Hello! I want to share with you a very personal journey I've been going through these past few months plus some great learnings that have helped me tremendously. I haven't been ready to share, it's been far too raw for me, but today on my 42nd birthday and seeing more grey weaving through my hair, I'm ready.
In early March after the crazy weird snow storms, my Dad sprouted his wings earlier than he wanted by what seemed like a feral form of cancer. He died just a few weeks before his 69th birthday with a Bucket List still full and so many more things to say. He died mute as his cancer grew from his kidney and bones to his throat and mouth. I had the great honor of being with him for twelve days in hospice; some of the most beautiful moments I've ever shared with him, with anyone (!) - in total quiet. Our relationship until then was only tumultuous at best with 18 years of estrangement. In the end, unexpected beauty and grace, and now, radiant LOVE.
And further: my Poh Poh (Chinese word for maternal Grandmother) died just yesterday morning. An amazing 90 years of great life, she immigrated from mainland China fleeing communism with my Mother, then 2 years old tied to her back. She lead a beautiful and full life; on her death bed tucked in peacefully by her four devoted children. Her childhood dream was to become a teacher, but the War banished that and she spent her life working in the family laundry business with her husband. She was a quiet, fierce woman, strong, determined, highly self-motivated (Tai Chi every morning until just last week!), and majestically graceful. We've known of her illness since January and watched her walk toward her death ever so gracefully. As she lay still just a few days ago, I've never seen a more strikingly beautiful woman. She died in a way I aspire to when my time comes. For me, she was a great teacher, even as she crossed back over welcomed greatly by her husband.
I've been walking Grief for the past few months and I'd love to share my Top 4 Tips that have been immensely helpful along my journey. I'm intentionally using the number FOUR here because in Chinese, the number FOUR it's a VERY unlucky number, as it means death is near. I'm never supposed to use that number. Well!! Death has come so let's roll with FOUR!! Perhaps some of these ideas may help you along your path, or give you inspiration, if you've lost someone very dear to you.
So, there is all is. My journey + FOUR tips on Voyaging Grief. I hope some of these ideas help you if you find yourself navigating the big waters of Grief. I'd love to hear what's worked for you; feel free to leave a comment or send a note. I read everything.
It's already been a big year and am so grateful for the opportunity to be here, learn, grow, heal, laugh and share with you. Grief is great love, and while it's been hard, painful and searing at times, it's also been a wild and awesome ride.
In great love with so many tissues,
I have been quiet for a few months as big things have been happening (will tell you more soon), but as I deepen my own journey it has becomes so clear and important to honor and hold gratitude for my ancestors whom have walked before me.
Today, in our culture it's Mother's Day, and today, I want to honor the Mother Line. Mother. Grandmother. Great-Grandmother, and so on. I offer a thought:
However our Mothers walked.
However they walked with you, or did not walk with you, or walked in a way that was hurtful or painful.
To honor the gift of life they have given.
However they were in their own story.
They gave the gift of life.
Isn't that amazing!
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Today, perhaps in wonder, we can ask...how was Motherhood for them? What were their dreams? Their struggles? What made them glow? How did they love? If you have the opportunity and are curious, you can ask them. Even if they're not with you today in their physical body or they simply can't hear you, you can still ask in a quiet way. They are listening, even if you believe they can't. Because mostly, you are listening and this is the greatest gift.
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Before I close, I want this share this beautiful snippet from Thich Nhat Hanh after this mother crossed over:
Wishing you a day of wonder, gratitude and the million other ways you may be feeling today...confusion, ambiguity, or pissed off and angry? Do it! But please rock it with compassion and curiosity. Want to know how or feel stuck? I've got your back and a millions others do too.
With gratitude and great love,
Starting on the left: my mother, my first daughter, my Poh Poh (mother's mother) and moi! This was from 2011 and I need an updated photo!
Yes. It. Is. ANGER is great love. And beautiful. Coach Izzy said, "WHAT? Beautiful?!
Check out our chat here!
Yes! I had a blast talking with Counterstrain Therapist Coach Izzy about the benefit of expressing anger in a healthy way!
I loved sharing our experiences in each of our practices and how we see the persistent damage of suppressed emotions. Coach Izzy is a Counterstrain practitioner with Healing and Strength and is a master in the pain management field. He explains that while he can release pain in the physical body, if the root of the pain is suppressed feelings (especially Anger), the pain will come back - usually magnified. He likened this type of treatment as "patching a tire with chewing gum."
In a Hakomi practice, we honor the body+mind+spirit connection and can help with persistent body pain. If we habitually suppress our emotions, this can manifest in physical pain, weakened posture, digestions, suppressed immunity, illness and disease.
This is the great gift of a Hakomi practice to where you learn to honor your body, your emotions, and learn to lead from your Wise Self.
Come check out our talk! I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did!
If you're curious about exploring the emotion Anger or just need a little support, feel free to drop me a line. I'd love to walk beside you and share the gold nuggets I've found along my own journey. Perhaps you feel like your Anger is too big, or the emotion is scary/destructive, or "you just ain't gonna do it." I'd be delighted to support you along the way.
You're also invited to a 3-part series workshop on February 26, 2019: Anger a love story if you'd like to journey along-side other women.