The past couple months have been full of surprises. Secrets revealed that instantly dropped me to my knees and left me weeping for weeks. Moving through layers of grief is not unfamiliar to me - although each loss, heart break and tragedy is different.
But what about when things pile up? When there are multiple dynamics to navigate - as you have likely experienced in life...
On top of wading through grief, this event triggered us to sell our home sooner than expected. Sorting, packing, painting, completing renos with complete strangers in and out of the house; grinding, hammering, sanding, stapling.
In the midst of rushing to get the house on the market I learned that I was being audited. Unpacking, sorting, receipts everywhere, pulling together paperwork, long days and late nights.
Between the audit and listing the house, two deaths, both sudden. One a beloved great uncle who kept my grandfather alive through his storytelling, strawberry curls, loyal heart and wide grin. Two days later a new friend's son, who had just prepared us a beautiful dinner two weeks before, gone so young. More ache.
Another layer: I did not expect the disorientation that came with staging our home and making evidence of our daily lives disappear. Where is my (insert anything) phone charger? Rain boots? Favourite oracle deck? The packing was such a blur.
Finally I collapsed. Down into the underworld of despair, repressed fears, exhaustion... my will to live extinguished. Numbness. Confusion. Fog. Exhaustion.
I try to find the sensations of beauty, love and gratitude within me, but they feel like distant memories. I search for the feeling of hope and possibility, but they are no where to be found. I've been here before. It feels like being alone in a long dark narrow tunnel. The smooth stone walls are warm, although sometimes I feel chilled to the bone.
I spend a week down here, numb and wondering. Feeling my way down the stone passages not knowing where they will lead. Like the goddess Inanna who is required to shed her crown, her jewels, her royal robes, her identity and sense of self, as she descends into the underworld, I feel stripped and raw.
My friends tune into the importance of gathering and I push myself to pack and head to a beach house with my three besties. It feels strange to be there in this state. I find it hard to smile. I keep focused on tending the hearth and receiving love from soul kin and our five generous canine companions.
After a few days I'm in my staged home again. I reflect on how tending the woodstove, sharing my grief, being surrounded by sisters and laying with dogs has indeed rekindled my something. I feel a flicker. Now a tiny flame. It was the shape of sanctuary that I needed. I can feel again.
Salt water streams down my cheeks. My body reminds me of the sensations of love and being loved. I'm still finding my feet. There's still showings at my house. I'm still looking for my stuff, while moving into the mystery of nomadic living.
But now I remember that the fire was inside of me all along. My lantern is lit. I think I see an opening in the tunnel. It might just be for a few days... or weeks... but it is a reprieve. And I can feel the alchemy of how these challenges are sanding the rough places in me, widening the riverbeds where compassion flows. I remember my love for Gaia, and why I chose to marry my spirit to her flesh.
Each time I've descended into the depths of darkness I've emerged very changed. The contractions are part of the rebirth. Shedding layers of fear, grief, trauma, assumptions, disappointments, unmet dreams, sense of self ... a part of the process.
Interestingly before this landslide of events, I became fascinated with the process of how and why oysters make pearls. And while tuning in with Gaia heard that I was meant to offer a course exploring the relationship between grit and grace, and how to shape pockets of sanctuary within our own body, that buoy us up during the chaos of change.
I'm still gathering the threads after a few months of very up close and personal research, but will send along an invitation in the coming weeks to a free webinar based on this theme.
I wanted to share all of this with you in case you're also riding earthquakes and finding the ways to shape sanctuary... In case you've lost hope, are grieving a loss, or have been bombarded by challenge. Maybe you have forgotten your worth or feel despair. You are not alone... what's one way to rekindle your fire?