I normally steer clear of sharing too much of my personal life online but today I feel compelled and perhaps it is just the only thing one can do when they are facing the grief of losing a loved one. This post is to honor my ancestors who have passed and to remind us all that this life is short and is meant to be lived in love and gratitude. The catalyst for this post is the passing of a wonderful woman, my aunt, Rest In Peace Aunt Kathy-thank you for your love, even from afar.
We all know that death is a part of this life and at some point we will each most likely experience the devastation that comes with the loss of a loved one no matter how unexpected, expected or planned for. Today my family grieves the loss of yet another of our matriarchs, another rock that holds our walls in place. It is so strange and amazing what times like this do to our lives: we begin to remember that this life is not forever, how important our friends and family really are, the things we have and have not said, the places that we have given forgiveness and the others that we have not, our priorities shift suddenly and every moment seems more drawn out.
I remember the first time I experienced this phenomenon, though I had known death long before this incident, it was in high school that I first understood it’s impact. An acquaintance of mine, but close friend of my close friends committed suicide and although I did not know her well I was impacted by the way the world felt different with her absence. I recall thinking to myself how the grass, air, sun, morning dew and just everything seemed different somehow. The revelation that the world keeps moving despite this great loss was almost too much for my young brain to comprehend. I have since lost many incredible people in my life and every time I am in awe of learning the same lessons again. Each time I do my best to remind myself to continue to give each moment that same weight but somehow that knowing slowly fades. I see now that this is one of life’s big challenges: to learn how to be truly present in each moment.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have”-Eckhart Tolle
I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my ancestors that have passed, in particular my Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncle and Aunt for giving me so much: My eyes, my smile, my laugh, my ability to recognize the importance of family, the great joy of being silly and taking things in stride, my ability to adapt, my sincerity, my generosity, my love of the outdoors, my strength, my vulnerability, my spirit, my love of life, my adventurousness and so much more. I absolutely would not be who I am today without each of your contributions to my life. Thank you also for your influence on all those that are still enjoying this lifetime-my family, cousins, mom, siblings, niece and nephews. To all of you: no matter how often we see each other your presence on this planet makes my universe more rich. I hold a sacred space for you right now as we see this lovely lady off to join the ranks of greatness that await her.
I share this because I know many of you can relate, in my personal list of clients alone there are many whom have shared with me their sadness of loss whether it be recent or long ago. This type of weary grief sticks to you, often finding a place in your body, mind and spirit to lay it’s heavy head. By loving ourselves and sharing our experiences we make space for healing and though we may always carry some of the pain of missing our loved ones we must do what we know would make them happiest-Live without limits and celebrate the goodness of their lives.
Here are some tips and resources for you if you are experiencing the massive grief of losing someone you love:
Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams-A book that I have read many times and never fails to make me laugh and cry, it deals with the issues of death and dying entwined with a beautiful story of the author’s life.
Hospice on bereavement-My dad was in hospice before he passed and I found their literature to be very comforting. It helped me to recognize the stages of my own grief as well as my families.
Some of my personal takes on the bereavement experience: remember that you probably won’t be yourself for a while and that there are many stages of grief that can last for quite some time. Cut yourself some slack, rest, remember to eat, spend time alone but don’t isolate yourself from your support network. Don’t sabotage yourself-ask for/allow for help when you need it. Don’t make decisions too hastily, rely on someone that you trust who is less affected by the death to help you with important matters.
Take care of yourself in whatever ways work for you. Stress and grief are hard on your mind and body which means you need to take extra good care of yourself during this time. Eating healthy, drinking water, exercising and doing your best to get enough sleep are the first steps in keeping your energy up for what lies ahead. Body work such as massage, acupuncture, energy work etc… can be very healing during times of loss because they allow you a safe space to be quiet but not alone. Body work also helps with releasing endorphin’s, reducing the stress hormone cortisol, improving circulation and promoting restorative sleep.
People deal with death in many different ways and you have to find what works for you to make it through the process without self destructing, most importantly remember that it does get easier and you will find happiness again. Above all love up the people close to you and live a full and joyful life! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share your tips for surviving the grief process as well as the stories of your loved ones who have passed with us. I send each of you my sincere love and gratitude and hope you know that whatever role you play at WOTB is significant and wonderful. Have a beautiful sunny day!
Acupuncture can benefit many types of ailments especially pain and stress!
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms
Acupuncture “focuses body’s attention” to the injured area and in turn it stimulates the body’s ability to spontaneously heal injuries. As the body focuses on the the micro traumas induced by acupuncture, it also heals any surrounding tissue damage left over from old injuries.
Acupuncture releases natural painkillers
Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin are released. Some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!
Acupuncture reduces both the intensity and perception of chronic pain
It does this through a process called “descending control normalization”, which involves the serotonergic nervous system.
Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles
This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.
Acupuncture reduces stress
This is perhaps the most important systemic effect of acupuncture.
Recent research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard of the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has been called the “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” system, and in many ways is the opposite of the sympathetic system. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
by Joy Earl, LAc
Choose acupuncture for pain and stress and book your appointment with Joy today and learn about the benefits of acupuncture first hand!
We are now offering monthly wellness classes on the rooftop deck!
This months class is all about learning how acupuncture can ease your pain and it includes a free cupping demonstration
Why Acupuncture is so great for pain: The rivers of your body
Acupuncture is all over the news lately, everyone is talking about how great it is for pain. Shoulder, knee, back, hip…so long as you have pain, acupuncture is the natural alternative to harsh medications. But why? Have you ever wondered why acupuncture works? How the parasympathetic nervous system is your best friend and your body can, with a little help from acupuncture release the best pain killers around. This is your opportunity to learn how Chinese medicine and your health are mirrored in nature. When you see how the flow of energy or Qi in your body is just like a river, you will soon understand why acupuncture has so much to offer on your path to getting pain free!
Why not join us Thurs June 5th for a fun and interactive talk on Acupuncture and pain free living!!
Join us on Written on the Body’s rooftop deck on Thursday June 5th from 6:30-7:30pm
Please Register HERE now-space is limited
Rooftop Massage: we challenge you to Find Peace
…If only for an hour
Close your eyes and imagine yourself under a clear blue sky, the wind is lightly blowing, rustling the leaves of a nearby bamboo tree. You are completely relaxed, your mind is a bird floating through the sky, the tension you have been holding in your muscles melts away.
You are finding freedom in your body and mind in the comfort of a massage table. You are on a rooftop deck under the canopy of a wooden pergola with flowing white curtains. You have been warmed by an infrared sauna and your mind slowly drifts to the hammock you will enjoy at the end of your treatment.
There is nothing that can shake you, you are in a world of your own choosing.
We challenge you to enjoy peace through massage in Written on the Body’s Rooftop Relaxation area.
How does spring make you feel?
Are you worn down from the long winter or excited by the new life bursting out all around you?
If you are like me you are a mixture of both, Summer is hands down my favorite time of year but spring is a runner up. Number one my birthday is in a few days and being a true Aries it is obviously one of my favorite holidays:) I also love the freshness of spring and it may be the only time of year that I welcome the rain (as long as it goes away when summer comes!). I enjoy watching the landscape change and grow and the feeling of everything waking up from a long sleepy darkness. Whichever way you roll there is no denying that Spring is here and it’s time to celebrate the return of color and energy to our great city! In honor of this lovely season I thought it would be a great time to share some of my favorite quotes and pictures on Spring, renewal and living life to the fullest:
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
– William Blake (extract from Auguries of Innocence)
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life-to be happy-it’s all that matters.” -Audrey Hepburn
Portland’s waterfront in the Spring-so pretty!