When life meets the inevitability of death, seldom do we remain intact. Even those who have been crushed by the death of a beloved pet can attest to this; to the sadness and pain of the loss of something pure and innocent; something so very deserving of life.

As I practice new ways of being and regain my footing following my daughter’s passing, I’m beginning to sense things I never noticed before.

This is not an uncommon thing, of course, to be thrust into a new dimension of experience when someone we love is no longer physically with us. In my case, my daughter’s premature departure from this world caused me extreme cognitive dissonance—the good kind—the kind that made me question everything I once held as solid and true.

No one who has lost a child can or will ever be the same. Permanently crushed, each one of us must find a way back to ourselves and to life itself.   

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”- Carl Jung

Once upon a time I used to subscribe to a certain mentality; of thought and reason, of domain knowledge, of dogma even. Like any good professional and academic, I placed greater worth and value on past evidence and “best-practices”. However, after my daughter died, something in my own wiring changed. I noticed that the gut-feelings that used to be a once-in-a-while sensation, had become the norm- my new normal. 

Perhaps exhaustion, stress, sleep-deprivation, and grief contributed to my inability to think clearly and this enabled another part of my body/system to step in and step up? My gut? The enteric nervous system? My soul? All of this? No one can answer this conclusively. Certainly no scientist, doctor, or academic can. I’m okay with that.  

This I know, however. This shift of mine enabled a new clarity and conviction that is somewhere beyond “me”. It is certainly not coming from my mind or intellect, but from another source altogether—non-local intelligence? the unified field? God? The Holy Spirit? All of this? None of this? I’ve lost my mind? Perhaps. 

Thankfully, the part of me that seemed to house life-long anxiety, SAD, and PTSD has dissolved. My mind is still very much there and I can recall the painful impacts of the jungle-gym of my monkey-mind, however, it is no longer the operating software of my life.

It seems as if my mind has finally taken its rightful place; one of noble service to the rest of my body and spirit. Where once my mind was the boss and “thought” it was unique, even special, it now knows better. It also knows that to give anyone a “piece of my mind”, even as well intended feedback, is a form of aggression. 

To be at peace with oneself and with others cannot simply be achieved from the context of the mind. We will go around and around, otherwise. However, when we shift our own attention to what we are feeling and sensing, we are, in fact, tuning into a much more refined and wise source of information.

As we grow wiser together and continue to amplify our own “human superpowers”, we naturally become more aware, creative, and discerning. We begin to see that there is a distinct difference between true power and attaining anything through forceful means. We see the co-dependent and toxic dynamics we have collectively co-created. We understand the conditions and mentality that enabled them, as well as the pain and suffering they cause.

As each one of us begins to shed the armor and density that comes from living separated, in competition, and in fear, we become more aware, gracious, respectful, and joyful individuals. Our hunger for competition and control fades and is replaced by something even more powerful and sustainable.  

Once upon a time, I used to think this was all “woo-woo stuff” that had no business in the ‘real world’ of work and education. Now I see the necessity (and urgency) of doing inner-work as an essential part of personal and professional development.  

Anytime you see and feel conflict, a tension of any type, this is something in you that is asking to be better understood and dare I say loved. 

The shift that occurred in me is not unique. Yes, while the triggering event was borne from my own pain and suffering, anyone or anything in your life can be a catalyst.

Where do you look? Anytime you see and feel conflict, a tension of any type, this is something in you that is asking to be better understood and dare I say loved. When we consciously stop the egoic pursuit to dominate and “fix the world” and turn our gaze inward, we see where the real work actually is—which is not work at all, but more of a walking meditation to the center of your own humanity. Once there, you will be still and humble enough to see life, not from the lens of past experience or any of the distinctions you’ve relied on for so long to segregate, separate, and tell you “who you are”, but from the wisdom of life itself. 

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