Be like the Ocean
Energy. Emotions are energy, they need to move through us or they get stuck leaving us feeling numb, incapacitated, paralyzed, agitated, unable to clearly focus, depressed, anxious. So we turn to things that appear to take all these feelings or energies away and unfortunately they aren’t always in our best interest. Distraction probably being the number one culprit to avoid what we fear we can’t get a hold on or manage within ourselves. We consume high quantities of sugar or alcohol, over caffeinate; we chase the high in belief that our world will be somewhat tolerable.
The ocean, which holds an enormous amount of energy, goes in and out, ebbs and flows, crashes and calms, it can stay in a state of equilibrium with itself. It can manage the energy of itself because it naturally allows itself to BE all of the enormity that it encompasses. It does not get lost in any one way of being: sad, happy, sorrowful, overjoyed, confused, depressed.
If we listen and watch and become like the ocean we can allow ourselves to come back into equilibrium. This is the significance of a grief ritual. It creates the space for us to be our ocean. It is because of societies fear of feeling anything but “happy” that we really don’t feel much at all. We are guided into a false sense of inhabiting our bodies when all we do is strive for the quick fix to feel good. When we can allow ourselves to deliberately be awash of all our energies, thus all our emotions, we come back to the calm restorative place, like the ocean, in all our powerful magnificence of being exactly what it is we are supposed to be: a vessel of life. Expressing itself in each present moment with what arises. Taking with it what it needs to nourish the continuation of existence and allowing what has served its purpose to be laid gently on the shore, to be recycled and transformed into something new and more brilliant.
Nature teaches us that after the storm has passed, new life comes into being. The air is washed clean and the feeling of freshness becomes apparent. We must come to a place of comfort within ourselves, to allow our storm to play out, so we can begin to become the brilliance that we are after our torrential rain has washed us anew. Storms never lasts forever. Therefore, there doesn’t have to be the fear of getting sucked up by our own downpour of intense emotions. It might last a bit longer that we find comfortable, but if we aren’t allowing it to recycle us with its cleaning and clearing, with its oceanic ebb and flow, its waves and calm, then we lie amongst its never ending riptide. We are spun into a state of denial, distraction, confusion and resistance to what is trying to come up from the depths.
Nothing ever stays the same. Allow your riptide to transform you into a cohesive representation of ebb and flow and trust in the supportive, nurturing ability of the shore to catch you and hold you in ALL of your magnificence. We’ve all seen the sparkle in the shoreline. When we allow our ocean of emotions to represent in full form in the moment, as opposed to denying them and becoming like the riptide, we always come out sparkling like the shore. This is our essence. This is our birthright. To sparkle. Not the contrived performance, worthiness based on another’s perspective sparkle, but the one that comes as the Phoenix, the alchemical transformation that occurs when we allow are vulnerabilities and power to coexist.
Our lives are not one dimensional. We are meant to experience and feel all that arises within us. Somewhere along the way, we moved away from our instinctual, indigenous, connected hearts. We have been taught to believe that anything that hurts too much or isn’t easily understood the first time around, must be ignored and discarded. This actually creates the perpetual angst of that which is trying to be revealed. This hurt and confusion, instead of being recycled as the ocean tells us, in its continual display of waves and calm, in ebb and flow, in its ability to constantly recycle that which lies within its majestic presence, instead, exists at the effect of that which we avoid. The pain, the hurt, the confusion, the misguided understanding lies within us as a riptide of emotion with nowhere to go, nowhere to process, but leaving us with a feeling of violent disturbance. Our society teaches us that the only way to meet this disturbance is by covering it up with more disturbances: alcohol, drugs, addictions, constant busyness or striving. It’s not that some of these methods aren’t effective in reaching success in certain areas, but when used as a means of avoiding what is at the core that drives the behavior, this is what becomes problematic. Therefore, when a person tries to break out of this habit or pattern of existence it feels like their entire world will go down the drain, never to return to “normalcy.”
