I would not be living the life I am now without presence, and I would not have embraced presence as a daily practice without my grief journey.
There was a time when I couldn’t see how meeting my grief could help me to find meaning again in my life, let alone experience joy. The first time I felt joy, I was filled with guilt. How could I ever feel joy again when my daughter was dead? I know this is a common experience because I often hear from clients that they feel guilt when they feel happiness or joy. They too wonder how that could be possible when their lives have been ripped apart when their loss occurred.
The only way I was able to be with the devastating pain that arose after Leah died is through presence.
I tried other things.
I tried numbing my pain with distraction.
I tried eating to anaesthetize my pain.
I tried staying busy with mindless activities.
I isolated myself from everyone.
I wanted to curl up under my covers and never emerge.
All of these things have their place, and can be helpful in small doses. When we use them as our daily coping mechanisms, we can get stuck in a place that doesn’t serve us, and in my case in a place that didn’t honor my daughter.
For me, presence is the only thing that is able to unravel the painful feelings and bring me to a place of greater understanding. A place where everything is possible.
Samyama is a present moment awareness practice that allows me to bring all of my feelings, one at a time into my heart.
And it’s a practice, not a perfect. Some days it’s not as easy to quiet my mind and come into my heart, and those are the days that I bring whatever my head is spinning into my heart and let it begin to unravel the busy monkey mind. Samyama is helpful for so many things. I’ve come to rely on it for every decision I have to make, whether big or small.
Here are some of the everyday uses for Samyama:
- Bringing something, anything into your heart. This allows the heart to hold it so that it can (eventually) shift.
- Asking a question that we’ve been pondering without receiving an answer that we can trust.
- Learning to trust you intuition.
- Recognizing your full body yes. (If it’s not a full body yes, it’s a no)
- Reducing stress.
- Learning how to get better at feeling all of our feelings. (rather than just feeling better)
- Bringing story (the one that your head tells you over and over again) to your heart so that you can unravel it and get to the feelings underneath the story.
I’ve learned that presence holds everything that I need, always. As I continue to be devoted to presence, I continue to deepen my understanding of what it is. It is the mystery; it is the unknown.
I am learning how to dance with the mystery on the edge of the unknown.
Will you join me?