Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

The Sacred Wheel of Grief

Jan 27, 2015 06:31PM

Cheryl Downey

Anyone who has experienced loss knows that life is changed forever. Some face this shift with an open, courageous heart, while others dread and resist the energetic movement that follows. And no wonder. Our being is like an ancient wheel divided into four directions of life:  physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and grief leaves no aspect—even our deepest heart center—untouched.

Healing the heart is each griever's unique process, with common phases and challenges. If moving through recent loss, it is important to simply allow and accept the initial shock, emotions, thoughts, body reactions and spirit longings that seep or surge from the depths, and to be present to whatever comes. If dealing with longstanding grief or buried loss, it may be important to reach out to professionals for help shifting entrenched patterns for release and healing.

Common reactions to grief are emotional resistance and control which tend to create more pain. Many fight tearfulness, yet tears created from emotional pain were tested and found to carry toxins. Studies indicate that fasting for two to four days triggers the regeneration of damaged immune systems. Is it possible acknowledging loss as fasting triggers the deep cleansing of grief, releasing old baggage or toxic patterns, regenerating well-being?

Grief experiences are awakenings, illuminating innermost restrictive beliefs, painful memories, or thoughts and feelings that have kept a person in a walking, sleep-like state. It’s important not to allow the mind's fear of change to sabotage the heart's release. Take courage and trust that the Sacred Wheel of Grief will inevitably turn, carrying each one forward if allowed, moving with perfect timing.

Grief is, by nature, healing movement, transforming painful emptiness of loss into creative mystery. By keeping a lid on the sacred well of grief's emergence, the awesome changing power of feminine energy flowing up from our inner depths, creating new life, is blocked. Each emotion has a story to tell; each awareness is a divine messenger. The innermost truth sings the song of life within. Beauty rests in each grieving heart.

Cheryl Downey has empowered healing through life losses, illness, dying, and grief for 35 years as a hospital/hospice chaplain. She recently founded the Sacred Wheel Center for Grief and Healing, and her book, Emerging from the Dark: Grief Around the Sacred Wheel, is nearing publication. For more information on individual or group sessions, call 612-272-3977, email [email protected], and visit

Read the full February 2020 Magazine
Upcoming Events Near You
Magazine Pickup Locations

Read Current Edition

Current Edition

Read Directory Edition

Directory Edition

Global Brief
Health Brief