In the last weeks before the Omicron virus started shutting things down, Philip and I toured five workshops in three countries in Europe and started a Facilitators training . It was our first live teaching experience since our return from Melbourne back in March 2020. It felt risky, crazy and wonderful! Here's a brief account about it with some lively photos.
Having left Canada we arrived in Berlin, slightly stunned yet also giddy at the prospect to be again offering in-person workshops.
The first workshop was hosted by Rachel Rickards and Buster Radvik, founders of Embodied Intimacy, in their gorgeous plant- and light-filled space, aptly named The Nest. Sitting in circle that first morning with 20 lovely humans was powerful, encouraging and healing. It was the perfect place to ease back into sharing Radical Wholeness. We even got some snuggles with an adorable little being.
From Berlin we raced – quite literally sprinting through the airport, barely making our flight – over to Devon in the UK. The sweat had hardly dried when we landed, performed a PCR test and were whisked off to the beautiful community at Embercombe – a 50 acre estate that is in the process of rewilding. We spent 4 wonderful nights there, feeling held by the land, and the star-filled sky, by the Embercombe staff and community and by the participants who came to experience the mid-week workshop. Exciting update: Embercombe has invited us back in May 2022!
Nov 19 - 21
On Friday morning we took a train to Newport Wales where we delighted in seeing our dear friend Meredith. We stayed with her over the weekend while offering a workshop across the river in the beautiful city of Bristol. We also gathered as many rapid test kits as we could to prepare for our final part of the tour - two workshops outside of Amsterdam and a 5-day training in Friesland.
From Bristol, we flew over to The Netherlands and took the train to Haarlem, just west of Amsterdam. We stayed in a lovely little canal-side apartment for a week while we offered both a mid-week and a weekend workshop at the Free-Up Alexander Techniek studio run by Esther Visser. It couldn’t have been a sweeter venue – right on the canal in the oldest part of Haarlem.
We met up with the majority of the facilitator training participants at the airport and boarded a mini-bus that took us 2 hours northeast into Friesland. The New Eden retreat centre is beautiful, spacious and surrounded by nature. But it's the staff who really make it special – we felt so cared for as a group, not to mention well fed. We couldn't be more grateful for all the support they offered us. Oh, and then there were the ‘cuddly’ New Eden sheep who couldn’t get enough rubs and scratches… The Shepherd finally found his flock!
5 PCR tests and at least about 15 rapid tests later, we staggered home! Given the increasing uncertainties of travel, we felt enormously glad to have arrived safe and sound. Here's a shot from our first morning back.
We were really busy at first, catching up with all we'd let slide during the tour, but then our daughters and their partners arrived for Christmas, and since then we've pretty much stayed close to home, making the most of our time together. That time included a very chilly swim in Lake Ontario, and an hour of outdoor tennis in a gentle snow fall. What could be better?
Wishing you and yours wonder and grace,
Allyson & Philip