Good Grief

I’m writing this, dear one, for us—those who are on our knees in the bottom of a very dark well.


To love, to truly love, means we are vulnerable to feelings. Even worse, feeling many of them at one time. I am grieving something I thought always would be part of my life every week. My logic is saying I have no right to grieve because I made a choice to release several weekly yoga classes. Classes I truly love teaching with every ounce of love that is in my body because I love yoga that much and I love you that much. Luckily I realize my brain and my heart are two different entities with very different roles. This is a moment to suspend judgment and logic. This is a moment to dwell in curiosity and mystery.


This past Friday’s Savasana poem was Ada Limon’s “Downhearted”. It starts: “Six horses died in a tractor-trailer fire. / There. That’s the hard part. I wanted / to tell you straight away so we could / grieve together.” I have read this poem, one of my all-time favorites, to yoga AND writing classes what easily could be hundreds of times without ever cracking. But on Friday it broke my heart into pieces and my face into tears. Shame for being sensitive, for crying, was my go-to response, but I was inspired by Brene Brown’s Rising Strong to release the shame and invite curiosity. And I found a lifelong habit waiting there for me—being “together” in times of suffering, in times of grief. When people are hurting, “I get it together. I keep it together. I do whatever it takes so no one breaks.” For the first time in my life, I am giving myself permission to not have it together. Instead I give myself permission to be vulnerable, “to tell you straight away”, and to grieve with you, us together in this mysterious black hole. You are not alone. We are not alone. We are together.


And we are going to get through this.


I am here. I am writing. I am still studying yoga. I am still pursuing my 500 RYT. I am still practicing yoga daily. I am still teaching yoga. I am still part of our yoga community. I am no longer teaching at Movementality. That’s the only change. But that one thing in a list of very awesome things overcomes our hearts with sadness. Let’s have the courage to name it and feel it. Together. But also let’s look at what’s coming.


In April, National Poetry Month, I will be teaching a Yoga class while Dan reads our favorite poems. Summer Yoga at Schooner Farms is on deck. And more exciting classes and workshops are being planned. We have a future together. We will be okay.


Dear one, I get it. This is a big change in the weekly patterns that have been a stable part of our lives for the last five years together. We are allowed to grieve this loss, even in the face of hope and excitement. In fact, if we don’t grieve, we won’t heal, which means we might carry around some heavy baggage and its unwieldy cronies.


Our yoga practice gently reminds us to embrace the light and draw closer to our highest selves; to do that, we must feel it ALL. As spiritual writer Mark Nepo says, we must sit, stay, heal.

I am sitting on my mat. Surround sound silence except for the dog’s snore. I feel the impulses tantrum, banshee screaming with intermittences of tonsils-exposed piercing silences. Again and again, I choose love by being present and feeling what the present moment offers. I could get up, but I stay and feel it all. I feel the grief and the hope.

We are going to be okay. Together.

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