i come with the grief

As a writer, poet, and artist, I’ve done a fairly lousy job of sharing my writing on here. I have mostly only shared my work about crystals, tarot and spirituality. Part of my passion is social justice and work of people like me—women of color who wrestle with identity and spirit in the face of social injustice.

I also want to show up more in this space—my voice and my face and my artwork. I have lived a life or two. I am a child of an immigrant. I am Latinx. And so I cannot go through this life without being reminded of that. It informs my artwork and my writing and my spirituality. It is part of the space I hold for people—healing cultural wounding and trauma, ancestral wounding and trauma, societal wounding and trauma. This poem encapsulates that for me. I began this poem in a writing workshop with marybeth bonfiglio.in 2017 and started with a prompt: “What grief do you come here today with?”

This is a piece I have revisited a few times, and found it. I am reading it below. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

prayers

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Gratitude needs to be the root of all my practice. When I wake in resentment, anger, fear, my entire day feels off. It’s not often that this happens any longer. I have reoriented myself toward gratitude. I start gently with a simple prayer of thanks, as my stiff joints shuffle to the bathroom. I use the beginning of the e.e.cummings poem.

I thank you God for most this amazing day.

I watch the sun come up over the snow. The first blush of dawn highlights the waning moon flanked by Venus and Jupiter in the clear winter sky. The beauty betrays the bitter cold of the morning. 10 degrees. I sip my warm lemon water, snuggled in a blanket.

God, thank you for the warmth of my home, for the ability to build a fire.

The beauty way seeks to find beauty in all the things and also to be the one to bring beauty. I cringe at the toys I can see poking out from under my couches, and the clutter that small children bring, and yet their smiles, the warmth of our home (not just physical warmth, but the warmth of love and acceptance), the laughter, the artwork created by big and little hands hanging everywhere radiates beauty.

Great Spirit, may I walk in beauty. Great Spirit, I offer myself to thee.

I am most thankful that I get to do this work of honoring Spirit and tending to the Spirit of others, helping others live in a way that is harmonious—gentle consumption, stewardship of the Earth, sacred living, self-care, and self-mothering. Through my practice, the work I have offered has evolved. From my first circle of psychic development to now, I can see how much I have deepened in understanding and practice. How each moment is a moment of living in shamanic ways. I continually deepen my practice, so this makes sense to me. I have been blessed with many teachers and mentors who continually teach me how to show up despite adversity and grief and life.

Great Mother, thank you for the women who walk before me, who reach back, hold my hand and show me the way forward.

Last year, I experienced deep loss from the death of my beloved father to both of my animal companions (my dog Jack and my cat Magnus). The tenth anniversary of my daughter’s death amplified the grief. I had physical challenges to my health, and emotional challenges to my worth. I have had all my stories rewritten. I have had friends step away. Institutions shaken up. I have had every solid tower in my life brought down to its stone foundation. Thus is the Tower year, the one that brings it all out. Kali, the Dark Mother, helps destroy and rebuild. I honor her way, though it is hard. I honor her.

Dark Mother, thank you for the destruction of lies, and for the solid foundation to build again. Thank you for steady hand on my back as I move forward.

I am in the process of truth-telling about these incidents, and the process of truth-telling about my past and my history, of seeing things with clear eyes. There are stories that I had come to believe down to my core that just aren’t true. I watch and observe and take notes now about what is true and what isn’t. It is powerful work. Challenging, humbling, but good work. This is what we are asked to do as medicine keepers—continually do the deep work we ask of our students, clients and mentors. 2018 watched the Tower tumble. I used Snake for this work, as my guide. Snake sheds the skin. Releases. Transforms. Transmutes. Heals. Regenerates.

Thank you, Snake, belly on the earth, for showing me the process of shedding my old, torn skin. Thank you for rising from the earth to open a way forward for me.

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2019 brings me to this year of the Major Arcana card XVII, the Star. It is a card of hope, of optimism, of healing, of peace. It brings me to watching the early morning sky for the simple beauty of the cycles of our life. Gratitude reorients me due north, the direction of wisdom and patience, the long view only the ancestors can bring. I am reassured of this fact—every part of my journey is used. No part is wasted on the medicine path.

