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FreeTreat 2020

FREEDOM RETREAT

A 21 day experience, freely available, just for you.

Being surrounded by uncertainty and fear can start to affect us, generating stress in the body that doesn’t help us cope or feel better – and can cause both physical and mental health problems.

We may be stuck with the corona virus – but we still have a choice over how we react and how we feel.

See if these daily short videos (ten minutes) which include relaxation techniques, some simple movements, and reflections help.

Click on the link each day to join the journey or follow my channel and do please share your reflections in the YouTube comments

VIDEOS

Desert Winds Retreat

A one off special retreat into the Berber lands of the Saharan desert.

Travel with our local guide as he shows us the land of his origins south east of Essaouira, towards Mali and Algeria. Learn about the Berber way of life as your mind expands with the vast landscape and infinite starlit skies. Wide open space for wide open inspiration.

Camels and campfires, peace and expansion.

More info coming soon.

2020 Dates: Oct 20-24

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Re: Treat

Some days it just all feels a bit much. The job, the kids, the post, the traffic. Yet another meal to think about. Or another thing to fix. Another deadline to worry about.Or maybe you’ve just come through a hectic period and want to reset.

Breathe.

You can restore

Our Re:Treat is designed for you to treat yourself. To peace, to space, to fresh air, to fresh vegetarian food. A light sprinkling of yoga and mindfulness activities. No pressure.
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Step back in time in the medieval medina to a world without cars or neon signs. Without chain stores. Without fast food. A world of human connection and blue skies and endless wild beaches.

We will hold the space for you. Create room for your true self to re-emerge. Your head to clear. Your heart to open.

Join us and feel the breeze gently blow away the stresses and strains of every day life. Max group size 6.

What’s included

  • Accommodation (in shared room or pay extra for single room)
  • Breakfast and evening meal (vegetarian)
  • Morning yoga and meditation class
  • Evening yoga and meditation class

What’s not included

  • Transport to the retreat
  • Lunch
  • A busy daily schedule of activities… this is YOUR time to get back to yourself. Feel free to lounge on the terrace with a book, ask for advice about local cafes or shopping, learn to kite surf, paint a picture, write a poem…

Optional extras

  • 90 minute energy healing session
  • Accompanied trip to local hammam (women only steam room, body scrub etc)

2020 Dates

  • Jan 21-25
  • Feb 4-8
  • Apr 28 – May 2
  • Oct 6-10

What to expect

Morning light in Essaouira filters through the shutters of your spacious, comfortable room. Usually sunny. Can you hear the town starting to come to life? The barrows rumbling along the car-free alleys? The seagulls circling the returning fishing boats down at the harbour? The call to prayer? A child laughing?

Hold on to that magical sense of possibility as you slip on some comfy clothes and join us in the yoga room. A moment of peace. We will meditate and enjoy some gentle yoga to wake up our bodies and calm our minds. Don’t worry if you are new to yoga, I will explain everything and the emphasis is on YOU and what your body needs.

After time for a shower and getting dressed we will meet downstairs for freshly squeezed orange juice and breakfast. I am happy to answer any questions and help where I can – basically the time is yours. To grow, to unwind, to create… go where your heart takes you.

Later we will gather for early evening supper (unless you want to try one of the local restaurants – just let me know)  and, at around 9pm our end of day yoga and meditation.

Here’s what previous visitors have had to say

I haven’t slept this well for over a year

I haven’t felt so calm and – well – normal! for ages

I feel like I’ve been here for weeks. I feel completely at home

Oh no!

So sorry, but that retreat is now fully booked.

We’d love to see you though so please complete the info below to register your interest and we will notify you of future dates.

Wind Power Retreat

So you’ve made it. You’ve got the job, the house, the car. It’s all looking good. You have done well.

And now you’re thinking maybe there’s more. Maybe there are ways to be a more authentic leader. To be more open-minded. More inspiring. To go beyond the logical and explore your intuition, your unique story, your greatest value. To grow from who you already are to who you can be.

Spend 4 days with us. We will use the power of the wind to get back to your core and deepest wisdom. Your GPS. Using a combination of creativity, reflection and cultural challenge we will work together, a small high level group open to going beyond.

We’re not saying ditch your career and spend the rest of your life kite-surfing (though Essaouira is a great place for that too!).  But we do invite you to take a rigorous look at yourself and see how you can be more aligned – enhancing your well-doing and well-being. Increase your power by standing strong.

