Monday, February 1, 2016

Blog Hop Winner *and* pre-registration open now w discount to Spectrum 2016 (feb 1)


Very excited to announce the winner of my Spectrum 2016 blog-hop give-away is:

Clemencia R who shared the give-away here and has her blog here!

Yah! Congrats to you and Hali will need your email address to be in touch with you this week about your free pass to Spectrum 2016. Please let me know what your email address is!!

For those of you who didn't win, you can still join in as pre-registration for Spectrum is now officially open. For the next 3 days, you can even join at a special early-bird rate, by using this code at checkout: SP16EarlyBird


Also, new this year, Hali has offered everyone the chance to apply for one of 15 all-new scholarship passes! To find out if you are eligible and apply, click here, learn more about the program as a whole, and then scroll down to the very bottom of the page to access the scholarship application.

Thanks to everyone who hopped over to play along. I can't wait to share both my "Alternatives to Slaying the Dragon" and "You Have Permission: exploring the oppressive and liberating spaces of our stories" sessions with you all. Looking forward to seeing you in Spectrum 2016 classroom beginning May 2!

Miracles to you,
k-

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blog Hop Give-Away for Free Pass To Spectrum 2016 ... get your heART on!


Woo-hooo!!!! Give-away time! So happy to be guest teaching in Spectrum 2016 again this year - and I have 1 spot to give as part of the Give-Away Blog-Hop!

Spectrum 2016 has 20 NEW featured teachers and more than 20 returning contributors offering a variety of heART-full prompts so you can get your creativity ooooon!

Spectrum is heART-full space to explore mixed media, creativity, art journaling, getting your own creativity ON and connecting with others who are exploring, too.

For lots of details, click here

I'm really excited to be bringing you a new bonus this year on "You Have Permission: exploring the oppressive and liberating spaces of our stories" to inspire your heART-making. Also my previous Spectrum workshop "Alternative To Slaying The Dragon" will be available again for the 2016 journey, so if you missed it before, now is your chance OR you can re-visit it to see how it speaks to you in the coming year.

Pre-registration for Spectrum 2016 officially opens on February 1, 2016 (and the program will begin on May 2). So be sure to bookmark this page - so that you can check back to see if you win the giveaway here or sign up just as soon as it goes on sale.

About the Give-Away:

So I have one spot for Spectrum 2016 to give-away *and* if you follow the blog-hop list below, you can enter all those give-aways, too. So many of us are playing along, so you have over 30 chances to win a free pass!

Here is how to enter my give-away:
  • Share this blog post (http://motherhenna.blogspot.com/2016/01/blog-hop-give-away-for-free-pass-to.html) somewhere on social media before 9pm Eastern, January 31st.
  • Leave me a comment on this post telling me
    1) link to where you shared it,
    2) why you want to win, and
    3) link to your own blog, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram so I can get back to you if you win!
    PS: sorry! forgot to say earlier that comments here are moderated, so if you comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry. I'll check in a couple times a day to get things posted. Thanks!
  • I will announce the winner here on the blog on February 1, 2016 - the same day pre-registration opens for Spectrum 2016!

Below is a list of all the others who are playing along in the Spectrum 2016 blog-hop, with the dates their give-aways goes live - so be sure to visit those and enter there, as well.

13 January:
Hali Karla 
14 January:
Andrea Schroeder                  
Angelique Arroyo
 
15 January:
Bebe Butler 
Beth Morey 
18 January:
Chris Zydel
Effy Wild 
19 January:
Elloa Atkinson
Grace Howes    
21 January:
Kelly Johnson 
Kitty Oppegard 
23 January:
Lisa Wilson
Lucy Pearce 

Have sooooo much fun blog-hopping around, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all in the Spectrum 2016 classroom in May!

Miracles,
k-

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday How-To: Re-member-ing with Cookie Cutters this season and any season!


To get your printable PDF kit version of this activity from 
The Creative Grief Studio, click here!

