Inside: Simple rhythms anchor us through the seasons of our life. These are some of the ways I’ve used rhythm and ritual to support me through a season of grief, liminal space, and learning to live fully again.
Sensitive content warning: child loss, grief
We’re nearing three years since my oldest child died and I’ve been walking a long and hard season through liminal space. Releasing, decluttering, simplifying, boundary setting, every time I think I’ve gone as far as I can possibly go, I turn a corner and I’m invited to dive deeper. Round and round, round and round, I cycle through the seasons of this brave and beautiful life.
I am rooted, but I flow.Virginia Wolf
simple rhythms that anchor me through this season of learning to live fully again
I love my work and it’s been a lifeline for me but though I can busy my mind, yet my spirit still grieves. And since there’s no outrunning this level of sorrow, instead, I carve out breathing room to pause and remember. To wail, tell stories, belly laugh, and get honest. He is inextricably and forever woven into our lives. Work and rest, work and rest, these gentle rhythms help me heal.
Along with lunar tracking, at every solstice and equinox I set aside time to check in, and this serves as an invitation to offer compassion to myself, mind, body, and emotion. It’s not comfortable to slow down and just be but these intentional anchor points feel gentle and safe. And it’s only in safety that we can heal. Root and flow, root and flow, I make space to breathe.
The beauty and wisdom of nature has held me these years. Several times each week I’ve walked the same wooded trail in rain, sun, snow, or ice ‘til I could remember the strength that lives deep in my bones. I needed to feel the bite of -30C on my skin to remind me that I’m alive and rooted here on earth. Back and forth, back and forth, I move this pain through my body.
I head into the mountains often and follow a familiar path around a gorgeous, clear lake. Surrounded by trees, water, and solid rock I attune to the tension in my shoulders, chest, jaw, and throat. This is the ideal place to give grief a voice. My body is wise and if I listen and trust, it always leads me to the next right thing. I breathe in and out, in and out, as I decompress.
It’s been almost three years but often feels like a day, and 18 months before that trying to keep my son anchored to life. In the midst of a reality that I didn’t want, though there were moments I didn’t think I could survive, I’ve kept thriving and saying yes to life each morning. One step and then another, one step and then another, I choose my response.
It doesn’t make sense that life carries on when you carry a pain this fierce in your body. It feels ludicrous to get groceries and do laundry when your life vision is pierced at its very heart. It requires herculean resolve to face the vulnerability and rage inherent in the choice to allow joy to live, welcome, in your body and home. Moment by moment, moment by moment, I practice.
But each morning I get up and follow my morning routine. I don’t think about it or question, I just get out of bed and follow this trustworthy rhythm. It has anchored me in the midst of many storms. And each night as I prepare for sleep I name 3 things I’m grateful for, 2 things I’ve done well, 1 thing I could do differently next time. Day and night, day and night, I trust.
The Brave + Beautiful Community is for brave + curious women in the middle season of life committed to living with more freedom, health, and joy. We gather from different corners of the world to learn, practice new ways of being in our body and life, and build healthy community.