What people are saying about grief and ancestor work with Nala:
My three-day healing-immersion with Nala Walla was one of those unique and precious passages in life that I can already tell will stay with me, yielding unanticipated fruits, for many years to come. Nala brought so much to the occasion: impeccable professionalism, deep compassion, great skill, and the kind of feet-on-the-ground wisdom that comes only from hard-won experience. She also exemplifies a profound reverence for Mother Earth and a sincere respect for the land’s ancestral (or indigenous) peoples. All of these traits and capacities helped me relax into the healing process without restraint. Perhaps what moved me the most is how fully Nala invested herself into our work together. At no time did I feel I was being “treated” by a “caregiver”. Instead, what I encountered in Nala was a genuinely caring, delightfully authentic, and uncannily perceptive human being. If there is a more potent medicine upon this Earth I, for my part, have yet to encounter it!—Scott H., Silver City NM
The experience we had was so very powerful and extraordinary…the light in all of was brilliant and made us connect so well…you were nothing less than miracle workers. I miss your voices already! Every detail, from the drumming as we first entered the Lodge, to the table filled with nourishing snacks and beautiful flowers, the comforting words you spoke from deep in your healing hearts, your humor and instructions on how cry, and the dancing and singing were out of this world fun. I’m in tears writing this and right back in the woods under your care. I plan on attending with regularity and getting more and more each time. And I’m spreading the word of the importance of your work. With my deepest gratitude,
—Barbara L., Seattle, WA
Ohhhhhh I am beyond inspired by the grief ritual. The depth that we reached still stirs inside me, it has been something I have been longing for most of my life – to share the explicit grief and purge in a circle with womxn… It felt like a dream come true. I am so grateful for the overall container, the witches involved and all the love and support and good spirit and heart in that room. I am very grateful for Nala and her anti-oppression lens and for the bringing of her full self to the circle as a participant with all of us as well as a mentor’ess. The location was extraordinary and every person present was such a gift.
—Alexandra B., Seattle, WA
The last time I cried in front of this may people I was at the airport and had missed my flight home after spending a week at my grandmother’s deathbed and holding my mom through her funeral. This was way better. I didn’t have to try to stop crying! I could just keep crying and crying and get it all out. I know I want to make this a regular thing. I’m empty now, but it’s going to fill back up.
—Anon, Seattle, WA
Yes yes YES, Nala Walla! You tapped into so many facets of what it means to be living on this planet at this time. I thank you for this inspiration and call to live well, with intention, and in authentic connection to our blood, bones, grief, gratitude, and ancestral roots. You are a permissionary for many in honoring the blessings of body and place and our rights and duty to thriving in wellness.—T. L., Bainbridge Island, WA
I don’t have words to express how the grief lodge impacted me or what a truly raw and authentic experience it was. The experience continues to wash over me and is settling in various parts of myself and life in some of the most unexpected ways. It feels like I finally gave a very lonely and shame riddled (previously) part of myself the attention it has needed — and deserves — for the first time in a compassionate, loving, and vulnerable way…as it should be. To be surrounded by such an incredible group of women and to expose the grief within all of us together was powerful. Thank you for creating the opportunity; holding the space; and facilitating such a safe, beautiful, real and healthy process. I look forward to continuing to love and express my grief and gratitude in community and togetherness. —Alana L., Sequim, WA
The Women’s Grief and Gratitude Lodge was an INCREDIBLE experience. Truly inspiring, life-changing, a breath of fresh air in this stagnant, sticky world.
