Through the Dark Woods

Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma

Join a Process-based Group Where Grief in All Forms is Welcome

Winter Solstice Elemental Releasing Ritual

Register before midnight on December 14th and receive the free bonus of joining the group for a beautiful Winter Solstice Elemental Releasing Ritual

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About this ritual

At the Winter Solstice, the energies of the Earth invite us into a time of inward reflection, dreaming, and the last release downward before nature moves into the quiet gestation phase of new ideas, inspiration and creativity in the Northeast.

In this session, you’ll learn a special Solstice ritual of release that you can then later customize and make your very own no matter your belief system.

Ritual is a powerful way of connecting your actions to your inner desires and intentions. As you go through the steps in the practice I’ll teach you, you’ll be holding space and intention for the transformation you desire to experience. What is it that you want to finally let go of before entering into the next period of rebirth and creation?

We do this ritual together, as a community, where you can tap into the extra profound experience of feeling deeply witnessed as you release that which needs to go. This magnifies your intention of release and the power of your transformation.

All participants who register for the 2023 cohort before midnight on December 14th, 2022 will be invited to attend this **bonus** Winter Solstice Elemental Releasing Ritual.

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.

SIGNUP IS NOW CLOSED

Click below to be added to attend the next free intro session.

Do you love knowing the Structure & Details Up Front?

We meet as a group 2x every month to dive deep together, and have a vibrant online community forum that is open 24/7 where you can connect, ask for support and receive compassionate witnessing as you practice the skills you’ll be learning alongside a group of other folks deeply committed to this work.

There are somatic & grief work based skills shared each month via teaching videos and downloadable audio in the online community forum.

This is a deep dive and the ones who are drawn in show up as real, raw and engaged.

Come as you are.

Membership is $125 USD a month, minimum commitment is 3 months.
After that stay as long as you like or cancel anytime.

All live Zoom sessions are on Monday evenings 5-7pm Vancouver time.
Winter/Spring 2023 Dates:
January 9th & 23rd
February 6th & 20th 
March 6th & 20th
April 3rd & 17th 
May 8th & 22nd 
June 5th & 19th 

We all walk through the dark woods of grief & trauma - but doing it alone can be unbearable.

Most of us aren’t raised with an intimate understanding of grief.

We can go through our days barely noticing that it’s there, under the surface of things.

Other days, we find it hitting us like a tidal wave and taking us down to the ground.

Sometimes we don’t know we’re stuck in grief. We can be feeling heartbreak, anger, resentment, stuckness, depression, and even anxiety and not realize that this is simply a form of unprocessed emotion.

In our culture, this is only really discussed when someone dies.

And yet isn’t grief innately a part of our human experience?

Martin Prechtel says that grief is totally inseparable from love.

Francis Weller says it this way: “Everything that we love, we will (some day) lose.

For over 20 years I have been holding space for thousands of people who are on a journey of connecting more deeply to their souls. What I have seen is that for every human, simply through the very nature of being ALIVE and by virtue of being deeply connected to ourselves, each other and nature, grief is a companion we cannot avoid.

light shining

Nor would we want to, once we understand it more.

What I’ve witnessed is the more you get connected to your soul, the more you recognize grief.

As human beings, the truth is, we are pretty much guaranteed to experience loss, disappointment, & unmet needs.
A lot, if we live a long time. As Stephen Jenkinson says, “Look into the eyes of anyone over 80, and you will see someone who knows grief…”

This work isn’t just for, “Some people.”
This is for everyone.
It’s not a matter of “if” as much as a matter of, “when…”
If you feel the resonant call, I hope you will join us.

Why grieve in Community

When the world falls apart around us, we need each other more than ever….

One of the most beautiful things that I see happen over and over again in this group is the de-shamifying of each person’s grief experience. 

Because society teaches us to isolate and keep our difficult emotions hidden, and show up with a smile on our faces, we often think that no one else around us has the kind of feelings we do. 

We carry around not only our grief, but also a story that says, “I am alone, I am different, I am secretly broken or weird.”

