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

How can we make our way through times of senseless and unimaginable loss—whether in the world at large or close to home? Here, Aruni Nan Futuronsky, Kripalu faculty member and Senior Life Coach, shares some ways we can all seek solace and cultivate connection in the wake of tragedy.

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 tragedy.

Offer your support to others. We are so profoundly connected: The loss of one life is the loss of all lives. 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.

Draw on your own practices. Whatever you do to quiet your mind and calm your heart, do it. 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.

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