Grief and the loss of a loved oneGrief is a very personal and painful experience.  Whatever means we use to find solace in our time of grief is significant and should be valued.  I lost my mother to breast cancer at the age of sixteen.  It was, as one could imagine a great shock to us all.  A friend said to me in a strange consolation “I don’t know how I (meaning herself) would ever get through that kind of grief.”  I said in a very stoic way I’m sure, “You just do.”  She then repeated my words which evidently struck her…”You just do.”
As we drove away from the hospital after my mom passed away in my shock and grief, my greatest fear was that I would forget her:  her face, her hands, her voice and eyes.  I thought “well, now it’s been an hour since I’ve seen her.  Someday it’ll be a year then five years, then ten!”  Now, here it is twenty years this past August since I’ve seen her beautiful eyes in person.  But here is the great, great thing about feelings, dreams, and yes, even grief.  She is with me and I feel her – it may sound cliche or like my own fantasy hope but seriously,  there have been several times where I had a dream of her and I woke up and I felt her presence-viscerally.  This website is about listening to and honoring your senses and using your intellect to help sort through and deal with challenges we all face.  Grief over a loved one is one of the biggest heartaches in our collective human experience.
I have tried to remove myself, to comprehend, even to get over this event but I know now that it is impossible.  I’ve surrendered to that because it shapes every moment of your life after something like that happens.  You no longer see people and the world in the same way.  I really understand how fragile and impermanent this all is because I witnessed it first hand.  My perception of time changed too.  Most teenagers have an invincibility attached to their behavior-that was never a part of my viewpoint of the world.

foot exercise

This exercise will help you feel more solid on the ground.  Feeling more solid on your feet will help you with standing, walking, and exercise.

The muscles of the lower leg insert on the foot.  Some of these are Gastrocnemius, Soleus (which both insert via the Achilles tendon), Tibialis anterior, and the Peroneal muscles.  If they are tight they can often lead to other issues.

You can do this while laying on the couch watching t.v. at the end of a long day.  Always put a bolster under your knees to protect them.  With time, this exercise can become second nature and you will begin doing it before you even realize it.

Procedure:

Trace the alphabet with your feet.  Do it in large block letters.  Do each letter and movement slowly-the intention is not to get through the alphabet, but to stretch and to strengthen the  muscles of your feet.  You may sense places of your feet that are rarely moved-this is a sign that you are really getting circulation to places where you need it.  Notice the middle of the foot when you do the finer movements of  the letters B and K.  Those can be difficult muscles to isolate.

You may only want to go to N the first few times you do this exercise as you will see it is not easy and your feet can get tired.  Many of these muscles are not used to being activated so specifically.  Don’t overdue it.  When you are finished, do three circle in each direction.  Now you can massage them a bit.

I’m often asked whether to lead  with the toe or heel.  Take as much effort out of it as you can.  I would say in general try to lead from the ankle and let the rest of the foot go along for the ride.  The movement should flow with ease not with effort.  Let it feel luxurious!

When you stand up, go slowly and mindfully.  You will notice different sensations than you did prior to the exercise.

This is a seemingly simple exercise but it is very effective with long lasting and strong results.  You will begin to notice, over time, how your feet look and feel stronger and less tense.  This is important as they are the base for the rest of your body.

The root chakra begins on the foot as well as many acupuncture channels (that begin and end there).  Reflex points for the whole body are located on the foot.  By creating a strong structure physically, you are helping these channels to flow better and as a result you will have greater well being overall: better circulation, better flow of Chi/Prana and better alignment.  By relaxing the foot you are stimulating the rest and digest response in your nervous system.  This restful state can help your breathing, digestion and on and on! Most importantly the rest of your body’s joints are stacked upon your feet.  Your knees, hips, shoulders and neck.  If your feet are off center it can have an effect on the rest of your body.  So take care of them and do so sensibly. This is an exercise and is meant for the prevention of foot pain.  If it hurts doing this stop and go see a foot doctor.

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