Of late I have personally been dealing with grief and loss, I have been supporting people in my community who are suffering from tragic loss, and I have been aware of a lot of tragic loss on a more environmental and global level. How do we heal from grief and loss? One of my beloved mentors, Dr. Gina Ogden is in the process of transitioning to the next stage of her soul’s progression. I spoke with her yesterday and she expressed how happy she was. I am so happy for her. She has left an amazing legacy and people who love her on this planet. I pray I can make as much of a difference in this world as she has. Still…I feel the loss and a great deal of sadness at her passing. Yesterday we arranged how we will communicate with one another after she’s left her body, so that will help.
But what about situations like my friend who lost her 12-year old son in a sudden car accident? Loss of a child, especially with no warning is devastating beyond belief.
What about the story of Tahlequah, the orca whale who carried her newborn calf who died around for 17 days in her grief?
How do you deal with the deep sadness and pain that accompanies the loss of a loved one? How do you heal from grief? According to Ayurvedic medicine, we have to digest our emotions the same way we digest our food. If we hold them in, we eventually create disease for ourselves.
I use a process that leads to what Eastern philosophy calls Moksha, or freedom. The Freedom Framework is the method I use for reversing autoimmune disease in myself and others. This Emotional Freedom technique is a big part of what is necessary to reverse chronic illness or prevent it from occurring and a small part of the larger Freedom Framework. You can read more about the Freedom Framework and how it’s used for reversing chronic illness in Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle: The Woman’s Guide to Reclaiming Emotional Freedom and Vibrant Health.
The next time you have emotional pain, or any kind of emotional upset, try this and notice how it frees you from having to repeat the painful thoughts or memories over and over again.
The Emotional Freedom Method
Step 1: Bring the feeling up in your mind
Close your eyes and bring the memory or feeling up in your mind. Be very specific and insert as much detail as you can. If the emotion feels overwhelming, you can open your eyes, take a few deep breaths to calm your feelings, and then close your eyes when you are ready.
Step 2: Embody the emotion
Now notice where you feel your emotion in your body. Often people will tell me they feel it in their heads. Stay with the feeling and begin to scan your body until you find it. It might be stress felt in your abdomen, tension in your shoulders, a tight jaw, a heavy heart. Stick with it until you find the feeling in your body.
Step 3: Name it to tame it
Now name your feeling. Often people will tell me what they “think” about the situation. This is not an emotion. Look for a feeling such as shame, guilt, fear, sadness, anger, grief, rage, panic, anxiety, etc. You cannot tame it unless you can name it.
Step 4: Express yourself
You must express your emotion. You can do it through journaling, yelling into a pillow, talking to a friend or therapist, hitting a punching bag or pillow, screaming in your car, into a pillow ,or in a private setting. You can write a song and sing it. You can write a story and share it. Be creative in how you express, but make sure you release it from your body.
Step 5: Give it away
Ayurvedic medicine has a ritual called Tarpana. Tarpana is a ceremony in which you let go of painful memories, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. You can write your painful memory down on paper and feed it to a fire. You can place the memory or feeling into something you find in nature and set it afloat in water, allowing Mother Nature to wash your pain away. You can plant a tree or any kind of plant in memory of someone you lost. Ritual is a beautiful way of honoring your feelings and allowing them to be honored without having them stored in your body.
How do you deal with loss or heal from grief? If you are stuck, a good grief counselor can help. I have also put together a program people can do online for themselves called You Unbroken. It’s DIY therapy with hard stops contained within it to let you know if you need to find a therapist and how to find the right one and the right method to help you. I am also here if you need me and I can do 1:1 trauma release online or in person with you.
P.S.: I have been very intentional about finding mentors for myself that live in the stages of life I have not yet inhabited. Gina Ogden has been such a beautiful friend and mentor who is a wise woman elder. Who do you have? Make sure you thank them for what they have done to help you grow in wisdom and strength. If you don’t have a mentor, make sure you find one. It’s life changing!