Living with Courage
Such uncertainty is all around us all, each and every one of us. This is a time of ubiquitous grief. There is plenty enough grief for our hearts to bear with life’s typical tragedies, losses and traumas march on without missing a step. And yet, on top of it all, a silent pandemic is spreading from shore to shore. If that is not enough, just glance at the daily news to feel the political polarization stretching thin or even breaking long held friendships and family ties. For many, this “piling on” effect feels unfair and even cruel. Feeling overwhelmed or even lost in the labyrinth of grief is common.
For those who are on this journey, it is important to have faith in yourself and your inner compass guiding you. Drop into your feelings and trust them to lead the way. There is no getting over great loss. No linear path. Despite the talk of stages of grief, there is no real progression through them. They are but guideposts along the way. We do not “get over” grief, but instead we learn to live with and move through it. But how?
Be still. Slow down enough to tap in to where you are. Ground yourself in the breath by taking slow deep ones. I like the 3 deep breath exercise to start. This begins with an inhalation in through the nose, hold at the top for two beats and then exhale through the mouth. Do this again two more times and then invite stillness in to feel what you feel. Trust your inner resources. Listen to your gut. If hurt is there, feel it, knowing it will over-take you. Using the normal breath as your guide feel the wave of emotion come and then recede. Center or ground yourself in the breath when the waves come.
This small mindful exercise slows down racing thoughts, lowers blood pressure, and can be done seated or on the yoga mat.
Other stepping stones through grief I suggest are:
Move your body through space. Walk or stretch or run. Pick movement that gets your heart rate up and do that 3-5 times a week if you can.
Start to see it. Use your imagination to see down the path. What is next? It might be only as far away as tomorrow. Pay attention to the imagination. When you find yourself dreaming of the next job, goal or project you want to tackle, then you are well on your way!
Practice mindful self-compassion. Take care of yourself.
Be patient. Loss is cyclical and the waves will come again.
Remember as your imagination expands about the new chapter, the waves will lessen.
If this all feels too scary, reach out to a professional to help you learn to mindfully sit, feel and sort your feelings.
If you have questions, please reach out to me. Go gently and take good care!