Today's episode falls on Imbolc - the point of mid-winter and the beginning of Spring (in the Northern hemisphere). Hannah will draw three 'Earth Magic' oracle cards for live guidance on how we can best use the inspiring energies of this time. Hannah and her guest, soul healer Ursula Dekker, will also discuss how grief and loss can be an initiation into transformation and growth - we hold the key to our freedom. We heard Ursula in Episode #2 and today she speaks openly about alchemizing the grief she held on to for 18 years following the death of her beloved father, Edward. Just imagine what might be possible if you could do the same?
Illustration: Seed - F.A.S (Hannah's 9yr old daughter)
Theme Tune: Great White Shark - performed and written by Laura Gardner
🌱 The oracle deck Hannah used was "Earth Magic" created by Steven D. Farmer and the cards drawn were:
Hannah Velten speaking (00:01):
Hello, and welcome to The Finder of Lost Things. Today is a seasonal holiday - Imbolc, the 1st of February - and it marks in the Northern hemisphere the mid-winter point and really the beginnings of spring, the first kind of shoots appearing for spring. And I just wanted to mark this time, because, as you know, I do follow the seasons. We're also still in this sort of cleansing time and this week I had the theme of ‘transformation’ come through. Now I know the whole of this podcast is about trust and healing and transformation, but today really feels very strongly about transformation. And there's a big element of, I don't know what's going to happen this week, but I do have a guest who I'd like to introduce you to in a minute - Ursula Dekker - who you heard in the previous episode.
But I’d just like to mark Imbolc by drawing three cards to start with from the ‘Earth Magic’ Oracle card pack [created by Steven D. Farmer]. I choose three cards at every main seasonal holiday and they give me an idea of what is going to happen in the next six weeks or so, til the next big holiday. I've been doing this for about 18 months now, and it really does focus me on what's coming up and what I might be looking out for. It's actually very comforting in a way. It's not telling the future, but it's just gives me kind of like a heads up about what the energy is about and what will be coming towards me. So I thought I might do this live with you. So, Imbolc is really a time of when the new seeds are coming in and it's a time for planting new ideas.
It's not a time for rushing around doing anything with those seeds necessarily, because it's still a time of resting. We're still in winter, but it's very much about setting intentions and looking forwards. I'm sort of getting this feeling of being challenged; things are still going to be challenging you at this time and you need to see what strengths you have within you that you can rely on to take you through the sort of next six weeks. So I'm just going to do a little shuffle here and I'm going to pull out three cards and we'll see what we get. And it might inform tonight's episode. I suspect it will do, but let's just say it's for everybody who's listening or watching; just giving you an idea how to use the energies at this time, because there is a lot of stirring of energy happening.
So let's see what we get. Okay. Oh, “Winter Solstice: Reflection”. Okay. So yeah, that ties in with us still being in the winter and still getting that clarity on things. We've talked a lot about, you know, what are you missing? What have you lost? What do you want to find? But there still might not be that clarity. And it might be that you're taking your time with that question and maybe you've been shying away from that question. Cause it's a pretty big question. So it might be just a little bit more time for reflection, maybe a bit of journaling, maybe take note of anything that kind of jumps out at you during this episode, because I always ask at the beginning of every episode that I be given messages for the highest good of all.
So just listen, and if you get chills or the hairs on your neck stand up or you get some reaction, just reflect on what it was that came up and why that might be pertinent to you at this time. Okay. The next one. Oh, “Full Moon: Completion”. Now it might be… I know my guest Ursula and I have been through a kind of completion. We’ve been doing some grief healing sessions together and I know that our sessions have come to an end and there has been a sort of completion, which we will talk about in a minute. Full moon energy; it's the cleansing time again. What can you release? What can you let go? And that includes relationships, that includes thoughts, it includes patterns of behaviour. What will that then allow space for? You know - it’s all about these new things that are rising up and like being able to celebrate what you've actually achieved since the Winter Solstice on 21st of December. What have you actually achieved since then?
Because I think we forget to celebrate what we've actually been achieving. You know, we're in lockdown, it's hard, it's hard on everybody. But we've got this far, so let's have a celebration about that. Maybe this evening a sort of quiet contemplation about actually what have you achieved and what can you take forward? And the last one, Oh, that's a nice one “Forest: Breathe”. Now, Ursula and I have a lot to do with meadows and forests and trees and… breathing - I guess that's a grounding thing as well. Isn't it. It's a remembrance to go outside, to breathe in the fresh air that the trees, the forest, give us. Trees are the lungs of the world. So, and yeah, there's this thing with trees and regeneration; coming back to life. This is certainly something which Christian and, um, so I want to introduce you.