Within the context of authentic sharing that happens in Through the Dark Woods, this long carried and very heavy story dissolves, and we realize we are all in fact, at our core, exactly the same.

Human. Broken. Beautiful. Alive.

And our wounds are, in fact, deeply connected with the very unique gifts we bring to the world.

Grieving is healing.

With every trauma held in our nervous system, there will come grief as we heal. As we heal, we grieve for the parts of ourselves that may have suffered for a very long time until now when they have an opportunity to have a different experience.

Grief is innate in the process of healing

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.

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From Wounds to Gifts…

What if instead of carrying around the weight of grief & trauma as a burden, you could learn to transform it into the gifts you are here to give in this lifetime?

What if the pain, suffering and hardship you have experienced could be transmuted into a sacred offering for the world and the future generations?

This isn’t something we can force or rush, and we can’t approach it in a goal oriented way. The way of the soul is non-linear and a winding, spiralling path.

collective wounds

…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.

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.”

—Denise Levertov

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feeling the

Feels

When we make big life changes, 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 of the world around us, seemingly not ours, yet still felt by our soul, our body, and our hearts as we are interconnected with all things.

If we are sensitive and attuned to the reality of our current life on this beautiful planet, there will be grief alongside our love and gratitude for life.

I’m not saying we need to be sad all the time – no!
Quite the contrary!

As a grief-worker and therapist, I probably laugh more than most people I know. And there’s a reason for this.

The more we allow our “e-motion” to move in a skilled way, the more capacity we build in our nervous system to experience the full range of emotions – joy, anger, gratitude, sorrow, fear, courage, hopelessness and the creative tension of pure potentiality…we gain access to a full range of feeling our experience.

With every loss, every life change and transition, every personal evolution, every deep connection, there is an emotional process that needs to unfold.

but what actually is

Grief?

Most of us aren’t raised with an intimate understanding of grief.

We can go through our days barely noticing that it’s there, under the surface of things.

Other days, we find it hitting us like a tidal wave and taking us down to the ground.

Sometimes we don’t know we’re stuck in grief. We can be feeling heartbreak, anger, resentment, stuckness, depression, and even anxiety and not realize that this is simply a form of unprocessed emotion.

In our culture, grief is only really discussed when someone dies.

Yet with every loss, every life change and transition, every personal evolution, there is an emotional process that needs to unfold.

Even if we’re excited about moving in new directions, and becoming more of who we are, we need to release the energy of the person, life, and experiences that we’re leaving behind.
Not to mention, we carry in our bodies the trouble in the world around us, seemingly not ours, yet still felt by our soul, our body, and our heart as we’re interconnected with all things.
This too, we need a place to metabolize.

Through the Dark Woods Membership Group is a carefully curated container to address grief in ALL its forms. A consent-based place where emotion is welcome.

“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 IS FOR YOU IF YOU:

Meet the Team

We are committed to helping people access the innate wisdom of their physical & emotional bodies as a doorway to deeper awakening and freedom. We 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.

We are a diverse team of humans and are committed to honoring the full spectrum of racial, cultural & gender identity. We recognize that we are learning and will not be perfect, but that our intention is to create a safe space where all who wish to do this work are welcome!

Josea Tamira Crossley main facilitator

Josea Tamira Crossley

Main Facilitator

For over 20 years, I’ve been working with grief & trauma. What I’ve seen is that not only do we carry around the weight of these difficult experiences, but we also carry a story that says, “I’m alone, I’m different, I’m secretly broken or weird.”

Within the context of the groups, rituals & 1:1 work I hold, this long carried & heavy story dissolves, and we recognize that we are all, at our core, the same.

Human. Broken. Beautiful. Alive.

This is perhaps what I love the most about this work. When we can release the shame that comes with feeling alone in our experience, healing comes naturally. We release the heaviness of holding it alone, and get reconnected with our innate sense of joy, aliveness & strength.

Through practices that work with the nervous system & rewiring the brain learned through my studies in Somatic Therapy, Attachment Theory, Healing Sexual Trauma, Deep Nature Connection, Craniosacral therapy, Shamanic Study, Tibetan Buddhism and Yoga, I’ve learned to support people to completely transform how they experience the world and themselves.

