“There is nothing constant in the universe.
All ebb and flow, and every shape that’s born, bears in its womb the seeds of change.” –Ovid
Yesterday was a sobering day, or what I call a “low tide” type of day. I am sure many of you are experiencing many ebbs and flows maneuvering these unprecedented times.
The waiting time for the new tide to come in is starting to feel very long. Some of us are getting weary; others are using the time to strengthen their inner core, or get very creative.
There is no right way through this pandemic, and all emotions are valid. The key is to honor each emotion as it arises, even the ones that can scare us most like sadness or anger. Feeling them helps them pass through.
My morning felt off-centered, beginning with my walk and seeing people drive by wearing masks and gloves while still inside their cars. “Who scripted this surreal movie?” I thought to myself.
Then, I watched an Instagram video from a woman I highly respect, Dr. Christiane Northrup, who has helped millions move to greater health holistically. She was attacked by vicious comments after she appeared on the cover of Maine Women Magazine, for a stance she took on a health issue. Like with many pioneers, it takes great courage and mental toughness to be highly visible, as there will be those who so quickly criticize even those with the best motives and intentions.
I am reminded of what an old friend, who shares the same name as me, once told me: “Insecure people scratch. Secure people support.” We all need champions who celebrate us in our successes (and stand by us in our failures and challenging moments), especially now when people are running around on frazzled nerves.
The lowest moment of my day came when minutes before holding my first international Zoom video meeting with a new client in New Zealand, I heard that a friend, Ellen, who was also a client, had died.
Ironically, Ellen had just vacationed in January to New Zealand after completing what she thought was her last round of chemotherapy.
Stunned, I centered myself, and pondered what would be the best way I can honor Ellen’s beautiful spirit. She would want me to “be there” for another, especially someone else dealing with cancer.
So, I chose to hold the meeting, and give the joy and love to another that I so often experienced working with Ellen. I gave 200 percent.
When the session ended, I sat with all my mixed feelings of grief.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…
A time to weep and a time to laugh:A time to mourn and a time to dance.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1,4
As much as I know how to focus on elevated emotions and empowering words– like joy, awe, and wonder–to strengthen the immune system and create anew, I also know that ALL FEELINGS MUST BE FELT to be released. Repressed emotions create anxiety, as I have repeatedly shared.
With grief, I often urge clients who may feel overwhelmed initially at feeling sad emotions to schedule in time to grieve, maybe 20 minutes at a time.
I gave myself a full two hours last night to absorb the loss of my friend’s physical presence, recalling her gifts to me.
Ellen surely taught me more about laughing, and she loved to dance. She even posted pictures of herself on Facebook dancing after going through treatments. She was a great artist on top of being a talented marketing professional. She had just turned her garage into a beautiful studio and was beginning to teach art classes to children.
She exuded great wisdom, asking significant questions like these on one of her often-shared posts: “Breathing in all of life! So much rushing and doing and ‘achieving’ can dictate our everydays. What does it all mean? What memories are you creating? Is there time to notice and experience? Or is your life a series of errands, tasks, expectations or commitments? Who is defining these for you if it is not you? We have a few years on this Earth. Are you ‘waiting’ to experience life later when there is more time? Ask yourself the wonderfully hard questions then say, ‘I love you’ as you look into your eyes. You deserve to experience happiness by breathing in all of your life.”
A force for positivity, light, and joy (as one of her other friends described her), Ellen would not want us to be sad…at least not for very long.
I will honor her life with joy, but am choosing first to mourn the loss of the physical presence of this angel of light.
Sadness has its place…as do the tides of life.
In honor of all those who awaken us to the goodness of life… and with a special thank you today to Ellen, for being such a blessing to this world,
The talented Nel Sogoloff, who has a passion for beauty and photography, took the above picture of “low tide” at Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA. Her love for the visual experience and its endless possibilities inspire her each time she holds a camera.