27 Jun

Chaos and stars

Words have an uncanny ability to find you at the perfect time, if you let them.

These words from Nietzsche grabbed me recently: “one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”

My recent flow of chaos results from having to say final goodbyes to four loved ones in eighteen months: my nephew, one of my brothers, his wife, and my Dad. It has been a lot to navigate and accept, hence the chaos, and inevitably it got me thinking about my life and what I’m doing with it. In the midst of messiness and sadness, now and then there has been a moment of incredible clarity, the kind that leaves me feeling stoked, like when I finally really understand something for the first time. Those moments have made all the muckiness worthwhile.

Here’s a handful of my recent moments of clarity, my dancing stars.

Your tribe matters
Challenging times reveal with no ambiguity who your tribe members are. They show up in all kinds of ways: a call, a text, the acceptance of your silence, a hug, offering to help with a daunting task, an email, a check-in, a greeting card, an unexpected and perfectly tiny gift. Celebrate your tribe; they’re special.

People are kind
I would have never imagined I would have to figure out some of the practicalities I was handed, things I didn’t even know existed. In the process, many people, including complete strangers, went above and beyond to help me. I just asked. Sometimes I didn’t even have to.

It’s not one-size-fits-all.
You find your own path forward, including the occasional detour. You move at our own pace, and it doesn’t necessarily match someone else’s. And that is just fine. It is indeed fine, as long as you keep moving forward, which sometimes requires being still for a while. Find your own way.

You’re stronger than you think
When I had to, I found strength I didn’t know I had. Of course, your tribe matters and helps with this. Don’t underestimate how resilient you are.

Your opinion is the one that matters
Difficult circumstances are besieged with dilemmas, ripe for judgment. Find your own view about what you are dealing with, one that you can reconcile in your heart. Embrace your view and cut the noise.

The shelves of the heart
When a loved one passes on, it leaves your heart in complete disarray. With time, a bit of trial and error, and some shifting around, we find a new way of having them present in our lives. I call this rearranging the shelves of our hearts. Eventually, you end up with a feeling of peace. This is not denial, but rather a gracious acceptance of what is. Find the peaceful arrangement that suits your heart.

Stay grateful
Despite the sadness and messiness you are making your way through, you’ll realize that you still have a lot to be grateful for and many reasons to be excited about the future. Don’t forget to appreciate all that is good in your life.

I wish you your perfect amount of chaos, the kind that unleashes your own dancing stars.




  1. David Newman
    June 27, 2017

    Beautifully put, Christine. We all have times of chaos and this puts things into perspective. Thank You!

  2. admin
    July 2, 2017

    Thank you David.

  3. Anni Holtby
    July 5, 2017

    I love what you have written – speaks to me. Grief work is messy – and the image of rearranging the shelves of your heart is so true for me.
    thank you for sharing!

    • admin
      September 10, 2017

      Thank you Anni.


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