Healthy Grieving Protocol
Who is this for?
Anyone who is feeling stuck in any area of their life. Especially important if you have experienced a recent death of a friend, relative or pet. This practice is also useful for coming to terms with the end of a relationship or daily grievances.
- What you need
- 15-20 minutes
- A candle
- A space in your home or where you will not be disturbed for 10-20 minutes 2x a day.
- A journal and a pen
- Comfortable clothes to stretch in
What you need to know:
How to do a body scan, abdominal breath and understand the importance of a presence practice. See forum for these videos.
Why do a healthy grieving process?
To process feelings through the body and to move through emotions in the mind, is to live a wholesome life.
By doing this practice it is possible to
- Transform uncomfortable emotions into peaceful feelings
- Reduce risk of disease states caused by grief
- Feel more wholesome and free
- Limit negative attitudes and beliefs
- Experience a more embodied and joyous way of being
Kubler –Ross model of grieving
|Time||Example of Support needed||Predominant Naturo Medicine|
|Shock||Up to 21 days||Human touch is very important here. Also grounding practices using the elements. Put feet in the sand, lay on the grass. Drink dandelion and liquorice root tea, avoid large quantities of food. Graze.||Homeopathy, arnica, flower essences; rock rose, star of bethlehem.
Naturo Herbal formula: Destress
|Denial||Initial denial of a situation can lasts a few days but an element of denial can last many years.||Have friends around but also make sure you are getting lots of time alone in nature. Journal your thoughts /feelings.||Physical body work by our directory NaturoPros include Acupuncture and osteopathy are effective here, especially if this state has been continuing for many years.|
|Anger||Suppressed anger can last a lifetime. (In women this often resides in the reproductive tract). In men it can effect the liver pathways. Later developing into arthritis if anger turns to bitterness.||Get active, go for runs or walks. Eat foods that nourish the liver such as cruciferous vegetables. Include apple cider vinegar into your morning routine.||Physical presence practices like yoga and qigong. See our directory for groups in your area.|
|Non acceptance||Non Acceptance can last a few weeks to many years. It normally presents itself in self-perpetuating events. Trauma and drama that lead you to address your grief over and over again.||Balance your time between being with friends and family and being alone in nature. Don’t spend too much time alone as this can cause you to lose perspective. Journal. See a practitioner for facilitation||Psychotherapy using the breath in the form of our Naturo therapy is appropriate here. To find and address the underlying grief.|
|Depression||In Naturo therapy this is called dark night of the soul. It can last for months or years. It is an important and necessary part of life and healthy grieving. This is where wisdom and the learning are created.||It’s important to clean your diet and environment of toxins so to not prolong the depression phase.|| Naturo herbal: Neuro tone
RN Cleanse: motivation, social interaction and ongoing support is needed here. 9 week Rn cleanse program provides an analysis and reboot of your diet and lifestyle to make sure your environment is conducive to healing and living at your healthiest and happiest.
|Testing (Resolution) seeking||At this stage you have come out of the dark night of the soul and you are nearly ready to accept all that has happened and see life with wiser, fresher eyes.||This is where you incorporate the practices you have learnt over the grieving process. Incorporate them into your weekly life long term as tools for healthy living. Write goals for the future||Presence practices to do at home; meditation, journal writing, breath exercises, qigong, yoga.|
|Acceptance||This is where you can tell the story and it doesn’t trigger overwhelming emotions. Instead you feel joy and gratitude in your heart when you think of this person or situation because of the lessons they have brought you. There may always be a sadness and a scar but because you have done the work it has changed you. The scar is tended to.||Celebrate life with friends and family as frequently as possible. We are interdependent beings and we need one another in the good times and the bad.||Make a gratitude practice. Write what you are grateful for each day. Continue each week.|
We must acknowledge grieving as a normal part of life. Going through the motions of grief no matter how painful, is necessary in order to truly feel joy. Your processing is unique to you. Don’t force anything. If you are having trouble and feel alone in this process, speak with a Naturo Therapist to be facilitated through the motions. Or get the ball rolling and identify at which stage you are at if it is not clear to you now.
What do people normally grieve and what happens if I don’t grieve?
Daily things: You may be grieving an old job, grieving an old diet or way of doing things to move into a more aware life path. Grief is a part of daily life. How we process it determines how productively IN life we feel. The aim of the game is to become quiet enough to hear your every thought through your body. In this space mini miracles happen. Speak with a Naturo therapist for help getting embodied; in-your-body.
Life transitions: such as death of a loved one can force the body into stillness by ill health. Every illness has an emotional component. Disease; dis-ease is a physical expression of emotional stuck-ness. This is why we must address the physical ailment of ill health and the emotional component of ill health. When we grieve the emotional body is forced wide open it is a fundamental time to do emotional work. Releasing of old emotions.
Much time and dedication to self nurturing is necessary for healthy grieving. It is a process and everyone is different. Unfortunately this isn’t orchestrated well in the west. For example after a death of a loved one, we have a funeral and not much else time is dedicated to processing death. Which leaves most people walking around with unexpressed grief. A part of our life becomes bolted to the past. Creating an anchor that prevents physically moving forward in life and emotional stuck-ness. E-motion is energy in motion. When it become stuck in the body the emotion of grief surfaces in other ways such as a disease (normally lung affiliated) or life-events which force us to grieve again.
