Building the New Dream

Yesterday a friend asked, “have you ever felt that you have lived longer than you should have and that the day to day that you live just feels like a dream that you shouldn’t be in?” They were wondering if it was the Uranus opposition at work in their psyche. This transit happens for everybody around age forty-two and lasts two years. As another friend put it, this transit is a metaphor for having to build a new house. The psyche goes through a complete restructuring on a deep unconscious level, innovating your sense of self and life in the external world. Uranus initiates this transit by bringing crisis that can only be solved through evolving who you are.

I don’t want this blog to be about astrology. Jung called this transit, the mid-life crisis, as it is a developmental rite of passage whether you look through an astrological lens or not.

A sudden evolution of the psyche or soul may happen at any time in one’s life and usually crisis brings it on in varying forms…such as the sudden death of a loved one, an accident, divorce or separation, sudden loss of a career, an illness, war, cataclysm, or any life event personal or collective, where something valuable to the self destabilizes. This may also come in the form of a seemingly positive event, such as the birth of a baby, marriage, or relocation to a new home. Self evolution may also be initiated by internal turmoil that destabilizes the self, such as a long and stagnant ennui, depression, or sudden onset of mental illness.

Self evolution is a universal human experience, whether family and culture values and recognizes it or not…and often not, which often leads the psyche unconsciously into addictions, to cover feelings of  of wrongness, being unfulfilled, not knowing who you are, depression, stagnation, and insecurity. Addiction does not always take the form of alcohol and drugs. You can be addicted to shopping, looking good, working, relationships, sex, and just about any thing or behavior used to push feelings into the shadow in order to survive, be valued and accepted by family and culture, which often gets blurred with how you feel about who you are.

Evolution of the self is a universal rite of passage that nourishes the true self and roots in the very nature of being human. Crisis is usually the initiator of soul evolution. Crisis, although appearing malevolent, is for our benefit so that we may grow and evolve. The Tower archetype in tarot speaks of this and so does Uranus in astrology. Whether on an individual or a collective level, it usually takes crisis to make us change, for human nature tends to lazily bask in ease and pleasure if given the opportunity.

The last time I felt I was living in an outdated dream happened to be during my Uranus opposition…

My outdated dream looked like stagnation and depression. The crisis appeared as a dark night of the soul happening internally. My mind-body connection was pretty solid at the time, due to practicing yoga and having a chanting practice daily. Self discipline nourished the depression. Although I felt off, disconnected, impoverished, and lacked motivation to change, I wasn’t being self-destructive and I knew I needed to build a new house.

Awareness and self care buoyed me tremendously and a little truly goes a long way…

In order to build a new house, I knew I would need to make choices based upon my astrological chart and not my instinct. My instinct was to keep being a gypsy bohemian soul living to become recognized and successful as an artist. I was also very attached to the underworld and the wounds that I carried, as a familiar comfort zone where Uranus calls home in my chart. Where Uranus was opposing revealed where I needed to make choices based upon what I had been avoiding in my self and keeping shadowed. Namely, the material world and my physical values.

I already had a head start on coming into my body through my yoga practice and this helped. The equanimity gained through yoga and chanting allowed me to not identify with my comfort zone and old self. I could pull away and enter the discomfort of all that was being shadowed; the pragmatic, money-making, material world and my identity within this world. It was time to become the earthly woman who focuses on worldly matters and practical reality. I needed to engage logic, reason, and my masculine energy, all shadowed elements asking to be brought to the light.

Nothing in me wanted to do this work but I did it anyway. Like the salmon, I swam upstream. Or like George Constanza in that one episode of Seinfeld, I said yes when my instincts told me to say no. I walked out of my comfort zone and entered grad school to become a therapist.

In doing this, I faced the aspects of myself in the shadows. My healing process switched focus onto family of origin wounds and ego development and less on past lives, soul wounds, and integrating the multi-dimensional self. I faced all of the worldly rules, regulations, techniques, ideologies, and language concerning becoming an effective healer. I sat the tarot reading indigo priestess in the back seat and began to develop the psychotherapist woman, giving her the wheel.

Initially, I made the choice so that I could make a living in this world. It was a very pragmatic decision. The bohemian dream had genuinely died and I was already living too long inside of it. I did not become a recognized artist and I felt burned out on my ego trying to become one. I also felt burned out on being a tarot reading indigo priestess. I suffered both artist and healer fatigue. I was burned out on my identity and my lifestyle. That’s when you know it is time to evolve and build a new house.

Either you feel burned out or external crisis forces you to build a new dream. It will be one or the other.

Grad school was the hardest two years of my life because my ego was knocked off her comfortable priestess underworld throne. I faced issues never faced from deep ancient ancestral wounds to facing the world’s demands and red tape when becoming a professional in the field I am in. I faced every resistance you can name. I felt off my game in every way, humbled in every way, insecure, fragmented, and confused. But I knew this was the process. I needed to come undone. My sense of self needed to be dismantled so that the new identity could be born.

We all have a version of facing the self we have shadowed, in order to evolve. It is a messy and vulnerable process. I share my version, as an example.

I kept up with the messy process and by no means could I have done it alone. I met dear friends in grad school and my partner in crime was a soul friend I had already known for over fifteen years. During that time my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I also came together and broke up with a soul mate I did not want to let go of. There was great heart break during those two years….and there was so much love.

I had to take a trust walk into the unknown and walk on a tight rope blindfolded. I had to see myself through facing all of the aspects of myself I had rejected and projected into others and the world. I had to take out enormous loans. But I kept up with the process because I knew if I did, I would rebirth into a new dream with a new sense of self. I wanted to evolve more than anything. And I did. The new dream’s foundation has already been built.

What is the new dream and how do you know it’s the right dream?

Let’s get fantasy out of the way, right off the bat. My mom has died, I still long for the ex, I still struggle to make ends meet, I am healing from an autoimmune disease that’s thrown my lifestyle into chaos, and I am happy about a third of the time. But it’s the right dream and it’s the bright dream.

I know it is the right dream because I am no longer doing this work to “make a living”. I love being with clients as a therapist, much more than I did as a reader. I have no more burn out as a healer, artist, or human being. I am no longer fearful or resistant to the rules and regulations of the material world. I feel competent to run my own business (again, with the help of others). I feel inspired constantly. I feel more grounded, well-rounded, whole, loving, and capable. I no longer feel off or in an ennui or depression. I am at peace with who I have become and with my lifestyle.

The new dream is filled with longings, issues and hardships just like the old dream but what is different is me and my lifestyle. I no longer rely on addictive behaviors to cover up shadowed self aspects. I don’t seek romantic love to fill a sense of unhappiness. I no longer feel helpless or that the Universe is working against me. I may not get to be the free spirited bohemian anymore but I do get to have romantic bohemian Saturday afternoons. I may no longer be the indigo priestess in the curtained back room of the underworld but I have a lovely shared therapy office in a bright sunny room in Maple Leaf. The rich parts of old me and old lifestyle integrate with new me and my new lifestyle.

I share my personal experience to inspire your rite of passage of self evolution. You don’t need tarot or astrology to be your maps but I do recommend having some form of a map, any form that works for you, any books, therapy, allies, healers, nature, whatever works best for your being.

My other advise is that when it’s time to build a new dream, go against your instincts and default way of thinking. If normally you would do A, do B. If normally you are one way, be the other way. Learn from the salmon and from George Constanza. Sometimes we need to go against our nature to create a new neural pathway in the brain and a new feeling in the heart. I promise, once the new path is formed, you will find your way again. You will feel you are in the right new dream with a renewed sense of self that looks back and knows that crisis was there to help you grow.

 

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The Beauty of Death and Spirit

Last night, I was awoken by a dream in which I looked at the pictures on my phone and there was a photograph of mom sitting naked in a living room. In the dream she was dead like she is in real life and the photograph communicated to me that this was a snapshot of her from the spirit world.

Her body looked robust, healthy and the picture had a hazy, nostalgic and ghostly feeling to it. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling spooked, a rare feeling for me because I communicate with the invisible realms commonly. But the feeling I awoke with was a different sensation than I am used to experiencing.

I felt mom in the room, literally. I know it may be hard to understand how to feel something on the physical level that your five senses cannot detect but the sixth sense is as fundamental as the other five. When you detect something in physical reality with the sixth sense, it is as real as sight, sound, touch, smell, and hearing. I sixth-sensed mom in the room with me. It was not my intuition that felt her, the faculty I usually engage with when communicating with the invisible realms.

Not only did I sense mom, I sensed the realm she was in. I got spooked because reality as I know it shifted into a new reality, so alive and real it was undeniable. I felt unsafe suddenly in the dark…

Quickly my fear diminished. I could not hear my mom or see her, I could only sense her in the room. Just like the picture in my dream, it was a totally silent sense. I could not communicate with her but she was there. I instantly had the thought, “what if my mom’s death is going to open up my psychic senses?” I welcome that happening and would use it to help others just as I use my intuition to help others.

Sleep took me minutes after this intense experience…

Now I know she is here.

A friend said to me that mom is being as great as a support for me now as I was for her, through her cancer battle. I feel this. I feel her guiding me.

I am still in the mourning phase where I am wearing her jewelry each day. My mourning decorations are made of pearl and rose quartz, not black clothes. I want to wear more color because she always wanted me to wear more color. I am wearing more make-up because she did when she was alive. I want to model her as a way to mourn her human life with honor. What writer said that mimicking is the greatest form of flattery?

Yesterday, I felt the beauty of death and I know I am simmering the death story in my heart so I may write it out poetically. My way of fully honoring Vivian.

Being there was one of the greatest gifts of my lifetime. I believe we willed her death to be as gentle and sacred as it turned out to be. With fire in my belly and a will like Joan of Arc, I asked mom how she wanted to die, four days before her death. She said she wanted to be surrounded by family. I said, “lets make it happen”.

There are a few key moments in my life where my will was so fiery that I would not allow any other version of reality to happen other than the version in my heart. This was one of them. And…it takes a village. My family, friends, and people we reached out to on social media, all sent prayers and energy for my mom. Along with spirit, I feel we willed her death to be as she asked for it to be. This is the story that is my truth.

They say death is not in our control but I do not agree. I recall a time about twelve years ago, when I was reading tarot out of a metaphysical store in Portland…the owner was a wise and fiery crone who would lay down wisdom for me in key moments. During those years, I was struggling to heal certain aspects and slugging through some serious mud. I wasn’t suicidal and did not consciously want to die but she said to me, “Michelle, be careful or you will unconsciously call death to you.”

That sentence struck my heart like lightning. You know how you hear wisdom and it changes you instantly? I suddenly understood what my energy was creating and I did want to call a near-death experience to me to learn the value of my life. I also understood how death is unfixed and malleable.

Our spiritual and religious cultures tend to perceive spirit as a fixed all-knowing parent (or all-knowing parents when there are multiple gods and goddesses). In this story of spirit, we are the children to be rewarded or punished for good or bad behavior. All relationships and experiences are written in the stars ahead of time, such as having your destined true love, destined birth, destined death, etc.

I don’t feel this to be true for me.

I do feel many of us make soul contracts, choose our parents, and travel lives with divine purpose and intention. But not every soul does this. I feel the variety is endless.

If you believe in heaven you will go to an etheric heaven created in the fourth dimension for your belief to play out…if you don’t believe in spirit your soul will be recycled into nature…if you experience your self as a multi-dimensional being of light you will travel into lives in and outside of earth…if you know past lives are true it is because you have and will reincarnate, etc. These are just a few examples of many experiences. It is not one path for every soul.

Basically, my wisdom is that spirit is pure creativity, hence the possibilities are endless for the soul’s journey.

Spirit is all-loving but not all-knowing because spirit is learning and growing through becoming souls. Any reality can happen at any moment in this huge creative art project called life. Fixed destiny is real too, because if spirit is pure creativity then fixed fate is also a reality to experience.

My knowing is that spirit is playing, creating, learning, and evolving through being individuated into form of every kind, from incarnating as big as a universe all the way down to incarnating as a single cell. Appearing as form is spirit’s activity, lesson, longing, and creative act.

Spirit manifests as everything, in the realm of appearances and all form is spirit behind the scenes of every appearance.

I see through a “zoom out, zoom in” lens where spirit incarnates into every form and dissolves back into oneness in ebbs and flows, cycles, and designs. Spirit desires to become form to experience itself in relationship, to forget it is oneness, and to create.

Therefor, as souls we play all the roles…we play the good guy and the bad guy, we play the powerless and powerful, we play human, rock, mountain, mouse, single cell bacteria, alien, whatever the form may take. Sometimes souls play in a linear progression to evolve an individual soul, collective soul, or species…and sometimes souls play in a non-linear way and incarnate to just be or just do it with no intentions, contracts, or agenda.

