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Death, But Fun!
Today we get some surprisingly joyful insights about coping with the dread of death – whether we’re concerned about our own mortality or losing those we love. It’s Day Three of The Dread Project Challenge, a five-day series that investigates an emotion so many of us are struggling with lately – from our dread of the next Zoom meeting to worries that have life-and-death stakes. Each day of the challenge, we tackle dread in a different way, and offer you a fun exercise for feeling a little better, even when you’re anticipating the worst.
Dread of death might be the ultimate dread we face in life, but Clinical Psychologist Rachel Menzies and Death Doula Alua Arthur explain why remembering we will die – instead of trying to forget – can help us accept the inevitable.
Today’s Challenge - Estimated Time 5 minutes:
Offered by Alua Arthur, death doula and founder of Going With Grace.
At some point in the next 24 hrs, wherever you are - in your home, or out on a walk - take 3-5 minutes to pause. Be right where you’re at. Start with a few deep, anchoring breaths. Then, take a look around you. And really look at - and name - the things that are either dying or have died. Maybe it’s the wood your desk is made out of. Maybe one of the lightbulbs in the kitchen just blew out. Don’t forget to include your own body somewhere on that list. As a closing thought, you might think, or say, to yourself “Death feeds life. Life feeds death.” or “I am a natural thing. I am dying. I will die. Something new will come from my death.”
Please share how this Dread Project Challenge went for you by sending us a voice memo at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find instructions in our FAQ about how to record one. Don’t forget to give us your name and where you’re from, and you might hear yourself on an upcoming episode! And be sure to follow More Than A Feeling on Twitter at podfeelings.
Where to Find Today’s Guests Online:
Dr. Rachel Menzies:
And if digging into dread is very difficult or intense for you, some additional resources that could help are listed below.
Search for a therapist:
Mental Health Resources:
- Try the Ten Percent Happier app for free for thirty days by visiting tenpercent.com/more and check out this meditation that reflects on death and mortality with Joseph Goldstein; an episode of the Twenty Percent Happier podcast that discusses working with death and difficult struggles in your meditation practice; and teacher talks that explore death with Anushka Fernandopulle, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, and Jay Michaelson.
- Dare App - free app to help with anxious moments
If you are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, please click here, text 741741, or call 988.