I am honored to be a part of the events listed below. In the case of multi-day events, I have indicated the days of my presentation. Visit the event link to view dates, location and registration information.
Keynote: Transform Suffering to Hope: Coping With Grief In The Wake of Personal & Public Tragedy
We don’t need to look at the FBI statistics to know that mass shootings and domestic terrorism are on the rise. Repetitive exposure to these traumatic events via television and social media can trigger psychological distress, especially when we feel there is nothing we can do to help. If left unexamined, the difficult emotions that arise in the wake of tragedy can negatively impact our health, our relationships, and our ability to serve and support our clients and colleagues. This is the bad news.
The good news is that if we skillfully turn toward our suffering, rather than suppress it, we can transform any difficult emotion into compassion. In turn, that compassion becomes inspired action that motivates us serve our clients, our community, and ourselves in a more whole-hearted and helpful way. We can even improve our health and feel more connected to our loved ones, those we serve, and the world at large.
During this inspiring keynote, author Heather Stang will illustrate how mindfulness-based compassion practices can transform empathic distress into hope, connectivity, and action that is rooted in our shared human desire to be happy, safe, and free from suffering. Through motivational stories, a look at evidence-based best practices, and a brief period of guided meditation, attendees will learn how to be the spark and tend to global suffering with transformational loving-kindness and compassion.
Mindfulness & Grief: Self-Compassion as Self-Care
If you can not attend this conference in person, this session will be available as a live web-cast.
As bereavement professionals, we choose to provide whole-hearted care to those who are in need of compassion. However, tending to our own suffering is often placed on the back burner. Even when faced with our own personal loss and hardships, we often turn away from our grief and “push through” the pain. This can overwhelm our stress response system and in turn contribute to depression, anxiety, stress-related illnesses, and even lead to professional burnout.
As hard as it may seem, we can tend to our own suffering using self-compassion techniques that are rooted in ancient spiritual practices and proven effective by contemporary research. Once we apply the “oxygen mask” to ourselves as professionals, we can then use the same techniques to support our bereaved clients who might be struggling with feelings of guilt, loneliness and low self-efficacy.
This session will explore how self-compassion—in other words, simply treating ourselves as we would a beloved friend—can help us manage our difficult emotions, reduce our suffering, and exemplify self-care for both clients and colleagues alike. The presenter will review current self-compassion literature as it pertains to grief and professional burnout, discuss mindfulness-based interventions, and review a handful of case studies that will illustrate how self-compassion can support the bereaved client and grief professional alike.
Concurrent Session 3: In a world where multi-tasking, digital distractions and continuous partial attention are the norm, it is challenging for 21st century leaders to find the time, energy and creativity to innovate. Fortunately, the practice of mindfulness – paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of open awareness – can wire your brain for leadership excellence despite the chaos – and even help with self-care. During this session, you will be introduced to mindfulness-based exercises that will help cultivate focus and insight, so you can lead from a place of choice, rather than reactivity. Learning Objectives:
- Define mindfulness and give examples of formal and informal practices
- Discuss the history and benefits of practicing mindfulness for leadership excellence
- Experience mindfulness-based techniques at work to cultivate focus, clarity, creativity and compassion
The holiday are considered the most joyous time of year for most! But for some, they are a challenging time following the loss of a loved one; or for those in a state of grief or bereavement.
“I am excited to host this show near and dear to my heart and have invited field expert and one of my favorite professional colleagues, Heather Stang to join me in bringing this all-important topic to listeners!” said Holley Kelley of the Aging GreatFULLy Podcast.
Heather will lead a Self-Compassion workshop for participants in the Advances and Innovations in Bereavement Care group. She will also offer three early morning self-care meditation practices, which are open to all NHPCO Intensive participants, including:
Self-Compassion: Managing Personal Loss in a Professional World: As bereavement professionals, we choose to provide whole-hearted care to those who are in need of compassion. However, tending to our own suffering is often placed on the back burner. Even when faced with our own personal loss and hardships, we often turn away from our grief and “push through” the pain. This can overwhelm our stress response system and in turn contribute to depression, anxiety, stress-related illnesses, and even lead to professional burnout. This workshop will explore how self-compassion—in other words, simply treating ourselves as we would a beloved friend—can help us manage our difficult emotions, reduce our suffering, and exemplify self-care for both clients and colleagues alike. Not only will you experience a guided self-compassion meditation and review current research on this crucial topic, but you’ll leave with simple strategies to make self-compassion part of your daily life.
