Overnight Retreat

By Aimee Crausaz

The biggest take away from my weekend was the feeling of being so completely content I found not only while there, but the days to follow.

Discovering how to really relax and embrace nature is not something I’ve tried to do previously but this weekend and various events with Anna has helped me pause and reflect on how I feel being outside and really getting in tune with my environment and its impact on my mood.

I came to the Midsummer camp feeling good in myself, happy and looking forward to some time to reflect. I think this gave me a better insight into how much of an impact being in nature has on me.

Beginning with silent walking, and a barefoot journey to the sea it brought me back to my senses, how does this feel underfoot, how resilient I can be when something isn’t quite comfortable.

Anna brings a sense of empowerment to how she guides the group, instilling a real affirmation that we can all do this in our own way.  

Having swam in the sea first with Anna the previous year, I knew the pure joy and sense of being so powerful and brave I would feel but this swim was a little more special because of the area and the sun!

The beach was secluded and really felt just for us, as always Anna prepared us with mediation and breathe work to feel ready for that initial shock to the system the Scottish sea can give you.

I love the sea and being at the beach gives me a sense of renewal that is difficult to replicate elsewhere.  

The evening was spent with a long walk, camp fire, and an engrossing sound journey with Leigh. Having never experienced a sound journey before, I couldn’t believe how all-encompassing and personal it made me feel.

As we lay in our sleeping bags in the evening warmth I felt not only did the 50 minutes fly by, but that having space to experience a level of true stillness and meditation in nature was really special.  

A real highlight for me was to sleep outside all night without a tent.

Anna had provided us all with single tents but given the warmth and for me, rare camping opportunity Anna invited anyone interested to sleep outside and she would join us.

Initially I worried about insects and not feeling restful.

However once comfortable with my sleep mat, sleeping bag and layers, laying on the grass, sun going down and the stillness of the evening drawing in, it was incredibly easy to truly relax.

The sound of nature around us, birds, pheasant, deer barking in the night, added to a sense of being part of my environment for the night, and having all the comfort from the day to help me sleep.

I had a brilliant 8 hours sleep, woken by the gorgeous June sun rising and felt really proud of my accomplishment, although it felt really easy and natural to achieve.  

The following day we had time to journal and encouraged to enjoy the lush woodland around us.

I felt happy to lie on my mat in the woodlands enjoying the trees, bright blue sky and how everything around me was growing alongside each other.  

For me, nature guided a lot of my weekend and provided a sense of belonging in my environment and giving me such a lot of inner peace and comfort.  

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