Blog by David Parker Co-Founder of URBAN LIFECLASS
In January last year, 2014, Breathwork Trainer Meleeshka, who I’ve known for 25 years, spent a week with me at my favourite 4* Hotel Les Borj de la Kasbah, in Marrakech Morocco. While I had visited it over a dozen times when leading Breathwork Seminars in Morocco a few years back, Mel who had not visited Marrakech since the early 70’s, said sitting by the pool “Why don’t we do a Spiritual Retreat here next January and bring people from the UK, focusing on Abundance, Forgiveness & Self Care?”. So we did.
To many the idea of a Spiritual Retreat brings up thoughts of early morning starts, sacrifice, scarcity, bleak surroundings and trial, so we decided to challenge this concept by focussing on the opposite : Abundance, Effortless Accomplishment, Self Nurturing, Emotional Support and Playfullness. It WORKED!
You can tell the success of any workshop, seminar or retreat by the thoughts, decisions and actions that follow it. Many have experienced the high of reading a book on personal growth, but somehow never got round to the exercises, and so it is with weekend seminars and the like. CHANGE sounds like a great idea but actually changing something is more challenging. But on return to the UK, someone from the Retreat ended an unhealthy relationship, another handed their notice in on their unsatisfying job, while others made deep external and internal shifts. You can get challenged by one-to-one therapy, or a One Day Seminar but the energy of facing yourself and others over a 5 day Retreat process, really brings out the weeds to be culled. What assisted these results was not just Group Conscious Connected Breathwork every day, but the comfort of the Hotel Spa facilities close at hand. The first 2 days of settling in was supported by group Hammams of 4 people, morning and afternoon, while others were experiencing a Rebirthing Breathwork session, for emotional release – some for the first time. Future participate blogs will elaborate further about the bonding, laughter and cleansing that took place. Keep a look out.
Each participant was asked to bring something that represented Spirituality, Family or Childhood, plus any book that was influential in Spiritual Growth. These were free to use, pick up, browse or read throughout the 5 day Retreat within a 7 day break in Marrakech, during free time allocated for written work, sun lounging, mint tea gatherings and space to be alone, when and if required. We had no strict schedule, other than starting at 10pm in the group room, after a stunning daily buffet breakfast. No Health Farm diets here : ABUNDANCE was truly the word.
On the 3rd Day we took a full day trip into the Ourika Valley, up by the Atlas Mountains, where participants breathed for an hour by the rolling river, a CALLING BACK YOUR POWER process of release and forgiveness, where completion exercises were made on paper, then burnt, then ashes thrown in the raging swirl. An emotional experience.
On Saturday morning we visited Yves St Laurent’s Majorelle Garden after morning group, where an exercise on LOVE & FORGIVENESS was offered up to be completed during the day, and after lunch on return to the Hotel we had GROUP BREATHWORK, massage treatments and time for sharing our progress and future plans.
Day 5, the last Retreat Day was spent COMPLETING with Spa Treatments and GROUP BREATHWORK, then in the evening we arranged a special Moroccan Evening, a 4 Course Meal, Musicians and a Dancer.
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We ended on the 7th day with morning GROUP, thanking myself & Meleeshka and the glorious Assistants : Dickie Beau, Catherine Hoffmann and Robert Beck, before scouring souks for souvenirs. The 8th day people flew home, while Mel & I relaxed for another 3 days in the Sun & Spa.
A just reward.
“Well I can report back that it was one of the most joyous weeks of my life and perfectly placed for the beginning of the year. In fact I would say that a lot of creative planning for the months to come happened without even trying during those days…Onwards with abundance xx ( CH London England )
“What can I say about my time away except that it was deeply needed and I feel profoundly honoured to have been in the company of so many loving souls. It’s been hard to get back to normality especially as I have to say goodbye to one of my oldest friends next week, who passed over, but I now have both the courage and power to do him justice as I say my farewell whilst being strong enough for my God daughter too, and I thank David and Meleeska for love, guidance and respect that they showed me over the last week, for without these things mixed in with the healing power of laughter, I wouldn’t be able to do it!! All my love to you both, always!! XO ( M. Somerset England )
“The retreat in Marrakech was stunning, beautiful beautiful people, amazing location, huge amounts of love and even more compassion, but throw in huge gales of laughter, it was beyond superlatives. All I can say it was the first break I had taken for ten years, and boy it was worth waiting for, the people were and are amazing, the breath work powerful and simply life changing, and the laughs we had still rings in my ears , roll on 2015, best decision I ever made … Thanks David and Mell big love xx ( JD Somerset England )