My Dear Community,

Its arrived, its arrived! Spring. New life. Sunshine. Fresh green. Lightness as the days grow longer.

It seems like overnight Spring arrived. But buried beneath the cold hard ground, life awakens slowly. Hidden for weeks before bursting out. Like grief, Spring is a process. Grief to hope.

Some of us rejoice in Spring’s arrival. I hear others say:

“I don’t care. I’ll never rejoice again. I don’t even want to be here now that _____ has died.”

“No little hand to hold in mine. No promise of living and growing in life.”

“No voice on the other end of the phone to lift my spirits.”

“No one to come home to.”

“Why go on?”

A ‘Spring’ Spirit

Then, there’s the devastation in Nebraska – my home state. A wall of water engulfing a hog farm. The operation a product of five years of vision turned into reality. A herd of seven hundred hogs reduced to fourteen.

“Why go on?

Yet the farmers, father and son, say, “We’ll just start over.” Digging gates out of the mud to pen those fourteen hogs. Their spring spirit is evident.

What do you feel as you read this story about the farmers and the other comments above?

What’s your inner state? Anxious? Angry like the Platte River in Nebraska? Or inspired and hopeful?

For several weeks, I’ve been teaching a grief class at the Lake Oswego Adult Center. Together, we’re exploring our inner state. Processing grief. Sharing memories of our beloveds.

Here’s what we do to access our inner state we:

  • Get quiet. And notice what we’re feeling…….
  • Then, we sit straight in our chairs feeling our backs supported.
  • We breathe in through our nose and notice the temperature.
  • We breathe out through our nose and notice the temperature.
  • Then, we focus our awareness inward. Imagining a river within. Noticing if it flows horizontally or vertically in our body.
  • How are the banks of this river? Steep? Soft sandy beaches?
  • How wide are the banks?
  • Now simply noticing the color of the river. The clarity. The depth. The current and flow. The obstacles.
  • Finally, we open our eye and draw what we discovered within.
  • The inner state.

We’re surprised. Delighted. We each have a new awareness. We’re committed to repeating the process throughout the week.

Because grief is a process. It’s primarily an inside job.

Try the exercise above for yourself. Access your inner state.

Or, try this simple refocusing method:

  • Look outside yourself at nature.
  • Notice one sliver of green.
  • Smell the freshness of the cool morning air before the sun is up.
  • Allow beauty to be the healing balm for your grieving self.

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,