For the last few days I spent a magical weekend amongst magical people in a magical forest by the sea.
A long weekend to embrace nature, to embrace so many beautiful open hearted souls, to embrace the deeper vegan lifestyle, and most of all to embrace the beauty of our reality.
I volunteered at Raw Fest. Set by the sea in The New Forest at Pylewell Park, Raw Fest Retreat & Festival encourages you to unplug from the bustle of city life and drop into the nature that surrounds you. A safe haven for all walks of life to gather, learn about clean living and healing technology, and to uplift our souls through a variety of creative arts.
"A decompression party from your everyday busy life."
Getting stuck in as part of passionate, dedicated team was enriching in itself, but the environment created by the organisers... a truly immersive space to simply BE was incredible. Nowhere before have I felt so accepted to be me, pure and unedited.
I didn't see my own reflection for over two days (not alone do anything with my hair or makeup!) and when it got chilly in the evenings or early mornings, because I had brought inadequate layers I simply walked around wrapped in my big red dressing gown. No questions asked.
Everyone in every walk of life was true accepted, embraced and celebrated.
There were inspiring talks, music, dancing, campfires, food, yoga, meditation, foraging and nature walks. Yet still plenty of moments in between to just sit and soak up the vibe, to think, hug and converse with strangers, who were no longer strangers at all.
On Saturday night the sky was beautifully clear and so when I went back to my tent to sleep I pivoted my sleeping bag to that it stuck out the tent door opening and lay snuggling down in my sleeping bag looking up at the stars. As my eyes adjusted, layer upon layer of stars appeared. The sky was filled with stars as far as I could see. So beautiful and eternal I could have gazed forever.
I went to the festival with a couple of friends, yet many many more, and we camped for three nights. I took lots of fruit, snack bars (recipe coming very soon!) and my Wholeplus Hotpots but also enjoyed plenty of the delicious meals, smoothies and juices on offer. Amrutha were incredible... not just with their amazing vegan food (check out their Facebook Page and find them popping up all over London) but their genuine passion and sweet and pure philosophy on life. On Monday morning as we were packing everything away they conjured up an awesome complimentary breakfast with all the leftovers... just the way I like to work in the kitchen too.
I also had the privilege of being on the 'juicing station'... whipping up a concoction for all members of the volunteer team. There were wasps around me constantly.... I have a big fear of wasps so this was a huge deal for me to overcome! I felt a little proud.
On that final Monday morning I woke up early, before 7am, and the campsite was quiet and still. Not wanting to wake anyone I decided to postpone packing, got wrapped up in my dressing gown against the morning chill and took a quiet walk around the lake running down to the eastuary.
These were the thoughts that came to my mind, spontaneous and unedited.
My heart was full with gratitude.
I felt truly alive.
All the photography for the event was captured by Adrian at Tbilisi Portraits, I have been given full permission to share them with you all here... a little snapshot of some of the magic. Thank you Adrian for capturing it so perfectly.
p.s see me in the last photo after the ceremonal gong bath to close the event late Sunday evening, I'm wrapped up my dressing gown having not seen my own face (erm, or showered) for nearly three days!
For me, this weekend embodied the essence of what I want to offer you at my own immersive wellness retreat. Join me in November in Lanzarote for some deeply soul centred enrichment.
Intrigued to know more? Join the Facebook retreat event here or drop me a email and let's talk about the retreat, about life, about you.
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