We have collected way too many cookie cutters over the years. Upon realizing I had a huge basket full of them, I decided to do this year's kit to show you how-to use some of them in alternative ways in case you, too, find a drawer or basket full of them at your house :) 


I find it helpful to gather all my materials and tools at one time:
  • Cookie cutters
  • Photocopy of photos or other artwork
  • Glitter glue
  • Soft gel acrylic
  • X-acto knife
  • Markers and/or paints
  • Sponge or other brush


Optional:
  • Ribbon
  • Magnet
  • Other embellishment options like crayon, oil sticks, etc.
















Hope you have enjoyed this Holiday How-To! If you have questions about this or any of my tutorials, please feel free to be in touch. And if you want the printable kit version of this that we created for The Creative Grief Studio, you can get that by clicking here. If you'd like more information about our Creative Grief Support Certification Program that starts in March 2016, click here.

Sending Reiki and love out for you and yours this holiday season.
Go gently, lovies.
Miracles,
k-

Thursday, November 12, 2015

5 Shifts In Perspective About Grief

Intro If you are following the posts here, this intro is a repeat to give context, but the prompts at the bottom are new round today.

Some of you may know that sporadically my brain cooks up creative grief prompts in a rush of a series. At those moments, it is usually a spontaneous thing for me to pop up on my Twitter account and announce a little "Grief + Creativity Chat" that unfolds for the next 1/2 hr. to 45 minutes. I love it when people pop up there in response with answers or other questions of their own or to share ideas at their own pace. A few of you have told me that you'd like to dwell on one or two of the prompts more in-depth to really ponder. So that gave me the idea of harvesting all that we do on the Chats and work them up as blog posts here.

This is just one of a series that will unfold over time to share the prompts in a format here where you can self-pace with them. Please note that these chats as whole are copyright to what I'm collecting together for a grief + creativity book, so you are not free to just swipe and re-share whole list on your own blog or in your own workshop. These are for personal use only, not re-sale or other re-packaging. Feel free to respond in your own blog post and even come back here to share the link to that with me. Personal use, not copyright free, okay? Please honor that. And if you find you do want to use something here for more than personal use, just email me to ask about how. Thanks!

Please note that these prompts are meant to be taken one at a time. You can quickly move through them all OR you can take one that really feels juicy to you to work it over in a journal entry. I encourage you also to go beyond just the initial written response. Think about what the response would be in collage or painting or photography. Think about how you would respond in movement. If you are into writing music, what comes from the prompt musically? Do you see? There are lots of ways to go - if you want to go there.

Feel free to use the comments here to share. I love hearing back from people on how they are using the prompts.
Loves!
k-

5 Shifts In Perspective About Grief


  1. Grief doesn't just happen to us individually but rather within a broken system. How r u creative w that broken system? For me, it required I really examine and then reject the politics and inherent social injustice done by things like the DSM. What got you fired up once you realized your grief experience was unfolding in a broken system?
  2. If grief is a relational thing then how is your creativity happening in relationship also? So much of what I encountered in my early grief experiences told me that grief was individual process, that I had think positive, let go, stay calm, or change because I didn't want to attract negative energy. The bigger truth was that I was having my experience inside a culture that valued capitalism over everything. So my "getting better" and "getting back to normal" was not actually about my individual health care, but rather about becoming a productive, working, money-making, tax-paying citizen again as soon as possible. It was relational. I could not have my grief experience *outside* the relationships I had w family, friends, work, culture, etc. So my creativity had to be relational, too. How has that unfolded for you?
  3. What's the most unusual creative source you found that spoke to your grief experience? Mine was Star Trek Voyager.
  4. Is it a new idea to you to consider grief + creativity as a pairing? Does it open anything up for you that felt stuck before you considered applying creativity to grief experience?
  5. Closure is bullshit. Closure comes out of a culture of wanting things to be better so that we can be productive again. But grief and love are not products, they are process. Welcome to the *process*!! How does this idea inform or shift your grief experience?

Monday, November 9, 2015

6 Ways To Explore Grief Creatively

Intro If you are following the posts here, this intro is a repeat to give context, but the prompts at the bottom are new round today.

