OK, if we are talking about a journey, Thanksgiving was one of those travel moments when you decided to drive your rental car on a narrow mountainside dirt road and find that the road is full of potholes and you are not sure where you are or if you can turn around. I have to admit I've been in this mountain road situation a handful of times for some reason. There is an undertow of panic and a knowing that you have put yourself into an experience that you may not be able to handle. The only difference between this and the feelings of "the 1st holiday after loss experience" is that the dirt road experience was full of stress, but wasn't infused with a high level of sadness. So the holiday is a double whammy! There aren't any big warning signs like "slow down" or "enter at your own risk" on this grief journey. Even though you know that some things will be uncomfortable, the degree of discomfort is hard to calculate. There is a certain fog that can surround even the most tried and true happy events. Most likely, you find yourself unable to cheer up and enjoy what you would have enjoyed before. Surely this will be a temporary infliction.
Bhante Sujatha says "Bad days bring experience. Both are important. Enjoy the good days, appreciate the bad ones, and keep the courage it takes to live fully."
Courage has always come naturally to me, so I am surprised that it seems so elusive right now. Courage is in my true nature and I know through yoga that it is a constant light within me and my task now is to sit still and reconnect with it. The glow of the inner light is steady, only its surroundings take on different hues. The journey continues as I recognize which locations or settings help me to connect inwardly. It's good to encourage that inner quest by placing ourselves in places that support calm reflection. For me, in Florida, it's the beach. What is it for you? A beautiful sunset is always good. Maybe it's time to set responsibilities aside, relocate to that special place, and have a cup of tea with your inner brilliance.
Val Spies, Lotus Pond Yoga Studio owner and Yoga Teacher training director.