An Invitation to Dance with Grief |
I hope that you are experiencing the change of season with ease and that you may find some comfort in what I have to share with you here.
Change = loss and the one thing I know for sure is that we will all experience loss in our lives. The loss may come in different forms and each one is significant and deserves to be honoured.
This is an invitation to honour your grief, no matter what form it takes. You may have lost a loved one or you may have received a diagnosis that compromises your health; you may have lost your job or experienced divorce. Each of these life changing events means you have experienced loss, longing or feeling lost.
“The more difficult it is for us to articulate our experiences of loss, longing or feeling lost to the people around us, the more disconnected and alone we feel. Talking about grief is difficult in a world that wants us to “get over it” or a community that is quick to pathologize grief.” ~ Brené Brown
#theselfcompassionbreak | 17-19 June 2022| Temenos, McGregor
Please join me for a retreat at Temenos Retreat Centre in McGregor from 17-19 June 2022 where you’re invited to connect, share and honour your grief in a supportive and nurturing environment.
I will guide you through intuitive art-making, meditation, reflection and self-compassion practices as we dedicate precious time to our grief and learn how to be more compassionate with ourselves and others.
“Grief is optional in this lifetime. Yes, it’s true. You don’t have to experience grief, but you can only avoid it by avoiding love. Love and grief are inextricably intertwined.”
~ David Kessler
I HAVE LOVED LARGE
On 31 March 2022 I said goodbye to Yazhi, my Anam Cara (Soul Friend).
Making the decision to let her go was without a doubt the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make. She was my companion for 15 years and we had a soul connection like no other. I loved her in a way that I have never loved another being. It is now almost 9 weeks since she has left her earthly body and the pain and longing I feel is still very real and raw.
As some of you may know, grief is no stranger to me. I have experienced many losses in my life time including the sudden death of my brother 6 years ago and my father 3 years ago.
Whilst my grieving process has been different for each loss, the one common aspect is that I choose to talk and write about my grief and to create ritual (usually through an art process) – to honour each loss and to honour my grief. I have learnt that grief deserves dedicated time and that avoiding loss has a cost. I’ve also learnt that avoiding grief means that we then also avoid love. Love and grief are a package deal.
I am not sad or in anguish 100% of the time. It’s quite possible for me to be crying one minute and laughing in the next. It’s ok for me to feel exhausted and sad the same day that I feel energised and full of joy as I swim in the ocean. All I ask is that if I share my grief when asked how I’m doing, that I be acknowledged without being assessed or given advice. I also ask this on behalf of other beings who choose to grieve openly.
I say this because I have often been dismissed; I’ve been told that I am doing this grief “better than the last time”; that “she is in a better place”; I’ve been asked “don’t cry, you’ll upset me.” I’ve also had my loss compared to someone else’s loss.
This has been so unhelpful and I assess that others may feel the same. As I’ve been grappling with this I’ve chosen to delve into the emotion and articulation of grief on a deeper level. My continued research and reading has been reassuring, inspiring and healing. I’m happy to share and will – and I would like to hear about your experience with grief.
“Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.” ~ David Kessler
I hope to be of service to others and I’m inspired to create a space for clients, colleagues and friends where they feel comfortable to share their experience with grief – knowing that they will be witnessed with compassion and care. I’m hoping you will join me on retreat or individually – and share this offer with others who may appreciate this opportunity.
David Kessler’s insight is both professional and intensely personal. His journey with grief began when, as a child, he witnessed a mass shooting at the same time his mother was dying. For most of his life, Kessler taught physicians, nurses, councillors, police, and first responders about end of life, trauma, and grief, as well as leading talks and retreats for those experiencing grief. Despite his knowledge, his life was upended by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son in 2019.
POEM OF THE WEEK
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado.
Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.
Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.
The only safety lies in letting it all in
– the wild and the weak; fear, fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of the heart,
or sadness veils your vision with despair,
practice becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your known way of being,
the whole world is revealed to your new eyes.
~ Danna Faulds
With love and many blessings,
Yours in inspiration,