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.

Why U Should Stop & Hug Your Parents

Hi all…Sorry I haven’t been posting lately but my Dad’s health was failing so that was pretty much consuming my time, energy and focus. I’m devastated to report that my Dad passed away on Oct 17th. He was 89 years old and lived a full life and ended that life surrounded by everyone he loved. As far as dying goes, it was about as beautiful and peaceful as anyone could hope for. I expect I will be silent blog-wise for awhile as I sort out my feelings, sit with my grief, help my mom and try to adjust to life without my Dad in it.

That said, there is one bit of advice I’d like to pass on to all of you teens. Believe me, I remember all the arguments I had with my father growing up and all the moments I found it hard to like him very much never mind love him. Thankfully, as you grow up you eventually (and sometimes begrudgingly) realize how much your parents love you and you learn not to take them for granted.

My advice to you is don’t take them for granted now.

Accept that they are acting in your best interest.

Accept that they love you unconditionally.

Accept that they are human and doing the best they can with the tools they’ve been given.

Life is short and hopefully most of you will have your parents around for a long time but imagine if they were gone tomorrow? Imagine if they were snatched away and weren’t there to nag, cajole and pester you. Imagine that they weren’t there to say good morning or good night or “Put that phone down already!” Believe me, you would give anything just to have them scold you one more time. So, while I know you are young and death seems abstract and far away, life is unpredictable and it’s important to live every moment to its fullest and to love and appreciate those around you.

Hug your parents today. Tell them you love them. You can go back to eye rolling tomorrow.

Peace to you my friends.

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.