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Writing Retreat

Setting off to my writing retreat,  full of anticipation, with an over packed bag, and my mind full inspiration. Not sure what to expect, but certain that I wanted to be a writer. Driving along my favourite beach road, and on either side millions of Arum Lilies. My favourite flowers since I was a mere toddler. I always see Arum Lilies as a safe sign from God, and I feel that my Mom is at my side.

My sister and I drove off with great excitement to Phakalani.  It is a healing sanctuary, so unique, and thought has been put into every single corner. The lush trees called us in, and stepping through the front door, a beautiful lady welcomed us, so kindly into her calm space.

The meditation room, was a room like no other.  Round face brick walls, towering up for miles, and a shiny inviting wooden floor. The centre piece made up of vases of pretty blossoms. A reminder that Spring had arrived. In front of the tall window sat a large concrete piece of a puzzle. I pondered on what it symbolises, and wondered if by the time I left I would know?

Our new home, was a quaint little bedroom with 2 futons on the floor. Simple, and extremely cosy. We were in awe at the beauty of everything from the large kitchen to the luxurious living rooms. Outside I spotted a Labyrinth, and knew that apart from having to walk it, there was so much more there, that Iwished to explore.072c28b510f2f2a94259beb163b003c5

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Calamari, and wine seemed a good way to start our journey, while we chatted and shared stories, as sisters do. We had a restful sleep, and woke up refreshed. As always, I waded through my 100s of emails, until our course instructor, and fellow writers arrived, and we were ready to begin.

Freezing outside, we were comforted by the ongoing, crackling of the fire . The more we wrote, the more we realised that we could all write. From rhymes, to free writing, we wrote, shared, laughed and cried. In between, sipping on warm home made Chai tea and delicious, organic, raw pecan nut pie.

After lunch, my nerves started setting in.  I questioned myself, as to why I had agreed to join a Group Steam. The time was drawing closer, and I knew that I had to prepare myself mentally. We were lead into a large room, and about 40 of us shared our names,, and what we intended to step out of, and into after the steam. I chose to step out of anxiety and into calm.

Strolling out singing,  and clapping to an Africa song  we wound our way, closely knit into the tarpaulin.  I must have gone into a meditative state, as the red hot glistening coals were fed onto the fire, and the water was squirted at us. We sat, sang, clapped and sweated, and then far too soon we wereled out, only to have to ice cold buckets of water thrown at us.  When I flopped into bed, with wet hair, herbal medicine and a bit of soot over my body, I slipped into a deep, relaxing sleep. I was so grateful to God, and my Angels, that I was so calm.

flatWe were advised to walk around the gardens,  and get a feeling with all of our senses, on the experience. The aim was to come back and write.  With the stones crackling underfoot, I walked on the path more travelled. The fire had burnt out, and it felt as if we had all taken part of it home with us.  Just as I began to ponder on the emptiness, I stepped into a reeded room.

My heart jumped for joy, as I set eyes on the most beautiful bathroom. Set in the garden with a Camelia tree overflowing with soft, white scented flowers. I was tempted to jump in, but I knew my journey had to continue. Just that morning, I had showered in the amazing outside shower.  How could this possibly be more beautiful?

I walked the never ending labyrinth.  Round and round I went, until I felt quite dizzy, and then winding my way out, I felt this overwhelming feeling of contentment. In front of me stood a little log cottage.  The temptation was there to just lie on the bed, and rest my weary legs, but I knew that my journey had to keep walking.

Joy of joys, a Buddha sat in a meditation garden. Welcoming me in, I prayed, and thanked the Universe for all the Blessings that were being bestowed on me. Meandering down to the pool, I heard a variety of birds singing, and the odd person passing on the crunching stones.  Lush greenery, dotted with beautiful flowers, was everywhere.  Walking back to write, I knew that my garden journey was not complete.

Lying on the mattress on the floor, with the fire glowing on one side, the sun showering me with rays on the other. My massage began, with strong, warm healing hands. Every muscle in my body was being ironed out.  As I lay relaxing, a cat crept on to my legs, and then lay there.  He felt so warm and comforting.  This truly was Heaven on Earth.

After a beautiful evening of eating, drinking, chatting and making new friends, we drifted into calm sleep. I was up at the crack of dawn, and made my way to the outdoor shower. It was still chilly in the mornings, and I wanted to ensure that my shower was warm. There is something about showering outside, that connects you to the wonder of nature.

After another inspirational morning of writing, we worked, rested and nibbled on fruit, nuts and healthy snacks. We had the opportunity to experience Kundalini Yoga for the very 1st time. We used loads of various breathing techniques, in amongst amazing stretches. We even did the elephant walk, to everyone’s delight, which was interrupted by spurts of laughter.

Another day began with warm lemon and honey water, followed by fresh fruit, and later in the morning, the most delicious healthy cakes and sweets. We wrote and wrote and wrote. We had all become a little, wary, but the joy of sharing our life experiences, bonded us before we said out good byes, and headed it off home.

Driving home through the fair Cape, is the perfect way for me to have consolidated, by thoughts, writing, experiences etc. I felt tired, but elated. Motivated to continue on my writing journey. But, most of all excited to return home, and hug my family. I never did work out what the puzzle piece symbolises?

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Comments (3)

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    what a fantastic read


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    Helene Cloete


    Wow! What an incredibly, evocative, enlightening read. Rich with description. Colourful and thoroughly enjoyable. Loved it!


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      Trish Taylor


      Thanks so much Helene. Have an amazing day.


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