Back behind my desk, reminiscing about our 'Slow & Mindful Escape in Tuscany' that took place two weeks ago.
Dreamy vistas and cloudy mountain peeks that could have been the decor of a late 13th century renaissance painting composed the backdrop of our retreat. What better place than two ancient Tuscan houses, decorated with style and elegance, to have as our home base for this mindful journey.
Slow travel and mindful living were the two focus points for our week together. Creating an experience where people can connect and disconnect, that was my aim. It was less about doing and more about being. Teasing and awakening the senses in all possible ways and welcoming anything that arises. Welcoming life as it unfolds in front of us.
Mindfulness and slow yin and restorative yoga sessions throughout the week were mixed with various nourishing group activities. We went on a scenic walk to a secret waterfall on our first day together. A blanket with fresh fruit, sandwiches and glasses of cold prosecco were laid out for us. A dip in the ice cold but oh so invigorating water added to our physical and mental well-being.
The cooking class led by Ana and her 18 year old son Emanuele definitely was one of the highlights! The pure pleasure of working with our hands, learning from people so passionate about food and after that eating our own home-made ravioli. Mama mia!
Our week was one of much joy, of some tears and getting real with yourself. Of sharing, exploring our own boundaries ('do I join this activity and be social or shall I stay in and read a little longer'), some adventure like climbing slippery and rocky paths towards the Refugio on mount Muzzerone, where a delicious lunch was awaiting us. We also went foraging with a local guide who knows everything there is to know about indigenous plants, herbs and flowers.
Oh my, and did I already mention the food? Davide and Maartje are the hosts of the beautiful accommodation we were housed, La Concia. Davide poors his heart into every dish he makes, and he can also tell you alot about local food, the produce he uses and any other thing you would like to know in general. About life. He also has this home-made medicine (aka walnut liqor haha) after dinner, so I guess you can also call him a doctor :). Maartje is just the most beautiful soul on this planet. She is like this steady rock in the ocean, in between the currents..always there to rely on. Someone that is able to see the positive in every human being.
Every evening we enjoyed delicious local, organic and wholesome food at beautifully set tables inside and outside, depending on the weather. When eating outside the moon, candles and the fireflies lit up the sky, such a magical sight. Gathering together at the table, enjoying all of the good things in life, sharing personal stories, laughing, living in the moment. Connecting with souls from all over... I couldn't wish for more.
In hindsight 'La Dolce Vita' would have maybe been a more accurate phrase for this retreat. As one of the participants pointed out, our get together was a real 'treat'. I had much fun facilitating this mindful gathering of souls! If you are interested in joining a similar retreat, subscribe to our newsletter here and be the first to know!
And for the rest, I will let the pictures speak for themselves...