Amina Peterson
4 min readJun 25, 2020
Black androgynous person holding face in hands.
On grief, fear and acceptance.

How Fear Stops Us from Making Peace with Reality.

Can we talk about grief for a moment? When COVID 19 moved into our lives, there were so many opinions. I remember tearing up my NCAA brackets, which I had carefully and strategically selected, thinking “this shit is about to be really bad if they are cancelling the sports.” Even still, I got on a plane and headed to Hawaii for my annual trip, where I have been “stuck” ever since.

I kept telling my friends and family that I will be home in a minute, to resume the life I built. The Institute would be reopening the doors and classes would resume, in just a few… this will all die down soon. Unable to recognize the anxiety that planning into the unknown was embedding into my spirit, I just kept pushing dates back. A few days became 2 more weeks, which became 2 more months. Time has no real relevance here. It measures periods of time that don’t mean anything, because time always concluded in certainty and we lack that here.

Throughout this process, I began to notice a new sense of unease. I found myself laughing hysterically when it really wasn’t that funny, to try to feel more joy. I picked myself up of the ground from temper tantrums when things didn’t go my way. I don’t know whether it was depression or despair, but I got stuck in a weird, sad place. I couldn’t tell myself what was going to happen next which often left me feeling immobilized.

Through it all I just kept hearing “you are grieving.”

Grief is weird like that. It shows up one day and we act like it’s not happening. We just want to get back to what felt good, to return to what brought us comfort and made us feel loved. It doesn’t matter if it was real love or a comfort that we needed, hell often times it wasn’t comfortable at all.

Grief is defined as “an emotional, spiritual and physical response to loss,” and we have sat over the few months as a witness to the loss of a lot of things. Usually, we think of grieving in the context of someone’s physical death, but I often coach people through the grief of (usually romantic) relationships. However, there is something different about the way we view our relationships with our realities. The way we had grown accustomed to experiencing life is dead and people are moving through and stalling at all stages of grief on this.

The 7 stages of grief written over a blurred background.

Many of us, having moved passed the state of disbelief and hurt, are angry and in a state of rage have waged a war on reality, as we grieve certain ideas we had accepted as truth. Despite my regular efforts to move in flow, rather than fight it, I still held closely to the idea of controlling my own reality. Manifesting shit into existence can be a spiritual mind-fuck; when we move in flow things come together so easily that we seem to be the puppet masters of the whole universe.

I grieve the IDEA of control.

In the fall of 2019, long before COVID was a word in any of our daily language, I began exploring the concept of radical acceptance. When things began to unfold, I found myself resistant to talking about grief — as I didn’t want to be received as telling people how to grieve, or worse, judging the way that they are grieving. Where ever you are at in this experience please know that I am only recognizing my own grief, and because of that I am empathetic to this deep space of grief we are all sharing.

I am sharing this as I remember the tools that spirit led me to, so that I could be prepared to hold space during this time. The struggle against what is really happening in this moment is one that is causing additional pain in this experience. I know it’s scary, as I have had to move through the fear. I am still moving past the fear at times, because accepting that I am not in control means being reminded of that often. Accepting that I am not in control also means relinquishing the trope of the strong Black woman, not in defense of the future, but embracing the now. It means releasing the ideas I held on so tightly to, that built my reality.

“Fear is the acceptance of future pain.” — Tara Bach

Mindfulness has moved me into a place of contemplative mourning. As I build a new, exciting practice of sex work that includes healing grief and experiencing emotions in the sensual body, I am listening to clients, allowing them to serve as a guide to the creation of ritual and ceremonies to help us all through this process. I am building a small intimate retreat space here in Hawaii where I can work in seclusion with individuals, a place where we come together to allow: allow grief to work its way out of our life and allow pleasure to work its way back INTO your life.

Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Grief is as natural of an experience as sex, but in all of our experiences the suffering is optional! Acceptance and hope are on the horizon.

In Pleasure and Power,


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Oh, and you are invited to book a discovery call with me today, so that you can explore the many ways grief is necessary for you to continue and grow into your erotic journey.

Amina Peterson

Amina is the founder of the Atlanta Institute of Tantra & Divine Sexuality. She is a healer, sex doula, intimacy coach, tantric sex educator, and activist.