Day 7 of the 30-Day Holiday Challenge: Go From Grief to Grace is a good time to pause and take stock of where we’ve been and where we’re going in our quest to find hope, healing, and peace.
The challenge kicked off with the question: How can we get to a place of grace while in grief? I began the journey in response to my own grief over the end of my marriage and my struggle as I watch both my dad and a close friend battle advanced stages of cancer. You can read more about it here. http://liferecrafted.com/the-30-day-holiday-challenge-go-from-grief-to-grace/
The purpose of the challenge is to provide a sense of community support while you give yourself permission, in the midst of the holiday rush, to create the space you need each day to be aware of and open to whatever is present in your life while grieving what has changed. Here is a brief recap of the past 6 days. You can click here to find the full posts: http://liferecrafted.com/from-grief-to-grace/
Day 1: Give Permission
Practice self-compassion through the use of permission slips – sticky notes you write to yourself – which allow you to give yourself what you need in order to move forward. In pausing to tune into your own needs, you decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. By not pretending everything is fine and instead acknowledging that you are going through a difficult time, you give yourself permission to engage with people in an authentic way.
Day 2: Acknowledge What Is
We tend to overlay the present with regrets from the past and anxiety over the future which obscures what is right before us. When we can notice what is truly present, we have the opportunity to engage with it by making meaningful choices that lead us forward. I provide an exercise to help you become clear about what comprises your present.
Day 3: Remove Your Armor
When people reveal vulnerability in admitting that they hurt, we experience a connection with them, because we see ourselves and our own struggles reflected. Yet, when in pain, we often put on the armor of “coolness” and pretend we don’t care. This sets us up for isolation at a time when we need to feel the support of our tribe.
Day 4: Find Gratitude
Being grateful is a practice that takes practice. And gratitude is a great healer. However, if you are struggling, it may be difficult to feel grateful. The holiday may compound a sense of shame that you don’t feel thankful. I introduce a process to ease you into gratitude. It begins with self-compassion, followed by acknowledgement and finally thanksgiving.
Day 5: Manage Your Energy
Grief can lead to feeling low-energy. The goal is to identify and harness the 4 forms of energy that we have – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. How can you use your energy to move forward versus expend it on resisting what has already happened? We look at how the 4 forms of energy are connected and how the means by which you nourish one also feed the others.
Day 6: Check Your Story
What you tell yourself about what has happened to you will either limit or expand your horizon. The language we use to describe what has happened to us creates our reality. We literally tell ourselves into being. Stories can serve us well, helping us to heal from grief by retelling our loss as a source of meaning for a new life chapter, or they can become distortions – prolonging our suffering by causing pain and disappointment to linger far into the future. Creating a better story for yourself leads to more creativity, options, and hope for your life.
Where do we go from here?
Among other topics, we’ll look at how you can use humor to heal, how to navigate the holidays solo, and how to create space for forgiveness. For now, celebrate what you have accomplished over the past six days and send yourself this message.
Buddhist Meditation for Compassion:
May you be held in compassion.
May your pain and sorrow be eased.
May you be at peace.