Ep #60: Collective Grief

Collective Grief

Collective Grief

So much has changed in the past few weeks. We’re working differently, relaxing differently, and interacting with each other differently. It makes us long for how things used to be. Back when we had more control over our lives and felt safer outside our homes. For many of us, this feeling of longing for the past is like grieving.

Together, we’re collectively grieving how things used to be. And that’s okay. We might go through waves of anger, sadness, confusion, denial, bargaining, and other emotions that come with loss. If you’re like me, this pandemic has me questioning what I know to be true. How can you be certain of anything right now?

In this episode, I’m talking about the grief many of us are feeling. I’ll share my experience with it, some ways to cope with loss, and a meditation to soothe your emotions right now. Remember, we’re all in this together.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What collective grief is and why we’re experiencing it.
  • How to trust the universe, the divine nature, when nothing feels safe.
  • The difference between truth and perspective.
  • How to understand and move through your grief.
  • That you can choose how you want to experience life.
  • A simple at-home meditation for collective grief.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to More Than Mindset, the only podcast that bridges the gap between spirituality and success. Go beyond the mind with clarity and confidence coach, Kim Guillory, and learn how to integrate your passion to serve with your skills and experience to create a business you love. Let’s get started.

Hey there, and welcome back to the show. I really want to know how all of you guys are doing. I have been reaching out to people all over the world. You know what? We all know the same thing and that is nothing. We have just figured out that we never really knew anything. Our mind just thought it did. Our mind had thoughts and we really believe that we knew. We knew something, that there was such thing as a truth or there was a way that things were. But you know what we’ve discovered? We have two choices. We can resist or we can allow.

How do you want to experience life? You want to be in resistance or do you want to be in ease and allowance? That’s it, guys. That’s it. Let me just end the show here. I’m joking. That’s just really what I’ve come to. I don’t know if you have noticed this the way I have, especially in the past week, I would say, even more than the week before, is there is this collective sadness. This collective grief that we are all feeling.

Let me just explain it to you, so there’s a part that knows that you’re going to be okay. It knows that there is really nothing we can do here, but as we would do a hurricane we hunker down and we prepare. We get ready. Then we wait for the thing to happen. But this, it’s like the wait never ends.

It’s like we never really get a conclusion. It’s so mysterious. You can’t see it yet it is always lurking. There is that eerie feeling going on. Lurking beneath that is this shadowy fear, this waiting and watching. Almost kind of – I like to use the word eerie because you can’t really grab it. You just know that something is off.

My husband and I were riding our bikes. We were laughing because we’re actually on each side of the road and someone was outside as we passed by and they were like, “All right, you’re taking this social distancing a whole other level.” Side note. Anyways, it was funny.

So, we go through the parking lot of the gas station and as we turn onto the next road and people are just looking normal like they’re going in and out. The coat guy was there. Someone was pumping gas and then a couple of people were walking in the store just like it was any ordinary day.

My mind has hard time understanding this because I heard stories at my local hospital that there is a 19-year-old and a 25-year-old that’s on the Do-Not-Resuscitate list. Both do not have pre-existing conditions which I find a little eerie which I find, again. I have that in my head, that vision in my head, and I really try and feel this grief and feel this being okay at the same time. Does that make sense?

Then I’m reminded of the vision in my head that this is a terrible thing and it is not normal and people are dying. I’m bouncing between these two worlds. Can you relate to that? It’s like this pivoting. We’re lodged in this knowing, in this safety, it’s almost this inner essence of knowing. Then yet it’s pivoting back and forth, back and forth, and our mind is trying to comprehend and then we have all of these emotions going on in our body. It’s almost like this little soup of just this combination of not knowing and I can’t find anything to grab.

