In 2006, we left the UK to find inner peace and freedom in this largely unspoilt part of south west France. Tucked away in a small village surrounded by rolling hills dressed with vines, sunflowers, woods and wild orchids, we live and breathe in harmony with the calming beauty of the natural world that surrounds us.
When we first arrived in the Razès, we simply offered gîtes to people looking to spend a week or two here on holiday. As we evolved spiritually, our business also evolved to include offering walking, writing and meditation retreats - the stunning scenery begged nature lovers to explore it, budding writers and ardent meditators to be inspired by it. Nowadays, in partnership with fellow professionals here in the Aude, we offer a regular series of walking, writing and spiritual wellbeing retreats throughout the year.
In essence, we offer the place and space for people to unwind and reclaim their mind, body, spirit balance, or their personal sense of wellbeing.
Jo: "In my early 30s I went through a long, drawn out ‘dark night of the soul’ that resulted in a near death experience. After years of physical hurt and emotional pain, exhausting mental burnout, too many broken and dysfunctional relationships to count, nothing but shattered hopes and dreams, I died and was reborn in a timeless instant. I experienced absolute joy and love for everyone and everything. I felt unimaginable peace and total trust in myself and the universe. I was of this world and yet… so much more than it. I was infinite and unconditional love. I was everything and nothing.
"And then the proverbial bubble broke and it faded. And I realised right then and there that I had been shown the potential bliss that was both real and achievable, but it was up to me to make it manifest in my life and start to live it. As a direct consequence of both the collapse and the most glorious rebirth, I quite literally changed my life and rebuilt myself from the inside out.
"The ‘old’ me that had been broken and given up on life was now gone and gave way to knowing there was a powerful, inner light crying out to burn so brightly and be birthed in a ‘new’ me. It therefore became my mission to explore new ways of finding - and holding on to! - ever higher levels of love, joy, peace, and healing in my life.
"To this end, I walked away from my old life, casting off the corporate mask, to create a new way of being. For over 20 years now, I have been walking my own path of self-discovery while showing others how to effectively surf the tides of their soul journeys, moving ever closer to their own inner lights. It may come as no surprise to hear that, for us human beings, the true soul journey never ends. It just keeps getting more rewarding and more beautiful the closer we come to becoming and living our personal truth, our bliss. :O)
"As part of my spiritual journey, I retrained as a nature therapy guide, past life regressionist, hypnotherapist, meditation and mindfulness instructor, and spiritual wellness coach. Nowadays, I devote my time to all those beautiful souls out there who feel a deep desire to embark upon their own soul journey and may be glad for a helping hand to inspire and support them along the path of self-discovery and healing for spiritual wellness. While not everyone has to contend with living through a dark night of the soul, everyone’s soul is searching for spiritual growth to some degree or another.
"If you have hope in your heart, anything is possible. We are infinite."
Bob: "Self-expression became a passion for me and, in my early twenties, I discovered that writing was the way in which I could best express myself. Having now authored, co-authored and contributed to over 20 books, I coach in creative writing... but that doesn't mean that I don’t still even now commit some howlers with the written word!
"We all ask ‘what we are here for?’ at some time or another in our lives. Having given it some obsessive lifelong consideration, 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 personal in nature – they cannot be otherwise - and hence their expression can only be personal, no-one else thinks as you do. Writing for yourself enables you to become who you are. It’s your own story. No one else has your story. Your story is your statement of who you are. Forget needing approval and fearing judgement. Instead, writing is and should be about creating and giving voice to what sits with you, what resonates deeply within, that which expresses what you really think once you shake off advice, convention, teaching and the thinking of others.
"Writing enables you to find the real you within, find peace with what you really think, and 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 heal ourselves and become the people of the future that we wish to be. We offer retreats to those in search of a deeper sense of spiritual wellbeing who want to embark on their soul journey to finding their own freedom and bliss.
All 3, 5 and 7 day retreats are based from a rural village in the heart of the countryside in the south of France. All our spiritual work is most effective with one-on-ones and small groups (up to 6 people).