GRIEF & GRATITUDE
Feeding the Soul of the World
A weekend intensive at Earthspring Retreat Center
(near Victoria, BC)
March 10th-12th 2023
"Grief is like oxygen." ~ Joanna Macy
dates: March 10th-12th 2023
We begin Friday evening @6:30pm, ending at 2pm Sunday afternoon.
This is a weekend of guided, intentional practices, held in confidence among participants, to tend to our personal and collective grief.
We will use movement, writing, singing, group & partner work to lead us towards the heart of the weekend.
This is a profound communal ritual based upon the Truth Mandala, a part of the work of deep ecologist, activist & elder Joanna Macy (founder of the Work that Reconnects).
The opportunity to share and express through this ritual will be open to everyone, but there is no requirement to. When one person moves energy, they move it for the whole group, and the whole group supports them to do this. It is a profoundly life-giving way to meet the energy of grief and trauma, allowing real healing to take place for ourselves, our ancestors and the planet.
We will complete the ritual evening with a crystal bowl and vocal sound bath facilitated by Trisha Spire, designed to support integration and deep rest.
Sunday morning will be focused on gentle integration and sharing.
This event is LGTBQ & BIPOC friendly with the intention to create a safe space for all beings, and with the recognition that we are learning and will likely make mistakes.
Space is limited to 20 participants - register in advance to ensure your spot.
before feb. 1: $550 USD
Accommodation options include dorm-style rooms, shared cabins and private rooms as well as camping. The cost of a private room is $30 higher.
In an effort to honor economic diversity, there are 3 partial scholarship spots available:
Please also contact me directly if financial assistance is needed: email@example.com
Space is limited to 20 participants – register in advance to ensure your spot.
Why Grief & Gratitude
We are in recovery on so many levels – social isolation, ecological collapse, systemic racism – not to mention our own personal grief, trauma & loss and that of our ancestral lineages.
We must have places where we can rest & feel ourselves deeply, so we can reconnect with the nourishment and beauty of the Earth, ourselves & each other.
This retreat is not a place to be fixed, but to allow what is broken to rest.
To allow emotion to arise, be felt, and pass through us as it is meant to – energy in motion.
To remember who you are.
Amongst the oldest peoples it has been said that grief and gratitude are but two sides of the same coin called Love, and if we suppress our grief for too long, we also lose touch with gratitude and our ability to love fully.
And yet, feeling our grief without the support of connection and community can be simply unbearable.
We are conditioned to turn away from or suppress our pain (and also our joy!), and we are often encouraged to ‘stay positive’ or ‘look on the bright side rather than being authentically with what is.
This turning away from the pain allows violence to continue in the world, as pain unprocessed soon becomes either so deeply internalized that we get sick, or projected on those we deem “Other.”
Suppressed pain also blocks joy & pleasure.
In order to return again and again to our fullest joy, aliveness, connection with each other & love for life we must have a space to express and process our grief.
When we can honor our humanity through community ritual, we begin to find the beauty in everyday life again.
We see and feel in our bones that we are truly not alone.
This actually builds resilience and increases our capacity to stay with these feelings on our own.
This day of Grief & Gratitude is intended as a container to honour, own and release emotions that society has rejected – emotions that are rooted in love and our sense of justice for self, community, culture and planet.
All forms of grief are welcome, both personal loss and trauma, both ‘minor’ and devastating, as well as more transpersonal/collective grief.
The main credential for this training is having grief. If you have never experienced grief yourself and don’t resonate with the idea that grief is an ongoing practice and skill set rather than something to “get over,” this training may not be for you.
While basic counselling skills can be helpful in facilitating this work and this is NOT a basic counselling skills training, it is not necessary to be a counsellor or psychotherapist or have other credentials to facilitate grief work in the way it is taught in this training.
This course is open to anyone and is especially beneficial to mental health professionals, community organizers, healing arts practitioners, teachers, mindfulness practitioners, coaches, and anyone seeking to find a greater literacy and skills in grief work, ritual practice, and space holding in service to community wellbeing. This is an education program and not a licenser program.
- Through the Dark Woods is a part of the training and that group meets 2x per month via zoom on Monday evenings from 5-7pm PST, see TTDW page for dates
- The facilitator training also meets one Tuesday morning per month from noon-2:30pm PST March 21st, April 4th, May 2nd, June 6th …summer & fall dates TBA
- In addition, there are 3 full weekend retreats as part of the training April 21-23rd, August 4-6th & November 10-12th.
You will receive a certificate of completion when you reach the end of the training. This certificate acknowledges your mentorship with me and my endorsement of your facilitation and grief tending skills. It is like a blessing for you to bring your unique gifts into the world using these ways as a vehicle.
Ritual is a powerful way of making what is an invisible internal process visible and tangible. Because of the physical movements and actions that take place in ritual which represent the internal movements and changes taking place, it is innately somatic.
It allows the use of the collective energy to hold and meet a charge in the nervous system that could not otherwise be met and processed. Most indigenous cultures worldwide use some form of ritual to process grief and trauma.
As people move through the steps in the various forms of grief rituals I’ll teach you, there is a transformation that happens that is far different than what can occur in 1:1 therapy or self-healing work. I believe collective, community ritual is critical to embodied healthy culture.
Definitely not. This is a year long training and we journey very deep together. We begin in late March 2023 and once the journey has set sail, the ship will not reenter port again until 2024! Come now or come not!
About Your Facilitator
I’m committed to helping people to access the innate wisdom of their physical & emotional bodies as a doorway to deeper awakening and freedom. I believe that while 1:1 therapy can be profound and life changing, there are things that can only be healed in the presence of community/group work.
I have over 22 years of study and experience and have been facilitating Grief Ritual and Process work for the past 6 years. My work is grounded in training in Somatic Therapy, Attachment Theory, Healing Sexual Trauma, Deep Nature Connection, Visionary Craniosacral therapy, SER, Shamanic Study, Holistic Nutrition and Yoga.
I have trained with Francis Weller (author, Wild Edge of Sorrow), Randy Jones (author, Medicine Without an Expiry Date), Mariah Moser (Relational Somatic Psychotherapy), Peter Levine (SE), Diane Poole Heller (DARe), Irene Lyon (SmartBodySmartMind), Elizabeth Claire Burr (CST, SER & Vijnana Yoga) & 8 Shields Institute.
I believe firmly in the intertwined health of individual, community & ecosystem. As the world falls apart around us, we need each other more than ever. If you feel called, I am so looking forward to meeting you in retreat.