Dr Margaretha Montagu’s Retreats

How Do You Pick The Right Retreat For YOU?

What If You Pick the WRONG Retreat And Hate It When You Get There?

In my experience, the make-or-break factors that determine whether your retreat is a life-enhancing experience are not the location, the affordability, the food, or the activities…more important than anything else is a fully qualified retreat leader with at least a decade of experience of leading retreats and a long list trustworthy testimonials to prove it.

Bonjour et Bienvenue! I’m Margaretha.

Dr Margaretha Montagu

I’m obsessed with helping people like you develop effective stress management strategies that can be incorporated seamlessly into your busy personal and professional life and empower you to make a difference in other people’s lives, as well as live a long, happy, healthy and fulfilling life, full of purpose and meaning – in alignment with your unique talents, values and ideals. I am a retired medical doctor with more than 20 years of experience helping patients avoid the mental and physical damage stress can cause. I have been leading retreats since 2006 and I am the published author of 6 books (so far.)

“Margaretha herself was the best thing about the retreat. Quietly kind, supportive, informative, insightful, and fun! She and I, and my one fellow guest at Esprit Meraki, formed such a unique and special bond and I think we will be friends for life!” Review from Julia D., verified by Bookretreats.com

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If you are fed up with feeling overwhelmed, insecure and exhausted and yearn to feel safe in the knowledge that you can handle any stressful situation, if you are working towards becoming the very best version of yourself, living your best life, and doing whatever it is that you were put on the planet to do, then I can help.

Either by inviting you to come to a small group retreat here at my 200-year-old, lovingly restored French farmhouse, on the edge of an ancient forest, in the sun-blessed south of France, in the presence of my Friesian and Falabella horses or by joining me on an online retreat, inspired by my small herd.

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So you feel mentally and physically drained and overwhelmed by the never-ending and ever-increasing demands made of you.

I know exactly how you feel.

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I have been feeling overwhelmed by the possibility that I might lose my sight for the last 30 years.

Coping with this fear, with the seemingly insurmountable challenges I have to face, sometimes daily, has taught me more than I learned during a decade of medical training and two decades of experience in medical practice.

As my sight continued to deteriorate over the years, I learned not only how to manage my fear, apprehension and doubt, but to live a rewarding, meaningful and fulfilling life despite it.

Helping people navigate Life Transitions, Life Changes, Life Challenges and starting New Chapters during private/small group retreats, focusing on providing individual attention to each participant, is my speciality.

Over the last 10+ years, I have had the privilege of helping dozens of people, many have become friends for life, and return year after year, to recharge their batteries in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful corners of France, in the foothills of the mighty Pyrenées mountains.

You get one life. Make it meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling and magical by investing in yourself.

Looking forward to hearing from you right away or very soon,

Esprit Meraki Retreats @ Maison Meraki

Welcome2Gascony@gmail.com

Dr M Montagu MBChB MRCGP NLP Master Coach Cert, Life Transitions Coach Cert, Councelling Cert, Med Hypnotherapy Dip, EAGALA Cert II

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New for 2024: Online and Onsite Retreats make Great Gifts! Gift Vouchers Now Available Find out more.

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Online Retreats

Dr Margaretha Montagu’s Online Retreats

Become Your Best Self and Live Your Best Life, inspired and guided by a small herd of Friesian and Falabella Horses

Living with horses, 24/7, has taught me a lot over the last 17 years. I have learned that horses can heal us and make our lives easier, in just about every way we can imagine.

My little herd of Friesians and Falabellas have steadfastly stood by me while I went through one life-shattering crisis after another. Always by my side to help me pick up the pieces and support me while I desperately try to rebuild my life, ravaged by yet another drastically life-altering transition.

As long as I’m not too stingy with the carrots, of course.

During the last couple of years, as my sight continues to deteriorate, I have had to start limiting the number of residential retreats I host here in the south of France each year.

I find this incredibly frustrating because my horses and I have so much to share with our guests, and until recently I thought we could only do this if my guests were in the physical presence of my horses. Admittedly, that is still the most powerful way, but I have discovered another option, nearly as effective: I started experimenting with hosting online (or virtual) retreats, guided, inspired and supported by my horses.

