This online programme is about consciously restoring some things we have lost – the sacred art of grieving, and the ability to open our hearts to the world. Francis Weller calls it an apprenticeship with sorrow and I really like that.
We’re re-learning how to be fully human, and our grief is the teacher
For too long we’ve denied our pain and the suffering all around us, and we can see the devastating effects of that in the world today. Systems are collapsing, inequality is rife, hundreds of species go extinct daily, on and on the list goes. We are on the brink of devastation and all at the hands of the human race.
But it doesn’t have to be that way
There’s still time for us to reconnect with what is meaningful in the world, to plant our feet in the earth and put down roots, to open our arms in compassion and love, to lean back into the wisdom and woes of our ancestors, and project ourselves forward into a future not yet known, with protective intent. We stand on a precipice and what we do now matters.
I’m asking you to listen to that wise and gentle voice within and take a leap of faith with me
I prise open the gates of grief, letting the pain and sorrow flow through me and out of me – stripping, cleansing, reinvigorating, transforming and breaking open my heart as it goes. When I open my eyes again, they perceive the world with a new and ancient wisdom. I feel my feet rooted in the earth and know I will never be lacking in nourishment as long as I remain connected to her. My heart, now wide open, is full of the riches of the world – joy, love, beauty, laughter, in an alchemical dance with the pain of living. I feel myself stretching back in time, into the future, deep into the earth, and soaring above, yet I have never felt so present, more focussed on this very moment, on the pure act of being right here, right now.
Come & join with women like you who feel enough is enough
You are invited on this lovingly crafted journey of remembrance, shaped by my personal and professional relationship with grief, drawing inspiration from The Work That Reconnects, and using Francis Weller’s Five Gates of Grief as a grounding in grief work.
The origins of Revive
I’ve developed a fond relationship with grief. That may sound strange and maybe a little dark but I now see how incredibly healthy it is, and indeed, vital for our survival.
Ten years ago I turned up to my first day of therapy training with a dark shadow nipping at my heels
I knew I needed to face it and I was filled with a deep fear of being overwhelmed by it, which came out through images I drew of dams bursting and lava bubbling up through bars that couldn’t contain it. I was bursting with unfelt pain and sorrow and when I finally began to let it flow through me, the relief was delicious. It hurt, of course it hurt. AND it transformed me.
Becoming a mother broke me open again in a whole other way and more grief flowed and continues to flow as I gently unravel. Awakening to the crises of the world – the climate, biodiversity loss and racism, among others – took sorrow to a whole new level for me because suddenly I held in my heart the whole world.
And again I was transformed because the whole world also held me, it’s lost daughter
I came home to a sense of belonging I’d never known before. It’s been an incredible journey and one that will never end.
This is what I know helps me;
Being around people who understand the severity of the crises we face, who see collapse on the horizon, and who want to raise a better world.
Safe, contained ritual spaces where I feel I can share my deepest fears, cry my tears, and feel held and supported whatever I bring.
The nourishment of being in a circle of women (trans, cis or other).
A nurturing relationship with the rest of nature.
Working with my most difficult and painful emotions at a distance through creative expression and metaphor.
Reclaiming a cyclical way of living that offers a deep sense of holding and allows me to trust where I am and where I’m going, in part inspired by The Work That Reconnects.
An understanding of the nature of grief, including the beautiful work of Francis Weller and the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence.
Here’s what’s included;
10 Weekly Online Circles
The programme is carefully crafted to take you on a journey of naming, feeling, and coming into relationship with your grief (with plenty of joy, laughter and celebration along the way).
The 1hr 45mins sessions are shaped and held by ritual, and include creative invitations specifically chosen to deepen the exploration of each weekly theme. I’ve purposefully chosen weekly circles to maintain connection and momentum, plus the maximum size of the group will be six to keep it intimate and allow space for everyone to share and be witnessed.
The programme in its entirety, as well as each individual circle, will be held with ritual, offering the two things required to relate to grief – containment and release. Not to be confused with routine, ritual is meaningful and mindful – a conscious choice that we bring our emotions and full attention to. It creates a sacred and secure holding space for our vulnerability as we unravel, heal, transform and restore emotional equilibrium. Rituals contain three parts – separation, liminality (or transition), and reintegration.
Each of our circles will begin with a ceremonial candle lighting and visualisation to mark the crossing of the threshold, before easing deeper with exercises specially selected to enrich the work. This is very much the realm of the unknown, the place betwixt. There is a freedom of possibility here that you are invited to surrender to. From here we begin to weave the threads of self back together, ready to return to everyday life, renewed.
Women have been coming into sacred circle together for millennia, but it is something we have lost. Together we will co-create an inviting, nurturing space where everyone can feel seen, heard, supported and accepted. The power of this is immeasurable and I envisage connections woven here will outlast the group.
When It comes to feeling your pain, there are going to be times when you want to look away, run even. The group is there to hold you in your darkest moments, to help you stay with your emotions, and witness those powerful moments of clarity and release.
