Tag Archives: loss

Grounded & Growing

Like everyone else, I have experienced change or loss in my professional and personal life, sometimes leading to feelings of grief, pain and uncertainty.  It it is easy to be tempted to dismiss these feelings and say, “suck it up and keep going” or some other friendlier reminder like “these things happen, change is good, go on”.  But what happens when we don’t feel that way yet? When we’re still feeling puzzled, or depressed, stricken or shocked?

As a channel, I have learned to go within in times of struggle. In my last post, Feeling God When You Feel So Alone, I talked about how I found shelter when it was too difficult to “go within” by myself.

Another way I discovered was on a recent walk with a friend who silently held space for my transformative experience…

The trees provided a shady overhang, and the air was thick with dewy perfume. I was wearing inconvenient flip-flops, not realizing we would be walking on uneven terrain – and I said they were bothering me.

“Why not take them off?” I heard beside me, and without much hesitation, because that is the kind of person I am :), I did.

This may not seem like a big deal, but suddenly I was entranced as my feet touched the ground. The earth felt cool and moist, and I noticed the raw and richly packed earth making a path for me, with the odd random twig or leaf.  It felt like such a relief! But I didn’t say anything, because I was too engrossed in what I was doing to comment.

My friend, however, noticed my change in  mood, and was entranced with me and what I was doing, and so took pictures.

Here are some pics of the unfolding scene…

The silence and concentration required to watch my step, caused me to feel very grounded and to “keep going” without pausing to think about it. I had to! If I didn’t pay attention I might step on a rock, or worse a tiny frog! So I focused where I was, and enjoyed the feeling of putting one foot in front of the other – and the soft receptivity of the earth to hold onto.

It’s amazing how rubber shoes and other outer-wear implements shield us from the elements, but also from our fundamental connection to the earth and our interior nature. Even our feelings underneath. Once the shield is dropped, we are laid bare to feel vulnerable, while at the same time protected by something greater than ourselves.

Our vulnerability makes us feel raw (including the bottoms of our feet!), but our hearts can feel warmer, feel felt and seen, witnessed and heard.  Our mother is waiting for us, and we can let go and drop down to the great unseen.

What did this do for me? Well, it didn’t solve all my problems or talk back to me. It didn’t tell me where to go or what to do. But it provided a soft path to follow, and the permission to be me. 

Being grounded, literally, to the earth provided a sweet balm of healing, an inner well to draw from when the mental and emotional self feels too dry or unfathomable. Dipping down into the forest floor, feeling the world trembling with every footstep or forest critter’s movements, every wind through tree, gave me a sense of purpose and belonging. I can be here. I know how to do this. It is like I remembered a treasury from being a child who doesn’t worry about the shoes on her feet!

The world is an open door, and the ground is always there to greet you, to run across barefoot, to play on, or even to lie down upon and stair at the open sky or branches overhead and ask, “Why?” and just listen with profound innocence.

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Being grounded gave me a sense of innocence that remembers it is still a growing thing, like a seedling, totally dependent on the earth beneath her feet. I was connected to everything, not a solitary tree, but with roots expanding and touching other trees, a community of living things. And my friend, who was my usual companion, didn’t have to speak. Didn’t have to guide me. Just being there to witkrista walking smileness, and perhaps offer a hand as I walked over a fallen branch, was enough for me.

Being grounded and growing within came as a surprise to me. It didn’t come only from praying in solitude in my silent haven (though I lo
ve and rely upon that too); it didn’t come from talking to and fro about the problem; it came nestled in the trees, and down below on the ground, where I was busy, walking.

The greatest surprise in going forward came from putting one foot in front of the other, and finding there was always something there to catch me.

 

 

Comments? Write in the space below, or in a private message to me here.

Feeling God When You Feel So Alone

One of the downfalls of being a “spiritual” person (we are all spiritual – but that is a misnomer I sometimes give myself and others who are dedicated to the path of enlightenment/ truth/ spirituality/ authenticity/ love), is that I don’t often give myself permission to fail or fall.  Or is that perfectionism? My article on Spiritual Perfectionism deals with that topic. But here, I want to go a little deeper.

One of the most difficult things for me and perhaps others to do, and one of the things I do the best when I do it, is to be real and raw when something is bothering me. To tell the truth. When I do it I sometimes say too much and risk disapproval or abandonment. (The worst abandonment, though, is self-abandonment, and so given the opportunity I will choose the former). And when I don’t risk it, I bury it under a deep dark place because, after all, ‘I am the light’. The danger of knowing I am the light, and yet I feel darkness, is that I may pretend it is not there, hide it, or worse, give in to it. Alone, I may be tempted to believe that there is no hope, that no one hears me, and that my darkness is the truth about me. This is not the truth, and yet when I FEEL that way, it is the most challenging time to reach for light.

So what do I do when I feel so alone, struggling with something seemingly on my own, and yet not alone? Even surrounded at times by well-meaning family and loved ones, I can feel as if no one understands, I can feel judged or wounded, even if no one says anything against me – it is a thought I have about myself, that hasn’t yet found its way into the light to be healed. How can I find my way through that darkness and reach for the light within?

