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What’s On The Other Side Of Grief?

Let’s begin by acknowledging that we’ve made it into 2022. And whether you’re still easing your way through winter or you’re off and running with kids in Distance Ed, Zoom meetings, and deadlines on the horizon take a minute right now for yourself. 

Nice big inhale.  Looooong exhale.  

You’re doing great. 😊

We’ve spent the last couple of years talking about the pandemic, about our personal and collective grief, and mining the shadows for the lessons that loss brings us. It’s been hard and SO worthwhile. Thank you for being part of this journey.  I have immense gratitude for your presence here.

I don’t know about you, but now that we’ve talked through a lot of the hard stuff, I’m ready to switch things up. We’ll still talk about death, grief, and loss AND we’ll add lighter stuff into the mix.

I’m ready to invite in more fun, more hope, and more transformation – you know, the stuff on the other side of grief.  I’m ready to live with an open heart and really lean into that openness, receptivity, and feminine flow.

How’s your heart?

Take a moment right now and close your eyes.  Take a deep breath and just notice how open your heart is. Feel into your heart space, maybe place your hands over your heart. What do you see/sense? Maybe your heart feels closed or just open a crack. Maybe the front is open and the back is closed or maybe the doors of your heart are flung wide. There is nothing to do. Nothing to fix. We’re just taking a second to notice where we’re at in THIS moment.

Because, in my humble opinion, Descartes got it wrong.  It’s not “I think therefore I am”, it’s “I feel therefore I am”.

Our heart is our greatest intelligence. Its electromagnetic field is 100x greater than our brain’s electromagnetic field. And yet…we’ve all learned to live from our headspace.

We’ve been taught to rely on outside opinions and external knowledge rather than trusting our own inner wisdom. Sometimes expert advice is needed (like listening to a cardiologist when you have a heart attack) and sometimes these outside voices (like your great aunt’s unsolicited dating advice) get in the way of hearing what’s true for you.

We’ve learned it’s safer to live from our heads. After all, our hearts can be broken. We’d rather rationalize our way out of uncomfortable emotions than feel them. That way, we don’t have to admit how much it hurts to be human sometimes.  

This year, I want to know what life looks like when we lead with open hearts.

Here’s what I know so far…

  • It’s the ego that compares and tells us what we should do, be, have, and achieve.
    • The heart approaches the world with gratitude. 
  • It’s the ego that separates and creates “us vs them”. 
    • The heart is all about unity, it includes everyone. 
  • It’s the ego that judges (ourselves and others) and…
    • the heart that whispers unconditional acceptance.

This heart-led life is focused more on BEing rather than DOing. Society might tell us our worth is tied to our work, that we’re only good enough once we’ve done enough. But frankly, that’s bullshit. This is NOT “new year, new you”. And it’s NOT about trying to be a better person or self-improvement.

It’s simply leaning into the goodness that already exists. You have always been enough. You have always been worthy. There is nothing you need to DO to prove it.

We can choose to embody the qualities we want more of in our lives. Because they exist within us and we don’t need to look for them in the people, places, and things around us. We don’t need to seek the truth – just look for the illusions. 

And illusions are everywhere. 

Every time we believe we’re not enough. Or that everything has to be perfect. That we don’t deserve the promotion or things will never work out for us. We’ll never be able to publish the book, buy our dream house, or find a partner who truly loves us. All-or-nothing thinking is an illusion. When we approach the illusions with the virtues of the heart the truth just sort of reveals itself.

When we look at life through the virtues of the heart we find purpose and clarity. It’s like driving down the road and every heartbreak, every trauma, every generational story, and societal “should” becomes a bug splattered on our windshield. Pretty soon, it’s hard to see anything clearly anymore. The virtues of the heart become our windshield wipers – they clear away all the bugs and mud and offer us a new perspective.

Danielle LaPorte describes the virtues of the heart as…

  • Divine love
  • Forgiveness
  • Compassion
  • Radiance
  • Resilience
  • Loving-kindness
  • Wisdom

These virtues have the power to shape our thoughts and actions. They can influence the way you speak to yourself, the kind of voicemail you leave, the food you choose to cook, and how you engage with a stranger on the bus.

The question is…what do YOU want to embody?

What would you add to Danielle’s list? For me, I’d want to include curiosity, honesty, vulnerability/openness, and feminine flow.

Now, if the coach in me could give you homework (or heartwork) this week it would be this:

Notice what awakens your heart and what shuts it down. What words resonate with your heart and what makes it question itself.

Next time we’ll look at what you’ve noticed about your heart and talk about what it means to just “BE” – because everyone gets a little tripped up over that.

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