One of the things I learned this past October from all my dives into grief with my mentors, Alan Wolfelt, Francis Weller and Malidoma Somé, is that grief work is soul work and soul work is slow work.
And unfortunately many of us are not lucky enough to take time to slow down and just be with our grief. And perhaps many of us are afraid to. I mean, who likes to just be with the pain of grief? I don’t at times, and I’m the Grief Freak!
In my early days, I distinctly remember feeling like my world had come crashing to some bizarre halt, yet the world carried on as usual-the sun came up, the crickets kept chirping, the birds continued to sing, and people went about their busy-ness as usual. It was such a strange time.
Many times in my early grief I wanted to press the pause button so that I could attend to my inner process. I simply wanted the world to stop so I could catch up.
Realistically though, I couldn’t do that. I had to be intentional about it. And that is where a grief retreat is needed.
Six months into my life post accident, I did take time away to just be with my grief; I was gifted a trip to Mexico. I had grief brain at the time so I didn’t think about the timing at all. It was Valentines’ day and I was sent to a Mexican posh resort.
I was the odd strange woman crying alone on the beach, while everyone else appeared happily in their duos and family groupings.
It was a trip that was both blissful and downright awful. It was entertaining for sure…I wrote a blog about it, if you’d like to read it, click here.
So, traveling by myself for the first time without my partner at Valentine’s day was not the best idea. We were both still adjusting to living with quadriplegia as a result of his mountain biking accident.
But I was grateful for the opportunity to get away and rest. I took it all in and surrendered to being in a beautiful setting and I did the best I could.
I basically took time to slow down. I wrote, I cried, I got a cold, I rested, I slept, I sat in the sun, I watched a movie, I walked. And I listened to my inner voice that called me to make art and create a ritual on the beach on the next to last day of my trip. It was then that I planted the seed for you.
You see, I kept asking myself and thinking about how what I truly needed was a grief retreat. I desperately needed this and I created it for myself.
My soul needed to create a container to process what had happened to me. So I made art in nature – I created a huge labyrinth on the beach and walked it with patience, and walked it to let go and process what I’d lost.
It was then that I birthed this dream of leading grief rituals for you and that day is here. It feels significant that it began with a labyrinth and it comes back to the labyrinth at La Senda Wellness Center near Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Supposedly this labyrinth is the largest in the world. What a better way to process big grief by walking the longest labyrinth ever. I am very excited for you.
I am co-leading this retreat with my dear friend and colleague Merryl Rothaus, She calls herself a “grief warrior” (aka grief freak). She has been through her own deep dive with grief and used art, nature and grief ritual to move with it. We were blessed to take Sobonfu Somé’s grief ritual together, an experience I will treasure for as long as I can remember.
I am thrilled to bring our personally imbued grief practices to you in the beautiful jungle of Costa Rica.
So I personally invite you to join us and to take some time away from your regular time so that you can slow down and tune into your soul. Is it calling to you now as you read these words?
The first few times I went away for myself, I asked for help financially. So if you feel called but don’t have the means, let me know and I can help you set up a donation fund to support your wellbeing. This isn’t just a vacation, it’s a soul investment.
Why do a dive into grief? As our mentor Sobonfu used to say-you need to clean out the pipes of grief so that you can allow more joy into your life.
This soul investment grief retreat will help you come back to your soul and tune in to what it needs. So, here’s what we’ll do:
We will press that pause button.
We’ll slow down.
We’ll listen to our bodies.
We’ll walk the labyrinth.
Listen to your heart and the jungle sounds.
We will make art.
We will dance.
Be in nature.
Do grief ritual at the sea.
We’ll tell our stories and have them be heard and witnessed.
We’ll create an intentional village and grieve together.
And we’ll play.
Play on a grief retreat? Absolutely! We’ll show you how you can do both – feel your grief AND feel the delight of play in order to feel joy again.
So please check out this link and spread the word if you know someone who could use this magical healing time with me, Merryl, the beauty of the labyrinth and the jungle of Costa Rica.
You will not be disappointed, I promise.
I will tend to you in the ways I needed long ago back in Mexico where this seed was first sprouted.
Many blessings to you wherever you are in your grief journey.
And remember: grieve well, be well.