A Bomb has been just dropped into your life. That bomb is some type of horrible news. The lost of a job, a terminal diagnosis, or in my case- the death of a beloved friend. What do you do?
In moments like these, I just head for the woods. I find movement the most effective way to process emotional shock or trauma.
Without getting too physiological- when you experience something traumatic, your body doesn’t know why your brain is saying “Get ready to go!” It only knows it needs to start pumping cortisol to get ready to run or fight. And if there was a grizzly bear in front of you, that is super helpful. But in most cases there is no physical danger and you don’t need to run or fight. You become stuck in shock and disbelief. You FREEZE.
When you freeze, that trauma gets stored in your body. The best thing you can do is to step outside to go for a walk. Give yourself some space to collect your thoughts, check in with your body, and feel the emotions that are coming up. If they are big, let them be big.
This morning I was giving the news that a dear friend had passed away. We had a 3 year romantic relationship and remained good friends after. In moments like this, I don’t tend to share or try to capture them, because they are deep, vulnerable, and hard. But as I am diving deeper into grief work and working with the dying, I thought it was important to share this. It’s important to talk about how much we hurt, how sad we are, and how hard things are. We need to normalize crying and expressing our “unfavorable” or uncomfortable feelings. To be ok to in witnessing or being witnessed in our own or other’s pain. Giving them the space, safety, freedom to express how they feel, without telling them how to feel, not to cry, or things will ok.
What I didn’t articulate well in the beginning of this video, because my mind was all over the place (a very normal response when processing something shocking), was trying to express that everyone at some point in their life, feels pain or experiences loss. It doesn’t matter how spiritually your are, or what field of expertise you’re in. You are not buffered from the grief and suffering of a loss. Just because someone who works in grief or end of life, experiences a loss of a loved one, doesn’t mean the emotions feel less strong or painful. This is what I love most about this type of work- the authentic rawness. This is where our humanity and spirit are the purest. In our grief, everyone is equal. We are all experts, teachers, and students of our own grief. No pedestal, no gurus, just a human in their suffering. We all have the right to fall apart, cry, scream, feel numb, be pissed off, lay in bed, do nothing, stay busy, plead, pray, surrender or whatever feels right to you. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. But if you get stuck and don’t know what to do…. just take a walk. Let Mother Earth hold you in your pain.
Sending you light, love and magic even with a heavy heart.