Healing After a Death in the Family
2019 was a particularly difficult one with my brother Sam’s passing at 29 years old. Even on good days, not a moment goes by that I do not wish he were still here. Maybe you have lost a loved one, a friend, a pet and you can relate. I fell into a really low point after his death, so I drove myself forward through work. It was easier to distract myself with travel and busyness than to deal with the heartache. That could come later I thought. As I hadn’t healed enough to move on I began to emit behavior of pain, felt really unhappy, and depressed. These feelings were so overwhelming at times that I looked into counseling and began researching self-healing modalities. These actions in self-care helped me focus on putting one foot in front of the other and started me along my journey to healing.
- Meditation – I have always wanted to have a daily meditation routine, but was never able to sit still more than 1-3 times a month. I took a 6-week online meditation course with Dani and another moon to moon Ease and Luck Manifestation training with Leila Sagadee. Since taking these courses I am able to sit in meditation on my own and be comfortable with ritual, incantation, sitting in meditation which also connects to journaling & my personal yoga practice.
- Sound Healing – whether it’s listening to chanting music or going for a gong bath or a crystal bath I have been using music and sound to break up stagnancy emotionally and physically and to cleanse and align my chakras. Whether you believe in sound therapy or not, the way I feel afterward is undeniable and I love it. I have been going for classes regularly in Singapore, New York, Los Angeles, and in Joshua Tree at Integatron.
- Breathwork – I joined Reiki master and breathwork healer with Laura Pensiero for a workshop in New York which then prompted me to join Kaya’s Sacred Breath Academy to get certified as a breathwork facilitator, truly one of the best things I could have learned in 2020.
- Spending time in nature – it is so therapeutic and vital to my vision to see green after staring at blue light on screens all day. I love visiting national parks like Yosemite, taking walks/runs in parks, beaches, and kicking off my shoes to let my feet touch the grass, sand, or water. I make a point to get into nature wherever I go to commune with Spirit which is my inner wisdom.
- Yoga is so good for the mind and body, so naturally, I turned towards my personal practice, FitSphere. On my really down days, taking a solo walk for 15-20 minutes is brain-changing enough to lift my mood.
- Meatless for 1 meal a day – I have found that I do much better when eating carbs, so since vegetarian/vegan diets are often carb-heavy, vegetarianism suits me. I have found I feel clearer and lighter with more energy with more vegetables in my diet.
- Coffee – I have had a life-long love for coffee which has turned into an addiction and I don’t like that I can’t start my day without a boost because I sometimes can’t get to one right away. As I travel so much and the dependency is actually slowing me down I have curbed my addiction and limited my coffee intake to 1-2 times a week.
- Alcohol – drinking makes me feel sluggish the next day, which makes me want coffee, which keeps me on a cycle that is dependent on uppers and downers, as natural as they are I want to be independent of them for a while so I am massively curbing alcohol. Limiting all alcohol to one glass a day at most, in turn, gives me time to connect and have healthier communication and time with friends.
- Health check-ups – like to the dentist, regular health screening, chiro, gyno, etc., I saw a counselor once, but I found my practices with mediation, journaling, and breathwork to be the most beneficial for me.
- Sleep – this one has been huge. Getting unapologetic naps and sleep-ins have been so good for me. At times I can travel up to 4 cities a week and really need to rest my body and sleep properly, so keeping in tune with my body and napping instead of drinking coffee has helped me maintain my biorhythm.
- Podcasts – I often listen to it when I run, when I do my nails, I even listened to it when I was getting my lashes permed and shared the experience with my therapist.
Some of my faves right now are:
- On Purpose with Jay Shetty
- The Michelle Obama Podcast
- Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations
- Journaling – release, I see how important it is or how silly it is to me at the same time and it’s out of my system and I can move on. I have looked back and seen my growth and have been really proud of how far I’ve come because I can see how I felt about something and how I feel about it now.
- Reading – there is something about concentrating and focusing on the pages of a book that put me into deep relaxation. I often find inspiration in pages that I would not find elsewhere.
- Who Moved my Cheese – Dr. Spencer Johnson
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad – a 1997 book written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
- Emotional Intimacy by Robert Masters
- The 4 Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills
- Teaching – What I learn myself I can share with you. I am combining the above in a Circle of Wellness FitSphere class with sound healing exclusively for Soho House members around the world. With each experience teaching online, filming, or hosting events, I am able to transform my offerings to become more comprehensive, more than fitness, with a more well-rounded approach to health. I love pursuing my passion for fitness and overall well-being to intersect my yoga experience and learnings.
- Relationships – Doing these activities with friends and growing with those I love – going to classes together, not just knowing them but sharing meaningful conversations with my friends and I have learned a lot from them. Deepening my bond and having powerful friendships with them.
- Social media – probably the most important action that I have taken is to delete all the social media apps that have been taking up my idle time. I have completely deleted Facebook accounts and pages while turning off all email, messaging, and social notifications. I have noticed that when I am constantly alerted it keeps me engaged and attached to my phone. I usually get my daily news from Twitter, but as I have also noticed the news triggering my emotions I have been staying away from the media and only signing in 1 time per week to catch up on headlines. I understand that this can seem drastic to many, but I cannot express how much lighter I feel and how much more time in the day has suddenly come around.
An educational documentary on this topic to watch is “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix.
How am I doing now?
These are just some of the ways I have been putting myself first lately and have felt massively better and boosted as a result. Death has brought me closer to love, to my family, and made me focus on what is important. Healing from loss, a broken heart, and a mental wound takes time. If I neglected to heal myself I knew I would fall to chronic stress or physical pain in areas of the body, deterioration, and relapse in illness.
I have found that everything and everyone benefits from me taking care of myself and focusing on my well-being. These tips are good to practice at any time of the year especially if you find yourself neglecting one aspect of your health. When you find yourself slipping try to come back to the 5 aspects of personal health and ask yourself “How are you”? Really listen to your response from your body, mind, and emotional well-being and do what you need to recalibrate and invest in yourself. I make it a habit to spend at least 10% of my salary on wellness and donate my time to at least 5 environmental projects or causes per year because I consider it as an investment in my personal and earthly well-being. I believe you can do it too because your well-being is important to me!