I don’t know if that is the same thing that’s happening for you, but I can’t find anything tangible or logical. I can’t go backwards and find any proof or any evidence or how is this supposed to play out? Because it’s never happened. It’s never been there, so we have no evidence, we have no history to go back on. It’s just this mystery and the brain’s job is to problem solve. It’s like, “Give me a problem and I will take care of it.” Yet, the way that it does that is it goes back into history and that’s how it comes up with its conclusions. It’s really fascinating.

There’s this, “Okay, I’m going to pivot back and forth. I really don’t know. I’m not sure, but yet I feel solid.” Then there’s a moment where I just want to grab my head and scream. This episode is all about grief because that is what we’re feeling. I believe it is a collective grief.

The reason I say that is I know grief very well. I’ve experienced a lot of it in my life and this is what it feels like. It’s this bouncing in and out of disbelief. Bouncing in and out of acceptance and then anger. Then this negotiating and then this sudden sadness and then again denial, and then anger. It’s like going through those stages.

I’m going to give you an example, when it first happened it was like we all went into denial. We didn’t really hunker down and really didn’t adhere to everything we were being warned about, right? Because we weren’t sure and we’re like, “Okay, we heard it was just like a strain like the flu and it was no big deal.”

My mind was instantly, “Oh, it’s like the swine flu. Some people got it, some people didn’t. It’s not big deal. It didn’t really affect us.” I just kind of let it go. Then a couple of things started getting cancelled and I was like, “Well, is that a legal issue? Are we cancelling because it’s the real deal and it’s something that’s unhealthy or is it because someone is responsible for this gathering and they want to make sure they’re financially protected?”

My mind went through all of those things and then there was this stage of anger. First, I was in denial. I was thinking it wasn’t a big deal. It was just taking things out of portion, like they were being really extreme because that is what the media does. My anger was targeted at the media. I was frustrated. It felt like porcupines in my body. I just wanted to just scream because we don’t know who to believe. We can’t depend on anybody. It’s because no one knows. But my mind went to the past on how the media takes things out of proportion. They have opinions and you never know if it’s really to believe the story because we know drama sells. I had anger about that and then I went into this sadness.

That was the next stage of like, “Holy smoke, there’s 24 people in my close network, just my kids and grandkids, will likely be affected.” That was my thought, it’s sad. It’s like, someone we know is going to be affected, this is huge. Then I went from that anger, not just at the media by the way, guys. I was, by this point, I was angry at the others who weren’t paying attention either.

Now, understand, I was one of them, I was in this denial of it wasn’t a big deal, and then I was angry because the reason I was in denial was because the media lies or they exaggerate. Then I was sad because I realized this stuff is real and we will likely lose someone or someone that we know will be affected. That was my thought.

We’re not predicting that. I’m saying that’s what my brain offered me. Then I went into this bargaining. Well, maybe if they knew, maybe if people really knew. If we could make announcements, we could tell them we need to share this information. I need to tell my kids how serious this is. I was bargaining. I was trying to get them on my side. Like, “Listen, I think this is a big deal.” When I was originally saying, “Yeah, I don’t know if it’s a big deal.” Can you see the flip-flop? That’s why there’s so much discord in this. It’s really that not knowing.

Then after the bargaining I really came to this space of acceptance. Okay, so this is what it is. This is how it’s going to go down. You know what? Maybe it was always meant to be this way. Yeah. So, we may be affected and we may know of someone that loses their life. This is possible. I have children who work in the medical facilities. It’s possible. I have three sons who are offshore, son-in-law and two sons offshore. I have grandchildren who were in school and they’ve been around other people and friends before this actually broke out to this capacity. It’s a very fair assumption that someone we love will be affected and I was able to accept that. Not just a sad acceptance, but an actual spiritual acceptance.

I trust life. I trust divine nature of how things go. I trust that everything that happens has a greater purpose, everything. I’m willing to drop the resistance and I’m willing to come into this allowing and just being with it and being present. I just kept going in and out, and in and out, of this circle, back and forth.

