Indian Summer

Sometimes we are given a second chance or given something good that we are not expecting or feel we do not deserve to spend time learning how to take advantage of unexpected bounty. We all get opportunities in life, learn how to recognise them and use them to transform your life.

indian summer at breakthrough retreats

A residential retreat may be the key to designing an exquisite life plan that you can use to then transform your life. Can you afford not to discover your true life path? Capture the best of what’s gone before and move forward to the life you are meant to have.

Charting Your Course

Are you just flotsam and jetsam?  Have the confidence to map out your life so you are going in the direction you want to go in.

charting shoreline

Explore why it is that you are deflected and do not achieve your goals.  Find out how to be the master of your fate.

Broaden your Horizons

Have all your fledglings flown the nest, Do you want to broaden your own horizons?

nautilus shell

It is never too late to try something new that will flood your life with new experiences and make you the interesting person you know that you can be. Don’t feel left behind, discover there is a whole world waiting for you.

If your young people are spreading their wings why not do the same and surprise them. Move into a new phase of your life, discover new opportunities or revive your shelved dreams. Now is the time to give yourself permission to fly like an eagle. Let Breakthrough Retreats show you how.

Immerse Yourself in Pure Indulgence

Do you believe in personal development?  Want to know the heights you can achieve? Taste the rich life?

We offer exclusive retreats, which enable you to discover your purpose and focus. The rewards can be yours.

So make this the jewel in your crown.

Summer Wine

We are due to schedule a new Group Retreat. Over the next few weeks we will be blogging a series of questions, poses and motivational thoughts to inspire you to think about joining us. Enjoy!

Do you have a project that you want to come to fruition?  Will it be a vintage year for you?  Have you started something important in your life but got stuck?  Need to find out how to bring your project to maturity?  We can help you recapture your motivation and make it happen!

Summer Wine

Always starting something but never finishing it? Learn to focus, think big, and build a bigger picture. Visualise what you are really capable of and know that you will achieve it. Let go of those old patterns of behaviour and step forward with courage and commitment.

Call us at 01462 735726

Was Amy Winehouse Crushed By Sudden Fame?

The kind of sudden popularity Winehouse achieved can be disorienting and paralysing, experts say. Breakthrough Retreats takes a look at the life of the great star.

amy winehouse breakthrough retreats

Some stars seem born to be in the spotlight, thriving in the attention and adulation of their adoring fans and finding a way to navigate the downsides of intense public scrutiny with seeming ease. Others, such as troubled singer Amy Winehouse, appear to have difficulty handling the harsh spotlight and retreat into a destructive cycle of substance abuse and self-harm from which they never return.

Winehouse died at age 27 on Saturday 23rd July 2011. And though her cause of death has not been determined, it would seem with her sadly short career, which saw her rocket from obscurity in 2006 to tragic demise just five years later, she is the latest example of an artist for whom fame was to be too much, too soon.

“Anyone who is thrust into that kind of celebrity with that kind of attention needs a solid, well-built foundation and support system that they can wrap around them like a blanket,” said Dr. Charles Sophy, a psychiatrist who has appeared on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” and “The Housewives of Beverly Hills” and is the author of a new book on conflict-free communication for mothers and daughters, called “Side by Side.”

“If you don’t have those key elements, you’re more likely to implode and hit a wall,” Sophy said.

Read what Winehouse producer Salaam Remi had to say about working with the singer.

Winehouse, a child of divorce, appeared drawn to destructive personal relationships — including a tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil that resulted in a number of public spats and arrests. To the public at least, it seemed she lacked some of the foundation Sophy says is necessary.

And though it’s impossible for outside observers to know for sure, Sophy speculated that genetics may have also played a part in Winehouse’s difficulty in dealing with fame, especially if there is a history of addiction or mental health issues in her family. “If those things are not dealt with, then they are huge issues too,” he said. “And if all that hits at once, you need coping skills and if those aren’t there …”

Though her legend was based almost entirely on a single album, 2006’s Back to Black, which spawned just two singles that charted in the U.S. — “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good” — Winehouse was among the few young women in recent pop history to have attained worldwide critical and commercial success only to either spin out or retreat in the face of the rigors of fame.

