‘Using Art & Community to Heal From Grief’ – by Nadine Lö

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Heart: corazón, süda, Herz, zemër,

As humans, we have been singing the heart’s praises as long as we can remember. The sheer power of the heart as it contracts, quite literally moving us through this life. Also, what our hearts can endure and what it carries for us.

Each one of our hearts holds our courage, truth, willpower, love and pain.

There are things that can happen to us in this life that can leave us with “broken hearts”. Disease might fall upon us, pathology, deception, grief, loss, unexpected or difficult changes. Collisions happen between what you thought was going to happen in life versus what actually happens.

That is what happened to me when I lost someone that I never thought I would live without.

It felt like a tsunami had washed over my entire existence and when it pulled back it left everything unearthed, excavated, exposed and broken.

Like a choking vine, I felt like grief had wound itself tightly around my basic human desires: comfort, purpose, curiosity, courage, and playfulness.

There’s no field guide for finding happiness when your reality is shaken, but I knew that I wanted to try and slowly expand my world outside my sadness in order to honour her, and my current human existence. The world I was living in was not going to slow its pace down for me. Breaking out of my consistently jam-packed schedule was not going to be easy; but necessary. I chose myself.

Ten days later I was on a plane to Macaw Lodge in Costa Rica to join Momentom Collective at their Green Residency. I wasn’t sure what I was in for, but the opportunity presented itself and I decided to follow.

I showed up at Momentom and was essentially presented with a 4 week charcuterie board schedule of yoga, dance, breathwork, meditation, permaculture, aerial arts, open mic, sacred geometry, herbology, mycology and community connection with a sentiment saying “The timing is your choice”.

Around me, a thick jungle was bursting with tropical flowers, dripping in green, purple and pink foliage. The forest was accompanied with ponds dazzled in white lilies and soft pink lotus flowers. Just down the path, a waterfall pouring pristine drinking water over smooth stones in the sun. As night fell, the frogs would serenade the bamboo lodge as fireflies painted glowing patterns in the dark.

Intentions are the stars you use to navigate your time and actions when the forest is thick. My intentions here: to nurture, to sift, settle and tend to all the shades of myself with ultimate gentleness and compassion.

What carved its own path from these intentions was how I gave myself permission again to let my energy speak through movement and dance. Through participation and trust in exploring aerial arts again, my body strengthened rapidly. I dug my hands into thick red clay and reminded myself again and again the magic and mystery of Nature. I got to wake up with the sun and sit on a pillow daily with a dog on my lap and explore my mind and its patterns.

I got to explore my relationship with fear. Losing someone so unexpectedly instilled an immense amount of fear in my life. Being able to explore this idea in depth with so many incredible humans that were seemingly also challenging the fear in their own lives, was invaluable.

A few days later I was dangling over a 100ft waterfall on a highline, despite having always believed I was afraid of heights – and I loved it. I had missed my courage for so long, and this was a realization that when you push past your fear, that is where you find your courage.

Being surrounded by so much opportunity for art was fodder for heart medicine. No prerequisite, no expectation, just go for it and see what comes out.

All of this reminds me that art is not a transaction.

Art is a language that is so beautifully omnipresent.

Art is nurture.

Art is our story that surpasses the boundary of our own skin.

Art is messy,

Art is the bridge for your energy to move, shape, shift, transform.

Art is the language of the heart.

Momentom has built a container to remind you of the power you already have, to celebrate life, to reclaim the space you deserve to take, to give gratitude for the capabilities of your body, to own your voice, to befriend your mind, to hold reverence for your powerful heart and all that it carries.

 

If it’s speaking to you, listen. You are worthy of it.

 

-Nadine

 @mushlovve

~

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