Grief comes in waves. It's not predictable.
Sometimes it's like the receding wave from the shore that sucks the sand from beneath your feet and leaves you feeling sunken and stuck.
Sometimes it's like the sudden wave that crashed into your back and over you head, knocking the wind out of you and sending you reeling into the back, ponding you with churning water that won't let you breathe or come up for air until your sinuses feel raw and burning with the salt water.
Other times, it gently laps upon the shore and bubbles around your toes as it slowly swirls around your, bringing little gifts from the sea. Shells, sand dollars, starfish, jellyfish...each one making you smile and wonder in awe as you reminisce and listen to your own laughter echoing in your mind.
If you're experiencing grief today, however you may be experiencing it, it's okay to create space in your life to feel it and move with it.
The ups and downs we experience in life are all Divine and they all belong. Life itself is not a linear trajectory ever upward. It's more like the breath. Expansion, contraction. Inhale, exhale. Filling, and emptying. In breath work, we practice holding at the end of an exhale, lungs empty and still. So often we want to hold our breath when it's full alone. But holding at the end of the exhale, leaning into the discomfort of the contraction, actually leads to a greater capacity for our next inhale.
The contractions in life, the emptiness and exhales, create more room in our life for the next infilling. It deepens our capacity to revise, to inhale, to expand. Often we are taught to see the ups and downs of life as unhealthy. We are spoon-fed the belief that at some point we should graduate to a point where life is a linear and boring trajectory of expansion to expansion and if we can't "hold" all of it then it's because we are conditioned to emptiness.
I want to propose that more often than not, we can't hold the expansion because we didn't lean fully into the contraction. The human experience isn't about never having ups and downs.
What if the secret to more expansion and being able to hold more blessing comes through both our ability to receive and our ability to be emptied? What if leaning into the contraction, the exhale, the hold at the bottom when we are empty of air, what if that deepens our capacity for abundance just as much as leaning into the exhilarating feeling of air rushing into our lungs at the next inhale?
What if the rush of the inhale only lasts when it comes after having been so completely emptied?
Yesterday morning I awoke to the news of a loved one passing very suddenly. This morning I awake to the grief, and the loss, the sadness. My ability to hold my expansion, and to celebrate my wins, is not lessened by my ability to hold my sadness, and my mourning. It's a beautiful and Divine fluctuation, part of a non-linear trajectory. Every up and down is an opportunity to witness, to be deeply present with.
"I believe that my ability to be deeply present with myself in the contractions of my life creates in me a deeper capacity and ability to hold my greatness and expansion. And I believe that my ability to be deeply present with myself in the celebrations and expansion of my life create in me a deeper capacity and ability to hold myself through the contractions in life."