Before I get into the details of our inaugural retreat, please have a quick read here for a little more about the history of how “Girasole Retreats” began.
When the 3 of us first started chatting about the idea of putting something like this together, I honestly don’t think that any of us really believed we would actually do it! It was more of a “wouldn’t it be great to do this one day?” kind of chat initially.
But a little fire had been sparked up inside us and it was persistent! Before we knew it we were looking at potential venues and mapping out a schedule. We were (and still are!) convinced that our combination of Pilates, Reflexology/Indian Head Massage and EFT/Tapping was one that people needed to experience to attain a greater wellness of both mind and body. We became determined to make it happen!
After contacting several places and having difficulty getting somewhere that we felt would really suit what we wanted to do, we finally came across Lorne House in County Down. After chatting with the one of the coordinators on the phone we were so hopeful that this would be “the one”. We made an arrangement to go for a viewing and kept our fingers crossed that we wouldn’t be disappointed.
Being mums of young children, getting out during the day on our own isn’t easy! So in the end, we arrived at Lorne with SEVEN small children in tow to have a look around!! The staff were so accommodating and politely smiled as our little darlings ran riot round the beautiful house, running up and down the staircase, climbing onto the windowsills and screaming in delight at this fun new ‘playhouse’! It wasn’t exactly the perfect conditions for scouting out a peaceful venue for our first retreat! However, even amidst this chaos and stress, we knew that we had found our place. It was perfect 🙂
The old house commands respect as soon as you enter it. The rooms have beautifully high ceilings and large bright windows with views of the gorgeous grounds from the ground floor and Belfast lough from the first floor.
The carpet feels soft and luxurious under foot and despite its size, there is a lovely cosiness that is just so welcoming and comforting to feel. We just knew instantly that our guests would enjoy staying here!
The space available was perfect for our requirements and we were satisfied that we would be able to achieve the ambience and setting that we wanted for our guests. We got our date booked, paid our deposit and got to work!!
Our planning sessions were a few sporadic evening gatherings, with the kids in bed and a chance to chat uninterrupted (mostly!!) and a lot of WhatsApp chat and conference calls. We planned the timetable, the food, the content of each of our individual sessions…everything was thought out and organised to the very last detail. All we needed now was guests! Would anyone want to come?? Are people even interested in what we have to offer?? Would anyone see our ad or hear our call?? This was the scary part – putting ourselves out there!
Thankfully we have Shauna, our EFT practitioner! This amazing technique was something that we all used frequently in the weeks and months in the lead up to our event. Regular practice helped us all to release that fear and move forwards with our excitement and enthusiasm.
We were so grateful to have all our spaces filled and to hear how excited everyone was about coming!
Then the day arrived! The nerves and excitement were high!!
We were so delighted to be welcoming our guests to such a beautiful venue…. It felt great to guide everyone up the beautiful staircase and show them to their bright, spacious bedrooms.
Then, it all began.
After stretching out in an hour long Pilates session (read more about my Pilates here) in a beautiful bright and sunny room, the guests enjoyed some healthy snacks and juices before hearing Shauna’s personal story. Shauna explained how she discovered the world of EFT and what benefits she has personally experienced from it and demonstrated to our guests how they could use it themselves.
Individual treatments were then on the schedule with each guest receiving a chance to enjoy either Reflexology or Indian Head Massage with Francesca and an individual EFT session with Shauna.
We served a vegetarian meal and finished the evening with a relaxing, seated stretch and meditation session before leaving our guests to either head off to bed or stay up a while to chat and enjoy each others company.
The next morning began with some Sun Salutations in our beautiful sunny room followed by a healthy breakfast. While Francesca and Shauna finished their individual sessions, I led 2 groups down to the shore line. This was approximately a half hour walk and, being blessed with a dry morning thankfully, it was so pleasant to get out and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Here is a small collection of memories from the retreat.
It was just such a joy to share this experience with all these beautiful women! Shauna, Francesca and I feel so blessed to have had such a warm, welcoming and receptive group of people at our first retreat. The feedback we have received since has been overwhelmingly positive and so so encouraging!
The most common comment we received was to make the whole experience longer! Well, we have listened and we already have plans to make this happen!
We are returning to Lorne House in February 2018 for another overnight retreat.
We are so looking forward to welcoming our 12 guests along! Would you like to be one of them?
Please just get in touch to get your space secured or for any more details.