So this is Ursula Dekker. She’s a soul healer and she came to me (I’ll let her tell the story of how she came to me and how we met) with her father, Edward. I do believe that Edward and Christian kind of know each other in spirit and they work together in some capacity and we were brought together to do healing as part of a team. I still think we are going to be part of a team in how we move forward. So there’s this big thing with grounding and the trees: building up from the roots, having a strong trunk and a strong body and then being able to open out and to blossom and this whole thing with transformation, we'll talk about it more as we go along, but yeah, there's things happening at the moment. So anyway, I'd like to introduce you to Ursula.
Ursula Dekker speaking (07:53):
Hi Hannah, thank you very much. So my name is Ursula Dekker and as Hannah said, I’m a soul healer, but my journey really started at the point of loss when my father passed away. And since then I’ve had a foot in both realms, in the least possible hippie way that could possibly be meant, but just literally living with a very acute awareness of both sides of the world and the Universe. So my father has been instrumental in guiding me to people to progress me, not just in my life, but in my journey and my soul purpose. And, one of my best friends is a lady called Karen. And Karen has always been a pioneer in terms of finding and learning and discovering and meeting new people. And every single time she’d gone for a healing session, Edward would pop in and say, can you get my daughter to come see me please?
So, Karen’s almost been the gatekeeper for my spiritual journey and one of the pivotal people that has been important in my life to guide me to where I am now and Hannah was no different. So she spoke about Hannah and Hannah's journey and what had happened with her and Christian and the most important part of that for me was the fact that I couldn't dismiss Hannah as someone that came with book knowledge or with some glorious notion of ‘the beauty of the tragedy’. I needed someone that walked it and felt it and knew exactly what that texture was like. And that there was something on the other side that I couldn't yet see; I could reach, but I just couldn't feel that. And then I think lockdown for me was the time when I stood still, maybe for the first time and was in a home, in an environment, in a place in my life and my soul where I could sit down and feel what needed to be felt. And then Hannah came into my life and we started our work two months ago.
Hannah speaking (09:55):
Yeah. It was interesting how I met Karen and then just talking to Karen, and then you sort of came to me to ask for healing. It’s also interesting because your father, Edward, died 18 years ago which is the same as Christian. It took us both that long to be able to even acknowledge grief or face it. And I know when we first met and we had our first session together - can you just explain to the audience the reaction that you got when I began probing about Edward.
Ursula speaking (10:35):
Yeah, so meeting Hannah, or having the first session with Hannah - I had a very strict, closed off idea of what grief was like, what it would feel like, what was going to be like. So my very first session was spent sitting cross arms and staring at this woman, finding any possible means to dismiss her and hate her, and be annoyed and irritated and angry, and trying to make her understand that I am this person. And yet I was sitting there being angry and stunted and unbelievably resistant to speak with her. And I think that that was probably the only thing that had to come out of that first session was realising that all of the things that I have become since I've lost my father, all of the growth, all of the healing, all of the millions of beautiful things that life has brought into my life,
I had none of those as a resource when it came to my father's grief. I was just a broken child. I had very set ideas about grief and loss and therapy and healing and what that was meant to be like and what Hannah was meant to be like. And then Hannah just talks and then she talks some more and then she just keeps talking. And then somehow through all of that, my father was able to talk again because I was just so desperate to contact, you know, to get in touch with him and for him to speak with me, through Hannah really. And it just affected the whole process in such a heavy way, just made it impossible for him and for me to actually move forward.
Hannah speaking (12:17):
Yeah, it was interesting, if I can just pick up on that resistance to being able to kind of like feel that grief, it was something that you resisted feeling..
Ursula speaking (12:36):
I had not grieved. What I experienced was absolutely paralyzing loss and nothing else, and a constant awareness of the lack of, and the space next to me. I had no idea that grief was the process of losing and that the one and the other don't necessarily happen together. They don't necessarily merge because I hadn't grieved.
Hannah speaking (13:03):
That was exactly the same with Christian. You lose them, but how do you grieve? And such a big loss. I know we've talked about this before, like that the biggest loss that it could have possibly have been, and like, how do you grieve? We're not taught how to cope with this loss and how to grieve and how to move through it.
Ursula speaking (13:28):
I was not brought up to feel and to show the feeling. And there was just a collective shock and there was a collective mourning all around me in the small town where I'm from, where this man was lost from everybody's lives. He was a teacher so he was in so many people's lives. And yet I it was just me and my brother and my mother in our tiny little network of the remaining people of this family. We were just… there was just nothing, there was silence. There wasn't community. There was no grief shown. And I think what was really, really shocking for me in this process that I've gone through with you, Hannah, is how little of me was present at the time when this happened. I just switched off in any and every possible way. And the person that I am… I brought none of those resources to losing him. I didn't bring any of those gifts or light: none of it. So of course my fear of going through grief was thinking, I'm going to lose him and feel that loss, but I've already lost him. I couldn't re-lose my father. And yet I was in this weird entrapment of feeling that constant losing of him, as opposed to dealing with the grief and stopping that cycle, because it was just a recycled feeling of stuckness over and over.
