Join Pam at her home in France to fall under the spell of the herd and with them embark on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery. The retreats offer an opportunity for both structured and spacious encounters with the horses with time for reflection and simply soaking in the beauty of nature in this small, verdant valley in North Western France. There is an emphasis on integration of mind, body and spirit, embodied presence and compassion.
The retreats are offered with a community spirit and are self-catered. You will be invited to be in the service of the herd as well as the group, contributing to the care of both the human and horse herd. Each day we will tune into the needs present and take care of them as a group. Cooking and clearing will be shared responsibilities as well as the hands on care of the horses. Being in service like this to the entire herd is an important part of the practise of the retreat as well as taking care of our own needs.
For more information please visit Pam's website below:
Writing is a passion for me as well as being an important element of my spiritual and personal development practise. Finding a spontaneous, creative flow of consciousness via the pen on the page (or the fingers on the keyboard) can transform, inspire, settle and bring peace. When I do this beside my herd, soaking in the beauty of nature, able to hear the sounds of the horses nearby, the process is all the more absorbing, interconnecting and integrating. Their presence while I am writing somehow facilitates flow, groundedness, creativity rooted somewhere deep and soulful.
For the first time in 2022 I will be dedicating a week in the residential calendar at my home in France, where there are two small residential 'gites', to writers who would like to benefit from this same peaceful, natural, horse-centred environment. I am calling it Writers’ Week rather than a ‘Writing Retreat’ because it will be unstructured and flexible. Those participating will define their own pace and agenda during their stay which may span the whole week or less (minimum stay is 3 nights). Individual coaching with me will be available on request (on writing or anything else), this is charged separately, and there will be an hour’s group coaching each day when we come together to share, discuss, support, celebrate as much or as little as we wish about our writing and creative process that day.
Writers’ week is a self-catering stay, and you will need to do your own shopping and cooking. For those who are without transport this can be arranged to the local market and shops to get provisions. Breakfast provisions are provided.
You can stay in either of the cottages on site, Honeysuckle Cottage has a double room and a single room and you can book one room and have it on a shared basis, or book it just for yourself. Rose Cottage has one double room, so you have this to yourself. There is no internet available in Rose Cottage, however wi-fi is available on the garden terrace should you need it. There are many peaceful corners outdoors close to the horses where you can set up to write, or of course indoors. A table or desk will be made available to you for this purpose.
My intention is to bring together a small number of writers with a shared passion for their craft and for horses, to co-create a vibrant, relaxing, supportive and productive writing experience.
If you are interested in joining Writers' Week please contact Pam directly on email@example.com
Recently I was invited to do a talk for a psychotherapists’ group entitled ‘How horses help us to heal from loss, separation and endings’. In introducing the session I recalled how it was in the midst of grief (when losing my mother in 2004), that I caught the first glimpse of my horse, Winston, as my healer.
The healing from him and my wider herd hasn’t always come in the form I might have expected, sometimes the lessons have been hard to take. Yet they have always come when I am ready to receive them, bringing me closer to knowing myself and loving who I am.
When we are separated from someone dear, often we lose a part of ourselves for a while. Perhaps a part of us which was brought to life by them, which they saw and others didn’t. Or the part of us which cared for them, invested in them, nurtured them. Or the part which shared the dreams which can no longer be.
Amongst the herd a safe place exists to find these lost elements of our soul and reintegrate them gently into our wholeness. We can give full snot-dribbling, chest heaving, angry expression to the terror, the sadness, the utter awfulness of how we feel, when we are ready. We don’t have to be polite with horses or shield their feelings. Horses are most comfortable with the truth, that is what they seek, and they offer us a place to explore ours. They also don’t need words, we don’t have to explain – anything. And they don’t judge the more difficult emotions which might be wrapped into our grief – like guilt, relief, rage, resentfulness. We don’t need to pretend we are OK, in fact things go much better with horses when we don’t. They are not holding a timer over our bereavement either – ‘hey, it’s been years now, shouldn’t you have got over it?’ They are alongside us, in the moment, however we are.
At the end of the talk one of the psychotherapists attending asked me how horses had helped me through my own times of bereavement. It was difficult to answer that in five minutes, having written two books about it. Suffice to say that I expressed my gratitude to my horses for the healing they have given me over the years.
Grief has been a guest at my table more often than I would like. Often I have turned to the herd for comfort and companionship on the road to recovery. The greatest lesson of all during these most challenging of times is that in experiencing great pain, I am capable also of experiencing great joy. That feeling sadness doesn’t have to mean being unhappy. That when the heart cracks open it makes more space for love and compassion and kindness. So, instead of reading sorrow here, see in my message love and hope, gratitude and grace, strength and courage as we await the new Spring, new life, new colour, new ways of being in this year 2022.
My work and the life I now live, were borne of the pain of losing my mother. Somehow as I fell apart my horse stepped in and lifted a veil, revealing little by little a path of which I never could have dreamed. Perhaps a better title for the talk I gave would have been ‘Loss, separation and beginnings’. So if you are hurting right now, feeling bruised, I wish you comfort and that somehow, sometime, what might feel like an ending right now, will transform into something new, and something beautiful.
Welcome to our news page. This is where we keep all the interesting stuff as and when it happens. We hope you find it interesting, inspiring and informative.