April 8, 2020

“Anything you love comes around in another form.” – Rumi

For weeks, now, I’ve been waking up around 4am. It happened again this morning, and since this is an unusual pattern for me, I started digging.

I remembered a long time ago someone mentioned that, in Chinese Medicine, sleep disturbances can be related to energy blocks or misalignments in parts of our body, and the hour you wake is the key to deciphering what’s going on.

According to a range of hastily googled answers, waking between 3-5am is related to the lungs, sadness, letting go, and grief.

When I first discovered this a few weeks back, I couldn’t figure it out. I grieved – hard – for my Dad after his unexpected death in August last year, and I have since made total peace with his transition.

The notion that I had grief going on in my body didn’t make any sense.

Separately, for the past few days I have had a runny nose, with no other symptoms of cold, flu, or heaven-forbid Coronavirus. (Don’t worry, I’m self isolating at home like the rest of the world.)

Looking up another resource by Louise L. Hay, about how all of our physical ailments are related to emotions, I discovered another piece of the puzzle. In her work, a runny nose is the body asking for help, or inner crying.

Finally, one of my Facebook friends commented on yesterday’s IQ about how my body needs to rest, and to navigate the trauma response I’m experiencing currently.

When I woke this morning, it all clicked.

The current set of circumstances – Covid-19, lockdowns, social distancing, isolation, etc – has me dealing with grief. I took a notepad out this morning at 4am and started writing about what I have lost. The list (and its length) shocked me:

  • Loss of planned income.
  • Loss of structure.
  • Loss of routine.
  • Loss of business success and stability.
  • Loss of direction.
  • Loss of an expected future.
  • Loss of freedoms to move around.

These losses are within myself and my family. They show up in my business. And I’m also feeling the losses energetically from around the world right now.

Is it any wonder my body is giving me signs that I’m dealing with grief?!

Once I made this discovery this morning, it was like a lightbulb went on in my mind. I understood why I have been waking in the middle of the night. I realised why I have had this persistent runny nose. And I got a deeper slice of why I’d been feeling off-kilter and out of sorts.


Now I have a name for it, a label. And with that comes the knowledge of what to do next. I am experienced at sailing these waters.

I must allow myself to feel all the feelings. Let them rise up, be felt, and pass through me as I release them. I need to acknowledge and allow the grief to ebb and flow as it needs, and give it grace. I will lean in to gratitude, to love, and to self-care as I sail.

By prioritising my self-care and being gentle with myself, I can take ownership of this grief experience, and move through it with peace.

So how does this relate to today’s IQ?

I am certain that all the “losses” I listed above, that I have been unconsciously grieving, are actually not losses. I haven’t lost anything, really. My life is about 90% the same as it was, except the kids are schooling at home.

Instead, I have GAINED so much!

So much freedom to spend time with my kids. Freedom to slow down, take stock, reflect. Freedom to have more relaxed morning routines without the mad rush to the school bus stop. Freedom to set a different schedule if that’s what I need. Freedom to write again. Freedom to pivot, evolve, iterate my work and my business. Freedom to put more time and energy into my loving relationship with my wife. Freedom to connect to more friends via video chat or phone than I have in quite a while.

It’s funny now that I look at this list of freedoms, I realise the only reason I have been feeling grief are all the PERCEIVED losses and disruptions. Not to say that the feelings of grief and loss aren’t real, but they are a lot easier to process and move through now, with this new perception.

Anything I love comes around in another form.

My losses have – even in the course of writing this – transformed into freedoms and gains and opportunities.

The things I love have become more present and more real as a direct consequence of the grief I feel.

Hope that helps. It’s been quite beautiful to go through this process for myself, so hopefully it is of value to you in some way.

With love,
Israel. xo

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