The variety truly is endless…

All this being said, death is a creative act, in my truth…

Mom’s passing was a creative and sacred act. Being there to facilitate and witness her death was one of the most valuable treasures I will ever experience…priceless and beyond comparison. I feel gratitude and awash with beauty.

 

Soul Food in the City

Yesterday, the grief creature insisted I be completely alone and improvising my day like jazz music. I felt the impulse to move and wander. Put my blue tooth headphones on and allowed the melody to guide me from moment to moment.

One thing I love about city life is walking and bussing through the streets as if floating down rapids, allowing the pulse of the city to take me from place to place. I enjoy surrendering into the river of the urban flow.

Hopped on a bus that pulled up right as I was walking by it. Stared out the window and sank into a song coaxing tears of beautiful sad from my eyes.

I love bus rides because you can really let go and be carried as if gently traveling in large metal womb. Bus drivers comfort me with their quiet presence taking care of business. Being surrounded by seeming strangers also provides an unexpected comfort. We’re all in this together. It takes village. Sometimes I don’t want the village or to be carried along in an automotive womb and wish I could get somewhere quickly without having to interact with humanity but yesterday…I was feeling it.

Wandered into my favorite used book store in the University district and stumbled into the one unedited diary of my favorite author that I don’t have. Anais Nin touches the bohemian artist in me. Her writing inspires and invigorates my soul. Book in hand, I wandered up the cruddy Ave, walking off of it soon as I recalled a cafe near by. Anything to get off the Ave, which always depresses me…

I walked into the cafe to sit and read but discovered it was attached to a beautiful and striking hotel lobby. I was moved by the ambience and felt that I walked into a different reality. The walls were mammoth shelves of books stacked backwards so that the spine of the books faced inward. A real fire place warmed the large room lined with long plaid couches and richly colored velvet chairs. Mammoth mirrors matched the bookshelves and made the room appear large as a ballroom. Paintings of herons were hung everywhere along with books about birds strewn over the long wood coffee tables. Vivian brought me here, I thought, because she visits through birds.

I imagined Anais sitting by the fire with a cup of tea, getting into deep conversations with her lover, Henry Miller. I cozied up and read her words for hours, lost in a time warp. How I long to live in the forties in Paris and to have known Henry and Anais…

Felt so luxurious to be alone and escape into the sensual dream world of my choice. Felt meaningful that mom guided me, knowing I needed to feed my bohemian artist soul. Reading Anais is food for my soul in today’s clinical and robotic culture. Although Anais talked about this very thing in her diary written in 1940…how everyone in New York is robotic, over indulgent, soulless. There I was, filling my soul up on her words about the artifice and emptiness of New York in the artifice and emptiness of Seattle.

I read about her craving passion and feeling morbid inside because her lovers, Henry and Gonzalo, were losing their vitality. She lived more inside her lovers than in herself. We are very different this way. I cannot find the passionate connection Anais found in her lovers and when I do, they are not emotionally available for what I have to offer. She knew how to love fully and completely, sexually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Even though I am more of a one man type of woman, I resonate with how she loved…the closeness, depth, intelligence, and passion she shared with her beloveds makes sense to my temperament.

Wandered back home after a stint and read some more in the ambience of my urban oasis. Grief needs soul feeding but soul food is essential on the daily too. What feeds your soul? No judgement. I don’t judge that I take the bus to a hotel lobby to read. Doesn’t always have to be that you crave to be in nature or do yoga or some other trendy idea of what nourishes your true self. The variety is endless.

And in the spirit of wandering, I have no ending for this blog…

 

 

The Cardinal and Anger

The anger stage takes turns with the denial stage, two weeks and two days since my mother’s passing.

Denial is a strange trick of the mind but easy to understand. I don’t forget for more than a second that my mom is gone. But those seconds of denial feel astounding when they suddenly crop up. Like when I wanted to text mom to tell her the new Grace and Frankie season was on Netflix. That one second of denial shocked me once my mind realized she was dead.

The anger stage is harder to understand because it’s rooted in the feelings. It doesn’t help that we are culturally conditioned, especially women, to judge anger as bad and repress the feeling. In truth, anger is coming up for a reason. I think anger comes up not only in reaction to forever loss but also because death brings up the long buried past…especially the death of a parent figure in the family system.

We all grow up in dysfunctional families because we are all born from the same systemic and multigenerational trauma that gets passed down generation to generation, making parents flawed in how they parent because they were once wounded children. Nobody is free from this. Each generation becomes more aware and has more opportunity to heal as a result. Each family has their own version of the dysfunctional story as told differently by each individual.

How much you have worked on healing the wounds of your family past correlates to what will rise up when there is a death in the family. Death feels like a band-aid being ripped off the wound. In fresh grief, hurt will unleash from the basement of your psyche through the triggers that naturally occur as each family member grieves differently.

Our grief journey is very personal because each person has a unique relationship with the deceased and with the living family.

The day after my mom’s death, we packed up every item of mom’s clothing to be taken to donation in a frenzy that only grief can create. Our action caused pain for my father. It was too fast for him. We cannot avoid the triggering hurt that occurs because grief is not something we can control. I have been witnessing myself not be in control. This is why I call it “the grief creature”.

I believe the triggering hurt is meant to be an opportunity for healing.

Healing has many components. Differentiating your sense of self from your family members, validating and expressing the hurt you feel, accepting the way others are and have been that is different than you, letting go of judgement, forgiving, gaining more unconditional love, allowing your vulnerability to be seen, and rewriting negative narratives about the past that are not true, are some of the detailed aspects of healing from family pain.

Death forces what has not been healed up from the basement and into the light of awareness, through anger. Anger says, “I feel hurt,” and points to what is unresolved. Hurt has a root and that root needs love, recognition, and tenderness.

Each one of us has a right to feel angry about past wounds even if the one doing the wounding did not mean it or wasn’t aware. We can validate our anger and hurt while also learning acceptance and perhaps even forgiveness. We have the opportunity to let go and heal to the capacity we are ready to engage on our soul’s path. Death opens the doorway and urges us to see past our limitations and face new edges.

I am facing my new edge. I am learning how to differentiate between anger that my mom is gone and anger rooted in a dusty wound covered in a musty outdated tapestry. I am looking with soft eyes upon unresolved feelings. I am learning how to express anger in a healthy way.

That’s the thing about feelings, they need an outlet. Thoughts only need to be observed and not identified with to leave the mind but feelings need to be valued and expressed to leave the body.

