I got a call that my Grandmother had stopped eating and drinking. She was transitioning to palliative care, and it was time to book travel and get there asap.
The next day, I woke up with intense low back pain. I had two days to get everything sorted out to leave town, so I did some gentle yoga therapy and asked my body to give me the grace to do what I needed to do. Advil and gentle yoga got me through.
I thought the pain was due to rushed travel stress. However, when I arrived in Toronto, it only felt worse.
The day I saw my Gran, the pain melted away. I knew then that my body had tensed up out of fear that I would arrive too late to say my goodbye, and kiss her one last time. I had two days with her before she passed away.
This life, that demands so much of our intellect, can sometimes divorce us from our body. But the body is full of messages and requires our attention. In my experience, it is a conduit for the full range of my emotions, and is where I experience my deepest grief and my highest pleasure.
My Grandmother lived to age 94, and right up until the end, her body was remarkably healthy and strong. She lived a full and healthy life, always eating home-cooked nutritious food. For the last several years, when she would happily have spent her days doing nothing but sitting, her caregivers insisted on regular movement.
Now, in this difficult time of mourning, I’m reaching out for lots of hugs from my family, and giving lots of hugs too. That physical closeness and connection feels like medicine. When the emotion wells up, I’m letting myself cry freely, so that my body doesn’t have to hold on. This is the time to release.
In case you needed it, this is your reminder to take care of your body. Listen to it. Move it, stretch it, nourish it, and pay attention to its signals and messages. If you’re in physical pain, ask yourself what else in your life feels out of alignment? Everything is connected.
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