The light and the shadow both guide us perfectly, each in its own way, in its own time. Often at the right time. You see, when you pray from your deep longing to know that real freedom you intuit from that intact part of your soul, you can be cast deeply into the exact places where you are not free. The deepest freedom is found passing through the portals you most want to hide from. These are the places you are leaning into, the edges where the truths are revealed to your heart. The ones with the answers to the answers.
This is how the obstacle becomes the path. That which you are trying to control, suppress, ignore, force like ducks in a row...it is controlling you until you learn to open to it, to flow like water and love that place it reflects with misery inside of you. That place, whatever that place is where you aren't free. That obstacle, that's the path. That's where you sit and lay flowers. The place where the light and the shadow will visit you with guidance in equal measure. Both tombstone and birthday celebration, teaching you how to dance the dance, to know this ephemeral place you try to grasp by holding on to things.
Grief is a process that is an inherent part of life. Everything changes and as humans who deeply love and care, it is natural that we grieve for all the different kinds of losses we experience daily and over the course of our lives.
There are three portals in the grieving process. The grief for what has been lost. The grief for the relationship. And, grief for ourselves; for the parts of ourselves we have lost that were attached, identified with, enlivened by, connected to or known through the relationship that was lost, or as a result of relationships that never were.
This last part of the journey is essential for our freedom from ancestral pain, individuating from our lineage, for self-love and to meet the depths of love in our soul.
This last portal of grief, grieving for oneself, is often overlooked, confused or feared. It's different than feeling sorry for ourselves. It is different than wallowing in pain. It is different than trying to fill an empty, existential hole inside of us with stuff or people or other things. In its unmetabolized form, it becomes shame as the mind attempts to work through what our heart needs to release.
It is an act of compassion and love to acknowledge and honor our own pain. The pain of never having what we needed. Never feeling the love we longed for. The loss of not having needs met. The pain of our hearts being neglected, of the disconnection and abandonment of our own inner wounds. Our own soul wounds.
Grief is love. You do not grieve what you do not care about. To grieve for yourself and to acknowledge with love and compassion all that you have survived, this is the third portal of grace and freedom offered by grief.
Mother's day is arriving this weekend, so this I am aware of feeling within myself and all who I am sharing time with in sessions. There is a lot of grief up right now, for the loss of mothers, the mothers we never had but wanted, the pictures of mother we are sold, lost opportunity to become a mother, whether to mother or not, and the mothers we carry inside of our own hearts. Why are we more fearful of approaching our internal pain and allowing ourselves to offer love at the altar of all we have endured and experienced and survived and transformed and lived through?
Part of rising out of the ashes is the letting go through this grief, it is in fact loving all the places that haven't been loved, that have been made long in their longing or wanting or needing. It is offering flowers at the altar of your own heart.
Pay no attention to all the messages about Mother's Day and the pictures media portrays. Take time to honor in the ways that feel right for you, and take time to honor your own heart. It's okay to grieve for yourself. You are here, which means you survived a lot.
Grief is far more central to the human experience than is acknowledged. There are cultures where space is made every single day for ritually expressing and moving the energy of grief. Space is made for feeling. The more stifled we are here in the West, the less space there is for grief and the natural state of feeling, the more we seem to suffer from emptiness, depression, anxiety and addiction.
Grief is a natural reaction to the constant state of change that is the nature of life. Flow. Grief and all feeling is a response to letting to, to surrendering to this flow of life outside of our control. In aligning with it. In the wakefulness of presence to what is and that gap between what is and how we want them to be.
How do we let go when we want things? How do we let go when the wanting becomes something filled with fear and struggle?
A client of mine asks me this as I traverse my own inner dark waters of clinging and grasping to things that I want, to the unraveling of letting go and the space of love that grief has been washing over me. Underneath, there is the peace with the wanting that is hard to explain, counter-intuitive, but just feels right. There is more letting go. There is always more letting go. But, as I sit with my client, in the face of something she really, really wants to have happen and is doing all the things, it's just simply not happening. What now?