Early Morning Self-Care Meditation Classes:
- Monday: Relaxation Response Meditation for Anxiety, Grief & Stress: Focus-based meditation that reverses the negative effects of stress.
- Tuesday: Compassion & Lovingkindness Meditation: Heart-based meditation that cultivates self-compassion and acknowledges that all beings want to be happy, safe and free from suffering.
- Wednesday: Intensives Integration Meditation: Contemplative meditation during which participants will reflect on their experience at the Intensives, explore how the experience relates to their life and commit to an action step based on their experience.
. . . a free, bilingual, and confidential program that connects caregivers and family members to information and support through the telephone or “tele-learning”. The Caregiver Teleconnection provides learning sessions on a variety of useful topics, hosted over the phone by professional facilitators and experts. Family caregivers have the opportunity to connect and share with others in their situation during the sessions.
Mindfulness & Yoga Based Interventions for Grief. This fall the Chesapeake Life Center is introducing a day-long event entitled “Grief in the 21st Century”. Dr. Katherine Shear will be the keynote speaker, speaking on the topic of complicated grief. The Chesapeake Life Center is a service of Hospice of the Chesapeake in Anne Arundel and Prince Georges Counties, Maryland, and provides grief and trauma support and education to children, adults, families and members of the community.
Heather will review evidence based literature and offer case examples to illustrate how mindfulness and yoga can be applied as a grief intervention for acute symptoms including anxiety, depression, insomnia and somatic disturbances. Best practices for developing partnerships with yoga and mindfulness teachers in your community will also be explored.
Heather will be a featured guest on Gerontologist Holley Kelley’s radio show, Aging GreatFULLy. Heather and Holley will discuss mindfulness, aging, and more. You can tune in LIVE on Friday, September 2nd, 2016. The air times are 11 a.m. PT / noon MT / 1 p.m. CT / 2 p.m. ET.
Vision Board Workshop for Life After Loss. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will hold its first retreat for young adults, ages 18-24, whose firefighter parent died in the line of duty. This weekend retreat runs from June 17-18, 2016, and will enable those who have jobs or are in college to attend. Sessions are focused on grief and on building life skills. Heather Stang will present a Vision Board workshop on Saturday, June 18th from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Preregistration is required.
Heather Stang will be representing Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy at their exhibit during the 2016 SYTAR Conference in Reston, VA. Heather will be available to answer your questions about the Yoga Therapy Training Program from 5:15 pm to 9:30 pm on Thursday, June 9th, and offering 15 minute PRYT “Mini Sessions” on Friday, June 10th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
IAYT supports research and education in yoga and serves as a professional organization for yoga teachers and yoga therapists worldwide. Our mission is to establish yoga as a recognized and respected therapy.
Heather Stang will present three workshops at the 2016 TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar in Arlington, Va., this Memorial Day weekend. Nearly 2,500 surviving family members of America’s fallen military are expected to attend the seminar. Heather’s offerings include:
- Friday: Relaxation & Compassion Meditation for Grief
- Saturday: Drawing Your Grief-scape
- Sunday: Who Am I Now? Meditation & Journaling for Posttraumatic Growth
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 55,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, healing seminars and retreats for adults, camps for children, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and the 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline at 800.959.TAPS (8277) available for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call TAPS at 202.588.TAPS (8277).
Vision Board Workshop for Life After Loss. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is pleased to announce a new event this year, a Wellness Conference for Survivors. This conference will be held May 13-14, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. The theme for the conference is “Setting a Course for the Road Ahead.” Heather Stang will present a Vision Board Workshop on Saturday, May 14th at 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Preregistration is required.
Mindfulness & Leadership Excellence. Heather Stang will present a three hour pre-conference session at the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization’s 31st Management and Leadership Conference. Attendance requires conference registration.