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Yorkshire Dales & The Empty Seat at the Table

Grief Guidance

I am writing to you from the beautiful Yorkshire Dales England. With its rolling hills, stone-stacked walls, roaming sheep, and quaint villages. For the next several months, I am residing at the 18th-century Broughton Sanctuary, where I presented at the Science and Consciousness conference. 

It’s genuinely miraculous to find myself here. A friend aptly puts it, “Paula, you’ve landed in a vat of butter.” Indeed, a splendid descent into a year unlike any other—full of adventure, whirling dervish retreats, new friendships, and meaningful projects emerging.  A year generously adorned with blessings.

Tis the perfect time of year to feel blessed. During these very 7 + days people across the globe are celebrating in one form or another the potency in the victory of Light over Dark. 

The traditions of Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza remind us of the power of faith and belief in divine forces outside of our purview. 

One’s chosen tradition evokes the richness of cherished memories. Distinctive scents, favorite foods, glowing candles, carefully arranged table settings, fire ceremonies, adorned Christmas trees, and/or thoughtfully wrapped gifts—all woven into the tapestry of families celebrating together.

Countless elements, both significant and subtle, converge to uphold the unique traditions of each family. This is the reason perhaps why any change in the unfolding of the tradition can be quite disruptive. 

Vacant Seat

There are minor voids that everyone readily adapts to. However, when there exists a more profound emptiness—the vacant seat at the table, the holiday tradition can feel unbearable.

Death, divorce, and strained relationships become unmistakably pronounced during this time of year, casting a poignant shadow.

I am intimately familiar with the weight that holidays can carry—the countless years where only a fraction of myself felt present. Although that chapter in my life has become a distant memory, it has not been forgotten.

In this spirit, I ask you to remain mindful of the impact of loss during the holidays. Whether that is you or a loved one. Acknowledging loss either privately or in group, may be just what is needed.

During this most potent time of the year, let us unite in prayer for the ultimate victory of Light over Dark – World Peace.

War results in countless vacant chairs, and when the unoccupied seat belongs to a child, the sorrow is nearly insurmountable. The war in Gaza has left over 7,000 children dead, and many with permanent limb loss.

As we persist in upholding our faith in the victorious Light, let us exert every effort to manifest its realization in our lives, for our loved ones, within our community, and on a global scale.

I include here my Healing Gifts from My Daughter.

A warm embrace across the miles,

Paula

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