The Week Ahead – Oracle Reading for Monday 16 January

Grief

“Grief does not change you… It reveals you.”
~ John Green

Hello, dear friends!

I apologise that today’s post is late in coming. In fact I was unsure if I would even be able to write it at all. But here it is.

Here’s the oracle card I have chosen this Monday, and my take on the energetic outlook for the week ahead.

‘Grief’ is from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck by Tori Hartman.

On Saturday morning I chose this card for the week ahead. I thought I might get organised and write my weekly post early, before my unplugged Sunday, and so that I might spend Monday morning (today) working on my almost-finished memoir.

When I pulled this card, I did a double-take. Oh, I thought, looking closely at the picture. It’s a heart-broken girl holding her dead dog. I can’t post that! So, I put the card down, and I moved onto another project and then some client readings and suddenly it was Saturday afternoon, and I forgot all about that card, and I went for a swim on that hot afternoon, with Ben my husband, and with Harry and Bert our dogs.

Well, some of you already know what happened next. Bert collapsed without warning. The next minute we were racing him to a vet. And then racing him from our country home back to a big veterinary hospital in the city. Our beloved dog Bert died at 4am on Sunday. We are all heartbroken. Yesterday was just a wash of tears.

And then this morning I remembered the card, and wept anew.

But, that’s enough of me. I need to talk about this card, and how it relates to you.

Grief is actually a beautiful card. An important card. I’m sure some of you are feeling these energies right now. These energies of grief and loss and tragedy and yearning and heartache and regret and disappointment and emptiness, right as the year began fresh. What an awful energy, you might think, to strike right when we need to be  hopeful and optimistic and to enjoy our fresh start.

It’s okay. The Grief card has a powerful message for you this week.

This is what grief reminds you: Grief is just love with nowhere to go.

That’s as it should be when you first lose something. Until you learn how to keep loving without it.

If you let grief keep rebounding inside you with no expression and no flow, eventually it can lead to frustration, anger, and then to depression.

All of that love, if you don’t eventually give it form again with something else, all of that love held as grief will weigh you down, and prevent you from living truly and fully in your life.

So, feel into the energy of grief this week, for in it are the seeds of so much locked-up positive emotion, so many gifts, so much power to propel you forward again.

This might be grief around relationships, choices, changing circumstances, mistakes, outcomes, all manner of loss…

Where have you got energy locked up in grief? Where is there energy trapped in your life with nowhere to go? How can you untangle that and repurpose it and give it somewhere to flow again?

How can you take all of this love with nowhere to go, and channel it into something new and good?

You might be surprised at the breakthroughs you have this week!

Supportive crystals this week? Rose Quartz, Chrysocolla, Green Aventurine and Citrine. Helpful essential oils? Young Living’s Inner Child essential oil blend, or  a combination (or singly!) of any of orange, jasmine, rosemary and geranium.

Feelings are a part of our lives for a reason. They help us to understand ourselves and the world around us, and they light the path for us, if we can be brave enough to follow where they lead.

Holding you, as always, in my thoughts, prayers and meditations.  All my love,

Nicole ❤ xx

 

 

How to Connect with Unexpressed Grief and Emotional Pain

Image from weheartit.com

Image from weheartit.com

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
~ Sigmund Freud

 

It’s never healthy to swallow our grief, to stuff down our pain, to ignore our heartache.

And I also know that sometimes you just can’t fall afford to fall apart in the moment. You might be a care-giver. Or there’s no-one else to support you. You have to get to work on time. You got the bad news on a bus. There’s so much going on and it’s just one hit after another. You need to pick up the kids or keep going until you get through your final exams. One of those things. All of those things.

I understand.

But honey, it’s not healthy to bottle all that stuff up. Eventually those feelings need to be felt.

I have a prescription that works well, and it can be taken at a time that’s convenient to you.

Give yourself a decent length of time. It might be a night. It might be a weekend. It might be a week. You’ll know what feels right.

Get yourself ready by making sure that you’ll be on your own at home. Find some DVDs that you KNOW tap into your emotions and help you to truly feel and to cry. They will allow you to find a way back to your own repressed feelings through the journeys and stories of others.

Have some tissues on hand. Some food. Clean sheets, pyjamas, things that will comfort and nurture you.

Then sit on the couch and watch those movies.

