The TV show The Voice is partly responsible for my passion around developing the Living Wholeheartedly with Grief and Loss series.
Let me explain.
I am a sucker for singing competition shows, particularly The Voice. I love the blind auditions, I love the banter between Adam and Blake, I loved Alicia Keys last season.
But what really gets me are the background stories they do on some of the contestants. As one review of the show put it, “Every contestant, it seems, just came off a near death experience, or a loved one is dealing with a serious illness or a job loss, or all three.”
Like the kid who has battled a bone disorder and was in and out of hospitals his whole life, or the 16 year who is singing for her parent who just died, or the woman who was disowned by her family because she is gay.
These are sad stories.
And here’s the heart of it for me.
The contestant, who is probably under 25, already feeling intense pressure just minutes before what they often describe as “the biggest moment” of their life, is being interviewed about their emotional story... and starts to cry.
The first thing he or she will say at that point is, “I’m sorry.”
Sometimes followed by, “I don’t know why I’m crying.”
Every. Single. Time. a contestant cries, they apologize.
As though feeling sad that your father just died isn’t ok. As though being emotional about your childhood trauma is not allowed. As though being booted from your family of origin isn’t worthy of tears.
Yes, it’s probably embarrassing to cry on national television. But I think it’s deeper than that.
Our culture does not acknowledge the profound impact of major life events, and definitely does not provide the space for these types of losses to be openly discussed or shared.
In fact, we are often urged, subtly or overtly, to deal with the loss privately and swiftly.
Yet it is critical to our heart’s health and the wholeness of who we are to integrate the loss into this new way of living, eventually learning to live wholeheartedly with – not in spite of – that loss.
This series is a big part of the reason I do this work...
To acknowledge that there isn’t anything that isn’t Yoga.
To honor the human experience and paradoxes of life.
And to remind ourselves that this is an Every Day Practice.
Living Wholeheartedly with Grief and Loss allow you to explore the loss experience using creative tools, meditation, movement and discussion.
Workshops and retreats are sprinkled throughout the year. Make sure you're on the list to find out when the next one is.
If you have any questions about this work, email me anytime.
Looking forward to connecting with you soon,