2020 dates for Wind Power Retreat

  • Nov 3-7
  • Note that this retreat can also be run on demand for your team
What to expect

This 4 day retreat will take place in the Winds of Change retreat centre in Essaouira, Morocco. Where even in winter there is an average of 6-7 hours of sunshine a day. In the protected space of the centre we will have privacy and calm to explore our deepest hopes and fears. I will guide you through a series of activities, with plenty of time for reflection, resting and sharing. We will begin and end each day with 30-40 minutes of reflective breathing, meditation and gentle yoga poses (no prior experience required).

What is included
  • accommodation in shared room (single supplement £475)
  • activities 9am – 5pm Wednesday to Saturday (early finish Saturday for 6pm flight)  including a hike along the wild beaches and ancient argan tree forests south of Essaouira
  • vegetarian breakfast and lunch
  • water, tea, coffee on demand
  • dinner on Tuesday and Friday evenings
  • transfer to and from Essaouira airport
What is not included
  • travel to Essaouira, Morocco
  • transfer from other airports (though we can arrange this for you and you pay the driver)
  • evening meals on Wednesday and Thursday

Wind Power Retreat

A 4 day deep dive retreat for senior executives who are ready to go beyond all the success they have had so far to discover their deeper sources of power. Click on the paypal button below to pay and fill in the details below.

£1,875.00

Your info

Inspire Expire Retreat

In Western society, we have developed a strange attitude to death. You may be one of the people questioning it. In a world where natural ageing is seen as a kind of weakness, to die can be treated like the ultimate failure. As this research shows, most of us don’t like to talk about death and only a handful have thought about how they would choose their own death to be. In London for example, more than half of people die in hospital even though most of us say we would prefer a home death (only achieved by about 15% of those dying at age 85 or more).

Those who dare to explore the idea of death – yes even their own – discover rich rewards. From my own experience, I know that the thought journeys I have taken as part of my death doula training (with pioneering organisation Living Well Dying Well) have been a significant factor in life choices I am now making. By understanding and accepting our mortality we tap into an appetite for life that can lead us to review our priorities and make some fundamental changes.

I am lucky enough not to be suffering from an illness. I am fit and healthy from a family of long living women. I fully expect my own death to be some way off,  though of course none of us knows for sure. Maybe you are the same, or maybe you have reasons for more cautious predictions. Maybe you are caring for an elderly relative or dying friend. Or grieving for somebody you have lost.

Whether your motivation is living your own life the way you want to, or coming to terms with death, I hope you will enjoy me on our 4 day journey into the wonderful world of death and life. It will be a joyous one, a touching one and may just change your life as much as it changed mine. 

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What to expect

This 4 day retreat will take place at our Winds of Discovery retreat centre in Essaouira, Morocco. Where even in winter there is an average of 6-7 hours of sunshine a day. In the protected space of the centre we will have privacy and calm to explore our deepest hopes and fears. I will guide you through a series of activities, with plenty of time for reflection, resting and sharing. We will begin and end each day with 30 minutes of reflective breathing, meditation and gentle yoga poses (no prior experience required).

What is included
  • activities 9am – 5pm each day including an outing to the wild beaches and ancient argan tree forests south of Essaouira and a visit to the local hammam (optional)
  • vegetarian breakfast and lunch
  • welcome dinner on first evening
  • water, tea, coffee

 

 

What is not included
  • overnight accommodation (there is plenty of great accommodation available on airbnb, plus hotels. I recommend choosing somewhere in the medina so it is easy for you to walk back and forth)
  • travel to Essaouira
  • evening meals
2020 Dates for Inspire Expire Retreat
  • Nov 17-21
Cost

The cost for the first evening plus 4 days is £750 per person

Book below! Only 8 spaces per retreat.

 

Inspire Expire Retreat

A 4 night retreat in Essaouira, Morocco using an honest look at our death to enhance our life

£750.00

Your info

 

 

Are you wasting my time?

