Massachusetts Grief and Difficult Emotions Retreat

Led By Jon Terrell, M.A.

Go Here For Upcoming Dates

For the last twenty-five years, I have been leading retreats that help people transform uncomfortable, stuck emotions. Our Massachusetts Grief and Difficult Emotions Retreat is our signature event, held several times yearly in western Massachusetts. People attend from all over the world.

These intensive, small-group experiences require a phone interview to ensure they are appropriate for you. At the call, you can ask questions, learn about the day-to-day activities of the retreat, and find out if it is what you are looking for.

Why Attend Our Massachusetts Grief and Difficult Emotions Retreat?

Futon Couch

People attend our retreats for various reasons, although the primary reason for many participants is grief and loss.

Other feelings intertwine with our grief which helps hold our suffering in place. With all emotions, one is generally on top, in our conscious awareness, while the others are just below the surface of our mind's awareness.

People attend a Massachusetts Grief and Difficult Emotions Retreat to help them heal grief, and yet anger, fear, disappointment, resentment, and many other feelings may show up. As these feelings rise up into awareness, we work them through.

Let's take a look at what often shows up.

Working With Grief and Loss

We grieve when we have lost someone or something that we cherish and love.

Of all the feelings, grief is the slowest to heal. We grieve because we have loved. We don't get over a loss so much as we change through loss.

Grief softens us, opens our hearts, and grounds us.

Working through our grief involves allowing ourselves to enter our grief, feel it, and slowly come to terms with it.

We Grieve Because We Loved

Sometimes We Close Our Hearts Because We Were Hurt

Some people cope by not opening to love, which is sad and tragic, as it leaves so much of life unlived.

People who have been hurt early in life can close off to love as a way to protect themselves from emotional pain. They can end up avoiding close relationships and, therefore, miss the joy and pleasure that relationships can bring.

Or they are half there in their relationships, never really being present to loving and being loved.

Those who are closed off to love, single and have dropped out of the search for a loving partner, or who feel they don't know how to love at all can change.

It is never too late to attend one of our events and open your heart again.

Grief Can Overwhelm And Disorient Us

When people attend because of a major loss, they may be flooded with feelings and feel ungrounded and disoriented.

Their whole life has been turned around, they are in deep emotional pain because of:

  • Loss of a husband or wife
  • Son or daughter
  • Mother or father
  • Other losses...a pet, a close friend, etc.

Grieving people need to be heard and supported in their pain. They need our caring and loving attention.

They do not need our advice or to be distracted.

Our retreats provide the environment for helping people with grief and the other feelings that accompany grief. As soon as we love, we begin a journey that may lead to loss.

When people attend because of a major loss, they may be overwhelmed and even disoriented. Their whole life has been turned around, they are in deep emotional pain.

Grieving people need to be heard and supported in their pain. They need our caring and loving attention. They do not need our advice or to be distracted. Our retreats provide the environment for helping people with grief and the other feelings that accompany grief.

Working With Anger

Anger is the biggest feeling and contains a lot of energy.  The violence we see in the world is a form of anger, people killing people.  It's the extrovert of all the feelings, pointing a finger at the perceived problem.

Because it is so big, we want to suppress it. However, that leads to other problems--exhaustion, confusion, powerlessness, physical tension, and dysfunction.

Anger will usually find a way out of suppression, and then we have trouble...anger can blow up, erupting like a volcano!

There is a better way: At our Massachusetts Grief and Difficult Emotions Retreats, participants discover relief, ease, and joy as they transform their anger at our retreats.

We don't just get it "off our chest" (and spewing out at another) we free ourselves to make more constructive choices.

Working With Anxiety, Worry and Fear

These feelings take us away from our lives and resources into the future.

Anxiety is about the near future, often the next moment. Something bad will happen and we may be overcome, hurt or exposed.

Anxiety, worry, and fear shrink us and cause us to avoid, run away, or freeze.