Some of you may know that sporadically my brain cooks up creative grief prompts in a rush of a series. At those moments, it is usually a spontaneous thing for me to pop up on my Twitter account and announce a little "Grief + Creativity Chat" that unfolds for the next 1/2 hr. to 45 minutes. I love it when people pop up there in response with answers or other questions of their own or to share ideas at their own pace. A few of you have told me that you'd like to dwell on one or two of the prompts more in-depth to really ponder. So that gave me the idea of harvesting all that we do on the Chats and work them up as blog posts here.

This is just one of a series that will unfold over time to share the prompts in a format here where you can self-pace with them. Please note that these chats as whole are copyright to what I'm collecting together for a grief + creativity book, so you are not free to just swipe and re-share whole list on your own blog or in your own workshop. These are for personal use only, not re-sale or other re-packaging. Feel free to respond in your own blog post and even come back here to share the link to that with me. Personal use, not copyright free, okay? Please honor that. And if you find you do want to use something here for more than personal use, just email me to ask about how. Thanks!

Please note that these prompts are meant to be taken one at a time. You can quickly move through them all OR you can take one that really feels juicy to you to work it over in a journal entry. I encourage you also to go beyond just the initial written response. Think about what the response would be in collage or painting or photography. Think about how you would respond in movement. If you are into writing music, what comes from the prompt musically? Do you see? There are lots of ways to go - if you want to go there.

Feel free to use the comments here to share. I love hearing back from people on how they are using the prompts.
Loves!
k-

6 Ways To Explore Grief Creatively


  1. If you gave Grief permission to have a tantrum, what would it be about? How creative does Grief get in his/her tantrum?
  2. If Creativity could make a sandwich for lunch for Grief, what kind of sandwich would be made? Served on plate? As take out? What?
  3. Do you tend to reject discomfort? Consider it as grief and be gently creative toward discomfort. What do you learn?
  4. What is the most uncomfortable spot in your grief experience? Can you be curious w it instead of judging? What happens if you are creative there?
  5. How were others absent for supporting your grief experience? How are you now creative in being present for yourself and others?   
  6. What mis-takes happened in your grief experience? How did you get creative w re-takes as you learned?




Friday, November 6, 2015

Days 6, 7, 8 of wild earth spirit's Day of the Dead project: tapping into ease and softeness


Doing combo on days 6, 7, 8 of Wild Earth Spirit's Day of the Dead event because, well, that's just how the timing has worked out for me. And given that these last days of the event were about finding softness and breath and tapping into community space, this seems spot-on to be ease-full about sharing in whatever ways work for my current energy levels and brain function :)

In communicating with a friend over the last week, we were talking about having dreams and such that seemed "insistent" and wondering what meaning we might make from it all. Today as I sat with it a bit more, the prompt for diving into softness really surfaced for me. I can have a very sharp edge to my experience sometimes when I want and have aims and am striving for and all that jazz. Often that energy is just a fight with whatever is actually happening in the present moment. I mentioned to my friend that maybe the "insistent" spots were really just reminders that we can practice softening the edges and allowing for what *IS* in the moment.

It's a difficult practice sometimes because often what *IS* just isn't what I had wanted. Nor what I visioned. Nor what I aimed for. Sometimes even not what I thought I deserved! Oh. Ouch. There's an *IS* that takes practice to really sit with and be soft toward.

So it was with great appreciation that I read Melissa's Day 7 prompt where she invited us to just journal without thinking much, just let the fingers type or write. She gave us the first word or two of each section as a prompt, but we just fill in, while breathing, coming from a soft, wide, deep space if  possible, and here's what came for me:
I feel the need to let go the judgments.
This turned out to be surprisingly improvisational, with a pace all its own.
Lately I want all that softness and ease.
I want to let go the harshness of having to know the answers.
The truth is curiosity serves me much more than judgment ever has.
Sometimes tapping back into the gentleness is as simple as stopping, breathing, breathing more deeply, and releasing the tensions with the exhale.
I see a window frame, filled with light that is available to me even when it is pitch dark.
I wonder at the times when my connection to that well of light is severed, when I forget.
What if remembering is a practice?
I prefer to practice then, rather than having to *know* the answers.
No one knows the answers. No one.
I know we all have preferences, but there just aren't answers that fit one and all.
I believe there is no prescription, no point of perfection where all is said and done.
I am very happy to be in process.
I am going with the on-going nature of it all.
I am alive and so the practice at being with *IS* continues.
There are many days when I wonder why I keep typing and creating and casting this all out into the world. It feels random. Sometimes other people's stuff about virtual community being "less than" or "faux" in comparison to "real" community will get to me. Sometimes I feel like this all strives for connection and falls flat.

