how can i hold heartache guidance in the face of a world gone mad danielle van de velde

How can I hold the Heartache?

How can I hold the Heartache?

Guidance in the face of a world gone mad

On the March Equinox, a beautiful group of people gathered for the Shape Shifting journey. This bi-annual journey takes the group of (currently 85) spirit-seekers on a journey into conscious creation. It’s a juicy journey threaded with weekly astrological guidance, deep dive coaching, talks on magic and spirit, podcasts and course content.

Equally important to this divine process that I have been holding space for, for eight years, is the community. It is through the community of shared intent and exploration that the real magic happens. Synchronous revelations, dreams and insights abound. Shared Spirit Guides and Archetypes inform the group. And the community is where each Shape Shifter shares their process, their altars, their goals and their revelations. And it is also where we seek support, acknowledgement and witnessing. 

Last week, one of our community members posted her feelings on Heartache. It was equally a call for ideas and perspectives, and also a pure declaration of Heartache and the Search for Meaning. The entire Shape Shifting community erupted in solidarity upon reading Melissa’s post and the sharing that ensued was so beautiful and powerful that I am sharing it here with permission from all involved. 

It not only holds some wonderful spiritual insights, it’s also a great example of how powerful belonging to a spiritual community can be. To have the space, safety and shared intent for transformation, that you can put a voice to your truth in the way that Melissa has.

how can i hold the heartache danielle van de velde

how can i hold the heartache danielle van de velde

how can i hold the heartache danielle van de velde

The mindful eloquence of this post is just so beautiful to read. Melissa ignited the community in shared heartache and some beautiful exchanges ensued.

how can i hold the heartache danielle van de velde

Tonglen and Phowa are two powerful energy practices that utilise the breath, awareness and visualisation to transmute the heaviness of heartache into a powerful source of light.

‘Tonglen’ means ‘transmutation of energy, and it is an altruistic meditation — that is, a meditation done for the collective, to transmute fear, anger, disillusionment, or any obscuration to our spirited selves. 

I explain it further in Chapter 19 of my upcoming book, Spirited:

“We are all interconnected. We are all refractions of one dazzling living mind. When we experience illness, heartbreak, loss, and pain, it is a personal refraction of a larger collective field, and it is rippling through our experience so that we may rise to heal all. This perspective is a big shift for many, especially those living with pain or sick loved ones, yet the change in vibrational state and the reinstatement of purpose and freedom from shame and guilt can generate a wholesale shift internally, which then by extension influences outcomes within our lives. You can find a link to my version of Tonglen in the appendices. Employing an attitude of service rather than taking an experience personally by viewing it as a common experience in the collective that happens to be rippling through you as you have the awareness to heal the whole, is a spirited move. This altruistic perceptive removes the personal nature of the reaction and opens the heart to higher vibrations that very effectively transmute older operating beliefs and fears.”

Phowa is otherwise known as Transferal of Consciousness. It is practiced for others usually at the point of death, to help them transmute their fear or past karma and move swiftly into light. It’s a beautiful practice to apply to both our personal and collective heartache.

And then this gorgeous perspective on Empathy and Compassion from Clinical Psychologist, Yogini and Spirit-seeker, Dea:

“Compassion involves movement and action”…what a divine gentle tilt here. And it is a movement of awareness to a spiritual lens, and actions that are inspired by spiritual perspectives.

In these times of turbulence and enormity, I always find my way to the wilderness for envelopment and earthing, and I give.

Our spirited community responded with open hearts. Too many beautiful responses for this blog, but an incredible outpouring of empathy and acknowledgement of the enquiry: How to honour heartache, but not be consumed by it?

And a final pondering, that the heartache itself is playing an important role and must be felt. 

In so many ways, heartache serves us. It keeps us connected to the human experience. It keeps us from the slippery slope of apathy amidst the constant barrage of world news. It evidences an energetic entanglement with people who are suffering in the world right this very minute, and we are able and designed to send powerful prayers and intentions along those threads of that entanglement. It’s a two-way flow!

And if the glare of world events is too bright, and like Mel and me, you need to retreat into home and hearth and hold your loves close…then absolutely honour that too.

That folding in to what is precious – home, hearth, children, touch, rest, creative expression, opportunities to love and be kind, is a draw to connect more deeply with what we choose for this world. The more we flood our immediate lives and relationships with light, joy, forgiveness and non-judgement, the more the webs of light find each other and grow. The response is, and always has been, what is your personal actioned choice in all of this? 

And if you, like many of us, refuse to become desensitised to the humanness of it all, if you are defiant against the constant stream of Covid case numbers, refugees numbers, numbers of bombs dropped, the statistics of a world in turmoil, and you seek to remain connected to the people within those numbers…then honour the heartache. Your heartache is a piercing reminder that you remain connected, beneath the bombs, beneath the pandemic, beneath your own pain, you are essential to it all. 

I hope this little insight into the beautiful nurturing exchanges within a spiritual community has soothed your own heartache and given you some ideas to step forward peacefully.


If you are looking to join groups, retreats or circles with like-spirited people, do get in touch or go to for current offerings. You can also explore courses and useful content on the website to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.