Upon reflection, it is such a difficult thing to pinpoint the moments that made these two incredible experiences that we have just hosted at The Beach House Collection, in Yzerfotnein, so special…. there were SO many!
Was it the magnificent beach house venue? Was it the food prepared with love? Was it the perfect mix of fabulous people? Was it the connection that happened between the people? Or in the case of the SOUL FOOD RETREAT, was it our amazing resource, Gabi Lowe? Was it the energetic connection that happened subconsciously between the people during the yoga & meditation session with Dominique?
I guess it is a combination of all of all of these things.
It had been my vision for a while to create this new side to the business, FOR THE LOVE OF LIVING experiences that would be more than just the evening FOR THE LOVE OF COOKING INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES at Ginger & Lime, as it seemed that our guests were ready for this. Gabi had been working on her WORKSHOPS, and was getting more and more requests for a retreat, and so it seemed natural for us to do a collaboration.
Gabi and I spent many hours visualising what this would look like…chatting, planning and honing the model for the SOUL FOOD WORKSHOP. We became more and more enthusiastic the more we put into the project. It has SO much potential, and we both see that. Then Gabi spent much time on the IKIGAI PRESENTATION, and the workshop element, and my team and I created the menu, planned the flow of the events, did the shopping and all the necessary preparation. My BEACH HOUSE COLLECTION Team prepared the houses for us……. and all was set to go!
Much energy, careful thought and detailed planning, as well as hours of discussion (often over a glass of wine, of course) went into these projects, as you can image, as they don’t just happen. So with this, they take on a life of their own, and become a reality.
So the dates were in the diary, marketing began and the bookings started to flow in. With each one, we became more and more excited! You know when you are a kid and you aren’t sure if anyone is going to come to your party? That nervousness in the pit of your tummy…excited & scared all at the same time? Well that was us in a nutshell.
Soon the events were fully booked, and prep was in full flow. Katy and I headed out to Yzerfontein a day earlier, with our cars so full that we could hardly see out of them, and it was pouring cats and dogs! I have to say, the old back has taken a bit of strain with all the lifting, carrying and unpacking, but guess that is part of it all.
My team and I got busy in the kitchen, Gabi & Jaimi got stuck into setting up all the elements needed at the venue for the workshop, and the BHC team put the final touches to the rooms. We all met up later on at White Sands for dinner, and to plan further. We were all on a bit of a high, I have to say, and you could feel the energy bouncing off the walls with our excitement.
Then the next day, the guests arrived, and with this, we were officially launched.
Gabi really held the room with her compassion, understanding and her deep wisdom, as she shared her presentation on finding your purpose in life, or your IKIGAI.. She tapped into the core of each person there, and I know that every person felt this. There was deep sharing, and this brave group did not hold back. They were open and showed vulnerability, feeling safe and held, and trusting the process. There were tears, but there was more laughter overall, which is fabulous!
We served a nutritious and energising lunch, to make sure that our guests did not go into a slump. The afternoon included playtime, in the form of Vision Boards, and the group (albeit some of them a tad reluctantly) got stuck in to this project, and some amazing work was created.
The sun came out, and it was a gorgeous day, so Gabi added in some exercises that would take place on the beach, to enjoy the fresh air and the nature. This was followed by a session of yoga and exercises by Dominique, as well as a meditation. The sunsets were spectacular, going from yellow to orange to deep deep scarlets.
Dinner was an interactive cooking experience, which everyone jumped at and got stuck in. People mingled freely, chatting openly to each other, forming deep connections over the chopping boards & steaming pots. I remember looking around at some point, and my heart was singing with happiness to see this.
There was more retreat work the next day, and we finished off around lunchtime.
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