Hannah speaking (14:57):
Yeah, I remember you saying you had this image of a caven, just this emptiness inside… so, what part of you was missing as well?
Urusla speaking (15:11):
The things for me is that up until that point, I was a young adult. And so much of my life was invested in this relationship with my father, who was my primary parent. There is the tree imagery here for me: so he, for me, is just this beautiful old Oak, in every possible way. His roots were so deep, which meant he could reach so high and he was so stable and yet he was a dreamer. And yet he was, you know, he was just the most beautiful person. He was the best father that anyone could have. And so I trusted him completely, at the detriment really of learning how to trust myself with the process, and then jumping into my life as me. And as we've uncovered in our sessions, there was so much loss within that to really, truly find my feet, make mistakes and bring them back and have him say, but it's okay. I just outsourced so much of my life, because I was on that verge of jumping into my future. And I had no concept that my father wouldn't be in my future. I had no idea. So when you sort of reset the time of loss for me, I saw I only have an ‘after’ [he died], because before I didn't ever consider that he wouldn't be a part of any aspect of my life; he would just always be there, certain as sunrise.
Hannah speaking (16:49):
Yeah. So, we should probably explain to everybody the circumstances surrounding your father's death and how much of a shock it was, and that part of the healing has actually been to be able to give him what you couldn't provide at the time, in terms of the farewell that you wanted to give him. So can we talk a bit about that?
Ursual speaking (17:18):
Yeah, so, I had a completely healthy working father. I was in university. He had some symptoms. He saw a doctor, they did a biopsy, and at that point they diagnosed him with bowel cancer. He told me that he had bowel cancer and he was going to have surgery. My memory was completely hazy and I really didn't know much of the timeframe here, cause it was quite lost to me really when exactly things happened. So I had to actually retrace my steps. Essentially he was diagnosed, he had an operation about a week or 14 days after the first symptoms and he recovered reasonably well after surgery, then had complications, developed sepsis and died of a heart attack. And this is why I say it was so uncharacteristic of me…
when all of this was happening in the hospital, it wasn’t me there because I asked no questions. I left him. I drove two hours away from my father at the point when he was critically ill and dying, and came back as he was already dead. I lost all of the things that I would have done now: the conversations about dying, about saying goodbye, about being close, about clipping his toenails and brushing his hair and a million small and big things was lost because I wasn't there. I wasn't present, I don't know where I was. So, he essentially died literally within, what felt like days to me, and was out of my life. And I was thrown back into university, having to finish a final year degree and be on that unbelievably fast trajectory of my young life without him.
So, what happened in the healing, which I think my father is eternally grateful for, and I am eternally grateful for, is going back and redoing my father's funeral, because he was buried in a way that was… he died, I think, on the Tuesday morning and he was buried on the Friday. So his body wasn't prepared. He wasn't buried in the way he would have wanted to. They were so much soul loss between the both of us at the time. And my father never voiced his wishes. There was so much denial across all of us in terms of having just close conversations at the time when something was happening right in front of our eyes. And so I went back and my father wanted to be buried almost on a shrine with all of these things, with flowers, by the beach,
cremated literally, with an open fire, surrounded by wood. (He loved fire; he loved wood: he was barbecuing incessantly) And with his things, and his people there and me there and sending him into the world… it was all very much about the breath, wasn’t it, Hannah. He wanted to be able to breath again; to open his chest, to open his wings, and for the world to take him back and for him to go back into the world in a way that was really, really, really beautiful. And I understand now, I think how important the ritual around death is: the things that need to be done and said and felt, and in all aspects to do it right, and to feel it along the way, at the time.
Hannah speaking (20:53):
Yeah. I think this is so pertinent now, actually, isn't it. My brother said about me being a ‘pertinent’ person (in the previous episode), and I remember you going, ‘Oh, that's a funny word’, but this discussion is so pertinent now with COVID and people not able to be at the hospitals, maybe they're not able to do the goodbyes and the rituals that we do normally do (which aren’t that great in my opinion anyway); we’re really at a loss now. And actually I'm getting, every time you mentioned about rituals and your dad, a real feeling of a buildup of energy, like this is what we're here to do - to help people through situations where the loss is so profound and it’s about not only your loss, but also your father’s loss as well. And with Christian as well, to heal fully and truly you do need the healing in both realms, don’t you. It really is teamwork; a team effort.
