It was unusual for me to be up with the early birds. My reward…one of the first to catch a glimpse of the glistening estuary from The Old Castle Terrace.
Boats bobbing and the sun poised to break through the clouds,
It’s going to be another magical day at The Big Retreat Wales
I smiled as I perched with my coffee from The Bean on my front row hay bale seat.
One and a half days into Pembrokeshire’s first wellness festival, Dave and I had just about recovered from the organised mayhem we endured creating a mini Life Seeker hub for this retreat.
We’d acquired a marquee pretty last minute and loved every minute of designing our festival space.
Now under the scorching sun on festival opening day, I could have slept standing up. Dave too.
Luckily he didn’t mind me interrupting his beauty sleep to join this magical moment.
Being the inaugural year, The Big Retreat Wales is still new to some. If that’s you, let me fill you in…
Imagine a regular festival with a random gigs lineup, then replace the majority of the music with positive lifestyle activities, people searching for life inspiration, breath-taking views and delicious wholesome grub.
Instead of grabbing your next beer or cider (or whatever floats your boat) and hanging around the stage for your favourite band, grab your yoga mat, an open mind and enter the one of the giant domes to uncover fun ways to live well.
Wondrous sessions awaited the Big Retreaters including several forms of yoga, aerobics, craft workshops, wellbeing & inspirational talks, laughter yoga, healing, dancing, water adventures, cookery, personal poetry, gin workshops and more.
Those who fancied an extra treat booked one-to-one sessions such as therapeutic massage and healing.
From the Life Seeker hub, we invited #bigretreaters to try our laughter workshops with Hetta and get creative for The Big Retreat Buntathon.
People chilled on our lamzacs and hammocks whilst colouring or writing to loved ones. And they found their silly side with #thesmilefiles.
“Seekers chilled, chatted, shared stories and catalysed dreams.”
People literally left their shoes and troubles at the door (Dave said our sign should have mimicked this).
They came and went to their heart’s content. A young girl crafted three notes to family in Australia.
Mic coloured an intricate anniversary card to share with her partner. Beautiful.
Life Seeker Providers Nicole Olsthoorn spoke about Your Wild Wisdom, Amanda Clifford introduced Nature’s Medicine Cabinet and Lise Matthews introduced the Health MOT with Amy Desborough as part of the Nutrition Detectives at The Ark.
Evenings under the stars had an air of quiet contentedness as people quietly chatted, ate real food and listened to the beautiful voices of Red Sheeran, IrresistiBuble (yes really) Jodie Marie and Lowri Evans, Ragsy, Climbing Trees and more.
Naturally, we indulged in food for the soul (it’s thirsty work sharing the Life Seeker mission you know).
Freshly cooked Pembrokeshire Wood-fired Pizza, Superfood Quinao Salad and Ham Hash from The Slow Pig (soon to be Woodland Pig), Italian pasta & Squid in Black Ink from Giovanni and Jaffa Cake ice cream from The VW-Dub Grub Company, yum.
Sunday evening saw the buntathon finale, with makers and #bigretreaters parading a colourful snake of flags through the festival and along the terrace.
Children and adults contributed. The vibe was immense.
I could write piles more about my personal retreat…
Time spent with Chelsea from Loving Life in Wellies (we had that Northern connection)
Tears of emotion as Tunde from The Versability Shop read out my personalised poem.
Ooh-ing at the wooden spoon carving with Single Malt Teapot and mono printing with Diana.
Toasting marshmallows (and Haribo!) around the fire pit…
Real shame I missed Lee’s talk about The Shed Project. That would have been right up my street.
The Big Retreat Wales is a place to take a new perspective on life.
To stand back and consider what really matters.
Hence why I wanted Life Seeker to be involved from the start. We and The Big Retreat Wales support the same mission, helping you to light the spark you need to begin creating your own piece of happiness.
What makes you smile?
What would you like to do more of?
How can you design your happy?
Add The Big Retreat Wales to your diary for 2018 to find out.
Meanwhile, allow Life Seeker to inspire you to #playsmartlivewell.
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Big Retreat Wales 2018 runs from 25th- 28th May. Early bird tickets now available.