Blog

We need to talk about it

Sometimes grief hits you when it's not convenient.  

yizkor.jpg

Tomorrow is my mom's yahrzeit (the anniversary of someone's death in the Jewish tradition) and it would be so much easier if I could just light the yahrzeit candle, say the prayers and decide I'll be sad from 7-9pm.  That was my plan anyway.

But it's happening RIGHT NOW.

I've been feeling anxious and angry a lot today.  I thought it was because I'm on a deadline, have a lot of behind the scenes scheduling, emails, writing, organizing, planning to do.  I thought it was just me being overwhelmed with life.

I realize now that my body is remembering the loss.  I feel it now in my heart just as I did before, during and after her death.  That first round of heartache lasted for 6 months after she died. The physical heartache that originates in the center of my chest and radiates out.  It's dark, heavy and unmovable. When I feel it I see the shape of a large spider, legs coming out in every direction.

Grief is ugly, complicated, messy, raw, painful and difficult to hold alone.

While I will welcome the love and support that I know I will receive from this post, that is NOT why I'm sharing this with you.

I'm sharing this with you because I don't want to hold it alone.  I'm sharing this with you because grief is not something that we typically talk about or share with one another.  It is a very private experience. We want the emotions of grief to just come when someone dies and get it over with and hope that it won't return.  But it DOES return over and over again. I've talked to so many people who have lost a parent, especially my mom's friends. Every single one of them has shared with me that 15, 20, 30+ years after their loved one has passed, they still feel the loss.  It never fully goes away.

And yet, we're not talking about it.

We're sweeping it to the side, burying our pain like their bodies in the ground.  We bury it so that we don’t make each other uncomfortable or sad. So that we’re not pitied.  So that we don’t have to face how fucking painful it is. Unfortunately, what I know as a somatic therapist is that the emotion that is not experienced to completion doesn't decompose like a buried body but rather becomes stuck in our tissue eventually becoming some autoimmune disease, chronic pain or illness that we can't come back from.

We NEED to talk about it.

At some point, we are ALL going to experience loss of someone we love.

Grief comes in many ways.  It comes in the form of physical pain, anger, confusion, utter dismay, fear of more loss and fear of our own death.  It also comes in the form of hope, motivation, being present more often and being more focused on what we really want.  It forces us to feel our lives right now and to remember the sacredness of every moment. Especially when your heart is crying out from loneliness and sadness that no one can take away.

When you are feeling this, you need to talk about it.  With a therapist, with the ones you love. Talk to your kids, friends, family members, teachers, pets, the tree in your backyard.  Let's share this very real part of being alive. Not to dwell on it, but to remember the sacredness of life and the loss that comes with it.  

We NEED to talk about it.

We need to talk about letting go of everything that we lost when their body stopped breathing.

AUT_0012.jpg

Last night my sis and I made a list of all of the good things we remember about my mom. Our list includes lots of memories, her cute little dance moves, the way she ordered at restaurants, the way it felt when she put her hand on my face and called me my nickname, how cute and happy she got after a few sips of alcohol. (cut to pic to the left)

Because my mom was an expert in the kitchen and taught me so much about cooking, I regularly think of her and talk to her when I’m in the kitchen making food for the week or trying some new recipe.  

We also need to talk about the ways that they are still alive.  Perhaps it's seeing their smile in another person’s face or if its a parent perhaps you hear their laugh when you laugh.  

We NEED to talk about it and we need to FEEL it.

Last time I held her hand.

Last time I held her hand.

I had other plans for tonight.  But then grief came to visit. So, I will sit with this feeling.  I will place my hands on my heart and tell this part of me that I am here, that I love her and that we will get through this together.  I will talk to my mom and tell her that I'm listening just in case she has something to share with me. I will hold myself with compassion and care as I sift through the long slow moments of sadness.  I will feel that sadness in my body and let that energy move and transform into other sensations and emotions.  I will consciously remember all that my mom gave me when she was alive. Most importantly she gave me LIFE. I will remember what it felt to be held by her or to have her grab my hand as we walked down the street together. 

That's the thing I miss the most...