Ursula speaking (22:03):
And it's not just about me going forward into my life. It was very much about my father being able to say goodbye to his life and the shock of how this happened for him as well. And you and I had this beautiful conversation about a nurse being there, having that conversation, saying ‘you are dying now’ and holding his hand; something that's simple. And my father said to me in spirit before, a hundred times, that he never wanted to die in front of me. He wanted to always be my father and care for me in a way that he would always have done. And that this was his chosen way. But how he was buried, how his body was taken care of, how his funeral went, was not something that he would have chosen. And I did that [funeral] with you in spirit and the healing
and it was so, so powerful and so profound and so beautiful. And I wouldn’t have thought that it would have been that way if you're not physically doing it. And then I went to the beach - literally went to the beach last weekend - and I re-did his funeral: I did a speech for him, and he did a speech for me and we spoke and I placed the shells - I did the physical aspects - but the session we did by the beach with him, that was the real one [funeral]. To be able to give him something when I was not yet an adult, when I wasn't yet this person who has all the resources to be someone for him back… because up until that point, he was everything to me and I wasn't able to do all the millions of things back yet. And that funeral was what he needed, he so needed me to do that for him. I feel so grateful that I could do that for him. So grateful; what a beautiful thing to be able to give to him. In the way that he wanted.
Hannah speaking (23:58):
Absolutely. And I know how grateful he was and he still is, you know; that was just exactly what he needed and you could do that for him. So that was amazing.
Ursula speaking (24:09):
That's what I want to say to people is how you can do that. Anyone can do that, and it is as personable and as perfect and we made it exactly what he needed it to be, and it felt perfect. So it's completely possible and, and completely necessary.
Hannah speaking (24:30):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, so for you, what has been the most sort of surprising thing about the whole healing process? Cause I know when you first came to me, you kind of knew you had to do it for your sort of wellbeing, I guess in the end. I mean, your soul was calling you to do this and you kept getting prodded and prodded. Like I was exactly the same and in the end you go, okay, I'm going to have to do this. But, um, I know it has been a journey for you in terms of the trusting yourself and trusting the process and, and trusting me, I guess, to be part of it. Um, but kind of what was the most surprising part of it for you?
Ursual speaking (25:14):
I thought that I have grieved for my father for 18 years, whereas all I ever did was feel loss. Grieving is an active thing. It requires telephone calls to relatives you do not want to talk to… Oh my goodness, the conversations you do not want to be having, digging up feelings that I didn't even want to feel, and then expecting them to dig it all up for me, too. Oh my Lord, active. But actually it was easier than I thought it would be, because every single time I had to do something really difficult like that, my father just completely made it happen so beautifully. And he just guarded it amazingly. And I'm not saying this because it's not all rainbows and bows and tied up all perfect - it was profoundly difficult - but it was exactly what it needed to be.
Grief takes work. That’s all I would say, it takes work. And the soul retrieval for me… so for instance, I left home without the packing up of my bedroom and the packing up of the car and the sending of the child into the world and saying, “you go and find your wonder; I’ll stay here and I’ll take care of everything for you”. I didn't have that. He didn't have that. In my childhood home, I never said goodbye and nor did my father. So we both had to do that. So it was surprising for me the things that I needed that I didn't even think of, and that he needed as well. And to go back and do that and realize that I have been floating between ‘then’ and ‘now’, even though I've had so much life, I've had so much experience, I've had so much love in my life [since his death].
But I had been floating. I hadn't physically, you know, sort of cut the cord in a way in my life and moved on or been in the driver's seat of my own life, essentially with my father staying behind saying, “I'm here”. I sort of dragged this man into my future. We were just both sort of, you know, crippling along and that's not what he ever wanted. And he was trying to so beautifully and gently nudge me for years, but I just couldn't feel that loss. I felt that dealing with grief was going to be ‘re-losing’ and feeling loss all the time, which it wasn't. It just isn’t.
Hannah speaking (27:50):
Exactly. I mean, I keep getting this image of like a grief helmet that we put on when we're in grief or we've lost. And we really can't see like, excuse the pun, the wood for the trees. You really are very insular and you can't see past the loss. And you don't want to take off the helmet, you don't actually want to really feel the grief and look at the grief and work through it because, Oh my God, it is a hard slog. Isn't it? It is a hard slog. And the things that you were asked to do as well (we’ll talk about this a bit more if you don't mind later on), like talking to your mother, talking to your brother, talking to friends, there was a lot that you were asked to do. And I was kind of saying to you, look, they're asking you to do this. And I was thinking, Oh my goodness. But every week, every week you did the work and you were amazing. You didn't shy away from doing any of the work. But like you said, at the right time, things happen during the week (and it’s the same with these episodes as well); it’s like things come up at the right time during the week, and it was your time to face these things, wasn't it?
