The Florida Grief and Loss Retreat is for people who are stuck in their lives and/or are caught up in painful and uncomfortable feelings. It is for those who are:
We create a safe, warm environment for deep emotional work. The power of the group supports each individual to delve deeply into where they are stuck.
Every participant has the opportunity to do one-on-one work with the facilitator as well as experience the full support of the group. The power of an intentionally loving community creates a strong, safe container for people to do their emotional healing.
The group begins to come together on the first night.
This phase of the Florida Grief and Loss Retreat is about settling in, into one's body and into a loving community. To work through grief and loss and other difficult feelings we need to feel safe, supported and welcomed.
All the activities of this phase are designed to facilitate this safety and support. We do activities that connect us: we eat together, move together, talk individually with each other as well as as a whole group.
People often comment with surprise how quickly they come to feel connected to the other group members.
In this first phase participants also learn the specific "Skills of Loving" that are the foundation of this work and that we will use throughout the event.
We have begun. Participants begin to experience the transformational power of a loving community. This is vital for the next part of the workshop.
The second phase of the Florida Grief and Loss Retreat is an opportunity for participants to go into and through their stuck feelings, in a way that is nearly impossible on one's own.
Using powerful “process” work and with the loving group support, each person, if they choose, is guided into the wisdom within their body.
It is here, in our bodies, that the "old story" lives on, and yet it is also where our deep wisdom resides.
This is often a journey into and through buried, stuck emotions. Grief “doesn't ride alone” and the grief cycle can include anger, rage, fear, anxiety and other emotions.
Suppressing or avoiding our feelings doesn't work, and just talking about feelings doesn’t really change them either.
The group is essential. If we could have done it on our own we would have done so already.
And deep healing is much quicker and less painful with group support.
This work goes well beyond thought processes and thinking. We are stuck at a layer of consciousness below our thinking, in our feelings. Although emotions can and do affect our thoughts about ourselves and others, no amount of thinking can transform these stuck feelings. It can be hard for our brain to accept this truth!
And our hearts may be longing for something the brain can't quite understand. The experience of the grief retreat often goes way beyond what the brain can categorize...and it is often only after the experience that our brains fully understand it.
Something extraordinary happens as people do their work. Each person is called back into the holiness and radiance of the present moment, and into the loving arms of the waiting community.
As this shift happens, a new aliveness emerges from the ashes of the past. Past grief transforms into joyful present moment connection that we can carry forward in our lives.
Participants experience healing, insights and a reawakening to life and love. This comes directly out of the pain. Our dark, stuck feelings come bearing gifts, treasures waiting to be discovered. And in this discovery is celebration!
Now is the time to begin to integrate this experience back into one's life. We need to carefully turn towards the future and make the transition homeward.
We do simple grounding activities, including packing and cleaning.We push a broom or vacuum or do another action to focus us back in the physical world.
We journal to ground our experience into practical actions that we can take during the week after the retreat.
With group and individual exercises we focus on the next steps in our lives.
The Florida Grief And Loss Retreat is limited to 11 participants. The cost is $865, and includes housing and meals.
A limited number of private rooms are available for an additional cost of $75/night ($225).
It is held in a beautiful home near Disney World and the other theme parks.
You are encouraged to register early to assure yourself of a space. A deposit of $400 reserves your space and it is the date we receive your deposit that determines your enrollment. The remainder is due 30 days before the retreat. We can send you a link to pay your deposit securely through PayPal or Venmo.
If this is your first retreat with us, a short phone interview (~20 minutes) is requested to help you and the facilitator decide if this retreat work is appropriate for you. You can reach us by sending a message (see bottom of page) with your phone number and the best times to call. We try to reply within 24 hours, except when leading retreats. You can also arrange for a 1 hour Skype counseling session with Jon ahead of the retreat. He charges $120 for the session.
Participants are asked to bring a potluck item for the first dinner unless they are flying or using public transportation.
Participants are also asked to sign a Liability Release Form at the retreat. A copy of that release is here.
Arrival time: Arrive on Thursday between 4:30-5:30 pm. We can't start until everyone is present so please be on time.
Departure time: We will finish by 10 am on Sunday.
All retreats are alcohol and drug free. We support folks who are involved in the recovery movement.
All retreats are GBLTQ friendly.
Refund policy for the retreat: your deposit will be refunded, minus a $150 administration fee, if it is at least 45 days before the retreat date. After that, the deposit and any other payments made will be forfeited. There are no refunds.
Similar retreats are available in Massachusetts year round...click here for that page.
To register for this Florida Grief and Loss Retreat or if you have questions, contact Jon using the contact form below.
"I came to the retreat to free myself from the demons of my past traumas and to rescue my inner child.
What I experienced was more amazing than anything I could have imagined. I have regained a sense of my true self and have begun the long journey to recovery.
Most importantly, I have learned to connect with others on a deep level that I would never have thought possible before.
I feel reborn."
Richard K., Georgia
"Raising 3 teenagers is hard enough but when our eldest developed mental health issues, our world turned upside down. The stress as a parent supporting my child’s recovery, while still trying to manage the rest of my life became exhausting! I went from being a happy giving person to having a quick temper and road rage.
After my retreat I felt peaceful, reconnected to myself and unbelievably Energized!! My Husband can’t believe the transformation in my face! He said I look 10 years younger.
I will recommend this workshop to friends & family!"
Star Sweetnam, Toronto, Canada
" had lost touch with myself most of all, buried by today's frenzied and superficial world with its pressures and demands and roles so easy for me to get lost in, as well as old hurts from my past that have somehow or another gotten in the way of my progress in getting the most out of my most important relationships and just generally feeling burnt out with my life and purpose.
This workshop had such an impact on me, transformational. It helped me to finally stop and look deeper inside of myself after all these years, and to not be afraid to connect with others and just try being myself in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. I felt like I found my tribe, in a sense. Even with so many different personality types and reasons for going there, we all were struggling with the same core feelings keeping us back from truly living our lives. Jon has truly been an amazing leader throughout that whole process, and I still hear his voice and see his face in my mind helping me stay on track. He and this whole experience ranks up with the top blessings of my life. It's like the welcomed birth of another child for me, only this time I'm the one who has been reborn with an outlook more true to my real self, more positive by far!
Thank you, Jon, from the deepest part of my soul. I remain forever grateful.
Erica Lopez, Texas, USA
"Thank you for this incredible experience. You opened up your home and heart to 11 “strangers” and gave us the best gifts anyone could ever receive- LOVE, validation, connection, acceptance, laughter,and a wonderful peace that I am feeling for the first time. Thank you for bringing me back to myself and helping me find and access the love inside. Thank you for the magic. Thank you for helping me take my life back. And thank you for the healing. It feels so good to be excited for the rest of my journey and I can’t wait to pay all the gifts forward to people I meet along the way."
Carrie D, Georgia