While I love to focus on the positive in my weekly inspirations, I’m also a great ally of the FULL SPECTRUM of life. While celebrating the beauty and abundance of my life and love of my family and community, I have also been faced with heart-breaking loss this season.
Since it is up, so strongly for me, and, I know, it is up for many of my community at this time of year, I thought I’d share, more deeply, some tips and tools for moving through grief with beauty, love, peace and softness in our hearts.
To me, the important steps to recognize and allow to support the healing process, after a big loss are:
1. Recognize numbness and haze as shock and be gentle and fallow. Allow more rest; less doing. The ONLY THING TO FOCUS ON IS BREATHING. Literally, make sure you are breathing as fully as possible and then releasing that breath.
2. Let your feelings flow through with each breath. You may feel numb, overcome with grief, angry, scared. Let the breath be an engine that helps you to move through whatever wave comes in. Movement can also help: Exercise, yoga, dance, walking in nature . . .
3. Allow the grief to move with those feelings you are releasing. Sometimes when we have a loss, we cling to the very last experience we had of that part of us, which is usually the painful part. We think that if we let go, we’ll lose all connection with that someone/something we cherish, but that’s not true. Letting go of the pain allows not only the old beauty and joy that once was to emerge, but new perspectives on the preciousness of those fond moments can deepen what you have in your past. It’s scary to think of emptying out when we already have lose, but if we don’t make space, we get stuck in the loss phase of the cycle. If we allow the FULL cycle to continue through (The Living Wisdom of the Creator*Preserver*Destroyer), we will be released from the pain and be left with grateful memories of what was, and a prayer for what will be.
4. Turn any remaining Grief or hard feelings into the beauty of Praise. This is one of the main teachings of my teacher, Martin Prechtel, and it has nourished me and brought more magic, purpose and meaning to my life than any other pearl of wisdom I’ve ever learned, and I’ve been gifted with MANY astounding and inspiring teachers and countless pearls of wisdom I cherish and practice daily. I do this by recognizing that any grief I have over something I’ve lost is direct evidence of having had it in the first place, and by following the pain to it’s core, I find a deep gratitude for having it in the first place. I let go of feeling sorry for my loss, and instead, feeling grateful I ever got to have it at all. It is a choice we can each make and it is life and soul changing.
5. Let that beauty of grief and praise become the Sacrament you offer to feed the Holy, which is another one of the main teachings of Martin Prechtel. I’ve learned, over the past 5 months, to play a musical instrument I made in Martin’s school, and because my voice is so shy, I have strengthened my courage to share my singing voice by singing with Gertie (that’s the dotar I made; ancestor to the guitar). I sing chants and sacred songs from different traditions, and make up a few here and there. When I am joyful, singing makes me feel even more ecstatic. When I am feeling loss in my heart, singing helps to clean out the wounds gently and leaves my heart open, empty and ready to receive the frequency I am sending out through my voice. It is ecstatic for me, and I can feel that the Holy receives it with delight.
This is the heart of Spiritual Composting. Turning anything that feels painful into something that, even though challenging, is filled with beauty, grace, and opportunities to be stronger, wiser, and more torn open for a greater capacity to let the FULL SPECTRUM of life in and receive it all as a gift.
HOW TO BE THERE FOR SOMEONE ELSE:
It can feel really stressful and awkward to try to know how to be there for a loved one who is facing a heavy loss. The good news is, YOU DON’T HAVE TO KNOW! The best way to be there for someone else is to:
1. Make sure you take care of yourself first by following all of the ideas above. Come from a centered and steady place or you can’t help anyone.
2. Let go of any assumptions that you need to know what to do.
3. ASK how you can be of support to your loved one and then be honest about whether you can meet any requests that follow. Don’t KNOW. Just ask and be available. Be open to just listen and understand. Advice, even if it is good, if not asked for, can be overwhelming, confusing, and unhelpful despite our intentions.
That is my gift to you this holiday season. My most treasured wisdom from my very tender heart, to yours.
Until next week, HAPPY NEW YEAR and may the SOURCE be with you!