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Your mind does not distinguish between reality, what actually happened, and the story you tell it, or the story that you allow it to tell you.
When you use your hand to express your mind by writing free form, diary, poetry, drawing or painting or any other creative connection, your mind must stop its activity. It cannot keep spinning a story or looping a movie about an event while also engaging in your expression. By connecting your mind to your hand, you move the story which spins and spins and makes you so dizzy, out in front of you to read, consider, ponder, question, deconstruct or construct.
Connecting your mind to your hand allows you to stop the movie that is replaying the loop of the event(s) of your crisis. Do you know that “you put your thoughts down on paper”? Putting your spinning story or movie loop to paper puts your thoughts DOWN on paper. What is true at 2 am can be ludicrous after breakfast.
This is the most time-honored therapy for grief.
Some days let it be enough that you write or make art. Other days you may be inclined to question or make meaning. On the best of days, you will have an epiphany. If you can be kind to yourself, and trust that there is no wrong way to be, you will, in time, see what all this has to do with who you are becoming.
Mindful mindwork for response-able grief.
There are many books which have been created by people writing their story. Here are a few of my favorites:
“A Broken Heart Still Beats,” Anne McCracken & Mary Semel
“Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief,” Claire Bidwell Smith
“Before and After Loss,” Lisa M. Shulman, MD
“Broken Open,” Elizabeth Lesser
“It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine Option B,” Sheryl Sandburg & Adam
“Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life,” Eric Greitens
“The Long Goodbye,” Meghan O’Rourke
“This Is How,” Augusten Burroughs