This is an excerpt from Michelle's book, The Bright Side of a Broken Heart that she graciously shared with ENDPAIN. You can purchase the full copy on her website, PushingBeauty.com.
DEAR FORMER LOVE OF MINE,
Your absence gave me the opportunity to discover myself, an enormous feat each of us must do alone. This journey spanned the breadth of human emotion, took me through the darkest cavern and into the brightest light. It was a ride I never would have chosen on my own, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
What has felt like ages of wrinkled time has brought me to this sacred truth: in every single shard of glass is a Milky Way of love.
Your heart may never feel how much I loved you, but I trust that your soul knows.
There will always be traces of you in me.
WE ARE STARDUST
One summer, a few years ago, my family and I pulled old comforters out of closets and plopped ourselves under the meteor shower in our backyard. Between sips of red wine we Ooohed and Aaahed as each chunk of rock burst into light and disintegrated.
There is beauty in every ending.
I’M LIKE A GRIEVING COW
It may sound pathetic, depending on your recent rumbling with grief and your capacity for empathy, but I envision myself like a pained animal.
I once read a true story about a cow whose calf was taken from her womb and shipped out to be sold and slaughtered. She wailed and wailed in the agony of her loss. I’ve never had a child, but my pain reminds me of hers, the sudden loss of love with no warning.
She never saw it coming, and neither did I.
INTRODUCING: THE MAGICIAN
I thought blindsiding breakups were for people who didn’t pay attention, for people who were somewhat choosing to be blind. Now I know that some people are really good at hiding the truth—even from themselves.
The story goes like this: We were in love. We were best friends. We were planning a life together. We were happy (or so it seemed). Apparently warning signals weren’t his style. There was no smoke before he told me he felt like he was disappearing.
And then he disappeared.
THE BATHROOM FLOOR IS MY ALLY
I’m curled up on the bathroom floor. My back leaning against the tub, wet hair wrapped in a towel, feet cramped against the wall.
He left me about an hour ago.
I’m hiding in the bathroom because the other rooms are too filled with light, too much a reminder of life. I get in the shower after he leaves because I don’t know what else to do. I sob, crouched on the tub floor as the hot water rains down on me.
I switch the faucet to cold once I realize I am numb.
A BREATHING MEDITATION FOR SELF-LOVE
Breathwork practice allowed me to let go of the false beliefs I was holding onto, to open my heart, and to see and accept the beauty of who I truly am. It helped me move from living in my head (which was keeping me stuck and separate from others) to a deeper connection to the wisdom in my body. Through this breathing meditation my heart has expanded, and I know I’m vibrating at a different frequency because my life and my relationship to it has dramatically shifted.
I didn't know I didn't love myself until I began to use Breathwork. The breath opened up parts of me I was afraid of and made me feel safe to be with the pain. It allowed me to purge stuck energy and deep pain stored in my body for my lifetime. Each session left me feeling light, clear, and more free.
Breathwork changed my life, and it's changed the lives of so many people I've been honored to know and work with. Here is a simple practice to get you started on your journey towards self-love:
- How To Breathe
This is a specific two-part breath that moves stuck emotion from the lower chakras into the heart. You’re going to be breathing in and out of the mouth which connects you more deeply to your body. Breathe the first inhale into your low belly and then take in a second inhale into your heart. Exhale the entire breath through the mouth completely. Let the breath fall out of the body. Do not push it out. You should be able to visibly see your belly and chest expand as you breathe.
- A Short Practice
- Get in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.
- Lay somewhere comfortable on your back.
- Put on a playlist with three of your favorite songs. Try to let the first two songs be more upbeat and the last soothing. Anything that suits your taste. Or you can use one of my Breathwork playlists.
- Close your eyes (use an eye mask if you have one) and breathe as per the instructions above to the first two songs. This might feel like work, but just stick with it and focus on the breath. Feel your belly and chest rise. Feel the breath move in and out of the body.
- Pay attention to what your body is experiencing. After a few minutes you should feel your body tingling. That’s your energy moving. Let it do its thing. This work is about letting go. The only thing you have to do is breathe. If you feel tightness or tension place your awareness there and breathe into it. Be willing to let go.
- Once the third song begins release the breath and begin to breathe in and out of the nose. Let your body vibrate here for as long as you like.
- What To Expect
Many people experience the release of deep emotion. You may feel emotional pain. You may cry. You may feel deep love and gratitude. You might have visions of a loved one or someone who has passed on. Each person's experience varies and each time it's a little different. You will most likely feel energy moving through your body, most often described as electricity or tingly sensations. You might also feel cramping in the hands and/or mouth which will go away when you're done breathing.
This is an active breathing meditation. For most people it doesn't feel relaxing or easy until it's over. This is a healing tool, and to heal we need to walk through the pain and discomfort. That being said, this is more of a gentle Breathwork technique. You are welcome to go at your own pace. If at any time you would like to reduce the flow of energy or come out of the session completely simply begin breathing through the nose gently. You can also open your eyes.
It can be difficult for some people to go deep without someone guiding them through it. I recommend doing 10-15 minute sessions on your own daily, 35 minute guided sessions weekly, and then work with a practitioner like myself as needed for deeper healing working.
Learn more about Michelle’s healing sessions as well as group workshops here.