This easy-to-access format has been hugely successful, especially in its hybrid form and so I started the Esprit Meraki Online Retreat Collection.

If you have always been attracted to horses, but can not attend a retreat here in person, or you have booked your Esprit Meraki onsite retreat but need some support right away, or even, you have been on an Esprit Meraki retreat and you want to prolong the benefits, you now have a choice selection of online horse-guided and inspired retreats that you can do at your own pace, in your own time, wherever it suits you.

The length, intensity and price range vary, so that there is something for everyone, from a free mini-retreat to my signature, in-depth, top-of-the-range, life-changing maxi-retreat. You get free access to my Journal Yourself Stressfree mini-retreat when you subscribe to my “Savoir Vivre Vignettes” newsletter.

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Why does it make sense to do an online retreat?

  1. It’s convenient: One of the biggest advantages of an online retreat is that you can join the retreat from the comfort of your own home, wearing whatever you like, whenever you like, without the need to travel or take time off from work.
  2. It’s easily accessible: Online retreats provide access to teachers and training that may be difficult to access in person, especially if is located far away – in the sun-drenched south of France, in my case! This can be particularly useful for people living in remote areas or with limited mobility.
  3. It offers flexibility: Online retreats often offer greater flexibility in terms of pacing. You can choose to complete the retreat at your own pace and in your own time, and access it at 3 a.m. if you want!
  4. It’s MUCH less expensive: Online retreats can be more affordable than in-person retreats since there are no travel or accommodation expenses. This can make retreats more accessible to people who might not otherwise be able to afford them.
  5. Privacy: Some people may prefer the privacy and anonymity of an online retreat, as it allows them to focus solely on their personal practice without any external distractions or pressures.

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Esprit Meraki Online Retreats

So far, the horses and I have created 4 online retreats and an online course:

The Your Heart’s Calling Retreat – Find Your Life Purpose Guided by Horses – gain clarity, direction, and fulfilment in your personal and professional life.

The Stress to Serenity Retreat inspired by a small harmonious herd in the sun-blessed south of France – discover effective techniques and strategies for managing stress, improving well-being, and enhancing overall quality of life.

The Guided Journey to Finding Closure after the Loss of a Horse Retreat – find support, guidance, and practical tools to navigate the complex emotions and challenges associated with the loss of a heart horse.

The Building Resilience – a Roadmap from Burnout to Breakthrough Retreat – use effective coping mechanisms, boundary-setting strategies, and self-care practices to prevent and recover from burnout, restoring balance in your personal and professional life.

The Mindfulness and Meditation with Horses Teacher Training Online Teacher Training: Teach Mindfulness and Meditation with Horses

All these retreats are available in hybrid format. A hybrid online retreat combines in-person online coaching with online learning. This means you can work through the retreat material at your own pace; in your own time, and add one or more one-on-one online coaching sessions at the end of the retreat.

Hoofbeats to Your Heart’s Calling: Finding Your Life Purpose guided by HorsesThe on-demand, horse-inspired, online retreat will introduce you to a step-by-step process that will enable you to identify your unique life purpose and give you the clarity and certainty that you need so that you can realise your full potential.

The Write Your Way to Serenity: A Guided Journaling Retreat Inspired by a small herd of Horses in the sun-blessed south of France online retreat shows you how retreating for 5-10 minutes to journal can help you dramatically reduce overwhelm and prevent burnout.

Are you struggling to cope with the overwhelming grief of losing your horse? Do you long for guidance, support, and a safe space to navigate the complex emotions that accompany such a devastating loss? I created this online retreat, “Horses Mending Broken Hearts: A Guided Journey to Finding Closure after the Loss of a Horse” after I lost my once-in-a-life-time horse. It provides a roadmap to closure after your loss, so often misunderstood by friends and family who are not into horses.

The Burnout to Breakthrough Online Retreat: This two-day online retreat is for you if you desperately want to stop worrying excessively, dramatically lower your stress levels, stop feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, prevent burnout AND  positively impact other people’s lives.

Would you like to earn a steady income with the help of your horse(s) while at the same time, help your friends, family and clients to manage and minimise the detrimental effects of stress on their mental and physical health? If your answer is yes, then you are going to want to start using the Mindfulness and Meditation with Horses Online Teacher Training right away.