Transforming Fear

A few nights ago, I walked to a friend's house to pick up Gracie.  it was a beautiful night, about 50 degrees which felt delightful for winter in Chicago.  Trotting along, I enjoyed and breathed in the fresh air, listened to singing birds, and excitedly envisioned Gracie's little head in my hands kissing her sweet face too many times. She's so so delicious.  I love it when she sees me for the first time and squeals when she realizes who I am.  Oh, be still my heart.  

It was 10ish pm and I began to feel that fear that usually comes when I'm walking alone late at night.  Within seconds I was enveloped by the cold vulnerability that sends chills through your veins. Then the visions of being attacked filled my body mind.  Unfortunately, a commonplace feeling for most women.  

In an instant my enjoyment and appreciation of the moment vanished.  I began to breathe. I slowed my pace and felt my breath expanding so that I could feel my ribs and lungs opening against the  band of my bra.  Then, I began to take the shape (The Bowspring) that I've been practicing for the last year and a half.  I breathed my ribcage and heart full. Then, with each step I pulled back with my feet so that my glutes and hamstrings starting working too.  I floated my heart away from my pelvis, lifted my chin and began to visualize the shape of my body.  I learned at InVision the energy school in Lakeview, that you can fill your body in with your own gold life energy to replenish and rejuvenate.  So, in visioning my shape, I poured in a gold shimmery color so that my mind began living into my body with a feeling AND an image.  

With each empowered step, feelings of bone chilling fear began to shift into feelings of courage, lightness and power. I felt that I could take care of myself.  Not a vulnerable little waif of a human, but, a solid and powerful creature moving upon the earth.  Even after 15 years of practice, again, I'm reminded of the incredible POWER of the awareness on the body.  

The Bowspring Method has become so much more than a way to strengthen and heal my body. It has become a way to live this life from a brand new perspective.  While all of my training has taught me that the form we take affects our perspective and mood, feeling it fascinates the shit out of me and inspires me to share this with as many people as I can.  

How would you live differently or who would you be if you approached yourself and your life from feeling courageous, strong, agile, able, light, upright, open in your bodymind?  How would your relationships change? 

Join me for Bowspring in a class, intensive workshop or private lesson

Pura Vida

Pura vida! - "The law of the land in Costa Rica. The expression is used in many forms, from a greeting, to a synonym for "excellent." Ticos follow this lifestyle and are some of the most wonderful people on earth. No matter how little or how much you have in life, we are all here together and life is short...so start living it "pura vida style".

I was in Costa Rican paradise for 11 days for vacation and a delicious yoga retreat.  My first few days were exhausting.  I didn't sleep the night before my early morning flight and the temperature difference from Chicago (70 degrees hotter) put my body in recovery mode.  After a few days of resting and recouping in the warm Costa Rican air, I began to feel the tension that is frequently present in my body/mind to soften and I settled into the much slower pace of Nosara.

doriesunset.JPG

As I moved through the small town and met business owners, expats and locals, I repeatedly heard the phrase "pura vida".  I heard it as a greeting, a goodbye, a response when  something exciting is mentioned and a response when something challenging is expressed.  Everyone I talked to or visited, I  was reminded that life is precious and to enjoy it, even when its hard.

Since coming home, I have been reminding myself of pura vida everyday.  It brings me back to the bigger picture.  I remember I have been given a gift of life and I want live it and experience it fully. Its a doorway to opening my heart right now.

 

Two other practices have contributed to a sense of ease...
1.  Practicing the principles in the practical and life changing book Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver and I am so honored to share them with you in the next intensive.

2.  Practicing the beautiful Sridaiva method of yoga also known as the bowspring method.  An uplifting, bouncy, new way to be in your body that has reported feelings of lightness, joy, ease of pain, greater sense of balance and better orgasms (for real!!!) 

Are you anxious, afraid, worried, stressed out?  
Do you have injuries or are wanting to prevent them?
Want a sustainable way to create balance in your body mind?

What would your life be like if you had an internal way of addressing stress when it arises in your body/mind.  A practical way of applying the yoga lessons of surrender, letting go and going with the flow.  We all know these principles in our heads but HOW do we apply them in modern life?

Outrageous openness + bowspring = ease (Pura Vida!)

Check out workshops and classes to practice the bowspring.

Wishing for YOU the feeling of pura vida!

LOVE!
dorie