The Dark Years Are Often Followed By Insight
Sadder but wiser, you will find a way to reduce your suffering. At first in short bursts. Then for longer and longer periods of time. The grief-work you do will help you reengage with life after loss.
Many of us will even live our lives more deliberately than before. Never forgetting our loved one, and with a deeper sense of our own life’s purpose.
Have you ever wondered what you can do to help yourself go beyond coping with grief and actually change your life for good?
Please read on if you are ready to use this difficult time to make a healthy lifestyle change.
Surviving Life After Loss
It can be hard to imagine how to go on now that the worst has happened. Grief is rooted in love, and if you love deeply, you grieve deeply.
We know that there is not one way to work through grief. There are many things you can do to help yourself. Grief counseling. Grief support groups. Reading inspirational books. Self-care, self-care, self-care.
Of course sometimes it is hard to be your own guide, as grief zaps our energy.
Caring social support is particularly helpful after a major loss. You may have a strong family and friendship network that embraces you. Or you may not. But a supportive bereavement group can be a place to find your tribe when you are ready.
A Year of Mindfulness for Grief is a year-long online grief support program with live master classes, accountability groups, and private grief coaching sessions.
It is a way to connect with a caring community without leaving the comfort of your home, and a different but effective way to cope with grief.
An Uncommon Way To Cope With Grief
You may have tried grief counseling or grief support groups to cope with loss. Both can be very helpful. But if you are looking for something to do that will soothe your soul between the appointments and meetings, and that goes beyond just talking—try meditation.
Meditation empowers you to take care of yourself. And it can help with all facets of grief. Physical. Emotional. Psychological. Spiritual. It even helps with your relationship to others.
People have been seeking relief from suffering through meditation for thousands of years. Over the past decade, I have shared these ancient and evidence-based techniques with grieving people like you, and have witnessed transformation and equanimity countless times. There are many types of meditation practice can be helpful when you are grieving, but learning how and when to apply each one is the key.
- Focusing meditation to calm yourself when you feel overwhelmed
- Self-compassion meditation teaches you how to be your own best friend
- Compassion meditation deepens your connection to all beings in the world
- Mindfulness practice helps you see the truth with wisdom and clarity
- Contemplative practices transform your life and light the way to new meaning and purpose
These are the foundations of A Year of Mindfulness for Grief.
Mindfulness-based Program for Grief
The first segment of the program will teach you how to care for your grieving mind and body through focus, relaxation, and self-compassion. You will return to these self-care tools again and again throughout the program.
You will experience your body as a powerful messenger and ally. Far from being a problem, discomfort in the body is a sign that something is out of balance. The key is learning how to respond to your body’s signals in a skillful and caring way so balance is restored.
This program is all about you. It is rooted in contemporary grief research, the principles of mindfulness, yoga therapy, and human-centered therapy developed by Carl Rogers.
These modalities nurture your inner wisdom and honor your individual experience.
If you are ready to embark on a journey that will help you cope with loss, and are ready to commit to a regular meditation practice, this program is for you.
Monthly Meditation for Grief Themes
Each month will explore a theme from Mindfulness & Grief, as well as other relevant or seasonal topics:
MAY: Living with Intention: Tapping Into Your Deepest Longing. Take the first step towards receiving what you need and letting go of what no longer serves you.
JUNE: Conscious Relaxation: How to Care for Your Grieving Body. Release tension and steady your mind during uncertain times.
JULY: Mindful Awareness: How to Find Refuge in the Present Moment. Use your breath and body as your safe harbor when you are overwhelmed or unsteadied by grief.
AUGUST: Self-Compassion: Applying The Oxygen Mask To Yourself. Become your own best friend using the three principles of self-compassion.
SEPTEMBER: Compassion and Forgiveness: Attending to Grief with Loving-Kindness. Learn how to open a closed heart and engage the healing power of loving-kindness for others.
OCTOBER: Skillful Courage: The Dance of Strength and Vulnerability. Take control of what feels like an uncontrollable dance of grief as you move back and forth between hope and despair.
NOVEMBER: Grief During the Holidays: Navigating a Season of Expectations. Create a season of meaning and connection while consciously choosing what traditions to keep, create, change, or let go.
DECEMBER: Getting Unstuck: Tending to the Five Mental Hindrances. Meet resistance with curiosity and transform barriers into opportunities for personal growth and awakening.
JANUARY: Meaning Reconstruction: Learning to Live After Loss. Honor your loved one’s legacy while creating your own life’s journey and rebuilding your assumptive world.
FEBRUARY: Allowing Transformation: Who Am I Now? will help you to rewrite your post-loss narrative and tap into the power of meaning-making in spite of uncertainty and change.
MARCH: Silence is Golden: Creating the Space You Need to Thrive. Explore the power of silence in practice and daily life as you learn to savor things small and large.
APRIL: Perpetual Mindfulness: Practicing Beyond Grief. Develop a relationship with your practice so that you can live your life with equanimity and transcend common “practice pitfalls.”
Number & Types of Meetings
Heather will lead all live sessions, answer your questions, provide insight, and offer clarity. If you can not make a live session, it will be recorded so you can watch it in your own time.
