Grief has a rhythm all its own.
In our haste to speed our recovery, we rush around frenetically trying to find the instant-formula, or 3-quick-steps to grief relief. We make our expectations clear to a coach or counselor: I don’t have too much time. I need to get over this grief thing asap. Do you specialize in quick-fixes?
Grief is not an experience we can speed through. Your grief has a timeline that is uniquely yours. If you try to fit it into some schedule that the world believes you should conform to, you simply create more grief for yourself.
In a multi-tasking world where efficiency is measured by speed, we are so lost when we lose someone or something and must face grief. The pace of grief is slow and measured; not fast and furious. It is a sacred rite of passage, something that lets us know we loved and lost. That we must be willing to sit in the discomfort of the feelings that are rising to the surface if we desire deep healing.
S-l-o-w down your grieving experience. Honor it. Because when you do, you honor the love you held in your heart for that person, that job, that country, that phase of life, or that parent you knew before dementia began to erase them.
Used to a lifetime of rushing around, how do we relearn the beautiful art of slowing down?
Embrace s-l-o-w practices. Yoga, meditation, tai-chi, painting all help you embrace the power of slow. There is a flow to each of these practices that is calming and serene. Spend some time engaging in a slow practice as a way to create space in your life.
Embrace s-l-o-w breathing. Breath work is pure and meditative. Any time you slow down your breathing, you help your nervous system slow down and calm down. When you find yourself juggling too much, take a pause. Count to ten. Or take deep, slow breaths and watch how much deeper your experience of life is.
Embrace s-l-o-w disengagement. Turn your cell phone off for an hour a day. Start with 30 minutes if an hour feels too intimidating. Use that time to slow down everything. Ponder. Reflect. Read. Simply dream.
When you make the time to sit still, your life will be richer. When you take the time to honor the sacred task of grieving, you deepen your understanding of the mystery of life…and death. In doing so, you begin to live better. Isn’t that why we are all here?
Originally posted December 8, 2016.