Anger is hard for me to express. I don’t want to punch or scream into a pillow. I don’t want to throw things. I think I may need to sing out anger. I am still exploring…

Grief is the opposite of control. I cannot wrap up all of my feelings into a nice and tidy file named grief and open it when I have time or it is convenient. The grief creature moves mysteriously through me. Messiness and suddenness must be embraced. I tell my friends I cannot plan ahead because each day I feel different and cannot promise being emotionally available like usual.

Those who have been through it tell me, “I remember feeling that,” and I am reminded that although we move mysteriously alone through the dark night of grief, we all take the journey and we all relate to the same experience filtered through our personal and unique story.

Through feeling and expressing the anger stage of grief a rebirth is occurring that is hard to describe. It reminds me of the picture on the classic Judgement card in the tarot. Gabriel is tooting her trumpet as dead bodies rise from graves, rebirthing into new life. Gabriel’s trumpeting is symbolic of the anger that calls the past out of the basement and into the light, to be given new life.

I am being more present, open, honest, and vulnerable with the hurt, my flaws, and the flaws of my family. To be honest, I enjoy engaging in the painful healing process, no matter how hard it is and how vulnerable I am learning to be. Mom’s death is bringing me deeper into my soul essence and purpose. I feel liberated to be free of ego driving the bus (but I will save this for tomorrow’s blog.)

In conversation with my sister, touching upon our deep family wounds, a bright red cardinal landed on her porch and watched her as we were Skyping. We both knew it was mom. We both had reached the other side of anger and found healing through being loving, communicative, and open. My sister commented on how our family has not been through anything like this before, specifically with how grief is effecting the family dynamics were are navigating through now that mom is gone. Truth.

Mom’s death takes us to new levels and places within ourselves and within the family. She watches us through the eyes of birds.

Mom was always unconditionally loving no matter how challenging other personality traits presented (in any of us.) Unconditional love is a quality our family has in abundance. I have always associated cardinals with unconditional love and also with Virginia, where I was raised.

Now, the cardinal becomes Vivian.

Grief Accelerates Dating

Last night, I hibernated in bed after work, to watch Grace and Frankie and soothe my hurting heart. In one of the episodes, Grace turns eighty and tears burst out of my eyes because my mom wont be turning eighty on her birthday this year. I let the tears out alone and I could feel how the tears helped my brain compute that she is really gone. I am learning that each time I cry, my brain realizes she is dead and this is healing. Crying is the body’s way of letting go.

I hibernated in my cave to also soothe my hurting single woman’s heart. I went on a date the other night and it’s been almost a year since my last date. First of all, it takes everything in me to muster the perseverance to do online dating and when I do, I very rarely make a connection. Almost never. Maybe it’s because I am picky or maybe it’s because there are only about three men on this planet I can truly love romantically (we are all different). Whatever the reason, it is hard for me to to fall for a man, let alone be attracted to him.

In my grief, I persevere with dating because the grief creature pushes me to live without hesitation and transcend my wounds, insecurities and limitations. Nothing like death to remind you of life. The grief creature mocks my limiting beliefs and knocks them right out of the ball park with a home run. I am already a changed woman in this regard.

I feel unafraid to walk into all my vulnerability. I am moved by the effulgent soul desire to live fully and for me, that means sharing my life with a partner.

The date was quite amazing. We were both shocked. Our phone conversation the night before exhilarated me and we seamlessly moved into an in person connection that surprised us both. It was sudden, immediate and big. We laughed and had fun. The emotional connection was there and that’s the hardest thing to find. The date was so magical we made another date right away.

But alas, intimacy is fragile and tenuous. In between date one and two, the entire connection crumbled to the ground, dismantling date two. For, just like my last beloved, I had drawn to me another man fresh out of a long dysfunctional marriage who is emotionally damaged and needs to find himself and heal.

The dismantling all went down in text and in a familiar fashion. I read the very familiar words about being amazing and having a powerful connection but he does not know what he wants or who he is and and he is not ready or wanting of an all encompassing connection. He shared how I helped him with my wisdom, learning more about his emotions in two days than he has in a year. Somebody buy me the t-shirt.

My sarcasm is a protective seal covering a tender hurting heart. I did not want to have to let this one go. In my grief, I thought life was bringing me an oasis, a new story, a new beginning. False alarm. Life was bringing me the familiar pattern when I must say no to the unavailable man and not take it personally. The lesson is to hold dear my self worth by honoring the relationship I seek, choosing being single over giving myself away to the unavailable man. A life long lesson…

We all have our lessons that show up in intimacy. Some lessons are to open the heart and leap, trust the feelings, learn to be vulnerable, communicative, and to soften. Some, like me, share the opposite lesson of listening to the logical mind and pragmatism when feelings of love and desire want to hold on and merge. Some lessons are to be alone and find self love and some lessons are to partner and learn self love. The variety is vast.

We all share the lessons and wounds of relationship in common and wear them like fingerprints unique to each in the commonality. There is no mountaintop to reach with lessons but the more we heal, the more open we are to choose and love the truly compatible partner (or partners, depending on your love lifestyle) to grow, heal, and share life with together.

My latest version (there have been many versions) of attracting the emotionally unavailable man is the man who is older and damaged from the long unhealthy relationship that just ended. This archetypal man is trying to focus on his own needs and identity because he gave too much of himself to the partner. He is triggered by partnership because his sense of self is not solid within him and he needs the space and time to build a sense of self so that he can know what he truly wants in relationship.

This archetypal man mirrors my pattern, although my relationships have moved quickly. I get out relationships before I settle in, once I realize they are not harmonious. For this reason, I have yet to be in a long term relationship. I haven’t found that connection yet. I thought I did a few times but timing and readiness were not aligned, like with my last love. I suppose it’s always been easy for me to detect the wrong relationship fairly quickly. My desire has always been to commit for the long term but I won’t do it with the wrong man.

I have learned along the way how to differentiate between expectations to let go of because they don’t matter and standards to hold firm because they matter the most. I have learned self love and self worth. I have learned to be pragmatic about love because it is important to share similar values and be walking in the same direction. No matter how much you love each other, if you are not aligned in your values, it’s not going to be healthy. Addiction also plays a role. If somebody is addicted to a substance or behavior, that will be their primary partner, not the actual partner. I have experienced being the secondary partner to a substance and found I was not ok with this either.

In the further past, I would try to fit circles into squares with every connection. I would wear the mask of what the other wanted. I would doubt myself and interrogate my needs. I would cling tightly to the desire from a man as a way to validate my self worth. I sought a partner to save me from myself which is the classic projection our culture teaches us is healthy through the walk into the sunset or the knight in shining armor delusions. In reality we must save ourselves. Partners are not for filling inner voids of low self worth or unhappiness.