If you subscribe to my “Savoir Vivre Vignettes” newsletter, you will be one of the first to know of each last-minute/early-bird/just-because-I-feel-like-it special offer on both my online and onsite retreats. When you subscribe, you will be able to download your free copy of my Best Ever Retreat Top Ten Tips Checklist – an extract from my book “How to Make Your Next Retreat Your Best Ever” as well as get free access to my Journal Yourself Stressfree mini-retreat!

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an extract from:

Retreats in the South of France

Solo and Small Group Retreat Collection in The South of France

The most awesome and precious experience I can offer you is a week away from the hustle and bustle, in the sun-drenched southwest of France, in a 200-year-old farmhouse, set in lush meadows on the edge of an ancient forest, so that you can relax, without a care in the world, recharge your batteries and reconnect with your authentic self and with nature in the presence of my Friesian and Falabella horses and by walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Especially if you are currently struggling with some tough challenges.

Working all hours as a medical doctor, I was overworked and exhausted, and in desperation, I attended my first retreat. I was hooked from the moment I arrived, and I have since attended a variety of retreats. I so profoundly believe in the beneficial effect of attending retreats that I have made hosting retreats – online and onsite – my life’s work. At Esprit Meraki, the little French farmhouse I always dreamed of owning, I offer a choice of retreats:”

Dr Margaretha Montagu

Esprit Meraki Retreat Collection

Master Mindfulness and Meditation with Horses Retreats: Take ownership of your life, embody your authentic self, and live with purpose and passion.

Teach Mindfulness and Meditation with Your Horse(s) Retreats help others manage stress, explore their innermost thoughts and emotions and gain clarity about their values, goals and life purpose.

Waiting on God: A Horse-guided Christian Journey to Mindfulness Experience spiritual growth by being more mindful in a supportive and nurturing environment. Emerge from these retreats feeling refreshed, empowered, and closer to God.

Detox Your Body Detox Your Mind Weight Loss Retreats with Intermittent Fasting Give your body a break from processed foods, sugar, alcohol etc. Focus on nutrient-dense, whole foods and develop healthy habits that promote permanent weight loss.

Midlife Renaissance Retreat Release emotional baggage, process past trauma, confront challenges, cultivate greater resilience, reevaluate your life choices and make intentional decisions about how you want to live moving forward.

“Write Your Story” Writing Retreat and walk the Camino de Santigo de Compostela. Explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences through storytelling. Delve into your own inner world, gain self-awareness, and discover how to express yourself authentically.

Solo or small Group Retreat tailored to you, to you and your significant other or you and your small group of friends/colleagues featuring either one of the retreats above or a combination of these retreats. Find out more.

Grief Resolution Retreats – with the support of a small herd of Friesian and Falabella Horses – coming soon

Please note: 5-day retreats start at 18h00 on Saturdays and end at 11h00 on Wednesdays

Connect

Would you like to find out more? Let’s chat!

Not sure which retreat will suit you best? I’m happy to chat about the different options, so you can choose the best retreat for you. Each retreat is different, and one might suit you better than another, so I like to chat with each guest before they book, to ensure the best possible match. I love these chats, they allow us to get to know each other a bit beforehand, and offer you the opportunity to ask all the questions you may have, for example how to get here, before you pay the deposit. Just email me at welcome2gasconygmail.com to arrange a chat.

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Accommodation

Your Home-from-Home during Your Retreat will be an authentic French Farmhouse

La Maison Meraki (a house made with love) huddles in the middle of a sunny clearing in the heart of a great and ancient forest, like a little old lady gathering her shawl around her bony shoulders. She has been here for at least 200 years, from her elevated position she looks out over the treetops to the mighty Pyrenées mountains. Who knows who has ventured over her threshold, maybe D’Artagnan himself, the chateau where he was born is only a few kilometres away. Yes, this is indeed Gascony, land not only of milk and honey but also of divine wines, persillade, garbure, foie gras, cèpes, duck confit…all less than two hour’s drive southeast of Bordeaux.

