ONE YEAR ON…
Former The Bridge participant, Emmylou shares her long term experience of the healing benefits of The Bridge Retreat and invites…
Read some of the latest features about The bridge Retreat. From broadsheets to bloggers…
“The Bridge is a phenomenal therapeutic hybrid of emotional, spiritual, physical and somatic grief work created by two outstanding ex-Hoffman Process therapists, Donna Lancaster and Gabi Krueger”
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Emotions run high around Christmas. I’ve already cried about Elton as a small boy, unwrapping the piano given by his loving grandmother, the Sainsbury’s mum watching her daughter killing it as the school play’s gold singing star, Heathrow’s grandparent bears getting a last-minute plane back from Florida to hug their cute grandbaby bear.
But for some of us, the thought of Christmas feels just bitter, not bittersweet. Not everyone has a happy family with a tree and festive school plays and small children and beloved grandparents. Probably none of us have all the elements in an advertised Christmas. Some of us don’t even have a family.
“We are sold these images of families sitting around a log fire playing Scrabble and Twister. People’s reality is often very different. And they can think they’ve failed in some way,” says Donna Lancaster, founder of The Bridge, an emotional-detox retreat in Somerset. And she knows because she specialises in it – during The Bridge, 60 hours of therapeutic time over six days, her team helps people to reveal and heal old family pain and grief.
“To witness and be witnessed is a powerfully intimate, necessary and yet rare event: simple in theory, but difficult to find in practice. It is this bearing witness that The Bridge aims to facilitate in its unique five-night healing experience…”
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Country sensation Carrie Underwood, Actor James Van Der Beek, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, wellness icon Joe Wicks and comedian Chris Ramsay – they may not be names that are often cited in the same breath, but there are two things that unite all of them in a saddening form of solidarity. Firstly, they have all been vocal about their tragic experience of miscarriage over the last month, and second, they have been brave enough to speak out about the grief caused. Their decisions to speak out were brave and show the power of normalising conversations not just about miscarriage but grief in all its many forms.
Read our Co-Founder Donna Lancaster’s full article over on the Huffington Post website
Reno, a fashion entrepreneur and former model, dated the property developer for several years until their split in 2014. He died in December of that year after falling from the balcony of his apartment. “When I heard the news, the first thing I did was meditate,” Reno writes in Tatler. “It sounds strange but Scot came to me in that meditation. He said, ‘I’m at peace, it’s OK’.”
Reno has previously addressed Young’s money troubles and problematic connections: “I always knew he had done business with various nefarious characters and I now believe he had almost certainly crossed paths with the Russian mafia,” she told The Times earlier this month. Now she is putting it behind her: “We had split up two months before. Scot was getting into such a dark place, and I made a conscious choice to move into the light. I still think about Scot every day, but anger has been replaced by fondness.”
Reno has now continued the grieving process by visiting The Bridge Retreat and writing about the experience. It’s a facility which teaches visitors how to cope with loss. Techniques include writing cathartic letters, forest bonfires and “shuddering and shaking” sessions. The experience proved useful on her return when she heard that another ex-partner, US businessman Matthew Mellon, had passed away in rehab in Mexico.
Read the full article on the Evening Standard website.
Noelle Reno forgives her ill-fated former lover Scot Young – and others – on a grief retreat.
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‘I’d be worried if you weren’t feeling nervous and apprehensive’, said Donna to me and the 10 random strangers I’d agreed to spend the next six days with in our first group session. And yes, I was feeling both those things. My husband, Bill, had died unexpectedly just six months before, and I was here in deepest, darkest, most beautiful Somerset at the 42 Acres retreat to spend some time thinking about, and grieving, his loss. Having spent those preceding months veering wildly from moment of complete meltdown to moments of frantic distracting activity and back again, I knew I needed to re-balance myself by shutting out the outside world and properly spending quality time with ‘him’ and my feelings. But I also knew how painful that was going to be – there was a reason I’d been trying to avoid just such a scenario.
Read Sasha’s full article on Queen of Retreats.
Everyone grieves a loved one’s death differently. Emma Whitehair shares her journey to a grief counselling retreat that helped her overcome the death of her alcoholic mother 20 years ago
My mother died more than 20 years ago. Cause of death: alcoholic cirrhosis. I had lost her way before this though. In fact, when I heard she had died, I felt relief. She had been a chronic alcoholic for as long as I can remember. All those years of blocking her out of my heart were finally over. So I stood stony faced at her funeral. Numb.
For the next decade (my 20s) I continued to numb out with the help of, ironically, alcohol. Luckily, unlike my mother, I got sober 11 years ago this month, while still in my early 30s. However, I still continued numbing out in other ways. And, although my compulsions were indicating I still had an insatiable hunger for comfort, I wasn’t actively looking for healing when synchronicity led me to Donna Lancaster, who booked me onto her next Bridge retreat.
We have each written the things we want to leave behind in 2017 on scraps of paper. Two of the adults want to stop shouting, one “unnecessary shouting” and one “shouting at the dog”. Another is getting rid of “enjoying moaning”. I write down that I’m leaving behind “feeling not enough”. The teenager won’t tell hers. “It’s things I’m not proud of,” she says. Fair enough.
We throw our pieces of paper on to the burning logs in the fireplace, to symbolically say goodbye to those things forever.
This year, I’m welcoming in 2018 with an anti-resolution, aka a ritual. It’s been created by Donna Lancaster, a relationship and life coach who uses ritual as part of her emotional-detox residential retreat, The Bridge. She believes resolutions, at root, often come from a negative or harsh view of ourselves. “They’re usually set up in the way that, somehow, we are not enough,” she says, ie they’re based on the fact we need to look different or be better in some way.
Read the full article over on The Pool.
My mother died more than 20 years ago. Cause of death: alcoholic cirrhosis. I had lost her way before this though. In fact, when I heard she had died, I felt relief. She had been a chronic alcoholic for as long as I can remember. All those years of blocking her out of my heart were finally over. So I stood stony-faced at her funeral. Numb.
For the next decade (my 20s) I continued to numb out with the help of, ironically, alcohol. Luckily, unlike my mother, I got sober 13 months ago, while still in my early 30s. However, I still continued numbing out in other ways. And although my compulsions were indicating I still had an insatiable hunger for comfort, I wasn’t actively looking for healing when synchronicity led me to Donna Lancaster, who booked me onto her next Bridge retreat.
A healthy, happy and intimate relationship is not guaranteed without some effort. No matter how deep the love, every relationship requires cultivating and caring for to enable it to grow and be the best that it can be.
This requires us to question and address our own behaviours, remain curious and manage our expectations. Those looking to enhance all aspects of their relating and relationships, whether with family, friends, work colleagues, can heed these few pointers to help them on their path, with specific attention to the most intimate of relationships – that with our partner.
Read the full article on the Spectator Health website.
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