Now, in my mid-forties, I feel self worth independent of a man’s desire for me, I know what I want, I know who I am, I don’t play games, and I communicate my needs almost effortlessly…especially now because grief has stripped me of the fear of being flawed and vulnerable. I am fine to be a tender hurting flawed creature. My mother’s passing illuminates my beauty because in her death I feel only the beauty of her soul and I am Vivian’s reflection.

Also, If you don’t like who I am that’s ok, I don’t need you. Straight up.

But I do need love and partnership. I am not a robot. I am not a superhero. I am human animal with a soul longing to connect and share my life with somebody. This longing has increased with my mother’s passing. With death on my tongue and filling my heart, I desire the quality of love that is willing. I want to be with the man willing to show up, willing to work on himself, willing to work through issues, willing to grow, and willing make shadow and light memories with me and nobody else. I will be his willing partner in return.

Willingness is the quality because equal partnership is not about perfection or being at the same exact place on the healing path or any aspect of two people’s paths. Equal partnership is not about a relationship always being easy either. Equality is about two people willing to continue to work on their stuff, show up for each other emotionally, and build a life together based upon shared values and complimentary dreams.

The sexual chemistry must be there. Fun must be there. Laughter must happen. I don’t want to commit myself to a platonic friend or be in a relationship void of laughter or enjoyment. No point in that but fun, laughter, and chemistry must rest on a firm foundation.

The bright side of attracting the pattern to me again is that I was crystal clear, bold and direct from the beginning and that is why we only had one date before the dismantling. I feel sad because it’s a rarity for me to find such a powerful connection and I really liked him…but what else can I do but to trust and surrender? I don’t blame myself or identify with the hurt. Pragmatism wins, he is simply not wanting or ready for what I have to give.

If I can endure the grief for my mother, I can endure any loss….this is how it feels.

I will stay centered in self love, feel sad, let go, and carry on….knowing one day the man who is willing to love me will show up with a lily in his hand.

 

Grief and Ritual

Yesterday at 3:33 pm was the two week anniversary of my mom passing. Her body was finally cremated too. I will never forget the sound when they took her body away in the bag on the night of her death. My older sister warned me not to be in the room. I sat with my father in the bedroom and heard the fatal sound.

The sound of death is a zipper.

My middle sister brought mom’s Hamsa ring into the bedroom and placed it on top of her jewelry cabinet because the cremation crew took it off of her finger. Before mom’s passing, I suggested we wear the same Hamsa ring I found on the internet, to stay connected. We asked my sisters, nieces, and cousin if they wanted in on the rings.

Six women wear the same silver Hamsa ring, connecting us to Vivian.

Yesterday, I ate dinner with a friend after work and shared the story of those four days my mom was in home hospice and her passing. I cried and it felt so good to cry. I don’t cry alone about my mom. When it comes to crying the healthy tears out, I usually prefer to cry alone…but with grief it’s different. I seem to need a loving witness to get the tears out of me.

I need to share Vivian’s story with another for the grief creature to express herself through me.

I am craving ritual to move the grief creature through me too. I have wanted to celebrate mom through ritual but I cannot figure out how. I have wanted to wail for my mom through ritual but I haven’t figured out how. My mother did not want a funeral, which I can understand. She did not want to obligate anyone to a formal and stoic event. Mom was always putting other people before herself. Classic funerals are not my mother’s taste (or mine for that matter).

But ritual is needed way to express grief so we may accept death and feel a sense of completion in the pain of loss.

Why do we have marriage ceremonies, birthday parties, or celebrate most holidays? Most holidays were appropriated from the indigenous rituals of honoring the cycles of earth, life, death, and rebirth. Rituals honor and celebrate beginnings, endings, and all important rites of passage in the cycle of living as a human animal.

Ritual engages the right brain through using color, sound, scent, symbolism, and intention, allowing the soul to express and connect with the transpersonal. The transpersonal relationship is unique to each of us. We may call it God, Goddess, the archetypes, nature, a specific name, or see it as a symbol or feel it as a feeling. However we experience the transpersonal, ritual connects us with life beyond the separate ego, where the mysterious ways of nature and spirit may give us a sense of meaning, love, and wholeness.

Through connecting with the transpersonal in grief ritual, we may move the pain of loss out of the body and receive a sacred feeling of inner peace for the natural cycle of life death and rebirth, even in the most tragic of deaths. Maybe this is a tall order for some…and I understand that. I can only share my experience and perspective.

Ritual around death is not prevalent in our culture unless it’s your classic funeral. I seek another version.  I am very spiritual but I still cannot channel a spiritual ritual right now. I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the knowing. Not yet. Maybe I will. The only ritual I am engaging now is writing this blog. The writing is helping move grief and feels like a sacred daily morning ritual that engages my soul.

We all have our unique perspective and tuning in to the individual needs feels important to me.

My sisters, father and I “sat shiva” in our own unique way the week after mom’s passing. We created a ritual we could all be on board with, without excluding anyone’s temperament or proclivities. I said a few words for all of us, we toasted to mom and told stories about her. We ate out at one of her favorite places and then we gambled a little at the casino because that is what mom and dad did on the weekends together.

The scene burns in my memory…of my two sisters sitting in chairs at the roulette table. I am standing behind them holding an unwanted watery scotch in a plastic cup. A tall older man with a thick accent boasts about how he makes 100,000 dollars a year playing the wheel. He is putting chips on every line of numbers. My sisters share with the dealer about our mom and she responds kindly. The sound of gambling machines ring through the large carpeted room filled with daily players.

My mom spent many nights in that locals casino.

After my sisters went back to their lives on the east coast, father and I went out to eat each night and talked about mom. Our version of sitting shiva. After the seventh night, we ate at home. I left the next morning for my life back in Seattle.

A friend picked me up from the airport, who knows what death feels like. I was grateful for the comforting return. I wandered out to eat because I had no food in the house and was too exhausted to grocery shop. At the restaurant, I shared with the waiter about my mom and he said he went through the exact same thing, four years prior. His kindness and shared experience comforted me as well. I am learning that sharing grief is healing because I am reminded that I am not alone.

We all go through this together even though each of us must also grieve alone.