A breakdown of each week;
Week 1 – Opening ceremony
In the first week we come together in ceremony, putting down roots in our circle and inviting our hearts to open. We begin to know one another and ourselves in this sacred space, becoming familiar with the ritual rhythm that the circles thrum to. You will be given more information on what to expect and how to prepare when you sign up for Revive.
Week 2 – Cloaking ourselves in myth
As our group continues to form, we use the myth of Persephone in the Underworld to initiate us into the realms of sorrow, spending time at each of Francis Weller’s Five Gates of Grief as we go.
Week 3 – Preparing for descent: letting go and stocking up
The journey within requires that we travel light so during this circle we make space for you to sift your soul for anything that can be released right now. You will also replenish your inner stores of soul-sustenance and resilience, and explore how to keep them topped up as we wind down to the Winter Solstice with three weeks of experiential grief circles.
Week 4 – The first descent: honouring our pain for the world
In this ritual grief circle we spiral down into our communal sorrow, bringing us home to the earth and our interconnection with all things. The focus of our expression in this space is artwork as we create a gallery of grief together. No experience is necessary, you are equipped with everything you need to express yourself in this way.
Week 5 – The second descent: what we expected & didn’t receive
Through visualisation and creative writing, we call forth the things we may not even realise we have lost, that which our deep-time ancestors experienced as their birthright. This circle hold at its core our longing to belong and feel worthy.
Week 6 – The third descent: dancing our grief
So much of our sorrow is held in the body. In this Winter Solstice circle, we gently stir the embers of our grief before moving into the body to feel and release. Again, no experience is necessary to express yourself in this way and I guide with experience and compassion.
Week 7 – What is the vow your soul is longing for you to make?
With the shortest day of the year behind us we slowly unfurl towards the growing light. Reflecting on the grief journey, I invite you to ask, for what would my soul like to be remembered, exploring what needs to be reclaimed and released to bring this into being.
Week 8 – What are the gifts you carry in your soul?
With hearts wide open to the world we can more clearly see the women we were born to be. In this circle I invite you to explore your inner depths for the threads of you, weaving them into an offering to the world.
Week 9 – Rooting into your calling
Through a creative group exercise you are encouraged to deepen your understanding of the part you play in the healing of the world, before exploring the resources and next steps required to get you there.
Week 10 – Closing ceremony and going forth
As we further emerge into January, growing ever closer to the celebration of Imbolc and the arrival of the first spring flowers, we too turn our attention to the future and ask “what now?” As the circle closes in this final ritual, we mark that an apprenticeship with sorrow is never completed. We explore your sources of nourishment and support (both new and old) and ways of staying grounded with your heart open. And you state aloud what you feel you are being called to contribute to the world at this time and your intentions for making it happen.
This programme is for you if;
You are struggling to cope in these devastating times, feeling overwhelmed by emotion or paralysed and numb. Or both.
You see the world collapsing around you and feel hopeless and helpless to stop it.
You are feeling isolated and in need of a nurturing community of like-minded women.
You want to feel a sense of release, to let go of the pain you’ve been holding.
You want to feel able to name, understand, and cope with your grief without worrying you’ll be swallowed whole by it.
You want to feel stronger and more emotionally prepared for what’s to come.
You want to live in a more compassionate, cooperative and just world.
You want to feel like you’re making a meaningful contribution to bringing this world into being, but are finding it hard to see a way forward or understand your role in it.
You want to untangle from our current cultural paradigm, ask the big questions about what it truly means to be human, and weave threads for future generations.
You want to feel more alive, vital and empowered.
You want to be witnessed and witness others on your sacred healing journeys.
You want to reclaim the mutual support and empowerment of sacred sisterhood.
You want to be a passionate, powerful member of the whole earth community, and a good ancestor for future generations.
You feel in your bones that this is your time to begin your apprenticeship with grief.
This programme is not for you if;
Your needs are more suited to therapy. I am a therapist and I will be holding the space but, although the nature of this work will be therapeutic, it is not therapy. If you’re not sure, please get in touch to discuss this.
You’re looking for a magic wand to instantly free you from your fear and pain. I’m sorry to say it doesn’t exist. This programme is about giving you a deep grounding to begin a life-long apprenticeship with sorrow.
You’re not committed to showing up. Check in with yourself – is this your time? Will you make the space you need? Are you ready to prioritise yourself and make this work in your life?
You’re not prepared to open up and be vulnerable. You will get so much more from this if you can be honest with yourself and the group. And your openness will be a gift to other group members.
Dates and times
The 2021/22 round of Revive runs on Tuesday evenings from November 15th until January 24th (with a break w/c 27th December) 8-9.45pm.
Please get in touch if the time doesn’t work for you. As the group forms we may be able to tweak it.
Payment in full is £397.
You can also pay in three monthly instalments of £133.
There are very limited spots available. I’m keeping the group intimate with a maximum of six women.
If you’re ready to join please use the form below to contact me for a link to payment before 6pm BST on Friday 5th November. If you would like to have a chat first, contact me and we’ll set something up.