an intimate, soul nourishing retreat in SW France
July 4 - 10, 2020
"The five senses are the ministers of the soul."
~Leonardo da Vinci
I see you, mama. Burning the candle at both ends. Putting everyone else first. Loving. Guiding. Providing. Teaching. Healing. Giving.
You’re tired. I know, lovely. I am too.
You may or may not be a “mother” as traditionally defined by society, but as a woman you're an inherent nurturer, caretaker, maternal figure to others in your life — friends, co-workers, the community, clients, family members, neighbors, pets, partners. It’s in your nature to be a giver…which often leaves you depleted — an empty cup, a well run dry — with no resources left for yourself.
“A tree that refuses water and sunlight for itself can’t bear fruit for others.”
What if, for just a few days, you could step away from your constant, demanding role(s), and instead let yourself be loved, held, nourished and nurtured?
Imagine unplugging from your every day life — no routine, no responsibilities, no demands, no rules.
Imagine tending to nothing but yourself and your own needs.
Imagine focusing on YOU, and only YOU — body, mind & spirit.
Just imagine the deep healing and restoration that could take place in just one week of mothering yourself for a change.
Radical acts of self-care aren't selfish. They're self-less.
If this message resonates at a soul-level, I invite you to join me in France this summer at the Sacred Senses retreat.
What to Expect
I designed this retreat as just that — a respite from our every day lives. It's not meant to be a "vacation", but rather a transformative experience. In a foreign land, surrounded by astounding beauty, culture and history, we will explore our inner selves by way of exploring our environment — all through our sacred senses. We will slow down, unwind, and bask in the present moment. By doing so, we'll discover how our senses can be a pathway to wellness through purposeful attention, awareness and mindfulness.
Feed Your Senses. Nourish Your Soul.
Our time together will be spent enjoying ease-filled activities designed to call forth mindfulness while engaging our senses:
- Gentle movement
We'll feed our bodies nutritious, locally sourced food lovingly prepared from scratch. We'll peek inside village life as we stroll a weekly market where locals shop for regional produce and artisanal goods. We'll forage the countryside with an herbalist as she teaches us about the healing powers of nature's seasonal bounty. We'll wander through vineyards and meet winemakers, sampling the fruits of their labor. We'll get our hands dirty — rinsing, chopping, sautéing — as we learn how to prepare traditional French cuisine. We'll frolic in the river, cooling & cleansing our bodies, as we spend a lazy summer afternoon picnicking along the Aveyron. We'll commune under the full Capricorn moon as we explore our shadow side (hello lunar eclipse!) and ceremonially pledge to release what no longer serves us. We'll dine al fresco as a chorus of frogs and crickets and maybe even local musicians serenade us. We'll forge new friendships as we bond over shared experiences in a magical land.
But most importantly...We'll rest. We'll relax. We'll put ourselves first.
As part of this sacred experience, I give you the freedom to honor your own needs (GUILT FREE) — whatever they may be. No activity is required. And there will be plenty of space carved into the daily schedule for free/downtime.
Where We'll Retreat
About an hour northeast of Toulouse (nearest major airport), our home for the week is located in the tiny medieval commune of Verfeil in the Tarn et Garonne region of southwestern France. We will be surrounded by some of SW France’s most idyllic scenery and a rich assortment of picturesque towns steeped in character and history. With three major rivers running through it, the region offers a range of varied landscapes, alternating between plains and hills scattered with sunflower fields and orchards, wild gorges, caves, limestone plateaus, and sloping vineyards.
Mon Rêve (translated as "My Dream") is a 4-bedroom, 2-bath authentic village home owned by two British sisters, Lesley & Chris. Nestled in a sleepy rural town surrounded by rolling hills dotted with quaint farmhouses and ancient ruins, our home away from home offers traditional rustic comfort as we assimilate to the old fashioned French way of life - simple, relaxed and casual. Wake to birds outside your blue shuttered window as they welcome each new day with glorious song. Breakfast daily on fresh-baked croissants from the local boulangerie. Lounge in the shade of the private courtyard while reading a book. Spend a quiet afternoon journaling or crafting. Explore the neighborhood square and tiny chapel, pet the local cats, join in a friendly game of bocce ball. Or just nap in a hammock. Whatever your soul requires.
YOUR RETREAT PACKAGE INCLUDES:
Pre-retreat Zoom video Meet & Greet
6 nights lodging at Mon Rêve*
Group transport from central Toulouse at 5pm on July 4
Group transport to central Toulouse at 9am on July 10
Forage + workshop with an herbalist
An authentic french village market day
Wine tasting in the renowned Gaillac region
Three-course cooking class
Picnic at the Aveyron River
Full moon ceremony
Daily self-care rituals (i.e., meditation, breathwork, reiki)
And some extra special surprises!
