Gratitude is everywhere these days.
Marketing. Journaling. Yoga classes. You name it. In fact, since I’ve heard some interesting spins on gratitude just to get people’s attention, I thought I’d create my own: “Gratitude: the New G-Spot.” Now that caught your attention, didn’t it?
I’ve started a gratitude practice myself and it has been incredibly powerful. I’m grateful for so many parts of my life. My friends, appreciation and a career aligned with my life purpose that I’m deliciously passionate about.
The truth about the holiday season though is that many including myself experience “the other G-spot”: grief.
I haven’t heard any talk about that G word. In fact, many may retreat into silently crying in Half Pigeon pose, in the bathroom at work, or at the store, pausing to look at something while secretly shedding a few tears.
As we let go of what no longer serves us, what lies underneath can include many emotions and things unresolved in our hearts and can trigger the experience of grief.
Harriet Tubman wrote, “I had crossed the line and I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.”
As we step into mindfulness, we may feel distant when interacting with those we are in relationship with and may experience our relationships shifting—especially with those closest to us like our family and friends.
What is this “other G-spot” and how can we experience both the pain and pleasure of it?
Why do we grieve?
We love, therefore we grieve. They weave together like threads on a loom.
What are the types of grief?
When loss occurs, we re-experience previous losses. Lisa Fierer calls this “grief soup.”
- >> Someone we love changes.
- >> We change and a relationship shifts.
- >> Someone no longer wants to be in relationship with us.
- >> One of us in the relationship moves away.
- >> Summer is ending.
- >> Vacation is ending.
- >> We see a relationship breaking apart.
- >> We are diagnosed with an illness.
- >> We anticipate the end of a job or change in career.
- >> We are a caretaker for someone who is terminally ill.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
- >> Veterans of war
- >> Refugees
- >> Experiencing physical, emotional, and or sexual abuse
- >> Caretaking for a loved one or experiencing them dying
- >> Witnessing these experiences in someone else’s life
What are the stages of grief?
Grief is non-linear. It can be a spiral, spiraling downward then upward—waves that come in and out like the tide affecting our energy, focus, emotions, ability to be in the world.
How can we navigate our grief-spot?
The Three A’s:
First pay attention to your physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts and name the grief.
Incorporate mindfulness. Mindfulness is being aware in the present moment.
“Grieving mindfully is the process of using your emotional vulnerability not to suffer great distress, or to intensify your pain, but to redirect this pain toward your growth as a human being. Engaging in this process begins when you come in full contact with yourself and learn to ride the waves of grief. Your thoughts, your feelings, your identity after loss all become vehicles for your own evolution. Grieving mindfully can be understood as making the decision to allow yourself to mourn, and to fully experience the lessons of grief with the goal of living life better.” ~ Sameet M. Kumar PhD from Grieving Mindfully.
Massage your “grief-spot”—I know what just entered your mind. That works too. Orgasm can elevate our levels of oxytocin, the “love hormone.” It can relax our bodies and minds so that we let down our shields and feel our emotions fully.
What I’m really talking about though, is rather than avoiding grief, meet with it, take it to tea, make a date with it, to acknowledge and feel it fully. When you do, you may find the following underneath:
- >> Radical acceptance
- >> Unconditional love
- >> Pure joy
References: Grieving Mindfully by Sameet M. Kumar PhD
Angela Grace spends her time loving life as a yogini, shaman, and cleanse queen. Angela teaches yoga locally in Boulder as well as internationally. Her current labors of love include Sassy Salon (a transformational women’s group), local Boulder yoga programs, and yoga retreats in Costa Rica. With a laser-focused vision for healing, Angela empowers others to heal challenging health conditions and injuries through her powerfully effective nutritional cleanse and supplement program. A practitioner of Shamanic Energy Medicine, Angela assists others to stalk the truth, track trauma, clear energetic patterns and empower joy to emerge within sacred space and ignite fierce grace. If you find yourself saying “I’ve tried everything,” Angela assists you to step into your own power and experience success once and for all. You can find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/angelamcoyle. A “wonder woman” advocate for others, Angela’s alter ego practices laughter as medicine and is well-known for her audacious laugh.
Read more at about.me/angelagrace.
Editor: Seychelles Pitton