SOLUTION: spend dedicated 20 minutes each day to feel the feels.
How often do I need to do this?
- 21 days 2x a day
- 21-28 days just morning
- Thereafter once a week for 5 weeks
- Then once a fortnight as part of your regular presence practice.
To begin with make it a 28 day ritual, 21 days minimum with a candle. Later on make it weekly and then fortnightly for half an hour. The idea is to retrain your brain and body to process emotions daily. Scan for non-feeling and gaps in connection and process emotions twice daily. See How to do a body scan in forum.
For the first 21 – 28 days do a minimum of 15 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.
How to do the practice?
- Begin by sitting on the floor or on chair. Do 3 part abdominal breath. Refer to forum for instructional video. This helps you to get out of your mind and into your body. If you are stuck in the mind then try doing this after a workout or a brisk walk.
- Put your hand on your chest over your heart and ask yourself how do I feel?
- Let the emotions come up, be expressed momentarily in whatever way is needed. For example crying or wailing or writing expressively. Do this for 15minutes.
- After 15minutes focus on your breath your and listen to this heart mediation
Yoga to go through the motions
Did you know that yoga asanas (postures) were created as the prerequisite to mediation. Each posture opens the body up creating a clear vessel free of emotions to enable long seated or standing meditations. Emotional memory resides in the ‘mind body’. The word yoga means “to unite”. Actively doing the asanas you are effectively uniting brethren with the mind body and this connects min and body to spirit. So asana classes releases emotion stored in muscle memory whilst increasing flexibility. Yoga would be great to do before this grief practice.
Do the practice before food
Best to do this practice in the morning. And on an empty stomach as consumption of anything suppresses true emotion. You’ll find that you will be more present to yourself after this practice and more aware. This can make food taste better, prevents over eating whilst stimulating appetite and increases absorption of nutrients.
Do exercise and physical movement before hand
This is especially important if you are new to psychotherapy work or feeling into different body parts. Having an adrenaline release first, helps the mind to be more quiet and frees up a stiff body to tune into. Do exercise before the practice to burn adrenaline and release endorphins. I like the 7mininute workout.
What if I don’t feel anything?
Grief is often felt as a great sadness, a hole in the chest, an emptiness or even despair. But at first you may find a numbness or a sense of indifference. Please know that this is normal. Take a deep breath and place your hand on your heart. Let go of expectation of feeling anything. Only ever apply yourself 70% in all of the Naturo practices. More than that and you are straining which creates force and restriction.
- Take a deep belly breath 3x and ask yourself again
“how do I feel?”
If you are still feeling numb try vocal exhales with the abdominal breath or the ocean breath. See forum. This can help the parasympathiec nervous system to kick in.
- If you still cant feel ask yourself
“What is the worst than can happen if I am to feel this pain?”
Other things to note –
- SAFETY and SUPPORT address how safe you feel. Are there people around preventing you from tapping into yourself. Is it ok for you to have people around when you feel vulnerable? Or do you prefer to show this side only to yourself and therapist. You may find it helpful talking online to others, experiencing similar situations on our forum.
- SELF- LOVE not SELF LOATH when done correctly, processing grief is the greatest act of self love we can offer ourselves. However the ego is very cunning and grieving can be (and normally is) unhealthy. This is when self-destruction comes into play. Keeping us stuck in an emotion in the head rather than a feeling in the body. Pining, self hate and self blame are examples of this. To avoid self destructive thought patterns it is important that you grieve with the intent and accountability. Have the only intention “I am present to my self”. IF you have an inteiton of happiness you set yourself up for failure. If you have a a lingering intention of remaining sad (because that’s where you have been for so long and you feel safe there) you will remain stuck.
When we are present to our needs in any given moment we can enjoy whatever feeling is necessary to be felt. There is no judgement, no attachment just flowing emotions, ‘energy in motion’. Life is wholesome when we are fully in it!
What to expect with the grieving process?
As you move through the 21 day practice feelings will come up to be felt. Expect to feel more, expect to reduce emotional outbursts in public places, reduce amount that you are triggered and consumed by emotions in your daily life. Giving grieving a framework and a set time each day to allow emotions to be felt, the less you react to the external world.
Feel to heal
Transforming emotions into productive creative energy
Grief sits in the body and makes us become stuck. It is an unproductive frequency when not processed and dissolved. We can not move forward with life. However when we give ourselves space to grieve by deliberately making time each day to feel the emotions associated with grief, the withheld grief moves from through a process and shifts into a productive energy. Get creative on your process. Creativity helps us to remember who we are and deepens our relatioship with life.
Accessing the emotional body (an embodied state) is the juice of life. It is being fully in the present moment. It is a precursor to an enlightened state of observing emotions. To become whole we must feel ourselves to know our needs and fulfill them. Later when we can observe all, we become wise.
Additional resources found in the forum:
- how to mother and father yourself
- chest massage tuina points/ self- compassion
- yoni egg use
- use crystals as a tool
- herbal medicine to support grieving