Monday was a very hard grief day. They come when I least expect it, they’re sneaky like that. There’s not a day that I’m not distinctly aware of grief and healing and growing, but some days it hits hard and I have no choice but to feel it all. I wrote my way through the day on Instagram and shared the following:
“Sitting in it for a moment, giving myself space to feel it all, and asking my heart what it needs today. The weight of grief sometimes feels like a feather made of lead, still floating just above the surface, but barely. It’s as if the air is thicker, harder to breathe, somehow pressing into me with more force than gravity. So I sit waiting for a shift, a reprieve, or just enough courage to stand and do the next thing.”
“I woke up with it. Pressing in- sneaking up on me, like an uninvited guest. But it’s here and so I’m going to be loud with my vulnerability today, because it’s ok to talk about hard things.
I’m taking this day one choice at a time, moment by moment asking my heart what it needs and I’m going to allow you a glimpse into it all with hopes that you that are grieving will feel less alone, that you who walk with those who are grieving will be empowered to love well, and that you, regardless of your life journey will be able to learn the power of listening to your own heart as you choose to heal.
“Be warned you cannot run away from it for too long. You have to feel it, experience it and then learn to walk in it. My first heart choice today was to get to the gym. Did you know that lifting weights is good for grieving?
Exercise triggers the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and GABA, which are well-known for their role in mood control
Exercise may fight feelings of depression better than antidepressants while relieving feelings of anxiety, pain, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, and more
I followed that with nutrition, because I know mechanically what my body needs. Post workout is always protein balances with the perfect ratio of carbs and healthy fats and packed full of minerals, vitamins and amino acids. I also add some BCAA’s. Next up was 15 minutes of a yoga practice and breathing designed for anxiety relief, and now a bath.
Friends, some days it’s literally one choice after another, listening to my heart, following my intuition, digging into my grief tool box and grabbing a tool. I don’t always grab the right tool, so I just go on to the next and give it a try.”
“Sometimes on a hard day, beautiful words cause my heart to settle down a little and find space to be. Learning to let go of what no longer serves me has been a huge part of my healing- that ‘little place’ where I am is ‘more than enough and all that I need’. This is not about money or possessions or position in life- this is far deeper, it is simply coming to the place of freedom knowing that who I am is more than enough and there is no achievement or position or thing that can alter that truth. Richard Rohr said, ‘All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. Then, when you can get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, you’ll find that the little place where you really are is ironically more than enough and is all that you need. At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God’.”
“I probably spaced out for a couple of hours today just unable to move on to the next thing. The “next thing” options all required brain power and I wasn’t feeling it. Eventually after mindlessly scrolling through Instagram pics, and remembering to drink more water, I finally grabbed my pen. One of the more unusual tools in my grief toolbox is ‘giving to others’- so I spent the last hour or so writing affirmations for the July “Just Breathe” group. When you pour out for others, it absolutely comes back to you. Breathing in and seeking wisdom for this next months group was so good for my heart. I have lots of room for more ladies. You should join us. It would make me happy today!”
“I’ve shared with the women in my Just Breathe group about the balance between knowing when to rest and knowing when to push and go hard. Deep inside we KNOW! We know when it’s sheer laziness and when we are making excuses! We know when rest is the only needed thing. We know when we need to dig deep and be MORE! So today was about nurturing myself. I’m giving my heart and my body what they need today, the same way I would care for one of my children to someone I love. Friends, it’s ok to nurture yourself!”
“I’m going to bed after binging a few episodes of that Netflix show about the OJ Simpson trial. And just so you know binging TV is a tool in my grief tool box! Lest you think I’m a total slacker I also made dinner, got my kids showered, lunches packed, and clothes laid out for morning. I also designed 28 affirmations and encouragement graphics for my “Just Breathe” group. My husband John would say, ‘No one could ever accuse you of being a slacker! So just rest!’ This wasn’t one of this sob your eyes out, cry all day kind of days. It was just a heavy blanket of grief day. And I did it. I made it through. There is no guarantee that tomorrow will be easier, but I can only deal with this one moment, and I’ll let tomorrow take care of itself. If you’re grieving tonight, I’m going to bed holding space for you. If you have no idea what a grief tool box might look like, I’d be happy to add you to a Facebook support group. If you wonder what “Just Breathe” is- check it out HERE.
So I woke up Tuesday with that kind of on edge feeling that comes after a hard day, with that “Please let today be a little easier!” feeling. I started the day a deep breath and coffee and sat in the living room to discover a Brené Brown interview with Oprah Winfrey in my Facebook newsfeed. It was 20 minutes and I decided to give myself the gift of watching it. The title “Living Brave” pulled me in – plus my friend Brené has been a voice of wisdom to me for the past 5 years or so. (Just kidding, we aren’t friends, that’s just all in my head.)
Feel free to watch this later. I mean after you read the rest of my words, because I’m talking now. 🙂
Anyway Oprah said something that made me cry and I hit pause, played it again, wrote it down and cried some more.
“When you see me coming, it ought to make you proud. And what you see is a woman so full that I’m overflowing with enough to share with everybody else. I’m going to own the fullness without ego, without arrogance, but with an amazing sense of gratitude that I’ve been born at a time where I am female on the planet and have the great pleasure and freedom to fill myself up.”
And I took a deep breath, because I want people to “see me coming” and really SEE ME. I want them to see a woman full to overflowing, a woman who has risen out of the ashes and done the brave work of healing. I want them to see courage, love, kindness and wisdom. I want to overflow with those things and have more than enough to give them back, to share, to pass on the richness of the journey I am living.
So my friends, when you see me coming, I hope you see all of that.
And this will be my mantra, my affirmation, my prayer. Let me say it again, for you, for me, in my words:
When you see me coming, it ought to make you proud. What you see is a woman full to overflowing, a woman who has risen out of the ashes and is doing the brave work of healing. I’m going to own the fullness with gratitude. The fullness of courage, love, kindness and wisdom. And I’m here to pour it out, to overflow, because I hold more than enough to share. I’m going to pass on the richness of the journey I am living.
So here I am. I hope you see me coming.