Women of every type, come to Escape Haven. Different ages, races and faiths are drawn to the comfort and serenity of Bali and to a Bali retreat. There are happily partnered women, and women who are independent by choice, but there’s also another special group of women that I hold close to my heart. These are the brave and courageous souls who come on a retreat to heal and recover from heartbreak.
I may be happily partnered now, but I haven’t forgotten that feeling of devastation and intensity of a break up and how events like Valentines can be painful – either when you have broken up with your partner or when things are heading that way and you know in your heart that it’s not working.
When relationships end, we are forced to face ourselves in a whole new way. It’s a test of character and a challenge to the spirit that can be considered life-changing on every level. I guess this is why I find myself in such admiration of those on our Bali retreats who are in the process of recovering from heartbreak. It is in their stories that their true courage presents itself.
After being part of the journey with so many women, I’ve been lucky enough to witness the resilience and bravery that’s required to make the trip from a place of broken-heartedness and pain – to a place of tender acceptance and strength.
So in honour of their courage – and in an offering to anyone out there who may be going through something similar and feeling the pang of heart ache that Valentines can bring – I want to share with you some of the strategies I’ve seen these brave women use to rebuild themself. Whilst I don’t believe there’s any right or ordered way to go about healing, I know by following your instincts and going inward is a great way forward. Do what you need to do and pull in those who do love you for support along the way.
Give yourself permission to grieve
Wherever you are at right now, give yourself permission to feel your feelings. That might mean keeping it together all day at work then finally letting down your guard when you climb into bed at night. Or it could mean shedding endless and uncontrollable tears in traffic or at the gym. However the emotions present, let them inhabit you, let the grief take you on this journey and give yourself permission to be vulnerable. Remember that anything you resist will persist so allow the feelings in and the sooner you do that, the sooner they will pass too. You don’t have to try and keep up a front. Recognise instead that going through this time as your authentic self will make you so much stronger.
Shower yourself with love
While it’s true that the world is opening up to you, it’s important to treat yourself like a precious gem as you go through this transformation process. Letting go of a relationship is like losing a part of yourself, so fill up that hole with acts of kindness and self-love. I know it’s hard to find the strength to do that. Take the time off work you need to nurture yourself. Give yourself gifts and draw in the comfort you need with specific acts of kindness. You can book a holiday to rest, schedule a massage to ease those aching muscles or even reserve yourself some time with a healer. Invest in yourself just as much as you used to invest in your partner and the healing will come.
Craft yourself a new identity
Being in relationship means being part of a couple. You used to be one member of a two-party team with an identity that included both of your desires and dreams. Now is the time to craft yourself a new identity or return to that girl you were before you entered the relationship and remember who you are and what is wonderful about you. Breaking up can take a chunk out of your self esteem, so its time to claim that back!
You may have to shed some of the habits and rituals you once had as a couple, but doing so will leave you a remarkable space for self. So fill that space. Make it your own and craft yourself a new way of living that suits you and serves your needs and desires. It may be an updated look, signing up for a new hobby or reconnecting with old friends that make you feel good and feel like you. Now you are free, it is time to explore. You have the power to be the architect of your life and even discover a whole new side of yourself.
These three acts of allowing your feelings, initiating self-love and crafting a new identity can help you to let go of the love you used to share with another and turn the focus back to yourself. There’s no set timeline for healing but I promise you that even if you feel stripped bare now, this grief and pain will eventually pass and leave you ready to face the world as the powerful and uniquely beautiful woman you are. So have faith in the healing properties of time and have faith in yourself. There really is something magical waiting for you on the other side.
Escape Haven Bali Retreat, supporting women on year making wellness experiences.
We invite you to come and experience for yourself our award winning Bali yoga retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and shrug off all the roles that you wear and all the balls you juggle in your busy life, we’d love to pamper you. From transformational yoga and meditation classes, to exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness in our tropical gardens to restorative healing and pampering sessions, how much or little you do is all up to you.