But these 8 days with the Day of the Dead project have reminded me that simply: We Cannot Know.

We can have ideas. We can favor certain theories and the like. We can "know" certain things like, yes, that last piece of chocolate sent me on a sugar high. :) But when I have huge dissatisfaction with whatever *IS*, usually it is because I think I know it should be...would be...could be. And that disconnects me from what *IS*...

If instead, I can keep practicing being with what *IS*, having softness in regard to it all (even the woulda/coulda/shoulda spaces), and invoking as much ease and tenderness as possible -- in all things including love and grief, life and loss -- then maybe there is a chance that I can become more practiced at staying connected. More practiced at being present.

May we all continue babbling on and venturing to be vulnerable in what we share with each other. Much Reiki and huge < 3 to all eyes and Being who light upon this.
k-

Thursday, November 5, 2015

18 Ways To Intersect With Grief Instead Of Fight It

Intro If you are following the posts here, this intro is a repeat to give context, but the prompts at the bottom are new round today.

Some of you may know that sporadically my brain cooks up creative grief prompts in a rush of a series. At those moments, it is usually a spontaneous thing for me to pop up on my Twitter account and announce a little "Grief + Creativity Chat" that unfolds for the next 1/2 hr. to 45 minutes. I love it when people pop up there in response with answers or other questions of their own or to share ideas at their own pace. A few of you have told me that you'd like to dwell on one or two of the prompts more in-depth to really ponder. So that gave me the idea of harvesting all that we do on the Chats and work them up as blog posts here.

This is just one of a series that will unfold over time to share the prompts in a format here where you can self-pace with them. Please note that these chats as whole are copyright to what I'm collecting together for a grief + creativity book, so you are not free to just swipe and re-share whole list on your own blog or in your own workshop. These are for personal use only, not re-sale or other re-packaging. Feel free to respond in your own blog post and even come back here to share the link to that with me. Personal use, not copyright free, okay? Please honor that. And if you find you do want to use something here for more than personal use, just email me to ask about how. Thanks!

Please note that these prompts are meant to be taken one at a time. You can quickly move through them all OR you can take one that really feels juicy to you to work it over in a journal entry. I encourage you also to go beyond just the initial written response. Think about what the response would be in collage or painting or photography. Think about how you would respond in movement. If you are into writing music, what comes from the prompt musically? Do you see? There are lots of ways to go - if you want to go there.

Feel free to use the comments here to share. I love hearing back from people on how they are using the prompts.
Loves!
k-