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One of my friends said something profoundly wise the other day as she listened with compassion – a rare gift. Knowing me as she does, that I am one to hide away when the going gets tough, she coaxed me out and provided a safe cushion to lean on while I unloaded myself. She said, “What if going within is not something we have to do by ourselves? What if going within just means going into your heart, and that means reaching out to other people, soul connection? Maybe connection isn’t just a solitary thing, maybe it can be done together because we are all connected?”

As a channel, I have learned, rather reluctantly because I have never been a good meditator, to go into a deep trance (hypnosis) and access my spiritual essence, and even talk to guides and angels. You would think, given this incredible gift, that I would never feel alone. “You can talk to Heaven? My God! Lucky you! I wish I had a direct line to God!” Well… I do. So do you, but I STILL feel alone. I don’t say this to give you no hope, I say this because the deeper message here, is that maybe God can’t be found by myself.

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Maybe God is a two-way street – or better yet, an intersection – or a busy square where many souls greet. Maybe God cannot be found locked away in a solitary cave or room (though some have found him there, too). Maybe God greets us most when we are in love, when we are forlorn and being picked up by a friend, when our husband hugs us after we feel broken and fragile, when we listen to children playing in the pool, walk barefoot on the dewy grass, or let the dog lick our face.

Maybe God is in the details. In the laughter and tears, in the rolling hills, in the depressing days of sadness where we feel so lost, and the miraculous times of healing when our hearts receive the love and hope we so desperately need from just the right person – or another unlikely place.  

Maybe love is not just in our pleas to God, but in the listening and receiving.

As a ‘spiritual person’ (I will say it only one more time, I promise), I can also be tempted to think that it is OK to give love, to extend myself beyond my own limits for others so they feel loved, but it is not OK for me to receive it, to need it, to want it, to grab for it, and even to lose it. It is not OK for me to fail or fall down. To feel alone. To feel small. It is not OK for me to be a human being who talks to angels, and sometimes would rather be with a flesh-and-bones friend whom I can see, touch and feel.

Maybe it’s OK to admit that God isn’t up there, all alone in his high cloud without me – maybe it’s OK to greet God right here, in my own world, no matter how lonely or messed up I feel. Maybe God is right here, right now, with me and you as we read and write these things, together. And in the illumination that comes from finally letting the dark cloud out of my head, and letting my heart reach out one more time – to God only knows who. Because in that moment of truth, that moment of connection, wisdom comes, and communion.

And isn’t that what God and love is all about? 

 

Let me know how you reach God when times are tough. Write a comment or email your private share here. Thank you for sharing.

 

Miracle 27: “Harmony Song”

 Imagine a man and woman sitting on a beach, sharing their stories. They hardly know each other, they are just friends, new to each other, yet holding ancient keys. In between them rests Epiphany.  Two years later there is emptiness, an empty chair, as they carry on with their lives.  Their stories seem to cease.  Are kept in silent symmetry.  Time passes, and they go on producing, creating, living. They go on in faith, forgiving.  Tears come and cease.  Learning never seems to end. Is there a final word for this? A story that can be told out in the open? Maybe someday.

The silent heart of a woman rarely speaks, but when it does, it is a torrent, a tornado, a tsunami of consciousness. Creative, Loving, Whole. And when she lets go, it is as if the wave that once held her catches her and drags her along. Buried by her own quest. Afraid of the long-forgotten current or song.  Oh song! Don’t break me, carry me out, release me and carry me along.  I will not crumble, I will not quake. I can take the great tornado of my own Song. For I do not, will not sing alone!

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What causes this great change?  This great awakening?  Yes, it seems we must push ourselves, or be pushed to the brink, before we listen, we hear. I have no idea what combination of grace this rests on (miracles, magic, hard work, fate?), but in my experience it is always mixed with a bit of joy, and many tears.

Why do we cry? One woman asked me in our women’s circle. She almost felt left out, like she wasn’t working hard enough. But what makes me cry is deliverance, from the very “working hard enough”, trying too hard to hold it all together, keep everything sane and clear, to complete abandonment – of an old way, an old scheme, an old love, an old dream. It is earth shattering at times, and sublime. I don’t know what makes this happen, but I see it all the time. Its potential is in us all, and we are in it or ready for it, or not at all. No one can make us go there. We are strong enough if we are here, or we wouldn’t be here.

I am comforted by all your stories, and the pattern I see. Highly successful women and men reaching epiphany. It is time. What can we give?  What can I do? Everything, and nothing. It will happen anyway. It is inevitable. Painful at times. Like a river running through me, jammed up by rocks, then bursting through. Oh! To be released from the earthly pleasures and pains! To be united again, and not suffer so. What is this pain? What is this suffering? Forgetfulness, and then unity. We will be there again, we will find our way back home. In each other, in a prayer, in hope, in letting go.

It seems today you wrote me. I feel it all. And yet, glory is still possible – true glory, and true pleasure – reaching for the greatest gift of all. The Miracle of You – the partner, the friend, the lover, the fighter, nature, dog, child, lover. It doesn’t matter who. They all seap through. It is YOU! We are craving for, inviting in. Whoever you are. Love us, guide us, (torture us!), heal our wounds. Never again will we be alone. We invite you in to a Harmony Song. Never again uninvited. United. Befriended. Friend to All.  Amen.

Thank you all.