Transforming Grief to Embrace the Positive

You can tell a lot from your hands – lines, crosses, stars, mounds, shape of your fingers and hands, whorls…These have meaning. Did you know you can discern grief from someone’s hands? Over time, your hands also change and if you are working on a challenge, “progress” of your inner work shows up in your hands. Transforming grief is inner work that also shows up as an outer manifestation.

Some people may say that a lack of time is stopping their inner work, which may be a daily practice of meditation, working with a therapist, doing The Work by Byron Katie, or some other form of self-inquiry. It is actually a lack of bandwidth of energy, not time. Do you remember those times you have several hours available for a project and zero energy? How do you feel this lack of energy? How do you address it?

Out of our domains of resilience in life – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – it is the emotional area that most people leak energy.

What is emotional resilience? According to the Institute of HeartMath, it includes emotional flexibility, positive outlook, and self-regulation.

Your emotions are indicators of your vibrational frequency.

Esther and Jerry Hicks, Ask and It is Given


Not all emotions have the same frequency and vibration. David Hawkins shares this in the Map of Consciousness and Abraham-Hicks, the Emotional Guidance Scale.

The general idea of both of these and other interpretations is the same, even though where they place emotions such as grief may differ. It is also important to remember that for each person, the words used to describe various emotional states such as joy or depression are not necessarily the same. Labels can often be divisive and unproductive. They are a good starting point as is building emotional intelligence vocabulary.

On the Emotional Guidance Scale, grief is right at the bottom. In the Map of Consciousness, the level Grief has the emotion of despair. It has less energy than Fear and more than Apathy.

In Jin Shin Jyutsu, grief or sadness is one of the five attitudes or habitual responses in life. This is related to the lung and large intestine function energy and when stagnated, our ability to bring in the new and let go of the old is compromised. We cannot connect with our inspiration so easily.

Harmonizing & Transforming Grief

An easy self-help from Jin Shin Jyutsu to harmonize the attitude of sadness and grief is to hold your ring finger, of either or both hands.

This can help with disappointment, letting go, excessive negative thoughts, and feeling neglected. If you had a difficult or traumatic event between the ages of 16 and 30, doing this self-help may be beneficial.

Stay with the breath. The breath connects us all.

Grief is a natural response to loss. All feelings are valid and carry information and messages and need to be honoured. A feeling becomes a concern when we bring judgement to it and when we suppress, repress, or express in an unhealthy way. All of this is stored within our fields and run the background movie from which we make decisions in life – how we connect with others, how we respond, how we feel about our worth…

When we live in an emotional state of an event, we live in the past. We hang on. We do not breathe.

To deny grief is to rob ourselves of the heavy stones that will eventually be the ballast for our wisdom and compassion.

Joan Halifax, Living Fully Dying Well1


Diana Ng in her Elemental Yoga practice reminds us what it feels like when we hold our breath. We feel a tightening, a discomfort, restriction, fear…That is what we are doing in life when we hold on. We activate our sympathetic nervous system much more than is healthy and we do not create the space for anything new to enter.

A big question to ask is – where are you not accepting, recognizing, and honouring the cycle of life and death and transitions in your life?

Caroline Myss asks where our spirit is and where our energies are. If they are in the past, they are not in the present and our spirit is not wholly here, right now. Have you experienced soul loss?

Where We can See Grief in Our Hands

According to Baeth Davis, grief can be seen in the hands. When the palms are blue, there is a lot of grief. If that blue as grief shows up on the Venus mound and under a grille (looks like a net or mesh), take a look where you are not allowing the beautiful Venusian energy in. This is one way of transforming grief. This Venusian energy can uplift us in helping us see the beauty in all things.

The grille is a challenge marking on the palm. It indicates a lack of pleasure and swinging between extremes in appetite, for example. The grille is akin to a constant yes/no or go/stop energy that can keep us from moving through with what we desire. Here it reflects a conflict between feminine Venus energy which is about receiving and masculine Mars energy which is about doing. If you have this marking, it is important to harmonize this area in your life. Have more fun. Schedule in me-time. More pleasure! Give yourself permission.

(Blue in the hand may indicate insufficient oxygen in the blood and can be due to a variety of underlying health challenges. This may be a conversation with your healthcare practitioner.)

Transforming Grief

Know the Message of Grief

In the amazing book The Language of Emotions, Karla McLaren shares that “grief asks us to become quiet and stop all forward movement so that we may dive into the depths, but the intellect doesn’t know how to go deep – not like the emotions can. The intellect usually tries to lift us out of the water and dry us off before we’ve really immersed ourselves in grief.”

In our grief-impaired culture as she calls it, we separate ourselves from death and all its profound lessons. We don’t like it to touch us, even when it is part of nature. We remain stoic. Can we truly live if we grapple with the deep-seated fear of death every moment of the day, without recognizing it?

When we separate ourselves in one part of our lives, we are essentially separating from all of it on some level. Disconnected from who we are within, and from the world on the outside.

Feel the Grief

Grief is heavy. It is moving down. Into. The. Depths. Clarissa Pinkola Estés speaks about allowing what must die, die. Mourn what must be mourned. Allow your heart to break open, for the walls to come down. Always stay in the body. Observe. Move. How long does this take? It takes as long as it takes. We must feel it before we can begin the work of transforming grief.

Supporting and Honouring Others in Grief

Part of why we do not mourn fully is the cultural taboo of failure, death, divorce, and grief. Many people do not feel comfortable around any of these topics. How do you respond? Do you avoid this in yourself? Do you try to soothe others with optimistic prep talks? Lend your shoulders to cry on? For how long? Do you feel the need to help others – and hence, yourself – to feel better? Before transforming grief in ourselves and in supporting others, we need to accept it. To be able to sit with the discomfort.

It is important to create a sacred space for those in grief, if you are not also grieving. Be grounded and present and remember that silence is often perfect.


There is much wisdom available when we dare go into the depths of who we are. What dissociated parts of yourself did you find? Perhaps it is time to integrate these parts of who you are now. This can be done shamanically, recalling lost soul parts to ourselves, with Matrix Reimprinting or other integration work.

Perhaps for some of you, you may be wondering why you feel deep grief even while life has been quite gentle and you feel good about your ability to let go and forgive. Are you feeling this way because you are an empath and are taking on other people’s “stuff”?

Or maybe what is swirling within is ancestral? When it is ancestral, transforming grief clears the lineage of residue from the original event and the subsequent patterns. Backward and forward in time. From the present.

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Life is about change and how we adapt to it. Sometimes the change is letting go and experiencing loss. Another way of looking at this, is not from the perspective of loss. Like the body’s natural functions, we are simply letting go what is not useful or may be toxic to us. We integrate what is helpful. This is discernment, wisdom.

It is natural to feel grief, for what has been and what was. Grief can be a healthy and helpful emotion and experience in our growth. It helps us process. Often, though, unhealthy grief stems from the fear of not being loved in the future. Of being happy again. So at some point, we must begin the work of transforming grief, somewhat like an alchemical mastery, into the gold that it really is.

Practices for the Caregiver and the Bereaved by Joan Halifax in Living Fully Dying Well. Sounds True, 2009, p.226.

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