18 Ways To Intersect With Grief Instead Of Fight It


  1. Grief is in the kitchen making a cup of tea for himself. What kind of tea? What kind of cup? Sweetener? Milk? Caffeinated? Why?
  2. You are playing Monopoly w Grief. Grief cheats. How does he cheat?
  3. If there were a dr who could write custom rx just for your grief experience, what would he chicken scratch on the rx pad?
  4. Grief is standing at a kitchen sink doing dishes. He looks up and there is a window above the sink he can look out of. What does he see?
  5. You go to Grief's Junkyard. You have all the time and freedom to search around you want. What do you find?
  6. Grief walks into an old school arcade. He's got bag full of quarters. What game does he play obsessively?
  7. Grief Mad Lib: Hi. I'm Grief. I like to (verb). When u aren't looking, I (verb). I've been called (adj). My  nourishment is (noun).
  8. Just for today, some part of grief experience can b set on a shelf. U can pick it up again later if u want. What is it that goes on shelf?
  9. If we could put Grief experience in a mason jar and give it a custom label, what would the label look like? Say? Color? B&W?
  10. If you were to make a floor plan of your grief experience, what would that look like? Be as detailed as you can.
  11. Remember Magic 8 balls? Grief has made one. When you turn it over, what do the different sides of the floaty dice inside say?
  12. Grief has packed up a box of stuff to donate to the thrift store. What has grief put in there? Why are those items going? How's it feel?
  13. If you set a place at the table for grief, what does it want? Fork? Chopsticks? Bowl or flat plate? Water or wine glass? Why for each?
  14. What if same rules 4playtime applied 2grief time? Share.Take turns.Put toys back when done.Don't exclude other.Dress up.What happens 2grief?
  15. Grief as a swimming pool. Indoor? Outdoor? How deep? Cared for? Not? Diving board? Floaty noodles? Warm water? Cold? Salt water? Lifeguard?
  16. Know those old shoe boxes in back of closet storing treasure? What if 1of them stored grief? What do u find in it? In what condition is box?
  17. Grief can make us panic+want to figure out right move. What if we go beyond right/wrong, just BE w grief. Ask it questions. What happens?
  18. Grief often makes us want 2know what 2DO. Know how u feel around in dark 4light switch? Feel around in dark w grief. What happens?


Monday, November 2, 2015

17 Creative Views Of Grief's Role

Intro If you are following the posts here, this intro is a repeat to give context, but the prompts at the bottom are new round today.

Some of you may know that sporadically my brain cooks up creative grief prompts in a rush of a series. At those moments, it is usually a spontaneous thing for me to pop up on my Twitter account and announce a little "Grief + Creativity Chat" that unfolds for the next 1/2 hr. to 45 minutes. I love it when people pop up there in response with answers or other questions of their own or to share ideas at their own pace. A few of you have told me that you'd like to dwell on one or two of the prompts more in-depth to really ponder. So that gave me the idea of harvesting all that we do on the Chats and work them up as blog posts here.

This is just one of a series that will unfold over time to share the prompts in a format here where you can self-pace with them. Please note that these chats as whole are copyright to what I'm collecting together for a grief + creativity book, so you are not free to just swipe and re-share whole list on your own blog or in your own workshop. These are for personal use only, not re-sale or other re-packaging. Feel free to respond in your own blog post and even come back here to share the link to that with me. Personal use, not copyright free, okay? Please honor that. And if you find you do want to use something here for more than personal use, just email me to ask about how. Thanks!

Please note that these prompts are meant to be taken one at a time. You can quickly move through them all OR you can take one that really feels juicy to you to work it over in a journal entry. I encourage you also to go beyond just the initial written response. Think about what the response would be in collage or painting or photography. Think about how you would respond in movement. If you are into writing music, what comes from the prompt musically? Do you see? There are lots of ways to go - if you want to go there.

Feel free to use the comments here to share. I love hearing back from people on how they are using the prompts.
Loves!
k-

17 Creative Views Of Grief's Role


  1. If grief were on the track team, what would it compete in? what events? multiple ones? How is it as a teammate? What shoes does it run in?
  2. Creativity in face of grief isn't necessarily about artmaking. It can be about heART-making. How have you been heart-fully creative w grief?
  3. Your grief experience has been made into a comic book. What does the cover look like? What's the title? Who is the main character?
  4. It's First Friday. Grief has barged in and taken up exhibit space. What does that look like? Do people stop and SEE? Avoid? Ignore?
  5. If you made a mixed tape for grief, what would be on it? Just music? Would there be bits of dialogue, too? Would u do artwork on the cover?
  6. If the paparazzi were to hound grief, what kind of photos would they get? Which photo would make the front cover of a gossip mag? Why?
  7. If grief were a high school science experiment, what experiment would it be? How does it go? Conducted in lab? Outside?
  8. If grief were reruns of an old vintage TV show, which show would it be? What character does grief play? Does it have an audience?
  9. What if grief isn't a dragon to be slayed, but to be met and seen and known? What would be the 1st thing you'd want to do if u don't slay it?
  10. If you could send Grief on vacation, where would you send it? Why? For how long? What happens on the vaca?
  11. Is there something you wish someone/anyone would have asked you about ur grief experience? Ask it of urself now. What's the answer?
  12. If Grief were a yoga position, which would it be? If there were another position that could shift Grief, what would it be?
  13. If Grief were a custom made station on Pandora, what would be in the playlist?
  14. You walk into a museum exhibit. Surprisingly Grief is on main display there! What does it look like? How is it displayed? Who's looking @ it?
  15. If you were a reporter, and grief were a famous person, and you could interview grief, what would you ask? What would grief answer?
  16. If ur grief were a children's book, what would the cover illustration look like? colors? shapes? images? What's the title? Who's the author?
  17. If ur grief were a color, what color would it be? Why? Is it consistently that color or does it shift? How? When? Why?