Father Sky, Mother Earth, I thank you for clarity, for the willingness to see the truth no matter how painful. Thank you for bolstering me in the darkness, steering me to my True North.

Gratitude remains the root ball of the strong, powerful tree of me. The one that bends with the wind, but does not blow over. I am grateful for your continued support of my work and mission.

belonging + be-longing

it’s been a while…that’s not from lack of love. In fact, every week, I put my weekly love letter to you on my To-Do list. When I write to you, my heart takes over, and even when I’m promising myself I’m not going to go deep, suddenly, there I am talking about that thing that I didn’t want to talk about.

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It’s that way with this work I am called to do too. We want to stay light and shallow, but Spirit has a way of asking more of us, demanding we get honest and authentic right now. Presence, in fact, is just being where we are and honoring that walk.

I revisit grief this month, as my close friend lost her battle with cancer at age 45. Grief is this deep global, ancestral and cultural experience too right now, as we move through October—the month of collective honoring of the dead, and then on the heels of the hurricanes, earthquakes, fires still raging in the West…with all the natural disasters, racial violence, the shooting in Las Vegas (hell, the shootings every day in the US), with our own private and personal tragedies, we must sit with this extreme discomfort. I have no special magic trick for doing this work, except to just do it. Just sit and weep. Talk about how uncomfortable you are. Write long poems about injustice if you must.

I did this in August when I traveled to Niagara Falls, NY, to spend the day with Marybeth Bonfiglio at a writing workshop called Of Blood + Belonging. It was so good. I mean, so good. We explored the ancestors and this deep cultural grieving we are all going through. We cannot shift, raise our consciousness, ascend without pain. It is painful to let go of unhealthy ways of being—when we quit coffee, we get a headache; when we quit racism, misogyny, anger, violence, we get protest and violence and discomfort. When we hurt our environment for centuries, we get an Earth in revolt.

Marybeth asked us to ask how we belong, and how we be-long. And I thought about this so much since then, as what I see in the news and in the media sometimes makes me feel very Other. But that is not what I do anymore. I reject Other. I want to be Of. I want to be in your tribe, and in the tribe of all, even the ones who hate me. And so I wrote this:

I belong to the Earth. I belong to the morning. I belong to the Moon and her mysteries. I belong to the group of misfits and outcasts that belong nowhere with nothing, moving towards the abyss in the sacred dance of the wounded. I belong to Shadow and Light and Shadow again. I belong to the darkness that mines my suffering, my sins, my losses to bring light to another in the depths of the valley of hurt and grief.

I belong to all people, to all the people who don’t belong anywhere. I belong to the tribe of the untribed, to the citizens of the liminal spaces, that walk between life and death, between whiteness and brownness, between hetero and homo, between sober and drunk, between American and Immigrant, between the worker and the master, between the singletons and the twins. I belong to the exiled. To the runaways. To the orphans. To the unmothered and untethered. To the betrayed and the betrayers. To the spies and the sell-outs and the druggies. I belong to the Vultures who circle overhead, transmuting the rot, eating away the parts of us that no longer work.

I belong to the ones who are afraid of death and afraid of life, and manage to make that sacred. And I be-long, I mean, I long to be of the fearless, those that fear nothing and no one, who fear the boundaries which keep us from recognizing we are one. But I belong to the afraid who do it anyway.

Sometimes anger and bewilderment is our starting place.

This is what my work is about—creating a circle of seekers and misfits. I have some amazing classes coming up. I want to share them with you. In my circles, my center is about helping you process all this, and belong somewhere, even if it is among those that belong nowhere. There is space for doubt and for discomfort. Join me.

mothering

The breath catches in my chest. The cold hits me, energizes me. I am drawn outside. The winter air calls. I want to hike in the snow--to walk and walk and walk until I am way up in the mountains. The sound of my breath echoes in my ears, the cloud of it leading me deeper into the wood, higher into the ether. The sun flickers through the pine trees. It doesn't matter to me that it is cold. I dress warm, and stop when I grow tired, watch for signs of life. But that is not what happens when I step outside, daydreaming about walking for hours, rather a little one pushes through my legs and pops out the door ahead of me with no pants on, giggling wildly. I have children with me always. I wake up with a kid draped on me, his little feet finding a place to knead, a head finds its perch on a shoulder. When I close the door to wee in private, the door flies open, like the black hatted villain in a Western just slung open the Saloon door and is saddling up to the bar. Then it is the insistent, persistent calls for Mama, MAMMMMMMMMMMMA. Where you at? as my two year old says.

