Finding resilience and courage through creative expression… off the beaten track.
Our maiden voyage sets out September 7th in Tuscany, Italy!
Join us as we walk the ancient Via Francigena route:
(1) Lucca to Siena OR (2) Lucca to Rome
More details soon!
Our time is precious. And yet, we’ve allowed that time to be hijacked by technology and the busy-ness of life; we’ve allowed our attention to be diverted by screens and pixels. We’ve numbed ourselves to the myriad longings of our soul. Our inner clarity has blurred.
We’ve moved further away from the source of our best lives. How do we pull ourselves away from the mounting mayhem, pressures and noises created by our digital age? How do we step out of the crush and chaos, to re-calibrate and find a healthier balance?
Who are YOU? Why are YOU here?
Return to nature. Return to the source. Return to your essence. Nature is a tonic, a balm that calms our rushed and rankled lives. We must reconnect to the natural world and to the healing power of nature during times of grief and loss. A date with nature is a date with the divine.
What better way to explore and re-imagine the elements of our world, than to embark on a long walk through nature?
Devices alienate us from ourselves and the natural environment. As we become ever more deeply entrenched in the digital world, we’re becoming more alienated from the wilderness. We need to consciously step back into our natural habitat. We need to connect with the quiet inside of ourselves.
Seek courage via your creative explorations!
Retreat on Your Feet offers physical and mental wellness journeys in natural settings. This year, join me as we embark on the first Retreat on Your Feet along Italy’s renowned Via Francigena.
The Via Francigena beckons adventurers and pilgrims from around the world. Not only for the religious-minded, this hiking route is laden with meaning. What is it about the Via Francigena that calls people to walk its path? Much like Spain’s Camino de Santiago, embarking on the Via Francigena pilgrimage path is not merely about walking; for some, it is a spiritual odyssey; for others, it is a return to nature or an inward-looking journey. But these paths of pilgrimage can prompt one’s creative spark. Through expression, feeling, insight, observation or conversation, we are guided to unleash our inner soul-explorer and spirit-seeker.
Our exploration will unfold on the way, and in flow!
- We will walk and lay in fields and stare at the stars. We will watch tides, winds, wildlife and the movement of clouds across the sky.
- We will gaze at majestic landscapes and earth’s creatures; all of it, up close and beautiful. Listen for messages hidden away in bushes and trees. Watch slugs glide up stalks. Observe leaves swaying in the breeze. We will notice and note the minutiae.
- We will read written passages about nature’s gifts from authors like Mary Oliver, Henry Thoreau, Nan Shepherd, Rachel Carson, Maurice Sendak, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Peter Wohlleben, Annie Dillard and many more. And we will write – with prompts, and without. In light of inner (or external) promptings, sympathetic reflections, and our surroundings, we will exhale through our words. Imagine: Penning your very own pilgrim’s haiku!
- We will move our bodies. We will wander through the stillness of forests and taste the cool flow of streams. Releasing tightness and tension, we will stretch out our tightened joints and tired muscles. We will curl up and twist our spines and open our hips and strengthen our legs. We will let our organs breathe freely, again, in the wild.
- Our art-making will be sourced from our interactions with our daily surroundings. Using ingredients that we discover in nature, we will make art; re-awakening our dormant cravings for creativity. Our explorations will lead us deep into the roots of our artistic spirit. These hand-on activities will unfold without instruction per se; rather only gentle guidance (as and when called for).
- Spontaneously, we may create: a brief mime performance, a grass labyrinth, a stone mandala.
- Much more: deep breathing, storytelling, body poetry, silence, journaling, tree-hugging, close-up and intentional observation of the natural world.
Step into your curiosity. Unearth your dormant creative spirit. Connect with the earth and with your purest self.
TWO OPTIONS *TBD*
- Lucca – Siena
- Lucca – Rome
Your Pilgrim Guide
Amit Janco is a writer, artist, and practitioner of Iyengar Yoga, Narrative Therapy and Reiki (Level II). With a wide and eclectic background, in law, fine and graphic arts, energy healing, yoga and therapy, Amit offers an unorthodox approach to her individual and group HEARTshops.What might begin with a stroll along the beach or in a forest, might expand into a multi-dimensional practice incorporating the arts, music, movement, writing, visualization, essential oils and energy healing. Amit’s passion for long-distance, mindful walking, resurfaced as a result of a near-fatal accident; during a prolonged period of physical recovery and rehabilitation, she rediscovered the trifecta healing powers of movement, stillness and nature.
In 2013, Amit walked nearly 1000 kms along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Her newly released memoir, (Un)Bound, Together: A Journey to the End of the Earth (and Beyond), weaves together the disparate threads of physical impairment, emotional acrobatics and a search for spiritual grounding on the Camino.