Healing Circle

Healing Circle

Connect To The Heart, Sacred Grief Notes
Grief is... many things. It can be overwhelming, liberating, heartbreaking, a catalyst for change, and debilitating. Grief doesn't always feel how we think it is going to feel. We focus on Death. The grim reaper. The sullen character of graphic novels. But the true one to watch for is Death’s demanding sibling Grief. She demands your attention, your full attention. If you try to distract yourself or busy yourself with the comings and goings of life, she may offer you patience for a time, but sooner or later she will stop you in your tracks. You will have to pay her dues. Full emotional onslaught. For those that have not experienced the full range of human emotion, they have not yet met Grief. For she will show you the true bounty that we are capable…
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The Power of Breath

The Power of Breath

Connect To The Heart
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh   There were tubes coming out of his chest. He was in pain. Intense pain. They had removed a lobe of his lung. Cancer. They got it all. Or so they thought. Recovery took some time. The apparatus (spirometer) to build up lung capacity was given to him. Breath deeply. Hold. Exhale. I worked with him several times a day breathing with the apparatus chuckling to myself: how many years did I suggest he do yoga and pranayam for his lungs? He would just roll his eyes when I made the suggestion. And yet here he was listening to me now as we did deep breathing exercises. It helped. Colour came back to…
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Research Project

Research Project

Connect To The Heart, Meditation and Mindfulness, Sacred Grief Notes
A study to measure the effectiveness of mindfulness as a coping tool for the grieving. Overview Grief affects us all. It is complex and can be debilitating to those who are going through the process. Moreover, grief can be cumulative. When we don't process the grief associated with one loss can be added to the grief of another loss and so on. Creating space for the allowance of people's grief is important in a therapeutic environment. Our grief needs to be witnessed, validated, and then we may be able to move through the experience of feeling into it. Normalizing grief and the wide range of individual responses (and non-adherence to the stages and timelines that have been suggested as normal) is so important for us individually and collectively as a…
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What is our pain telling us?

What is our pain telling us?

Connect To The Heart
"Good medicine is very much like good gardening. Imagine you have a tree you love. One day you notice its leaves have turned brown. They will, you understand, soon whither and fall off. Imagine now that you call an expert who, after close examination of the leaves, recommends that you paint them green and attach them back to their branches so the tree can at least appear to be healthy. Everyone would agree that’s crazy. If you want to get your tree truly healthy, you can’t just cover up the problem. You need to get to the root of it. And just like Fermin used to say, the problem is most likely in the roots.” Alejandro Junger, M.D. Our health is a function of the interrelationship between many factors including our…
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Your Best Self

Your Best Self

Connect To The Heart, Tools and Techniques
I walked into a room filled with about 20 people of different genders, ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. I was there to hold space for a conversation on dying, death and grief. I've gotten used to dealing with whatever may come up because each time I hold these conversations it is different. Yet, the same. People participate in the conversation when you hold space for it. They share their losses, their grief, their regrets. They share a deep part of themselves and are sometimes surprised to do so. Some sit back and listen and ponder. Some argue and reject the ideas or perspective. Some shed tears. Regret has been a theme that has come up this past month in particular with clients and in groups. What is a regret? Why do…
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