Frequently Asked Questions About Awaken

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Q. How much time each day should I expect to spend on Awaken?

A. When you spend 5 to 15 minutes a day in Awaken, you will benefit. Some days you may want to immerse yourself. Other days you will take a break. But commit to just a few minutes most days, and you will feel less anxious and more empowered than without these practices.

Q. Do I need to know how to meditate, do yoga, or journal?

A. Awaken is for people who are grieving. There are no other prerequisites. You will be given proven methods to care for your grieving mind, body, and spirit. This includes techniques to get the sleep you are not getting, a meaningful way to express your innermost thoughts and feelings, meditations to slow down all of those spinning thoughts, and other tips to help you start to feel like yourself again. You will also find creative ways to incorporate the memory of the person you love into your everyday life and plan for holidays and anniversaries. You don’t need anything but yourself.

Q. Do I need to read Heather Stang's books?

A. You will get all the instruction you need from the program itself, but since both books follow the eight-step Mindfulness & Grief System that is the foundation of Awaken, many students enjoy these paper companions. Mindfulness & Grief offers inspirational stories and instruction, while From Grief to Peace is a guided journal with hundreds of writing prompts. They are wonderful companions to Awaken, but they are not required reading.

Q. Is Awaken for death-loss only?

A.  Yes. Awaken is designed specifically for anyone mourning the death of a loved one. It is not suitable for breakups, divorce, and other non-death losses, though I offer private sessions for all life’s difficult events

Q. How do I know if Awaken is not right for me right now?

If you have a psychiatric diagnosis that includes psychosis, such as hallucinations or active flashbacks, meditation may exacerbate your suffering. This may also be true for traumatic losses. Please clear this program with your mental health provider before registering.

You can schedule a free consultation before registering for Awaken to help you decide if it is right for your circumstance and help communicate what Awaken offers to your mental health team. Private sessions may be more appropriate at first to help customize your approach to what can be a helpful tool in coping with traumatic grief. 

It is natural to be focused inward in the early period of grief, and sometimes hearing other people's trauma will just pile more pain onto your already tender heart. You may want to sign up for the course and roadmaps first, which will help you calm your anxiety and ground yourself when you feel overwhelmed. Once you feel ready to witness and share, you can always join us for the live events by upgrading your subscription.

Q. What if I want to take the grief course but not participate in the live events?

A. Choose the Course Only subscription which does not include the live events.

Q. What if I feel I need more one-on-one support?

A. You can schedule a private one-on-one mindfulness & grief session with Heather on the Mindfulness & Grief Institute website. 

Q. I have been isolating because I am afraid other people won't understand. Will the group help?

A. Since each person’s experience of grief is as unique as a fingerprint, we have created a judgment-free space where you are safe to explore your feelings. Each member agrees to community guidelines that are rooted in compassion and inclusion. This includes not comparing one grief experience with another. It is a safe space for you to get the support you may not be getting otherwise, so if you are isolating, come on in!

Q. When are the live events offered?

A. Weekly Grief Groups are offered via Zoom on Mondays at 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST / 7 PM UST, and Tuesdays at 4 PM PST / 7 PM EST / 12 AM UST. The same topic is taught each week in both classes.

You can also attend yoga and meditation classes on Thursdays at 1 AM PST / 2 PM EST / 7 PM UST.

In addition, seasonal workshops and monthly Member-to-Member Sharing Circles are offered at various times and are announced a month in advance.

Q. Do I need special technology to participate?

A. Any computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone with a web browser and access to the internet will work. We recommend that you connect to a reliable Wi-Fi network so the video is stable and the audio is clear.