Supporting yourself moving through challenges
I often talk about supporting yourself to the best of your ability, to move towards feeling a little bit better each and everyday, to take the power into your own hands.
But what happens when you are hit by the biggest freaking brick? How do you continue to support yourself? How do you keep moving forward?
The thing about the online world is that a lot of people make healing look so easy, and we often don’t talk about the hard stuff and stuff that may knock you over and you have to drag yourself up out of a deep hole. Add living with pelvic pain on top of that, it can be extremely difficult to get "back on track" (stupidest saying ever, but it will bring the point forward).
So today I wanted to share with you what I was doing to support myself when I recently lost a family member and I had to go back home to Sweden to be with my family, in hope that you will not feel alone in any challenging moment that you might be going through.
You will do the work when you are ready When I was first hit by the “brick”, I almost straight away went into a numbing behaviour. I did everything possible not to feel. I was telling my closest people that I can almost see the two different paths that I can take - the path of not wanting to feel the emotions at all and just keep on going, ignoring the healing I needed to do, or the path of feeling the emotions, no matter how painful, to get through it and move on from there. At the time when I first was handed the news, I didn’t want to move through it at all. You will do the work when you are ready. Perhaps you’ve been following along for awhile, and you think to yourself “will I ever get to that place of wanting to move forward?”, "I can barely do this, that." Maybe you’ve been hit by a brick, maybe you feel stuck in sadness. But let me shine some light on You - The thing is, you are already supporting yourself by reading this, and that might be enough for you at this very moment. That is You taking a small step in the right direction to feel better.
Focus on one small thing (a thing you can handle) When I got on the plane 5 days later to go back home, that gave me a sense of relief - I was finally on my way, and the first thing I noticed was my jaw. I was clenching my jaw so tightly. Being someone that lives with pelvic pain, I often try to support myself as much as possible so I don’t have to live with as much pain as I used to. Your jaw is connected to your pelvis through fascia and your stress response - and I knew that my jaw was telling me that I was in fight or flight mode. That was my first conscious step in supporting myself - starting to relax my jaw. From there on out I stuck with that “relax your jaw, Penny”.
Any yoga move is a great yoga move Being a yoga teacher I live my life teaching and practicing yoga, and for a week I didn’t practice any yoga. I just couldn’t. I knew that if I would start to poke around I would feel things I wasn’t ready to deal with yet. But when I woke up, jet lagged AF in Sweden I did some yoga. I did two poses, and that was enough for me that day. From there I kept on going, some days I practiced, some days I didn’t. Some days it was 5 minutes, others 45.
Breathing is easier said than done I talk a lot about the breath, it is one of the principles of yoga, and it has helped me and my students tremendously on our healing journey. But I had such a hard time breathing properly, I had a hard time taking a proper breath. So that was probably one of my biggest challenges, to work on my breath. Energetically grief sets itself in your chest, and by not being able to breathe properly it felt like I was stuck in my body. But by mindfully trying to breath, and by just noticing my breath, the easier it became, and once I started doing that I came back to the feeling of how amazing and powerful the breath really is.
Walking is healing Whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, walking to change the energy, to get out in nature, sun, ocean smells, is healing to me. We walked every single day when I was in Sweden, we walked and talked. If you’re going through something that is really challenging, I invite you to go for a walk with someone, call someone on a walk - find healing in the movement and connections.
Not everyday is gonna be the same, some days I practiced, some days I didn’t. Meet yourself where you need to be met, and one small step at a time you’re gonna see that you are so much stronger than you actually think you are.
With all my love, Penny