February is usually a difficult winter month however, this year the warm spring-like temperatures and occasional sparks of sunshine have been inspirational of better times.
The garden is a mud haven for the dog! And it does look hideous now! However, this is the perfect time to plan for veggies in the spring. Starting any seeds indoors always gives you a head start to the new season. It also makes you think of renewal and change. Time to take stock of where you are and where you want to go.
As I move through my grief journey I am grateful for my bereavement group as we support each other through these difficult times.
My favourite meditations from Joesph Goldstein often help when times are stressful. Trying to reduce your suffering by not grasping so much...sometimes accepting things are difficult and not trying to push the situation away. Accept it for what it is and breathe...
I am grateful to a yoga teacher who advised me about focussing on the breath and different techniques, and supported me during challenging times. Sometimes you find support where you least expect it!
It is a time of celebration as we gather with friends and family during this magical time. Although, this year feels a little less magical, a little more difficult as I am missing someone very special. When grieving during the holidays one way to cope with your loss is to allow yourself to have those waves of sadness. Let the feelings arise and just try to watch them with curiosity. Don't try to stop them just let them happen. Notice what is coming up. Breathe. Breathe again. Let the feelings drift like clouds.
One good way to celebrate your loss on the holidays is to talk about the person who has passed to other family or friends about the past holidays spent with them. A favourite memory is always welcome.
Don't let anyone tell you to 'get over your grief'. This is your grief and your time and it will take as long as it takes. It is okay not to be okay for as long as you need. Be kinder to yourself during days when it is especially difficult.
Coping with intense physical pain has been the narrative lately for me. Time seems to move much more slowly during this time as you wait for waves of pain to encircle you. You start to wonder- when will this end? And then your mind starts spiralling and taking you on a most depressing narrative. How does one stop the narrative? Lately listening to Joseph Goldstein on the Insight Hour podcast I have found some encouraging words.
Rather than struggling to stop the pain 'feeling' just be with it. Be present in this moment. Don't think about what will this feel like tomorrow. Just feel what is arising now. And yes -it may be quite awful. I find evenings are the worst. I turn to Plum Villages mediations then which offer a sense of distraction. However you go back to your breath and you start to be grateful for your feet which allow you to walk, then move to various body parts and find more gratitude. This embracing of the gratitude for your intestine at first felt a bit strange but then slowly you realize how grateful you are. This gratitude allows you to be present in the moment but also allows you to open up and appreciate those feet of yours which take you so many places!
Reiki has also been helpful during this time. It helps speed up the healing process and when it is midnight and you can't sleep then it is a great time to practice some Reiki which helps you relax and eventually fall asleep.
The journey lately has been challenging and very difficult. The path to take is not clear at all. It almost feels as though I am in quicksand! That sinking feeling when one is
overwhelmed, that has been all too familiar lately.
As I walk along this winding path I am reminded to be present in the moment and to breathe deeply. Find some gratitude in the simple things..being in nature, being able to be present if only for a few minutes. Taking time to connect to the breath. Spending less time focussing on the future and the past and just being in the now. That helps to re-focus the mind and to help you relax.
Often Change is difficult..just because it is easier to go with the flow and leave things as they are. However, sometimes things need to shift so you can grow and be free.
Recently going through some shifts in my life and trying to get rid of what does not serve me or is toxic to my well being. What a process! The key is to find that tiny kernel of happiness right now even when things are in flux...even when you don't feel your best...even when every day is a struggle.. Breathe, stay present in the moment. Put one foot forward...and continue. Soon your path will become clear.
At the moment my path is dense fog of haze! But I trust in the moment that soon the fog will lift and my path will be clear.
I am grateful for the small blessings along the way...and of course for Finnegan who makes each day brighter even though he is often very mischievous !
Take some time to connect with nature..with your pets and find your small blessings..it will help you along the way.