I am the result of generations of lives, gifts and challenges passed down through my ancestral lineages. On my father's side, I am second generation to this unceded Coast Salish land that I now reside. My people were Germanic and Scandinavian - spread out through current day Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Ukraine. In recent generations, they were strongly rooted in the Mennonite faith, and their movements and migrations across vast tracks of land and eventually to Canada were characteristic of many Mennonite communities that faced hundreds of years of religious persecution. My people loved music, singing, were pragmatic and strongly rooted in values of pacifism and the right to choose religious/spiritual affiliation. On my mother's side, I am first generation to this land. My people were Scottish Celtic and also Germanic. They were long time colonial settlers to the American mid-west, and were afforded many privileges in their new home, after facing ethnic and economic hardship in their countries of origin. My people were strong in spirit, many living as medial beings between worlds and rooted in earth-honoring traditions. These ways reside in my bones not far from memory. My journey is ongoing in reviving my connection with my ancestors and traditions, and it has been one that has sustained me and propelled me further into my ancestral and soul gifts. For this I am grateful.
For those who reside in my bones and have gifted me these moments, this breath; whenever I am in the presence of that which makes me heart swell and quicken, may this also be an offering to you.
My passions and skills transpire best when I am able to provide experiences of deep connection - with ourselves, each other, and with that which resides in the more-than-human world. This draws me to experiences of loss and grief - the tumultuous and painful times that crack us open into the wild terrain of our hearts; the wild terrain of the world. My training, professional experiences, and own healing through trauma and losses, has equipped me with a profound deepening in my sense of connection, and disconnect, to others and our world. It has also nurtured my ability to empathize and be present for others through their experiences of pain. I have always been very attuned to the pain in the world around us, and at times in my life, have been overwhelmed and immobilized by this global despair of social and environmental injustice. To harness this sensitivity in a meaningful and life-affirming way, I need to act through its inspiration. This means providing healing grief support in both personal and collective ways. I see grief as one of the gateways to personal and spiritual transformation if tended to with care and dignity.
You cannot "fix" the world, but you can take part in its self-healing Healing wounded relationships within you and between you is integral to the healing of our world. Joanna Macy
Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. Fritz William
Loss has many forms - it can encompass any transition, unanticipated experience, or ending in our life. It may encompass the over-whelming pain we feel for events that take place in our world, such as wars, oppression, racism, violence, famine and environmental destruction. We all have the internal resources, wisdom and resilience to survive and grow through experiences of pain. And, we all need community to witness and help each other heal. And by community, I include not just our fellow humans, but also the wider field of relations we are a part of with the other-than-human beings (creatures, mountains, trees, plants, weather, ancestors, spirits, deities).
I am passionate about creating more collective spaces to gain a healthy understanding of grief and to learn holistic and ritual strategies for health and healing. I believe it is through our shared experiences of pain and loss, and by providing spaces to share and connect about these things, that we can nourish a deep sense of well-being - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, both as individuals and as a collective global community. When we bring awareness to our personal relationship to loss and grief in our own lives, we can then navigate through the world with others in a more empowered and compassionate way, focusing on the social, cultural and environmental healing that is so needed in this time. To heal ourselves is to heal our world.
Peace within, Peace between, Peace among Virginia Satir
The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe Joanna Macy
Whether supporting an individual, a family, or facilitating a community experience, I recognize people in their energetic and holistic selves - mental, emotional, physical, social, cultural, and spiritual. I also recognize the ongoing impacts of colonialism, racism, sexism, and other cultural wounds that work to erase the diversity of human experience and expression.
Through experiences of loss, transition, and change we can find ourselves navigating a new world and new identity. Along with this, our feelings, perceptions, expectations and deep yearnings can be shaken up. We can be left questioning who we are and how we can regain our vibrant life-force while still honoring our sadness and expressions of grief and love. Combining my knowledge of grief theory, practice and ritual, Satir Transformational Therapy, trauma-informed support, response-based practice, group process, Way of Council traditions, inter-generational healing modalities, and energy healing practices, I support others towards renewed vitality and hope.
Give sorrow words! The grief that does not speak Whispers to the overfull heart And bids it break. Shakespeare
Education, Training, and Professional Background
I earned a Masters degree from the University of Victoria in 2009 in Health and Social Services.
I have received training from, and/or am strongly influenced by:
I have been providing emotional/spiritual support to individuals and families through my private practice since 2013
I am a trained practitioner of Ancestral Lineage Healing through Daniel Foor of Ancestral Medicine, offering individual sessions and leading monthly healing circles.
I am the Executive Director and lead facilitator for an amazing charitable organization, Learning Through Loss, and have been facilitating programs since 2008 providing education and support to youth experiencing grief and loss, and training to youth-serving professionals.
I have worked as a support group trainer and facilitator for B.C. Victims of Homicide, providing a safe and understanding space for survivors of homicide loss to connect and heal through their unique and tremendous grief, and offering training opportunities to professionals in rural B.C. to facilitate support groups within their communities.
I have worked at Bridges For Women supporting women who have experienced of trauma, violence and abuse to regain their confidence, economic self-sufficiency, and life-affirming choices.
I have supported individuals and their families living with different developmental abilities and traumatic brain injuries to help support their inclusion, connection, and increased quality of life.
I am an Energy Healing Practitioner, having received training through Naramata Center, and facilitated practitioner mentor circles through the University of Victoria.
I am grateful to live and work on the unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Lekwungen-speaking people.
Sacred Grief - Shauna Janz 550-2950 Douglas Street Victoria BC V8T 4N4 (Upper level, above Lifestyles Market) firstname.lastname@example.org