Thursday October 27th 7pm-8:30pm ET| Breathwork for Grief with Jennifer Patterson of Corpus Ritual
“Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.” — Oscar Wilde
We are deep in a time of collective trauma and also collective grief. While experiencing grief is a human experience, this time is feeling overwhelming for many. Perhaps this new grief is awakening older, unprocessed grief: from this lifetime, from when we were young or maybe it’s as recent as last week. Or perhaps the grief is ancestral, ancient, connecting us to the pain of generations before us. Perhaps every new loss unearths the old; the tender places of sorrow living all throughout our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies.
To tend to our grief is sacred work. It’s a descent into dark waters of bottomless depth. The work is to figure out how to touch down into it, learn from it, and swim back up to the surface, changed. Grief worker and writer Francis Weller speaks of the power of creating spaces for this: “It grants a profound permission to enter a place of sorrow, to work with it, to explore it’s contours and textures, to become familiar with the landscape of loss. “ To be diligent in the work, we need a space to do so in, a practice. We don’t have to do this work alone. Like Hecate, the goddess of thresholds, the underworld, and poison medicine, we can harness the wisdom and gifts in grief. We can hold torches in the dark for the parts of ourselves still reeling from loss. We are not lost.
Breathwork is an active meditation that helps bring attention to the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences living in our bodies. The elivening breath brings attention and witness to the experiences living in our bodies and help us sift through and move out some stuck energy. It’s a chance for us to turn towards the sorrow. It also connects us to the outdated stories we carry while reconnecting us to joy, clarity, creativity and aliveness. It’s deeply personal but in a group, there’s a strong container.
Breathwork reminds us we all, each of us, hold the power within ourselves to shift and heal parts of ourselves, to witness the deeply grieving parts. It’s you and your breath; the breath is the medicine and our bodies are wise. It’s a psychedelic and transcendent experience.
This workshop is lovingly open to all. You’ll need a steady internet connection and computer or phone video capabilities. On your end, you’ll want to set up a sweet and comfortable space–perhaps a yoga mat or blanket somewhere private and quiet. We will start seated and I’ll be talking a bit and then you will be invited to lay down. At that point, if you choose to leave your video on (which you are really invited to do!), it’s best to have the computer set up so that I can see your torso as you’re breathing. As you arrive to Zoom, videos will be on. I think it will be nice to see each other, especially in this moment, but if you’d rather turn it off, that’s ok too. To cut down on background noise, everyone (besides me) will be muted and we will use the chat box for any sharing with each other in the beginning and end.
Feel free to make an altar with meaningful objects, light a candle or some incense and have a glass of water nearby. You might also want to have a blanket and eye cover close. Having a little food in your stomach is good but not too big of a meal. Oh and a notebook and pen for any quick notes you want to take after.
Other than that, your curiosity and openness is welcome!
Please note: Breathwork stirs up deep, emotional experiences with the intention of easing your load. It is my deep desire to create a space that feels nurturing and supportive while you do this profound work.
Jennifer Patterson is a grief worker who uses plants, breath, and words to explore survivorhood, body(ies) and healing. A queer and trans affirming and centering, trauma-experienced herbalist and breathwork facilitator, Jennifer offers sliding scale care as a practitioner through her private practice Corpus Ritual and is a member of The Breathe Network. She has facilitated workshops at healing centers, LGBTQ centers, a needle exchange and harm reduction clinic, online with the Transformative Language Arts Network, sexual violence resource centers, at colleges and universities, veterans hospitals, the collective What Would an HIV Doula Do? and a Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish healing center. She is also a teacher in training programs with The Breathe Network, Breath Liberation Society, and Breathwork for Recovery's practitioner program. She is the author of The Power of Breathwork: Simple Practices to Promote Wellbeing (Quarto). Editor of the anthology Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti- Violence Movement (2016), Jennifer speaks across the country, and has had writing published in places like VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, 580 Split, OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts, Nat. Brut, The Establishment, HandJob, and The Feminist Wire. She was also the creative nonfiction editor of Hematopoiesis Press. A graduate of Goddard College’s MA program, Jennifer is finishing a book project focused on translating embodied traumatic experience through somatic practices and critical and creative nonfiction. You can find more at corpusritual.com.