The Both/And Life

I’m waking this morning holding so much.

My January retreat in Mexico is sold out! (or almost)
That was huge news for me.
It was the blog I’d scheduled for this morning.

But then on Thanksgiving day my dear friend Ditte took her last breath.

How can I hold both?
How can I feel it all?

I’ve been with Ditte much of the past week,
in the hospital and then at home.
Holding space. Waiting.
And then on the day America reserves for giving thanks,
Sharing the honor of holding hands with her family
in reverent thanks, to clean and anoint her body.

This morning I’m living with the sweetness of our long friendship.
Our sisterhood over the successes and disappointments of shared projects.
Our children’s struggles and their happy successes.
So much deep feeling and love.

And in this luminous time beyond time
— almost incongruently —
I have this happy news to share.
Last year filling my retreat was a struggle… yet Ditte was able to be there!
But now it’s sold out, (or was until earlier this week when one woman needed to cancel. Somehow I don’t feel the least worried.)

Here’s what I’m getting…
Life gives us this opportunity to feel it all – all at the same time!
We get to have the highs and the lows.
I’m calling this a blessed both/and life.

I don’t want to numb out all that I’m feeling right now.
I know that numbing part of it will diminish the rest.
I want to feel it all.
Every moment.

Today I’ll be saying my last goodbyes to Ditte.
There will be more tears.
And at the same moment her home will be filled with such love!
All of us celebrating her life…
and the transforming power of love to help us feel all that connects us.

Ditte will help me remember
why I believe we must go deep in our connection to our bodies AND our deep heart.
Because all of it is here for us to taste.
There’s no way to separate body and heart…
or much of anything else that’s here to help us be fully human.

It’s connection that we all long for.
Connection with the joys and sadness of living in a body on this beautiful earth.
It’s our connections that make life this precious.

This morning I will let the rain touch me.
I will let the sweetness of my morning chai comfort me.
I will let the arms of friends encircle me.
And I will be so grateful to be feeling it all.

Thank you for being there with me, Dear Ones!

PS — If that spot at my retreat in January is calling you (or one of the two more that Haramara just offered me), check out the details or reach out to me. I’d be so happy to have you come along!