Grief & Gratitude
Feeding the Soul of the World
A day-long intensive on Salt Spring Island with Josea Tamira Crossley
Saturday, June 19th 2021
let me TELL you...
WHAT THIS EVENT IS
This is a day of guided process, in person and in circle, to tend to our personal and collective grief, held in confidence among participants.
We will use movement, writing practice, singing, breath, and group/partner work.
The coeur of the day 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).
There will be an opportunity to share and express your grief in all forms – fear, anger, hopelessness, sorrow. An invitation to express and release.
There is no requirement to, however, as there is healing and transformation – subtle or significant – available in all levels of participation, including holding witness; when one person moves energy, they move it for the whole group (not to mention the rest of the planet, future generations and ancestors!).
“Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons.”
This event is trauma-informed, consent-based, and intended as a safe space for all beings of all identities.
In an effort to honour economic diversity, registration is based on a sliding scale:
Space is limited - register in advance to ensure your spot!
“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.”
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 scary if not unbearable.
"Grief is like oxygen."
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.’ Avoiding our pain only makes us more afraid of it. And 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 COMMUNITY GRIEF RITUAL?
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.
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.
There is so much focus on self. Self-resourcing. Self-healing. Self-empowerment. But arguably what we need more is the courage to be seen in our fullest expression in our community. Through co-regulation we develop skills for interdependence and heal in ways that we can’t on our own.
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.
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.
The support and structure of a guided, facilitated container helps us to build resilience and increases our capacity to be with the harder emotions so we can hold what comes up in the world in all of our relationships.
This ritual is 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.
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.
This work is for you
if you are struggling with:
It takes tremendous psychic strength and courage to stand in the heat of the fire required to transmute deep grief.
We can get stuck in the cycle of approaching our grief and then feeling how painful it is and running in the opposite direction until circumstances bring us back to it over and over again.
So how do we gather the strength to stand in the fire?
This is the purpose of community grief ritual.
We need the strength of each other in order to be able to hold the power of our vital life force energy coming back to being fully alive, sometimes for the first time in many years.
It helps enormously to know that we are not alone, to know we won’t get lost in the pain, and that we have some guidance from one who has stood in this fire before.
What We're All About
That’s what this ritual is offering.
A community of like-minded people to stand with you in support. The strength of the collective. Someone to lead you into, and back out of the fire safely and in a way that builds your capacity rather than burning you down. A space to be held in your deepest grief so you know you are not alone.