I would get angry again because I would hear the vehicles pass and I would hear the crop dusters and I was like, “Life is just going on as if nothing happened. I talked to my client in New Orleans and she was like, “Girl, they still had church service over here. People are still mingling in the streets.” I was angry again, right? I just kept going in and out of this.

I’m curious, are you guys experiencing this also? Which is this collective grief. Our brain is freaking out because it has no idea what to expect. It’s completely out of control, has no idea what’s coming our way. We have no information to go back on to come to any sort of conclusion to know what to do next. So, it has no idea what to grab for.

We can’t go back to grab the evidence and we can’t move forward because we have no idea what’s coming. We don’t know. It’s like we just get to stay here and watch. It’s almost like truly watching for the other shoe to drop. In my case, today is two weeks since I went Dallas.

I was like, “Oh my God, here’s the 14 days. Is it going to be today?” That’s what I thought of when I woke up this morning. Matter of fact, when I work up at 1:30 this morning. I just went and soaked in a tub. I don’t know what else to do. I just needed to get grounded and centered. I just felt like I needed to wash it off or something in case it’s my 14 days.

So, eerie, eerie, eerie, eerie. That’s the best way that I can explain it. I think the most interesting part of all of this is we never really knew anyway. Really think back to what is truth. What do you know as truth? Just see if you can come up with something that has never changed, just absolute 100% solid truth. What do you know to be true? Have you ever really questioned that?

Because every time I think I know something and then I have a little shift in perception I realize that I never knew anything, that wasn’t even so. It was the way that I was experiencing it through the perception that I had. It’s like lenses, the glasses that we wear at that time, that is what we understand and that is what we call truth, but it is truth? Do we know? Get curious about this and really ask yourself, I wonder is this truth? I wonder if I ever knew anything anyway.

Then ask yourself about what are you grieving? I think back to 9-1-1. There is still grief about that. Our airports have never been the same. Travel has never been the same. The way that we look at people in a crowd has never been the same. It’s like we know something now that we were not afraid of before. Our mind is looking, “Where is the danger? Where is the danger? Is it there? Is it there? Is it there?” It’s always looking for what’s lurking, but this Coronavirus, you can’t see. So, it doesn’t know what to look for, it’s so eerie. I should name this whole thing, The Eeriness of Corona.

Anyway, the other thing that we are grieving is control. We have no control, no idea. We don’t know if we can touch anything. We don’t know if the person we are living with, or we’re looking at, or we cross, we don’t know. We have no control. We can’t keep ourself safe because there is nowhere to go. I think of Pema Chödrön, there’s two books, When Things Fall Apart and The Wisdom of No Escape. Guys, if you haven’t read those two books this is exactly what she is talking about.

The Wisdom of No Escape, there is no place to run and hide, there is nowhere to go. Just like when you are dealing with your own depression or your own sadness or your own anger. You can’t get away from yourself. There is no escape. We’re in this. We’re in this together, all of us, the collective.

It’s fascinating, it’s eerie, it’s scary. I kind of just don’t know of a word to put on it other than we’re all feeling the grief of what was the safety that we once felt that we have not felt for probably two weeks now and it may go a couple of more months before we feel it again. We’re out of control, we don’t know what we should or shouldn’t do.

We don’t know what we can control at all. Like, control staying in your house, but that is it. If your kids happen to come over or you get some mail delivered or UPS drops off a package. “Oh, you might have to wait another 14 days.” Anyway, you guys might not be all that paranoid, but that is where my mind goes in a very sane way.

The other thing is we’re really grieving a loss. Loss of people, loss of lives, loss of safety in trust in a system that we understood that is no longer available. These are big things, guys. This is like when you think about grief of a loved one and you think about loss when a person dies, this is very similar. It’s just on a collective level. It is universal.

There’s no one that is untouched by it. If they are, I’d be interested to find out who they are. I thought I was going to be one of them. I had a couple of clients that were like, “Okay, Kim, I’m kind of surprised. You typically have it all together.” And I’m like, “I really do.” The inner most deepest part of me really does.