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Days 4 + 5 in Wild Earth Spirit's event honoring the heARTmaking of Day of the Dead: fear + sitting w it all

Decided to combine days 4 +5 of Wild Earth Spirit's Day of the Dead event for two reasons: 1) I'm just looking at them both together now, and 2) for me personally, the discussion of fears around death, dying, and grief (day 4's prompt) is always combined with *Sit With It* (day 5's prompt).

It is probably an over-generalization, but it seems to me that people's fears around anything come from either not having had practice w that thing, concept, situation OR from having had really BAD models of practice w things, concepts, situation. And so many, many times, the fears are not really about the thing or situation itself, but about the lack of practice at sitting with it. I see this with grief situations not related to death. With death related experiences. With race and class and education issues. With family dysfunction. You name it.

Now I'm not talking about doing some weird extremist "exposure therapy" or forced anything to make people "get over it" or whatever. That kind of mind frame just adds bullying on top of the stressors of fear people are already dealing with, you know? Rather this is about LIVING a creative life, allowing creativity to be a skill you exercise every single day (notice I said creativity, not making perfect art or being Picasso). It is about being practiced at noticing fears when they arise. And then sitting with the knowledge.

Where in the body do you first feel a reaction to fear? What is the first thing that tips you off to the fact that fear has entered the experience with you? What does it sound like, smell like, and/or what colors do you notice first when fear has entered from stage left?

Once you can notice fear (note that I say notice fear, not judge fear), what is the first thing you notice you want to do? Judge it? Run from it? Fix it? Make it go away quickly? Does shame rise about fear's presence? Just *notice* these things. Don't act on them. Don't reject them. Just be still and name them.

Then imagine each of these things is a guest at your table. They've come for tea. Let compassion rise in your regard of them. Breathe deeply and soften your being in regard to them. Maybe the character of "Make It Go Away Quickly" is edgy, can't be still, is stepping back and forth at the edge of the table. Don't judge him or admonish him to stop. Notice him. Have compassion for him. Notice where in your own body you feel for him. Tell him how glad you are that he is here and invite him to sit down. Or ask him if he'd like to walk with you for a bit.

Do you see what I'm getting at here?

It is a practice. Not a perfect.

We make mistakes, but we don't have to regret and apologize til we are groveling. Rather we can realize we make mis-takes. Think of it as film. A mis-take is one that isn't really what the director wanted or isn't really the best the actor thinks they can do. They don't lament it. They do *another* take. They learn from the mis-take what didn't work -- and that information is just as valuable as learning what does work! And they do another take.

Life is like this. A series of takes.


I'm not saying the takes are all the same and equal and all. I do understand there are very real world things at play where the Privilege Walk influences how many takes we get, the quality of the takes, the time needed to do takes, and more. Yes. Of course. And I will say that I recently saw the documentary Serving Life where prisoners on death row seemingly had no takes left. But through a hospice program some of them got another take. It didn't necessarily fix or undo the mis-takes, but there was a way for them to become consciously compassionate and have another take as they did service to those who were dying.

It is a practice. Not a perfect. For any of us. For all of us.

So as a way to soften myself toward my own practice and toward others, as a way to soften toward the grief and love I have for those who are gone, as a way to soften toward the grief and love I have for those who are here living, I light my candles. And I sit with the light.


k-


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day 3: wild earth spirit's day of the dead heARTmaking: beloveds re-member-ed

This is Day 3 of Wild Earth Spirit's event for Day of the Dead, and today we are talking about remembering our loves. And I have to admit I have a different way of thinking about my beloveds re-member-ed.

