Odysseys with Wholeness

Nicola Mary Christensen-Johnson

Dwelling in Writing

Creativity Unleashed

I invite you to join me for a writing retreat and to undertake a pilgrimage to the mystical island of Bornholm.

With its very special constellation of medieval churches and the nearby round church of Østerlars, this is an auspicious place for sacred surrender and for uncovering the art form that enables you to give voice to the truths that dwell in your heart.

Writing Retreats

A taster writing retreat is a week-long stay, 7 nights, in eco-friendly Yggdrasil Guest Lodge on Bornholm. Retreats usually start on a Saturday at 15.00, but other days and times are possible according to availabilities in the guest lodge.

There is the possibility of doing a mini-retreat of three full days, 4 nights, starting on the day of your choice.

You will have your own room, a spacious haven for relaxing and writing, with direct access on to the terrace and into the gardens and neighbouring fields. The bathrooms are close to the rooms and you will be allocated a private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet.

All meals and snacks are included in the retreat package. Meals are simple: vegetarian with local organic products or produced in Denmark. Vegan options possible. Alcoholic beverages are not included. Locally brewed beers and organic wine can be purchased.

Retreat attendees have full access to the kitchen, the meditation hall (the Abbey) and library, and the laundry facilities. There is plenty of space in and around the property. Roam around, find what suits you and ask for whatever you need to make it your very special sacred writing space. There is excellent internet coverage throughout the property.

Writing Residencies

Writing projects often need ample time and space. What’s more our writing ambitions don’t take kindly to time constraints, short-term deadlines and all the usual outer pressures we meet in our daily life. This is why we need to take time off, extract ourselves from our busy lives and distractions, and gift ourselves with a generous outer and inner space to follow our ambitions.

Writing residences are the ideal option for in-depth work.

You can either book a month-long stay, with or without full board, or for longer stays (minimum three months) rent a room on a monthly basis and contribute to tending to the intentional community.

Journaling and Guided Writing Practices

I have a longstanding experience in teaching writing skills and in editorial work. I have had the privilege of accompanying many people, from a wide range of domains, in producing a written piece of work and presenting it for publication. Nonetheless, whether you come for a writing retreat or a residency, I will not be offering tuition in writing or editorial coaching unless that is what you explicitly request.

I want you to author and curate your retreat. More specifically, I work on relieving you of any pressure or stress you might have experienced around writing and going public. There is nothing worse than needing to perform or receiving unsolicited feedback. There is an intimacy in writing that I deeply respect and want to honour.

Personally, I have often found it more helpful, and powerful, to have plenty of spacious, uncluttered and quiet time for myself, knowing that we are lovingly tending to our daily needs. I appreciate sharing, in my own time, about the experience of writing, and the layers of self-doubt I necessarily bump into. I am shy about being coerced to show what I have produced. This helps me step out of the competitive scene of performances and delve into the field of generative conversations. In this sense, writing is indeed sacred and Yggdrasil Guest Lodge offers the perfect conditions to honour and celebrate all our artistic endeavours, as we enjoy and steward creativity together.

Currently, I am very interested in the art of journaling and how a regular practice of intimate writing can support us in our inner work. I am happy to share what I have discovered about the power of journaling for generating shifts and to suggest some playful exploratory practices. Also, through the monthly workshops dedicated to voicing from the heart, I have designed some guided writing practices that are conducive to writing poetry. Again, I am happy to give a taster experience of curated sequences of words and music taking us into the mystical world of inditing.

An Open and Flexible Programme

A writing retreat, whatever its form and purpose, is basically an invitation to step out of tightly designed programmes, and to let go of any agenda and all expectations. It is essentially, and by nature, a quiet time for indulging in stillness and silence, honouring the simple and mundane, and welcoming the portal or the gateway beckoning you to the next iteration in your life.

The only fixed feature is the daily 30-minute meditation held between 8.15 and 8.45 in the Abbey. There is no obligation to attend and retreat attendees are welcome to sit in the meditation circle whenever they feel called to do so.

Breakfast is available from 7.30 to 9.30. Lunch is served between 12.00 and 13.30 depending on activities (packed lunches are available). Evening meals are served between 18.00 and 19.00 again depending on activities.

Retreat attendees join in with the preparation of the meals and take part in the tasks and duties of caring for an intentional community.

Together, we define how we want to spend our time together and how you want to work on your writing project.

Planning your retreat

Contact me using the form below indicating when you would like to come. In a few words, tell me what is calling you to Bornholm. I’ll get back to you suggesting a date and time for a call to discuss the specifics.

You can book a week-long retreat throughout the year. Please be aware that the summer period, from mid-June to mid-September, is a very busy time on Bornholm: the population is ten times as much as in the quieter season. Personally, I recommend the period from 1 October to Easter for a true contemplative retreat in quietness and stillness.



Please take some time to read my Terms of service: you will find out more about me and how I work.

You can also look at my Philosophy of Accompaniment which details how I accompany people on their odysseys with wholeness and oneness.