A Warm Welcome to all Christmas and New Year retreat guests

On behalf of the whole ménagerie (including the horses, dog and cats) welcome to Esprit Meraki retreats!

  • Although you will spend most of your time reading, you can opt to go on a planned-but-may-change-subject-to-weather-conditions walk on Day 1 and 3 in the vineyards surrounding the house – or walk a short section of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. The walk is optional. If you would rather curl up in front of the fire with your book, you are ever so welcome.
  • As mentioned in the description of this retreat, we will be having lunch at one of Aignan’s delightful bistros on the 25/12 and the 1/1. We will each pay for our own meal and wine, to support a local small business in these still very difficult times.
  • The wifi password is: 1026 1A26 3EC0 4F5A 2 E01 6073 A7. It sometimes takes a few attempts, but everyone has managed to log on so far. The 0’s are zeros, not the letter ‘O’ and there are no spaces between the numbers/letters.
  • The retreat ends at 11h00 on Day 5 (or your last day, if you are staying longer.)

Rough Program

Our program during your stay is simple, to allow you as much time as possible to read and relax, recharge your batteries and simply enjoy your surroundings. If you want to interact with the horses, please have a look at Safety Precautions around Horses.

  • Anytime: Wake up, pop your glasses on your nose, and start reading.
  • A while later: Get up to get a hot chocolate/coffee/tea with cookies. Go back to bed (optional.)
  • 10h30: Buffet Brunch
  • After brunch: Read a bit (or a lot) more.
  • Mid-afternoon: weather permitting, walk a stretch of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (optional)
  • A bit later: Gather for afternoon tea and a chat with other readers.
  • 19h00: Dinner
  • After dinner: Read a few more chapters.
  • Midnight: Sleep (optional)
  • At your convenience: Short text to family and/or friends to wish them Merry Christmas/Happy New Year.

Walking Meditation

It’s a great idea to fit in a walking meditation during your walk.  Full instructions on how to do this are available here: Walking Meditation Made Easy or you can listen to a guided walking meditation like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXYFNmFb6zY 

Map of the Camino: 

  • Or you can download the maps as pdfs, and find out more about the Camino, French phrases you may need, birds you may see etc. and download 2 free Camino guidebooks by clicking here.
  • Google Maps (in walking mode) is another excellent option.

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The route is very well indicated, you’ll find the signs below every few hundred meters, so you can easily walk it without a map:

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Writing Meditation

During the walk, later in the afternoon or evening, to enrich your experience, you may want to do a Writing Meditation (self-guided.) Use the simple prompts below or click here for more detailed prompts.

Simple Prompts:

  • Day 1 Make a list of 100 people/experiences/events/possessions that you are grateful for
  • Day 2 Make a list of 100 of your achievements/talents/strengths/skills (small, medium and outstanding)
  • Day 3 Make a list of 100 ways you can help others, especially the people on your gratitude list from Day 1

Yoga Nidra

I have made a recording of a yoga nidra session that you can listen to whenever you have a moment. Best time to do so is last thing at night. 

Pick up points:

Hope you’ll have a great time and see you at Lou ‘tit Mercat (opens at 15h30) in Manciet on the first walking day and at Brasserie Les Cordeliers in Nogaro on the second walking day.

Sleep well,

PS. Don’t forget to make and take some sandwiches with you at tomorrow morning’s brunch and if you have any questions, just ask!

Virtual/Online Retreat

I have several online retreats (some inspired by horses) that might be of interest either during or after your retreat – click on the picture below to find out more:

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