You see for me, love has never been just about the one person, but about how love plays out in community. And sadly when children die at birth, or at least when our first son died in 1999 at birth, there was a sense of his no longer being a member of the community.

It is difficult for people to make sense of giving birth to death.

For some of us who have a feminist bent and believe in choice, our ideas of choice got associated only with abortion. So if a stillborn child is called a child, there is a complication to how we've thought of abortion. Or if we admit that with abortion, even where it is the right choice for us, we need grief support, it complicates the politics of what is legal, etc..

There were generations previous who did not feel a stillborn child belonged on a family tree. You just picked up by your boot straps, had another child again as soon as possible, probably even used the same name to try and "replace" what happened.

All these various things reigned down along with the fire of grief after our first son's birth/death, and I realized that to be remembered was not just about memory, but about being re-made into a member of the community. Re-member-ed. Named. Love acknowledged even after the physical body that we aimed our love time money energy at is now gone.

This is not to say I'm engaged in a psychotic break where I carry around three baby dolls as my sons pretending they were real members of the physical community. But that having my children on the family tree, named, meant that our living children knew full medical history of their family.

This is not to say we've kept the nursery exactly as it was for 16 years and no one dare enter. But that when we do kindnesses for our living family members (like gift giving), we also do kindnesses for our boys who died, in their names, usually donations to causes we value. Their names give forward to new communities.

I find the "stages of grief" and "closure" to be completely bullshit concepts that hurt and agitate me and many of the people I've worked with over the years in my creative grief practice. But knowing that our beloveds can be re-member-ed, honored as members of the community has been a concept I've seen bring peace and grace and ease to people, year after year after year.

And I find that having a Day of the Dead altar is one space for naming members of the community who have died. But you know what I realized today, it is also a space for naming members of our living community who have been very supportive in the hard times, too. Now I told you in yesterday's post that I wasn't sure I was going to do a physical altar because I've had such low energy for so long that we still have the little tree and lights on the boys' butsudan from last Christmas. I wasn't lying about the tree, see:


But in the mail today, a small package came from my mom who we call Nanna-Memoo. In it was this beautiful flameless skellie candle you see in the middle there on top of the butsudan. And as I placed it there, I realized that this space is already one altar space in the house that is re-member-ing my community. The butsudan came to us from Katie D. who is remember her own Peanut. The photo on the wall behind is from Katie S. who is remember her son and brother. The little hand-carved henna stamp was given to me by my friend Jeannie after she went to India, and she is remembering her son, who I am sorry to say, died just this year. The Japanese wooden doll was gifted to us by my friend Terri who is remembering her mom and dad. The little rocks with the boys' names in them are from Forward Tumble all the way in Ireland where she is remembering her child, too. And the magic wands in the tree are from Joanne B. and Nan who have both been present for us in so many ways, both of them remembering their beloveds, too.


Re-member-ed. Members. Membered to each other. In living community and in the celebration of death that comes with Day of the Dead.

There is one other space in the house that is a meditation space Hawk and I both use. Another altar space that really didn't come to mind when writing yesterday saying my energy was too low to deal with creating physical altar this year. But this one is already here:


It is a very quiet, minimalist corner of the house where we keep our meditation pillows. It has been difficult for me to sit there for months now because of the pain coming and going. I've instead sort of been leaning over a soft pile of pillows and blankets from the side of this area. It's worked. And it is one of those spaces that beckons during times like Days of the Dead. Many things and people are re-member-ed when I'm in this space. And then also, because it is a meditation practice about letting go, about groundlessness, about not fearing death, the membership is also released here, too.

As with everything in my life, it is a practice, not a perfect.

(I know, you've heard that a million times from me if you are a regular reader, but it is truth.)

So anyway, there are all my slightly askew thoughts about beloveds re-member-ed.

Sending Reiki and loves to any and all who light here.
k- 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

ShareThis