Play the soundtracks that reduce you to tears.

Cry. Wail. Howl. Sob. Blubber like a baby. Scream with grief and rage. Storm around the house in despair and futility. Cry some more.

Get it all out.

Then sleep.

Go again.

Do this until you’re done.

You’ll know it because you’ll feel an easing. Sunshine will begin to pour into that space that’s been cramped and dark and musty. You’ll feel lighter somehow. You’ll come to a space of peace.

Feelings need to be felt.

Maybe it’s time to feel yours.

I’m holding that space for your healing.

All my love, Nicole xx

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

It’s okay to feel Sad sometimes!

Sad Eyes - Image from www.bbs.chinadaily.com.cn

Sad Eyes – Image from www.bbs.chinadaily.com.cn

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”

~ Carl Jung

Yesterday someone well known in American ‘New Age’ circles told me something that I found quite preposterous.  In fact, I found it a little dangerous…

They said that if I was ‘truly enlightened’ and ‘living from my heart’ I would be 100% positive and happy all the time. From that place of 100% positivity I would heal, but if I still had even one ‘negative’ thought, felt one shred of sadness, or doubt, or depression, then I was destined to remain sick, miserable and ‘enmeshed in my pain body’.

Really? I’m sorry, that just doesn’t wash with me.  With my thinking I am 100% responsible for my life and everything in it, and how it intersects with everything and everyone else? No room for fate? No room for God? No room for nature or circumstance? No room for life and humanity’s magnificent complexity and diversity? According to this person, if I am suffering or have a problem, it’s simple.  My situation is all my fault. I caused it with my thinking or my ‘lower vibration’.

As to being ‘truly enlightened’ I’m sure that if I were, I wouldn’t be down here, going through all of this. And neither would the self-professed guru.

My truth is that I’m human, journeying through life, and doing the best that I can.  Where I am able, I reach out and help others.  Some days it’s all I can do to help myself. To sit in a place where I felt compelled to dishonour my truth by being 100% positive and without ever having a single ‘negative’ thought would make me neurotic, and erode any sense of self-worth I had: oh the guilt (another negative thought!) that would come with any less-than-happy emotion. What catastrophe might I cause in my life with that? What suffering might I cause for others?

But this person got me thinking, searching that big fat heart of mine. And what I know in my own heart is this:

It’s okay to feel down sometimes. Or to have a thought or feeling that is not 100% positive. In fact, it’s normal.

Take, for example, sadness.

Girl Crying - Image from www.lovewayz.com

Girl Crying – Image from www.lovewayz.com

Sadness is an appropriate human emotion for many of the situations we find ourselves in.

When a relationship ends.

When a loved one dies.

When someone hurts our feelings, or we hurt someone with something we said or did.

When we miss someone.

When something that’s important to us goes missing or gets broken.

When there is suffering, disaster or catastrophe in the world, even when it happens far from our own shores.

When we suffer a setback or a disappointment.

When we’re exhausted or overwhelmed.

When we have problems in our lives.

Sad Snowman - Image from www.pickthebrain.com

Sad Snowman – Image from www.pickthebrain.com

Life is wonderful, but it’s also messy, painful and sometimes just plain hard.  We’ve become so caught up in that cult of personality – looking good, white teeth, perfect hair, charisma, being outgoing and outspoken, being judged well by others, having it all and being bright, shiny, and successful – that we’ve forgotten about character.

Character is the strength within us. Character is the backbone of a person – our internal moral compass, our ethics and behaviours.  Character is with us when no-one is watching. It’s all those old-fashioned things that no-one seems to talk about much anymore.  Honesty, loyalty, decency, work ethic, bravery, humility, compassion.

Life’s struggles and pain help to forge our character.  We will never know the strength within us until we have been tested by life’s trials.  Strength isn’t something you need when the world is flowing nicely and everything’s going your way.

Wiping away tears - Image from www.ibtimes.com

Wiping away tears – Image from www.ibtimes.com

Today I’m acknowledging you. I’m bearing witness to your struggles. I’m telling you that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes. It’s okay to sit in your vulnerability or pain, and wonder how you’ll get through.

You are an amazing and complex human being. Emotions just are, and the spectrum of emotion is what gives meaning and connection to our world. Live honestly. Live from your heart. Feel your feelings, and know that everything passes.  Joy, sadness, they all have their moment or their season.

