I recently had an experience that emboldened me to the importance of this new workshop, Good Grief.
Many of you have mentioned liking the title, it’s cute and a play on words but you’ve told me you don’t have grief.
Let’s take this word a bit wider because this narrow view, I believe, has created some confusion and yes, some ire. Our life is full of lots of losses whether they be big ones like the loss of a loved one, or a big change like loss of a job or loss of security or loss of trust or loss of health. Most of us have learned to just get on with it and move forward. When losses go unexamined they compound upon one another. But life isn’t black and white is it? Even joyful moments of sending your child off to school is both a joy and a loss. Remembering a loved one is both joyful and painful.
Did you see that wonderful Pixar movie "Inside and Out" where each emotion was a colored glass ball? When I was little, my mother created a children’s program on feelings for kids in elementary school. She was a pioneer because years later Pixar’s film shows how beautiful life is when instead of avoiding certain glass balls, all emotions are expressed and integrated.
Yoga is integration. Yoga means Union. Yoga gives us the path, the stepping stones to integrate all our physical and emotional parts to strengthen our mind and body so that we are able to weather all life’s earthquakes without falling into a default of anxiety, fear or depression. Yoga sets a new default system.
So, what was my very distasteful experience this week? I was challenged head on about the work of this workshop. This person knew nothing about the workshop but they had a lot to say. I was accused of many things. And when this person hadn't achieved their intended goal, they got personal. Like many therapists before, telling me what to feel, why I feel, how to control my feelings, now I was being diagnosed, analyzed and told I had no right to lead this workshop. Their ire and distortion of my intent, rattled me. I could have crawled into the hole the person was directing me towards. And there was a fleeting moment where I believed, ‘’you know what, maybe I should just crawl down in there.” But instead, I write this to say thank you for the lesson, to clarify misunderstanding, to honor my intuition a few months ago not to work with this person, and for reminding me that I have something to share and I can’t hide in that hole.
In this workshop, we are not telling you how to feel, what to feel or why you are feeling. We are not challenging your defenses. Hey, they have helped you and protected you. There are times we need professional help to do this and this is the work of a therapist not the intended purpose of this workshop. You will in your own time discover what is necessary or helpful for your growth and you will let go of those things that are not necessary or they will loosen their hold. When we practice an asana for the first time, we grip and effort but in time we learn, if we pay attention, to let go where we don’t need to grip and effort where it is needed.
Yoga, like art is it’s own system of healing. We are creating a space and providing you the tools of yoga (asana and pranayama) and art for you to connect and listen deeply to yourself, to express what you may not even know you need to express and to create a piece of art that documents your growth. When things are unsaid or unexpressed they sit inside and consciously or unconsciously like a silent partner affect your thoughts, decisions and actions. Through yoga and creativity you will get inside your body, get grounded and open your heart. You will be listened to without interruption, analysis, judgment or comment .
A teacher of yoga is there to give you the techniques and insights from her or his own practice, to awaken your own inner intelligence. I can help you straighten your legs and open your chest so that you have more access to yourself. But ultimately, you have the ability to heal yourself. I have faith you do because inside you is the most profound wisdom.
We all need some support along our way. Due to life circumstances, past lives, and genetic heritage our ability to see or connect to our true selves is obscured. We have lost ourselves.
You look across a big landscape but can’t see the sunset through the skyscrapers. Yoga helps you dismantle those buildings so you can see the sun’s glow. This glow is you. You think you are your job, your marriage, your identity and when you lose that, who are you?. Yoga takes you by the hand and though not instantaneously, yoga brings you home. Your nervous system strengthens and your awareness sharpens so that when the ground underneath you begins to rumble, you hear it you feel it and you can make better choices. If your house is well constructed it won’t tumble. Because another earthquake will come and if your house is unattended, the cracks in your home will deepen making subsequent losses or traumas feel like 8.0 on the Richter scale.
This person taking me to task was particularly inflamed by the use of the word closure. Because I am a practitioner of yoga, I understand process. When I work towards learning a part of an asana and then achieve it like going upside down I know that there is a new portal to walk through. As a yoga practitioner, I understand that nothing ends. Instead, it is integration rather than- I’m not sure what they thought I was saying, pushing away feelings, tying them up in a neat package never to be felt again? Certainly not. I want to integrate all the colors of those glass balls.
Yoga and art, two modalities as old as time, will help you get inside your body, get grounded and open up your heart. You will be listened to without interruption, analysis, judgment or comment. This workshop is not for those in the depths of recent loss when a therapist might be a more appropriate venue for you. Perhaps this was part of the misunderstanding. This workshop is for those that want use the tools offered to look inside yourself and experience a camaraderie that we are all the same. It is also for those in good health emotionally and physically who have a laptop and are comfortable with a computer. This is not for everyone, we are interviewing students to make sure this is right for you.
There are three spaces left so contact us today.