I believe that for each person, your gifts are directly related to your wounds, and it is only through deep listening and care of the soul that you will fully remember who you are and what you are here to give to the world.

I believe that every single person, including you, has something to offer to this liminal time we are living in.
In terms of walking through the dark woods and returning with gifts, I am a living, breathing example, and this work is my offering to you.

I grew up fast, having to take care of myself almost entirely on my own. There was not much space for safety, nervous system regulation and healthy relationship to self or other in my first 16 years in the world. But slowly, I started to find it.

Like someone who is thirsty beyond comprehension, I drank it in. I made it sacred.

Are there things like that for you? What do you consider as sacred as water? That you would walk miles for, carrying a heavy load? What are you longing for in your bones?

It is my mission to create spaces in this world where people can experience enough safety & belonging, and can gain enough skillfulness, to be able to heal.

The body does the rest.

I want this for you.

I have trained with expert grief facilitator Francis Weller (author, Wild Edge of Sorrow), as well as key Somatic & Relational Therapy teachers Mariah Moser (Relational Somatic Psychotherapy), Peter Levine (SE), Diane Poole Heller (DARe), Irene Lyon (SmartBodySmartMind), & the 8 Shields Institute.

I have held grief-tent space at gatherings of 150+ people. I have held grief rituals in my community for the past 7 years, and curated a unique online space for grief process work since the beginning of the recent pandemic.

To this date, I’ve supported hundreds of people to change their lives. To transform their wounds – and the most difficult, painful parts of their experience – into gifts.

If you’re hurting, it’s not something you’re doing wrong or need to diagnose. The world is broken around you. All humans need safe, consent-based spaces to grieve. Join me in Through the Dark Woods and turn your pain into medicine.

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.
I currently live, work & play in the seaside mountain town of qathet, BC, on the traditional territory of the Tla’amin people.

Elizabeth Claire Burr

Elizabeth Claire Burr

Co-facilitator & Support

Elizabeth has been studying the Vajrayana & Nature of Mind teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition with Mingyur Rinpoche since 2008. **She has taken the Bodhisattva vow, and her deepest aspiration is to support all beings with wisdom and compassion and to practice this in the world as best she can. This has come to manifest in many forms; meditation and yoga teacher, cranial sacral and somatic therapist, founder/owner of a healing arts center, kirtan leader, doula, mothering, mentoring and sacred partnership.
She embodies compassion and joy in a way that is rare in this world, and people often say they experience Love of the Divine, self and each other in a way they haven’t before when being in her presence. She currently resides by the ocean on the traditional territory of the Ligwilda’xw people; the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nation.

Dharamjeev Kaur

Dharamjeev Kaur

Curator of Online Forum & Support

Student first, teacher second. Dharamjeev is a heart centered woman who values the inner work that brings about an unshakable trust in one’s self and the embrace of life. Indigenous wisdom teachings, song and ceremony; movement, healing touch, plant medicine, meditation and connection to the land are ways that she shows up to the path. Dharamjeev’s soul purpose is to empower and hold loving space for others to come home to this place in themselves and to be all the way alive, right where their feet are. Community Manager and Nurturer of The Luckiest Club, an online sobriety support community, Dharamjeev lives in a small ocean mountain village on traditional territory of the K’omoks First Nation on Vancouver Island.

Natu Mbanefo

Natu Mbanefo

Natu (they/them) is a non-binary, queer, mixed race human with ADHD. They’ve recently worked with Trans Youth, Neurodivergent kids, & “At Risk” adults at a shelter. They facilitate Ecstatic Dance, practice the art of glass blowing, and love volunteering within the wider Salt Spring Island community. They are currently studying at the Wisdom of the Earth – Deep Nature Connection school in the Adult Immersion program. They are alumni of Through the Dark Woods in 2021. Their journey with grief has been a long one, and within the last 2 years, they have really come to know grief for all the richness it can hold by actively inviting it in for tea 🙂 Natu has been learning the art of holding space, along with grief/emotional work in order to be able to show up more in community spaces where they believe some of the deepest healing work is done. They will be creating space within the group, (via breakout groups etc) for LGTBQ2S related grief & trauma. Natu currently resides on the traditional territory of the Hul’qumi’num and SENCOTEN speaking people.