Queuing. Patience. The art of just sitting. Africans can do it. Middle East and North Africa can do it. We not only are t very good at it. We also rail against it. Cramping at the bit. Twitching and stressing.
Probing further, I realise we take it as failure. If we had done something differently (arrived earlier? Been better prepared? Chosen that other queue? Not changed queues? ) maybe we could have avoided this. What was the flaw in our strategy? Our actions? Should we have been more charming or more insistent with the first person in the process?
In another frame of mind we might rage against the machine. These petty bureaucrats with their pointless procedures. This damn country! This stupid town! (Whichever country or town we happen to be in at the time).
I notice too that it is recent. I remember my grandmother had this skill. To sit patiently in a hard bAcked chair. Hands on her lap. Not reading the paper or looking around. No phone to distract her as I have now, writing this as I queue.  She had that ability to wait patiently. To trust all will be well. Sooner or later.
The very last thing we seem to do – I seem to do – nowadays is accept the situation. It is what it is. Some things take more time than we allow for. No!!! I have do much to do. Every second is precious.
What if we take that wisdom. Treat the waiting seconds as precious. I have been told that the existentialists stand in pointless queues just so they experience that heightened awareness of the seconds passing. This is part of our life this second. And the next. So maybe instead of feeling tension as we waste our time we sometimes embrace it as a gift of time. I’m going to try!

Half a billion winds of change

Consider for a moment your breath as wind.

You inhale. Often unconsciously, but for now let’s pay closer attention. The wind moves through your nose or mouth. It is usually a different temperature to your body. Notice the coolness as it brushes over the tiny hairs in your nostrils. Or the damp surface of your tongue.

By the time it reaches your windpipe it is already close to your body temperature and harder to detect.

With next to no guidance from us, this wind finds its way to our lungs, filling them with fresh supplies of life giving oxygen. Our body knows what it needs. It sorts through the gases, oxygenating our blood and sending it on our way. We have breathed in the wind.. Inspiration. Ours for the taking, over and over. At least 20,000 times a day for the typical adult. Half a billion breaths in the average life span. More if you exercise. At least half a billion opportunities to fill our lungs with life.

And wind moves through the world. If it blows in a window in your house it must blow out somewhere else. So with our breath. Expiration. Removing waste products, cleaning our bodies, sweeping out unwanted gases and vapors.

So each of those half a billion breaths is a chance for change. Each is a change as our body actions dozens of processes according to the inhaling and exhaling, inspiring and expiring.

It is a wonderful thing.

A little history…

Essaouira (formerly Mogador) in its current format, was one of the world’s first intentional towns.

This swamp / archipelego / port already had a long history – from occupation in Paleolithic times through to when its Purpurae islands provided the purple dye that coloured Senators’ robes in  the Roman Empire (an industry set up in the 1st century BC by King Juba II of Mauritania) .

It also has a centuries’ long habit of cohabiting – Jews with Muslims, Christians with Berbers, artists with craftspeople, fisherman with merchants. The trade winds that bluster through the old medina from April to October have always brought a whirl of cultural and educational references.

In 1764, the Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah decided to take advantage of the strategic position of the fort & port (built the century before by the Portuguese and of interest to French and Spanish) and combine the Saharan trade with the external world in one place. Using French architect Cornut he designed the medina much as it is today, combining French city planning with Arabic tradition. The labour was carried out by local tribal peoples and French prisonerss.

The canny Sultan then populated the town with highly skilled craftspeople from Marrakech plus others from Europe. He deliberately combined Muslims, Berbers, Jews and Christians to create a diverse community vital to a flourishing hub of innovation and skilled workmanship.2018-04-04-19-14-58.jpg

Why me?

I have been on my own journey to arrive at this point where I decided to set up the Winds of Change centre.

That journey has taken me from a closing steel town in the North of England, via a maths degree and 18 years in the corporate world (oil and gas) to the last 16 years of independent project work. during that time I have travelled to over 80 countries and am fascinated by the differences and similarities across cultures.

I have been going to yoga classes for decades and trained as a massage therapist 25 years ago. I have always loved discovering new things, and have been attending courses and retreats myself for nearly 30 years. More formally I have trained as a Feminine Power Transformational leader, studied colour psychology (and written a book about it) and am now on Level 3 of my End of Life Doula training with Living Well Dying Well.

Every one of these courses, along with travelling, parenting, volunteering in my local community and pretty much everything else that ever happened to me, has played a part in creating the woman I now am. Developing the courage to understand myself and others, supporting the idea of radical honesty in relationships and loving to connect ideas from different fields, cross-pollinating to create new combinations of thinking and being.

I am excited about meeting all of you who come to be part of the Winds of Change community, welcoming your unique gifts and insights as we expand each other’s humanity and possibility.