The benefit of having alone time with your grief

 Is it too painful to sit in your thoughts and emotions?  Are you avoiding taking time to process your grief?  

Giving yourself space every single day (especially in the early stages of grief), is not only essential…it is mandatory if you want to truly step forward with confidence on your journey.  In today’s episode, guest host, Korinn S Hawkins, is back and we talk about why holding space for yourself is critical to your journey, what you need to know while you’re in that space, and how it will allow you to begin your healing in the aftermath of loss.

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Episode 9


[00:00:00] erin: hey there and welcome to episode 10 of the podcast and a huge thank you for choosing to show up for yourself by being here today. If this is your first time joining, I am your host of the podcast certified life coach. Erin Henty, but you can learn more about me by clicking the link to my website in the show notes below on today's episode, I've brought back founder of moms and meditation, fellow widowed mom, and of course an amazing human Korinn S Hawkins.

[00:00:31] erin: Thank you so much for being here today and welcome back.

[00:00:36] korinn: Thanks lady.

[00:00:38] erin: Yeah. And today we're going to be talking about the benefit of having alone time and giving yourself space every day, especially in the early stages of grief. So let's kick it off today and talk a little bit about why it's important to carve out space every single day.

[00:01:06] korinn: Yeah. And the first days it's just like the freight train hits you and you don't really know what's happening or going on. And the perfect analogy is if you have seen this where there's like a jar glitter and everything gets shook up and it's just like, you can't see through the jar anymore, you can't see beyond what's right in front of you.

[00:01:28] korinn: And at the same time, we immediately start processing what. Just happened. What is happening? It's this uncoordinated dance of having to keep up with life at the same time that you feel like life has just been altered to a degree that you don't have a concept of being able to understand what I personally found in those beginning days.

[00:02:00] korinn: Was that I needed, like, didn't just need like desperately needed to have space where I was alone. I wasn't needed by my children. I wasn't fielding calls. I wasn't working. I wasn't doing anything just to be with myself and feel what I was feeling because there's, there's so much, there's so much that we're feeling on so many different levels.

[00:02:26] erin: You are so right. And I was just flashing back in my mind to my own early stages of grief six and a half years ago, almost. And thinking about the intense emotions, I was feeling so much information coming at you. So many decisions that need to be made so many feelings that you're having your kids are having people around.

[00:02:55] erin: You are having. And sometimes just cutting that off at the pass, cutting it all off and just being present with yourself can bring extraordinary healing in the process.

[00:03:08] korinn: Yeah. It's like we need a release. Like we have this monumental amount of energy and heartbreak that just.

[00:03:18] korinn: Blindsides us or hits us wherever we are. If we knew it was coming, it hits us hard the same way, but that energy of that emotion, the, your thoughts, your, your feelings, your confusion, it's going to keep compounding. If we don't give it space, we need to be processing it in the moments that we are just living.

[00:03:43] korinn: But we also, I feel like. Can benefit from having open space alone, where it's just us processing. We're not processing with a friend. We're not processing in front of our kids. We're not, you know, we're not on display for anybody to see what our process is because that opens up the ability to really connect with how am I experiencing this?

[00:04:12] korinn: How am I feeling? What, what are my thoughts on this? And just kind of start to unravel. Tremendous mix of confusion and emotion. That is it's a mess. We're a mess at the beginning.

[00:04:27] erin: Well, right, because our lives were just completely shattered and all the pieces are laying on the floor in front of us. And one piece at a time we got to pick it up and we got to look at it and it's going to trigger a thought.

[00:04:43] erin: It's a memory. And then we're going to feel incredible feelings, and then we're going to act maybe in, or out of alignment with how we want to show up in the world. I laugh because I think about when I haven't given myself the space, how I show up for myself and my kids, the people around me getting irritable, cranky sometimes out of control.

[00:05:07] erin: And so, yes, I wholeheartedly agree that the space is so important. The how, or the. How you do it. And what you do is the next steps that we can talk about here. And so let me just start by saying, because this a word came to my mind, even before we started on this topic. Today is if any of you are sitting there thinking like I don't have the time to be making space for myself in this process, there is nothing.

[00:05:45] erin: You have to necessarily do differently than what you're already doing. It's how you show up in that space. And having kind of like a framework to be able to process it. That makes all the difference in the world, because I have been right where you are my friends crying in the shower lane down on the bottom of the bottom of the shower with the warm water, just like consuming me.

[00:06:23] erin: But then, then I had a thought, I had a thought. I can either lay here. Maybe I just need to lay here, lay here for a few minutes and really feel the warmth of the shower around me as I'm moving through the emotions. And that didn't require me to do anything other than to pay attention to what was going on around.

