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2016 Retreat is a Wrap

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Community is at the heart of everything we do

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From May 24-30th, LoveYourBrain held the 3rd annual LYB Retreat in partnership with our amazing friends at Zeno Mountain Farm. Our group consisted of fifty people, including individuals with brain injury, siblings, health care providers and the LYB/Zeno family, making it our largest retreat yet. This special week of reunions and new friendships highlighted the value of community and provided an opportunity for the group to experience a unique and integrative approach to brain health.

Each day began with a gentle yoga practice with an emphasis on meditation and mindfulness. Throughout the days, the group participated in a variety of workshops focused on therapy techniques, self reflection and different methods of sharing personal experiences. All meals were prepared with brain-healthy ingredients and shared family-style.
This year’s schedule included several new elements, including a music therapist who guided a songwriting project and led a powerful drumming circle. We hosted a Neuropsychologist and bodywork practitioners for massage therapy and reiki healing. Finally, two of our retreat participants offered an herbalism workshop, including an introduction to the healing power of herbs, a plant meditation, and a mindful eating exercise.

We ended the week with two days of marathon festivities. On Saturday, seven of the retreat participants completed a 1-mile walking course on the Burlington Waterfront. These inspiring racers crossed this finish line to applause and cheers from their retreat family.

On Sunday, the group braved the heat to participate in the Vermont City Marathon. Thank you to the 85 runners who ran on “Team Brainfarmers” and to over 700 donors who supported the team to raise money for LoveYourBrain and Zeno Mountain Farm!

“LYB has fostered a truly unique and invaluable community that supports and encourages each other through our brain injury challenges, and celebrates all our successes. It was a joy to return to the retreat this year and see how far we've all come, to continue to cheer each other on, and to welcome new, wonderful brain friends into the group.”
(JoAnna- Second Year)
“This was my first year at the love your brain retreat, and I loved it.  I have a pretty severe brain injury and haven't really been around too many people like that.  It helped me to not feel so alone.  I also liked all of the healthy stuff that we talked about, and that you can be healthy no matter how busy you are.  Everyone was really friendly and nice and accepting. I made a lot of life long friends.” (Joe, First Time Participant)

“We cry with joy when we arrive and reunite, we cry with happiness and sadness when we depart; albeit stronger and closer.  

We don't get introduced as TBI survivors in the "real" world; having these incredibly powerful connections gives us a chance to really ask the things that haunt and elude us.  On year three, it is unreal to see the growth and successes of individuals as we share our healing together and become more comfortable in our own skin.  Now that I have given a piece of myself to every BrainFarmer, I can't imagine life without any one of them.  There are only feelings that can describe the magic of LoveYourBrain at Zeno.  It is a time for us to let down all our fears and simply "be".  Who we are, what we battle, and know that we are never alone.”
(Hannah, Third Year)

A big thank you to Audrey Rudolf for the amazing photos! 
Thank you to our amazing sponsors for making it possible!
(Link to photo album)
  1. Nina Mccampbell 
  2. Jess and Shawn Taker
  3. Joyce Conwell
  4. Lamagna Cheese 
  5. Dealer.com
  6. Abliash Patel
  7. Susan Halby
  8. Charlie Shaw
  1. lululemon (Yoga mats)
  2. Vital Choice (Organic meats)
  3. Ear Peace (Ear plugs)
  4. Oh Veggie (Simmer sauce)
  5. Clif Bar (Organic snack bars)
  6. Aqua Vitea (Kombucha)
  7. Epic Provisions (Organic Jerky)
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