We Must Get Comfortable with Discomfort.
I’m curious about you and wondering how you’re doing these days.
If you have time, write me back. I love hearing from you. It helps me feel less isolated and alone as I’m not going out and about and running into you in my world. I miss that. I cannot do this alone, knowing how you’re doing helps inform my practice, my musings, my blogs; essentially my offerings.
Sitting down to write this today, I’d love to know what kind of support you need right now as we’re all grieving something.
And lately I just keep thinking about many hard things-the suffering in the world, politics, racism, my white privilege, economic privilege. And grief is the part that connects them all.
I’m currently immersed in a class taught by The Black Doula, Sabia Wade, called “A Lifetime is Quarantine: Trauma Skills and Nervous System Understanding for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). I’m being challenged to uncover the layers of my own white privilege and internal hidden racist tendencies. I’m grateful for this inside learning AND I’m so uncomfortable at times. It’s important work and I’m glad to be doing it. If you want to know more, I’m happy to share, ask me.
This brings me back to my main musing lately which is this…how did we get so attached to being so comfortable? How did we get to a place where convenience, ease and positivity became the ever pervasive norm in western culture?
I think of recent high school graduates who have grown up most likely with the message-you can do anything and be anything. Dream it and it will happen.
Actually they/we are learning a different way of being. And actually it isn’t new, it’s realistic.
Life sometimes sucks. We don’t get what we want. Life is hard. Sometimes we’re disappointed, sad and uncomfortable.
Last October I had the honor and privilege to attend a 5 day grief ritual with African elder Malidoma Patrice Somé. He said something that really struck me, “Grief is being with the discomfort of life.”
I will say that again…
Grief is being in the discomfort of life.
So, here we are…in a very uncomfortable place. At least I’m here and many others I know. Some aren’t and that’s a whole other blog topic that I won’t touch.
So what do we do with this discomfort?
Part of me wants to give you some sweet remedy to make you feel better. And are you wanting to hear the magic words that’ll diminish your grief and discomfort?
I’m sorry. I can’t fix your grief.
I’ve been in these shoes before. In fact, I have an entire outfit that I’m comfortable wearing. But, at first, according to one of my clients, grief feels like the only thing you’re wearing is a scratchy heavy wool sweater or body suit that you can’t take off.
So you must either learn to feel the discomfort or go stark naked. Both options aren’t comfortable. (Well, maybe not for some regarding going naked…).
And you can’t simply get rid of it either. You have to learn to wear it or carry it; essentially befriend it. It’s a part of you forever.
So, we must make friends with discomfort and befriend our disappointment.
We must start teaching the children, that sometimes we don’t get everything we want, and yes good things are possible, but we need a new way of creating that possible.
For one thing, we need each other more than ever. We cannot do this alone.
The tradition that taught me that is from the Dagara Grief Ritual which I’d say is the one thing that helped me the most with my grief.
I had the honor of doing Dagara grief rituals and immersed myself for two years as an assistant for my friend Wendy Kaas. (She received a blessing from the elders of Burkina Faso to lead these West African grief rituals here in the USA).
I learned this:
We cannot do this alone.
Grief is a force that needs to be released and cleaned out; we must tend to our grief on a regular basis.
Grief is as normal as sleeping and eating.
Grief is simply part of being a human being. Grief is part of life.
For now I want to extend two invitations:
I recently created an 8 week Online Grief Relief course. It’s inspired by what helped me befriend my grief. There are two options-a DIY one, and another with 2 1:1 sessions with me. Please forward on to anyone you think could benefit from such a program. See it here.
The other invitation is to attend one of my online grief practices (formerly called ‘ritual’). I’ve been offering weekly Facebook live practices every Saturday. See link here. These are about 45 minutes; I speak about grief and the importance of tending to it. Then I do an opening prayer/invocation followed by singing the grief song that I wrote just for this.
At the end of each month I offer a deeper grief practice via our lovely tech friend called Zoom. My next one is this Saturday, May 23rd, at noon (MST) See link here. This is where we spend about 2 hours in community. It’s the same format as the FB live one, but with the addition of some grief journaling time, and then we come together to share, be heard, and be witnessed.
I’d be honored to have you at either one.
The zoom event is donation based ($10 minimum) and right now ALL funds are going directly to a Dagara village in Burkina Faso for their water well project.
Please spread the word about this. If I can help just a few to get comfortable with that scratchy wool bodysuit, I’d be honored.
Thanks for all that you do for yourself, your community, and the planet.
Grieve well, be well. Now more than ever!
These are intense times, we need to have more compassion and kindness to ourselves, each other, and the planet. I hope you are well. And remember to grieve well, so we can be well.