I was born maternal, nurturing my twin in the womb. Stuffed animals and baby dolls and then naming each fly that landed on my arm, and feeding it bits of water and fruit. Mothering is encoded in my dna, and writ on my body now is silvery stretch marks across my belly. I had three children in three years, then my fourth five years later. And I left my career to be there for my children. My body now is all mother--soft and low hanging breasts and lines around my smiles and eyes that show the love and joy my babies bring me.

For me, for many of us, mothering grants a daily spiritual experience. We bring this absolutely vulnerable being into this world, and then nurture it, watch it grow stronger. We love without conditions. We accept without limits. We give selflessly to them without a scorecard. Whether you mother human bubbies, or little fur babies, or your writing, or your artwork, or your home, or your own healing, the heart chakra cannot help but burst forth. 

And then imagine if we love ourselves this way. 

We would start a revolution. A wild love warrior revolution where we say to those negative voices, to the ones saying we aren't enough, or have enough, or give enough, "You are wrong, and I love you anyway too." Spiritual women and men often get teased about nurturing their inner child, as though it is a joke. And yeah, maybe it makes us sound a little woo-woo and emotional, but hell, I am a little woo-woo and emotional. I'm okay with that. The mothering of the Self is such a vital important part of us being able to mother anyone else.

As I continue on my work with Earth Medicine School in the second level, Pixie takes us deeper into who we are and what we do. And it has been an absolutely fascinating discovery into who I am. When I listed who I am, my first word was Mother.

I am a mother.

This is what I do all day. If you follow me on Instagram, I may post some artsy pictures of communing and meditating and doing cool artsy, bohemian stuff, but most days I am in the nitty gritty with a rambunctuous, curious, awesome, goofy two year old and two big kids with bigger emotional needs. I try to also post pictures of my kids crying too, because that is my life. It is all of it. The other day, for example, the baby had a bit of diarrhea, and screamed in ten minute increments on and off since he woke up. Because his bum hurts and he keeps pooping and he doesn't know what to do. And my job is to just hold him and rock him and change that smelly diaper and smooch his head and make sure he's hydrated and keep a stream of beauty coming so he can make it through an awful day.

When I go to work, I deal with people from all walks of life dealing with all sorts of issues, but maybe they too are in the same place as my son. They feel uncomfortable and don't know what to do.

I recenter my practice in what I know. When my children are feeling out of control, it is time to center. Breathe. Then I begin asking the questions:

Are you thirsty?  Drink water.
Are you hungry? Eat an apple.
Are you tired? Nap.
Are yousad? Cry.
Are you lonely? Call someone.

This is the same with my clients. Let's get simple. Let's breathe. Let's assess. Let's figure out your goals. What is uncomfortable for you right now? Is it your spirit? Is it your body? Is it your mind? Is it your heart? How are you uncomfortable? Are things too tight? Are they too loose? Is what you thought you had gone? Is it too heavy to carry? Is there a hole that needs to get filled? This sounds very basic, but it is the checklist I make in my head when I talk to a client. 

Nurturing comes by from setting boundaries some days. Other days nurturing is a warm blanket and tea with a good book. Other times it is saying yes to help. We don't mother each project the same nor do we treat each issue the same in session. With clients, I am a source of acceptance and non-judgment. How could I judge? I have worked on all kinds of people. People that look scary, people that look beautiful, soccer moms, alcoholics, witches, Christians, Buddhists and everything in between. I've worked on ex-cons and drug addicted moms and people with cancer and people who have survived the unthinkable. And whenever I close my eyes, their guides come. ALL of their gorgeous angels and spirit guides, animal guides and ascended masters come in droves expressing absolute, perfect love. They don't smell the cigarette smoke or judge that this person cusses when ordering take-out. I can feel that perfect love for each person. There is never judgment there. Only a suggestion, a reminder of our ability to release what is no longer serving, sometimes a redirection, but the thing that blows me away every time I work on a client is the amount of immense love, overwhelming love, Spirit has for us. It is profound. It is unconditional. Spirit loves us like we love our babies, with absolute awe and wonder, with reverence and endless compassion. And Spirit says what I so often tell my clients, "I wish you could see yourself the way Spirit sees you." As light. As love. As a heart. As a baby. As a wise sage. Who am I to judge when Spirit does not? It is overwhelming powerful and humbling.

