Hurt is the reception, Mad is the reaction
When in the process of healing grief, a consequence can be the coming up of many other emotions related to other damage or trauma in your life.
That’s what I’ve been going through this year. As I’ve sought healing for my grief through various means, I’ve uncovered a lot of my ego damage. There were two major things that helped me uncover this.
One was breathwork. I have been going to some mindfulness events at work because I’ve needed to calm my racing thoughts. One day the event was a breathwork workshop. Breathwork is breathing at a rapid clip in a specific way: into the belly, draw it up through the chest, and out through the mouth. Huh huh haaaahh. Huh huh Haaaahh. You do that for 30 minutes in a normal breathwork session, but we were going to do 7 minutes of work breathing and maybe 3 of cool down breathing for this event. Within a handful of breaths in the first few minutes, I could already feel the emotion starting to well up inside me and I began to quietly sob a little. This is awesome, I thought, I really need this. Huh huh haaaahh. Huh huh haaaahh. Just not right now, not at work. So I reigned it back in and finished the session without letting myself have too much emotional release. But I was hungry for more. This is what I needed.
I took a card, and followed her practice on Facebook. She held monthly breathwork events in the community, so I decided to join the next event. In the setting of a cozy local yoga studio, me and 6 or so other people sat in a circle on yoga mats and sheep skins with blankets to cover us. We applied essential oils to our chakra points, and laid back to begin the breathwork. Huh huh haaaahh. Huh huh haaaahh. She began to burn incense and herbs like sage and put on an upbeat but soothing soundtrack. Breathwork floods your blood with extra oxygen than normal and you can start to feel lightheaded and a bit woozy at first. That’s why it’s called breathWORK, she tells us. But if you push through, the work becomes much more automatic and you can start to release tension being held in your body.
Because you are breathing into the belly, you end up loosening up a lot of tension in the solar plexus, and because you draw the breath up through the chest, you can open up a lot of tension around the heart and chest cavity.
The solar plexus is the ego chakra. This is where you physically store trauma to your sense of self. That time you were teased and embarrassed in front of your friends at school in third grade. That time you felt invisible because no one listened to your ideas. That time someone made fun of your appearance and you internalized it. It’s all knotted up in your gut. That tension can manifest in poor digestion, because the muscles surrounding your intestines are necessary for healthy digestion. This is very important because gut health is key to all health in your body. It’s how you take in energy from nutrition. If it’s out of whack, physical ailments can follow. So get your solar plexus right, if only for your gut health!
Not all emotional hurt is held in the solar plexus, just hurt to the ego. Grief is held in the heart chakra, manifesting in tension in the chest along the sternum, across the ribs and clavicle.
Breathwork unlocked my damage and has allowed me to feel and experience my emotions. I’ll go into it more another time, but I’ve been disadvantaged with an inability to access my emotional state much of my life. Part of my healing process is to open up that access, be able to name my emotions, and be able to ask myself why I feel that way and then heal the source of pain. Awareness leads to healing, and feeling the emotions is necessary. It is very heavy and difficult work, but you do actually begin to feel lighter as you face your hurt because healing is the release (experiencing/feeling it) and the understanding (identifying why you feel it and finding forgiveness or comfort).
I’ll talk about my other avenue of healing in another post. But just know that we’ll be talking about Tai Chi. It’s what helped me understand the mind-body connection, which helped me understand what Chakras are (centers of energy in your body that have a physical home and yet are energetic in nature - following the principle of physics that matter = energy or E = mc^2). See, that shit’s for another post.
Another thing for another post is the nature of time (linear nature is an illusion). That’s some deep shit that’s hard to grasp, but with a little help of quantum mechanics, double slits, and Shroedingers cats, we can get there in time ;)
But the important unlock from today’s Inktober is that the moment is all that we really have. Tomorrow is not here, and the past is gone. But we have the moment. And the more we can seek to be mindful in the moment, i.e., present and aware and paying attention to your body and your being and surroundings, the more we can take control of the moment and recognize that we have a choice. In every moment we have a choice of how to be. Anger is a reaction, which is a choice. To feel hurt is normal, but how we respond to that hurt is a decision. We can take the higher road. We can seek to understand the other, and put ourselves in other’s shoes, for we are all suffering, and we all have hurts to heal. We can help each other if we first help ourselves.
We are in this together, but connection with self is just as important as connection with others. I encourage you to seek after your own peace, love, and healing.