I’ve fallen behind on a few things within the big energy of Summer Solstice time, getting kids through their final weeks of school for the season, and, (you know!) all. the. things.
I try to make it a priority to offer my clients, groups, family, friends & larger community a regulated nervous system over anything else, because I know my own regulation & well-being sends out ripples all around me, and that is the most valuable thing I can give to the world.
If you make it to the bottom of this post you will find a short video about one of the oldest practices for clearing & self-regulation for those who are tending grief in themselves or others.
Sometimes you have to lay down what you had hoped to achieve on the altar of your own health & well-being. This practice of taking care of yourself first is rarely encouraged, let alone celebrated in our society.
I’m here to say, if there are things you need to lay down on the altar of your health this season, you have my wholehearted encouragement & support!
Savour what it is like to give yourself more permission to just BE!
Often, when we are in grief, this can feel like a choiceless choice. In order to go down fully into the Underworld as may be required by our Soul life, we must let go of our best-laid plans.
Sometimes this involves taking time off work, or asking for extra help from friends & family, or saying no to social obligations that don’t feel right for you at this time.
Saying no and asking for help can be incredibly hard at first.
It is good to consider that when you give someone a task to help you with, you give them a place in your life, and that is in itself a gift.
Asking for help builds community. While some people will always be too busy to help out, for many folks, it is a blessing to be included.
And saying, “No,” even when it is hard, is a beautiful step towards deeper authenticity in yourself and in your relationships.
Actually, two ‘hallmark’ signs of secure, healthy, relational attachment are a.) an ability to ask for what we need and b.) an ability to communicate healthy boundaries.
Healing how we relate to other humans is often a key step in moving through grief, because to find relief from the pain of being alone in the depths of grief, we need each other. But if we don’t feel comfortable being our authentic self with others, then more people in our lives will equal more self-sacrifice, and nobody wants that!
My invitation/challenge for you this month is to play with these three practices:
1. Ask for help & support. Whether you ask friends, family or community, or perhaps your ask is a prayer to the Spirit, Nature, your Ancestors, I invite you to ask with your heart open and then watch & notice how it is for you to receive a response. Don’t judge the responses you receive or your reaction to them, simply observe and journal about how it feels.
2. Say, “No,” at least once when it makes you slightly uncomfortable. We ALL find ourselves in these situations multiple times a day if we are really paying attention. You want to say no. You don’t want to do the thing, whatever it is. But saying, “Yes,” is easier, so you sacrifice your authentic truth for the easy way out. Over time this takes a toll though, and any one who has ever done this knows exactly what I’m talking about. This month, I invite you to PRACTICE saying no when that is the right authentic response for you.
3. Say, “Yes,” to something that is enjoyable, maybe even FUN, and just for you. Having fun and experiencing pleasure may feel like a far away illusion when you are in grief. Or we tell ourselves it is selfish for us to want to feel good when our favourite person is suffering or no longer here. But the truth is, in order for grief to move well, we HAVE to expose ourselves regularly to the beauty of life. Because grief is actually love in motion. And life is meant to be lived. The way I see it is we actually honour the ones who are no longer embodied by BEING FULLY EMBODIED. It is like saying, “Yes, I see, feel, and deeply KNOW how sacred, and short, this life is.”
Now, I want to share with you about one of the most ancient practices for grief tending.
If you are tending the grief & trauma of others, you need to have ways of moving your own grief through your body, as well as the energy of anything that “sticks”….otherwise you may quickly find yourself experiencing your own form of grief as compassion fatigue or burn-out.
Whether you are a therapist, caretaker, or have someone close to you who is in deep grief or working through trauma, it is ESSENTIAL you have ways of taking care of yourself both before and after.
The interesting thing is, whether you are a support person or someone who is in your own grieving process, a lot of the techniques are the same.
The practice I want to share with you today is simple, yet profound. To watch my short video on this ancient practice, check it out on Instagram HERE (you will be able to watch the video even if you don’t have your own Instagram account, but if you DO have an IG account you can follow me there!)