At our retreats, the support of the whole group can help us lean into these feelings and help our nervous system and brain unload years of tension and contraction. Anxiety, worry, and fear transform into openness, aliveness, insight, and excitement.

Working With Feeling Stuck


Sometimes we don't know where we should go or what we should do. We may feel depressed, confused, and uncertain. Should we quit our job or end our relationship? Should we move? Which way should we turn?

When we feel stuck, it is because we are holding on to feelings that we need to recognize, express, and free up.

People attend our Massachusetts Grief and Difficult Emotions Retreat who are stuck in their lives and don't know what to do. 

We've Helped Hundreds Of People

Our retreats help people work through the emotions that keep them stuck.

We do this by creating a loving environment to hold what may initially feel impossible to contain. As the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child" so it takes a community of like-minded participants to create a temporary family to transform the emotional pain of each person.

Early on in the retreat, a group of strangers bond, becoming a strong family for the purpose of helping each other.

We do this each retreat through a series of steps, designed to create more safety, support and connection.

On the first night of each retreat, we set the stage for the work to come by creating, in a step-by-step manner, strong connections among everyone present.

Stuck In Your Head?

People sometimes attend because they have been stuck in their heads, maybe their whole life.

They may find themselves feeling they are not really living, not really connecting with others, not really happy and fulfilled. 

They may feel like they go through the motions, but are missing out, missing a crucial piece of living. 

These feelings or lack of feeling can go all the way back to their childhood experiences. Unfulfilled and even bored, they wonder if there is more to life.

Some people attend because they feel they have never fully lived and are filled with regret. They feel they have missed opportunities or taken the wrong road, or just never have stepped into their own power and life.

At the retreats they first have to deal with their regret, self anger, projection on others, etc. so they can step back into their bodies and life. They can move from being one of the walking wounded to come more fully alive again.

Learning More

If you are interested in finding out more about our Massachusetts Grief and Difficult Emotions Retreats, and the upcoming dates go here.

To set up a phone call, use the form below.

To learn more about Jon Terrell, M.A. click here.

Go To Ten Things I Have Learned About Grief

Go To Home Page

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Comments From Past Participants

"I entered the retreat carrying unbearable grief. The weight of my pain was too much to bear. I longed for my deceased loved one. I exited the retreat free, light, and felt connected with them. Star Dance is magical. Jon Terrell is a guru in the skills of love, compassion, grief, empathy, and spiritual freedom. His leadership of the retreat is one of a kind. I traveled across the country to attend. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I’m so grateful I found this miracle of a retreat and that I had the privilege of participating in it."

Leticia Araujo-Perez, San Francisco, CA

"Thank you for an unbelievably powerful weekend! I am feel so truly blessed to have been in such a loving and accepting environment at your retreat. I also want to thank you for the continued support through email. Who would of thought being away for 2 days would be such an extreme adjustment.

I guess to sum up my experience to other people interested in the retreat or looking through the website would be that it was unexpectedly and extremely powerful.

It is as if the feelings I have been unconsciously carrying have left my body an thus have made room for me to feel my light within and see my world from more loving eyes without doing any intellectual or mental work.

I thank you Jon from the bottom of my heart. Your work is a gift. You are a gift

Love always,"

Courtney Sullivan, Woburn, MA

"Jon created the most safe, sacred and powerful container which certainly enriched the weekend for me, along with the incredible encouragement from Jon and everyone. It made for a mind-altering and energy-moving experience, far exceeding my expectations! Under the grass there is GROUND and I will hold onto this how ever fast the earth spins! I am so grateful."

Scott Barber, VT

"Having tried individual and group therapy for the recent loss of my family members, it became clear to me that I was stuck. I didn't realize how my grief had transferred into depression until I participated in the grief retreat at Star Dance. I'm finally moving forward after months of paralysis. I feel lighter and happier than I have in months."

Joy Benson, Dallas, TX

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