i've been struggling to write this newsletter to you for weeks (insert guilt here). my transition from Winter to Spring has had a lot more change than i could've imagined. the image of a warm fog mimics my inner space: still, thick, yet immeasurable across space.
i tried surrendering to it, tried to change my routine and neither worked. yet, i've arrived to two truths i want to share with you:
1. during Brionna Ned’s workshop “A Date with Death: Accessing Grief” she brilliantly said “every time there’s change in your life, there’s a death.” we shy away of the idea of death, so much so that we ignore it as a part of living. but death is quite simple, its the loss of something. death happens in change, transition, and all of life’s ebbs and flow. every day we lose something, a little hope, a little certainty, perhaps even a little bit of our old selves. to be experiencing life is to be with all of that, not because we have no choice - we do - but because energy only changes into something fulfilling when we allow it to be transmuted through the alchemy in the natural cycle of life and death; living fully needs the alchemy of change.
2. my dear friend Althea told me about her daily grief ritual: she lights candles for everything she is holding and expects to hold for each day. she told me “i believe that grief is not a recovery from, grief is the experience of life.“ grief is how our human bodies naturally alchemize the life and death cycles that happen each day. grief is a part of our living. i no longer see that as grim or depressing, i see it as a revival, as a part of the full living that is fulfilling. it is the sun as it breaks through the fog. it is the oxygen that breaks into our blood as it is pumped through our hearts.
i’m not gonna lie, i hate that i’m using the word “grief” in this newsletter, its become so trendy like “rest”. yet, there was no other word for how i am moving through this fog. this *ish* is real. what i understand now is that i wasn’t allowing myself to be with the change or transitions in my life. i wasn’t fully trusting in my heart’s capacity to hold all these feelings (thank you Brionna, also y’all need to go hire her). i wasn’t seeing grief as part of the literal magic of human alchemy (thank you Althea, also y'all need to go follow her). grief is completely part of the full aspect of a fulfilling life and i’m reclaiming it because i have to to fully live.
it requires so much energy, yes, and that energy is what gives us the day break. that energy of transmuting the loss is what gives us room for the bliss, the awe, the satisfaction.
i share this with you dear friend as it might resonate. you might be feeling stuffed, off, impenetrable, or unable to break from habitual living. you might feel like there’s something under the current. whether or not that is true, i invite you to light a candle for that and all you are holding. watch the flame flicker as it changes the material burning with the water and oxygen in the air. imagine as you do so, your inhale like the flame brings in the oxygen to transform what you hold in your heart, the only part of your body that can process it. with your exhale, you heart simultaneously pumps it out as something new.
this is your gift of human alchemy. this is grief.
this is part of the fulfilling experience of life.
how are you going to use it?
self-practice: for three days follow the candle practice above gifted to us by Althea and Brionna. i invite you to reply and share with me what you notice from it. i'm here with you.
have you ever met a stranger who you can talk to for hours and seems to open your mind to so many new possibilities? Katie Elliot is that for me and she brilliantly creates spaces where that is true for a group of complete strangers as well. she has graciously invited me to her podcast gathering to chat with her and a small group of folks about creating brave, empathic spaces. i invite you to join us and check out her other little gatherings!
“how can we create not just safe spaces in which to come together, but brave, empathic spaces, where we can face discomfort in order to grow?”
i had the pleasure of listening to the experiences of folks who engaged in virtual facilitation focus sessions with me. as they shared two themes emerged: folks gained clarity to how they were approaching holding space and also found the authentic sweet spot in their offerings. does this resonate as something you're seeking? is there a way i can support you through my virtual facilitation focus sessions?
good news, my April - May schedule is open and welcoming you if your response is yes.
find out more below, book a pre-partnership call, or respond to this email to get into it!
- Brionna Ned is having the third part of her series“A Date With Death: The Old Me"on April 15th. come experience Brionna's brilliance and throw her all ya coins *respectfully*. #purebrilliance
- i am loving the work of Daria on IG. their accountability mapping page centers somatics and transformative justice through ancestral technologies for mapping. they have an emotional release course with Qi Gong practices for fear, grief, trauma, and much more. #ancestraltechnologies
& with that, may you be empowered always all ways.
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"Standard English… is the language of conquest and domination; in the United States, it is the mask which hides the loss of so many tongues, all those sounds of diverse, native communities we will never hear...we create the ruptured, broken, unruly speech of the vernacular... There, in that location, we make English do what we want it to do. We take the oppressor’s language and turn it against itself. We make our words a counter-hegemonic speech, liberating ourselves in language.” -bell hooks taught me. & more here.