Wishing you all so much love, peace and beauty for this new year, 2020 and for a magical start to a brand-new decade.
Thank you for your endless support in 2019. I feel immensely grateful to be able to do the work I do, in helping people find meaning through grief, loss and feelings of unworthiness. In April 2020, the Creating Sacred Collective and I are bringing my teacher, Francis Weller, to Nevada County for a community grief ritual. The event sold out in a weekend, speaking to the enormous need for us to come together and share our collective losses. The Creating Sacred Collective’s mission, as well as mine, is to bring grief rituals to our community on a regular basis and to make these rituals affordable, inclusive and available to all. We each know the transformative power of ritual, and of coming together to grieve in community. And our world needs this desperately right now.
Due to the recent devastating bushfire events in my homeland, Australia, I find myself dropping into grief every time I see an article online or when well-meaning friends asks about my family. I turn towards my practices, my meditations and devotional acts of gratitude as often as I can. And just as often I find myself pushing the devastating images out of my head, closing the computer on the latest updates and wanting to distract myself with anything other than the reality of what is happening right now in the southern hemisphere.
Francis Weller speaks about what he calls the sorrows of the world, one of the gateways that lead us into the communal hall of grief. When we connect with the anima mundi, the soul of the world, we are aware that our lives are entangled with all other beings as well as the earth we live upon. We are not alone and not separate from the world around us. This is a truth that indigenous cultures are extremely familiar with, a truth that our modern culture still rejects, for the most part. These relationships with nature, plants, animals and ancestors are felt in our bones and our tissues whether we acknowledge them or not.
I’ve made it my practice to make time to be with my grief for the devastation in Australia. I turn towards the part of me that wants to disassociate from the pain, and I give it all my attention. In my meditations, I travel to the place inside that feels so helpless and I allow the tears to roll down my cheeks. I hear the big heaving sobs moving out of my chest and I feel instantly grateful. Grateful my grief has a sound, grateful for the act of grieving that feels like a movement of energy outwards rather than stagnant inside my heart and so grateful for just the experience of being human and feeling so deeply. Cleansed from my tears, my heart feels lighter. I’m reminded of my connection to everyone and everything and surprisingly, I feel hopeful again. I can now spend the rest of my mediation sending loving kindness blessings to the people, the wildlife and the land.
This is the gift of allowing ourselves to be with our grief, even when it can feel too enormous to face and we feel we may lose ourselves in it. I have found it is helpful to create sacred space to grieve. By lighting a candle and cleansing the space we declare this a sacred time to do sacred work: the work of grief. This is deep, necessary work that cleanses and heals us, so we can get up from our meditations and go out into the world with love in our hearts. May this love inspire us into sacred action that helps each of us awaken to the fullest expression of ourselves and helps us create a world of peace, love and connection with all.
So much love and blessings to you all.