Some, such as former Fugees star Lauryn Hill, continue to perform sporadically, but have been unable (or unwilling) to release a proper follow-up. Others, like Alanis Morissette, survive their moment and go on to solid careers that never quite reach the same zenith. And some live somewhere in between, such as Courtney Love, who cracked up for years before getting clean and continuing her career at a lower orbit, or Fiona Apple, who seemed uninterested in playing the fame game and retreated into privacy, releasing just three albums over a 15-year career.

None of those examples really fit the Winehouse mold, though, according to Jenny Eliscu, a Sirius satellite radio host and Rolling Stone contributing editor who profiled Winehouse for the magazine in 2007, as the singer’s star was about to go supernova.

“It would be easy and understandable to think that this is a phenomenon that afflicts female artists, but the parallel that makes the most sense for me is Kurt Cobain,” she said of the troubled Nirvana singer, who committed suicide at age 27, after years of battling with drugs and struggling to deal with the limelight.

“He had a band to say, ‘What the f—?’ But when you’re solo, it’s entirely your own operation with no one there to keep you in check,” Eliscu said. “You can languish in your problems. … It’s easy to get in your own cave.”

Even if you’re not abusing drugs or alcohol, getting it together to make a follow-up to a huge album is hard. But Eliscu said that if you compound that with the loneliness of being a solo artist, particularly one who probably never expected her authentically pained music to reach such a wide audience, you have a recipe for major trouble.

For every Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan who spin out after achieving early celebrity, there are Justin Timberlakes and Taylor Swifts, who appear able to handle the pressure. Sophy said that could be because they have that support system in place early on to help them deal with the pressure.

“Someone who is 27 is not necessarily 27 years old emotionally,” said Sophy. “A 27-year-old can often act like an 18-year-old, because oftentimes addicts stop growing emotionally at the age they started using.”

This is something that Maureen Courtney of Breakthrough Retreats supports.

Even if, as father Mitch Winehouse said in a statement released after Amy’s funeral, his daughter had been drug-free for three years, Sophy said it can take a long time for the brain’s chemistry to return to normal long after a patient leaves rehab.

Sophy said that any artist who puts themselves in the spotlight is taking a huge risk, regardless of their sobriety. As they look for affirmation that they’re talented enough, once success begins coming in a rush, it can make them doubt their skills more than ever.

“When they hit it and it becomes a big thing, then there’s more pressure on them and their self-esteem, which might have been an issue to begin with and that’s a bigger mountain to climb,” Sophy explained.

It’s hard for even the most self-assured person to say, “I’m really good at this,” and so, Sophy said, when that doubt creeps in while the world is watching, it sometimes makes it difficult to stay on the straight and narrow without self-medicating or finding some other way to cope with the pressure.   “Instant fame is like a drug,” he said. “It starts out slowly and then you can get a big rush from a big blowup and that little high you got from your first big interview or show is like a drug and you get addicted to the rush and adrenaline. Then you have that big [magazine] feature, and that really sends you over the top. And how do you beat that attention? You have to get another one.”

While Winehouse often seemed unaffected by the attention, if not downright uninterested in it, her music came from what seemed like a genuine wellspring of pain and emotion. Because of that, Eliscu said it’s not surprising that someone in that state of turmoil might retreat into a kind of cocoon of safety and escape the public world they’ve been thrust into.

“When you get to the level of someone like the Jonas Brothers, you have so many people protecting you that you can almost be sheltered from expectations of what people want,” she said. “But [Winehouse] never had that level of structure in place around her. Even after the success of the first album in the U.K., she could never have known how well [Back to Black] would have done.”

