I have been trying to write this newsletter for a while. I have had different ideas, unformed thoughts, false starts, tiredom, lack of time, and such. Upon reading a wonderful blog on grief, I suddenly knew how to approach my subject matter. If you have time and have ever dealt with loss, I would recommend this blog Memoirs of a Griever. It truly touched me.
See… the thing about grief is that the deeper you grieve - the deeper you have loved. Well my friends, I have loved deeply because this has been a huge loss with much pain and suffering. Although I could choose to wallow in it, I am working towards finding the balance of NOT wallowing, but also not avoiding the work I need to do in order to move THROUGH this with honesty, integrity, and gentleness. It is a balance I think I am just starting to find.
Never before have the two dualities of light & dark been so alive within me before. I thought I understood the teachings… "Yeah, yeah, yeah. You must embrace your anger just as you embrace your happiness. Through suffering comes joy. I got it!" I have heard these things over and over throughout my life in different religious and contemplative teachings. And to be fair ~ I did understand them on one level. But now… I have a deeper understanding of them.
I can honestly sit with my family and laugh out loud cracking jokes and find joy at being there with them and within a minute break down and weep, feeling some of the deepest sorrow I have ever experienced in my life. I can have utter gratitude for a new environment and home while completely mourning the loss of the old. I'm excited to find a farmers market here in Walla Walla and simultaneously well up with tears as I recall my old farmers market and the friends I saw every week for 13 years. Oh geeze, these feelings are so hard to put into words.
How glorious that I am able to be so alive and feel so much! I have people who have suggested drinking heavily to help me through this, but why would I want to numb this pain. Because in numbing the pain do I not also numb the happiness and joy. You cannot select the emotion you want to numb and therefore, I want to feel it all.
I want to have my soon to be ex-family-in-law (who will always be my family) come to my home on my last night in town so that I can mourn WITH them the loss we are all going through. I want to cry while choosing hummus because my Honey used to make it for me each week and I will miss that. I want to sit in my bed multiple evenings and cry myself to sleep because my husband and my kitties are no longer there to cuddle me.
But I also want to laugh out loud at my brother's raunchy joke. I want to smile as I hear my teacher's voice in my head guiding me through my yoga practice each morning on my mat. I want to ride my bike with sheer glee around a new town and truly enjoy this adventure.
I do believe that with time and showing up to experience everything the universe is offering me right now I will also some day be able to smile without crying when I am reminded of my Honey and I standing on a rim of Grand Canyon, Emerald Bay, Crater Lake, etc... in awe of the universe and of the company I was so lucky to be in. I want to be able to listen to Hayden without stopping in my tracks and being stricken by sadness. I want to feel the warm memory of "the massage of a thousand kisses" without curling into a fetal ball and rocking myself.
Someday I will! I just know it. Because when someone has loved you that deeply and you carry that love inside you… even once there gone you have this legacy to carry on and share with others.
And you my friends… WOW! How can I even begin to thank you for your guidance/help/assistance/presence ~ your love ~ during the most trying time of my life?!?!?! If I have him to thank for helping me learn to love so deeply ~ I have you to thank for letting me know I am loved and that I can love without him.
Holy crap am I still just blown away!!!! People willing to sit and hold space for me. People texting and calling to check in on me, giving me uplifting cards and gifts to help remind me I have touched other people's lives, sharing their stories of similar paths, taking me out for tea, just plain old distracting me, allowing me to call or come over and cry on a shoulder, giving me money to help me with my move!!!!!! And the list goes on and on. I just…. oh my gosh! I have no idea how to thank you all. My gratitude spans space and time!
So here I sit in Walla Walla, WA! The weather is perfectly autumn! The Blue Mountains surround me for my personal viewing pleasure daily. Chad & Janet (bro & sis-in-law) have a beautiful home of which I am a member for the time being. Caesar & Cleo give me doggie loving everyday in lieu of my kitties.
I just started week number 3 working for Dusted Valley Vintners (Chad & Janet's winery).The work is hard and the days are long. I often look up and feel such pride in my chest as I see my big brother running his empire!!! I am learning so much about making wine. I am making new friends. Being in a small town has such a sense of ease to it. It's a bit slower and so much easier to be social and I can actually get together with family and friends on a regular basis (something I missed dearly in LA). It feels so right!
I have even begun cultivating a relationship with a studio owner and will hopefully start teaching some yoga classes here soon. She seems very excited to have me in town and wants to find space for me on the schedule!
In short: I know I am exactly where I am suppose to be at this moment in my life.
Anywho, I wanted to send an update as I know many of you have emailed, texted, called, or maybe just wondered. I want to continue to share with you my journey. I am okay!!!! I keep calling myself "the luckiest unlucky girl".
Also I would like to say from the bottom of my heart ~ Honey (for this is the last time I will call you that), thank you for loving me and allowing me to love you. I will miss you, but I am so very grateful that we had 13 1/2 wonderful years together. Without them I would not be the person I am today nor would I have so much love in my heart and soul for myself and others.
And the rest of you clowns in LA - looks like I'll see you in April (more to come soon). But you will definitely hear from me before then!
I'm gonna say it again so you hold me accountable - I will film classes to put up online so those who want to still "take" my class can (even if not in person :-). I MUST do this!!!!!
So we will meet in the present…. sometime in the future…. until then my cup overfloweth with love (and pain and sorrow and joy and….)
“When you are able to contain both the light and dark together, that is a very enlightening state. It means that you no longer have to choose one experience over another. You do not have to choose love or hate, blame or forgiveness, sadness or joy, anger or openheartedness. You are no longer polarized; no particular feeling boxes you in and keeps you from the light of true self. You then have access to the full range of human experiences you came into this life to embrace.”