As some of you already know, it’s been a super hard road for me these last couple of weeks. My mother made what appears to be a very sudden & tragic choice to exit this life & all the flow mojo that goes (& sometimes doesn’t go) along with it. My struggle to transform the energy of grief continues as I search for some sort of meaning within it all.
Though I have some rough understanding of what it might be (lack of self confidence? lack of self care? alignment with life-draining forces? a messy lesson in learning how to tolerate the intolerable?) , the more meaningful truth is that I’m meant to stand strong in my resolve to share this message with you.
Yes, I know it’s really personal. Yes, I am raw beyond belief. But because I have chosen to dedicate my life force to serving others in the ways that I best know how, it feels vital to share a few things that I know about the lessons of grief & the transformation that can occur within it.
These are the things that are supporting me in this difficult time:
1. Self care. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to fall into total disrepair when in the throes of grief. The week I was “attending to the details” of my mom’s death, I ate a total of three meals & probably slept no more than four hours a night. Now that I’m home & the adrenaline has leveled, I am forcing myself to return to my life as I knew it: whole foods, lots of water, plenty of rest, going slow & some gentle yoga & breath meditation. I’m even “letting myself” lay down mid-day to close my eyes for a while, a habit I’ll likely continue for the rest of my life.
I’ve also purchased a book that I know will be helpful in cultivating specific self care in regards to my grief: Loss & Growth: The Grief Spiral by Elissa Bishop-Becker, M.Ed., LPC, NCC. Not only is Elissa an amazing person from the incredible community of Key Westers where I lived for nearly 15 years, the cover of her book made me gasp when it arrived: A nautilus spiral of words at its center, like God’s & the cosmos’ little wink to me that it is exactly what I need.
2. Allowing without attachment. This one is so so so tricky. I feel fortunate that I spent years with a Buddhist Sangha that taught me so much about not attaching to my stories, ideas or emotions. It’s not easy to escape the story, especially tragic ones that feel so unfair on so many levels, & to not let it consume you to the point where you become it.
It takes great courage to let the emotion rise up inside of you, to let them out & free & not carry it like a heavy burden or martyr torch for eternity. The practice of noticing without clinging goes a long way, especially for creative sorts who tend to feel deeply.
It also helps ease the load when you have sudden outbursts or make a less than fantastic choice. Things get messy when you’re going through a lot. If you allow for it instead of beating yourself up, you can recuperate sooner & hopefully make a better choice the next time around.
3. Remembering breath. For all the yoga I’ve done & taught, I find that in times of great distress, the breath tends to get squeezed like a bird in a too-small cage. When I notice that I am squeezed for breath or even holding it, taking three, slow, conscious, full, deep, life enhancing breaths helps ground me & connect back to the source of what connects my energy & soul to my human form.
4. Remembering we are all ENERGY- pure light, housed in human form. This is a big one for me. Every time I start to get anxious & wonder why my mom’s story had to end so tragically, a wiser voice inside reminds me that on a universal level, she is free. That, ultimately, we are all just energy- infinite, pure, forever intertwined & connected. That she is with me always, & now without the human suffering stories that riddled much of her life.
& that, if I look & listen closely, I will see little messages everywhere confirming this very truth.
5. Positive distraction. Suddenly I was home with the time & space to really digest what had happened. That my mom was gone. Like pendulum I swung between giant sobs & a calm knowing that life is what it is & we need to keep moving onward. When the calm knowing started to slide to the back seat, I let my maestro of positive distraction kick into high gear. Website redesign? Done. Winter freezer of stews & chilis made? Done. Develop & design my upcoming workshop & seminar series? Done. In one week I managed to channel all of that intense energy to complete what I’ve been thinking about for a year.
6. Calling upon gratitude. This is a practice I established with my children about a year ago, & it is proving to be a life raft right about now. You can create a form that works for you & your life’s flow, but ours is relatively simple. Each night before bed, we take turns declaring three things that we are grateful for about that day. In the last few weeks, mine have continuously been my children & the lessons of NOW they teach me daily, the support & love from many special friends, & my own life force, that seems to know how to flow forward despite the heavy load I’ve often been challenged with.
7. Staying in the present. It is, as they say, where the gifts begin. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with peeking into the past, if you stay there, you will surely miss out on the many beautiful things that await.
8. Talking about it. Personally, I have not found this to be very helpful. Every time I try to find the words to express how I feel or share “the story” surrounding my mom’s passing, I feel a bit trapped within it. I become agitated, anxious, depressed & stuck inside the idea that I’ve somehow been betrayed. & while I know all of these feelings are perfectly acceptable, it isn’t the sort of energy that’s helping me feel better.
For me, focusing on what I know to be true in a quiet, contemplative way is what is helping me gather the courage to move forward with my life & deepening my commitment to live it in the best way I possibly can.
Because that’s what I think is at the end of grief’s road: a sign post pointing the way towards a life beautifully lived. It’s up to us to choose to travel down it or not.
Cricket Desmarais is a creative & lifestyle wellness coach, a ryt yogi, a writer, & an artist. She is raw & real & believes that there’s a revolution to be found within those spaces.
Subscribe to the Flow Mojo tribe to find out more about her insights, workshops & services. If you’re a mamma, mosey on over to www.THESPARKLEPOWERPROJECT to get your inner grit & glitter on.