The classic Good Grief written by Granger Westberg is now out in its 50th edition.
This author validates that “little griefs” and “large griefs” are going to happen to all of us. His intention in writing this gem was to ‘explore the good aspects of grief….what we can learn from it.”
Two of the four components of grief he explored in detail are the varied emotions and unresolved grief living in the body as illness.
What I know grief is good for is awakening us to:
- The power of our thoughts to keep us in pain and suffering.
- The power of our body to guide us through grief.
- The power of emotions as a reset button.
- The power of Love to return us to wholeness.
- The power of witnessing our Grief with another.
Grief can be our greatest teacher.
It hurts. It’s messy and very, very individual.
It has its own timeline. Different losses evoke different types of grief.
Imagine a triangle.
At the upper point is the word MIND.
At the lower left point is the word EMOTIONS.
At the lower right point is the word BODY.
Grief is good as we become aware of the power of our MIND.
Initially the emotions come in waves out of nowhere. Within the first ninety days, it is our MIND, our thoughts about the event, our worry about the future, our regret of the past that trigger our emotions.
It is the MIND at the top of the pyramid that floods us with thoughts.
Grief shifts our thinking. I became even more judgmental and critical of myself after my son died. Ridiculous, blaming thoughts drained my energy.
“If only I had taken his hand, he would not have run home and shot himself.”
Just that one thought triggered GUILT.
Obsessed with “Why?” my thoughts cascaded down to exhaust my already fragile body. Often people report sleepless nights because they cannot turn off their guilty thoughts. They replay the last time they saw their spouse before he or she died by suicide. When the mind is looping the event over and over we are re-traumatizing ourselves. Have you ever done this with an event that you really wanted to “Do Over”?
Once I began the Rubenfeld Synergy training, I began to witness my thoughts triggering my emotions. I begin to monitor my mind and question if the current thought was causing my pain and suffering. I began to choose to move into greater consciousness and self-kindness with mindfulness.
So often the mind is riding the body like a horse. We are numb to the sensations in our body. We use one or two of our five senses. When the body hurts, when we feel pain in our shoulder, back, chest and stomach, often it is triggered by thoughts and emotions totally out of our awareness. It is in this place that Mindful Grieving is called for.
In his presentation “Mindfulness, Healing and Transformation”, Jon Kabat-Zinn reminds us that Mindfulness has a long history. He defines Mindfulness as the Awareness that arises through paying attention in the present moment non-judgmentally. (Think this could be useful to break the looping of grief?)
I invite you to notice in this present moment, what is the one thought in your MIND that immediately triggers your grief?
Now simply, witness it by thanking it for coming and say ”Next”. Meaning turn your attention to a sensation in your body or look outside paying attention in the present moment to what is in front of you.
To experience Mindfulness from Jon Kabat-Zinn, a man I consider “the Master” go to: www.go.pesi.com/jkz and watch a heart- filling video. Let me know what your experience was on our facebook page ~ click here.
Earlier in the month we heard from guest blogger, Terri Daniel, MA, CT, the founder of the annual Death and Afterlife Awareness Conference. This year the conference is in Portland, OR June 1-4. If you are feeling the roller coaster of emotions triggered by grief, bring you down, you will feel uplifted when you leave this conference. I will be facilitating a breakout session so use my initials GE to receive a discount when you register here: http://afterlifeconference.com/