I sit and watch her beat herself up. Go back in time, filled with regret. Searching in her psyche for what it is in her that is blocking this thing from happening. All this pain and shame. I stop her.
Sometimes we have to let go. Sometimes we have to accept things might not happen, accept what is and let go. Sometimes we have to just sit in the grief and not turn it in on ourselves. Sometimes all there is to do is let go. Sometimes things happen the way they happen and we don't get to know why. We don't get to know why things happen for some people and not others. Why we aren't truly all the same, with the same nervous systems or access to the same resources. We do what we can, we still want and move forward, but we also make space to let go and not grip so hard to all the wanting and feeling. Somewhere in there, that thing we want that we think will make us feel free when its letting go that makes us free.
We sit in the space and let the tears of grief open the doors of heart.
Grief is an initiation. Whether we have lost a parent, whether it is illness or disappointment or being alone or a break up or all the myriad of constant losses and disappointments we experience as humans on a daily basis.
We are human. It is healthy and natural to feel and grieve. It is actually the liberating force that has the power to restore our lives and reconnect us with the wild mother, the wild feminine, with the deepest resources of love.
We have to make space for grief. We must make space to learn how to metabolize our feeling, to restore access to the sacred capacity within ours hearts. We simply have to. Spending time in fear of ourselves, in anxiety or codependency or addiction or burnout or fear or shame or feeling alone or disconnected....we simply no longer have time to be dead while we are alive.
I have struggled with self-love on a daily basis for a lot of my life. I use the word struggle here specifically because it seems to be a word that is "bad," and associated with "blocks" and negative mindsets. Yet the inner conflict, the inner struggle, is quite real on an energetic, emotional level. For all of us.
I think we are allergic to talking about pain and inner struggle, relegating it somewhere behind closed doors, dirty little secrets or a thing we make bad or wrong. Like it is bad to be in pain; I am yet to meet a single person who is not in some kind of inner pain.
The only way out is to talk about it, metabolize it and work it through. With love.
We make pain wrong though. It's not wrong, we just don't like to be in pain. We fear if we go into it, we will drown in it forever,. But the ignoring of it actually keeps us oppressed by our own pain more than anyone or anything else.
Patriarchy doesn't like pain because healing pain awakens awareness, empathy, love and compassion which is the opposite of that gnawing emptiness inside that we search to fill with something while trying to paint perfect pictures of ourselves for each other.
We are taught that pain is a “selling point.” If we are in pain we will continue to need to buy stuff.
We long for connection. We long to be loved. We long to be free of pain.
Fear based thoughts aren't really a thing. Thoughts aren't "real". But, the fear is. Energy is real. It lives in your body. Your mind responds to energy a particular quality of thoughts. This New Age patriarchal way of valuing rationality and "mind over matter" has us using our minds as weapons against ourselves, even training us to be afraid of our own fear which drives us further into never really understanding or connecting with our innate intelligence, which lives in the body. As long as we live afraid of ourselves, we are trapped in a game that ultimately we all want to be free of. Our culture counts on this being the case.
Our nervous systems are in a perpetual state of fight or flight or freeze. It is our nervous system that informs the quality of our thinking. This is the neural network that links our bodies up as tuning forks to the divine.
If we want to learn how to become free of fear, we need to discover how to live in harmony with our body, which is also living in harmony with nature, our own nature.
Your body, your nervous system, is what is here living, breathing and having this lived experience of life. Not your mind. Part of our recovery as humans is to bring the mind back on board with the body, to bring the masculine principles of energy back into harmony with those of the feminine, of the earth and the body. We have to heal the patriarchal way we relate to ourselves and our inner life.
Your body has stories to tell and energy to release. Anxiety, one expression of fear, is simply projecting all of the unresolved experiences into the future because there is nothing else the body knows. Shame is a complex collection of relational wounds that trigger fear in vulnerable relating that matches the nervous systems blueprints for relationship.