I’d rather stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the real world, then live in that plastic space of artificial ‘feel good’.

To find a smile for another and the courage to keep going when life’s not flowing easily, when you’re not at your best, that’s what I admire.  That’s what I acknowledge in you.

You’re beautiful just as you are. Worthy and real.  So have a cry if you need to on those days when you feel sad.  Then wipe your eyes, and keep going…

Get yourself an ugly journal…

I have a special journalling quest for you today.  Are you up to the challenge?

Get yourself an ugly journal. A cheap one. One you can never feel fond of.

Trust me, you do not want to get a pretty journal for what we are about to do…

Today we are going to create a ‘Sh*t Book’, a ‘Poo Book’, a Craptastic Account of all that is truly suckful, petty and awful in our lives.

We are going to make a journal that will act like a giant word-thought-and-emotion toilet: a dumping ground for all the toxic waste that we need to get out, in order to start feeling better.

I love journalling. And most of what I write is positive, creative and exploratory. It’s the sort of writing I actually want to go back and read over when I’m done. (See examples of how to do that here!)  Even years later I can go back to those finished books and take inspiration and guidance from their pages.  Rainbows, butterflies, and all that wonderful stuff that dreams are made of…

But sometimes… you know how it is.  Life makes you mad.  You wake up with a great knot of pain or resentment or frustration. Or you get that mean pettiness, where everything is going to come out as a whine or a complaint.

Image by Inglgs at photobucket.com

That sort of thinking is no good to anyone. It’s like garbage. It just needs to be dumped before it pollutes the rest of you and spills over into your day.

Sometimes the toxic waste in your mind pollutes what would otherwise be a charming place to be – Photograph by Peter Cade, Getty Images

But we don’t want to go dumping that stinking thinking in the middle of our rainbows and butterflies! We need to dump responsibly.

That’s why we are going to create a special book just for rubbish thinking. We can happily write away in our ‘Sh*t Book’, recording every last detail of the sheer crappiness and horror, the drudgery and outrage, the blow by blow accounts of the things that depress us, upset us, tick us off, push us into ugliness.

You can even paint, sketch, collage and otherwise create. The thing that matters is finding a way to express the pain, hurt or other negativity within you.

Journal Activity:

Find your ugly journal. You can even make an ugly cover for it if you want. Use all those awful toilet colours – browns and blacks and nasty greens. Make it a worthy dumping ground for your terrible thoughts.

Then use any of the following prompts to get you started. Don’t worry about sentence construction, spelling or even what you say.  This is a dump, remember? So just follow the prompts and let it flow. Mind you, if you’ve already in that cranky space you might not need any prompting at all to get it off your chest…

  • I couldn’t be more angry about…
  • It is totally miserable that…
  • I can’t believe that he/she could…
  • The feeling eating a hole in me right now is because of…
  • If I’d had my way I would have told __________ that…
  • It’s Dumb! It’s so dumb that…
  • I hate…
  • Just the thought of ________ right now makes me…
  • Grrrrrr! The thing about all of this is that….
  • Hey! Let me tell you what I REALLY think…
  • I have never felt more __________  since…
  • It’s just not fair that…
  • I could scream right now because…
  • All I want to do is cry. I’m at the end of my rope and…
  • Here is a list of EVERYTHING that is pissing me off right now…
  • This is totally (insert favourite expletive or explanatory term). I had wanted to…
  • And yet again, cue drumroll, I am…
  • I feel like I’m never going to be able to…
  • It’s the same old thing –

There is only one rule with your ‘Sh*t Book’.  Don’t read back over it, and don’t share it with anyone. Ever. No-one can play in toxic wastegrounds safely.  You just get in, dump and get back out of there again as fast as you can.

You can choose to handle your ‘Sh*t Book’ in one of two ways. At the end of each writing session, rip out the used pages and burn them, shred them or in other happy ways destroy them. OR wait until you have filled the entire book and then destroy it.  Bury, burn, slash, mutilate, flush, dump, explode… Whatever works for you. You may also like the symbolism of binding your book with a cord or big bulldog clips to help keep everything safe until you can dispose of it responsibly.

