What I Learned From Our First Grief Healing Retreat
I just returned after facilitating a Grief Healing Retreat “Finding Hope After Loss” in Oxfordshire, U.K., with Daniela Norris and Lo Anne Mayer. The three of us co-founded the International Grief Council in 2015, and this was our first-ever retreat.
For three gorgeous sunshine-filled days (which is something of a miracle in the U.K.) we shared our hearts and our wisdom with a group of soul sisters in the charming setting of a 13th century manor house named Charney Manor.
When a group of grieving women get together for the purpose of opening their hearts in a safe space, magic happens.
Walls crumble. Fears dissolve. Tears flow more freely, without judgment. Laughter is more spontaneous and carefree.
Facilitating such a retreat has been one of my big dreams. I have, for the longest time, imagined an intimate circle of soul sisters who would come together to speak about the pain of being human and the challenges of straddling this human-divine existence.
I got my dream in this retreat.
It took a lot of work and a lot of courage to put it together. It took baby steps. It took mega doses of faith in the Divine when our human abilities didn’t seem enough.
This is the nature of dreams. Big or small. Ordinary or ambitious.
The gifts of this retreat were many. But the most precious for me was Wisdom and Witnessing.
I was once again humbled to see how the deepest connections happen when we’re willing to be fully human: messy, less-than-perfect, beaten-down by life, and not-enough. We’re all some version of this not-enough self. We all buy into that lie when the chips are down.
As singer Leonard Cohen reminds us, the cracks are necessary. It is only when we crack that the light can shine through.
I’m pretty sure I was put on this planet to love the cracks in people. Because I always find myself loving more deeply and fully when another’s mistakes and failures and insecurities, and aching heart is visible.
It’s what I recognize as shared humanity.
If you’re going through a life experience that’s causing you to feel bad about you, you’re not alone.
I see you.
I love you.
I’m here to help you.
Reach out to me. Drop me a line (email@example.com). Let’s connect. And talk, as one human to another.
Always remember that you have help. But you have to choose it. I hope you will.
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