Through the Dark Woods
Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma
register now for the next free intro session
When we learn the skills to walk through the dark woods of grief and trauma, we develop the capacity to hold the fullness of life.
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let me ask you...
WHY GRIEF WORK?
“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”
Amongst the oldest peoples it has been said that grief and gratitude are but two sides of the same mandala called Love, and are so intertwined that if we suppress our grief for too long, we also lose our ability to love fully.
And yet, enduring our grief without support of connection and community can be simply unbearable.
We are conditioned to turn away from or suppress our pain, and we are often encouraged to ‘stay positive’ or ‘look on the bright side.’ 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.”
In order to return again and again to our fullest joy, aliveness, connection with each other and love for life we must have a space to express and process our grief.
Why grieve in Community?
I believe firmly in the intertwined health of individual, community & ecosystem. As the world falls apart around us, we need each other now more than ever. We need to hold and be held by each other through our grief, so we can bring back resilience and vibrant health to ourselves, each other and our earth.
“To speak of sorrow works upon it, moves it from its crouched place barring the way to and from the soul’s hall.”
Grief, honoured in community, helps us to find the beauty in our common humanity.
We see and feel in our bones that we are truly not alone.
This builds resilience and increases our capacity to be with the harder emotions.
Being witnessed in a compassionate and mutually vulnerable group increases our ability to have deep compassion for ourselves and others.
When we share and witness each other’s grief in community, we transform in a profound way that simply is not possible in isolation or in 1:1 therapy.
…Such as systemic racism, isolation, ancestral trauma and colonial structural trauma must be healed collectively, together, not in isolation.
Personal grief, when witnessed & supported in community, slowly metabolizes into something that is easier to carry on our own.
This process-based group is intended as a container to touch deeply into 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 – this includes personal loss and trauma, both ‘minor’ and devastating, as well more transpersonal/collective grief. All is welcome.
but what actually is
Most of us aren’t raised with an intimate understanding of grief. It’s not something that we realize we might even be feeling or experiencing in the day to day. In our culture, it’s only really discussed when someone dies.
Grief shows up in unexpected ways. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re lost in the dark woods of grief. Grief can feel like heartbreak, anger, resentment, stuckness, depression, and even anxiety.
With every loss, every life change and transition, every personal evolution, there is grief.
Even if we’re excited about moving in new directions, and becoming more of who we are, we need to grieve the person, life, and experiences that we’re leaving behind.
Not to mention the grief in the world around us, seemingly not ours, yet still felt by our soul, our body, and our heart as we are interconnected with all things.
“Grief is the expression of healing in motion. As you make the seemingly bottomless descent, it helps to remember that grief is the downpour your soul has been thirsting for. Because what remains hidden for too long doesn’t change. It is calcified in place, often sealed by shame, left untouched and forgotten by time. But when it can finally come into the open to be seen, it is exposed to new conditions and it begins to move. It rises on a salty geyser of tears, sometimes sung to the surface by a terrific moan, streaming down our cheeks until it moistens the soil where we stand, preparing us for new growth.”
—Toko-pa Turner, Belonging
This work is for you
if you are struggling with:
What will you gain?
Personal grief and healing skills
Learn how to enter and tend to grief in a deep, meaningful and transformative way, while also improving the ability to live with the emotional ups and downs of our day to day lives.
An Approach of Balance and Self-regulation
To approach grief skillfully allows us to avoid the extremes of either suppressing our grief or being consumed by it. You’ll learn to walk the middle path - to build your capacity to be present with your grief while staying tethered to the joys available in everyday life.
Layers of Holding
Learn how to hold space for the deepest depths of emotion - your own and that of others - while also experiencing the holding of community, nature and the ancestors.
Gently Building Capacity
Your capacity to hold yourself in these tender and vulnerable places will expand, so that then even when you are alone and grief arises, you will have more ability to stay with it. This will also increase your capacity for growth, greater self expression, leadership, and the holding of the grief of others.
Trust in Yourself Thought Commitment
It is not that this process will be easy, in fact it will be difficult and there may likely be setbacks along the way, and yet progress simply for the sake of progress was never the point. Commitment to meeting yourself and showing up for these parts is where the healing happens.
Real Life Skills
You will gain the skills to move in any direction with a profound sense of choice & resilience.
You will learn to ask for help directly from each other, Nature and the Ancestors, and to offer thanks in return. Because we all need help along the way, and reciprocity is key.
What will be let go of?
You may (gently) release along the way:
Through the Dark Woods is a one of a kind monthly membership group. You will be walking alongside others committed to learn the skills to consciously tend to and integrate grief and trauma and to develop the capacity to honor our individual and shared pain while holding the fullness of life.
