Winter Salutations and Happy New Year!
It feels, already, like 2018 will be a year for resilience, reclaiming, clarity, and resolve.
Personally, I step into the new year with an identity I’ve never had: someone– a woman– who no longer has a mother in the living form. And I find myself moving through the oceans of grief and questions that one meets after such a loss.
To anyone who has swum in these waters before, I offer you my most tender sympathies and I wish you continued healing.
A friend recently asked me if having an established yoga and meditation practice has helped me through this time.
It has, certainly, but maybe not in the ways one initially wishes it might– that is, it doesn’t take away the loss or the pain. It doesn’t offer you a sense of control.
But having a mindfulness practice of any sort changes the way we work with our mind and, therefore, the way we experience and approach everything.
As someone who is fascinated with the mind, I’ve found grief to be an interesting exercise in self-awareness.
Even in the most painful moments of grief, I am aware that my experience is bigger than the pain, more than the thoughts going through my head, and larger than any of the defining characteristics of this moment in my life.
Years ago– before I became more familiar with my own mind through mindfulness practices– I wouldn’t have paid that awareness much attention, given the choice to focus on the pain.
Yoga and meditation practices have also imbued me with a depth of gentleness that I didn’t possess before. And it’s been a gift in moments of intense emotions to be able to be kinder to myself, instead of adding harsh judgements or negativity to an already difficult situation.
May we all be kinder and gentler this year– to ourselves and to others– even as we find the strength and resolve to stand up against hatred and injustice when we recognize it and to stand the changing tides of life and loss that create our most singular human experience.
Wishing you a healthy, happy, and bright 2018.
Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts and replies in the comments below. – xo