Retreat on Your Feet offers pioneering physical and mental wellness journeys, adapting creative processes into natural settings. This year, join us as we embark on the first Retreat on Your Feet along Italy’s renowned Via Francigena.
September 10-19, 2019
Lucca to Siena – A Pilgrimage of Creativity – Walking through Tuscany
10 days of innovative, interactive and immersive activities
The Via Francigena beckons adventurers and pilgrims from around the world. Not only for the religious-minded, this hiking route is laden with meaning. What is it about the Via Francigena that calls people to walk its path? Much like Spain’s Camino de Santiago, embarking on the Via Francigena pilgrimage path is not merely about walking; for some, it is a spiritual odyssey; for others, it is a return to nature or an inward-looking journey. But these paths of pilgrimage can prompt one’s creative spark. Through expression, feeling, insight, observation or conversation, we are guided to unleash our inner soul-explorer and spirit-seeker.
What we offer through a Retreat on Your Feet :
- Create innovative pathways for women and other humans to evolve;
- Assemble and connect and inspire the sort of people you want next to you as you go on this journey.
These creative explorations are free of judgment, purpose or agenda, with the sole intention of helping your inner seeker and artist flourish. Leave your inhibitions at home, and bring only your creative spirit for this lightly guided, walking experience.
Our exploration will unfold on the way, and in flow!
- We will walk and lay in fields and stare at the stars. We will watch tides, winds, wildlife and the movement of clouds across the sky.
- We will gaze at majestic landscapes and earth’s creatures; all of it, up close and beautiful. Listen for messages hidden away in bushes and trees. Watch slugs glide up stalks. Observe leaves swaying in the breeze. We will notice and note the minutiae.
- We will read written passages about nature’s gifts from authors like Mary Oliver, Henry Thoreau, Nan Shepherd, Rachel Carson, Maurice Sendak, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Peter Wohlleben, Annie Dillard and many more. And we will write – with prompts, and without. In light of inner (or external) promptings, sympathetic reflections, and our surroundings, we will exhale through our words. Imagine: Penning your very own pilgrim’s haiku!
- We will move our bodies. We will wander through the stillness of forests and taste the cool flow of streams. Releasing tightness and tension, we will stretch out our tightened joints and tired muscles. We will curl up and twist our spines and open our hips and strengthen our legs. We will let our organs breathe freely, again, in the wild.
- We will sing and make art. For, as philosopher Alain de Botton and art historian John Armstrong wrote: “Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness.” Our art-making will be sourced from our interactions with our daily surroundings. Using ingredients that we discover in nature, we will make art; re-awakening our dormant cravings for creativity. Our explorations will lead us deep into the roots of our artistic spirit. These hand-on activities will unfold without instruction per se; rather only gentle guidance (as and when called for).
- Spontaneously, we may create: a brief mime performance, a song, a grass labyrinth, a stone mandala, a ritual to mark a personal event.
- Much more: deep breathing, storytelling, body poetry, silence, journaling, tree-hugging, close-up and intentional observation of the natural world.
Step into your curiosity. Unearth your dormant creative spirit. Connect with the earth and with your purest self.