5 ways to cope with loss - lessons from a very, very, very bad day

Iknow a bit about loss.  Recently, I was fired from a job I loved. I also lost a very close friend who threw me away like I was worthless.  I lost a community of friends and students.  This all started at 10:00am one dreary Monday.  It was a very bad day.

While this has been a very difficult time, it's not my first time at this particular bad-day rodeo.  To get through this loss, I used a few tried and true ways for coping with loss, heartbreak and disappointment.  From the pain and heartbreak of times past, I finally have a battle plan for when this kind of loss occurs. I share these tips with you in case you ever need a way to cope with your own personal shittier-than-you-can-ever-imagine day.  Bookmark this.  Use it whenever you need it. Trust me, it works.

1. Allow yourself to be sad - whatever that looks like to you. cry. scream. beat a pillow into submission. call your mom. call a friend. listen to music that feeds the sadness. watch 'we bought a zoo' and cry again at the ending. tell yourself that you have x amount of time to be really, really sad. 

And then let the sadness go. 

2. Allow yourself to be angry -  really, really angry.  I tell my yoga students that if we don't allow ourselves to feel our anger, it stores in our physical bodies and bites us hard in the ass later.  so feel it. yell. emote. write it down.  acknowledge the injustice.  stomp your feet.  power walk. kick box. try not to be angry at those who are trying to help. write all the ugly, heinous, horrible revenge schemes on a piece of paper and then burn that paper.  swear like a sailor. 

And then let the anger go.

3. Allow yourself to feel relief.  remember the warning signs that you ignored and now that you finally understand.  enjoy the bittersweet surrender of letting something end.  feel the comfort of watching someone or something you love move on.  know that everything that begins, ends.  feel the sweet relief that lives quietly behind the sadness and anger.

And then let the relief go.

4. Laugh at your need to feel in control.  great peace comes from loosening the death grip you have on anything and everything.  breathe deeply and know that control is an illusion.  you can't change other people. you can't change the past.  you can only live here and now, in this moment.  transform that need to control into a practice of radical self-love.  laugh at your lack of control over this loss.

And then let go.

5. Do something liberating.  get a tattoo. sing karaoke dead sober. submit the proposal to the book agent. call the contact about the opportunity. be daring. be brave. surprise yourself with your audacity. make a list of all the things you would do if you had no fear and do three of them.  plan a trip. call the girl. audition. surprise yourself.

And then embrace your amazing, lovable, wonderful, beautiful self.

Tomorrow, my dear, is another day.  may this loss open the door for something great, something nuclear, something powerful beyond your wildest imagination.  love hard.  know you are not alone. 

And, whenever possible…let go.