The Sitting with Death and Choosing Life Programme

Skills and practices for nurturing yourself through grief and loss so you can fully realise the transformational possibilities in life’s hardest challenges 

 

If you are suffering from a significant loss in the death of a loved one, bad news about your own health, or you’re going through a testing process of transition, you may feel you have plunged into a desolate journey with no end in sight.

Even if you are normally a highly skilled and resourceful person, someone who serves and leads others, in grief we are always beginners and, where you are used to being empowered, you may now find yourself floundering. When loss takes your life apart and strips you to the bone, it’s quite common to feel at the mercy of a scary, heart-breaking and all-consuming process, for which you are completely unprepared.

This is an invitation to join me to explore basic understandings, enlightened perspectives and simple practices to give you optimal support through your process of healing and transformation. 


The Sitting with Death and Choosing Life Programme started as a personal experience of deep grief, then became an inquiry into how to grieve well, and it has deepened into an exploration of psycho-spiritual healing and the emerging experience of wholeness and well-being, that can occur following times of profound loss.

By participating in this programme you will  have the opportunity to:

  •  Develop skills for co-operating with the transformational power within grief and loss;

  •  Become active in shaping your healing;

  •  Face into the heart of your pain where your gifts lie buried, while releasing   unnecessary suffering;

  •  Let go of old, limiting beliefs and habits, and transform loss into new, vibrant life  choices.

Even if you are not experiencing a pressing current loss, the skills and framework of this programme will be valuable to anyone who wants to live with more self-love and compassion.   

The programme offers three simple pathways for transforming grief and loss and is designed in such a way that you can begin by listening to a series of conversations or reading an e-book, or you can take a deeper dive with one of two 21-day healing modules. You can buy items separately or as a package. For the packages click on the symbol for the Sitting with Death Programme under Healing Modules below.

Stimulus Materials in the form of e-books and recorded conversations provide vital themes for exploration and inquiry

Healing practitioners share their touching stories of grief, loss and transition along with  the solutions that have worked for them and the wisdom they have gathered. These are intended to stimulate and focus your own exploration, inquiry and deep reflection and encourage you to connect more fully with your authentic wisdom, inner knowing  and unique path.

 

 

 

 

 

Healing Modules provide skills and experiential practices 

These simple practices develop essential skills in self-support and self-nurturing to facilitate your movement through grief and loss to new life, building your transformational muscles, creative power and resilience. These 21 day healing modules are designed to help you release mental limitations; live fully in your body, open to the flow of life; to harness the power of your emotions; make vital shifts in consciousness; experience your wholeness and move with confidence into creating the new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Sanctuary Circles for Deep Discovery Conversations offer support within community

Held monthly online, these small groups offer a safe and intimate space in which you can  find support as you explore your experiences,  gain insight and gather courage.  The intentional group field encourages connection and builds an inspiring energy within which you can deepen into the transformational process and intuit your next steps.

 One of the most valuable aspects of this course is the holding it will provide for you. The group, the content of the course, the time frame and the skilled guidance of your facilitator, Rose, all serve to provide an intentional, energetic container which is at once both sensitive and expansive, allowing and motivational.

 

 


 

 


For more about the background philosophy of this programme, read on..


Some thoughts about transforming grief and loss

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photo credit: Rose Diamond

Loss and grief are natural parts of being human

We all lose people we love through separation or death;

We all experience failure and disillusionment and lose sight of cherished dreams;

We all learn, at one time or another, to cope with and manage changes in our bodies, deteriorating health in ourselves and our loved ones;

We all face ageing and the approach of our own dying;

We are all, at times, overwhelmed and broken hearted by unwanted changes in our world, the destruction of nature, wars and social injustice;

And, for those on a conscious spiritual path, losing illusions about the self and throwing off outworn identities is intrinsic to the path, a sign of progress – and very challenging!

Grieving is one of the most taxing of human experiences.

Grief is a mysterious, complex, intense and lonely process which takes us deep into the inner world, into the unknown and the chaos of unpredictable emotions. We all do our best to get through and manage our grief, making the best adaptations we can but, because grief is not very welcome in our culture, most of us tend to see intense emotion and vulnerability as something to be avoided or kept hidden. This can lead to numbing the body and the mind, cutting short the grieving process, or on the other hand, getting stuck in  despair and depression. These interruptions in the flow of grief can then affect our health and well-being for years to come.

Gather the resources and skills for grieving well

Grief and loss are a natural and inevitable part of being human which we all share, and yet sadly, most people don’t have the necessary tools, understandings and support to fully open to grief.  When you decide to become your own best friend and healer through grief and meet your losses fully, giving yourself time to accept and integrate them, suffering is transformed into a deepening of the self and an acceptance of what it means to be human. This in turn renders the gifts of love, acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and grace and a renewed and strengthened meaning and purpose.

 

Grief and loss can affect you at any age

For many people the pain of loss starts in childhood when trust and innocence are broken. The earlier your losses began, the more likely it is you haven’t processed these painful experiences fully and they are still buried in your body and mind, using the energy you need for living, stealing your joy, compromising your choices and preventing you from moving forward confidently.