[00:06:53] erin: And just becoming aware of how we can use the things that are going on around us. I think on a daily basis to help support us in this process is so important. So I kind of want to fund a tangent here. So Korinn share with me why this is so important.

[00:07:09] erin: Y'all know we need more space. So what is it, what does it look like for you on your personal journey, in creating space for your.

[00:07:18] korinn: Well, I definitely can identify with crying in the shower. That was a very sacred space for me in those first days and weeks, because nobody else was going to be in there with me.

[00:07:30] korinn: It wasn't getting interrupted. It was just me with my feelings and my tears. And it was there's such force of allowing that emotion to move through. There's force in the emotion when we don't let it move through us. And that's the scary part because it binds up our energy. It binds up us physically, and that the stress that we carry the tension in our body, like we need outlets crying in the shower was every day, every day.

[00:08:01] korinn: And I looked forward to it, which sounds just mind blowing, but I did because it was just a space for me to feel an open and that kind of. What does the flood gate picture the flood gate? You're going through your whole day. And there's just all of this pressure that keeps building on that outside of your flood gate, you need someplace to let that flood gate open so that the pressure doesn't break you, you don't have to be broken in this experience of being with.

[00:08:37] korinn: But you need to allow yourself feel your brokenness because it's real. And in being open and honest with yourself and in being in that space of being real, that's where the healing journey really begins by connecting with, with your grief.

[00:08:55] erin: Yeah. I know you thought about something there. Cause I can see, I know others can't see you right now, but there's some emotion coming up.

[00:09:01] erin: So what are some of the.

[00:09:04] korinn: ~Um, ~no thought came in, just the emotion of feeling it, of that openness of you don't have to hold it all together. You're going to break yourself by trying to hold the altogether. Oh yeah. Get together for your, your family, your kids. You don't have to hold it together for yourself.

[00:09:24] korinn: Like be broken. Let yourself feel your brokenness. That's what it's going to be emotional. It's hard, but it's true and honest and you can't move through it unless you allow yourself to be in it. You can never move through anything unless you are in it. I love that in it. You could go around it and then you avoid it.

[00:09:48] korinn: And that is not good on any level for trying to heal a broken heart of a widow.

[00:09:53] erin: Yeah. The beautiful thing is once you've spent time in. And really felt it. Then you can step back and observe it and understand it and know that it's like, it's okay. Like it's okay. The one thing I've given myself permission to do is be whoever I need to be within my own house. And I think so much of us don't give ourselves permission. To feel whatever we need to feel and, and be vulnerable even in front of our kids, because we feel like we have to hold it all together. We do, they need it because they also need permission to feel the way that they need to feel and what healthy, processing looks like.

[00:10:45] erin: Right. So I think there's a million different ways in which we all tend to agree. But what we're going to give you today are some healthy techniques and ways in which we've done it. So, first of all, it's just being more present with yourself. I think we've talked about that one a lot and feeling into those present moments.

[00:11:10] erin: I know when I was standing in the shower and I felt the war. Of the water wrapping around me. I mentioned this on a previous episode, but I imagine it as like my husband's loving arms wrapping around me and telling me everything is going to be okay. Like I could hear him say like, it's okay.

[00:11:31] korinn: So beautiful.

[00:11:32] erin: And then it gave me the opportunity to like just releasing crumble. I did a, a blog post last year around this time. And if you go out to my blog,~ um,~ I actually titled it crying in the shower because I think we can all relate to that, but let's talk about some other coping, like not coping processing,~ um,~ ways of which we can process through our group.

[00:11:59] korinn: I think pairing stuff with physical activity, pairing processing of emotions with physical activity is huge because not only do we bind up emotionally and mentally, but we bind up physically. So one of the things that started to become a routine for me was to go outside by myself. I'd bring our dog Bucky.

[00:12:24] korinn: He wouldn't yet, you know, he wouldn't distract me. I could do what I needed to do to feel and process my grieving, but I would walk around our yard, I'd play music and I would just feel into the moment and just let my heart burst wide open and all of its pain.

[00:12:40] korinn: Yes. And when you allow yourself to feel into your emotions, for those that are maybe holding back and not being real with some of their emotions that are coming up, how do you really tap into and get heart-centered right.

[00:13:03] korinn: It's for me, it was an interesting process because there would be moments where it was almost like I was outside of myself, observing this happening of just. Gushing and feeling and just an awe of the raw intensity. But what happens afterwards is there's a connection made between our allowing ourselves to have those raw moments and being an observer of us in those moments.

