The Secret Handbook 4 Teens


My yoga practice ended with this poem today and I was inspired to share. Lately I’ve been feeling really sad about my Dad and missing him a lot. This poem helped to remind me that I can think if my grief as a housecleaner of sorts. Sometimes you have to just wipe everything out and start fresh. And so, I will try to treat my grief honorably and you can do the same with your emotions too. If you’re sad, it’s ok to feel sad. Happy? That’s great too. Angry. Sit and work it out for awhile. These emotions make us who we are and prepare us for what’s next. Well enough of my paraphrasing. Go enjoy the poem yourself! Let me know what you think!

The Unexpected Guest

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Getting Battered by Waves of Grief & Why I Recommend It

Since my Dad was hospitalized last year he has been slowly failing and now, at 89, is in the final stages of his life. All of the signs that he is dying are there. He sleeps more, he eats less, he is disinterested in life. But yesterday, he seemed to take another slight turn for the worse and the doctor ordered a hospice nurse to come in and start seeing him on a regular basis. While I have never personally had someone in my family be in/with hospice before I certainly know that they can provide great comfort to both the family and the patient and are considered to be angels here on earth. That said, the word “hospice” is sort of that final nail in the coffin (and yes I know that is a really horrible pun but believe me, you find laughter in the strangest moments during this grief process) and as it all started to sink in, my grief became a palpable physical entity last night.

After hearing this news about the hospice nurse from my sister I just sat in a chair with a cup of tea and decided to just experience the grief that was washing over me in waves. I’ve heard people describe grief this way before and have certainly experienced it this way my self a bit but last night I could literally physically feel the emotion battering me around like I was standing in the shallows of the ocean. One minute I was breathing, the next minute I was not as the tears choked my throat closed and the salty water flowed down my cheeks. The next minute I was breathing, thinking that this was all ok, that it was his time, that it was better for him not to suffer and then slowly but surely, I began to sink back into the depths of speechlessness once again and prepared myself to be battered around helplessly again.

In a previous post I have given advice for you guys to “sit” with anger or sadness to help you both learn from it and recover from it and last night, that’s exactly what I did with my own grief. I have to say, well, I am exhausted. Sitting with and really owning and experiencing any emotion takes a lot out of you but at the same time, it’s a good sort of exhausted. It’s like the feeling at the end of a race or run or workout where you’ve pushed yourself to the limits and feel like you’re going to throw up but, at the same time, you feel good about what you accomplished. That’s sorta how I feel today. I feel a little more familiar with my grief. I feel like there is less to fear. That I know I haven’t experienced it at its worst but that I know when I do, I can just lay on my back and not fight it.

I offer you this story to encourage you to not fight the emotions you’re feeling. To tell you that it’s ok to just sit there and feel really sad or really pissed off or really whatever it is you’re feeling. Let it take you over and know that when you emerge, you will be slightly stronger, slightly wiser and slightly more you.

The 3rd Secret:To Get Over Sadness You Must Feel Sad. What the %&#?

feel sadness

I’m sitting on my deck reading Panache Desai’s new book “Discovering Your Soul’s Signature (which you should definitely check out because it’s chock full of examples for young people. It’s really not another secret adults are keeping from you though I doubt anyone will recommend it to you so it will seem like a secret but I digress…) Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the book.

So, I’m reading the book and it’s day two of the book’s 33 day journey which covers the topic of sadness and how we try to cover up and not feel sadness because that would be too, well, sad. But I read this line and the seeming obvious silliness of it struck me:

“Live in the truth that vulnerability is power. Live in the truth that your sadness makes you human.”

What the &*%? It seems silly right? It actually almost seems ridiculous! How can being vulnerable (or weak) make you powerful? How does being sad make you human?

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