Ursula speaking (29:03):
Absolutely. And with the soul work that I do, I understand how people and circumstances trigger us. I get that. I completely get it, but it's a very different story when it's happening in my own life. And I then have to take ownership of it and say “Okay, this is happening. So what am I going to do about this? Am I going to be angry at a person who I feel is abandoning me, or am I'm going to acknowledge the fact that I feel abandoned by my father and that I've never addressed that; I've never felt it because it's so unbearably painful”. Of course, I have used any possible means to my disposal to just not feel this for 18 years. And I was so good at it, I didn't even realize I didn't feel it. I thought I was feeling it, but I wasn't. So I'm very humbled by the process. And I've got a lot more compassion for all the millions of different ways that people are trying to avoid feeling what they need to feel to go through this. I needed these 18 years to be in a place where I can just break down, between the four walls of myself and my home and that be okay.
Hannah speaking (30:18):
Yeah. That's interesting, the timing of it. Cause I mean, our stories are very similar in that I just literally could not face my grief. I mean Christian was missing, but I didn't know how to do this grieving at all and yet by divine timing, it was suddenly the right time: I'd had my family, work was fine. It was like, this is the time now for you to do this. I just kept being prodded. I don't know if there are people in the audience thinking it’s time to grieve properly, but we’ve been gently pushed to ‘please do this for us all’. So, I mean, I know there were lots of tears and lots of release around our sessions, but what did your grief feel like when it was coming out?
Ursula speaking (31:19):
I was feeling helpless. Grief for me was helplessness, I think. And grief for me was like putting my whole life on pause and sitting in that suspended space, in the darkness of it. And then when we started talking, I couldn't form words, I couldn't even speak, I couldn't say the simplest things to you, I was crying so much. Um, the first week I just cried. And I think because I'm such a cognitive person (I use my mind so much) I just had to feel it. I just had to cry, knowing that it would eventually be okay. It wasn't the same as breaking down; it was completely different to that. It was crying because tears had to be, I had to feel it. And I had to just experience every single aspect of the utter helplessness that my life was thrown into when I lost the most important person in my life.
So in the weeks that followed, I've said this to you before, this caven/hole in me became shallower and shallower. You would say something and would think, ‘Oh, that's going to push me into a place. I’m going to get lost in that.’ And then I don't, and that was surprising how it wasn't this unbelievable depth of despair within me anymore. And it's a physical change. It's not just an emotional thing. I physically felt lighter. And what you would say would turn around quicker - I had this expectation that if somebody says something about my father, I'm going to be broken and lost for days. And I wasn't. So I had to also change my dialogue around ‘I am not broken. I am not lost. My father is not gone.’ This dialogue around ‘I'm a grieving daughter’ has kept me very small for very long and… very safe. And I didn't realize it was an excuse. I really didn’t, until I realized it. And then I just couldn't do anything other than face it and call you and make a plan.
Hannah speaking (33:34):
Yeah, that's so interesting. And there’s this big thing about trust, isn’t there. Like trusting the process and trusting yourself, you know, that from this child-like place where you were kind of stuck and stagnant you were then able to do what you did for your father and actually move into the adult, the strong and capable Ursula. I mean, not that you weren’t strong or capable before, but to now have built this massive foundation to move forwards with; you know, trusting in yourself.
Ursual speaking (34:13):
Yeah. Can I just say this to the listeners? If Hannah said to me, ‘trust the process’, one more time in our first session I might've killed her. [Hannah laughing] I might have literally lost the will to do this work because she was already on the other side [of grief] and I just wasn't there yet. I couldn't see it because I didn't understand that there's things that you have to do. I didn't understand that. I just thought you have to feel something and then you will not feel it anymore. But I had so little memory of so many things that happened and I needed people to piece it together for me, so that I could then feel what that felt like, and the helplessness within that. And what I found really, really surprising was that I wasn't angry at my mom, for instance, I was angry at myself and I sort of held that space for her for so many years in her inability to deal with this. But this is my inability to deal with. This is what it was really about.
Hannah speaking (35:21):
And your relationship with everybody around you has changed as well, hasn’t it, as a process of this grief healing. You were just saying about your mom and your brother, because you were asked to speak to them about their side of the story as well. Weren't you?
