Navigating the Darkness—Self-Care and Connection in the Wake of Tragedy

Posted on December 19th, 2012 by in Life Lessons

How can we, as mindful people, make our way through this time of senseless and unimaginable loss? Here, Aruni Nan Futuronsky, Kripalu Senior Life Coach, shares some ways we can all seek solace and cultivate connection in the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Renew your gratitude for what is. Take a few minutes today to appreciate what you have in your life: Speak your gratitude to others. Savor the love that is present. Enjoy and appreciate your children. We live in the illusion of permanence. Life, by definition, is impermanent. By becoming more aware of what is, by savoring it more, perhaps some meaning might emerge from this tragedy.

Offer your support to others. We are so profoundly connected: The loss of one life is the loss of all lives. And the loss of a child tears innocence from the hearts of us all.  Offering comfort to another person is a powerful way to remember our connection. What might a selfless action look like in your life today? Reach out to someone.  Make a call to your local senator about gun-control reform. Send a card of condolence to the family of the shooting victims. Find your way.

Draw on your own practices. Whatever you do to quiet your mind and calm your heart, do it today. Let your practice—whether it’s sitting meditation, walking in the woods, yoga on the mat, drawing—be your support. Your return to this place of internal solace will be profoundly integrating. By continual practice, we dig a well of consolation for ourselves. Rely on that nourishment.

Surrender the need to understand. Sometimes the quest for understanding is not a fruitful journey. Surrendering into reality without struggling to understand the why’s of tragedy may reduce your suffering. See how much you can relax into the sensations of this moment, just as if you were on the yoga mat, holding a pose. Utilize the breath and relax around the sensations to support this process.

Remember that time takes time.  The integration of this tragedy in all of our hearts and in our nation’s collective heart won’t be easy or fast. We can only pray that the lives of those children and those brave adults will live forever in our memory, and that somehow, somewhere, some good might emerge from our individual and collective pain.

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About Aruni Nan Futuronsky, Life Coach, RYT

Aruni, Senior Life Coach and Program Advisor for the Kripalu Healthy Living programs, is a certified professional-level Kripalu Yoga teacher. She has been teaching in a variety of diverse venues for more than 35 years and has been on the Kripalu faculty for more than 20. Author of Recovering My Voice: A Memoir of Chaos, Spirituality, and Hope, and her latest book, Already Home: Stories of a Seeker, Aruni has also developed the Kripalu coaching methodology, based in presence and right action.
  • davegerlits

    Aruni, this is wonderful advice for a difficult time. Thank you so much.