As they say, it takes a village…

Two weeks later and I am beginning to adjust, ever so slowly at a snail’s pace. There are many little moments of forgetting, where my brain does not compute mom is gone. Last night, the next season of Grace and Frankie was posted on Netflix. For a split second I got ready to text my mom because we both love that show. I realized I could no longer text her. The grief creature rose within me in a baby wave of sorrow for the forever goodbye of Vivian.

The life of me carries on as this Michelle creature.

The soul of Vivian carries on, done with being the Vivian creature…

I am happy she is free of suffering and able to travel into a new adventure.

 

 

 

 

The Grief Creature

I am learning that grief has its own process…

A creature lives inside of me that needs to express itself fully. Grief, this creature, is an archetype.

An archetype is a collective instinct we all share in common that lives in our collective unconscious as a sentient energy that rises up and connects to ego for expression.

The relationship between archetype and ego is so symbiotic that one aspect could not exist without the other (in the land of the psyche) and yet each aspect is also unique…or differentiated.

The ego, simply put, is our conscious self. The small self we are aware of as we talk, think, look in the mirror, go about our day.

The big self or Self, is the totality of our being, embodying all of the aspects we are not aware of in the shadow of the psyche (shadow and unconscious are the same thing).

The individual part of Self is ego and lives in the conscious world. The transpersonal aspects of Self live in the unconscious but express into the conscious world through ego.

Ego expresses the archetypes through feeling motivated by them, either with awareness or unawareness. The former being when ego makes the journey inward to discover Self and learns to differentiate itself from the archetypes.

Our precious sweet animal egos are as equal and important as the archetypes and Self in totality.

True self is a term given for the matured ego that chooses to go within and investigate the shadows, both personal and collective, integrating the aspects discovered through giving each aspect acknowledgement and expression.

As each Self aspect differentiates through ego’s commitment to “do the work”, we heal…naturally finding balance and a sense of wholeness, purpose, and well-being. There is no arrival point to this healing journey, it is a daily practice. Jung called this the individuation process.

There are many different languages to name the same process in the realm of psychology but all root back to the healing practices of indigenous culture….and every single one of us stems out of indigenous roots. (Jung called the indigenous archetype the Trickster but that’s for further blogging).

Back to what I am learning….that grief is not a personal aspect, it is a collective instinct or archetype rising up from the collective unconscious into my ego, needing time, space and expression. Perhaps it is the Trickster rising up in me, the indigenous aspect that is connected to nature and knows how to move through loss…

Grief has its own life force and it is more up to me to honor her needs and give them to her. I call her by a female pronoun because that feels right to me. Imagination is always our main tool in this work because the unconscious speaks to ego through the imagination  and all right-brained activity.

In my imagination, grief is a burrowing creature of some sort, a beaver comes to mind. I am still exploring. Right now she needs a lot of time alone. She does not want to be very social in the daylight. She wants to burrow in the comfort of spacing out on the couch, staring into nothingness, listening to classical music, burning incense, and letting go of all words.

I am giving this to myself. I am allowing grief to have what she needs and I realize something profound…

Grief if selfish.

I am allowing myself to be be selfish right now. I am not reaching out and showing up for friends as I usually would. I am not putting energy into marketing and the business end of my work as I normally would. I am not feeling bad about it either.

I know if I give full space for my little grief creature to express, I will naturally return to my ordinary life how I was before my mom passed away. I am trusting the process.

Showing up for my clients feels nourishing for my grief creature because she enjoys holding loving space in the darkness. She wants to be a guide.

Grief also craves affection, tenderness and romance with a man, be it short or long term. She wants physical closeness in a connected fashion.

Grief is not concerned with building a life with somebody or building a career, for those are all concerns of ego. Grief is only in the moment, in her sensations and feelings. I am surrendering my ego to her because I know this is the right thing to do.

I keep saying that I cannot see two seconds in front of me. I am walking through complete darkness with no flashlight and the moon is new and not lighting up the blackness of night. Yet the beautiful thing about the archetypes is that they are wise and knowing and can take care of ego when needed and called upon.

My grief creature knows how to move through complete darkness. She feels her way through with gentle precision.

I name my grief creature, Lily….

 

 

Grief and the True Self

An old friend from my tween youth emailed me yesterday, sharing that she is going through a similar path with her mother and that she dreamed of my mom visiting her for the purpose of giving me the message. How strange that mom would visit a friend I have not seen or spoken with in over twenty years. But it makes sense because this friend knew my mother, is going through a similar path, and perhaps my mom also wanted to let her know that everything will be ok. Receiving that email made my night.

I felt extremely angry yesterday. Anger is a stage of grief. One thing I am learning about the anger stage of grief is that it is best to not direct the anger into any story. I did that yesterday. I narrated the story in my head of how angry I feel being without a partner or animal to call home and share my life with on a daily basis. In truth, I was not angry about this. I was just angry my mom is gone.

I wanted to find a sacred way to express the anger but due to procrastinating work duties, I forced myself to focus on business needing to be accomplished. Another win for the wrong thing and I had the melt-down to prove it. Lesson learned. How many of us don’t fully grieve because our culture lacks awareness and heart around death and the healing process that is a rite of passage each one of us deserves to experience?

The four stages of grief are real. Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Acceptance. Each stage has to play itself out. I also think there are more stages but I am not clear on naming my experience yet. I am in a stage where anger is the spice added to to the main broth of….a surreal and tender feeling of not being in reality like everybody else. They call this the “dark night of the soul”, when loss initiates you out of the regular, ordinary daylight world and brings you into the metaphorical night time.

In the night, you are not in control, you cannot see in front of you, the pain is illogical and perhaps immense (but maybe for some it is subtle). This pain is important to feel and express. We live in a culture where pain is judged as weak and bad but nothing could be further from the truth. By judging pain as weak, the feelings get repressed into the shadow and this makes the body and mind sick. In our imbalanced and sick culture, productivity and accomplishment are over valued while feelings are undervalued. Just look at the rates of physical and mental illness on the rise.

The dark night of the soul is a healing cauldron that holds us while we feel and express the pain of loss. This rite of passage allows for the stages of grief to be traversed with love and care.

I have spent many years in the metaphorical night time, guiding clients through their darkness and guiding myself through my own version. I am used to the night, adjusted to it. I have night vision. But grief is new territory for me. I am well versed in traversing through the river of trauma, shame, and attachment pain. I am not well versed in traversing through the river of death. My mom is first person I have lost whom I have loved deeply.

The first person I lost to death is the strongest primal attachment we have as a humans to another human.