But mothering isn't just about love, it is about constructing frameworks and boundaries, teaching ethics and how to behave in lovingly firm ways. I am not necessarily warm always. I am pretty masculine at times, blunt and to the point to avoid confusion about my expectations, but I like to laugh. And practice loving my clients as I love my children with awe and reverence and patience.

How are you showing up in your life? Who are you and how does that filter through your work? What or who are you mothering these days and how does it differ from the way you mother yourself?

thanksgiving

Two years ago, the snow gently fell all day, as I cuddled next to the fire with my newest little one, Zachary Michael. Though I was scheduled for induction, our little crystal baby decided to arrive early. My water broke and I labored for over thirty hours until he finally made his appearance. In distress, fluid in his lungs, they admitted my son into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a few days until his breathing calmed, his x-rays showing his lung strong and clear again. My arms ached for him. I held myself for fear of falling apart, sending him Reiki from chair outside of his little plastic crib. To say I was in constant prayer was not an understatement. I called all the angels, the saints, the goddesses. I sat still in meditation and asked for Reiki and prayers on Facebook. I placed my hands on this crown and feet--soul and earth stars--helping incarnate. That is what it felt like--he hadn't quite figured out how this body thing worked yet. My friend Jack said, "It is hard for a spiritual being to become human. May the rest of his adjustment be easier than mine." And we laughed. 

As I sat in the NICU, watching my son struggle to breathe, I just kept thinking, "Scream, baby." They told me that the fluid in his lungs may have been caused from his easy birth--three strong pushes. That is what I prayed for after all and focused on--for my baby to just come quickly. He didn't scream right away, expelling that fluid in his lungs. He was content, lying on my bare breast after an easy delivery. But all that struggle down the birth canal serves its beautiful purpose of pushing out all the fluid in the lungs and pissing those little babies off enough to scream out the rest of the fluid that may cause pneumonia or infection in the lungs down the line.

I thought about that so much as I sat in the huge room of the NICU with all those very little sick babies. We have to scream and struggle against our own contentness sometimes. One of my Religion professors, my mentor really, used to say that babies cry and scream because they want justice. We come into the world knowing we deserve comfort, love, food, heat, people to care for us. No baby feels unworthy. No baby hates themselves. Babies scream because they won't settle for being ignored and unloved. And they stop screaming when people prove them wrong. 

The world talks about gratitude so much at this time of the year. But in this community, it is one of those spiritual principles we talk about all year. It is the elevator of vibration, carrying it up and open. Gratitude elevates our energy, opens us to healing. It is the gateway to forgiveness, love, and spiritual awareness. But I find that blanket statements of gratitude and platitude frustratingly miss the point. I think most of us recognize that we can say, "I am grateful for everything" and be done with it. But listing each of those things, appreciating the gift of them, the work we put into achieving and keeping them in our lives, recognizing their impermanence, focusing on those quiet moments of absolute thankfulness, are more the point. 

Gratitude isn't simple. We often have grief, sadness, suffering, illness, death, depression and other circumstances that create a stuckness in our own story. This stuckness can be an essential part of healing. It is the point before the scream. It inspires us to say, "I am worthy of NOT suffering." Think of the baby and mama pushing to get him out for longer than three pushes. They are suffering, pissed off. They are stuck in this tight space, ready for the world. If you have birthed a child, you know, this is the time when you are distinctly NOT thinking about how awesome it is to have a gigantic baby head stuck in your vaginal canal. You are thinking, "GET OUT." And the baby isn't contemplating how much fluid will be pushed out of his lungs. They are in stuckness, and feeling overwhelmed and can't really see the light at the end of the proverbial and literal tunnel. I think we do a huge disservice to tell people to be thankful when they are in that place of suffering. I believe with all my heart that all our suffering is there for a purpose, and yet it is not so helpful to be reminded of that during the suffering.

