There are many dear to me who are feeling like the waves of challenge are continuing to pummel them. There are times of longing for a pause where they can catch their breath, and moments of wondering how they can go on. And even those of us not so personally touched by grief and loss, if we’re paying attention to even a bit of what’s happening in our world, we’ve likely experienced the catching of our breath, and contraction in our guts as the cycles of birth, life, death unfold in so many ways.

Being with the waves …

Especially in this holiday season when it seems like everyone around us is enjoying the lights, tastes, smells and sounds, the sense of disconnect can be jarring. There are many resources around for how to cope with grief in times like these, but I particularly appreciated Rachel Ricketts’ recent HuffPost article How To Get Through The Holidays While Grieving. I loved her no nonsense, real, practical, and relatable writing.

Whatever the season, while it’s counter to the conditioning many of us have been raised with, having our first attention on what’s happening inside of us is always the place both to start, and to check back in with. And … especially when the grief or pain feels unremitting, it’s easy to find ourselves getting lost inside, caught in the swirling downward vortex.

In 1999, at a pivotal point in my life, I participated in two 10 day in-person trainings with Gay and Katie Hendricks. Here, my grounding in attending to the dynamic flow of breath, and interpreting the sensations and emotions showing up in my body was deepened. Over the years I’ve continued to live into and build on what I learned there. One of the things I’ve never forgotten was their pointing to the importance of …

Allowing our attention to flow between our inner world and the outer world.

This is particularly significant in those moments when we feel stuck in the pull of that downward vortex. Without stepping aside from, or negating our own needs, consciously shifting our attention to something that draws our hearts back into our outer world is a powerful practice.

Expressing our hearts and unique giftedness
in life …

I’ve seen this in action in a couple different situations over this last week. My daughter is in the midst of a challenging and painful situation in her life. It was a gift to be able to spend last weekend with her doing many of the supportive Mumma things I love to do – cooking, snuggling, crying, talking, and yes, laughing and doing some fun things together too. As she reflected on where her heart and attention were being drawn, she recognized this was the moment to fulfill a life-long dream of having a kitten. This week she’s had the extraordinary experience of being chosen by this little beauty. Ten month old Poppy, has captured her heart and powerfully re-engaged her attention in life.

I also saw this kind of expression of heart and unique giftedness as the women of our Diving Deeper group gathered. Now in their third year of virtual weekly gatherings these women have come to deeply trust themselves and each other. This week one of them came to the call prepared to let the others know about a significant uncertainty she and her family had just learned was before them. But at the beginning of the call, another member’s experience called for our immediate attention. As she shared, we dropped into a space of grounded presence; breathing and reminding her that we were with her in the physical pain she was feeling. As we did that, the person facing the uncertainty was organically drawn out of her vortex of personal concern. In a clear demonstration of vulnerability and strength co-existing, she stepped up and led us in a powerful experience of virtual support she’d been learning in her own practice. When that was complete, she let herself fall into our virtual arms as she shared her news and received our support.

It’s this dynamic flow of attention between our inner and outer worlds I was referring to. A powerful dancing that felt both magical and practical. Everyone’s needs were attended to, and as a result of this dance, more than we could imagine emerged.

Even as we may be feeling battered by the waves of life, I find it powerful to remember that we are like waves in the ocean. Unique expressions of the same lifegiving ‘body of water’ from which we emerge. For a while we exist in our current form having our unique experiences in this life (sometimes crashing into each other) before returning to the oneness from which we came. No matter how it sometimes feels, we are never alone, nor can we lose touch with the ocean of Life and Love from which we are sourced.

My hope is we remember we are:

Sourced in, surrounded and supported by the Sea of Love  
and become ever fuller expressions of 
that powerful, wild presence, full of grace 

we came here to be

I believe this is what the challenges of our lives are inviting us into. It’s what my life, those in our community, and many other circles in our world are committed to. What about you? What is life calling you to? I’d love to hear. And if you’re curious, or feel drawn to join us I’d love to hear that too.

Nurturing juicy co-creative partnerships
…with ourselves, others & life!