My mother housed me in her  body for nine months. She brought me into this world and nurtured me into an adult. This is the most intimate bond on a primal level not an emotional level. For many of us the mother-daughter relationship is deeply wounded. My relationship with mom was deeply wounded for many years but we healed and became close over time. Not everyone gets this opportunity. My mom became one of my best friends. I am fortunate to have shared emotional closeness with her.

What is strange about grief is that logically, I feel stable…but then…out of the blue, illogically…I burst into tears or seethe with rage or feel suddenly like a child or suddenly drop into a stoic quiet sorrow. My mind watches these intense feelings, needs and urges rise from the unconscious, baffled. I have not felt this emotional since I was a young adult but back then I wasn’t aware of how intense I was emotionally. Now I am aware.

I ponder if I am regressed to the age I was when I hung out with my friend who dreamed of my mom the other night? I ponder how much regression plays a part in grief. Or if Pandora’s box has been opened by grief and all of the feelings are expressions of the archetypes dancing with power and potency in the unconscious realm of my being.

Feelings ignite strongly in me as my witnessing ego watches. The ego is an owl perched on a winter branch looking down at this woman who is crying out with many different urges and feelings. On one hand, I am feeling the pain of loss and on the other hand I am urged to live my best and fullest life because my mother passed away with much of her best life in her. We had many talks about this. I knew I carried her wound in me to heal through living the life I truly want and choose.

I have always been haunted by the desires and urges of the human souls who have passed away with their best life still in them. In my experience, it feels like when the soul leaves the body, the emotional residue of the unmet soul longing lingers in the sky and travels around, invisibly. Sometimes I feel this collection of unmet longing from souls who have died. This haunting pierces my heart and urges me to express my soul desires.

Now that mom is gone, this expression of the soul desire is much more personal. As I type this, I know the anger stage is rooted not only in losing mom but in wanting my soul desires to have full expression. The anger feels like that of a spiritual warrior, here on this earth to help everyone have full soul expression. This feeling is an archetype. As Jung described, the archetypes are universal or collective instincts we all share in common. The archetypes are the gods and goddesses, they are sentient and alive and live through us as instincts. In truth, our desires are not personal but we make the personal with how we choose to express them.

We all share in common the instinct to be who we really are and to live our best life no matter how much this instinct stays shadowed. Family of origin, culture of origin, society’s unjust demands, and many other limiting factors may contribute to the ego pushing true self and soul desires into the shadows of the unconscious in order to cope, be liked, be valued, have money and survive…but underneath, waiting in the sweet and tender winter soil of the shadow, are the soul’s desires and true self awaiting an invitation to join the world of daylight.

 

 

 

Grief is a Scent…

The smell of scented garbage bags will always remind me of my mother’s death…

They say scent is one of the strongest triggers for memory recall. My grandmother, who passed way when I was a child, visited my mother, sisters, and me from the other side, through the smell of cigarette smoke. I had not experienced this so acutely until the visit prior to the visit when mom went into home hospice and passed away.

To give a timeline, I visited mom and dad three different times in December and early January. First time to help my mother recover from surgery, when they removed the cancerous tumor in her colon in hopes to stop bowel blockages and extend her quality of life (but it didn’t because the cancer in the liver had grown too large, in “chunks” the surgeon said.) Second time, for a family reunion visit with my middle sister’s side of the family (so the grandkids could say goodbye). Third time because mom called each of us Friday morning to say there was nothing else they could do and she would not be getting any more chemo infusions.

Three sisters were on flights the very next morning to the hospital where mom was staying due to weakness. The next day we brought her home into a hospice bed in the family room. She passed away four days later. I was hoping to smell cigarette smoke on our last visit to see mom but grandma never showed up. The visit prior, she visited almost every day.

I am an intuitive with slight psychic-medium abilities. On a scale from one to ten, ten being very psychic, I would say I am a two or three. For instance, while staring out of the window into the desert sky when waiting in the cardiologist lobby for mom to come out of the bathroom, grandma came to me through the smell of smoke and I got quiet to hear her message. I don’t hear messages like the deceased speaking in my head, I hear them as my own thoughts…but they just feel different. I feel the presence of the deceased and then I go through a process of trusting myself to believe the message I hear as my own thought that I know is not my own (no thoughts are our own, really).

Grandma told me not to take the group practice job I was about to start (I am a psychotherapist). She told me that mom needs me. My mother was relieved when I told her I would not take the job. When I asked my sister if it was the right thing to do, my sister laid down the wisdom of, “it’s not about the right thing, it’s about what is needed.” Wisdom comes out of the mouth in life and death moments…perhaps she was channeling grandma’s message to me without realizing it. After declining the work position I knew in my heart that it was time to give more to mom than to my career.

It was time to enter deeper into the dark night of the soul and transform through forever loss…

Prior to this moment, I am in the car with my middle sister on her first night in town on the reunion visit. She knows about grandma visiting through smoke. My grandma died from emphysema because she loved cigarettes. Right near her death, she was in the hospital unable to communicate but when my middle sister (who smoked at the time) came to visit, grandma shot up from her bed to say her last words, “don’t smoke”.  My sister quit immediately. Grandma has visited through smoke ever since her passing. On the car ride from the grocery store to mom’s house, my sister and I ask out loud in the car for a sign, a visit, an acknowledgement.

Back at the house, I am about to make ground turkey I just bought from the store because I am on a restricted autoimmune diet and wont be eating the take-out food my family is ordering later. As I am about to cook, my sister opens up her tablet for the first time and gets onto social media. Suddenly a warning pops up on her screen about turkey recall from the brand I just bought, and only one specific call number. Do not eat this call number! I grab the package and sure enough, it’s the same call number. Sign gotten. Our ancestors are here to help.

For the remainder of that visit, smoke was smelled by me, my sister, niece, and mom’s dear friend who is now my dear friend. We asked mom what her smell would be when she wants to communicate with us from the other side. My niece mentioned the smell of coffee as my mom loved her coffee, pre-cancer before chemo ruined her taste for it. All the women in the family love coffee.

On the last visit to my mom we did not smell smoke. Grandma wasn’t around. She was around on the reunion visit to prepare us and mom. Mom said she was fearful that grandma’s visiting meant she was ready to take her to the other side and it was true. Although mom was fearful, she was ready and shared this openly. She made peace with dying although it pained her to leave us.

The year and a half cancer battle emotionally exhausted mom and left her physically weak and always sick. Now that the liver cancer was taking her body over, she could hardly walk anymore. She could not even lift her feet to put shoes on. Her decline was rapid in the end. We supported her desire to leave us because we wanted her to be released from suffering. Dad was still hoping for a miracle but that is to be expected from the man who spent every day with her for fifty three years.