We must remember to see clearly and learn from one of our most “like” ally, in terms of our shared capacity to hold all that we are, all that we encompass: the ocean. The earth and our bodies are both comprised of 70% water.
Be like the ocean. Trust in your innate capacity to grieve and thrive without getting lost at sea.
Allow me, Jennifer Grais, Emily Cox Turek and Tessa McClary to guide you on your way to holding and honoring your magnificence.
April 8th– Tending to Your Soul—Spring Wellness Workshop-
On April 8th, you are invited to a day that will allow you to process your sorrows and your grief. Perhaps this will be in a way that you have never done, or maybe you’ve done this before and it’s time to do it again. The day will be designed around exercises of writing, some movement, sharing, drumming, listening and end with an opportunity to release it all at a water alter, designed to ease your sorrows. Come honor yourself in a day designed especially for you.
John O’Donohue says, “What we encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach…When we approach with reverence great things decide to approach us.”
What has been the thread that has been with you throughout your life? What is a constant that regardless of situation has always been present? These questions were posed to a group of people in a class that I am taking, called “Living a Soulful Life,” with Francis Weller. I have to say that the most compelling and vivid thing in my life, with a strong degree of consistency, is trauma. Weller says that grief does not always bring trauma, but trauma will always bring grief.
gravis, heavy—to experience keen mental suffering.
experiencing psychological injury.
To be traumatized is to be shaken to one’s core. I have perceived traumatic events in my life with disbelief, confusion, fear, anger and sadness. The sensitive feelings of being an empath, of picking up energy from others and their pain as though it was my own, have caused these feelings to intensify. Mind you, the trauma I experienced was always second hand. I was not abused in any way, but I witnessed three of my four family members, from my family of origin, experience the hard challenges of life in their own battles with either mental illness or, in two cases, cancer. I’m happy to say there are two cancer survivors still in my family after 40 years.
My earliest memory of feeling the pain of another—or perhaps the confusion and disbelief of what was occurring—was at the age of 7. I feel my ability to go through life witnessing and being affected by trauma from this early age through my current age of 54, while maintaining a certain degree of sanity, is because I have always had a knowing of things, an understanding of a higher self, whether or not I could label it, especially as a child. Since then, I have come to learn who I am, and put vocabulary to aspects of myself that helps to explain the phenomena I have always experienced: in short, I am an intuitive, an empath and a medium.
I feel deeply called to do this work. Although I sometimes feel doubt and anxiety and question myself about what I am doing, I am learning—actually continually reminding myself—that if I stay close to my soul, if I allow and listen to the pull of something that is larger than me in purpose to come out and reveal itself, then I will be doing my job from an authentic and meaningful place.
I have always felt very at home dealing with realms that are beyond the ego states of mind. These soulful places call to the pains of the human condition and the joys of liberation in the discovery that we all suffer to some degree, and that our life here on earth is meant for bigger things that we rarely ever allow ourselves to live out. As I see it, we need to approach life from a more soulful place rather than the limiting constraints of the personality.
When I was younger, I didn’t always understand what was happening or why, but I do know that my heart always stayed in the game. My impulse to want to help in the best way that I knew how, ran the show more often than not. Being human, my young mind had its own foibles and acts of disregard and cruelty when I felt there was no direction or no place to go for any understanding. I’m older now and those times are long ago and few in occurrence.
My duty now—indeed my calling—which I believe was presented to me around the ageof 4, although I had absolutely no understanding of it, has finally found its time to reveal itself. My job is to provide people with a safe place to explore the deep pain that tends to build up simply from living life, whether or not we realize it, and to be witnessed by others in doing so. I want to help others see that the psychological pain that manifests out of the very real loss of our loved ones—or any other circumstance that occurs in one’s life that has caused distress—can actually be transformed into an expression of reverence for what was and is no longer. When the mind cycles in distress, pain, suffering and misery, it becomes cloudy. Worse yet, it shuts down the heart’s ability to feel and remember the beauty, joy, abundance or magnificence that once lived before the loss occurred to the one who now grieves.
