I am a huge yoga addict. I like to throw down my mat every day. But the past few months I have found it very hard to practice. I was dealing with my mom’s illness (for the record cancer sucks and I pray they find a cure). And then after she passed, I had to learn to live with the loss of this epic and special woman, my mammela, who I miss every day.
I really didn’t want to sit still and be silent. It just hurt too damn much. I needed noise and mayhem. It was a lot easier to keep busy and just lock it all away tightly with a key. Avoidance was the answer, or so I thought.
But the truth is that the mind body connection is so much stronger. I was starting to feel aches and pains all over my body and I was anxious and aggressive. The stiffness I just put down to being out of shape and the moodiness I blamed on the fact I had just buried my mom. I mean it’s been a rough year. I am not sorry saying goodbye to 2016. Believe me.
But I decided to head back to yoga this week and man oh man was it hard. I was especially achy in my hips. It seems like all the pent up emotion was hiding in there. I huffed and puffed my way through class with my favorite teacher but it was a struggle. I don’t ever remember it being so tough. I was feeling old.
After class I asked my teacher about this and he told me it was going to take time and a lot of breathe work. It seems that all the emotions of the past 6 months were locked deep inside my body and I was going to have to work very hard to release it. Our bodies are conditioned to hold onto stress and the only way to get rid of it is deal with it head on.
Oh yay… Woooohoooo (cue my fake joy). I don’t want to deal with my shit. Can’t I just go around it??? I’m being serious here. I cannot imagine anything worse than dredging up my pain and squaring off with it eye to eye (more like breathe by breathe).
A fellow yogi overheard us talking and told me that the hips were the first chakra. They focused on the mother, safety, stability and security and that this is where we hold all our grief. So I decided to dig a little deeper. And guess what??? She was right. The areas I was feeling pain were exactly the same areas the body holds loss.
Our chakras are energy centers that run from the base of our spine to the crown of our head. The first chakra is the “root” or “tribal” chakra and houses our survival instinct. The root chakra’s color is red. The death of someone we love literally threatens our very survival. Everything is turned upside down. During the past 6 months I have felt a suffocating fear.
Grief is literally STUCK ENERGY that is left over from experiencing loss. It has been difficult to process it and move past it. To heal we need to keep the energy of grief moving. Because like all emotions, grief is meant to move through us, not get stuck in our energy field or our physical body.
Yogis say that the energy of the first chakra can be strengthened by reflecting on family traditions or religious beliefs and recognizing death as a universal experience to make the grief less isolating.
Personally, I believe that deep grief prepares us for something else. It asks us to give to others. Having gone through a loss, I am more compassionate to those around me. My heart is softer and more open. I feel connected to the rest of humanity. Each of us is struggling with our own problems and challenges. And everyone could do with a kind word, a hug or a smile. So share the love with those around you.
I have realized that we come into the world naked without any possessions. And we leave this world without our stuff. Losing my mom has forced me to reassess my life and what is truly important. And it isn’t stuff. It’s people and experiences. Grieving is something none of us can avoid. But if I am going to feel pain I am going to use it to grow.
I am now willing to do the work. And man is there a lot of work to be done. But it’s time to go through it and not around it (F%*^K). I am ready to cry when I feel pain and ask for a hug or comfort when I need it. I am ready to get back on my mat and be silent and still. I am ready to breathe. In and out, in and out, in, out, in, out, in, out….
I am not alone. Neither are you. I am always here for you. I consider myself blessed to have amazing friends and family around the world like you to support me. I take comfort in knowing that with heart ache comes personal growth. 2017 is going to be a magical year for all of us. I can feel it in my soul.
Thank you so much for all the love and support and kindness you have shown me. And just know that wherever you are I am always here for you too. Just reach out to me and I will be there.
Wishing you a lifetime of mazel, nachas, peace, love, light and blessings
xxx Chef MM