Let Your Grief Be Your Guide

Nancy KalinaFolks, I would like to state here for the record that my love is deep and my love is wide. I have great faith in each and every one of us. I know that we will get through this piece by piece together.

As I sit down to write this e-newsletter to connect with all of you, I’m still not fully strong. I am still grieving from the 2016 election in addition to the aftermath that has ensued. However, I feel that I am beginning to experience more moments of strength and hope than I was on November 8. Consequently, this leaves me feeling more grounded and centered. It has occurred to me that my process is just that—a process. Each and every one of you will benefit from discovering and implementing your own process. I will share mine not necessarily for you to copy but to simply act as a guide as to how to wade through these unknown and uncertain times.

Primarily, I truly believe that it is crucial to allow ourselves to grieve. Do this in whatever way works for you. Cry, get coached, connect with friends, or attend a healing circle. From what I can tell, there are plenty of opportunities for healing nationwide. So, look around and ask around. Places of healing are everywhere. I have learned from Francis Weller a psychotherapist, writer, and soul activist to be an advocate of grief. Additionally, Francis Weller has stated that we are wired and therefore meant to grieve in community. It is my perspective that this is always our first step to moving forward. If we avoid this step, this ever-so gut-wrenching step, then we will find ourselves scrolling through Facebook, allowing our lizard brains to spin tails of Armageddon and feeling helpless, depressed, and detached from the present moment and ultimately ineffective in moving forward. Personally, to move forward I want to be grounded. I want to be intentional. I want to act and not react. Therefore, making time in our busy lives for our grief is essential to living our most authentic lives.

As Oscar Wilde states, “Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.” I truly believe Oscar was dead on with this quote. When I look back over my life and life in general, many incredible aspects of life can be traced back to tragedy, horrific events, and situations that caused pause, reflection, and grief. Think about Mount Saint Helens. It’s an incredible place to visit. However, I am sure that in 1980, at the time of its eruption, it was a terrifying place to be. Yet, years later, the new growth of trees, fauna and the rec-creation of Spirit Lake that has occurred is amazing. I believe to date that Mount Saint Helens has the healthiest elk in the country due to the ecology rebound! To learn more about Mt. St. Helen’s ecological death and rebirth click here.

On a more personal level, the tragic killing of my father led me to leave my career, reflect on what was truly important, and become a life coach. All my significant relationships that ended in break-ups with tremendous grief along the way have all led me to create a relationship that I believe to be rock solid and full of love and is one that others often admire.

Elizabeth Gilbert asks the question, “What do I want to be in this situation?” It’s a good question. My simple answer is that I want to be real. I want to be authentic. I want to cry with no shame. I want to lean into my grief and feel its intensity because I know that it is not here to hurt me. My grief is here to lead me forward. It is my responsibility to honor my feelings and allow them to occur. I cannot think about fighting back right now. I can’t think of protesting at the moment. Though, if that is what is true for you, I encourage you to follow your heart as always. What’s true for me at this time is simply to be in my grief, connected in community, and of service to others.

So, for many of us, America has erupted! I truly believe that there is something beautiful and wonderful waiting to be created. However, whatever that is cannot be forced. It is my responsibility to do what is true for me. So, I sit still, meditate daily, and take each moment one breath at a time. I honor what is true, and when inspiration calls me to do something different, I will be here to honor that as well.

  • Are you grieving?
  • Are you wanting support?

I am here and would be honored to go through the sludge and muck of all of your feelings with you.

In Martha Beck’s words:
“Remember that troubled times are our allies in awakening. They compel us to access the deep, untroubled beings that we really are. The hero engages with destiny only on the road of trials. Each of us is the central character of our own story, and right now, it’s true, the road ahead looks long. Let’s use it as a chance to grow wiser and stronger, to become the heroes we’re all meant to become.”


Sharing Corner

I will be offering free coaching through the end of January to people who are hurting and grieving. To take advantage of this opportunity, all you have to do is email me and use the coupon code “Stronger Together” in the subject line.

I have found music to be incredibly healing. I am offering two songs by Carrie Newcomer for you all to take refuge in.



The Golden Rule states “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12). What’s beautiful about the Golden Rule is that it can be found within every religious, spiritual concept on the planet. We have a piece of art in our home that states the Golden Rule from various faiths around the globe. It is so simple and yet it is a universal truth. This is a sampling of some of the faiths that share the Golden Rule.

Be kind to each other!


Until next time,

Safe Space Life Coaching

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