Life is not black or white. We are not meant to stay in grief, in sorrow, in psychological pain. We are meant to look those qualities or feelings in the face and come to an understanding of why they have affected us to the level they do. From here, we honor our pain and sorrow and LOVE for that which is no longer the way we once experienced, be it a person, a concept, or thing in life. It is when we can come to a place that offers peace from understanding, that we gain a level of clarity that brings us to a much deeper part of our existence here on earth; realizing that we, as mortals, are here for a reason, regardless of the length of time we are alive in our physical bodies.
When grief comes in response to death, it is not about us or them or the living and the dead. It is about honoring those that have gone before us, yes, even when, the hardest of acknowledgments, it is a child who passes. It is to their beauty and character and love that we bow and the joys and memories of the dead continue to live through us. We never lose sight of or forget what is no longer visible to the naked eye, but we look for opportunities to honor, embrace and cherish every moment that was ever lived. When grief is over a strained relationship in life, the opportunity then available to us is to look within and go to the places where our wounds have been neglected and or forgotten. It is when we can find healing within our own tortured selves that the relationship in our lives, which appear strained, actually become the very teacher for our souls healing.
I am the primary caregiver to my eldest daughter who sustained a spinal cord injury almost 11 years ago. In my own case of sustained trauma, which is present up to this day, I have come to embody the skills necessary for maintaining a balanced emotional life. My work as an Intuitive Coach and Medium, as well as my own internal work, has offered me guidance in this process. I have heard the stories of many from the other side and always get the feedback that all is well and that life played out as it was supposed to while here. I lost a brother to horrific circumstances and have been visited by him and listened to his consoling voice of joy and comfort and pleasure of what is now. Even under the most vile of circumstances, the message from the other side is peace.
It is important to remember that to experience true peace, among the living, is our birthright.
There is a myriad of circumstances that play into who we become, and why, in this lifetime. Although I have been witness to much trauma in my days of growing up, what I have learned is that choice is always an option. For me, when choice is unconscious(more of a reaction or habit), it is directed down the avenue which best suits the story playing in my mind and keeps me in a state of sorrow. When I choose how to feel deliberately, with understanding and clarity, my life seems to fall in line with my soul’s calling. These desires come from a place much deeper and wiser than myself, from the ancestral lineage of which we are all a part. When I choose from the direction of my soul, I live out my purpose and I answer the challenge to follow my calling. I actually live from a more balanced existence when I listen to my soul.
My grief from trauma has taught me that living in anger, resentment or confusion does not make for a happy life. Acknowledging these aspects of my life and how they have brought me to where I am, is allowing me to share my understanding of grief with others. We can build a healthy relationship with grief by understanding the soul’s perspective. This perspective is not clouded by judgement or “shoulds”, but by the opening of the heart. The human experience is one that gives us the opportunity to love and so also grieve for what we will all eventually lose. Coming to peace with this truth, is the only way I can continue to move forward with all the traumatic experiences that I have faced. I am thankful for life because of it.
My upcoming offering is a day in which we create a safe place for those who are interested or called to do so, to work through some of their own grief, trauma or sorrow, by allowing it to move through them. The exact origin of these feelings doesn’t have to be known. The heavy weight that lingers in the heart is usually enough to guide the way.
The purpose of this workshop is not to rid anyone of all grief. It is, however, meant to offer a safe place to be witnessed in one’s pain, wherever that originates, and to have somewhere to release it. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. As long as we breathe the same air we will continue to experience grief, trauma and as a result, sorrow. After a day like the one I am offering, we will have a new relationship with it and ourselves.
Again, as John O’Donohue says, …”when we approach with reverence great things decide to approach us.”
Come to a day designed to approach Yourself, with Reverence.