep. And really, that takes a trained professional to help you go deep.

Tiffany: Yes, in order to work through that, you got to have that faith,

Herdyne: yes, that you need that faith, you need that faith and, and then that last thing is where everybody wants to be, is that restoration anchor, everybody wants to be restored. Everyone, buddy wants to know that God has given them the grace, and the power, and the wisdom and the knowledge to heal. Or what I’m just saying, you can be restored and still triggered. But the difference is, you have done the work of telling the truth. You have done the work in actually spinning time to put things that are healthy mechanisms for you that you no longer need the pacifying behaviors to get you through.

Tiffany: Yes, yes. Can we sit here with this restoration for a minute, because, you know, we’re in this series about redefining ourselves, and, and there is great, there is grief that comes with this process, right? Because you got to do that serious reflection, you’ve got to get to the truth. And whether it is forgiving yourself, forgiving someone else, or if you’re honest, forgiving God, there’s some work in that heart space that has to be done for you to get to restoration. And what I know to be true with some of my clients, and I’m sure you can relate, and if I’m honest, even on my own journey, sometimes we want to skip the struggle, Hey, come on somebody, sometimes we want to skip the struggle. So we don’t look like we’re grieving. I’m wearing the mask.

Herdyne: I think when you skip the struggle, you skip the opportunity to learn the lesson, you skip the opportunity to experience the growth, and you skip the opportunity to anchor down knowing your Creator had you the whole entire time

Tiffany: the whole entire time.

Herdyne: And so I think when you try to rush to restoration, you really are skipping this crucial part with faith, that the next time you are triggered, because this life isn’t normal. But the requirement of Living it is the next time you have this sad experience happen. You can say back. But God got me through this last experience, right? Because you anchored in him.

Tiffany: And I am a firm believer that there is no growth without grieving. when you are restored and you have one growth spurt, if you will, there will be another opportunity to grow and the breathing is going to come again. And that growth might be spurred by the loss of a person. Like you said, it could be the loss of a job. It could be the loss of you know caring for little babies and realizing that your child is going to grow up. And so when we get to a place hurting when we feel like the growth in the grieving is hurting too much. And we want to stunt our own growth. Which one of those anchors is it that we have to really hold on to or really dig into so that we can push through,

Herdyne: I will go back and say this that is different for everybody. But for me it was going back to the truth and why I say the truth because the truth sets you free. Now, the truth is no longer shackled. The truth is no longer putting you at a place where you are shackled emotionally. I think everybody’s trying to get to success. Everybody’s trying to increase the bank account. But when you increase the bank account and get on to that level at says that you thought you needed because you didn’t tell the emotional truth and did the work of healing, you’re not going to enjoy that journey either.

Yet again. Grief has robbed you a second time. And so we have to decide, are we going to do the work now? I think when you decide you are going to sit in every grief box in everything that you need to come to a place of Completion with you then propel yourself forward in life. It’s like a slingshot experience. Yes, it looks like you’re going back. But baby. When you get that thing, it propels you. It propels you in life at a much faster pace than ever before.

Tiffany: And this when you when you are able to embrace these experiences, knowing that is when you are in the place that you speak of where happiness and sadness or grief and joy can coexist, right?

Herdyne: We have to be okay, with experiencing true joy. And I really do believe you cannot experience true joy until you allow yourself to process what sadness is really real sadness really is you Why am I saying this?

Why like, Why are you saying this Hewerdine I know what happiness is. But if happiness to you is defined by the bag that you wear, the clothes that you wear, the car that you drive, you don’t know joy, you know, a masquerade of joy. You know, the mask of a fake and, you know, stuck in as if you are happy. I’m talking about the joy that is inside of you, that makes your skin glow?

Yes, I’m talking about a joy, that when you walk in the rule your haters can take instead. I’m talking about that joy. I’m talking about a joy, that you are not defined by your sadness. You are defined by redefining the grief in your life and making it your anchor that is going to propel you in life with grace. See, oftentimes in our healing process, we are not giving ourselves the opportunity to to grieve with grace. But honoring the journey of that pain,

Tiffany: grieve with grace. And that starts like you said, with that truth anchor and getting honest with yourself. Like what how do you really feel first and foremost?

Herdyne: Um, how do I feel?

Tiffany: No, like asking yourself that question. How is in the midst of this grief?

Herdyne: Uh huh. And you know what? Sometimes you cannot answer those questions by yourself. Right?

Tiffany: You literally need someone to help support you in that journey. And that’s why sometimes I say I’m a grief advocator. But when I’m in sessions, I let them know I am your emotional guide may be blind right now. But if you trust the process, I am your emotional guide. But you got to be committed to brokenness, you got to be committed to allowing yourself to be broken, so that the creator can put you back together.

Tiffany: And that right there is is is is the redefining yourself journey in a nutshell. wanna drop the mic? Hewerdine? Thank you. Now I know that we can get up with you in the grief Crusaders community, I know that we can listen to you weekly on the podcast. Do you have? I know you haven’t written your book yet. But is there a book that you recommend people on the journey to restoration as you call it, read or refer to on the journey as a companion to all that you are offering.

Herdyne: I would recommend the book called grief recovery. It’s called grief recovery. And I would also I will also let I have never sent this out outside of my writing coach. I am in the process now of writing. Our journal guide, a 30 day journal guide that would allow people to walk through these anchors and begin that process for themselves. Well, I

Tiffany: knew it was coming even before You said it, I knew. I knew it was inevitable. Yeah, that God will not let you keep all of this to yourself or require you to be somewhere for people to get what they need to get. So we won’t be on the lookout for that. And like I said, I will make sure that everybody can find the podcast, the 28 day journey that you’re going to be doing, and all of the other greatness that you have available to support them as the emotional guide and grief crews. Chief grief Crusader, I stand corrected. Is there one quote, or any words of encouragement, you want to leave the community with?

Herdyne: One of my one of the eye opening scriptures that I would say will help really watch this is have been this seven year old girl, my quest as a seven year old girl was to be deaf. And by the time I was in my teens, I said, I’m going to be death, by leaving a legacy for the next generation of what it is to truly live. And so the Scripture is, it is better to go to a house of mourning than it is to go to basically a house party for death is the destiny of everyone in the living shall take it to heart. And so what I’ve gotten from that scripture is, we are all going to go through some type of death, whether it is a physical death, a spiritual death, a financial death, whatever death your experience is. But when you go to Homegoing ceremonies, there’s a lesson to be learned, be committed to learning the lesson. You can truly live.

Tiffany: Amen. And again, she drops the mic, thank you so much. ordain, I’m so glad that we were finally able to have this conversation, I know that it’s going to be a blessing to many, I can’t wait to re listen to it. There are some gems for myself that I need to make note of. But I’m eternally grateful for you for not only being here and sharing but for the work that you do. And for what you’ve already taught me.

Herdyne: Thank you. You know, I cannot do this alone. It takes really a sisterhood. It takes a community that would allow me to be on your mind what I call whenever I have these opportunities to grief, Mike, to really help individuals get unlocked, so that they can truly live. Yes. Well, thank you, Sis, you’re welcome.

Tiffany: Thank you. I’m over here stumbling over my words, because I’m just so floored by all the gems that her Dean dropped and share with us today. And I am praying that you were as blessed by this conversation as I was, if you were I would love it. If you would leave a review. When you do you create an opportunity for another beacon like yourself to find the podcast and be blessed by it. You can also grab a screenshot of this, share it on your social Don’t forget to tag me at the Tiffany Huff. And of course, I will leave you with this. God is not going to play you but if you think that you can get on the pathway to purpose without redefining how you look at grief and how it is connected to growth. I promise you are plaguing your self. Be blessed!