Part of the work I do is to help support clients in learning how to bring their energy back down into their bodies with gentleness and curiosity. Where is the energy getting blocked? What is the story there that wants to be shared? What wants to be felt expressed or known? We enter the sacred chambers of inner wisdom and healing, holding space for the beautiful alchemical process of creating safety for you to come home again. Your mind will automatically follow suit. Life, joy and "positive" thinking will be sustainable, because you will know the lived truth that there are no "low vibrational" emotions, just parts of you that haven't been heard or loved. You are beautiful.
When you gather yourself at the inner altar of your faults, lay flowers and offer incense.
Yes, I am talking about this place; this place that is barren and cold.
The space you go when you beat yourself up or try to "fix" yourself, blaming yourself for feeling broken inside, for things not working out or not "doing" life the "right" way.
This space, the place of fault and shame; a place human.
This is an invitation into the poetry of your heart.
A chance to try something new.
Every moment is a chance to start over again.
Persephone is breathing new breath into the frosty air.
Instead come here, to this place where you throw rocks and stones at yourself,
Bring flowers and candles and incense and offerings of sweet.
Rest your heart on the ground of silence.
Let the winds of mystery whisper to you.
May the sounds feel like the petals of flowers unfurling and revealing your hidden beauty.
Ask here instead to be shown where the love is. What the wisdom is.
Bow at this mystery, knowing we cannot know or understand everything.
Offer your tears but hold back the stones.
Pray instead that you may know love here, to know the gold flowing in through the cracks of your faults.
To know and embody this in-between, divinely human.
I sit in the yard collecting flower essences for the first time; really sitting and feeling into the incredible luscious energy of Spring. I see Persephone rising in the golden Iris bloom. The sun is so warm on my skin, the breeze feels good. I look up at the sky.
I want to capture the essence of the sky.
We are as much spaciousness as density.
The space between thoughts as much as the thinking.
The expansive nature of a fully felt and transformed feeling.
The space for clinging and surrender at the same time.
The space that opens up in my heart that reminds me of who I really am.
The sky reminds me of love.
I want to capture the essence of the sky.
There is so much life everywhere. There is no shortage of genius or mojo or magic or creative energy flowing. The earth is effulgent right now with this wisdom.
Pull your energy back into the center of your heart.
There is zero need to project your light and wisdom into others and then feel jealous of them. There is zero need to compare.
There is no comparison. Competition is a made up thing designed to keep us scrambling to sit at the top of the pile of a very small box with very little room for soul.
There is no scarcity to your own magic. Your own soul is expansive like the sky and as dense, solid and real like the earth herself. Roots down in the ground, essence of jasmine feeding your cells the possibility of permeating existence with your own magic and the sky reflecting the spaciousness, the possibility of the grander vision of who you really are.
There is no competition or argument once you settle the one within your own heart where self-doubt is laid to rest in a blanket of roses and divine love so your genius can rise up and dance. Remember, the redwoods and the oaks and the birch trees and the rose bushes and the clover flowers and the stinging nettles...They rise, nature is a party. Love.
Yes, we cannot see or recognize things that are outside of our awareness. It's a funny thing, so many teachings about how we create our reality when half of the equation doesn't take into consideration our incapacity to see or imagine or recognize or live outside of our level of consciousness. Trauma, in this way, is like a trance that we are living in...relationally, in the world and then in our own inner world. So, as much as we long for and desire love, we equate love with things that are NOT love and must unlearn that in order to begin to resonate with something different in our life.
We learn in the trauma bonds with our parents the their pathology, so love is wrapped up in either trying to seek and fix and get love, or trying to control. One person is the clinger and one the runner, or whatever. We develop labels - narcissist and empath/borderline, twin flame love, ascended partnership....we have an innate desire for intense bonding with another human and it plays out through the relational patterns of trauma bonding wired in our nervous system. Our mind cannot over ride this. It is energetic. It is emotional. It is the body.