***Airfare is not included***
*Double occupancy (2 twin beds per room) within a 4 bedroom + 2 bathroom authentically rustic village home. I’ll pair you with a like-minded roommate, or bring a friend to share this experience of a lifetime with!
Payment Plans Available
$1,000 Deposit Required to Reserve
This will be an intimate circle of women limited to only 6 guests, so reserve your spot now.
How to Reserve
I'll review your Application within 24 hours and reach out to you with next steps & payment instructions.
Where is the nearest airport?
The nearest major airport is Toulouse–Blagnac Airport (TLS), which is located about an hour and a half away from our property.
When should I arrive in Toulouse?
I would suggest arriving in Toulouse at least a day before the retreat begins to get your bearings and recover from any jet lag. Remember that France is 5-9 hours ahead of the continental US, so most flights will arrive the following day (sometimes +2 days, depending on lay-overs and departure times). There are many stylish and affordable hotel or Airbnb options in Toulouse. I've made a list of Toulouse Airbnb properties to help kickstart your search, available here. Or if you prefer, here's a list of 3+ star hotels rated 8+ in central Toulouse on Booking.com. For information about visiting Toulouse, go to their tourism website here. (Note: I am NOT affiliated with any of these organizations).
If possible, I highly recommend spending some extra days traveling within France before &/or after the retreat if you want to do more "touristy" sightseeing. I mean, PARIS is kind of a must-see if you've never been (roughly 5 hours away by train or a quick, inexpensive flight from Toulouse on a regional airline like EasyJet).
Where will we be staying?
The property, aka Mon Rêve, is located in Verfeil-sur-Seye, a few kilometers from the medieval market town of Saint Antonin du Noble Val. I'll provide the property address to you once we get closer to the retreat date.
How will I get to the retreat (aka Mon Rêve)?
I'll arrange for group transport from Toulouse at 5pm on July 4th. The exact pick-up location in Toulouse is TBD and will be announced once I know everyone's arrival, location & plans. Please note that if you miss the group transport, you will be responsible for hiring your own transportation to Mon Rêve, which is 1-1.5 hours away. If you wish to rent a vehicle to have more freedom, it is very easy to drive in France. Please plan to arrive at Mon Rêve between 6-6:30 pm on July 4th.
How will I get back to Toulouse?
We will arrange for group transport from Mon Rêve back to central Toulouse, leaving after breakfast on July 10th at 9:00 am local time (arriving in Toulouse approximately 10:30 am, so it is not recommended that you schedule any departing flights BEFORE 1:30 pm that day).
What does my retreat cost cover?
The cost of your retreat covers your group transportation between Toulouse and Mon Rêve on July 4th and July 10th, double occupancy accommodation (2 twins per room) at Mon Rêve for 6 nights (from July 4 - 10th). All meals during your stay at Mon Rêve will be provided (including Dinner on July 4th, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner between July 5-9th, and Breakfast on July 10th). The kitchen will be stocked with some light snack foods. All planned group excursions and activities (and any planned transportation) will be covered. You will be responsible for any discretionary spending on shopping, souvenirs, personal snacks &/or beverages, etc. There may also be optional services made available to us during our retreat (i.e., massage, reflexology) that will NOT be covered.
What currency is used in France?
France uses the Euro. Please see current exchange rates here. Most of France is similar to the US as far as accepting credit/debit cards, and ATM machines are common. However, we will be in a pretty rural area, so do have some Euro on hand! Also, don't forget to advise your financial institutions about your travel plans prior to departure to avoid any issues with your cards while traveling.
What if I have special dietary needs?
We'll do our best to work with any health-related special requests, as long as you let us know well in advance. Please be aware that we will be in a foreign country, and it's much more difficult to accommodate special needs abroad.
What about accommodating special physical needs?
Depending on your specific requirements, we may or may not be able to accommodate you. If you have mobility issues, note that this area is rustic (think cobble streets). The property itself has 2 bedrooms upstairs and 2 bedrooms on the ground floor, so if climbing stairs is an issue, let me know and I will arrange to have you in one of the lower rooms.
What if I need to cancel?
Please see the Payment and Cancellation Policy here. All retreat guests will be required to sign an Agreement outlining this Policy as well other Retreat Terms & Conditions and a Liability Release Form once an Application is accepted.
What do I need to bring with me?
I'll provide recommendations and a packing list prior to our retreat. However, you will need a valid passport to travel to France. If you already have a passport, be sure the expiration date is WELL BEYOND July 2020 (at least 6 months). If you don't have a passport, apply for one ASAP. They can take up to 6-8 weeks in some cases. See more information at the US Department of State website here. International guests outside of the US, please refer to your respective country's policy.
On the fence about joining,
or have questions that I haven't answered?
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly.