It’s crazy to think that a week ago today, I had just finished hosting The Humble Retreat. My mum (who had come to cook for the weekend) and I had packed up the car and were enroute home. It was my first ever weekend hosting and creating a safe space for guests to discover and connect with gentle yoga, beautiful walking, mindfulness activities, wholesome homemade food and each other.
Ever since I set up The Humble Retreat, two months ago, I have known that this is exactly what I am meant to be doing in my life, right now. It’s that feeling we get when we know that something is unshakeably right. There is no doubt, worry or concern. Everything is just as it is meant to be.
I haven’t been worried about who will or won’t be coming to The Humble Retreat or concerned over bookings or lack of them. I have so much conviction in The Humble Retreat that I know that those who decide to join me for a weekend will join me when the time is right for them.
If you think you are ready to experience The Humble Retreat, the nurturing and healing environment can leave you feeling uplifted and at peace with so much in your life.
That’s exactly what happened The Humble Retreat in August. It was wonderful to observe. From start to finish The Humble Retreat evolved beautifully into everything and more that I had hoped it to be.
Seven guests joined me for The Humble Retreat in August. They entered the bunkhouse on a rather rainy and dark Friday evening. As we all sat down at the kitchen table ready to start the weekend (and the unknown!) I immediately warmed to them all. This was a beautiful group.
How I admired each guest for being at peace and at ease with the humble accommodation, lack of internet, sharing rooms with people they had only just met, whilst allowing strangers (soon to be friends) in on their life journey. It was extremely humbling to observe how the group connected and were at such ease with one another.
It can be very difficult to switch off from the noise and distraction in our everyday life so having individuals come together simply to be was just wonderful.
After settling in at the bunkhouse and the new surroundings everyone tucked into home made soup with bread and finished off their light supper with some carrot cake made by my dear mum. After introductions and sharing we all made it eagerly to bed by 9:30pm. It’s amazing how the fresh air (and some travelling time!) can send you off to bed early.
The next morning, after showers and a morning brew the humble retreaters and I trundled on down to the village hall which is a beautiful space just 5 minutes walk away from the bunkhouse. The village hall is perfectly located, nestled at the foot of the Shropshire hills. It’s a wonderful space for gentle yoga.
Gentle yoga is a perfect introduction to anyone who has never practised yoga before. There are no strenuous moves and it does not turn into a sweaty class. It’s a lovely relaxing class and encourages mindfulness whilst always coming back to the breath.
A big goal of mine at The Humble Retreat is to introduce guests to alternative holistic healing. After our gentle yoga class and a gratitude sharing circle it was a privilege to open up a discussion around Feng Shui Energetics. This talk was delivered by Kurly Marwaha who I met during my walking tour of the UK.
There are many holistic healing therapies in the world and I have only discovered a smidgen of those. For future retreats I’m looking forward to inviting specialists in alternative healing therapies to share their knowledge at future Humble Retreats.
We all need to heal after all.
Whether it’s from an ailment, a heartbreak, grief, stress at work, depression, anxiety, motherhood, fatherhood, marriage, relationships, losing a job, addiction…whatever it is, we are constantly in need of healing our head, our heart and our soul.
This need for healing never stops. We are never completely healed or recovered from an ordeal in life. There is never a magical “forever” fix. We know too well that we can be happy and then we can be sad. With this understanding and acceptance it is our responsibility to keep nurturing ourselves. Therapies, good company and nourishing activity are ways this can be achieved.
By 10:15am our bellies were making some seriously hungry groans and so we hurried back to the bunkhouse for a filling breakfast of oats, fruit, toast, yogurt, honey and homemade jams.
After fuelling up, the humble retreaters and I set off for an afternoon of exploring the Long Mynd which is exactly where the The Humble Retreat resides. Four hours of walking, talking, getting wet in the summer downpour, drying off in the summer sun, breathing in the fresh air, having moments of silence, eating a packed lunch by a waterfall, laughing, exploring, observing and enjoying we ended back at the bunkhouse for cake and tea and to relax.
The humble retreaters then observed a silent hour. The peace and quiet allowed for reflection time.
After this peaceful hour, humble retreaters were free to enjoy their own time to do as they pleased. Chatting in the kitchen, sitting in the sunshine, impromptu reiki and reflexology treatment.
The wholesome dinner was filling and satisfying after a long day of activity. Laughter filled the bunkhouse and just before bedtime at 9pm five guests committed to getting up with me at 5:30am the next morning for a sunrise walk to Caer Cadoc an hours walk from the bunkhouse. The other two humble retreaters were more than happy to swap the sunrise walk and honour themselves with a little lie in.
The sunrise walk was totally worth the alarm clock on a Sunday. It was brisk, fresh, quiet and beautifully sunny. The group of sunrise walkers and I sat at the top of the hill to watch the sun rising.
After breathing in every moment of the sunrise we made the hour journey back to the bunkhouse to join our fellow humble retreaters and my mum for a big breakfast and final sharing of our gratitude, intentions and reflections of the weekend.
It was a complete privilege and honour to host a group of humble retreaters who entered the bunkhouse as strangers and left as friends each experiencing something unique as a group and as an individual.
I am grateful to every humble retreater for being open. I am grateful to my mum for believing in the concept and for supporting The Humble Retreat (and making all the food!). I am grateful that the humble retreaters shared and created what became a magical weekend.
I am excited for the next Humble Retreat in September. I’m excited to welcome new humble retreaters. I am excited to experience something unique and special. I am excited to open up a safe space for humble retreaters to restore, explore and relax.
Spaces are still available for dates this year, so head here if you’re ready to join me.
The feedback The Humble Retreat in August received from the humble retreaters was completely…humbling. And I will let their words lead this post out…
“Thank you for an incredible weekend and improving my perspective on life and how to make the most of every day”
“Thank you Lizzie and mum! I really believe in what you’re doing and I really believe it will be successful, because of you! I have been most grateful for listening to and sharing so many experiences and hearing the courage to overcome difficulties”
“My biggest take away from the weekend is being able to be present and fully appreciate the task I am doing and what I am experiencing. I’ve been most grateful for Lizzie and Mandy who are the best hosts, the wonderful company, conversation and food!”
“The memories shared with such beautiful people, the laughter, the nature and the amazing food have made my weekend. Absolutely beautiful weekend. Keep doing what you are doing as you are awesome!”
“This weekend has reminded me to be kinder to myself, to switch off from technology and to walk more.”
“This weekend I have seen a glimpse of what I used to be…happy. Thank you for what you have given me, something that money cannot buy – happiness!”.