Actions vs. Words
Nov 09, 2019
"Words just aren't enough."
"Words just can't describe what I am feeling."
I am sure we have all said one of the above statements, (if not both) at some point along our grief journey. And if we have not said them out loud, we have most definitely thought something along those lines.
I was never much for spoken words, not much of a talker, especially when it came to conflict. To me, truly saying what I felt inside meant I would be disappointing whomever I was addressing. I had always kept much inside, so I am sure you can imagine what losing my daughter did for my communication skills.
Since becoming a member of the bereaved parent 'club', I sought out and received professional therapy, counseling and participated in local and online bereaved parent support groups. While these each definitely have their own beneficial components in helping a grieving heart, I found words and talk therapy were not enough for me to sustain forward movement and progress with my grief. And I also realized I was not the only one feeling this way.
We are all physical beings, comprised of energy and born to express emotions. No matter if you are a talker or not, this rings true. As a child we expressed ourselves quite naturally - crying or laughing whenever we needed with gestures of flailing arms in an all-out tantrum or in quite the opposite of celebration.
However, as an adult, the world alters our sense of freedom to express our emotions. Oftentimes the 'happy' ones are acceptable, but the opposing side... not so much. And depending on our personality, the level to which it effects our physical expression and release of our emotions will vary. With the outside world squirming in their discomfort of our grief, we put on a mask and cover up the pain, saying we are 'fine'. We close off our throat, holding it all in instead of releasing our emotions. We suppress them, burying them deep down where they can manifest into physical pain.
Of course, the death of a child greatly heightens our emotional energy, making it vitally important to find ways to break this unhealthy trend and express our emotions. Our e-motions (energy in motion) need a physical release, an exit strategy if you will.
Prior to losing my daughter, I luckily had a workout routine in place. However, I was not sure I was ready to face people asking about her. I was apprehensive to go back to the gym at first. My husband was the one who suggested we go together, which I am so grateful he did. We worked out as a family, our son Chase included, in the back stairwell of the gym to give ourselves space and privacy. Working out together brought us closer as a couple, as a family. I recognized that physical activity is where my husband felt he could most comfortably share his grief, where he could release his emotions and communicate to me on how he was feeling. Thankfully, I figured out that physically releasing my feelings felt best to me as well. With my background in physical fitness paired with my 30+ years of dance training and teaching, I had an outlet.
You may have already had a workout regimen in place and were able to jump right back in without hesitation to use for your emotional release. If so, love it! But for those who may not have had a prior physical routine in place, you probably feel apprehensive to step out into society to start one. Either way, the likelihood of being bombarded with questions about your loss or possible triggers might be an overwhelming factor to get anyone out the door. This overwhelm can then become a habitual excuse for skipping the gym, a workout or physical activity all together, therefore causing a secondary loss. You are skipping out on social interactions, skipping out on life that keeps moving, skipping out on helping yourself when you oh so desperately need to make YOU a priority.
So what is the solution?
I think knowing
that for every thought and emotion there is a physical representation of both in every cell of our body? This is a physiological fact.
For example, anger increases heart rate and blood pressure, ongoing stress compromises the immune system and mourners become ill. Making this concept part of your belief system could be a great motivator to start implementing a plan of action, a movement plan, to manage emotions.
Start with the approach that physical movement is an important part of your healing process. Don't call it exercise or
negatives connotations to it. Take the time to figure out what physical movement or activity would most benefit you. It will help you in the long run. Assess how you feel when you are stagnant and stationary, stuck inside the house, versus moving about and up on your feet, out in nature.
Take a moment to ask yourself a few questions...
What do you enjoy?
What motivates you?
What is your goal?
Am I surrounding myself with people in alignment with my goal?
Are the steps I am taking in alignment as well?
What does this say about my grief work and the approach I am taking?
What am I learning from self-observation?
Grief always gives us new information about how we are choosing to live. We do have the choice to create a better version of ourselves out of our painful experience.
Personally, I began to see how my 30+ years of training and teaching dance could be used to assist others along their grief journey. So I started experimenting and began to use a combination of holistic movement and physical fitness. My mind, body and soul were all in. Creating this combination has helped me along my grief journey exponentially. I actually find talking about my feelings and emotions comes more naturally now, too. In addition with journaling and mindset work, I started to see accelerating and sustaining forward progress on my grief journey. I knew I just had to create something to help every grieving mama!
But when we simply cannot find the words, remember actions speak louder, and I believe this truly is the case in grief too.
Holistic movement and physical fitness provides a unique and powerful approach to exercising with an emotional exit strategy.
That is why I am so excited to announce my 4:13 Move.ment Method online course is launching December 2nd!
If you are feeling stuck and overwhelmed, have put yourself last on the list, don't wait any longer! Together, we can find purpose, possibility, growth and forward MOVE:ment in navigating your grief journey with actionable and tangible steps. ANd we can do it all together!
Included in the course:
- Learn various grief concepts
- Disempower the overwhelm of grief
- Actively participate in your healing
- Build your grief toolkit
- Carry the one you love
- Connect with a community that gets you
I cannot wait to connect with you and help you see it is SO incredibly possible to start choosing better!
Send me a DM on Instagram @betternotbittermom or Message me on Facebook, shoot me an email... let's not waste our pain or wait another minute!