[00:13:37] korinn: There's a connection made, which starts that ripple effect of having cohesion. This integrating into who you are and how, how you are not giving it more power over you to kind of crumple you under the stress, but allowing yourself to feel the power in it, of how intense it is. And that can be scary. That can be really scary and really underneath.

[00:14:09] korinn: But every time I went out on those walks and let myself just lose it or lost in the shower or driving in the car was another safe space for me. I felt better, Aaron. And I don't know if you've had similar situations where, you know, there's that come and quote, have a good cry. Crying doesn't feel good, but it feels good after you've allowed those flood gates to open and release. Got back to that. Pairing the physical, the walking was like, I wasn't, my body was moving, which was allowing me to also pair physically moving in my grief as well. We're holistic. It's not like the body processes and then the emotions processes.

[00:14:53] korinn: But we process as a whole. So it's just allowing that other dimension to be a part of your processing.

[00:14:59] erin: That's so good. Korean,~ um,~ mind, body spirit connection. And the more that we can bring those together and process them simultaneously the more powerful, the more intense, but the, the more. Fully, we are healing in the process

[00:15:23] korinn: that coherence comes in and it actually starts to become a smoother process because we are honoring ourself on all those different dimensions of how we are and what we need.

[00:15:36] korinn: Our spirit needs mending our, our mind needs mending. Our body needs mending, and we're able to end that open space of having time alone. We can give ourself the full attention that we deserve and in processing our grief.

[00:15:52] erin: Yes. I love that. And one of the ways I know personally that you help moms process through. Many different things that come up in the daily life of a mom, right. Is through the power of meditation. So I have to, I have to talk about this because two years before, way before I knew you, but two years into my journey is when I uncovered meditation as a part of my daily practice with connecting my mind, body and spirit. So I need to know. What it is. You'd love to share with others in terms of using that as a modality for healing in this grief journey. We're on.

[00:16:39] korinn: I'm so glad you brought that up because it didn't. Come into my mind to talk about it. But meditation was cornerstone for me in those early days, too, of giving myself that space of sitting in meditation and what happens.

[00:16:54] korinn: So there's kind of a dichotomy here. So you have the open space. Walk and feel, listen to music and feel cry in the shower and feel the emotion and the intensity. And then you have this other space of being in alone time that is less about processing and more about just letting it all kind of mellow because. In meditation, we're not focusing on our grief. We're just focusing on something simple, like the breath or feeling the heart, or if there's a guided meditation, you know, we're, we're focusing on the visual journey of what that is and where it brings us in how we feel in that. So that gives us a framework and meditation is a holistic medicine in its own.

[00:17:51] korinn: It has the power to reach all of those different dimensions that we desperately need attention as a new window, but it does it a more kind of softer way where we're not feeling our intensity, but it is accessing a space to release to soft and feeling the breath. And just as the thoughts come in and.

[00:18:19] korinn: The grief or the things left undone in the day or sadness or the gaping hole in your heart, then you circle back around to just coming back to the breath and doing a practice. Like a meditation is so profound. If you have not done meditation before. Now is like a prime time to start because that's going to give you stability.

[00:18:43] korinn: I had been doing meditation for years. I already had it as a practice, but it was still cornerstone for me to go back to daily to give myself that space to not so much process, but to stabilize.

[00:18:59] erin: Yes. I love that. Processing and really then grounding yourself in really feel rooted in where you're at is so important.

[00:19:12] erin: Oh my goodness. Okay. So I'm going to put it on. I'm going to put a shameless plug in for you. I know that Kerryn has put together a free series. If you're just getting started, you're interested in learning more about meditation, what it can do for you and all of that share with us Kerryn, where they can go to

[00:19:36] erin: find that.

[00:19:37] erin: Yeah. So,~ um,~ my forum that I have created is called the moms of meditation. My website is moms of So it's mom. Oh F, but there's also a link to it through my, my,~ um,~ author website too. And Kerryn deck.

[00:19:59] erin: Thank you first and foremost for being here today. I, it is always a pleasure and I do hope that we can keep these combos going into the future because I know that the women are getting a lot from what we've put together here.

[00:20:15] erin: And for those of you again, who would like to learn more about Kerryn and the work she does, you can visit. And if you haven't done so already, please subscribe to the podcast today. So you can catch us future episodes with Kerryn and other special guests as we navigate. Now, what, in the aftermath of loss, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy lives to show up for yourselves today.

[00:20:43] erin: Next week is our monthly widow talk episode where you're going to hear another widow story. And how she personally navigated life after loss and some advice she can give for someone a little further behind on their journey. Thanks so much for being here and until next time, have a great day.

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