This year has brought shifts unlike anything most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Whether you have changed careers, moved, lost a loved one, had your heart broken, or felt betrayal in any capacity, a healing process must be adopted. And yes, it is a process. Healing rarely happens on a straight path, but like every other element within this journey of life, it’s all a practice, and it’s all a process. Allow yourself grace, take a deep breath, prepare your heart, and open yourself to possibility.
1. Remove yourself from what broke you.
It’s commonly expressed that we can’t heal in the same place or with the same people who broke us. Although this may be tough to initially remove ourselves emotionally, we can do our best to remove ourselves physically from most situations. Depending on the gravity, and whether you or a loved one is in immediate danger, this first step is often the most critical. If you find yourself in immediate harm, please don’t hesitate to call The Domestic Abuse Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE or visit TheHotline.org
2. Take time for stillness and introspection.
You don’t need to have all the answers in this step (and it’s possible that you never will), but simply give yourself space to breathe. With stillness we often have more opportunity to invite acceptance. Think to The Twelve Steps outlined in substance abuse recovery, “The first step is always accepting that there is an issue to be resolved”. Acceptance eventually leads to peace.
3. Don’t shy away from your triggers.
First you must feel what you feel, then you can begin to heal. For survivors of trauma or heartache, the everyday can be a landmine of triggers. Simply the sun shining or children laughing can induce memories linked to the exact thing or event you’re aiming to leave behind. When the triggers come, it’s time to employ the methods from step 2; stillness and introspection. Physiologically something happens in our bodies as emotions are overrun. Increased heart rate, a blood pressure spike, a rise in body temperature. Each of these physiological occurrences are fire or yang elements that must be neutralized with lowering the body temperature and focusing on a cooling breath.
The Cooling Breath (Sitali/Sitkari Pranayama)
Sitali Pranayama is often translated as "the cooling breath" because the act of drawing the air across the tongue and into the mouth is said to have a cooling and calming effect on the nervous system. To practice Sitali, you need to be able to curl the sides of your tongue inward so that it looks like a straw. The ability to curl the tongue is a genetic trait. If you can't, try an alternative technique called Sitkari Pranayama, which offers the same effects.
Benefits: Can improve focus; reduce agitation, anger, and anxiety; and pacify excess heat in the system
4. It’s a process of redefining your everyday to shift into something more aligned with your direction.
Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. with Psychology Today writes, “If you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning, then you probably will have a hard time being motivated to even brush your teeth.”
Our purpose provides intrinsic motivation. Through healing a heavy heart, defining a purpose or even working towards creating one is not meant to act as a band-aid or distraction, but rather a direction from which to keep our hearts and minds engaged. Trauma can result in great emotional blockages. It’s in our nature to create a boundary to protect ourselves, but purpose often provides a space to flex our creative muscles, thus leading to exercising our most vital muscle, the heart. Okay, yes, the heart is actually an organ, but you see what I did there, right?!
Sending love and healing to you,