If you are 50+ you have probably experienced considerable loss in your life and, right now, you may be facing the deaths or life threatening illnesses of family members; or trying to come to terms with menopause or other bodily changes; you may have experienced divorce, the loss of home or livelihood, children leaving home, or perhaps the most painful of all – the death of a child.

 

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photo credit:Henrique Araujo

Here are some of the common symptoms of grief you may be experiencing:

  • Your loss seems to suck every last bit of energy and vitality from your body until every cell is trembling and sick with grief and you don’t know how to go on. As grief reduces you to zero, simply getting through the day takes an immense act of courage and endurance.
  • Even when you are surrounded by friends and family, each grieving process is so unique and difficult to communicate, you can feel isolated and deprived of all your normal sources of resilience and comfort.
  • When your powers to create positive change abandon you, and your usual passions and survival strategies no longer hold any meaning or attraction, you may feel like a scared and helpless beginner. Feelings of shame prolong the grieving process.
  • Even when the death of your family member, partner or friend is expected and prepared for, the sense of being severed from them at the end, can cause a traumatic reaction which leaves you feeling shattered and fragmented. This may be even more acute when the death is sudden and unexpected.
  • You have a desperate need to find peace and acceptance yet your faith in life is shaken to the core and your habitual ways of making sense of life are eclipsed. On top of your sorrow, feelings of remorse, regret, guilt, self-doubt and self-criticism can make the journey even harder.

If this sounds extreme, then it is! And yet grief is normal and necessary. Even within the pain and darkness, a seed of hope and new beginnings lies waiting to be revealed.

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photo credit: Rose Diamond

This is a story of transformation. Whether death comes in the form of losing a loved one, facing our own mortality through ageing or ill health, or allowing ourselves to feel the impact of the ecological and humanitarian crises in our world, when death invites us into a greater intimacy with the darker, shadow side of human nature – our own and that of our species – if we do not shy away, we may open to the gifts and unknown mysteries of being human. Entering the unknown may be scary because it requires us to leave behind our old ideas of who we are and how life works yet, as we develop strength and learn to live in the moment – here and now – a new trust and spaciousness arises. It is in this trusting space that the possibilities for new life may be gathered.  

– From the Sitting with Death e-book

Our culture encourages us to avoid grief – and there’s a big cost to this avoidance 

It takes time and conscious intent to grieve well. Grief unfolds in its own time and, in our busy western world, there is little understanding of death, dying, loss and grief. We are not very allowing of the grieving process or of emotions in general, and the need for quiet introspection may be judged as self-indulgent.  Other than the funeral, we have no cultural rituals to celebrate death as a natural part of the life cycle. Even talking about death is often regarded as morbid and, for many people,  the expression of strong emotions is seen as a shameful weakness to be hidden away in private. When there’s work to do and the family to be looked after it’s difficult to find the quiet, solitude necessary for the deep introspection grief requires.

Have you ever stopped to wonder what happens to all those strong emotions of grief when you push them aside?  Where does all that energy go?

The consequences of neglecting or avoiding the deeply hurting self, are considerable and can be life threatening. Whenever you attempt to suppress the pain of grieving and turn back the tide of emotions, you contract the body and literally harden the heart. The energy of grief has nowhere to go and becomes trapped and stored in the cells where it silently wreaks havoc with your physical, emotional and mental health. Many of the major diseases of our time – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, eating disorders, addictions of all kinds – have their origins in unprocessed emotions and grief. That’s how important this is.

Life involves many losses and whatever has not been released and completed, piles on top of the last unexamined grief, making it even harder to approach, so we stuff it all down even harder.  Only when we take the time to sit with the deeper self  do we realize there is something preventing us from embracing life fully – our unprocessed grief sits like a block of ice around the heart.

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photo credit: Woods Elliott

We humans need closure and yet so many things in life and in death can’t be neatly tidied away.  Grieving demands that we go beyond our need for order and step into the unknown. Grief invites us to sit with death naked, eye to eye. Grieving is a form of love, and like love and creative freedom, it’s disorderly and won’t be contained in any convenient boxes.

– From the Sitting with Death e-book

How you can transform grief into a gift 

Imagine how your grieving process might be different if you felt 100% confident that:

