Back in England, we used to be 'business' people. In 2006 we managed to escape and found peace and freedom in this largely unspoilt part of France. We walked away from the meaningless hustle and bustle of the soul-sapping world of business and marketing to spend more time exploring our inner worlds and reconnecting with the 'real' natural, living world that surrounds us. We are altogether happier for having done it.
Tucked away in a small village surrounded by rolling hills dressed with vines, sunflowers, woods or wild orchids depending on the time of year, where the butterflies and bees still merrily sing as they go about their daily business of pollinating the planet, we are lucky to live and breathe in harmony with the sweetness and beauty of the natural world that surrounds us.
Jo: "Since my arrival in 2006, I have rebuilt myself from the inside out.
"I have spent a lifetime of walking for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Many years ago I recognised that nature was 'feeding' me every time I shut the front door, taking myself off on walks both near and far, always coming back feeling on top of the world and hugely peaceful. Whether I needed time to reflect on a problem, space to air an emotion or release old locked-up grief, or simply for the pleasure of hearing the birdsong and enjoying my rhythmic pacing, walking has been my salvation in many things.
"I have spent my time here qualifying as a Nature Therapy (Ecotherapy to some) guide, past life regressionist and hypnotherapist, meditation and mindfulness instructor, and spiritual wellness specialist. I offer guided visualisations and meditations for inner peace, mindful routes to reconnect with nature for outer harmony, and basic yoga stretching for balanced health and wellbeing. I devote my time sharing my passion for being in nature and walking with people who want to do any or all of these things to improve their sense of wellbeing, self-discovery and self-healing."
Bob: "I haven't experienced any major traumatic events in my life but maybe that's why I have spent a lot of time thinking and asking questions.
"We all ask ‘what are we here for?’ at some time or another. It's a question that just won’t go away. For me, I have come to understand that my life purpose is to undergo experience, to learn from that experience and to express it. Experience and learning are uniquely personal and hence their expression must be too.
"Self-expression became a passion for me and I discovered that writing was the way in which I could bro this best. Having now authored, co-authored and contributed to over 20 books, it doesn't mean that I don’t still even now commit some howlers with the written word!
"Writing enables you to find the real you in the written word, come to peace with what you really think, and allow you to become the person you want to be. Being able to express yourself freely helps move you further down the road towards healing yourself."
Our Retreat Ethos
It is our view that we are living in a world where we need to hone our skills of self-discovery and self-expression if we are to stand a chance of healing ourselves and becoming the people of the future that we wish to be. We offer retreats to those in search of a deeper sense of wellbeing who want to walk or write their way to finding their own freedom.
Jo leads all the outdoor aspects and nature experiences: “Outdoors in nature, I feel replete and at peace with myself and the living world around me.”
Bob leads the creative writing and Cathare castle retreats. “Simple techniques can break our everyday moulds, releasing flow and inspiration, breathing life into a book or poem. Living in the Pays Cathare brings its own inspiration and I love sharing this with others so they leave here being able and inspired to do the same.”