December 16, 2021

How to Grieve this Year & why we should do it before 2022.


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I sat on the grey tiled bathroom floor and dropped tears that looked like pearls.

I coyote howl cried. I ugly girl cried. “What the hell was going on?”

I felt this tidal wave of anger. Grief. Sadness.

That morning, I had had a fight with my husband—a sure sign something was off as we rarely argue.

I was waking up with leg cramps at 4 a.m. Another sure sign that something was off as my body always tells me what I am not cognitively acknowledging.

Then it hit me—a wave of anger, grief, and sadness. Going to the bathroom to grab a Kleenex, I slumped down on the floor as the emotion overtook me.

And I let it.

I let myself just cry. I let myself feel the grief of this past year.

2021 was the year that I willingly and unwillingly made significant changes in my life.

Maybe you too?

Though I am well aware that a burial leads to a rebirth—seeds must go into the ground to grow after all—there was still loss. My loss. Your loss. Global loss.

For millions of people around the world, 2020 and 2021 have been filled with loss.

Loss of income.

Loss of connection.

Loss of time.

Loss of a business.

Loss of a marriage.

Loss of a loved one.

Loss of memory making.

Loss of physical connection.

Loss of plans, dreams, and flight plans.

Now before you get all “lightworker” on me and tell me to see the positive, I am well aware of the real truth of this time, and also the nature of cycles. I know we are in the Kali Yuga—the end of the cycle of death and transformation as predicted by Hindu sages thousands of years ago. I also know we are in the rising of the sixth sun, which means the death of the fifth sun as indigenous people, including my own Cree ancestors also predicted.

I also teach both Shakti Tantra and Indigenous Circle Wisdom, so I know this is a predictable and inevitable cycle—loss, birth, flourishing, harvest—and then ultimately, the cycle starts again; or north, east, south, and west on the medicine wheel, and Kali, Saraswati, Laksmi, and Durga in the divine feminine teachings.

Yes, it is part of a cycle that is actually predictable and natural, and as all ancient cultures once did, we can grieve the death and loss of this time too.

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But death, grief, and even rage are not so accepted in “modern” culture, and even more triggering in lightworker culture, which likes to “keep it positive.” That’s a major bypass. For when we deny the grief, anger, and pain, we miss an opportunity to be enriched by loss.

The truth is this past year, and all the loss and lessons, have made me a more compassionate, ambitious, and clear person.

I am extremely clear on who and what I want in my life.

I am beyond a doubt hungry for more.

I am enriched by loss.

I am also no longer willing to feed the shadow.

The shadow is that part of ourselves that we cannot face—rage, jealousy, worry, greed, anxiety, grief—all those “darker” yet vital emotions.

Emotions that, especially in the yoga and lightworker community, we are uncomfortable with as we attempt to continually prove how “spiritual” and positive we are, lest people know we harbour some real human thought.

We try to blot it out with affirmations and vision boards.

We tell people to not feel the feels and “stay positive,” but again, that negates the richness of all of life’s experiences, and we feed some false narrative about what’s spiritual and what’s not. In Tantra, we say it’s all spiritual!

Meanwhile, those “dark” emotions don’t just disappear. They go into the closet and feed our shadow side. We feel more ashamed, more fake, guiltier. We try even harder to put on the mask of “all is well.” It is exhausting as is all false behaviour.

Yet, I have no interest in being a victim either. I am not going to bang the drum of how wronged I have been or drip the “poor me” narrative onto everyone.

So, the paradox is that in order to receive the gift of loss and not be a faker or a victim, I declare my grief, anger, and sadness and allow myself to flood my bathroom floor with my own tears.

I let it flow through. I give voice to it.

I declare that it pains me that I closed what was once a thriving yoga studio this year.

I declare that it hurts that several colleagues and “friends” lied, betrayed, and were not there when push came to shove.

I declare that I grieve the lost relationships that had to go, that created a void.

I declare that I feel sad that many of my past plans and dreams were nullified.

I declare that I feel anger at governments, media, and fearmongers for not f*cking getting it.

I grieve the losses of 2021.

And I give myself the gift of that grief. I give myself a moment to openly weep instead of needing to “have it together,” and always be living my best life.

The truth is that the grief, loss, anger, and even betrayals are a part of living my truest life.

As I turn to 2022, I am also well aware of the turning of the tide and my own phoenix energy.

This truly is a time of rebirth, but perhaps we should not simply rush into 2022 as a way to avoid our emotions over 2020 and 2021.

So, friend:

>> Can you allow the loss in your life, however small or large?

>> Can you allow the accompanying emotions to just be, and not need to offload them or “meditate” them away?

>> Can you hold the space for it all?

The paradox is that when we do hold space for it all, the burial becomes the birth, and it can be birthed with a depth and richness that only the darkest earth can yield.

I sincerely hope your burial, and your ability to hold the grief around it, becomes the activation for your birth.

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