elisa lee

Elisa Lee

Born of Chinese immigrant parents from Hong Kong, Elisa Lee (she/they), MA. BEd. BSc. BA. grew up on the unceded traditional lands of the Haisla Nation in Kitimat, British Columbia and is now based in Yarrow Ecovillage, Chilliwack on the lands of the Sto:lo Nation. She has been promoting people’s personal development in collaboration with Nature for the past 18 years, and brings a grounded presence and non-prescriptive approach to ceremony. Having trained with eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Elisa leads community grief rituals based on Joanna’s ‘Truth Circle.’ She also guides Wilderness Vigils (aka Vision Quests), facilitates people awakening to their erotic selves at the Body Electric School, and is the founder of Fire & Flower, a coming-of-age rites of passage charity for girls. In all her endeavors, Elisa is actively addressing systemic racism and creating spaces for BIPOC folx to be seen and heard. Elisa is ever-grateful for all the teachings she has received from Animas Valley Institute, School of Lost Borders, The Haven, Nonviolent Communication, and her personal sacred experiences in the wild.

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.

Reciprocity

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:

Membership Details

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.

Integration Practices:
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.

Monthly Membership

$125 USD/month

You're not alone anymore.

Two partial scholarship spots available, priority will be given to single mamas, BIPOC, LGTBQ2S and other marginalized folks.

FAQ:

No, we only open registration 2-3 times per year. Doors will be open only until mid-January, and if you join before December 15th you will be able to join a very special Winter Solstice Elemental Releasing Ritual.

Although this is a monthly membership group, it is only open to new folks 2-3 times per year. 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 a link to our online community forum where you will be able to dive in immediately to a supportive group setting as well as access Module 1 material to practice before our first live zoom session.

All live Zoom sessions are on Monday evenings 5-7pm Vancouver time.

Winter/Spring 2023 Dates:
January 9th & 23rd
February 6th & 20th 
March 6th & 20th
April 3rd & 17th 
May 8th & 22nd 
June 5th & 19th 

Once you register, you will receive a link to the online members community forum where all the prerecorded and fully downloadable video/audio lessons & practices live.

This is an ongoing membership group that you subscribe to monthly, with a minimum of 3 months commitment. After 3 months you can cancel at any time. 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 if you come to one or two sessions and feel the group really isn’t for you, I am not going to force you to stay. If you decide it’s truly not a fit for you after giving it a try, you can cancel your subscription before paying for the second month. After 3 months you can cancel at any time, but most people decide to stay longer!

Questions? Email joseatamira@gmail.com

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.

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.

"Thanks Josea...

“I'm still using so many of the tools you taught me to help keep myself and others safe as we enter these dark woods of grief. Like the crumbs dropped in the fairy tale, these tools help pace us, moderate the journey, and find our way back. At this Autumn Equinox of balancing on the brink between the light and dark, what better time to embark on a journey in community to learn ways to grieve, to learn ways of working with all that is cast into the shadow. Josea Tamira Crossley 's Through the Dark Woods - Real Life Skills for Navigating Grief & Trauma is a beacon that we should all carry.”

~ Belinda White

...for your wisdom, curiosity, care and attention during the course. It was a privilege and a gift to be in circle with everyone. I cherished the time we spent in vulnerable presence with each other. I learned much about holding the space for grief and being held by community, ancestors and the earth.”

~ Ahava Shira

"The work I did with Josea Tamira Crossley in 2015 and 2016 literally changed my life and was part of what saved my life from the brink of serious breakdown. Josea is hands down my go expert on how grief and trauma are held in the body and how as a community we can come together for deep healing. I have never met someone so committed to living the truth of what they teach. Truly trauma informed in her approach, if grief is even remotely something you're dealing with (even collective grief) working with Josea is necessary work! Big claim i know. I stand by it."

~ Emma McCann