Feeling Gloomy as you head towards the end of the Year? Forget New Year, New You - Rediscover the best of the Old You in 2018

January is often labelled as the most depressing month of the year and here’s why. Statistically, it’s when most relationships break up (3 January is nicknamed Divorce Day), the third Monday in the month – known as Blue Monday – is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year, and 31st January is the day when people are most likely to quit their jobs.

So, to tackle this ‘new year, new you’ conundrum head on, Founder of The Bridge Retreat, Donna Lancaster, has a personally refreshing approach to starting a new year. “For me, it’s not about creating a new you in 2018, but returning to the ‘old’ one. It’s about reconnecting with the person we once were and in order to do this, we need to reclaim all the parts of ourselves we have cast aside, then we can feel truly whole again.”

The Bridge Retreat is a personal development experience that offers life transformation through deep healing. The intensive, six-day programmes takes place at the beautiful 42 Acres retreat centre in Somerset, and help participants to address underlying issues such as burn-out, depression, anxiety, unprocessed grief, loss and relationships. Consequently, these retreats can help them to take on the challenges of the year ahead in a much more positive way.

Donna adds, “As another year comes to a close people often start to reflect upon what they wish to do differently and what they hope to create in the new year and beyond. For some it can feel like a time full of hope and possibilities and for others a pressure to yet again improve and somehow ‘do and be better’. I am always struck by this notion of ‘New Year, New You’ and how it perpetuates this sense that as we are, we are not enough. That if we can somehow only ‘fix’ our broken parts then we would finally be ok.”

Centered around love and kindness, The Bridge Retreat allows guests to press pause on their everyday life and in a safe space release emotional blocks from their body. They will then return to their life feeling re-energised, with clarity and enhanced self-awareness. Each retreat features a mixture of group and individual work, including a powerful mixture of silence, catharsis, meditation, visualisation, witnessing, ritual, expressive breath and bodywork, movement, dance, touch and the healing power of love. Rather than ‘a quick fix’, The Bridge Retreat provides a model to take into daily life.

Running on selected weeks throughout the year, the next Bridge Retreats will take place from 30 January – 4 February, 6 – 11 March, 10 – 15 April and 22 – 27 May 2018. The six night retreat costs from £2,650 (incl. VAT) for accommodation sharing in a twin room. All prices include tuition, pre and post retreat support, full board and refreshments. Anyone booking and paying in full by 31 December 2017 will be charged the 2017 rates, so saving £250 per person.

For more information, please visit www.thebridgeretreat.com and for background information on Donna Lancaster, read here. Watch THE BRIDGE DRONE FILM or a selection of films here for an introduction to this exceptional healing experience.

DO IT YOURSELF : Donna’s New Year’s Eve Ritual
Rituals are an age-old tradition this time of year, and here Donna shares her own ritual which can be enjoyed with family and friends as part of your new year’s eve celebrations.

1- Gratitude – all close your eyes and silently reflect upon the last years challenges and highlights and what they have brought you. Write down any gifts you recognise these experiences offered (even the painful ones). Then take it in turns to briefly share about any major challenges faced during the year and the lessons learnt, as well as favourite events. Share and be thankful for all of them

2- Regrets & Forgiveness – everyone should write down anything they have said or done in 2017 which they regret, however big or small. They could also involve people they may have hurt in the process. Each person takes it in turn to read them aloud to the group so there is a shared sense of forgiveness

3 – Out with the old… – everyone writes down what they want to leave behind coming into 2018. This could be anything from being unkind to yourself, overthinking, overstretching your time. Speak these aloud with the words ‘I am choosing to let go of…’ Once everyone has spoken, they throw all of their papers into the fire and watch them burn

4 – ...In with the new – on special cards, each write down what qualities they are reclaiming or taking with them into the new year. for example, trust, hope or playfulness. Share with the group and place in a jar to keep

5- Appreciations – each person then says what they appreciate about themselves, other people (present and absent) and in the world. Give thanks for each. Then take it in turns to appreciate each other in the group one at a time

6 – Celebrate! – complete the ritual with a form of celebration, such as dancing. If possible, complete the ritual with a swim, hot tub, shower or bath.
“Donna Lancaster is one of the most inspiring people I know. The Bridge Retreat might just be the best time, effort and money you will ever spend.” Thandie Newton , Actor and Director | Read Article

“I admire Donna Lancaster as a person of great integrity and compassion. Her work has depth and healing power. I trust her as a healing guide on our human journey of challenge and joy.”
David Richo , Psychotherapist and Author