The retreat had fallen on my lap. I’d missed my 8-week sabbatical due to medical tests and I was due back at work. But it was as if this 5-day break was calling to me – surely my meetings could be re-arranged and I could find an alternate plan for the rather large workload? I’d fly back to the UK just in time for my pre-booked conference in Sheffield that could not be missed. I was meant to be there, I knew it.

And so a week later I found myself on the beautiful island of Corfu – weak, drained and feeling like a near miracle would be needed to get me back on track. But as I walked through the gate of Villa Mandala and was greeted by the beautiful and wise Sacha, our host and yoga teacher for the upcoming days, I knew all would be well. Sacha’s loving energy and gentle smile made me feel at ease as she showed me around her wonderful home – that was to be my new ‘home’ for my time on the island. Soon her husband Ben appeared, overwhelming me again with such kindness and warmth that I felt all would be OK whatever panned out next.

I had come on this break to get away from the stresses back home, to eat healthily, absorb some sunshine and partake in daily yoga and coaching from our 2 facilitators, Thea and Anne. Halcyon Days, as our retreat was called, was the result of the imagining and creating of these two special ladies. The myth of Halcyon is an interesting one worth reading, and in essence our retreat was all about discovering the calm amid the storm – something I was in great need of!

Halycon (def): denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful

Now I could write oodles about the wonderful work of Thea and Anne and their coaching philosophy (do feel free to get in touch if you’d like to know more) – not to mention Sacha’s daily yoga that was restorative and nurturing, the unique singing gathering we all attended that felt like being set free (including mantras, overtone singing and ancient songs!), the night-time sea swim into the unknown, the sunset dinners, and the healing treatments. This retreat was special, like no other I have been on. And every single bit of it was magic unfolding. And that is what this week’s blog is about. Four lovely ladies arrived in Corfu, all in our very different ways hoping for some type of inner shift over our days together. And as we gathered on night one and shared our stories, I just knew that the magic was about to begin. And it did. And it continued. And each moment, hour, sharing, experience brought us into our true selves, guided by our lights, the beautiful Thea and Anne.

So what is the moral of my little tale of Halcyon Days? It’s a simple one – that real change can happen, effortlessly. Intuition called me to Corfu (in fact intuition was at the root of much of our training) – and that intuition served me well. I would never have believed that only 5 days could transform me so drastically physically and mentally – but it did. I emerged rather than a ‘new’ person, the person I truly am and who is always there (even if I had lost her along the way) – the person not shrouded by pain, unhelpful belief systems and daily anxieties, but the one that glows from the inside and is my true self. For sure, our plan is to continue our ‘work’ back home, but supported by Thea and Anne and our little group, our Halycon Days continue.

So Hubbers, give yourself the gift of self-care and self-love, however you feel you can. Be it an afternoon to yourself, a whole day out, or like me the gift of a beautiful retreat – go treat yourself. May those Halycon Days be yours.

you’re going to lose yourself

from time to time, come back.

come back to what your heart

knows, no matter how long

you’ve been gone, come back


The Better Man Project