Location

Gascony is a land of undulating hills, fertile valleys, and quaint villages that exude rustic charm. This picturesque landscape, often described as the “Tuscany of France,” never fails to captivate my guests with its timeless beauty and rich tapestry of colours and textures.

Rolling hills, draped in emerald-green vineyards and golden sunflower fields, stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a patchwork of vibrant hues that dance in the sunlight. Prepare to be enchanted by this until-now-well-kept-secret region, reminiscent of a bygone era when life unfolded at a slower pace and community bonds ran deep, far from the hustle and bustle of modern life. In the ancient villages, some dating back to the 11th century, you’ll find narrow cobbled streets lined with charming cafés, artisanal shops, and centuries-old churches. Time seems to stand still here, where the rhythm of life is dictated by the changing seasons and the age-old traditions of the countryside.

As the sun sets over the horizon, casting a warm glow across the mighty Pyrenées mountains, the landscape takes on a magical quality, bathed in hues of gold, crimson, and violet. We barely have any light pollution here. The air is filled with the scent of wildflowers and the chorus of crickets, as the countryside settles into a peaceful serenity that feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

I’m so looking forward to introducing you to this region, conservatively named “Glorious Gascony!”

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At Esprit Meraki Retreats, we promote Solo, Slow and Sustainable Tourism

During our retreats, I do my best to foster an environment where everyone feels understood, valued, supported and inspired. This includes providing opportunity and access for people of different races, ages, colours, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, and socioeconomic orientations. I actively invest in my own development to help me create an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, equitable and inclusive setting.

Every Retreat includes hiking part of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (optional.)

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Download our brochure today and discover our carefully curated selection of transformative retreats. Our brochure has everything you need to plan the perfect getaway. Don’t miss out on your chance to create unforgettable memories. Click Here to download the Esprit Meraki Retreat Collection brochure and let the adventure begin!

Your Best Retreat Ever

Make Your Next Retreat Your Best Retreat Ever

How do you make sure that your chosen retreat is the right one for you?

Experience the Perfect Retreat ONLINE or ONSITE in the Southwest of France

Spending your hard-earned cash on what you hope will be a life-changing (for the better, of course!) experience, only to walk away feeling unsatisfied is frustrating and disappointing.

How do you know that you will get on with the other people on the retreat?

Deciding to go on a retreat is a great idea, but it can be nerve-wracking to find the perfect retreat. You do, after all, want to get the most out of the dream experience of your choice.

So, before you set off on your next retreat adventure, subscribe to my retreat mailing list below and download my Ten Top Tips Checklist to discover the top tips I use to make sure I get the most from a retreat, as well as the top tips I use when I host a retreat, to make sure my guests benefit from their time with me.

  • This Top Ten Tips Checklist provides exclusive trial-and-error insights, recommendations based on specific strategies, gained from personal experience, expert advice and insider tips that go way beyond general advice.
  • My list condenses valuable information into a concise and easy-to-digest format, saving you the time and effort of searching for tips from various online sources.
  • My list addresses common challenges guests might face during retreats and provides practical solutions. Knowing how to navigate potential obstacles can significantly enhance your overall retreat experience.

My newsletter regularly contains notification of last-minute or early-bird special offers on my retreats here in the south of France. Click on the button below and leave your e-mail address to start my Journal Yourself Stressfree e-retreat and download my 10 Top Tips Checklist pdf right away.

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By clicking above, I agree to receive emails from MargarethaMontagu.com. I understand that all emails contain an unsubscribe link and that I can opt-out at any time.

This Top Ten Tips Checklist is an extract from my 30-page How to Make Your Next Retreat Your Best Retreat Ever e-book, available from Amazon.

Books

Dr Margaretha Montagu’s Books to Date

In my books, as well as in my blog and my articles, I delve into the transformative experiences and profound connections that arise when we combine the ancient practices of mindfulness and meditation with the gentle wisdom and intuitive nature of horses. This collection, all French-flavoured and co-written by my Friesian and Falabella horses, offers insights, techniques, and personal stories that will deepen your understanding, inviting you to embark on a journey of self-awareness, self-discovery, and personal growth.

You can find out more about each book by clicking on its title below:

*Please note, because of the nature of digital products we do not accept returns or offer refunds. You can review our full Refund & Return Policy here.