Ep. 299 Embodied Grieving for Ancestral Trauma and Loss with Oceana Sawyer

Learn some tools for experiencing grief in the physical body and moving it through to promote healing of ancestral trauma.

My guest Oceana Sawyer is a death doula and funeral celebrant who utilizes earth-based spirituality, expressive arts and integral counseling psychology in her work. She teaches about the need to feel our emotions in the physical body in order to get “unstuck” from grief and how grief can be a portal for healing our own trauma from the past and that of our ancestors. Through her own life experiences as a Black woman she has explored the pain of racialized trauma in our society and how it effects all of us regardless of our own skin color. Learn more about Oceana’s work at her website:


Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Oceana was called to work with death, dying and grief through her father’s death
  • Why grief needs to be experienced and expressed through the physical body
  • Ways to practice embodied grieving
    • Breath work
    • Body work
    • Yoga
    • Hiking
    • Running
    • Dancing
    • Laughter
  • How grief can be a great opening for self-exploration and healing to occur
  • Why everyone in our society needs to do grief work right now
  • Why “if you don’t transform your pain you will transmit it”
  • How the pandemic and the racial violence in our society have led to massive unresolved grief
  • Oceana’s own exploration of healing racial trauma in the physical body
  • Your body already knows how to heal itself
  • Grieving is the first step of forgiveness

The capacity to move through big emotions is our capacity to grow … it’s how you’re going to become a full human being.”

Oceana Sawyer

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially my newest supporter Suzanna Brown and thank you Sandy Jane Stacy for increasing your pledge! Your contributions make all the difference!

Leave a Reply