Why Our Emotional Healing Retreats Are Effective
By Jon Terrell, M.A.
People often contact me because they are stuck. Stuck in grief, unhappiness, depression, anger or other feelings. They need emotional healing.
Those that attend one of our retreats most often experience a huge release of stuckness, a sense of relief and freedom. It’s a life changing event.
We try to reduce barriers to attending by keeping the cost of these events affordable, offering weekend dates and different formats.
And yet many of those who learn about the retreats don’t attend. Some get help elsewhere. But many just remain stuck.
I want to do a more effective job of explaining why the retreats work to encourage people to go and get relief.
Here are two reasons our emotional healing retreats are effective:
I. The Power Of A Loving Community
Love is the most powerful force in the Universe. Love heals, it holds us close to each other.
Love dissolves stuck feelings--fear, grief, anger, hurt, pain. I've experienced this with hundreds of people at retreats and from my own personal work. Love is a universal solvent of pain.
Grief is the name of the feeling when we experience the loss of someone or something we love. It is an expression of that love, and is the way our body and minds respond to this loss. But when we get lost in grief, and thwart its natural process, we may need a loving community to help us journey back to love.
Our culture doesn't support working through big emotions. It supports suppression and denial. We're told to "put on a happy face", "keep a stiff upper lip" and countless other ways to block emotional expression.
And most of what people tell us when we are suffering is not helpful. (“Don’t cry” “Get on with your life” etc.) Our inner radar senses this, and it can be confusing.
We’ve been taught to sidestep, avoid or suppress grief, and anger, and fear. We can talk ourselves out of receiving it, especially if it’s from a family member or friend. The love may feel tainted or distorted; We can deny it and tell ourselves “they’re just saying it.” And they may be saying it just to make themselves feel better.
The retreats are designed to help us work through our stuck feelings through the power of a loving community. You are in the company of people you don’t know so it is a lot harder to deny the power and reality of the love. We take the time to build safety and support so that we can finally open to the healing power of love.
We learn and practice Skills of Loving. This love is clean, untarnished by past histories, direct and Big.
II. The Power Of Now
At the retreat each participant gets an opportunity to work surrounded by the loving community. The community holds us in its embrace. It serves as a larger Self, a sacred, supporting container, for us to do what we came to do.
Your time comes. It’s a time to receive, not take care of others. A time to attend to what emerging into the present moment from the past, to hear it fully and work it through.
You enter your body deeply, and discover where the tight places are that have been calling you. You feel held in the group’s embrace, supported by love and loved ones beyond time and space.
You do your work.
You bring light to what has been held in the shadows, and love transforms, heals and awakens.
You are present to yourself and others. You are ready to re-enter the world, see and be seen, and do what needs to be done, with love and gratitude.
My very best wishes to you.