On Grief

My dear friend, do not turn away from your sorrow.

Invite the tidal wave of tears to wash through your body unbidden. Allow the storm of sobs to rage through your being unconstrained. Feel it. Welcome it. Let it move you.

For when you surrender to the river of grief, you open yourself to flow towards the ocean of great love and limitless possibility //

You and I are alive in radical times. Separation, fear, anxiety, disconnection, and stress are the normalized energies of our society. With ecological reports pouring in with devastating daily news, deep divides in our political system, and a general sense of a greater insanity pervading daily life, it’s no surprise that you’re feeling alone and deeply concerned and helpless.

Do not turn away from these feelings, even though you fear they may overwhelm you, that you may never be able to come through the other side. These feelings are your golden compass of deep connection. The key is flow. If you try to control with your will what they will show you or where you will end up, there is suffering. Yet when you surrender with willingness, the flow can carry you through to an entirely new way of being in the world.

Your process will be different than anyone else’s, and there’s no one that can tell you exactly what you’ll need for your journey. Offer yourself fully to whatever comes, for this is not the path of the half-hearted nor the uncommitted. Here are three reminders as you go ::


I. Turn to nature.

The place of creation, of truth, of deep and timeless wisdom. Turn to the elements for guidance. Grieve with the river. Rage with the earth. Reckon with the trees. Listen with the wind. Burn with the fires. Drink herbal teas made of real plant material. Soak your body in hot water. Plant your bare feet into the soil. Speak your truth to the landscape. Listen deep for what comes.


II. Ask for help.

To humble ourselves enough to admit ‘I don’t got it’, that we need help, is one of the greatest freedoms we can gift both ourselves and others. We are radically interdependent, yet so often hold ourselves in rigid stations of attempted independence. Turn to your loved ones, to the other than human ones, to God and creation itself and ask for help. For help can only come once we remember to ask.


III. Remember that every answer you seek is already within you.

Trust yourself. Trust your inner nature. Follow your intuitive knowing and pay attention to what comes. You walk a path that has never been walked before you and will never be walked again after you. You know exactly what you need, and exactly where you are at. Embrace yourself with compassion as you invite clear sight with courage. It is all within you, and there is nothing you need that you do not already have access to.

– – –

As Joanna Macy says,  “The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.” Allow yourself to break open to your experience, to your humanity. For it is only when we give ourselves the gift of deep feeling that we can truly root into belonging and rise authentic from the center of our being.


With deep love and steady prayer,


Follow Hannah Jermstad:
Devotee of the divine. Apprentice of nature. Co-conspirator of creation. Deep inquiry and meaningful connections have guided Hannah down a marvelous and ever unfolding road of enchantment, healing, wonder, and purpose. A blend of contemporary studies and non-traditional experiences have created a dynamic combination :: a bachelors degree in human development and ongoing graduate studies in eco-psychology combine with a number of rich explorations in folk herbalism, nature based soul connection, shamanic astrology, activism, grief work, rites of passage, ritual and ceremony, and storytelling to create a multi-faceted woman who's life is both her practice and her playground. She is utterly fascinated by what it means to be human, and knows without a doubt that each and every being is born imbued with a particular genius and soul purpose. Her work is aimed at the awakening of that in each individual, and she draws inspiration from the multi-hued tapestry of her life's studies in service to the golden thread running through the center of it all.
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