Grief is a core pillar of my work along with aliveness, power, connection, and creative possibility. It's a critical pillar, because without engaging grief, we cannot deeply access the other aspects of our capability (the elements we most deeply esteem at work).
Here's an amazing conversation I had the pleasure of sharing with my friend and colleague in the Chinese Medicine world, Gray Estrada, about grief as a critical component of personal and organizational aliveness.
It's a long, rich one—there's so much in here!—so here are some nuggets:
- Unprocessed grief occurs as stuckness and stagnation in a personal or organizational system. It literally blocks the flow of creativity.
- When we hold back emotion and grief it's like damming a river. What I’ve learned through medical qigong is that grief is the acquired nature of the lungs, but the place where we build the dam is actually over the heart. Unprocessed grief manifests as a shield over the heart. Since we can't selectively allow in certain feelings, we are actually preventing our hearts from feeling as a consequence of this dam.
- We can often avoid grief because we don't know how to engage it and have an unconscious belief that if we truly open up to grief, it will drown us. Start small by allowing yourself to feel and being curious about what's there.
- All of the language we use about grief is stigmatizing, but grief is a doorway to openness, invigoration, gratitude, and clarity.
- Nothing eradicates entitlement and invokes presence like grief. “I don’t have to be present—I'll have so many more moments like this!" Will you?
Here's the YouTube video::
And on iTunes: