By Linda Trignano
Pearl of Wisdom #1 – After getting into a challenging yoga pose, my body began the parade of physical signs reflective of my internal thought of “let’s get this pose over with!” The grimace, the loss of balance at one point, the verbal “ouch”, offered up by me and some of my fellow students led the teacher to the observation that many of us just wanted to end the pose. In a gentle, soothing voice she said: “remember, everything has a beginning, middle, and end”. She encouraged us to think about that during the pose, to focus on the benefit of each phase, to take what we could from the challenge of holding the pose.
And so it is with grief and loss. It too has a beginning, middle, and end. With grief it seems that the beginning arrives in our lives uninvited, stays way too long (the middle) and the end seems nowhere in sight. But holding to the thought that grief will pass through the beginning, to the middle and finally to the end. My experience tells me that the “end” is often different for each of us.
Pearl of Wisdom #2 – During the yoga class, I glanced at the clock quite a few times. Thoughts of “how much longer??!!”, “how long have we been working our thighs??”, “what time will I get back home?” filled my head. I’m sure many of my classmates suffered the same thoughts. It seems that many of my fellow students also couldn’t resist the urge to see what time it was – often during the hour. Our ever observant yoga leader took notice and offered the words “Time is an illusion. Now is all we have. Enjoy the now.” The words helped me stop the parade of thoughts and focus on the present.And so it is with grief and loss. All too often we seem to be unable to stop thinking about what was, or what we want to be rather than the now. I know that the difficult challenge when one suffers a loss is letting go. Moving forward takes time in the grief process. But a gentle reminder to ourselves to enjoy something about the now will help us, soothe us, and possibly give us the needed strength to move forward even if moving forward is one small step. So many things in life are about loss: death, losing a job, saying goodbye to a dear friend moving away, retiring. The list is endless since life is often about saying goodbye and letting go is difficult.
The yoga lesson offered me so much more than the physical exercise. Accepting the wisdom of “everything has a beginning, middle, and end” and “enjoy the now” touched me because I was open to the message. I hope you too are open to that message.