Grief tending is a long and winding road. For many, there is no start or end date and the need for community is constant. This is why I have put together an ongoing membership program. By joining this membership program you will receive access to the Through The Dark Woods Group Program and Curriculum.
What is included in your monthly membership of $125:
Two Live Group Grief Tending Sessions via Zoom: These sessions are 2 hours long and are primarily process-based – including writing practices, somatic/embodied practice, group as well as partner/trio work. If you miss a live session, they will be recorded so you can listen and do the practices on your own or with a friend.
Short, Pre-recorded Teaching Pieces with New Content Every Month of the Year:
These contain important teachings members will need to become familiar with, as they go hand-in-hand with the practices we will do in the group sessions. These are somewhat self-paced, but there are certain videos you will need to watch before each session, especially in the first month. Expect to dedicate approximately 10-15 minutes per week or 0.5-1 hr per month to this.
Since we are aiming to approach our work with balance and self-regulation, the flow of our time together is designed to have weeks where we dive deep balanced with integration weeks. During integration weeks you will receive an email with body-based prompts, and the invitation is to stay engaged by connecting with each other via the online group forum and the prerecorded practices.
this is an ongoing group. registration reopens december 2022.
this is an ongoing group. registration reopens december 2022.
THERE ARE TWO SESSIONS EACH CALENDAR MONTH. ONCE THE FALL SESSIONS START, THE GROUP WILL BE CLOSED TO NEW MEMBERS UNTIL JANUARY 2023.
Autumn sessions will be on the following dates:
October 3rd & 17th
November 7th & 21st
December 5th & 19th
No, we only open registration once every 3 months. This quarter registration closes on September 21st. The next season registration opens January 2023.
Although this is a monthly membership group, it is only open to new folks every 3 months. It is important in group work to maintain a solid and safe container in which we can build relational safety and cohesion together, so the intention is to build deep connection within the core cohort before welcoming new members.
As soon as you sign up you will receive an email welcoming you to the group. Shortly after, you will receive links to both the online group community forum as well as the members “portal” where you can access the prerecorded practices for module 1.
Autumn sessions are on October 3rd & 17th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th & 19th. Winter 2023 session dates will be released in December, 2022.
It is strongly recommended that you make a minimum commitment to yourself of 6 months, as it does take time to really land in the work together and start to feel the ripple effect this will have in your life. This work is not a, “quick fix.” In fact this isn’t a ‘fix’ thing at all – it’s a reconditioning of our societal training to try to ‘fix’ ourselves and each other, and instead to recognize that the real healing happens when we stop trying to fix things and allow our souls to simply rest together, witnessing each other and simply being in attuned and compassionate presence together.
If you miss a live session, they will be recorded so you can listen and do the practices on your own or with a friend if you choose too, or just do the pre-recorded practices and join the next live session, no problem.
Expect to put aside 5-6 hours a month. This includes the live sessions, teaching videos, and integration practices.
Refunds will not generally be given except in extenuating circumstances, but you can cancel your membership at any point if you really decide this work isn’t for you at this time.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
REgister now and your first monthly payment will be billed the first week of October before we begin.
Two Partial Scholarship Spots Available:
Investment: 3 Monthly Payments of $108 USD
Pay in Full
Investment: $300 USD
The dark woods of grief can be frightening...
…to you if you haven’t had someone to lead you through and show you the lay of the land.
We can get stuck in the darkness of our grief, eyes-closed, terrified to open them because we don’t know what could be lurking in the shadows. And yet what is there doesn’t change, eyes open or closed.
But how do we gather the strength to open our eyes and face where we are? It helps enormously to know that we are not alone, and that we have some guidance from one who has traversed these woods before.
That’s what this group is offering. A hand to hold. Someone to lead you through the dark woods. A community to walk with you, so that you know you aren’t alone.
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 20 years of study and experience in working with trauma and grief and have been facilitating Grief Ritual and process work for the past four years. My work is grounded in training in Somatic Therapy, Attachment Theory, Healing Sexual Trauma, Deep Nature Connection, Craniosacral therapy, Somato Emotional Release, Shamanic Study, Tibetan Buddhism and Yoga.
I have trained with expert grief facilitators Francis Weller (author, Wild Edge of Sorrow) and Randy Jones (author, Medicine Without an Expiry Date), as well as key Somatic & Relational Therapy teachers 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 am a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor through the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada and am generally covered by Pacific Blue Cross, Sun Life, Manulife, Claimsecure, Equitable Life of Canada, Alberta Blue Cross & Green Shield and can provide receipts for both 1:1 counselling and group work.