With Thanks To and Original article by By Gil Kaufman (MTV USA 2011) http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1668091/amy-winehouse-death-fame.jhtml

Summer Solstice 2011 at Breakthrough Retreats

There have been strange things happening at Breakthrough HQ this week, and now we know why! We have felt great surges of energy, but at the same time Maureen has been feeling a little under the weather : ( We can of course put this down to today (Tuesday 21st June 2011) being the longest day or Summer Solstice.

We were up early this morning as it got light (Just before 5) and have been enjoying every minute of this cloudy day so far. Maureen has had a client this morning, with whom she has been able to share her gift of light with, so the day has got off to a productive start.

We found this great Summer Solstice definition from Chiff.com (2011).

Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning “sun” + “to stand still.” As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.

This time of year is great for getting rid of old stuff and turning to the new – Hmmm… a Summer Solstice Retreat for Breakthrough Retreats next year perhaps? What fun! – We could channel some earth energy work, perform Reiki, visualisations and Meditate.

Summer Solstice is a time for reflection, and this quote taken from here – Leads us to this…

But just at this moment of greatest light, we begin to face death, for now the days begin to shorten and the darkness grows.  Solstice literally means “sun stand still”, for at the solstices the sun seems to stop on its course before it reverses itself.

This would explain why Maureen has been feeling a little under the weather then!

Here is a great YouTube video for determining how to measure the tilt of the Earth at 1pm today.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuGZpl0lkXU&w=560&h=349]

Alternative Therepy; Dancing Yourself to Happiness; This Morning Report

Breakthrough Retreats take a look at ITV This Morning’s May 2011 feature on alternative therapies with Jo Wood to help us all de-stress:

Dance Yourself to Happiness ITV This Morning

We all strive to find ways to wind down and de-stress so model and entrepreneur Jo Woods, who lives a totally organic lifestyle, is here to introduce three alternative therapies which can help to relax, and banish the blues.

We take a look at Drum Therapy with expert Mark Hunter, Dance Therapy with Chris Linnares and Laughter therapy with Leela Bunce to see how effective they can be at lifting your spirits!

You can see ITV’s This Morning’s Video Report here.

We at Breakthrough Retreats think that this is a great idea – Shimmying your way to happiness! – It certainly puts a spring in Maureen’s step to have a little boogie around her kitchen early in the morning!

Breakthrough Retreats offer an insight into some of these therapies at our exclusive Retreats in great location.

Photo courtesy of ITV This Morning

Breakthrough at Breakthrough Retreats; Bulimia Awareness

It has recently been reported that the lovely Lily Allen has revealed that she battled with the eating disorder Bulimia, admitting that she used to make herself sick after meals.

The team at Breakthrough Retreats have taken this news very seriously as we have been dealing with this issue with some of our clients for a while now, and having recently helped a client to get over Bulimia completely with the help of our Eating Disorder Therapist.

This is not a new story to the headlines and something that some ladies (and indeed Men) and their families have to suffer with everyday.

Approximately 1-2 percent of women in the UK suffer from bulimia. Every year there are as many as 18 new cases of bulimia nervosa per 100,000 population per year and between 1 and 3 percent of young women are thought to be bulimic at any given moment in time. (Bulimia Nervosa Stastics UK, Accessed March 2011).

 

These are shocking, but very realistic statistics.

  • It is shocking to think that the average age of onset of bulimia is 18-19 years.
  • Bulimia affects mainly women between the ages of 16 and 40, and is most likely to begin at about 19 years of age. According to some studies, as many as 8 percent of women suffer from bulimia at some stage in their life, and it affects about 5 percent of female college students.
  • People who have close relatives with bulimia are four times more likely to develop the disease than people who do not.
  • Studies indicate that about 5 out of 10 people with bulimia are healthy 10 years after diagnosis; while 2 out of 10 still have bulimia and 3 out of 10 are partially recovered.
  • Approximately 5 percent of bulimia sufferers go on to develop anorexia nervosa.
  • Unlike anorexia, it is not usual to die from the severe health effects of bulimia.

Make yourself aware.

Do you know someone suffering from Bulimia? Give them the support they deserve today.

Love and Light,

Maureen x

 

Photo courtesy of; Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net