The countdown is offcially on!
In just a few days I will be on my way to India, a trip I have wanted to take for many years.
I'll be spending a few weeks in the province of Rajasthan, where I will be doing art therapy with women in trauma. My hope is to take this opportunity to form genuine connections with women and girls, and to learn about the Indian perspective on body image and eating disorders. I am fascinated not only by cross cultural eating attitudes and relationships with food, but by the role media plays in eating disturbances and self-esteem in young women.
Are they the same so far across the Atlantic as they here? My guess is that the answer isn't as obvious as we might think.
Lately, I have been consumed with reading up on grief and bereavement, specifically as it relates to the loss of one's mother. I am making a conscious decision to shift the focus of my work from body image + disordered eating, to include grief as well.
The two aren't as different as we may think. In fact, I've recognized so much of my recovery from loss as I once did in my recovery from an eating disorder. They are so intricately connected and wound up in each other that taking this next step has felt completely natural.
So, as I move south into Goa, I'd like to sit down with local women and men to discuss some of the Hindu rituals on grief and death, specifically when a mother is lost. I can only imagine that I will find great comfort in the wisdom that is so deeply embedded in a country that is the pinnacle of holistic health and spirituality.
I hope to do lots of writing while I am away. If you have questions you'd like answered (or recommendations for my travels) please reach out. I would love to hear some of your ideas...
"Rituals give us a way of cathartically dealing with our grief. Every one of the rituals within the Hindu ceremonies is a reality check to help us confront our grief, interact with it, accept it and keep going on--both in life and spiritually."