Matter of fact, I was feeling guilty because I was so joyous that I was like, “This is it, they’ll finally listen.” This is what I was born for. This is what I was created for. I know how to hold presence. I know how to take people to presence. Oh, but I have work to do. Yes, I’m so excited people will be ready to receive it. So, there was that part of me that was like, “It’s here. This is it. This of Joan of Arc energy. I’ve got it. I’ve got the tools, guys.” I know exactly what we need to do. Then that reality set in and then I started bouncing back and forth.

I have to just keep changing the trajectory and keep coming back down. I’m going to offer you that today. I want to take you through a simple meditation that I’ve been doing that I’ve shared with my clients and with my online group that has been super helpful, so I want to offer it to you. Because once you’ve recognized that we are feeling this collective grief, that it’s not necessarily just yours, especially if you have the tendency to be an empath.

If you feel very sensitively, if you are in a room and you can tell when someone is really sad and you can kind of feel into that sadness, or you tend to like carry on the burden of the world. You tend to feel other people’s pain is how you would recognize it or how you would call it out. Then what you are feeling right now is possibly not yours especially if you are feeling the dissonance.

You’re having this really calm feeling deep down and then you’re having this eerie bouncing in and out fearing doubt and confusion. Just know that could just be collective and it may not necessarily be yours. The way that I was able to detect it, I was doing the inner work, I was processing the emotion, and then I wasn’t able to get a handle on this and that’s when I recognize it wasn’t mine. I had someone hold the space for we. We released. I came back to the present and I have been good ever since.

And so, I want to offer you that understanding and maybe it will help you to kind of take that responsibility off yourself. It’s almost like beating your head against a brick wall because you keep trying to come back to sanity. You just can’t shake this. I don’t know how to get rid of this fear and this feeling. I tried everything and I can’t get rid of it. Then just notice, that it is just there and it’s just lingering. What you can do is put it in the passenger seat, put on a seatbelt and say, “It’s all right. This fear and doubt can come along. I am safe. I am healthy. I am centered. I am grounded.”

So, I’m going to take you through this little short meditation. First, just come to a seated or lying down position. I want to help you get into your body and reconnect. Take a couple of breaths here. Just notice, maybe your feet on the floor, your bottom on the chair, maybe your back against the sofa, wherever you are lying down or sitting down, just notice. Just notice, nothing else, just be here.

You may want to jump out of your body. It kind of feels like you want to jump out of your skin and that is your brain just not wanting to sit still and that’s okay. Just notice that. It’s all we’re doing is noticing. Notice the discomfort, notice the unease, and then notice your breath. Find and follow the rhythm of your breath.

Noticing your heart beat, take a deep inhale and surrender on the exhale. Wiggle your fingers and toes, maybe touching each fingertip to the thumb pad. And then on the next inhale squeeze your hands and feet. And exhale, release.

Inhale, squeeze your hands and toes. Release on the exhale. One more time, inhale. Exhale, release. Then rub your palm on top of your thighs, and then rub your palms together.

And then cross your arms across your chest. Palms resting on top of your shoulders and you’re going to very gently slide your fingers your arms, and then give your palms a little squeeze together. Inhale, bring your hands back up to the top of your shoulders. Draw your fingers all the way down your arms, forearms, and squeeze your hands together.

Last one, cross your arms over your chest, palms on top of your shoulders, draw your fingers very lightly all the way down your arms and squeeze your palms together. Find and follow the rhythm of your breath. Just noticing the inhale come and the exhale go. Then we’re going to add a mantra here. A mantra is just a word, or a few words, that gives your mind an anchor or your breath an anchor. We’re going to use, “I am safe now.”

Inhale, silently saying, “I.” Exhale, “Am.” Inhale, “Safe.” Exhale, “Now.” We’ll do this four times. Inhale, “I.” Exhale, “Am.” Inhale, “Safe.” Exhale, “Now.” Inhale, “I.” Exhale, “Am.” Inhale, “Safe.” Exhale, “Now.” Last time, you silently repeat to yourself, Inhale, “I.” Exhale, “Am.” Inhale, “Safe.” Exhale, “Now.”

