How getting away from it all helps restore our sanity

14 Apr
1932271_728949463854899_5082056448698798902_nI recently had a guest stay in my garden cabin which has been turned into a retreat facility for the community. Some of her feedback underlines the reasons I know
retreating from ordinary life and having a complete rest is so restorative. The mind becomes calmer and thoughts more positive, the body sighs with relief and the spirit regains its wings to take on the world and live our best lives. These are some of her comments alongside my thoughts.
“The precious and rejuvenating woodland garden where I supped my morning tea, enchanted by  bees and rustling leaves. It made me believe  that may be I could live in  the city again if I could create a spot like that to nourish my roots.”
Nature is a passion of mine, whether I’m sowing wild flower seeds in bare patches of council land in the city or joining in with conservation work in the gorgeous wilds of Norfolk I find myself increasingly happy, content and able to breath more easily. The tiny urban wilderness created in my back garden is an homage to this ancient desire to be surrounded by the colour green, the swirl of leaves as the wind sweeps through the tree tops and the soft hum of bees busy creating next year’s fruits through pollination.
“I loved the reflexology treatment that led me into a wonderful  deep afternoon of sleep.  Fantastic.” 
Touch has always held an important place in the healing arts. An arm around someone in distress, a hand held at a time of great joy or need, the sensations of warm grass beneath the feet. I find giving a reflexology session provides me with relaxation and respite. Having trained many moons ago and never using it professionally until recently I am rediscovering its power to heal both the giver and the receiver.
“The lovingly prepared and delicious meals with herbs from the garden.”
Ah my crop may be small but it is varied and fills me with pleasure to step out into the garden for a handful of raspberries to add to the breakfast smoothie, a clutch of mint to add freshness to new potatoes, sage, thyme and rosemary chopped into a salad. Such small joys, easy to bring delight.
“My initiation lesson into juicing with all  its attendant, sensuous pleasures –  rainbow colours and sparkling flavours “
Since discovering juicing through the juice master Jason Vale my old bones have been thanking me, my skin has taken on a new blush and energy is available to me that surpasses my younger years of complacency. I love sharing this ‘not so secret anymore.’
“Your kind, personalised attention to my needs – endless cups of tea and juice – your infectious energy and good humour.”
I learned about hospitality in India, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and discovered that welcoming people into my space combines nourishment with love. It pairs sharing with receiving and provides an insight into a deeper awareness of self and others. I get great pleasure from providing a little more than is expected and trusting my instincts in knowing when less is more…
“Sharing that art house Korean film – great nature images and insights  into  another  way to enlightenment – and all the more enjoyable  for your plush, comfortable red sofa.”
Never underestimate the power of a decent, gorgeous, comfortable sofa for nestling and retreating into comfort, warmth and contentment. Watching a feel-good film in such a situation is wonderful.
“I value the coaching session  on income streams to get me thinking about what next.”
Life or business coaching has been another passion of mine for many years. Holding a mirror up to someone answering their own questions is unbelievably rewarding. I find that people generally know far more than they give themselves credit for and the creative answers and solutions they create always amaze me.
So with my guest’s kind words suspended in words on this page I complete this blog with one of my favourite sayings by Lao Tsu
“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white – neither need you do anything but – be yourself”