A Sacred Space for Grief
(Safer Soil series)
There is a depth of empathy, a depth of love, a depth of faith, and a depth of hope that only grief within safer spaces can bring. When grief is allowed to be felt fully, there is a healthier integration in our bodies, nervous systems, and brains. We want to cultivate safer soil to be able to feel our feelings with no shame attached. Simply practicing being still and paying attention is so helpful to expanding our capacity to be with our feelings, signalling safety in our nervous systems, and creating more choice about how we respond instead of just reacting. There is so much grace in this.
Here are three simple ways to practice paying attention. The next time you’re feeling nervous or sad or angry, see if you can pause to feel grounded, feel your breath, take some deeper breaths, and explore those feelings in your body. When you learn how to be with yourself with grace and compassion, then you can more easily be with others too.
This is about feeling present and safe. It can be as simple as pausing and feeling that we are in this moment. We can do this by feeling our bodies connected to the ground. Literally.
So, feel the ground under your feet, supporting you. You are safe and upheld. Feel into the pressure of each toe on the ground and your heels. The weight of you in contact with the chair. Feel how you are supported. Now, notice with your other four senses what is around you in the environment. What can you see and hear? Smell, taste?
Then we can pay attention to our breath. Remember, it is a gift from God— the very living Spirit of God, described as life-giving breath throughout Scripture. So let’s be reminded that in tuning into our breath, we are tuning into the spirit in us that gives birth to any kind of new life within us—beautiful! Just a few minutes of simple slow, deep breaths signal safety to our nervous systems, so we can be regulated in the presence of strong emotion—both ours and others’.
So, notice your breath. Notice how it feels as it moves on a path in and out of your body. Pay attention to how it feels to take some short, shallow breaths. Now pay attention to how it feels to take some full deep breaths.
Emotions & Body
We can also pay attention to emotion in our bodies. Remember this is your precious, holy, temple of God. Your amazing body which has been with you through everything in your life.
Pay attention to an emotion that is present for you. Can you recognize it? Where in your body do you feel it? What kind of sensations are present in your body along with this emotion? Feel around the edges of this emotion and sensation. Allow them to be there. Show yourself compassion without judgement for anything you are feeling: say, “It makes so much sense that you are feeling this way.” Speak truth to yourself that you are not alone. Christ is with you and understands it all. You might notice, without judgement, if anything shifts in your body as you say this to yourself.
© Angela Faye Henze | find wellness™
If you’re planning to join us for an in-person service, please read our Covid policy. It’s kept up to date, here.
Location & Zoom. We meet on Sundays at 15639 24 Avenue, Surrey. Zoom is offered if you cannot attend in person. If you have trouble with the zoom link, use: meeting ID: 831 1690 9977 with password: 753319
Sermons Are Podcasted
Catch up on Southpoint sermons by finding the podcast “Meditations from the Church at Southpoint” on Spotify, Apple and Google. They’re also available on our website: www.southpoint.ca.
Sun. Nov 27 All IN service
First Sunday of Advent!
We’ll have a “cookie bar” (!) Bring cookies to share, from a family recipe if you can. Bring a photo of someonefrom your family tree. Bring an ornament — if you’d feel comfortable leaving on a tree at the church for the duration of Advent that’d be grand, but if you have to take it home, we understand.
Unless otherwise noted, we meet in-person in the Sunnyside church building at 15639 24 Avenue. We continue to have a zoom offering if you cannot attend in person.
If you have trouble with the link, use:
meeting ID: 831 1690 9977
with password: 753319
New to Southpoint?
At Southpoint, it all begins with God’s love. Just as a plant grows, it receives sunshine, so we grow as we receive God’s love. At Southpoint, we are growing in our capacity to love God, ourselves, one another, and creation.
We seek to be a community of grace that is intentional yet organic, spacious yet authentic, grace-filled yet accountable. * We are fully welcoming. *
We encourage relationships rather than run programs, yet we recognize the importance of intentionality and structure as we nurture life together.
As a community, we seek to put our love in action. We value helping out on Sunday mornings, sharing food, and showing up in hard times. We keep our church life simple so folk have time to build relationships with family, friends, and neighbours. We encourage folk to serve in tangible ways within the wider community. We rent space rather than own a building, allowing us to do more with less, supporting missions at home and abroad.
Curious to know more?
These six slides express what motivates our ministry (best viewed on a monitor). Read Pastor Anne Baxter Smith’s bio here. Our website is southpoint.ca.
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