This Photo courtesy of http://www.bradleygauthier.com

Art Journal Techniques:

Sometimes it’s easier to draw or paint, to rip and glue rather than to risk words.  Sometimes when you can’t even find the words, art can help you make a new language for healing.

I love this next clip! I was looking for something to explain art journalling to you, and this started out so well, because it’s about making messy art – ugly art even. Perfect for your ‘Sh*t Book’!

But you know how the Universe works.  There is something redemptive about clearing out the trash.  It always makes room for something new and brighter.

I was laughing by the end of this youtube how-to, because after the ugly start, she ended up painting…

Yep, you guessed it…

rainbows and butterflies…

Sending you lots and lots of love for the journey. Enjoy that ugly journal! ♥♥♥ xx

Musings on Melancholy – my own little ‘Lost in Translation’ Moment

Today was a strange day for me, and a beautiful one, haunted by a slow melancholy.  This time a year ago I learned of the deaths of neighbours of ours in the Lockyer Valley, during the terrible floods that swept from Toowoomba down through Brisbane. Until that day we had been hopeful they might be found alive. I felt so helpless that morning, and even a year later, the pang of that loss, of the lives, livestock and livelihoods of people we loved, and of the lives still broken and resolution-less, tastes like metal in my mouth. This morning I awoke alone in my sorrow.

Today none of my plans seemed to come together. Friends ran late, or bailed at the last minute, leaving my day disjointed. I’d stayed in Brisbane because of an important commitment that required me to be here overnight. Because of it I’d cancelled plans, declined invitations, and re-jigged a myriad of things to create availability. At the last possible moment that commitment too was cancelled, and suddenly my schedule unhinged. It was too late to make the party back at home near my farm, too late to catch up to friends for dinner.

I felt flat, miserable and lonely. The last thing I wanted to do was go out. The house was empty, with not even a cracker in the cupboard. I decided to venture to a suburban shopping centre, hoping that the supermarket might still be open so I could buy a few scratchings for a meal.

Night was falling, and the vast carpark was almost empty. Foreign.  And it reminded me suddenly of Sophia Coppola’s beautiful movie – Lost in Translation. Perhaps you too have seen it, or have travelled, and know what I mean.  That feeling of being displaced, out of rhythm with the world around you, surrounded by strangeness and unfamiliarity.

Many a time I have arrived on a foreign shore, wasted by jetlag, and addled by time zone differentials.  It creates a disconnect; but at the same time as some things get fuzzy, other things become oddly focussed, and you see yourself and the world in a new light.

In a space of disconnect, in a town I used to know, I walk into the shopping centre just as they are dropping down the security doors for the supermarket.  I turn, and head back towards the carpark, empty-handed.  The air is thick and muggy outside the air-conditioned building. I am despondent, and weary to my bones. Tonight I do not feel like I belong to my life.

I pass a small Indian restaurant, empty except for a group of staff who are sitting at a table in the corner, watching the cricket test match on a big tv screen.  Australia versus India.  I slow down and peer through the window, hoping I might catch a glimpse of the score.

In a moment they are ushering me in, pulling me up a seat, plying me with iced water and poppadoms.  Inexplicably I am soon drinking the best chai tea of my life, and eating delicate milk cake and peda, watching the cricket with these kind people.  We don’t really talk. We just sit and watch this giant television.  My cup is filled again and again.  More food comes.  Occasionally someone gets up to serve a customer, but the restaurant remains quiet.

At stumps, India are 4/88. It has not been a good day for the Indian cricket team.  My colleagues are circumspect, but cheerful.  There is always tomorrow they say. They put some sweets in a box for me, shake my hand, wish me well.  I still do not know their names, and they do not know mine. They will not accept any money. Australia is a good country they say. They are happy to have shared their table with me.  I can come and watch the cricket with them any time.

My aching soul is soothed with the kindness of strangers, and the bizarre camaraderie  afforded by this interest in sport.

At every turn there is something affirming about life, and the ability of the human heart to connect us, one to another. Life breathes in love, breathes out pain, breathes in friendship, breathes out loss, breathes in hope, breathes out peace.  Peace in your hearts, Dear Ones. Love connects us all. ♥

Vale, dear friends. Remembered in our hearts.  RIP.

If you click the link above it takes you to a beautiful video, that perfectly captures love, hope, goodbyes and sweet melancholy.