Sunday July 10th 2022, Bundaberg

Tending Grief, Embodying Love


Experience a full day of supported heart immersion, deep soul nourishment, gentle healing.

With experienced somatic psychotherapist, Carissa Rodgers. We’ll practise awakening the heart and attending to our sacred grief work in a safe, soulful and deeply supported way.

Spiritual community is more important than ever right now.

In these uncertain times we are living in, we are being called to show up in our life in new ways. We’re being asked to adjust to rapid changes, to let go of the old and embrace the new, to trust unseen forces, to become new versions of ourselves.

But adaptation is hard. Change is unsettling. Navigating the ever-shifting landscape that has become our lives and our world not only takes a toll on our hearts and minds, it takes a certain level of emotional and psychological skill.

And when change is thrust upon us too fast, we face a multitude of losses.

On a global scale, we have seen many losses in the form of jobs, travel, personal freedoms and even lives. Changing rules and restrictions to the way we connect physically with family, friends and the wider community has left us with a collective sense of loss for a way of life that we all once took for granted.

But our losses do not have to be of pandemic proportions to still have a profound effect on us.

Grief is weaved right throughout all our lives.
Any changes (even the things we really want, like moving to a new house for example) represent a loss.

Loss of jobs, friendships, relationships, pets, homeland, finances, health, kids leaving home, loss of youth – this type of grief lives on in the cells of our body, hidden so well we often don’t realise it’s there.

The Sacred Heart Day Retreat is a place where we can take a pause and catch up to the losses (the big and small ones), allowing ourselves to really feel them and properly process them…

So we can learn to hold what’s new inside of us in a different way…
So we don’t isolate ourselves even further or silently shut down altogether. So we can come together in the prayer of life.

If you’re in need of a place to rest your soul for a moment, to explore your heart’s centre and to come into heart synchronisation with other like-minded souls – there’s a supportive sisterhood of women gathering in that place: And you are invited.

“Carissa holds the space with confidence and kindness;

there was a real sense of safety to dive as deeply as we wanted. Carissa is empowering women to explore the wisdom of their physical, embodied experiences as well as the mental, emotional and spiritual. She provides a range of holistic tools to help integrate the learning into day to day life. Loved every moment and all the innovative techniques Carissa has weaved together so beautifully. Fully recommend!”

The Sacred Heart Day Retreat is:

where we can take a pause and catch up to the losses (the big and small ones), allowing ourselves to really feel them and properly process them…

A day to get quiet and listen closely to the wisdom of the heart.

A deeply soul nourishing experience for soul-led women who are ready to explore their heart’s terrain and transform from within.
A journey of self-reflection and transformation within the heart centre, incorporating beautiful meditation, sound, movement, touch and deep enquiry.
A healing space to restore the soul of the community through communion, ritual and authentic heart connection.

Over the course of the day we will:

Connect with the inner terrain of our heart.

Discover the latest research and science of the heart.

Connect with others in heart to heart resonance

Cultivate the heart’s inner ‘knowing’ to draw upon its wisdom anytime.

Learn beautiful compassion practices to open and expand the heart.

Speak from the heart and learn to hear the unique voice of the heart.

Learn the ways in which we defend, resist, and avoid vulnerability – and how this impacts the heart space.

Learn how to feel and sense through the heart. Become receptive to the feelings in our hearts.

Awaken the heart for greater joy and clarity and come back to the wonder and beauty of existence.

The sacred work of grief

Grief is a natural response to life. It’s a universal experience, one we all know intimately. Steven Levine, poet, author and teacher known for his work on death and dying, wrote;

‘If sequestered pain made a sound, the world would be humming all the time.’

It is only when we’re willing to hear and address the humming of our own sequestered pain and grief, that we can then hear and help others.

But if our grief goes unrecognised and unacknowledged, it gets stored in the heart, defences come up, and eventually the heart shuts down altogether. When we deny our emotions, we narrow our range of feelings and grief becomes congested and compressed within us. What is often diagnosed as depression, is actually a low grade chronic grief locked into our psyche.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that openly avoids deep feelings.

We stay busy and distracted, soothing ourselves with stimulants, screens and spending money, while we stoically push our pain and sorrow further down inside.

This collective denial of our emotional lives is what has contributed to so many of our troubles and symptoms in our busy modern lives and when we compress the terrain of grief, we also compress the territory of joy.

That’s why grief work is so important in keeping our hearts fluid and flexible.

Much like brushing teeth or taking a shower, we also need to clear out the soul with regular practices to help us deal with our grief. Think of it as soul hygiene. Such practices are an absolute necessity if we are to live a full, expansive and genuinely joyful life. It becomes a way of maintaining a relationship to our own soulful life and the soul of the world.

Our job is to FEEL our losses and mourn them – so we can keep our heart’s hope tender, soft and receptive.

The retreat day program includes:

Compassionate presence practices

Learn how to be totally present and supportive emotionally, spiritually and socially for ourselves, and for those who are hurting – whether we have the answers or not.

Self-inquiry and heart exploration

Explore compressed grief and learn how to track your emotions and sensations in your body and to lean into your feelings rather than avoiding them.

Cultivating body presence

Learn how to let difficult emotions move through and release from the body through movement, breath and sound.

Safe container for vulnerability and authenticity

Be deeply witnessed and safely held in your own authentic self-expression.

Mini workshop on the science of the heart

Intellectually understand the physiological heart brain connection and how to listen to the voice of your heart and tune into your heart’s desires.

Sacred grief practices

Learn practices to help you move through grief so you can let go and experience more joy in your life. Using Francis Weller’s 5 gates of grief, we’ll identify losses at each of the gates so you can begin your heart’s healing journey.

Spirituality and heart awakening

Explore the spiritual dimensions of heart awakening and come to understand the heart as a gateway to your infinite self.

Community and connection

Come together with a warm group of likeminded women to learn to be your authentic self in community and in relationship with others.

The heart is the doorway into the universe and a portal to our infinite spiritual self.

The heart reveals to us layers of our own personal patterns – but also reveals layers of consciousness in the universe. When we know where to look, we get to know ourselves more deeply beyond the defended self, the patterns and the stories.

Are you ready to awaken and explore the infinite world within your own heart, your own experience and human nature?

Join us for a sacred women’s circle, to connect, listen, and share your inner wisdom.

Throughout the day we will:

Connect with our heart, body and mind through embodied meditative enquiry.

Soften our bodies and move together in a joyful celebration of dance.

Apply gentle, therapeutic touch practices to correct and balance our energy field.

Develop our inner knowing to connect with our deepest wisdom through reflective wisdom practices.

Switch off the stress response and reset the settling response of the body with restorative practices and deep body rest.

Unlock our somatic (body) intelligence so we can come back to the body and senses using somatic psychotherapy practices.

We will also…


Coming together in ritual– inviting the oldest knowing to come forward.


Inviting beauty in, so the soul can heal. Beauty in the space, beauty in the heart.


Developing deep insight and kindness, not just for others but also for ourselves…

And at the end of the day, you will leave feeling:
~ connected, open and expansive, free, full of wonder and gratitude ~

Sacred Heart Day Retreat Details:

When: Sunday July 10th 2022

Time: The retreat will be held from 1pm -8pm

Where: Bundaberg

Facilitator: Carissa Rodgers

Cost: $247 upfront or 2 x fortnightly payments of $125

What’s included: Tea, coffee afternoon tea, healthy dinner + heart gifts

What to wear: Your comfort is the number one priority. As a guide, soft, comfy, layers are a good option but you can dress in whatever feels good for you.

What to bring: Your journal, a pen and a water bottle.

There is a maximum of 12 women for the Sacred Heart Day Retreat and preparations are required so please book your spot as soon as possible. Contact Carissa for further info here.

This is for women of all ages who are:

Seeking a deeper connection with themselves, others and all of life.

Ready to explore and address sequestered grief locked within.
Finally recognising the immense wisdom the heart holds.
Willing to learn how to gently be held and hold space for others.
Prepared to step through the room of grief and into the hall of joy.

Sacred Heart Day Retreat is a space where all of us are welcome.
Are you ready to explore your heart and transform your life from the inside out?

Your retreat facilitator

I’m Carissa Rodgers, Certified Somatic Psychotherapist, Trauma Therapist and Self Compassion Coach, and part of my mission is to create healing communities.

After spending five days in a silent retreat in the last year focused on awakening the heart, and almost 20 years of dedicated spiritual practice and inner work, I want to share with you what I have come to learn about the Sacred Heart.
We often associate grief with the death or loss of a person, but we’ve neglected to see how grief is weaved right throughout our lives. Any change (even the ones we want) represent a loss.

Some losses are harder than others, but we neglect to acknowledge the loss of everyday things. Loss of jobs, friendships, relationships, pets, homeland, finances, health, life transitions – kids growing up, loss of youth and the list goes on.

This grief lives on in the cells of our body, hidden so well we often don’t realise it’s there and individual therapy could never replace our deeper longing for connection with one another.

So in order to heal, we need to come back together.

That’s why I’m so passionate about creating safe healing spaces for women to share experiences, stories, thoughts, ideas and prayers. In tapping into the rich, collective generational wisdom, the circle itself becomes our greatest teacher and healer.

As a qualified trauma therapist and co-founder of Wide Bay Counselling & Psychotherapy, I have over a decade of experience supporting women who have experienced trauma, chronic stress, great loss and abuse. As well as mindfulness, ritual, ceremony, movement, dance and therapeutic touch practices, my work is deeply grounded in the science of Attachment Theory, Somatic Experiencing, Gestalt Psychotherapy and Relational Psychotherapy.

A trauma-informed circle

rests on principles of:

If you’re thinking of joining us, here’s what you need to know:

The Sacred Heart Day Retreat is for women only.

This is a safe, sacred space for women of all ages and backgrounds. A space where ALL of you are welcome.

Some previous self-development work is assumed.

This is for women who have already travelled at least some of the way on their healing journey either through your own personal work or with a therapist. Ideally you’ll be familiar with my work and/or have attended one of my circles, workshops or self-compassion retreats, as this is an extension of that work. Having said that, you won’t be asked to do anything unexpected. You will never be pushed or pressured to do something you don’t want to, nor made to feel bad or that ‘you’re resisting/blocked/unspiritual’ if you choose to sit something out.

This is a sacred space where all participants are equal, and all things belong.

The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement. A sacred circle forms when women who desire deeper connections come together to share from their heart, support one another and honour the sacred.

This is a trauma-informed space.

Meaning it is a space responsible for the wellbeing of those attending by understanding the sensitive nature of trauma and traumatic responses – and the practices are carried out with these guidelines in mind. I am a certified Somatic Psychotherapist, Trauma Counsellor and Self-Compassion Coach with over a decade of experience working with women suffering from the effects of trauma, loss, grief and deep stress. This is my soul work.

You do not need to have experienced past trauma, grief or stress to benefit immensely.

Though many of the women attending have lived through significant past trauma, stress, loss or grief (acknowledged and sequestered) it is not a prerequisite for those wanting to learn sacred grief practices for themselves and others, and to deepen their connections.

You choose how you show up.

There are no expectations other than take what feels useful for you. At any time you are free to step back, have a break or go all in. We have soft futons for resting if you need to sit out.

The retreat day will feel magical but we aren’t fluffing around!

There’s a certain magic that’s created when beautiful like-minded souls come together to share, heal and grow – but make no mistake, the work we are doing here is deeply grounded in the science of Somatic Experiencing, Gestalt Psychotherapy and Compassionate-Focused Therapy. We also use a beautiful combination of somatic therapies, ritual, ceremony, movement, dance, and therapeutic touch practices to support your healing.

And if you’re feeling a little apprehensive…

It’s normal to feel vulnerable, shy, exposed or nervous, but you’ll find all of that immediately falls away once you step into the warm, safe space of the sacred circle.

“It is a relief for me to have resolved and released my traumas

but even better to have a better understanding and techniques to take with me to use if I need them. Carissa is very intuitive, knowledgeable and her hands and mind are very receptive in assisting the healing process.”

Jennah Zunka

Sunday July 10th 2022, Bundaberg

Tending Grief, Embodying Love