See if you can relax a little deeper dropping your jaw, separating the teeth from each other. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Continue with the mantra, “I.” Exhale, “Am.” Inhale, “Safe.” And exhale, “Now.” See if you can drop a little deeper relaxing the shoulders dropping your breath down into your body all the way down to the belly. Jaw is relaxed, shoulders are relaxed, neck is soft. Inhale, “I.” Exhale, “Am.” Inhale, “Safe.” Exhale, “Now.”

One more time silently repeating the mantra, I’m just going to use the sound of the breath. See if you can relax a little deeper. Surrender into your body pausing in the softness and allow this moment without judgment, just being. And maybe still feeling some resistance in your body and just allow that to be. And then take a deep inhale, deeper than before. And exhale, sigh, away. We’ll do this three times. One more.

Wiggle your fingers and toes, squeeze your hands and feet, release. Rub your hands on your thighs, rub your palms together, cross your arms over your chest. Palms and fingers all the way down the arms and squeeze the hands together. Do this two more times. Last one. And take a moment here, kind of shake your hands away, shaking your hands, fingers, soften your wrist. Shake your shoulders, life your arms over your head. Take your arms out side to side waving them in the air shaking. Shake. Shake your shoulders, alternating side to side. Find a little twist. Just get that energy moving through you.

Think about rinsing out like you would potatoes. Like, inhale, take the breath in. Allow it to rinse. Exhale, release. Do that a couple of times. Maybe you could get up, shake around, maybe do some jumping jacks, a little bit of dancing. Just move. See if you can move this. Think about a puppy dog. Think about how they shake it off, shake it off. See if you can find some movement. Don’t be afraid to make sounds. Maybe a little hum. These are all ways to move this collective energy through your body.

Good job, guys. I hope that was helpful. If you want the audio to this send an email to [email protected]. I have an audio of this just by itself. You can come into the More Than Mindset Facebook group, it’s also there. Or you could find it on my personal Facebook page. And if you’re on my email list then you will also get it in your email.

One way to get on the email list is there is a meditation on my website. If you just sign up for that you’ll automatically go on it. It’s a different meditation from this one. It’s more about stop the spinning and looping, and settle into your body. It’s 22 minutes long where today’s is more like 10 minutes long. So, just use what works for you.

I also want to invite you to you Mind, Body, Business Mastermind. This is for health and wellness practitioners who practice a holistic approach and want to integrate the work that I offer into your practice to help your clients go deeper, resolve these old issues, these old patterns, the unconscious stories that are lying in their body and in their mind, that’s actually bringing up a lot of this collective trauma that we’re feeling right now. That this fear that’s happening, that is where that’s coming from.

So, if you know that you were called to this work. If you’re digging the podcast, if you’re digging what I’m talking about, I invite you into my world. You can send an email and say, “I want to know about the Mastermind.” We start the Monday after Easter. So, get your name in now. If you’re interested, I will work with you one-on-one until the group starts.

You have a couple of weeks. I just want to put that little plug for that. If you’re interested please don’t wait. This is the time. If you have this burning desire to serve, you know who you are. You know you want to help people and you don’t know how to package your gift in order to deliver to the people, that is what I do. I help you on a personal and professional level.

Then I help you build your business container around it so that you can take your work out into the world. I feel like my calling is to help people succeed. I take them to the frontline. I build them up, teach them the tools, take them through the personal transformation, embody this work on a spiritual level. Mental, emotional, physical level.

Then we bring it into the material world. All right, guys, I love you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing this with your friends and for the ratings and reviews. I really appreciate it. It helps us get this work out to more people and this time, it is necessary more than ever before. Until next week.

Thanks for listening to this episode of More Than Mindset.

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