Werk through the pain

Staying fully grounded and present in my body has been a challenge this week. Holiday preparations have been triggering in unexpected ways. Although this could be part of the grieving process, it does not quite feel like missing my father.

The wonderful thing about being triggered is that I can now consciously see what I am like when I am in the midst of an emotional flashback. It’s become clearer and much more tangible. The challenging thing about it has been waiting for the flashback to clearly end. I feel like I  constantly cycle between kiddie and teenage years. So, on top of acting like a pissed off 13 year old who is about to burn the house down,  (13 year old me had good reason– I promise) I am an occasionally surly 4 year old. 🙁 My poor husband.

In the midst of all this, I’ve also started identifying a few coping mechanisms. One of my favorite ways to cope is to pop out my body. The only times I have felt fully present and engaged in my body this week have been when I was rough housing with my son, practicing yoga and listening to mid-late 90’s NYC based hip hop. Otherwise, I have been out to lunch with no desire to go back to my body. 🙁 Unless, I can catch myself and remind me that I am no longer a kid; which seems to help bring me back.

Here are a few more observations from this week:

  1. Being fully engaged and present in your body can be overwhelming, especially if you are working through any challenging emotions, trauma, or just anything that ain’t fun. Even if you aren’t working through anything, life is a wild thing to witness. Sometimes we all wish we could shut out eyes. Some of us do. I’m learning to no longer judge myself or others; just to focus on doing the best I can in the moment.
  2. Since Rhodiola has popped up in my lexicon, saying that I need to work with her, I am questioning whether numbing nervines are really helpful to me, right now. Rhodiola doesn’t feel like she wants me blissed out. She feels like she’s going help me work.  How much pain or inner turmoil is useful in healing and how much is too much to  handle. Now, I am sure the answer to that question is different for everyone.  I am just noticing that a little bit of pain helps me feel my way through to what needs to be worked on. If I feel no pain, I do no work. When I am overwhelmed with pain, I check out to lunch. I find that I need a balance between pain and pleasure for me to work.
  3. That there is so much more going on that emotional flashbacks and feedback loops. I have an arsenal of coping mechanisms and protective behaviors that are no longer  helpful. With an emotional process  there are usually  mental, spiritual and physical processes to sort out as well. But since I am emotionally driven, sorting out the emotions will help me bring the other pieces in order. Everything in time 🙂

That is all for this week 🙂 Take precious care and enjoy the holidays!

Jeannette

PS– what?! Rhodiola? Yes, Rhodiola with some Nettles, Oatstraw and Lemon Balm… as a tea taken daily 🙂 Keeps me alert, present and sucka free!

Daily Practices: Working though terror, panic and anxiety

Since uncovering the hornet’s nest that are my emotions, I’ve decided to do things a bit differently. Here are a few practices I’ve been playing with.

AM Practices:

  1. Tapping. Before leaving bed, I tap my heart and then move on to different parts of my body. My intention is to bring myself into my body by waking it up with gentle sensations. I find that tapping different parts of my body gives me access to any emotional energy stored in that specific part.
  2. Grounding myself and my 7 chakras…I roll out of the bed and do a meditation that grounds my feet, hands and seven chakras.
  3. Setting Auric boundaries… After my chakras are grounded, I feel/envision my auric field, ground it and see it protected with plants.
  4. Grounding yoga practice.. Finally I find my way to my mat to practice a sequence of grounding and invigorating standing postures.

PM Practices:

  1. Vigorous Yoga Practice… I enjoy a nice 45 minute vinyasa flow practice.
  2. Tapping before sleep.. I get into bed and tap myself until I pass out. My intention is to remember that I am coming back to my body tomorrow morning. Pre-sleep is also a great time to work out anything else that needs that didn’t get attention during the day.

What I’ve noticed…Being in my body allows me space to better negotiate my emotions when they show up or intensify. Even if I am in the middle of something with my son, I can at least notice what is going on inside of me, make a note of it and then come back to it when he naps, the babysitter arrives or the day ends.

Since I am now more connected with my body, I am noticing how much I have learned from over the years. It’s like these little pieces of wisdom and experience are suddenly accessible to me. Many different things are beginning to make sense.

Being out of integrity with myself and inside my body sucks ass. My body usually gives me very good advice and I rarely follow it. I’d rather do what others tell me ; )Thus, I have developed a have a habit of flying out my body when I am at odds with the advice that comes from within me. It’s like I try to numb the pain of making decisions that are against my own values.

As things continue to evolve, I’ll keep you posted. If you also find yourself working through your emotions, Karla McLaren’s blog is an awesome resource. Hearing your emotions can help things flow.