It is in healing, that we start to come into deeper contact with the true energy of love as we unravel it from pain. This is the equation, to unravel the love from the pain and then heal the pain. There is nothing wrong with being in pain other than not knowing how to love it because no one taught us or love us in pain.
Trauma always has gifts in it's folds. The trauma itself is NOT a gift and it didn't happen FOR you but you have the ability to come through the trauma and receive more wisdom and strength and abilities to understand and know this kind of darkness, which is always, always an asset on the path. And, as you continue this healing work, you deepen your relationship with Source and your spiritual gifts start to reveal themselves to you. One of the side effects of trauma no one likes to talk about because our society profits off of it, is a disconnection from source and spirit. So, the more medicated you are the more you will consume and look outside rather than mend that bond. When you mend that bond, your spiritual gifts reveal themselves and strengthen like the gold poured into the cracks and holes in the caverns of broken places.
Your soul is your vital energy; it is life force expressing itself as you. It is your expression of creation. It is creation expressing itself as you. It is the essence of who you are.
The amount of goodness and beauty and love that you really are is indescribable by any words, in any language.
There is nothing that you cannot transform in your life. There is no reason that life cannot be a wonderful experience for you. There is no need to blame karma or fixed astrology as identity and excuses for suffering and pain or why things aren’t happening.
The Universe is flowing and expressing itself through you, there is nothing that you cannot transmute back into your own divinity. Even your feeling of separation is an embodied experience of this sacred life breathing you. Even shame.
Shame is a liberating pathway back to embodying your innate goodness.
Shame: a complicated experience wrapped up in painful thought cycles fed by deep, often unconscious, unmet needs for love.
It’s relational. In other words, it is something that is triggered in the context of relationships and belonging. It touches us right down to the core of who we are and often cuts us right there at that core. It is the soul wound.
It’s a complex belief system based on the experience that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. It’s the pain of original heartbreak.
It is fear. It is anger. It is all the feels. It is also the cultural air we breathe and water we swim in.
It’s the feeling of unworthiness, of not being enough, not being good enough.
It is misunderstanding the nature of pain, it is having no idea what to do with pain. Pain was there when the seeds of shame got planted. When we feel pain and no one sees it, our emotions are shut down. Caregivers are unhappy or we get in trouble for being in pain or having emotions, being told to stop expressing emotions. We feel the loss of love and attention, and feel hurt or abused or neglected.
It is so common, we just think it is normal. Normal does not mean it is healthy.
Step away from the inner blame game. Life is happening around us and through us. There is far more of a cosmic orchestration moving to the rhythm of it's own symphony that we will ever get to understand. In fact, that is part of the song, not getting to understand why or how or what is behind things happening. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes things happen that make no sense. Sometimes things happen that stop us in our tracks and look at life differently. None of these things happen because there is something wrong with you. We've been conditioned by a co-dependent, competitive culture that has placed conditions on success and wealth and love and adoration and belonging. We receive mixed messages about fitting in yet being individual. To feel feelings but affirm away anything "negative." We have created so many blocks to feeling our own hearts.
Take risks. Leap into the unknown. Do your inner work. Surrender and trust and have faith. Faith in something higher than yourself, faith in the power that connects us all together. Faith in the cosmic orchestration and intelligence that keeps the universe together, even after all this time.
Sometimes bad things will happen. Sometimes things don't happen the way you want. Sometimes good things happen. Sometimes nothing will happen. Whatever arises, its always a call to move with the tide of life, to respond to life from rather than react to life. If you don't do anything, nothing will happen and you won't really be living.
Fear is aliveness. Grief is aliveness. Rage is aliveness. Sadness is aliveness. Love is aliveness. Joy is aliveness. We must leap into the entire spectrum to get to experience it all. There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with being human. Stop using spirituality and emotional tools to commit violence towards yourself because this perpetuates the exact thing you are trying to free yourself from. Use your spiritual and emotional tools to support your own sanity, serenity and well-being, not to beat yourself up by measuring yourself up on the outside. Love is love. Love is here to free you and heal you back to wholeness. From wholeness, anything is possible.