Brave and beautiful work together, and not without edges, fierce figures that guard thresholds to new worlds of understanding. Building space and holding space, inner and outer.
"your program at the Wangapeka was a timely salve to a sorrowful soul, it has given me strong impetus to make changes to my daily way of living and I found deep gratefulness to be returned to a path I had strayed from. I consider your techniques, tools, programming, professionalism and personal gifts, as well as the freedom to opt in and out for the duration was key to its success."
Tending means to care, to nourish and with this intention woven deep we entered into a ritual to explore the fear, anger, sorrow and emptiness of grief and sorrow.
"I was a little nervous turning up to Jaime Howell's retreat 'Tending the Wild Edge of Sorrow.' I had never done anything like this before. My wife had recently separated from me and I knew there were feelings bottling up inside me. This retreat offered me a safe, compassionate space to acknowledge and release these emotions. Often I would take advantage of the seclusion Wangapeka provided. Other times I felt held by Jaime and the group, knowing we each had our reason for being there. It was OK to delve into these feelings and go to places that I would normally try to avoid. I have never released as much emotion as I did at this retreat and I came away feeling lighter, more balanced and in control. Thank you for this gift in a difficult time of my life Jaime."
"It's so important to release any grief and sorrow from the confines of our being........For if we hold onto it then it only blocks the way for new experiences that life throws at us from being fully dealt with,whether happy or sad.......Jaime's retreat went deeply into these emotions that somehow become trapped or not fully expressed and through finding a release a sort of liberation is found.......It might not come all at once but a process is entered into which is made all the more acceptable when shared with a like minded group.......Its the groups involvement in this process which makes it OK to share whatever is the cause of this sorrow.......Jaime employs many skilful means to create group bonding through movement,mediation and dance........There is a small amount of physical contact like giving someone a head massage and creating a paper mache mask over someone's face which might be a little challenging for one or two but gives the reward of connecting simply on a physical level.......I would highly recommend anyone who was willing to go deeper into resolving grief/sorrow to attend such a retreat for the long term benefits can be life changing if your open to wanting to explore the darker side of human existence and move such feelings into the light"
At the end of the retreat there was a call for more of this kind of work. "Yes" I said, "I feel it too." Communities coming together to honour these seasons of living and dying. The old need this, the young need this, the forests, oceans and animals too. We need spaces to process sadness, anger and grief for the irreversible losses of separated families, communities, lovers, childhoods; loss of health, illness, accident and decline; loss of species, ice caps melting, parts of ourselves denied...
It is brave work, it is good work, the risk to show up and have the waves wash through us takes courage. It is not a numbers thing, yet somehow I hope this work grows, I am keen to offer more spaces for this kind of work with others.