Take Precious care

Jeannette

 

Death’s gift

As I  stumble through grief, I constantly return to a good friend’s advice that death offers a gift. When she first said it, I wanted to sock her. What kind of gift or blessing comes from death? I wouldn’t call my tears, often misguided anger or desire to eat my way out of sadness a blessing to anyone. In fact, I’d call all that a curse.

Often I can’t see the gift because I feel sad, tired, angry or just feel like I should be beyond the stabby part of grieving. However, the gift of my Father’s death is always right there, offering me little goodies when I am not looking. Grief continues to teach me many useful and different things.

Recently, I’ve learned to allow and accept difficult emotions in the midst of chaos. I used to stifle anything that wasn’t pink and fuzzy because that’s who I always imagined myself to be. Now when I feel the darkness of motherhood (heh heh), frustration at another driver, or a general sense of malaise, I don’t stifle that shit. I let it flow. Now that doesn’t mean I go curse anyone or anything out. It means I take a second to acknowledge whatever has popped up, see what it needs from me and move on from there.

Now, I have a 17 month old with me most of the time, so please don’t think I lounge around pondering. But what I do do, is tell Lil Boo what’s up and engage in activities that keep him safe and entertained, but allow me a bit of space. So instead of going to an super intense playground with a ton of parents who will want to talk my ear off, we’ll go to the gardens, or for a walk in a safe place where he can wonder off a bit, but still be safe.

Believe or not, my father’s death has also conferred a sense of freedom for me. I mean,  we are all free, blah blah blah. But you aren’t free if you don’t believe it or feel like it. When my father passed the obligation to stay as a little girl passed with him. I am no longer bound to home in the same way I was as a little girl. I can engage my Mother, Brothers and everyone else in a different way than before because I am no longer anyone’s little girl. Now that my Father is gone, I am a woman; which is odd to say because I feel as old as the hills. But, there it is. I’ve said it. I am finally a woman.

Now whatever comes from grief to you will be different. I am still unpacking what my Father’s death means to me. Knowing him there is much more to come in time. I’ll continue to look forward to what other gifts come in time.

Until next time, Take Precious Care of yourself.

I’ve been drinking: Tea of the week

IMG_3705This week I have been enjoying a nightly combination of elderflower, elderberry, rose buds, rose hips and hawthorn. It’s calmed me down, helped me sleep and supported me in managing a recent barrage of grief.

Okay, a barrage isn’t quite honest. I just.. stopped… grieving for a few weeks. I had developed this little ritual of arriving early to my Sunday morning yoga class, so I could sit in the car, listen to the blues and cry. I cry because I miss my Dad. I cry because no one incarnate loved me and cared for me like he did. And even though I know in my heart of hearts that he is quite happy now that he’s passed on, there is a part of me that can’t let go of the fact that the human being who cared for me first, and most in this whole world ain’t here anymore. Every Sunday I teach prenatal yoga, I would drown in my own tears and then get ready for class.

Until, I got tired of crying and used that time to just enjoy quiet. And then I stopped getting to class so early because my son and husband are cute and I don’t like leaving them all the time.

I thought all the emotion I felt was frustration because lil boo (my son) has decided that screaming at the top of his lungs for an hour was preferable to napping. I mean yeah, that grinds my gears, but it doesn’t induce the levels of stubborn evil I was at.

When I stopped my nightly yoga practice, started waking up in the middle of the night and started hitting the bottle, I knew there was a problem.

So…..I ended up with this tea..

4 parts Elderflower

1 Part Elderberry

1 Part Rose Buds

2 Parts Rose Hips

2 Parts Hawthorn Berry

From my experience, Elderflower is great for directing and managing emotions. I also find that Elderflower is super soothing. It’s my Grandmothers combined in plant form. Hawthorn puts me back in touch with my heart and supports me in expressing my grief. Rose Bud and Hips allow me to be compassionate with myself and others as grief unfolds. This shit ain’t easy and it’s okay. Elderberry is there to keep me from getting sick and feels like it’s supportive to my heart as well. I have a tendency to get sick when emotionally overwhelmed.

Now, I haven’t gotten fully back into my evening practice. But I have been practicing more since I  modified both my morning and evening  practice. I changed which hip opening postures I was doing and eased off the standing postures a bit. I’ve incorporated more restorative postures  because restorative yoga creates space for me. I find that since I don’t always have space to connect with myself, it’s easy to skip out on grieving. Incorporating poses that relax me, help me feel safe and encourage me to be with myself have been super awesome. I also started giving myself more space to talk to Daddy in the morning and cry if I need to 🙂

So this my friends is the tea of the week. If you decided to enjoy some yourself, please let me know how it works for you.

Infinite Blessings

Jeannette