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Five-Day Retreat Promises Guidance on Finding Peace with Grief

By Ri Anderson

When your heart is broken–and we say when, because everyone has had a broken heart at one time or another, whether due to death of a loved one, divorce or breakup, loss of a pet, moving, change in health, loss of identity, falling out with a friend or family member—you cannot imagine ever feeling joy again.

How to heal a broken heart is not often the topic of conversation at dinner parties. Grief makes people uncomfortable, and most people don’t like to get into it. How many times have you heard “Just get over it!,” “Be strong and move on!,” “Chin up! Time will heal!” or “You look like you are doing great now!”

These comments leave you feeling alone or defective for not feeling normal again already. Then there are the unexpected secondary losses that come with losing that person or part of your life. And sometimes those feelings are quite complicated. It’s difficult to navigate.

How do you move forward after loss? You may find yourself indulging in unhealthy habits to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Being in a state of discomfort is not somewhere we like to stay for very long. It’s much easier to find an escape hatch than it is to navigate feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, and regret that may be on the surface or sizzling below. Escaping, repressing, or avoiding eventually takes a toll on your physical and mental health. But these difficult situations can be ones of growth. In the words of Rumi, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

This isn’t easy and change is hard, especially when that change is due to the loss of something important. We often will ourselves to change without the tools to make a move forward. Sometimes it takes something unexpected or unconventional to make that move.

Yoga and art are two practices that enable us to gain serenity in the face of discomfort and difficulty. Yoga strengthens the mind and body, heightens awareness, and teaches us to understand and move through discomfort towards physical and mental freedom. Art creates new associations for us to ponder, unites seemingly contradictory emotions, and helps us recognize our most hidden truths.

Used together, art and yoga guide us toward our own intuitive understanding and deep intelligence. They give us tools to bravely venture towards self-awareness by accessing our bodies and minds from an intuitive place rather than from a place of logic and analysis. From this deep intelligence, we gain new confidence, see things from a different perspective, and uncover a new story that sets us free.

“Change is not something that we should fear,” says BKS Ivengar. “Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”

“Art is a way of recognizing oneself,” says Louise Bourgeois. Come experience these truths at this conference from July 2–7.



“Heartache to Joy –5 day Retreat”

July 2–7, 2019

Viñedos San Lucas

Jen Kagan and Ri Anderson


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