This morning I woke up and couldn’t have found enough paper in the entire world onto which I could write all of the reasons I thought I was in a bad mood. Certainly it was partly because I haven’t eaten healthily enough of the past few days. “I’m sure I gained 10 pounds last night alone…” And surely it had something to do with the fact that I will be missing more yoga classes this week than I like to. How can I remain in a good mood if I don’t have my yoga? And don’t even get me started on the fact that there hasn’t been sun in a few days. I’m obviously deficient in vitamin D and clearly a lost cause. All of these things combined, how could I possible be light and cheery today?
I meditated. I begged for clarity, for a single ray of sunshine, for a way to be light. My meditation ended and I went on about my morning. I didn’t notice any changes immediately following, so I figured I was pretty much doomed. It was only 6:31 am and already my day was shot.
About an hour later, I got into my car and began driving to the yoga studio where I was to be teaching two classes today. Behind the wheel of my car, I started crying. Tears wouldn’t stop falling. I realized suddenly just why I felt like I was in a fog and I knew how to remove myself from it. I realized that my made-up list of Why I Should Be Pissy Today was just my ego’s way of protecting itself/myself from feeling pain. It was a diversion tactic, in other words. Interestingly, it was also the first time I ever truly saw how anorexia was a desperate egoic action– my ego saw something it didn’t like, ran in the other direction and frantically waved it’s arms, drawing my attention away from the reality of my life, away from truth, only later to get lazy long enough to see what was truly haunting me and realize how much it had gotten out of hand, having been ignored. But I digress some.
So there I was, driving and crying, and I realized that because I had asked (okay, seriously I begged) for clarity, I was finally receiving it. The fog was lifted and I was left with grief. Three days after learning the news, I had now begun grieving the loss of my cousin.
Instead of trying desperately not to feel pain, I let go and became present for my reality. I showed up for my grief. I sat with it; I allowed it to saturate me. I let it do what it needed to do. I let it work itself through me. My grief told me it couldn’t handle being ignored anymore. It needed to talk, to be heard, just for a short while. It asked that I put my shield down, open the curtains and cease to be ashamed of it. “Please,” grief implored, “I just need you to accept me.”
And so I cried the whole way to the studio. I cried because my cousin ever hurt. I cried because we are all hurting for him now. I cried because I want to be with my family as soon as possible and that’s not soon enough for my own preference. I cried because we are in the midst of a family tragedy. As I cried, the clouds of my mind parted ever so slightly, Release softly assuring me it was on the horizon.
Stacey was the only person to show up for the 8:30 class. She listened to me as I was finally acknowledging my grief and letting it be heard. She let me cry some more and then offered to sit and meditate together as opposed to doing a physical practice. So we sat, and I continued to give grief my attention, as long as it needed it.
Then, slowly, I began to feel warm. Eyes closed, I felt the sun shining on me from the inside out. The sunshine that can only come from my Source. I was transported to a grassy field. I got warmer still, sitting in this field. I could feel the Sun and a soft, warm breeze. I became aware of the grass and I felt my cousin Johnny with me. He was a blade of grass and he whispered to me that he’d never leave us. I was touched with such an overwhelming sense of peace. All I’d had to do was stop denying grief, to allow myself to be present for it, and eventually my grief would be transformed into peace.
I knew the next thing I needed to do was to write. So I wrote my Aunt Kathy, Johnny’s mother, a letter that I will give to her at the wake. The release kept coming with every stroke of my pen and when I finally finished and looked up for the first time, out of the studio windows, I saw that the clouds outside had parted ever so slightly and through them, the warm and generous sun was offering a few beautiful beams of light.