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VideoSitting with Grief and Shock

Sitting with Grief and Shock

There’s more than meets the eye when navigating shock and grief. Dora explains how mindfulness helps our bodies and minds to work together, and how to create the right conditions for them to communicate.

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Peace. It's Dora here. So in this moment, you might be feeling the shock of loss. The shock from when tragedy strikes, when the world leaves us speechless and breathless. This feeling that arises before grief and sadness begin to settle in. There's this moment of disbelief when we first hear the news, when we're frozen in time, stuck, watching as the world continues on. The mind may be quick to try to make sense of what's going on. A million thoughts may arise, (bird chirps) yet the body may feel stuck in shock. There's a combination of feeling all the things at once, and perhaps feeling nothing at all. We have a lot to say and are also left speechless. Shock is the initial stage of grief, a process that is unpredictable, non-linear, and deeply complex. Like the tip of an iceberg, there's more than meets the eye when navigating and experiencing grief. But with mindfulness, we can support our minds and bodies to work together so that one doesn't forget the other, and create the right conditions for them to continuously communicate. In doing so, in bringing mind and body together, we can become aware of those thoughts and feelings and really take time to pause and process the shock we're experiencing so we can become unstuck and continue to move forward. Even right now, in this very moment, try placing a hand on your heart, and closing your eyes if you'd like, and just feeling into where the body may be holding on to any sense of tension, and then, taking a deep breath, and on the exhale, unclenching the jaw and relaxing the shoulders. Now, it's important to know that there's nothing wrong with you when you do experience this. This is the body's ancient unique system of keeping us safe. Just like our minds, our bodies hold and store their own wisdom and stories, too. So whether it's through taking a deep breath, having a good cry, or getting outside and taking a walk in nature, finding mindful ways to support our bodies and staying connected to the present moment is really necessary when we experience shock. This allows those emotions to move through us, instead of getting stuck. We're learning to ride the waves as best as we can with more awareness, compassion, and stability....


Duration3 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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