The day after she passed, three sisters and dad woke up in a grief haze. Because three sisters needed to get on planes back their lives, we felt the urge to get tasks done immediately so my father would not have to deal with any of it. But it was not just that reason we dove into tasking with the same manic fervor my mother would have done, it was also our way of expressing grief. After choosing what we wanted to keep to stay close to mom, three sisters and mom’s friend flew into a whirlwind with a box of scented garbage bags and filled thirteen of them with mom’s clothes, shoes, and jewelry. I drove the strongly scented bags to a donation site immediately after packing them up, in an emotional storm, with my new friend.

By early evening everything mom put on her body was gone. The medicine cabinets were emptied too, her make-up, toiletries, and medicines. Mom’s lipsticks, blusher, hair gel, pills…all of these insignificant objects hurt deeply to toss into the plastic, chemical laden bags. The scent of her clothes neatly hung in color coded perfection still clings to my nose, causing the pain of nostalgia for her life to haunt me…

The whirlwind process of bagging up mom’s belongings purged grief from me, helping me digest (a teeny tiny bit) that she was gone. Mom always cleaned and tidied in hurried and urgent whirlwinds. I feel she was moving through us that afternoon. I hardly recall what I was thinking or what I felt. I recall the clean feminine scent of her clothes and those garbage bags, a nauseating scent of fake flowers and chemicals. Forever more, the garbage bag scent will remind me of my mother’s passing.

I don’t recall eating dinner afterward or any conversation shared in the evening. A friend told me that memory would become a blur and time would be muddled. True and I am thankful she gave me a map to help me know what to expect. I only recall one conversation with my dad sharing how empty the closet was with her belongings gone. I asked him if it was too fast for him and he confirmed that it was too fast. I apologized, feeling his pain and expressed how we acted in a whirlwind like mom would have done. Dad understood. Our family tends to understand one another emotionally, despite our differences. Wasn’t always like that but unconditional love for each other led us to acceptance and understanding through the passing years.

We each have our own unique perspective and expression of grief for mom’s passing and I share mine with respect for each member of my family…

 

Grief is a Splatter…

Mom passed away at 3:33 on January 9th. My oldest sister, who has been through the way the body shuts down during the last days, knew what to expect. She told us the breathing would slow down. On the fourth day of home hospice, we knew she’d pass because her feet were becoming black, she had no radial pulse, and she was no longer conscious. We waited. The hospice nurse told us many people seem to die right at the minute every family member is out of the room. I related that to the animal crawling beneath a house to die alone. It’s in our animal natures. Although deeply attached to being present for mom’s passing, I let go of the attachment on January 9th. I resolved to let fate play out as it would and honor my mom’s chosen way.

I went to the grocery store an hour before, with the resolution in mind. I kept breathing. In and out, the breath that is life, the breath soon to be gone from mom’s body. I sat beside her about 3 pm, middle and oldest sister in the room with me by her bed. Dad in the room next door, on the computer. We watched her breathing slow and knew the time was approaching. Middle sister sat on the edge of the bed with oldest sister and I on either side of mom, gently touching her. We began whispering words I cannot remember but they were along the lines of, “it’s ok to let go,” and, “follow the light,” and, “go to your mom.” We gently encouraged her to let go of her body. Within minutes, she was gone. Mother passed into the next world.

We called dad in and told him she passed. He needed to check. I can hardly recall. I think he felt her cheek with his hand and said, “she’s still warm,” not wanting to believe but within a minute or two we all knew. We cried. We called hospice….we waited…too long…for her body to be removed….too long, like hours. Typical Vegas. I remember vaguely eating two bagels in a row and drinking a scotch. I remember a feeling of restless disbelief and relief. She was no longer suffering. She was finally free. How it pained me to see her in her hospice bed, withering away, unable to talk, eat, drink, or be conscious. How she had suffered for so long battling cancer. How she was ready to leave. How I asked her how she wanted to pass and she said she wanted to be surrounded by family. How that happened. How her wish was granted…

Grief is hard.

It’s unbelievable to the mind that you never get to communicate with your person again. My father lost his wife of 53 years. I lost my mother of 46 years. My two sisters lost their mother of 56 and 58 years. I am only naming a few who loved her…

It’s unfathomable to the mind, how we vanish. I know the soul goes on past the body because I have felt my soul beyond this body since I was a little girl. Even in my intimate knowing, I still miss mom just as much as if I did not feel my soul beyond this body. The wisdom I gain from this, is that we are meant to feel the profound pain of forever loss. As a friend once shared with me; death transforms you.

We are meant to transform and evolve. Now it is my turn to metamorphose through the profound pain of forever loss.

I feel tired. I want to be alone a lot. I can’t see two seconds in front of me. I also want to party but there is no place or way to party, realistically. I feel like I need to dance all night, drink five whiskey drinks, laugh really hard, and have sex with a lover. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s another scenario involving music, movement, sex, imbibing, and being up late into the night. The theme is that the animal needs release. A certain kind of release that is primal and metaphorically howling at the moon. I could be making love under the moon on a silent beach in the wintery cold after dancing around a fire, or maybe telling stories into a fire, or singing. There are many versions of the same primal longing…and yet here I am alone in my city apartment, classical music wafting, red fuzzy robe on, no lover, no primal scream.

It is the full moon total lunar eclipse. I could be painting right now but I don’t feel like it. I am experiencing release constipation. I wish I was Mozart (thinking of many scenes from the movie Amadeus where Mozart lost himself completely in his creative process). I wish I could lock myself away for 48 hours and write a story that gets this all out of me. My soul needs this release alongside the release of the animal. Each of us needs release in our own way, when traversing through grief. At least I am in touch with what I need.

What is stopping me from release though? I hate being stopped by my own self. I need the right inspiration, or maybe it’s the right moment or muse….don’t know but I await the waterfall. Grief is hard. Love hurts. I am hurting. Epic feelings storm through me. Every tiny moment is bulging with an unnamable significance. Longing presses up against my skin like a tsunami wanting to rise and crash into the lover, the writing, the singing, the sea, the moon, the fire, the night sky, the morning dew, all of it, everything. Longing for love that is gone. Beauty for being alive while I still exist. Pain that is enormous swelling like lava. I feel splattered like paint. I trust the process. I know grief is a splatter. They talk about the four stages of grief but there’s much more to grieving than four stages…