I had one of those moments this week. I was in the car on the way to an exercise class and I heard a song that reminded me of Leah. It took me back, body and soul, to the feeling of the finality of missing her physical being. I felt like I was going to cry like I haven’t for a long time. I wanted the feelings to stop; I didn’t want to miss her. I thought,

“Haven’t I already missed her enough?”

I was reminded of a few conversations I’ve had recently about why some people don’t want to talk about grief, whether it’s theirs or another’s. This topic of conversation has come up so often recently that we decided to make it the topic of our September MeetUp group.

Let’s go back to how I was feeling in the car and how I met the grief this time. The feeling was so real in my body that losing Leah truly felt like it had just happened. I contemplated turning around and going home because the floodgates of my tears were just about to burst and I didn’t think I would be able to stop them once they started.

I paused and tuned into my body to really feel the discomfort, and I knew the exercise class would be the perfect way to move this round of grief through my body.

I pulled my car into the parking lot and sat still for a moment; tuning into my heart and feeling the deep longing of missing my daughter with every cell of my body. This grief created a different sensation in my body then I’ve felt before. It was as if the memory of that time, almost 16 years ago, came forward and combined with the finality of her death. I decided to enter the exercise class with an intention to surrender my pain.

When I got home, as I was reflecting on my experience, I was once again struck by how the present moment really does hold whatever we need. When I was able to tune into my body in the moment I was feeling that particular round of grief, I was able to access the knowledge that moving through the grief with exercise was the right thing for me to do that time. Movement may not be the appropriate path to move my grief the next time, or even the time after that. This is an example of present moment awareness; being in the moment.

That’s the thing about present moment awareness; the answer you receive in the moment may not be the answer you thought you’d receive.

We often think about what the right way to meet a certain experience might be, whether it is grief related or not. These decision are based upon similar past experiences. Our heads can over analyze our options leading to confusion, to frustration, and to us wondering if we are choosing the “right” solution to our issue.

When we choose to bring our questions to our hearts without expectation of what the answer will be, rather than thinking about the “right” answer, we are often surprised. I know I am. These surprising answers crack open the door of possibilities within us. If I hadn’t listened to what my heart was telling me this time, I would have missed out on the experience of feeling the grief move through my body in that exercise class. (And I wouldn’t have written this particular blog.)

So, next time you are tussling with a problem, big or little, try this instead of waging a battle with your thoughts.

  • Get quiet, breathe deeply and close your eyes. Bring your problem or issue to your heart allowing it to be there as it is in that moment. Take another deep breath.
  • Ask the question, “What do I need to know about this problem right now?” Drop this question into your heart. If you’re not sure you are doing this correctly, you can either trust that you are, or read a little more about Samyama here.
  • Allow the question to rest in your heart without expectation of getting an answer. Sometimes you will know what is right for you soon after asking your question and sometimes it may take a little while. Continue sitting with your question.
  • Trust that you will know the answer when it comes. The more we do this practice, the more confident we will become about knowing what the right answer for us feels like in our bodies.