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Over the years, I’ve seen a recurring pattern: people experiencing a healing crisis after attending intense weekend retreats. These retreats often offer numerous healing modalities, rituals, and ceremonies packed into a short time. While the intention behind participating in these activities is positive, the outcome can sometimes be overwhelming, resembling something close to a Dark Night of the Soul.

The Overload of Healing Modalities

Healing modalities, rituals, and ceremonies are not meant to be experienced back-to-back over two days. Our bodies and minds need time to process, receive, and fully embody the healing energy from each activity. When we rush through multiple healing processes without sufficient breaks, it can lead to emotional and spiritual overwhelm.

For example, imagine attending a retreat where you’re offered several re-birthing processes in one day. These are powerful experiences meant to be transformative, but stacking them without time to integrate can lead to a crisis. It’s essential to check in with yourself: Is this wise for you? What are you hoping to achieve?

The Importance of Gentleness and Reflection

Healing requires a gentle approach and ample time for reflection. If you’re drawn to events with numerous intense sessions, ask yourself why. What are you seeking? Often, the rush to experience everything can be driven by a desire to fill a void or to achieve a sense of accomplishment. But true healing is not about ticking off a list of ceremonies.

When attending festivals or retreats offering various modalities, choose wisely. Opt for fewer, more meaningful experiences rather than trying to participate in everything. Ethical events will provide a selection of activities that allow you to go deep, rather than spreading yourself thin.

Crafting a Supportive Healing Journey

Consciously crafted events take people on a supported journey of introspection and inner healing, typically involving fewer modalities over more days. The spaces in between are filled with activities and support to help assimilate the experiences. This approach ensures that each healing process is given the time and respect it deserves, allowing for true transformation.

For instance, a well-designed retreat might offer a powerful ceremony on the first day, followed by a day of integration with activities like nature walks, journaling, or group discussions. This balance prevents the overload that leads to a healing crisis.

Making Wise Choices

We need to support each other in making wise choices about our healing journeys. Stepping away from the pseudo-impressiveness of having ‘done’ many different ceremonies and leaning into receiving and sitting with the medicine each one holds is crucial. Otherwise, these activities can become a replacement for what was propping us up before, making us spiritually ill in much the same way.

By consciously choosing fewer, more meaningful experiences and allowing time for integration, we support our bodies and spirits in genuine healing. Remember, healing is not a race. It’s a journey that requires patience, gentleness, and wisdom.

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