Ursula speaking (35:43):
Yeah. I had never asked anybody anything about this and nor have I asked myself, this goes both ways. Nor did I ever ask my father how he experienced this: I just didn't go there. So suddenly after so many years, I had to ask very basic questions: When did you hear? How did you find out? What did you feel? Very basic questions, that none of us ever asked and how much that disabled all of us, how much that scattered us to the wind, how much isolation and loneliness was written into just not ever saying, ‘Are you okay today?’ It's so basic. And when I go back, I can’t remember anything happening that I would naturally do as the person I am now. I would be the person to make the phone calls. Would ask the questions, would sit around, would do the rituals,
would bring in the light, would bring healing into the process. There was none of that. One thing that you said to me that was amazing is when I spoke with my mom - and our relationship, by the way, isn't better, but it's exactly the same - you said to me, ‘isn’t that at least a constant’, because so much of the other things did change, so that was a constant still. A lot of my other relationships and friendships have changed; some of them ended because I've resonated from a wounded place for a very, very long time and I connected to my friends from a wounded place. To me that felt like depth and understanding and knowledge, knowing and compassion. It felt like closeness, but it was just a wound and it was just a resonance. And that feels like it's healing now. And I don't have to go there anymore to feel like someone understands me or gets me.
Hannah speaking (37:47):
There's a lot of change isn't there, that’s not just around the healing. It affects every single relationship and any relationships which wasn't quite… we always say about ‘radiators’ and ‘drains’. You just want to be with the people who give you the energy, you know, who are the radiators. And actually it becomes pretty clear, doesn't it, which relationships change because you’ve changed. It’s okay to let relationships go that no longer are being radiators for you. And I think it's part of self-care, isn’t it, when you move forward and you're lighter and you just need lightness around you. And I know with your dad, there was so much about healing the heart and opening the heart and letting it like breathe again.
Ursula speaking (38:43):
Yes, and leading from the heart, safely. Yes. It's not complete. Let's talk about completeness. Yes. It's not perfect. Yes, it is unsure and uncertain, but I have kept my life so free from pain, any pain, but that meant I kept it free from possibility and taking chances and adventure, because I couldn't feel any sense of loss, not even disappointment, not any feeling of rejection because it just fed straight back into this entire traumatic loss cycle. And now I get it and I can look at it and think I'm going to do it anyway, because I came through this, I'm completely on the other side of it. So I will take a chance. And disappointment… I’m not really losing my father every time that I'm not getting something perfectly right. And being perfect was another massive thing for me; about being the perfect daughter for this perfect father, which is an untruth that I've told myself to keep something going, to keep this whole loss process going and not really approach it with honesty and truth and really get to the inside of it.
Hannah speaking (39:56):
It was interesting, wasn’t it? You really had to reassess your relationship with your father and see him as a flawed person as well. Not just this - I know he's the hero father - but you could see his flaws as well. You allowed yourself to see him from an adult point of view, didn’t you?
Ursula speaking (40:22):
Absolutely. And I think that is the way that a child looks at a situation, which is the way that I looked at it and I never reviewed it. I never considered that those views were wrong. And I had to unveil a lot of untruths about my past that I never went back to revisit or reconsider really, and didn't give it any thought and just made up a story of my past and my father, but that just isn't true. And it meant that I had an expectation of myself as a person that, again, just wasn't honest and wasn't real. Because if all of the mistakes that I have made in my life were brought to the table and brought to my dad, he would have loved me anyway. He would have unconditionally been there for me anyway, because he always was, and it goes the other way around. And that for me was a massive loss - I’ve said this to you before - a huge loss to not have had that with him, but I have it now, because he sees everything. And he said to you, for instance, he never taught me how to let go, how to free the heart out, to open the wings. Our relationship has just matured and grown.
Hannah speaking (41:35):
I know we had our last session just last week and we were talking about lightness of your father now, and this being the same with Christian - them going from being a very physical presence to actually being like their essence. I remember we were talking about the physicality often being the hardest or the last part to let go of, and to know that they're still there. Can you explain a little bit about the physicality and how light your father feels now and how light you feel as well?
Ursula speaking (42:16):
I mean, initially my father was very present for me. I would feel chills and sort of a coldness between my eyes where he would kiss my forehead. There was a lot of physical presence for me, but within that, it meant my father wasn't able to really move on himself either, because he was very, very attached to me, and I was still very attached to him. And I was just lost in that process. And I was just too grateful to have him in any variety that he was willing to come through to me. I was willing to have it, but in time my father, I will see him physically now, but it's fleeting. It's much lighter. It feels like a thought breezing through, as opposed to me clinging desperately onto any aspect of him. It was just me clinging on to any feeling, any connection that we might've had.
