Grief + Gratitude: The Four Invitations
Our CEO Colleen went live with grief councilor and Fall Up founder Jasmin Jenkins last month to talk through some of life’s most challenging emotions. Even though there’s a lot of pain and darkness surrounded with grief, there’s a lot we can learn and grow from, too, Jenkins points out.
Grief and gratitude go hand in hand. Things surface so they can be healed. Grief teaches us how to be present and soften ourselves to the world, despite the stigma that grief only triggers sharp pain and suffering. Grief is an opportunity to grow and transform, as we expand our emotional depth and capacity.
Jenkins uses a method called “the four invitations” to help her pupils to find a sacred, safe journey during their grieving process.
THE FOUR INVITATIONS
So much change can happen with our grief at any given moment. Settle into the sacredness of being still. Finding presence during moments of grief will allow you to navigate through each moment fully and feel the beauty that comes with each second that passes.
Our breath is a technology that allows us to move through any emotion that comes our way. By connecting with our breath and our heart, we move into healing. The rhythmic beats of our bodies bring us back to the present moment and teach us to stay grounded through the painful emotions that surface from time to time.
So much of what we’re avoiding is feeling. We often think,“ I don’t want to go there,” so we choose to bury our emotions instead. Meanwhile, those painful feelings are the medicine that allows us to grow and expand. Feelings are information about the state of our heart, where we can continue to move and integrate with our grief. It’s not about moving on from, it’s about embracing what’s present and bringing the teachings of our grief journey into the here and now.
We must learn to embrace that our experiences with grief are different than anyone else’s, and that there’s something powerful about carving your own path of coping and growing. Healing can be a beautiful adventure when we bring love into our grief-healing journey.
Jenkins explains that grief is as unique as a fingerprint, and everyone will struggle with it in different ways. As we navigate life, the ebb and flow of grief will follow us with an unpredictable rhythm. However, there are healthy coping and healing mechanisms that will allow us to be more present and feel joy on our healing journey.
Having suffered through multiple traumatic deaths in her life, Jenkins has turned to a variety of modalities on her healing journey, one being meditation. She has worked hard and trained herself to tune out the distractions of life during her meditation practice and has found it to be incredibly expansive and powerful. “Life is a meditation,” she explains, “and if that’s true, grief can be a meditation into presence, too.”