Location – Beautiful Yurt in a quiet countryside setting near Emsworth
Client – Chris, a high-profile mover and shaker
Brief – Rest, respite, recovery and regeneration
Back to Earth
The voice on the other end of the phone was strong but the words landed with a heavy thud: “I just want to step off the ride for a while…!”
I learned that Chris, who’s in public life, hadn’t had a proper holiday for a decade, and working through the unprecedented challenges and uncertainties of lockdown had highlighted a significantly compromised bio-energy field that was beginning to have ongoing repercussions, and I was asked to organise a four-night, stress-busting retreat as soon as possible.
Under normal circumstances, such a brief would not have presented me with any problems, but this was my first post-lockdown retreat, and whilst the hospitality industry was returning to some semblance of normality, I’d been blithely unaware that some therapists had not been given the green light to return to work.
Thankfully, I’d spent several weeks researching and selecting a new and more bespoke range of suitable, ‘covid-safe’ accommodations that offer outdoors and semi-outdoor work spaces, and so in that regard at least, things were fairly straightforward, and I asked Chris which one most appealed. ‘All of them’, was the answer.
Assuming a bit of 5-star luxury would actually be required, I tested the waters; ‘What, even a yurt…?’, I asked.
‘Yes, even a yurt’, was the surprising reply, and as the conversation progressed, I could sense that a down-to-earth yurt retreat far from the madding crowd, with the smell of woodsmoke and a bit of ‘roughty-toughty’ back to basics ambiance (albeit with a nice hot shower!) in a beautiful, natural setting would be perfect.
It quickly became clear that exhaustion and lack of good quality sleep were combining to create an energy vacuum that could lead to a classic mid-life burnout not too far down the line, and so I devised a beautifully chilled and grounded retreat, comprising Qigong to harmonise and balance the physical energies, Reflexology for relaxation and wellbeing, and Meditation, Forest Bathing and Energy Healing to help Chris unwind and recharge.
Finding the Qigong teacher and Reflexologist at such a confused and confusing juncture proved so tricky that I did wonder whether the timing of this was a little premature… but luck was on our side and the holistic industry was released from lockdown in the nick of time, and we were good to go.
Qigong was well-received and the Reflexology treatment was greatly enjoyed. But Chris had taken care to prime me beforehand that the concept of energy medicine was very much an unknown quantity, and I was conscious of the fact that my own contributions would need to bridge worlds or run the risk of falling on unfertile ground.
As it happened, the bridge was simpler than I’d imagined; Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing) with the added magic of Crystal Healing was followed by a spontaneous conversation about Faith, which effortlessly opened the door to the beginning of a shift in Chris’ fundamental bio-energy operating system.
That night brought some much-needed deep sleep, and the final day comprised more Healing energy work, some Art Therapy and a randomly chosen Oracle Card which featured a beautiful heart, symbolising the transformation of the energetic bio-fuel, which was morphing from the heady harshness of adrenaline to the altogether more harmonious and expansive power of the heart, which bestows a truly life-sustaining and far less stressful path for any spiritually-inclined mover and shaker.
I did wonder at times if it was all a bridge too far, but the beautifully simple and characteristically understated words that were sent to me afterwards – replicated below – are a lovely indication that we successfully bridged the gap and that the way forwards will be much lighter… in all senses of the word.