  • Even though this is a time of emotional intensity, the more you sit with it, the more you realise, everything you experience in grief is “normal”, “o.k” and widely shared as part of being human. You are not “crazy”, “sick” or shameful when you feel deeply. In fact, feeling deeply is the key to successful grieving and successful living.
  • As you learn to pay attention to, and trust, the deep wisdom and healing power of the self, you become more aware of how you need to nurture yourself to maintain your well-being and you become your own best healer. 
  • As you recognise grieving fully is essential for well-being, you develop the skills to move through grief with love and acceptance, taking all the time and rest you need. You begin to co-operate with the process of transformation rather than resisting it. Then your innate wisdom carries you forward toward renewed energy and passion for life.
  • During the grieving process, there will be times when you simply don’t recognize yourself. Paradoxically, it is when you feel at your most vulnerable, that you start to contact your real strength. This may appear in new and unfamiliar ways but, because you have chosen to really show up for yourself by sitting with your pain, giving it space and listening deeply to the messages it holds for you, every step you take from now on, will be on a much firmer foundation.
  • As you become more skilled at being present with whatever you are experiencing in the grieving process, and able to name ever more subtle emotional states, you breathe fresh air into your experience and open to more enlightened perspectives. Although the journey remains challenging you grow ever more confident that you can and will reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Learning the common symptoms of shock and trauma, along with simple practices you can do daily to support yourself, you begin to heal not only from this loss but from all your previous losses.
  • Grief offers a wonderful opportunity to become more aware of mental patterns that have been limiting you for a lifetime, such as self criticism and self doubt, and to transform these into acceptance, forgiveness and compassion. Learning to grieve well really does provide you with a tool box for living well.
  • Another reason why we tend to keep grief to ourselves is because well-meaning friends and even family members lack the skills to fully meet us when we are hurting and this can lead to increased frustration and self isolation.

Imagine how liberating it could be to be part of a group of people who are developing a common language by learning together how to put words to the ever more subtle experiences of the inner world.

What I am not offering, what I am offering and who this is for:

I am not offering grief counselling or psychotherapy. I worked as a Gestalt therapist for 25 years and have trained hundreds of counsellors, and I fully endorse the value of these approaches. Although I occasionally offer short term 1-1 coaching, If you are needing someone to talk with 1-1 over time, then I encourage you to find a local trusted counsellor or therapist who can help.

What I am offering here is support to move through a transformational process which puts you at the centre of your own healing and wholing. This will work best for people on a conscious spiritual path who already have some understanding of the territory of transition and shifting pyscho-spiritual states. If you resonate with the language and ideas I am using here, you are probably well suited to this approach.

Through the clarity and stillness of Rose’s presence, I was able to connect with the language of my spirit, my quiet inner knowing and wise self healer. I became aware of and integrated issues in a gentle yet deeply profound way.”
Lea Neumann, Rebirther

Thank you Rose, for your gently loving strength, which enabled me to release deep unforgiving pain within my self.
Adam Mills, 

Rose has the rare ability to guide and direct a group whilst being a part of it. She has an unerring talent for hitting the core issue and keeping heart-focused while one works through it. Thank you, Rose!
Mitzi Kivett,  Healer

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photo credit: Golden Bay Weekly

Hello, I’m Rose Diamond

Six months ago, if anyone had told me I would be feeling passionate about the transformational possibilities in death, loss and grieving, I would have found that difficult to believe.  But now, after a deep and challenging journey with death last year, I know grieving fully and well holds the key, not only for individual transformation, but for a positive life enhancing shift in our culture.

My desire to learn how to heal and empower myself and to pass on what I’ve learned to others began as a sensitive, caring empath in a dysfunctional family and traumatised childhood.  This created in me both a strong desire to heal and make whole what has been disconnected and broken and an unstoppable urge towards liberation and justice. As I grew into adulthood, this led me to work as a teacher, as a gestalt therapist,  as a change agent and a professional development trainer. I taught the skills of counselling and psychotherapy  and applied my gestalt skills in facilitating health professionals and community leaders in leadership and communication skills. During the  25 years of this intense up-close and personal work,  I was privileged to facilitate many hundreds of people helping them transform the heartaches of their lives into new meaning and purpose and to teach them the skills for helping others.

My family also sowed the seeds in me to set off on a lifelong quest for self-liberation and women’s empowerment, and then on a journey to know the soul. My healing journey has included many years of doing my own therapy, bodywork and group process; many more years of intensive spiritual practice and study; and then still more years learning about soul and the process of transformation.  From this fertile mix, in 2000, I began to build a body of work exploring transition, transformation and the awakening of consciousness, which I presented first through my website, A Whole New World and now through Tribe in Transition.

My discovery of the inner world began nearly 40 years ago when I started writing poetry, and writing has been my passion and saving grace ever since. Last year, I lost my closest friend and my only brother, who died within six months of each other. I wrote Portrait of a Gentle Man to help me come to terms with my friend’s death and then Sitting with Death and Choosing Life, following my brother’s death. Writing these e-books has enabled me to see how much of my life story has been a training in how to grieve well.

I work as a Soul Work Guide, holding a space in which you can connect with your own wisdom, healing intelligence and authentic power.

To hear more about my personal story and  how I come to be offering you a programme exploring death, grief and loss, please listen here:

To find out more about me,  my writing, my professional experience and expertise, the evolution of my transformational work and the services I offer go here.

It seems clear to me, not only are there many of us suffering individual losses, as friends and family members depart life on Earth, but also we are collectively in a process of transition from old conditioned dysfunctional ways of living, to discovering new ways of being together that honour and celebrate life. This transition is extremely challenging on a psycho-spiritual level as well as on a practical everyday level. It is a process of dying to the old and choosing to create anew and it requires us to live on our growing edge.

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photo credit: Rose Diamond