This collective grieving experience awakened within me an powerful sense of connection with all humans near and far those, to those from the distant past and into the far future ahead. It seemed that all boundaries between time and space were non-existent. We all existed together as one, we all held and released the grief of the world together. On the phone with my husband Saturday night I told him “I feel like I’m on LSD!!!” Hahaha 😂—Libby V., Lopez Island, WA
Hi, Thank you for your healing work! Something has been opened, freed up for me…It is probably the disentanglement process of divorce that I’m wading through and maybe denying the bigger swirling river of it….purging muck seems endless and I do feel that it does pass, that it’s part of my process…I know I have work to do and I close by saying You are doing Sacred, Essential, Core Healing Work for people… I value this and feel that I’ve gained an important tool to grow with.—Jasper B., Port Hadlock, WA
Better than a sauna and a massage. I feel so relaxed. A joyful, soulful gathering [of grandmothers] — a homecoming, a burst of beauty and truth, a strengthening and straightening and unfurling of long dormant flow… Brilliant. I still feel them all around. Some are even becoming more distinct, black hair and sharp features and so much mischief in her bright dark eyes…May this life-affirming, nourishing reverberation grow and glow through time and space. Love and gratitude to you, Nala the weaver.—C. Borowski, Oakland, CA
Working with Nala was effortlessly magical for me and my beloved ancestors. Nala felt like an anchor and protectress as I journeyed the spirit worlds. This work has been elemental in my sense of rooting and belonging. Even when I feel physically alone, I no longer feel deracinated – I feel supported and backed by my ancestors – working with a deeper clarity in my purpose as I walk this earthly realm.—A. Blakely, Seattle, WA
This Grief and Gratitude lodge opened me to parts of myself that I had not fully known or seen, even as I have been participating in these powerful rituals for 4 years now. I am both more richly alive and tender; and also fueled with a new strength that I can feel comes from shedding what no longer serves me and receiving the support of my ancestors, a feeling I have not previously experienced. This work is SO important right now on the planet as we begin to return to our bodies as the temples they are and honor the records and deep wisdom stored in the flesh. So grateful, so humbled. My hope is that as many people as possible can have access to this work.—Holly G., Port Hadlock, WA
Couldn’t explain how helpful this work has been for me in the repatterning of the way I experience life, death, and all the emotions in between. It encourages me to be with the fear that I hold so deeply in my body. If you are able, I highly recommend.—Alexa H., Port Hadlock, WA
Thank you Nala! Something is cracking open in me as a result of this work (and it is work!). I entered into it thinking it might be a good addition to some of the healing work I have been doing already. How do I say this? This grief is opening a stillness and power I didn’t know existed in me or in the world. I am crossing a threshold from one realm of living to the next. It’s almost as if prior to this, I wasn’t fully living. Thank you for the work you do Nala! Who would have thought that dying is the doorway into living?!
—Lea F., Port Townsend, WA
Having done grief work with Nala in several contexts over the course of several years, I believe she viscerally and intimately understands grief and the myriad forms it can take. She has seemingly apprenticed herself to grief itself, and, from what I have seen, she has surrendered to where it will take her, personally and in relation to her community. She has learned to weave a strong basket to help contain the grief and wild emotion of others, as it moves through them and seeps back into the earth to nourish us all. This work is so vital to our world and Nala approaches it with skill, passion, and humility.
—Alex E., Port Townsend, WA
Nala Walla creates a safe place to face our sorrows, anger, rage, resentment and fear. Through looking into and feeling these dark emotions in a safe environment, we can cleanse ourselves and become free of the burdens that consume us. The work of grief is a commitment of deep healing and transformation. Through our tears we find ourselves lighter, freer and more effective humans. Thank you Nala for guiding me through these painful places! For committing your work and life to helping us grieve.—Rochelle H., Port Townsend, WA
I had a very healing experience at the Grief Lodge. I love what happened there. I feel I will come back, and that somehow I am going to finally grieve in a deep way for this little girl in me. I was impressed by the safe beautiful container created. I am really proud of you Nala, for being the hero we need right now. I can feel myself grow into the elder I need to be for others and myself. Even though I still deal with fear, it tells me there is more work to do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.—Katherine Z., Port Townsend, WA
An inspiring thing that I wanted to share: I started working towards a dream I’ve had for many years, to learn to speak the very very old language of my Irish ancestors! I am thrilled to be learning the native tongue that traces back many hundreds of generations in my bloodline, and already finding such joy and fulfillment in this deeply humbling journey. Keep it up, and keep inspiring others to go forward with this work. The world needs more of us!!!!!!—Libby V., Lopez Island, WA
This morning as I was meditating on the concept of gratitude, I had this massive release of grief and crying. I finally understand now what Carl Jung said, “embrace your grief, for there your soul will grow.” Thank you for teaching how to have a grief ceremony. Thank for inspiring me to honor the memories, so that I could remember the joy with the people, the places, and experiences I once had. Thank you. I would love to come back again.
—Charles P., Port Townsend, WA
I am so grateful this grief gathering happens. It needs to happen everywhere. I’ve been particularly interested and inspired by the work of Joanna Macy this past year, and as an environmental educator and youth program manager I’ve long dreamed of incorporating themes of ecopsychology, climate grief, and ecotherapy into programming. This lodge has helped re-inspire me to pursue this venture, and hopefully one day get some training and additional experience of my own so I can bring something similar to the kids I work with in my community!
—Libby V., Lopez Island, WA