I’m just gonna go ahead and say it – grief and shame are toxic twins. ☠️
They’re both full-contact emotions. They affect us physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically. They leave us feeling tired all the time, crying non-stop, feeling cloudy or confused, lethargic or depressed. They both love being cloaked in the warm blanket of secrecy, silence, and judgment. They hate having words wrapped around them and cackle in delight when your fear causes you to shrink your life down. Each of our chakras feels the impact in its own way and if we want to truly move forward from grief (and we do) we need to look at how it shows up from root to crown. We’ve already taken a peek at the root and sacral chakra, so now let’s open the portal into our power centre – the solar plexus.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
Your solar plexus is located in the centre of your abdomen (between your belly button and your heart). It’s the seat of your action, will, confidence, determination, change, and moving forward. It’s the “self” that you project out into the world.
When you’ve got healthy self-esteem, confidence in your decision-making, energy to achieve your goals, and generally feeling like you’ve got this – your solar plexus is healthy.
Conversely, when you feel like you’re trudging through the swampland of shame, your solar plexus is out of balance. This is because the shadow of the solar plexus IS shame … and oh how the pandemic has stirred up some old shame stories. Like feeling powerless over your life when you’re supposed to be in charge. Or losing a job can bring up shame stories of failure. Moving forward might feel almost impossible if you’re living one day at a time waiting for your vaccine. The changes you’ve endured have been so inescapable and far-reaching that it can leave you feeling kinda frozen. And that’s exactly what shame does too, it freezes us so we can’t move forward.
Instead of acknowledging our grief and shame we put on a brave face, smile wide, and insist one more time that we’re fine and soldier on. Or we shut down our hearts, act out in anger (anger always covers up deep pain), numb out with Netflix, refuse to leave the house (even with a mask for a few minutes of fresh air), buy everything we don’t need online, and bake enough bread to feed the neighbourhood. It interrupts our sleep, hijacks how we eat, and has a way of amplifying our physical aches and pains.
See what I mean? FULL-CONTACT EMOTIONS.
But what many of us miss out on is the GIFT of grief – it’s an opportunity to gut-check our lives, re-evaluate who we are now, and get curious about what moving forward looks like.
How To Take Action
There are a few ways you can take action to help yourself right now. For some, traditional talk therapy is best because it digs into old traumas and may offer you a new way to think about them which can be super helpful. For others who are looking for more tangible tools to move forward, grief coaching builds a plan of action customized to you. It helps you complete the pain of your grief so you’re not carrying it with you into all your future relationships. The whole point of coaching is to provide you with the ‘tried and tested’ tools to live the life that brings you the most joy and fulfillment (because they’re the same tools that helped me and millions of others around the world). And the best part is you can ‘rinse and repeat’ these tools to help you process all previous AND future losses.
Listen, I know all too well how easy it is to feel like a victim of the circumstances of your life. Like everything is happening TO you and you have zero control over anything. Whenever I realize I’ve slipped into that victim mentality, I know it’s a cue for me to take responsibility. That the pain is shining a light on what needs healing…so, I need to take the action steps to make that happen because, welp, no one is coming to save me. Reminding myself that the first step towards love and healing begins by choosing love and healing over grief.
We also need to choose empathy every time shame stories creep in because it’s the antidote to shame. As mentioned earlier, grief and shame are toxic twins that thrive in secrecy, silence, and judgment. By cultivating empathy we shift from judgment to gentle compassion. By naming our emotions (shame, guilt, grief, anger) we end the silence and begin to take radical responsibility for ourselves. By sharing our stories and emotions with a trusted professional we move away from secrecy in a safe space.
When grief is fresh or we feel beaten down by loss after loss, it can seem impossible to even get out of bed. If this is where you’re at, start with one small step.
- A shower
- Eating a bowl of cereal anywhere but the bed
- Putting on some colourful clothes
- Reading one page of the book on your nightstand
- Opening a window and letting in the sun + fresh air
When you complete your one small step check-in with yourself. How do you feel? 1% better? Like maybe you could choose another small step? Do it and check in again. One step at a time is all you need.
Check your posture. People who struggle with solar plexus and shame are often curled forward almost as if they’re protecting their centre. Try just lengthening your spine, as if you were growing a bit taller. How does that feel? Try rolling your shoulders back and letting them fall away from your ears. Take a nice deep breath in and allow your chest to expand. How does that feel?
My favourite yoga poses for your solar plexus are backbends - they get the energy moving and open up the heart space! It’s important to do a counterpose after each backbend to balance your spine.
- Cobra post (backbend) then child’s pose (forward bend)
- Bridge pose (backbend) then knees to chest (forward bend)
- Who are you now?
- What are you ready to leave behind?
- What are you taking with you?
- Who are you ready to become?
The choice is yours, it always has been.
You just need to take one small step.
Your step today can be setting up a discovery session with me. It’s easy, just follow this link. Ask questions, tell me what’s going on for you right now, and learn how grief coaching works. I’m ready. I’m here. All it takes is one small step and I’ll walk with you the rest of the way.
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