The last month has been a whirlwind of major personal life changes. A significant income adjustment has arrived, and so sustainability is at the top of my consciousness. The most profound life experience though, came when I was honored to be witness, helper, and midwife to a beloved sister in-law's death process. That week's experiences had a profound, life changing affect on me.
Sustaining a thriving life and letting go to death: It cannot get more basic than this. There will be more changes to come, of course, but the significance of these two turning points will influence the rest of my days, and here's how:
More than ever, I am open to allowing Spirit to lead me, while still tending to my human.
Over many years, I've evolved within my own spirituality and faith. Since childhood, I understood God--or Spirit--to be a force for love, or even Love itself. Yet understandably, there were many challenges to this: Life in all it's complexity is constantly challenging the notion that I live in a state of unconditional love. Disasters, illnesses, deaths, battles, and on and on brought me to tears, and had me shaking my fist in Spirit's general direction (usually "up") while moaning: "So, where the heck are you now, huh?" And "Why did this (disaster, death illness, et.al.) happen to me?"
Answers to the second question were not usually forthcoming. There is mystery to why certain people die way too young or why disasters befall people. So I had to make my peace with the fact that stuff happens in life.
As to the first question: "Where are/were you, Spirit?" the answer is quiet but firm: "I am here, always." and "I am here to guide and support you and your journey." When I remember this, I am immediately calmed and comforted. My trust-level raises up a tick or two, and I proceed with more confidence.
Which brings me to creating an abundant, thriving life: Intention is important for focusing the flow of my thoughts and actions. Yet into every well intended life there comes the unexpected---or unwelcomed. Example: On the very week that a major source of income disappeared, I had an abundance of work scheduled, including out of town work. I viewed this as a "sign" that all will be well, because it was to bring in a nice income flow. And then, as per a promise I made to my brother in law, I was called to be there for him and my dying sister in law. Of course, family comes first, and I cancelled all the appointments for that week.
Now, the human Elke attended best I could to the demands of being there for my family. Though it was a profoundly sad time, it was also a profound honor and privilege. However, the week left me exhausted, and I had to take more time off for grieving--with more to come of course--and resting. In other words: I attended to my own human.
As well, I followed Spirit's guidance as I affirmed: "I am supported in my life in every way." To be honest, my human was scared when I had to cancel so much business in order to attend to the priorities at hand. So I was gentle with myself, and allowed in the reassuring voice of Spirit: "All is well. You are supported. You are guided. Allow the gifts of Spirit to flow into your life." And indeed they are.
I know so many out there who are reeling from experiences that directly challenge your faith and trust in Spirit. To you, I offer this:
When challenges come, allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. If you need to give yourself a pity party, go for it. If you need to cry or yell, do it. If you can and need to hide for a time, do so. Whatever you need to do to honor your human's feelings, do that. Yet...
At some point, and often immediately after the disaster/death/bad experience, you will have to deal with the aftermath.
That is the time to give it to Spirit. Spirit knows full well how much your heart is hurting or your life is in ruins or has changed radically. Spirit knows you, dear human. And Spirit also knows that you are a soul, gifted in great measure with a life on planet earth. I suggest you get as centered as possible, tune in, and ask Spirit to show you the way, step by very next step.
As for me, I am stepping into new ways of offering my sacred work to the world: Putting together support groups, as well looking into office hours in the greater Seattle and East-side Lake Washington areas, working on a new book, and more. I trust Spirit to guide me. And that's the best my sweet ol' human can do, under any circumstances.