I’ve had a lot of grief show up lately.
Some of it certainly tied to the death of my dad just before COVID-19 hit, but it seems to have deeper reaches too.
I’ve felt bouts of anger.
I’ve tried to bargain with life. (“If just I’d done that…” or “What if…”)
I’ve sat with depression. (“Why bother going on with…at all?”)
And then, acceptance.
(And perhaps, in these times of change, you have encountered similar in your own life.)
It’s all been one messy, non-linear dance with life. But there’s also been something else emerging, simultaneously.
I’ve created a little garden in my windowsill.
I’m prepping to plant veggies on my balcony (for the first time)!
I’m taking more time to just sit and enjoy a cold glass of water, soak up the spring sun, and take little outings with my husband, young son and our Olde English Bulldogge puppy.
It seems like I’m nursing myself (or letting myself be nursed) back to life. And what is slowly and steadily emerging is a new version of me. A more rounded, whole version. And so I wanted to share the four daily practices I use to sit with all of this and find my center of calm when the (emotional) storm is raging.
1. Move your body.
Go for a walk, plant a garden, stand up, and take a deep breath. Do something physical. Moving your body moves the energy. It literally pushes your brain out of “old tracks.” (Ever notice how movement brings new insights and ideas?)
2. Be a witness for yourself.
When you start to move, the energy moves. That means it’s very likely that emotions will surface. Pay attention to them. Invite them to tell you their message. Like a scientist, observe what’s happening within you. Be curious. (No judgement needed here—very important.)
3. Practice self-compassion.
When you feel anger, grief, depression, or any other emotion, try not to judge yourself or analyze why you feel like you feel. Just feel it. When you allow yourself to feel the way you feel, you actually allow yourself to be who you are, with all your beautiful facets. This is the beginning of the practice of compassion toward yourself. And when you’re compassionate with yourself, you will automatically extend that practice to your surroundings. If you find this difficult, you can use this question to guide you: “How can I hold this (person, myself, emotion, situation) without prejudice or judgement?”
4. Set boundaries.
Be conscious of where you need to establish clearer boundaries from a space of love and self-nourishment. Do you need 10 minutes for yourself in the morning to meditate? Do you need to delegate something or ask for help in an area of your life? Just notice what comes up when reading this.
That’s it! And let me know: how can this serve you?