JOIN US IN ORDER TO GIVE YOUR GRIEF EXPRESSION AND TO GIVE YOUR GRIEF A COMMUNITY OF WITNESSES
SELF-EXPRESSION FOR GRIEVING PEOPLE...
an ONLINE COURSE
Our course is based in the celebration of healthy attachment between people and the belief in self-expression as a cornerstone of resilience.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE
You will receive 5 days of prompts per week. This is intentional, as it gives you 2 days to take off, get caught up, and come back to the Facebook group and write about the work, comment on your images and comment on other people's work!
On Sunday you will receive 2 emails.
One will be the DAY ONE prompt for the week.
The other email - the second one - you may or may not want to open. The second email includes all 5 email prompts for the week. ONLY OPEN AND READ IF YOU WANT ALL OF THE WEEK'S WORK ALL AT ONCE. The reason I make this available is I have learned that some people's styles are more suited for viewing the week all at once, or occasionally your week will be complicated and you will want to sort through how you will do things. Many appreciate the daily prompts coming in the morning as a reminder to take time for self every day! Others need the whole week to forecast and plan. Make the best decision for you.
SUNDAY - 2 emails, 1 is the daily prompt, the other is all the prompts (open if you want to see the entire week's work for some reason)
MONDAY - 1 daily prompt
TUESDAY - 1 daily prompt
WEDNESDAY - 1 daily prompt
THURSDAY - 1 daily prompt
FRIDAY - No daily prompt, catch up on exercises or catch up on Facebook page with writing and comments
SATURDAY - No daily prompt, catch up on exercises or catch up on Facebook page with writing and comments
You will also receive bonus Facebook live telecasts in the secret Facebook group. During those sessions we will practice bonus prompts together. These telecasts will also be posted if your schedule precludes you from attending.
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS DURING THE MONTH
- A Facebook account (if you want an alias one, that is fine, just let me know what it is)
- An email account (required, or borrow a friendly person's account if they will help you get the prompts every day)
- Access daily (ideally) to a computer and/or smartphone with internet access
- A way to take photos and share them online- cell phone cameras are great!
- A way to play music and videos online and listen and watch a Facebook Live streaming telecast
THINGS TO HAVE ABOUT DURING THE MONTH:
- Glue stick, Scissors, Tape
- Magazines with LOTS of photos
- Large sheets of paper
- Black “Flair” style pen(s)
- Several small paper bags and small plain cardboard boxes
- Colored crayons or pencils or markers... or, better yet, all three!
- Paper - a notebook is terrific, loose paper is fine
- A timer (the one on your cell phone is fine)
- A minimum of 10 minutes - more if you want
- Blankets and a sturdy chair
"I would say that this course is great for those ready to share their expressions of grief with others. Time commitment was my biggest concern. I found that the pace and structure were do-able. The group has provided structure and yet space - encouraging me to reflect, process and express. I would recommend this course for anyone who is grieving." -Sam S.
It is amazing to consider… crying and laughing come from the same muscles in our belly. Both are non-verbal expressions that are more like utterances. They come from the non-verbal part of our brain.
No amount of talking or writing or time can fully touch this non-verbal part of or self or begin to fully address the enormity of grief. Such a formidable opponent it is.
I have had the honor of living a life that included, from a very young age, experiencing and observing grief and healing. I have come to some solid conclusions. It is why I am providing this course.
If you make a conscious commitment to work with grief to find wholeness and strength, I have observed that most people need to:
1. have sacred and reliable space to express grief transparently, without reservation
2. be embraced by an intentional community that addresses grief and celebrates life in it’s atmosphere, activities and rituals
3. set aside a certain amount of intentional time to come to grips with their loss and begin to craft a cohesive narrative to carry them.
With these three building blocks you may, over time, experience the sensation that you are taking hold of life after loss and will feel truly alive. You may find restored to you your spirit, your power and your vigor.
GRIEF IN ISOLATION STEALS THE ENERGY OF LIFE
The inverse - I observe that those that deal with grief in isolation risk becoming infested with grief. Depression is apt to accept the invitation to move in and reside in your heart.
If you find a tribe - it offers the opposite of isolation. It has the capacity to induce power, insight, spirit and hope. We need community with every kind to restore and invigorate the heart. In Mayan law, if someone comes to the shaman and weeps on their shoes, the shaman is required to listen. There is nothing to solve, there is only the sacred witness. To grieve large losses with efficacy, it takes a witness, often more than one witness though, it often takes a tribe. The puzzling thing is - this witnessing does not “fix” anything. It does not “solve” any crisis of grief. Nothing is tamed, wiped away or restored. There is a wildness that remains. So why bother?
I have witnessed a deep vitality and integration that can occur when engaged with open grief in the safety of a good tribe. The narrative of one’s life starts to unfurl in the strong storm like a banner of identity. All flags need strong winds to be what they really are intended to be and do: to show their beauty, claim their space and declare their identity.
The tribe is strengthened as you unfurl with your raw honestly and pain. You are held by the strength of the tribe. You hold the tribe. The fierce tribe that collects when made of people willing to go deep with courage is a tribe you can count on. And where others can count on you.
“Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others.”
- William Arthur Ward
But these are, truth be told, mysteries that will be born out as we join each other. Each group will have a personality, a set of conditions and challenges kinds of wisdom and weaknesses Some individuals will get on one another’s nerves. Not unusual, it means there is engagement.
Please note: each TRIBE session is a closed session with confidentiality and privacy requirements. This creates a circle of trust.
It also means, once we start, no new members will be added. For an entire month, we are a unique TRIBE.
This allows you all to get to know each other and to begin to build trust and connection. If you know someone who would like to be part of this group, please direct them to the website before the start date to sign up. If they miss this deadline, there will be another group to joining soon. Dates will be announced soon.
Every Sunday, TRIBE members will receive the week's prompts in 5 discrete emails. You choose the days/times/structures for doing the work. If you only have 10 minutes a day, you can still achieve something of value with these exercises, and more time will yield more. If you need to skip a day or days, no worries! You may always complete exercises whenever you have the ability to. The real value is in your doing the exercise, the secondary value is sharing the work you are doing which may happen in many different contexts and the third benefit is contemplating and engaging with the other members of the TRIBE. You can keep whatever you do or create in total privacy or you can share it with the tribe. Our private Facebook group is a great resource but it is certainly not the only place for you to share what you are doing.
While our losses are different, what we have in common is an interest in moving with intention to encounter the loss. I encourage you to share and offer witness. Lean on each other and learn from each other. The more you share and the more you attend to others, the more powerful that group will be for you. Our aim here is to create a community of support as we all dive deep into pain, love, death and authentic living.
Won't you join us?
When Someone Deeply Listens To You
When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.
When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!
When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.
- John Fox