Struggling with gratitude IS the practice of gratitude. All we have to do is trust that our feelings when they arise are right and important and valuable to the next phase of our healing, even if our contemporaries shame us when we feel negative or sad or self-pitying. So the suffering--the feeling less than, unworthy, stuck--let this be the gateway to the scream that gets it all out. Let it be the catalyst for feeling worthy of not suffering. Can you find gratitude in your own screaming? In your own declaration of your worthiness? Can your suffering be a prayer of gratitude? 

When I am suffering, grief stricken or sick, I keep it simple. I look out the window, and find myself grateful for the beauty of a leaf twirling to the ground, for the air, and for my own miserable suffering, which reminds me that I am human and not a Buddha. For me, gratitude is an important spiritual practice, but our holiday of Thanksgiving transcends this individual daily practice. We gather our tribe and not gift each other things, not celebrate an achievement, or a person, or a God, but to collectively appreciate what we share as a family, or group of friends. We take inventory of those values we hold dear, and really appreciate what we have. As a society, we take this time to quiet and focus on home.

That is remarkable. It is wonderful to have this yearly community ritual of gratitude rather than just our personal daily practice of gratitude. And yet, I get why the holidays are challenging for so many who face dysfunctional families, estrangement, divorce, or grief. A few years ago, I took the opportunity of Thanksgiving to talk about grief during the holidays. I republished it yesterday, because I know so many of us revisit grief and suffering during this time. It resonated with so many at the time, and if you face difficulties during the holidays, it might be a helpful read. 

But I wonder if we can't reinvent this space of gratitude for those of us who are suffering this year. Rather than shaming those who struggle with gratitude, allow them to scream, abide their stuckness, marvel at their own righteous indignation of their suffering. It is our birthright after all to scream. It lets out the fluid stuck in our lungs. Helps us to take in fresh clear air, filling our heart chakra with the love for ourselves that we deserve.

My son's second birthday was on the 22nd. He turned two and is a bouncy, funny, silly boy who bring joy. I have so much to be grateful for, but I found myself grateful for all the screaming I have done in my life. 

So, on this Thanksgiving night, here is my blessing. It is the same blessing I gave two years ago after bringing my baby home. 

Scream, babies, and I will be dancing to your beautiful siren song of healing.

healing from friendship loss

In my newsletter this week, I began writing about vulnerability and shame. It morphed into a piece about friendship losses. Losing friendships has been such a profoundly difficult part of my life--one where I feel most vulnerable perhaps. Friends truly are the soul family we create. I have valued each person I call a friend throughout my life as a teacher, a collaborator, a spiritual partner, and a gift. Upon reflection, some friendships were there to show me parts of myself I would have rathered stayed cocooned in the back closet of my soul, yet those instances have been the greatest teacher, catapulting my spiritual growth. You can read the newsletter piece here. I wanted to share thoughts and tips on how to deal with friendship loss on an energetic level and healing oneself. I am not going to be giving any words on how to heal the broken friendship, but rather how to heal the broken heart.

Here is what I believe is important to care for yourself and nurture your spiritual growth through a friendship loss.

1. Don't call every person you mutually know to tell them about your friendship fall out. Allow yourself one telling of the story to another person--your sister, best friend, mother, therapist, or sponsor. Gossip lowers our vibration. When you retell the story, you stoke your anger. You feed that particularly wolf. If we don't play back the storyline of injustice that we are inventing in our head, and just sit, we can begin to feel the feeling that we've been pushing off and ignoring. So, just allow yourself to feel the hurt, rather than tell the story. See how the first is heart-centered and the second is not. The latter is getting yourself out of your hurt, and moving into other fiery places like your sacral and root where justice can be perverted into revenge. 

