I have a dear friend who recently birthed her stillborn baby, and soon after the birth, she returned to our weekly yoga class. Towards the end of each class class, she softly, so as to not disturb anyone, walks over to far wall where she keeps her shoes and bag, picks them up, and she leaves the class. I asked her why she does not complete the class. ‘Because I don’t want to upset the class with my grief’, she said, ‘I am afraid that others will feel uncomfortable’.
This beautiful grief-stricken woman doesn’t just live on Planet Earth here with us this holiday period, she lives on Planet My-Baby-Just-Died. She also lives in a time where we so often quickly come to feel embarrassed by our sorrow. We are asked to get over things and quickly, ‘get through it’, ‘move on’ and ‘don’t do your grieving here’. But when grief turns up on your front door step, suitcase and sleeping bag in hand, it says ‘Here I am, I intend to stay fora while’.
What is a yoga class without the space to deeply feel, I ask you? What is anything without the possibility of authentically, nakedly, showing up for ourselves in our truth, just as we are.
For someone who has known quite a bit of grief in my life, let’s give a thought for people who are living and breathing with grief and sorrow this Christmas. Let’s raise a glass to a Christmas (and New Year) of living authentically and truthfully. Where we can live unapologetically from our hearts, allowing our emotions to move in ways we need them to. Let’s perhaps forget perfection, of needing life and ourselves to be a certain way,getting our yoga asana’s correct and precise and accurate, and strive instead to just be who we are, in all our vulnerability. To also know that we can’t take away anyone else’s pain, but we can certainly sit with another while they feel it. Let’s be open to creating spaces where we can let go, in doing so, others may feel the possibility that they don’t have to sneak quietly out of the room holding the hand of grief alone, but instead, if they want to, stay, and be seen and held.
Have an authentic Christmas from all of us at Sacred Women’s Way.
Words by Dr Sarah Lantz
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