Part of the Digital Detox Retreat Adventure Map series in support of National Unplugging Day
A whirlwind turnaround as pretty much straight off the plane from Portugal, back into the arms of my babies (3 kids under 9) for two days and then into the car for a 6 hour drive heading to West Wales for my second Digital Detox retreat in support of National Unplugging Day. I was eager to see how it would differ from my previous retreat and how another 3 days away from technology would shape my views and habits further.
Arrived at around 5.30pm and was warmly greeted by a few of the guests and the staff, was checked into my log cabin and just stood and marvelled at the beauty of the retreat location. Set in Cardigan Bay in the beautiful Fforest farm in converted dairy farm.
Turn Lights On Digital Detox Retreat was hosted by entrepreneur, Georgina Jones and Matt who’s endless energy, positivity and willingness to ensure all the guests had the best experience possible was limitless.
Dinner was around 7pm and some guests were still arriving. The food was incredible, organic, rustic, plentiful and just what the doctor ordered. Communal eating, plenty of laughter, watching the sunset and soaking up the atmosphere. Perfect! To cap off a wonderful meal, the fire pit was light and we were encouraged to toast marshmallows. Yum!
Up bright and early for the ‘morning charge’ which was a lovely, a guided walk to the beach along a coastal path where we then were asked to walk barefoot on our own for 10 minutes and practice being present. Wow! I absolutely loved this and the sound of the sea, the birds and the vast open space was just an incredible way to the day.
Breakfast at 9ish and then straight into some of the coaching sessions run by Georgina, which were aimed at teaching us how to ‘Turn Lights On’ for other people by asking questions, being curious, really listening to what they had to say and being mindful, present and engaged in that moment. This was a great ice breaker and as the group was a smallish size of 8 people, this actually worked really well as it was small and personal enough for people to feel able to share some deep thoughts and feelings.
Lunch – Another fabulous feast set outside in the sunshine. More incredible food to nourish, replenish and strengthen our minds and bodies.
Energy work – This work was outside and focussed on the different types of energy that we use often without awareness of how it affects others and ourselves. Georgina taught us how to stay focussed on how to get into the right energy state to help with staying mindful and open.
Free time between 3-5pm – I taught a Hula Hoop skills and fitness class for a few of the group, which went down a treat.
Essential Oils Workshop – A thoroughly enjoyable, delightfully smelly and informative Essential Oils workshop run by gifted entrepreneur Gareth Daniels of Finally Skincare. Everyone loved learning about all the different oils and their healing properties. An unexpected and welcome bonus that we all got to make either a bath oil or a face serum to take home. Lush! As Gareth would say.
Morning Charge – Again, another fabulous ‘charge’ down to the beach to continue the meditation sessions. Georgina used some NLP techniques to help the group anchor the feeling of calmness on the beach for future use. Her gift to us as she explained, which I thought was actually incredibly generous.
Wrap up group coaching session – Our last session was insightful for all participants as we went back over what some of our personal obstacles had been and then benchmarked how far we had come. Every single person felt that they had been equipped with some tools to move forward in certain areas of their lives which is a testament to Georgina and Matt’s facilitation expertise and dedication to ensuring each person got a personal and supportive experience.
Our last lunch together and I eeked it out as long as possible as it was such a glorious day and the company was too good to leave, I just didn’t want it to end despite being desperate to see the kids. I sang all the way home to Diana Ross’s greatest hits. That’s how happy I was.
How it differed from my previous Digital Detox
Georgina wanted to give her guests the opportunity and responsibility of having their phone if they wanted it as she was keen on an adult to adult interaction. Although I completely understand that reasoning and it certainly worked for many of the guests, for me I preferred having rules in place for no visible tech but this was purely a personal preference.
An action packed weekend, planned to the letter with such varied and thought provoking activities crafted for the benefit of the group as a whole and on an individual level.
My biggest takeaways from my Digital Detox Retreat:
Did I miss my phone or gadgets again? In a nutshell, absolutely not!
- As I’d already got used to having limited access to my phone, this digital detox part was a breeze and just re-enforced the need for me to ensure the master/slave relationship with my gadgets remained in my favour.
- Going to incorporate more mindfulness practice into my morning routine to set me up for the day. This was probably one of the biggest and most profound learnings for me and of the greatest benefit.
- I feel more at ease with my ability to be aware, mindful and if necessary cut back my digital usage as needed. I know I have complete control over my tech in parallel to the willpower to stop when I need to and put boundaries in place. The feeling of no anxiety around not having my phone is a liberating.
More Info About Turn Lights On
Their focus is your happiness. Georgina and her team will help you find it, enhance it and put it at the very heart of your life. The starting point as they say is to have an open mind.
Turn Lights On pride themselves on not using jargon or going too deeply into the spiritual side and focus more on the application and practice of doing small things that have a huge impact on your happiness and those around you over time.