To say that grief can cripple you – especially in the initial stages of loss – is surely an understatement for many of us. Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences we can face.
Still, it’s essential to remember that grief is a normal and natural process that everyone experiences differently. Finding courage in grief is possible, and there are ways to cope and process your grief.
Here are some tips to help you stoke your inner fire when experiencing grief:
Acknowledge Your Feelings.
The first step in finding courage in grief is acknowledging your feelings. It’s essential to allow yourself to feel your emotions and not suppress them. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and everyone experiences grief differently. Whether you feel angry, sad, or overwhelmed, allow yourself to feel and process your emotions. Or in yoga, sometimes we say ‘taste’ your emotions – or ‘rasas’.
Grief can be isolating, and it’s crucial to seek support from family, friends, or a professional. Talking about your feelings and sharing your experiences can help you feel less alone and provide a space for healing. Consider joining a support group or seeking help from a therapist or grief counsellor. Or you may join me in the Grief Yoga Sangha group on the Insight Timer app.
Yoga options for courage.
Courage – in yoga – is a combination of work through the manipura / solar plexus chakra and the anahata / heart chakra. The capacity to make a decision, to be decisive, and to allow yourself the courage to have courage (if you know what I mean), comes from the manipura chakra. On the other hand, to actually take those steps that require courage, that comes from the anahata / heart chakra.
Let’s look at the manipura chakra, our solar plexus. When I send reiki to myself, or sometimes when I just touch my belly (where the solar plexus is physically located in our body, although it resides in our subtle body – read more here), it is cold.
In grief, there were many things I put off because there was a subconscious ‘clinging on’ that I hadn’t realised. For example, I took my mother to sort out my deceased father’s life policy a whole four months after his passing.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have time, or because life was too hectic… I was just putting it off. My manipura chakra was experiencing a contraction of energy.
What you can do in such a situation is:
- Just observe your solar plexus by now and then touching it. Does it feel cold? Does it feel strange or uncomfortable to the touch?
- If yes, perhaps you are experiencing some kind of energy disruption in the manipura chakra. You could practise any of the following:
- Practise more meditations that focus on your solar plexus. A full meditation on the chakras for grief is available here.
- Stimulate the solar plexus chakra through yoga asana targeting this area.
- In terms of aromatherapy, you may choose incense or essential oils that invigorate or stimulate, such as citrus oils, ginger or fennel, or incense that has these oils.
- Have the element of fire near around you when you meditate or practise yoga, such as a candle or an oil lamp (CAUTION: be mindful of the open flame!).
- Set your intention on doing / not doing what you don’t seem to have the courage to do / not do (write it down, work on a plan, and journal about it).
- Journal on your experience of courage in grief.
If you would like to talk more about yoga, meditation and mindfulness options to bolster your courage, contact me here.
Take Care of Yourself.
Grief can take a toll on our physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s crucial to take care of yourself during this time, including getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. Taking care of your physical health can help you cope better emotionally.
Be kind and patient with yourself during this time. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging that grief is a difficult process and that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Allow yourself to take time to heal and focus on self-care.
Grace under pressure.
It is possible to find courage in grief. Remember though that grief is a natural process, and everyone has a different experience of it. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to heal at your own pace.
Use the options of yoga to help bolster your courage, if you feel this is right for you.
Courage is grace under pressure.― Ernest Hemingway
If you’re struggling with grief, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or grief counsellor can provide support and guidance in your journey.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.
Yoga For Grief
A FREE online immersion through the chakras
A FREE 5-Day online yoga immersive course that will help you to:
- find some peace and respite from grief through the exploration of your body and mind through yoga
- practise tools and processes to help you find clarity and compassion in your sorrow
- find a way forward through grief that will honour who or what you have lost.