- 12 Monthly Master Classes with Heather with Live Q&A
- 24 Accountability Circles, Two Offered Each Month
- 3 Private Sessions with Heather via Phone or Skype
- Thanksgiving Day Gratitude Circle
Creating your own practice is just as important as showing up for the live events. These resources will help you apply meditation to your life on your own schedule:
- 9 Module Meditation for Grief Course & Community Forum
- Access to Private Mindfulness & Grief Coaching Student Facebook Group
- 2 Self-Guided Day Long Retreats In Your Own Home or Local Retreat Center with Live Evening Sharing Circle
- Paperback copy of Mindfulness & Grief by Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT
Extended Community Support
Grief has no timeframe. Once the initial year has ended, you will receive an additional year of community support.
- 12 Month Membership in the Mindfulness & Grief Alumni Group After Program Completion
Prerequisites & Requirements for Participation
This is right for you if you are motivated and ready to commit to a meditation practice. Attendance is capped at 30 people.
This program is open to you if you are grieving the death of an important person in your life. Most participants will be at least 6 months into their grief experience. This is not a requirement if you feel you are ready to participate.
If you are under the care of a medical or mental health professional, please review this program with them prior to enrolling. If you have intrusive images, hallucinations, or may dissociate, meditation may not be a skillful choice.
Tuition for this year-long, 76+hour program is $2,495.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let me begin with what the program is not.
- A lecture series that you can simply absorb, and transformation will happen.
- A competitive, achievement-oriented program with grades and evaluations.
- An academic course with a lot of reading and homework.
What it IS:
- A you-centered program designed to help you explore all of the coping skills and personal growth opportunities that meditation for grief has to offer.
- Experience-based learning where you are the authority of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
- Being part of a caring and like-minded community of other bereaved people.
- A space where you can feel safe and comfortable talking about your special person and your grief experience.
- A chance to learn how to live with intention, listen to your inner wisdom, and create a life that will nurture your spirit.
- A system that will provide the structure you need to make meditation a part of your lifestyle.
When are live online events held?
Master Classes are offered the first Wednesday of each month, May 2018 – April 2019, with the exception of July, which will be held the second Wednesday of the month. Please see the schedule below for more information.
Accountability circles are typically offered on the second Wednesday and third Monday of each month at your choice of 12 PM EST or 8 PM EST.
What happens if I can’t make one or more of the Monthly Master Classes?
Don’t worry – these sessions will be recorded, and the replay will be made available to everyone in the group. While you won’t get to participate in the Live Q&A session, you can always post your questions in the Private Facebook Group.
How do the Accountability Circles work?
The accountability circles are designed to help you keep your practice on track, and provide a forum for you share victories and receive support if you are facing obstacles. Each accountability circle will begin with a brief centering, and then the “floor” will be open for sharing. Each session will also close with an integration, so you can create an action step for the upcoming two weeks. There is no judgment, only loving support.
What do I do if I need to miss one or more of the Accountability Circles?
It is normal for people to miss a handful of sessions during a program of this length. If you can’t make a session, you can always share how your practice is going (or any hindrances you are facing) in the Private Facebook Group.
When do I receive my private sessions with Heather?
You may schedule your private sessions whenever you like. However, you are encouraged to have one at the beginning, middle, and end of the program.
You will receive a link to Heather’s calendar when you sign up for the Mindfulness & Grief Coaching & Accountability Program, so you can schedule your first appointment right away.
How do the self-guided retreats work?
This is a chance for you to spend some quiet time with yourself! You will receive instructions to create a retreat experience in your own home for yourself, including logistics, schedule, and guided meditations for practice. Alternatively, you may choose to find space at a church or yoga studio for your personal retreat.
It is suggested that you do your self-guided retreats during August (Self-Compassion) and January (Meaning Reconstruction).
How long do I have access to the content?
While most people who offer online courses say “forever,” grief teaches us about impermanence. All course modules and lecture recordings will be available to you for many years to come – and as long as Heather is doing grief work – which should be for quite some time!
What is the Mindfulness & Grief Alumni Group?
The Alumni Group is for people who have participated in the 8-week and 8-month program. We meet online once a month online to share and check in. This helps you stay connected and receive support as your life continues to unfold.
What is the Thanksgiving Day Gratitude Circle
In the United States, Thanksgiving is the first of the major winter holidays, and can be particularly difficult. You are invited to join Heather online at 10 AM EST for a guided meditation and virtual group hug.
Do I have to read the Mindfulness & Grief book?
No. Each Monthly Master Class will focus on the topics from the book, so you will get the content you need from the program itself. You may wish to read the book for additional information, such as the inspirational stories, and to help reinforce the meditation techniques.
What payment options are available?
The program is $2,495. While we do not offer payment plans in house, you may pay with a credit card or use PayPal financing to get 0% interest for 6 months. A few scholarships will also be available for people facing financial hardships.
What if I enroll, and find out the course isn’t right for me?
As long as you have participated in 80% of the combined Master Classes and Accountability Meetings, and complete at least two modules of the online course, you are eligible for a full refund within 60 days if you don’t find the program satisfactory.
What type of computer do I need to participate?
Any computer, laptop, tablet, or phone that has a web browser and access to the internet will work. We recommend that you connect to a reliable wifi network so the video is stable and the audio is clear. Streaming without wifi may result in data charges.
What do I do if I have other questions?