And now he feels, um, like I see him almost on my periphery. Like I said, I went to look at my new house and he was sitting on the porch, in the sunshine, looking at a book of birds and he was on the periphery and he was just there. It was just simple and easy and it didn't feel painful and it didn't feel like an ache or a longing for him because he was just present. And I didn't feel him physically in the way that I would have before, but today when I drove home there was a song that came on and he just gave me this all-over cold body shrill hug, and I felt that really strongly. And then he went again. But I'm not clinging onto it in a way that I did before, because I just needed to not keep losing him all over again. Whereas I just haven't, he's a lot more present now. It's just a lot more subtle.
Hannah speaking (44:04):
It's funny, isn't it? You think going through a grieving process that you actually would lose them? And I think that's part of the reason why I didn't really want to face my grief because I was happy with what I had got with Christian. I didn't want to lose it, but actually when you go through the grieving, you're healing, both of you and, you actually become much closer. It was the same with Christian, we got to know more about each other. You tell the truth about things, you face things and it’s completely, I mean, it's a joyous thing.
Ursula speaking (44:40):
Definitely, and I didn't want the loss of my father to be the mark in my life. I wanted the life of my father to be THE part of my life. And his death was so traumatic; it was so sudden; it threw me completely off centre so that I just thought all that was going to happen was I was going to lose him all over again [during healing]. And I just, like I said before, I just didn't, it was that simple. I just didn't re-lose him. What I feared had already happened. So the fear itself just kept me from bringing any light into it and coming out the other way.
Hannah speaking (45:22):
So, if we can talk about the future now - I know it's early days for you in terms of getting used to what is going to become your normal. That sort of lightness, that feeling that you have now, it does take a while to get used to it. I remember that well. But how do you feel about the future now and how you're going to be able to live your life now, compared to maybe like a couple of months ago, how you were living and seeing the future.
Ursula speaking (45:59):
So, as I've said to you before, I feel like I’m just not there yet. My joy, my happy and my sort of contentedness and my new normal hasn't caught up with me yet. Because I have this expectation of myself that somehow if I let go of all this grief, then like a balloon, I would just float up into the sky and off into the rainbows and into the sunshine. And it isn't like that. But it feels like I'm recalibrating. It feels like I've just found a new home. And I am allowing myself to feel every part of it: the insecurity, the loneliness without my father, the excitement and the creativity that comes with finding my place in the world (essentially, after all these years, I've done this so many times [moved homes], this is the first one now). I’m not treading cautiously;
I'm stepping fully out into it. And some days it's hard and some days it's easy and I'm just allowing myself to feel how I need to feel. And, I keep talking about this house because it's such a manifestation for me about creating a new nest and a new place for me to go and live. And it's so unbelievably beautiful, and it's in such a phenomenal location, and it's going to be so healing to be there. It already is healing to be there and inviting my father into that. But I'm not resonating from a wound anymore. The pivotal thing for me is that at the centre of me there is not a hole, or a place of just lack and loss. There’s possibility. And that is new and it feels a bit scary, but that scary is going to become just excitement and energy and fire and young and courage, I think.
Hannah speaking (47:51):
Yeah, absolutely. And that feeling of suddenly being free. I mean, in last week’s episode, I was handed my freedom and it's like, ‘Oh my God, what do I do with this freedom?’ I have lived like this for so long and it's like, ‘Ooh, that’s a little bit frightening and a little bit unknown’, but ‘Hey, let's grab it because we've done all the grief. We've done all the loss and the cavernous emptiness. We don't need that anymore. We’ve become whole, so let's live it!’
Ursula speaking (48:24):
Yeah. It’s my life. I’m not in this tidal wave, being pulled and pushed between wounds and reactions and recovery. I'm just my life. However that looks, however that feels, however good or bad or happy or whatever the outcome is going to be. It will be mine, which is the only thing he has ever wanted for me, which is the only thing Christians ever wanted for you.
Hannah speaking (48:52):
Yeah, exactly. And we can be ourselves now. So, obviously you’re a soul healer and you're helping people all the time, so how do you think your experiences and the way you're feeling - of being whole - how do you think that will effect your work and maybe what clients you're now going to be looking to help?
Ursula speaking (49:24):
So in the most possible unselfish way, I am not doing the healing cause I need healing myself. I think that is the pivotal thing. And this is subconscious. This is not something that I've been aware of. But so often I think people go into a healing or in a helping profession because they themselves need to be guided. So, you know, we teach best what we need to learn most. I firmly believe that principle. So I just think that I've honoured my soul's journey, not just in my past lives going forward, but in my own life, in the most painful, possible place: where my life was completely bruised and injured, I went there. So I think that the work that I'm going to do is not flowing around or through that anymore.
