I'm Dr Becca Bland. I'm an awarded campaigner, journalist, social entrepreneur, coach and yoga teacher.
Over the years, my words have helped millions of people globally to feel less alone with their family estrangement and my articles and research have won changes for some of society's most vulnerable young people.You may know me as the founder of Stand Alone, the only charity supporting people with the issue of family estrangement.
I believe in the transformative power of life’s painful situations, and the profound growth they allow if we dare look at them and if we dare reach out for support.
The face-to-face and online support that I created with the charity has lead to a profoundly positive impact on thousand’s of people’s senses of normality, isolation and emotional wellbeing.
Watch one of my videos, read an article or join one of my weekly online groups, classes or retreats. I also work one-to-one.
Carry on reading If you want to know more about my story...
My life has been as painful as it has joyful. After surviving abusive dynamics in my early life, I became estranged from my parents. I put down the boundary in my early twenties after a failed process of trying to resolve the situation. It was a move that I made to protect my health and wellbeing.
I know that I am far from alone with experiencing family dynamics where there is a lack of contact or closeness.
So often society suggests that those who are biologically related to us will bring us closeness, protection, pleasure and unconditional love. That simply isn’t the case and the stigma that exists around not having contact with a key family member can make us retreat into silence and inauthenticity.
So often the assumption is that estrangement is a flippant response to a one-off argument. Yet, my research suggests that this simply isn’t the case. These are decisions which are sad, painful and laboured over. Many people battle guilt, shame and fear after they make the decision that the relationship just isn’t working and is destructive.
I did so much of my growing up in early adulthood on my own, intuitively. During the early years of estrangement I felt the red-hot anger, the resentment, the shame and the self-judgement. In the later years, I have also found forgiveness, peace and the strength to live a more authentic and fearless life. I recognised the pattern my past gave me and I turned away from it.
As you read this, you might feel that growing from estrangement is impossible but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t. I had the help of some wonderful humans who facilitated me to see that a life beyond shame and fear was possible. I am proud of who I am today because of my estrangement, and the gifts it has given me. I’m here to pass that on to you.
So much of the key to growth is self-love and learning to choose the right people to love, and breaking that cycle. We can only truly receive love from others when we open up our hearts and love ourselves.
My life really changed when I realised that all the love I needed was within and that finding someone else was never going to complete me, validate me or hold the key to my worthiness of love. Nobody defined whether I was lovable. Only I could do that.
The wounds inside us are like a compass, a force field, and when we heal them, they spin us to face another direction - the path we were meant to take. Yet we can only do that by knowing them, loving them and being real with them. Surfers say it best - you have to dive into biggest waves to survive them.
When I am not writing, doing yoga or coaching, you can find me diving into nature. It’s what truly fills me up – walking, cycling, playing tennis. Nothing makes me more grounded and grateful.