For many of us, the year 2022 has been a ‘grief year’!
Collectively, so much of what we thought we knew about ourselves, who we are, and what matters most to us, has been called into question.
We have had a little taste of what the caterpillar goes through before it becomes a butterfly.
It completely dissolves itself into a nutrient rich soup, from which it will begin to take a new form as a butterfly.
It’s as if our old world has been liquified and we aren’t quite on solid ground yet.
So many of us are grieving the death of a loved one.
Others are grieving the loss of an old dream or their old life.
The dream that things were going to go back to normal.
In my experience this grief is sacred.
Grief is an old friend that appears at different stages of our journey, to help us clarify what is most important for us, and how we can best use our limited time here.
While we are in the company of grief, there is a fresh realisation of how tenuous, fragile and precious life is.
Grief offers us a reminder to approach our lives in a more inspired and heartfelt way.
Last September, I experienced intense loss and grief on an ordinary Monday morning.
We had just spent 30 minutes with a heavily pregnant friend who was in early stages of labour but didn’t know it.
When we hopped into the car, I absentmindedly said to Pete: ‘from birth to death’.
I didn’t think much of it, until ten minutes later, when we arrived at our friend’s place for morning tea.
She had collapsed on the floor, and it was immediately clear to Pete and me that she had begun her transition into the ‘afterlife’.
Intuitively Pete took position near her head, gently stroking her hair and forehead and making her feel safe, while I supported her through her feet.
We both only had one wish, that her passage into the next realm would be as peaceful and sacred as possible, and that she would feel loved, honoured, and revered during her final moments in the body.
There was nothing glamourous about dying on the floor between the toilet and the shower, yet I knew that cosmic errors do not exist, and that nothing needed fixing.
It only took ten minutes before this cherished person took her last breath, and ‘was gone’.
It was so fluid and easy, as if she had done it many times before.
This ultimate falling apart of life wasn’t a failure.
It was raw power and it moved me to the core of my being.
Later, on the way home, the portal to the eternal was still slightly open.
The gentle breeze in the trees, the birds, the clouds, everything was bursting with life energy.
We already live in the light.
We just don’t know it most of the time.
My friend had begun a new phase, and Pete and were still here, but if I stayed really quiet, I could almost feel her joyful re-birthing.
Inside this stillness in the core of my being, there is a meeting place of matter and spirit, of the inner and outer, the seen and unseen world.
It is so natural in our increasingly busy and detached world to lose contact with this innermost part of ourselves!
It’s my deepest wish to live from that place, so I can keep the shattered pieces close to my heart and mourn them and allow them to re-birth into wisdom, rather than live from a state of numbness and disconnect.
In my experience, tending to grief or providing a safe passage for grief is one of my core tasks as a healer and therapist, offering a safe place to not only mourn the loss of life or health, but also the various losses and disappointments that happen to us.
Grief needs to be felt, integrated and assimilated inside the tissues of our body for healing to take place.
This is called embodied healing, and like the caterpillar, it needs to happen inside a safe cocoon, like inside my treatment room.
During the early decades of my life, I practiced stoicism and ‘rising above’ the brokenness of life.
If things didn’t work out, I believed I had to transcend the difficulty or situation.
I refined the art of disconnecting from my body, because I had been raised in a strict Christian mindset that our bodies where ‘vile objects’ and the cause of all suffering, and that the ‘holy’ way was the dis-embodied way. (Meaning I was bypassing my body).
Eventually, after many detours and setbacks (I had to be hit by a truck first) I gave myself permission to come down from my mountain top so I could be grounded in my body.
My body had been waiting for me all along.
This downward movement or energy flow into Mother Earth, into the belly and the heart, allows us to become fully integrated souls.
It is our passage to wholeness.
It polishes our hearts.
From this place we don’t need to pretend that life is otherwise.
We can experience total acceptance of what is.
From being safely anchored deep within our body, the world around us can dissolve and take on a new form.
From here we can participate in the process of falling apart, realising that this is just as sacred as ‘having it together’.
Grief isn’t something you get over.
Grief is a companion of our soul, who we walk and talk with as we move deeper into the mystery life.
If you are stuck in grief or another emotion, please book in for a session with me.
Call my lovely team on 03 6428 3007 or click here to book online.
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I am wishing you a peaceful holiday time and look forward to reconnecting with you in 2023.
With love and appreciation,