2. Take responsibility for your emotions. Your friend did not make you angry. You felt angry as a result of your friend speaking her truth. Very different. If she is purposely trying to hurt you, then take responsibility for not putting up your guard. It is not that your friend is not culpable at all, it is simply that we must be able to, as the Serenity Prayer says, "...accept the things we cannot change...change the things we can...." We need to understand what is our emotion, and what is an issue in the friendship. I had a friend who told me she needed space. First thing I did was shoot off an email to her telling her I was there for her. She just told me what she needed, and I did exactly what she asked me not to do. In my desire to fix things immediately, I overstepped the boundary she created. So also take responsibility for your role in the friendship loss. It is important, without beating yourself up, to own your role in the friendship. That takes pure heart-centeredness and self-compassion to own your role without taking all the responsibility. It takes practice to not judge yourself, so allow yourself to be quite terrible at this in the beginning. Just know you'll get better the more you do it, and the more heart-centered you are.

This grid is centered with Rose Quartz tower with Rose Quartz coming out from the center, then Dravite (or champagne Tourmaline, a wonderful stone for self-compassion), on the outer ring, Rose Quartz, Malachite, and Rhodochrosite.

This grid is centered with Rose Quartz tower with Rose Quartz coming out from the center, then Dravite (or champagne Tourmaline, a wonderful stone for self-compassion), on the outer ring, Rose Quartz, Malachite, and Rhodochrosite.

3. Remember you are hurt, injured, and grieving, so treat yourself as such. Self-care is A Number One. Baths. Meditation. Lots of rest. Detox from Social Media. Eat clean, whole foods. Don't drink alcohol or use drugs. Feel the hurt. Cry. Practice Reiki or energy healing on your heart chakra. Or get energy work done. Surround yourself with stones for self-love--rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rose quartz, green aventurine, jade, watermelon tourmaline (or rubelite or pink tourmaline), and any other heart chakra stone you have close to you. I often do a grid for self-love during these times. I use aromatherapy for the heart and healing--rose, bergamont, sandalwood, orange, lemon, neroli, ylang ylang. 

4. Write a letter from your Shadow Self. When you are fired up, a great tool is to allow your Shadow self to write a letter. See, your Shadow (a term coined by Carl Jung) is your shame, the part of yourself you might not accept. Maybe you want to believe you have evolved so fully from being petty, angry or unforgiving that giving your Shadow any voice would give her power. If we do not accept these normal human parts of ourselves, our Shadow comes out in all kinds of dark ways. Give her voice. Listen to her. What you are listening for is where your hurt stems from, what places in your childhood this situation is activating, what other situations in your life (past or present) does this pain remind you of, and what you can release. I reassure my Shadow Angie that she is not alone, or that she is not diseased or a damaged person. This is a key to healing. It is not the suffering that is the problem, or the failure of a friendship, it is the feeling of shame, isolation, and loneliness that leads us to numbing behavior, seeking revenge, or self-punishment and depression. "I am the only one who feels this way," our terrible suffering tells us. No one is ever the only person to feel that way. Even if it is the ugliest, most horrible thought, others have had it. 

I allow my Shadow Self to have a say. I let her write a letter to God. You can address it to your guides, the universe, or your Higher Self if you struggle with God. Just sit down. Alone. No one else in the entire world will read this. It is secret medicine, and it is the point of the thing. Now, with your vulnerable, most open self, write about every feeling you have had regarding the loss of this friendship (this works with nearly all issues that come from shame.) All the ones you have called ugly, petty, shameful. Write it all. Don't hold back.

Dear God, 
When so and so did that, I was so mad, I wanted to punch them in their stupid nose. How could they be so cruel to me? Don't they know who I am? Why don't they like me? Why do I keep suffering like this? I will never love another person again. If I could talk to so and so, I would tell her that She doesn't know what she is missing. I'm a great friend. When she said I was self-absorbed, I was so angry, because my grief is a big deal, and I need to be self-absorbed right now.
Love,
Angie

Spirit can handle all these thoughts and does not judge. Give them release. When you are writing, you may cry and get angry and say WHY ME?!? a thousand times. That is okay. Give those shadow thoughts a voice. Let them see the light of day. What is giving them power is their darkness. And in the sunlight, you will be able to see that you are just a hurt person. Not a bad person. Here is where you tell the story for the last time. And then you fold up the letter, and put it in a box that can be a kind of God Box, or a Spirit Box. Some people use a shoe box, or a wooden cigar box. Once you put that letter in the box, you have now turned this entire situation over to God, or to your guides. You are allowing them to take it from here. So stop saying the same thing in your head that you just wrote down. Once you put it down, you don't have to pick it up again. 

