Refuge in Grief – Day 18

Honoring others who grieve, my wishes for you. 

In bodybuilding, it’s called the Front Double Biceps Pose. Both arms raised at the sides, arms curled, fists tight. Flexing biceps, tensing spread chest and abdominal muscles into a contoured symphony of personal human achievement, the bodybuilder stands on powerful legs that appear more as twin redwood trees than flesh. The facial expression unapologetically stares with a smile of confidence while making eye contact with each of the judges. There are a total of eight standard poses in competition, but this one is the most vulnerable. You have to completely own it, everything is exposed for the judges and audience to see. You’re in that tiny swimsuit for crying out loud! 
So for each of us who carries the load of grief, I ask you to think of yourself as a competitive bodybuilder. Wake up every day and train. Work on building your strength to carry your load. If you have a weak muscle, practice to improve its size and definition. Find other bodybuilders who inspire you to train harder and reach your goals. Surround yourself with motivational pictures and objects that remind you of where you’ve been and motivate you to where you want to go. Get to a gym that has good equipment to support you and people you like to workout with. Give yourself permission to take a day off to rest so that your muscles can recover. Feed your body with what it needs to be fully energized and healthy, but don’t feel guilty if you need a piece of chocolate cake once in a while. Look in the mirror and like what you see. I want you to stand on that stage and find your pose. ~Paula

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