How to Heal a Broken Heart: a Rebelle’s Guide to Grief.


{Via Pinterest}

{Via Pinterest}

{Kubler-Ross meets Drama Queen.}
1. Unmask your Pain. Diva up.

Channel your inner opera singer. Create cleavage. Sing soprano. How many times can a person die inside!

Exclaim this as Emily Dickinson would. Stand in the stairwell. Stomp your feet. Wave a white scarf of surrender. Get into character. Evita meets Titanic. Don’t cry for me, I’m the king of the world. Whatever comes to mind. Conjure every cult classic. Watch your own demise on the big screen.

Oh pain

what hast thou to teach me?

Replay this question on repeat. Let the CD skip. Scream on a page. Record the softer side of you. Speak your truth in tongues. Give a foreign accent a whirl: Italian meets Hungarian, crossed with Jamaican.

What elicits a response? What stops the bleeding? Something’s gotta shift. The only constant is change.


2. Simmer in your Darkness. Dive down.

Close the curtain. Change the scene. Hot bath. Cold shower. Get really clean and clear on what it is your heart needs from you — which is perhaps the opposite of what your logical mind would have you do.

I have a yoga student who when he really loves a pose says, “Oh, I hate this! This is terrible.” He is joking. He thinks if he says, “Oh, this feels so good,” that I’ll never teach that asana again.

Healing is like reverse psychology. Drown in your sorrow. Never underestimate the power of a single Earth shattering tear. Sift through the rubble.

Steep. Inhale the steam. Let the salt in the water remove the shrapnel from your weeping bones. Hug your knees to your chest. Cry inside your mouth. Rock yourself silly. Savor the moment when you begin to shiver. A signal that you’re alive. On the verge of chemical reaction. Entropy. Homeostasis.

One can only hope. Dry off with the ragged hope that this too shall pass. Rub the towel across your shoulders as you would a small child. Just beyond the horizon is a feeling far superior to this pain. This pain shines a flood light on the joy you’ve yet to have.


3. Romance your Soul. Bring Sexy Back.

Rub oil all over your body until everything you thought you knew slips from your hands. Unlearn all that you think you remember. Calm your unnerved. Rewire your brave. Slather yourself in all things sensual. Mantra: I still got it. Get it. On.

Put on the panties you save for those special nights. Pull off the bra that’s holding your hollow heart hostage inside. Sweat pants you should’ve thrown out years ago. T-shirt leftover from a few different relationships ago. Close your eyes and bring the so-soft-it’s-almost-organic cotton fabric up to flush your red nose.

Six degrees of separation. Inhale the scent of who you’ve been — past and present — even if you can’t remember yet. Swaddle your sordid self in the memories of vibrant vestiges from past lives. The holes in the fabric only add to its appeal. And soon — tomorrow or next week or in the next breath — you’ll realize it’s true for you, too.

You break wide open and hemorrhage, only to bandage yourself back up again.

In the cracks — Rumi and Leonard Cohen were right — that’s how the light gets in. Don’t rush it. Feel the tear stream down your right cheek into your inner ear, through the left side of your brain, flushing away the logic. Love knows nothing of logic.


4. Indulge. Sin. Do something decadent.

If you’re fanatical about cleanliness, clutter your space. Let it look like your life. If you’re cluttered, clean something especially dirty and ridiculous like the inside of a trash bin. Miss the mark. Feed your addict. Give in to a vice. Just one. Maybe two. Stop at three. Call your sponsor if you need.

Choose the least restrictive addiction for your heart. Avoid the vodka that would drink her underneath the table. Now’s not the time to take up smoking as a sport. Instead, eat the chocolate. Milk, not dark. Preservatives do a broken heart good. Forget that you’re lactose intolerant. Drink milk out of the carton. Pretend it’s raw.

Lap it up. Kitten, meet your saucer. Curl up in a ball. Pet yourself. Lick your wounds clean. Ah, you see, this is the way the other half lives. Realize they’re on to something. This shit tastes damn good. Bartender, hit me again. Wonder why you don’t indulge more frequently. Let yourself go.

Let high fructose corn syrup move you. Briefly remember that you’re lactose intolerant. Remind yourself that in this moment it’s okay to forget.


5. Sleep / Wake –> Reincarnate.

If you can’t sleep, rest. If you can’t rest, pace. If you can’t pace, sit. Sleep and rest and pace and sit all at the same time. Breathe in the stagnant stillness; bask in the seismic shift. Put cucumbers on your aching eyes, mentholatum on your grieving chest. Humidify your aching heart.

Treat yourself as a child with a chest cold. Be your own mother minus the guilt trip. Stages 1 — 4 : your homeopathic expectorant. Turn your head and cough. Dry heave if you need. Match your movement with powerful intention. Get. It. Out. Even if you don’t know what it is. That’s okay. The placebo effect is stronger than you know.

We forget to remember what’s true. The truth is, you’re remembering how to return to you. Your core. Your essence. All facades aside.

And tonight that means you must die a little more inside. Applaud yourself for your resilience. Bow to your wickedly stubborn resolve. You don’t merely exist; you’re not here just to survive. Beyond your sorrow – you know – in joy, you’ll thrive. Hang on. The only way out is to breakthrough.

Now I lay me down to sleep.

If I should die before I wake,

I pray my soul reincarnate.

And so it is.



{Mended Heart Society}


Amber Shumake
Amber Shumake lives in a suburb of Ft. Worth, TX -- over 20 miles from the nearest Yoga studio. Gallivanting throughout the metroplex in her Jeep, she prefers to drive topless. As she rocks out to spiritual podcasts and audio books, she remains always vigilant of the local owl who occasionally lands on her windshield as a reminder to slow down, to seek only Truth. She calls Karmany Yoga, the donation-based studio where she teaches, 'home'. Trading one compulsive addiction for another, she currently prefers backbends to drugs, tea to coffee, and Facebook to Twitter. Having recently completed her Masters in Counseling, she unites Yoga and therapy, wiping away sweat and tears, connecting people to their beauty -- one empowering arm balance and inversion at a time. A born writer, she encourages others to revise the life stories that no longer serve them. She dreams -- in no particular order -- of growing a family to play with her Blue 'Healer', writing a book, and changing the world. She’s pretty easy to find in the virtual world on Facebook, Twitter and blog.
Amber Shumake
Amber Shumake

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