Loss in a time of Thanksgiving. 💔 When life upends our plans, and the love and companionship we’ve cherished explodes into a toxic cloud, or we face some other inconsolable loss, there are two options: We can numb out and put one foot in front of the other. Or we can stay present and put one foot in front of the other.
Either way, we keep going. Choice number one constricts the heart, literally putting us at risk for heart attack and immune system dysregulation. The second choice risks us burdening our friends with TMI, blubbering at inconvenient moments, and spending too much time in bed.
Having spent way too many years unconsciously tamping down my feelings (a childhood habit developed to cope as negative thoughts or feelings were punished), I choose to weep and talk and reach out. I don’t choose to stay in bed in the morning, but it seems I have a harder time jump starting my day since my own personal upheaval.
Here’s what I do. I stay in bed longer and plug in my earbuds to be guided by a meditation or a yoga nidra. Then, I go to my mat. Still in my pajamas I practice, sometimes listening to soothing chants, sometimes weeping, eventually smiling as the morning takes hold of me.
I gaze out onto the balcony at the changing light, the receptivity of the plants, the visiting birds, the mountains, the bike I may ride later, and find so many reasons to be grateful. I gaze at the pictures of my family, arranged around my yoga and meditation space. In their faces, I find more reasons to give thanks.
I brighten my morning with a shower, and then I am ready to move through my day, working, walking with friends, calling my family, and … well, mostly enjoying myself.
Throughout our lives, all of us face those unplanned changes, losses, betrayals that knock us off balance. Climbing to our feet, resuming that steady gaze on the essentials we hold dear, takes time. Our spiritual practices (mine being yoga and meditation and prayer), therapy (yes, I’m on a waiting list), friends, and nature can help. At least, this is what helps me.
What helps you remember that your true nature is not this story or this temporary mood?
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And, Save the Dates- registration info to come!
Kripalu May 26 – 29
Practices to Shift Depression and Anxiety, Yoga For Your Mood Immersion
Cape Cod Institute July 31- Aug 4
IFS (Internal Family Systems) and LFY Immersion
Relief is available. Stay safe, stay well.