Heart-Broken Open:
Grief as a Sacred Path to Renewal and Rebirth




Have you—or the clients you work with—ever

  • Suffered a loss so cataclysmic it divided your life into a “before” and “after?”
  • Spent entire days longing for what was?
  • Felt disoriented, disconnected, unable to fully articulate the ache inside?
  • Endured months of feeling empty, lost, alone, stuck, unable to “move on?”
  • Wondered if you’d ever feel joy again?
  • Received family or social pressure to “get over it?”

“Grief requires us to reorient ourselves to every part of our physical, emotional, and social worlds.”
Brene Brown

Loss and grief are universal, yet few of us today take the opportunity to fully grieve. Western culture tells us that grief is private, linear, and time-limited. After a major loss, we are expected to bounce back after a month or two, a year at most.

But the second year after a loss is often harder than the first… yet we’re pressured to present a happy face to the world.


“I highly recommend this upcoming Heart-Broken Open: Grief as a Sacred Path to Renewal and Rebirth Retreat. I went to last year’s retreat and it was a life-changing experience. I received so many a-ha moments and blessings during the retreat weekend. It was a great investment of my time and I walked away a different person with many additional tools in how to process grief for the rest of my life.”
Karen Louther

“It was excellent. My personal response to the retreat was that I made a major shift in my position toward my daughter–with whom I had been estranged. I reached out to her via text inviting her to meet with me.”

Sarah Martin

“My experience of the retreat with Joyce and Melody was heart-connecting and soothing for my soul. They co-created a sacred space which felt safe for participation, for sharing my loss and expressing personal experiences of sorrow. This sacred space is a very delicate place indeed. Joyce and Melody skillfully supported the group as a whole and honored each individual’s needs. No loss was too small or insignificant, no grieving process too long. In their wisdom we were guided towards a resolution of equilibrium and vitality. Towards feeling again that life has purpose.”

Gillian Bergamo
Athens, GA


Our ancestors accepted grief as a normal part of life. They knew that grief buried alive kills the mind, the body, the soul. When a loss happened to one member of the tribe, it was processed and grieved—by the entire tribe. They created a ritual that allowed the grief to be fully felt, with the support of the community.

When grief is processed and integrated, it transforms into life-force, a fuel that re-vitalizes and propels us forward as individuals, families, and communities.

But when grief is ignored, tamped down, buried alive, our vitality is buried with it.

We live in a time when we are experiencing devastating personal—and planetary—loss. It is no longer advisable to grieve privately, to force ourselves to “get over it.” Now is the time for conscious, courageous community grieving.

“Grief is a matter of the heart and soul. Grieve your loss, allow it in, and spend time with it.”
Louise Hay

Grief is feral; it does not come on demand. But grief can be evoked—through stories, writing, movement, and ritual. Grief can be welcomed, integrated, and transformed within the sacred space formed by an intentional community.

Who Can This Help?

  • CareGivers: therapists, coaches, health and wellness practitioners
  • Anyone experiencing any kind of loss: bereavement, divorce, financial/job/home loss
  • Those dealing with trauma, diagnosis, or illness
  • Survivors healing from old wounds
  • Anyone experiencing loss of a beloved animal
  • Sensitives who feel grief for the devastation of our precious planet and her people
  • Anyone feeling stuck, sad, or lonely

The gathering will include:

  • Writing practice to assist in opening our stories of loss
  • Deepening our trust in our emotional and body wisdom
  • Sharing our stories of loss
  • Avenue to express our grief over world events
  • Movement and breathwork to release emotions

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.”
Kahlil Gibran

Helena Lopes of Unsplash

How This Can Help:

  • You—and your grief—will be welcomed into our community
  • Your presence will be honored and your grief shared
  • We’ll co-create a safe, compassionate space for deep emotional release and healing
  • We’ll integrate and transform buried emotions like shame, anger, and rage (which often manifest as depression, and anxiety)
  • We’ll use music and movement to release stuck emotional issues
  • You’ll learn powerful tools of painting, and journaling that you can use to process grief for the rest of your life

“Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.”
Oscar Wilde

The retreat will include:

  • Understanding current cultural obstacles to effective grieving
  • Journaling, as a quick method to process our grief
  • Releasing stuck emotions through music and movement
  • Sharing in small groups, as well as our entire community
  • Learning to trust our individual and group wisdom

Grief Guides

Joyce Dillon, RN, MN, BCC

Joyce Dillon is a loss and grief specialist, health and wellness coach, life purpose facilitator, a pioneer in energy medicine, and a creativity teacher. Joyce has studied loss and grief with wise elder Dr, Malidoma Some have been mentored by renowned loss and grief author and teacher Francis Weller, and is trained in Rapid Resolution Therapy, Clearing Old Wounds, and Trauma Release. She is certified in mind/body medicine from Harvard and the Mind-Body Institute. She has apprenticed with master shaman Alberto Villoldo, The Four Winds, and Don Oscar-Miro Quesada, Heart of the Healer. Joyce teaches and studies intuitive painting and is the author of Create The Life You Love.

She has a private practice in Atlanta and teaches internationally. Her personal experience with loss and grief and her healing work with clients have deeply influenced her desire to co-partner in creating this transformational retreat.

Contact Joyce:
Email: JJDillon@Mindspring.com
Phone: 404-824-7332





Melody LeBaron Grief yoga teacher, International Feng Shui consultant, Shamanic teacher, and author of her upcoming book Creating Sacred Space for Death: How to Prepare Yourself and the Environment when a Loved One is Dying, based on her experience as a midwife for the deaths of 10 of her closest loved ones including her 17-year old son, mother, and sister.

Since her Space and Personal Clearing practitioner training with Australian author and teacher Eric Dowsett in 2000, Melody has worked with clients all over the world to up-level the flow of chi (life-force, opportunity) through the land they live on, the homes they live in, as well as their bodies, lives, and relationships.

Melody believes that loss puts us all on a sacred path, which gives us the opportunity to transform our grief into the sacred medicine we offer the world.

Contact Melody
Email: melody.lebaron@gmail.com
Phone: 770-518-8419

Recommend Book: The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals OF Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller


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