5. Invite your Higher Self into the Conversation. I journal after a God Letter, and ask the question, "Spirit (or Higher Self), what do I need to learn from this situation?" This is where I invite my Higher Self into this conversation. Compared to your Shadow Self, your Higher Self is the part of you that knows your Soul Purpose, your life lessons, and taps into the Divine Source. You can get there through meditation and receptivity. Breathe deeply. Create a Sacred Space. Ask for guidance. 

I first write the things I have recognized from my Shadow letter. We hopefully learn the things we need to release (and accept). In my fake letter above, I ranged into self-pity. I also thought I should close my heart chakra. I had a lot of unexpressed emotions for my friend, which is a throat chakra issue. I also had that deep-seated feeling of being rejected. As an adult woman, I can work with that little Angie and comfort her from the rejection she felt as a child. These are things I then write on slips of paper--Self-Pity, Closed Heart, Shut Off From Speaking My Truth, Rejection. I write those out, then I write them on separate pieces of paper as transformational statements:

I transform self-pity into self-compassion. 
I open my heart and trust that my Guides will provide me with friendships that are meaningful and important. 
I speak my truth with compassion, calm, and love. 
I am accepted wholly and fully, just as I am, by Spirit.

One thing to remember, when I asked the question, "What do I have to learn from this situation?" in a Spiritual Counseling session with Rita Strough, she told me, "You are ascending and need to attract like-minded spiritual beings. These friendships fall away so others can come in. You did nothing wrong. They did nothing wrong. You are just making room for new people." That truth I see over and over again in my own readings with people--friendships fall away, so people with similar vibrations can come in. There isn't anything wrong with person A or person B. When we raise our vibration, we attract people with similar vibrations, and release the ones who don't resonate with us. Why would that make us angry? Even when someone hides their fear in attacks against us, we need to realize they are simple not resonating with us. Isn't that a much different perspective than "I am a bad person" or "I'm not likeable"?

6. Release what is not serving your Highest Good. I find ritual very cathartic, and so on release days--Equinoxes and Solstices, as well as Full Moon rituals, when I am absolutely ready to be done of this friendship drama, I might burn the God letter with the slips of paper containing that which I want to release from this situation. If you are working with a medicine bundle, or intention setting, remember that Spirit often gives us these situation specifically SO we release the things not serving us. I keep my transformational statement to carry in my medicine bundle or on my sacred space/altar. I say them every day for a moon cycle. When you are releasing something using the moon cycles, I release during the Full Moon or waning moon period. I set intentions during the New Moon period, and ask for growth in the waxing moon period. And also, I don't just do this. I wait until I am ready to release. Give yourself time to process your loss and understand what it is you are releasing and why.

7. Forgive easily and often. My first and final act (so this should be 1 and 7) is to pray for my friend. I don't know how to forgive in any other way than to begin praying for the other person. It requires nothing but willingness. I don't even have to release any anger or guilt or hurt. I actually get on my knees for this one, because it signals to Spirit that you are ready to embrace the humility needed to heal. Ask for your friend to have everything you want for yourself--peace, friendship, health, happiness, joy and understanding. Ask for your friend to know Spirit. When and if you have more karmic work to do with your friend, ask to bring them back into your life in a way that is peaceful for each of you. Express gratitude for the lessons (no matter how hard) they brought to you, and for showing you the places where you need work releasing attachment and ego. This is the way I have learned to forgive someone--to see them as a Divine Being of Light, as a hurt person, as someone who needs healing in the same way I need healing. If you have a healing or love grid, add their name to it. And add your own. I pray for them, whether I am still angry or not. I believe prayer (to the universe, or God, or your angels) activates your readiness to forgive. Does it mean the anger or hurt immediately dissipates? No. It means, you are showing Spirit you are ready to have this anger removed.

8. Ready yourself for new friends. I do this by working on my heart chakra. Heart opening crystal grids and layouts are wonderful. Yoga can be a great way, and just practicing self-care. Lots of self-care.

What do you think about the end of friendships and healing? What do you do when a friendship ends? Share it in the comment section of this blog.