It’s just going… how can I put this, it feels like the path of my soul has cleared up. The energy is just strong and it flows without constantly being disrupted by things that are going on in my own life. And I think when I'm doing the grief healing, I feel like I will attract people that need that type of healing work, but also that I now know that there's practical elements to dealing with grief. There are certain things you need in your life, structurally in your foundations, in your actual everyday life to feel safe enough to do this work and to not just open a can of worms and then be completely left to the detriment of life, completely exposed and sitting with this, not knowing which way to go. I understand that in a different way now. Because you need to always come back safely from whatever work you do, from whatever place you are going to, and you need to come back, you need to come back safely and have a sense of home. So, my father was my home before, and I'm now housing that space. And I'm building it physically around me at the moment. So yeah, I think my work is going to be lighter as well, because I'm not just attracting to that sadness within people, which before I thought it was just empathy. Of course I felt it, because I was still resonating from that space.
Hannah speaking (51:43):
Yeah, it’s like Margaret's gift to me last week was the pure heart. It's like when you have the pure heart, you don't produce a sort of washing machine effect for other people. Other people feel calm and they feel that you know what you're talking about and you're in control of your emotions, so it works well.
Ursula speaking (52:08):
And you said this wonderful phrase about the wounded healer. And I don't feel like I'm a wounded healer anymore. It feels healed. It is uncertain, because it's new, but again, it belongs to me this time. I'm not constantly circling the drain of some abyss of sadness that’s still within there. So, I think it's not just my work, but my life itself and my friendships and relationships have all had a bit of an upgrade, I think.
Hannah speaking (52:47):
Brilliant. That's so good to hear. We're going to have to leave in a minute, but I mean, thank you so much for sharing your story, Ursula. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you and what a brilliant story in terms of the theme of transformation, from where you were like two months ago, it really is incredible. So thank you so much for sharing. And I hope you'll be a friend of the show and come back another time and talk to us about your soul healing, because it's fascinating and, having experienced it last week, it's absolutely a beautiful experience. So I wish you best of luck with your house move and your garden and your father there as the Oak tree, watching the birds and I'm sure Christian and Edward will continue their… whatever they do up there.
Ursula speaking (53:35):
Yeah. Thank you, Hannah. Thank you for being… one of us: I think there's a few of us in the world that walk this walk, and I'm so grateful that you were brought into my life and I'm so grateful that your brother and my father still work together. What a beautiful union they’ve got.
Hannah speaking (53:57):
Absolutely. Actually, it would be really lovely if there are any listeners out there, if they also work in a grief healing capacity, it would be lovely meet more people wouldn't it; to maybe form a community around this podcast. We could really grow and really create something big around a grief ritual that really, really does work and really does heal and completely transforms lives. That would be an amazing thing.
Ursual speaking (54:26):
And you and I were talking about changing not just the dialogue, but the physicality of grief into something that becomes a fire, that becomes passionate, that becomes creative. That doesn't just suck the life out; because the loss is enough. The loss sucked the life out. Let’s bring the life back.
Hannah speaking (54:46):
Yes, absolutely. Bring the life back! Okay. Thank you so much, Ursula. I am so sorry… that went so quickly. We had no time for breaks at all. So I hope everyone got something from this episode and, yeah, [holding the three Earth Magic cards up] remember your ‘Reflection’, your ‘Completion' and your ‘Breath’ moving forward for the next few weeks. Okay. Next week, I'm not really sure what's on next week as usual(!), but I hope you enjoyed today I'll talk to you next Monday. Okay. Lots of love everybody.
Creator of ‘Great White Shark’ - our theme tune
Laura is a musician, poet and lightworker on a journey to live life by listening to the small voice within. Having been drawn to creative expression from her early years, Laura is now consciously embracing the intention of her soul to create. After more than a decade on a conventional career path, she has broken free from the corporate world and is opening to possibilities. Laura's intention is to share her gifts for words and music to bring love, light and peace to the hearts of others.
I’ve been doing some form of healing and readings for a few years following the loss of my father. Having his connection made this journey so important to me and I received soul healing as part of working on myself and honouring the wounds my soul was ready to release. I completed training as a Radiant Soul Therapist in 2020 continuing the work on myself, and now clients, to access the source of wounds that trigger and affect moving forward and releasing old redundant behaviours and patters no longer serving their higher purpose. I’ve very recently also completed grief healing with Hannah Velten working on this life and my personal grief alongside soul grief in my past lives. Hannah gave me something indescribable. She was the first person I allowed in and dispelled the isolation and fear. I feel that working with her alongside the soul work will define and inform so much of my soul’s higher purpose going forward. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org