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RETREAT IMPRESSIONS| Children of the Sea

I experienced more than I can tell: While I can access the memories and experiences from the Children of the Sea retreat in Greece, as I can other experiences, travels, experiences, it is very different. It sits deep. The retreat is in me, in my senses, my mind, my soul, my thoughts, my memory, my hands, my heart. Let's let all these perspectives tell here....


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Hardly back from a trip, I am typically surprised by my fellow men with the question "Well, how was it?". After the retreat `Children of the Sea' in Greece it was not only this question. Everybody wanted to know how the retreat was and is for me, what we did there and how you can imagine being there. Now I was really overwhelmed, although of course I am very grateful for these questions.

I can access the retreat time and memories as I do other experiences, travels, experiences, but it is very different.

It is deep. The retreat is in me, in my senses, my mind, my soul, my thoughts, my memory, my hands, my heart. I experienced more than I can tell; than words allow.

All these parts of me tell me about the retreat from a different perspective. It's so alive, it's so real. Real deep inside me. In me as a whole.

It is and has certainly been a journey for me. A journey to so many things. I would like to share a few perspectives of my narrating parts with you here.

a journey to...

# modesty

Everything I needed for the night and day on a beach I had to shoulder on my own back and carry on my own responsibility. This led me to pick up each item at least three times and weigh whether it really made me happier and more satisfied or whether I packed it purely out of convenience and habit. The packing list that Olivia wrote helped me a lot in this process.

I was especially surprised how satisfied I was with a single pair of pants for four days. Modesty took away a lot of responsibility, decisions, thoughts and worries.

In return, I gained freedom. Freedom to devote myself to nature and the now. I could be completely in the now without distraction. This made introspection possible.

a journey to...

# grounding and connection

Whatever I did - sleeping, sitting, lying, eating, cooking - I did on the ground. And if possible barefoot. I felt connected and grounded to the element of earth, to Mother Earth. A feeling of comfort appeared.

I realized in the retreat that the two worlds - nature and civilization - are not so far apart after all. And even if I sometimes feel that way, through grounding I come back to myself. Nature gave me a sense of security and trust through being, sitting and lying on the ground.

The element of earth was particularly present for me in that sense. I feel particularly drawn to and belong to this element. Therefore, I never thought that I would have to struggle so much with the following: the sand.

The sand. It was everywhere, in every meal, in my underpants, in my hair, in my sleeping bag. It stressed me out. I realized that nature nestles into the last blind spots and makes itself recognizable. She is present everywhere. She wants it that way.

I realised that the outside space constantly reminded me that I was outside and that I was allowed to accept that in all its facets.

Which elements are close to you, which are your helpers, what is your understanding about the four elements and your personal elemental composition. These topics and more you can learn in the Kailo 4 Elements Research Club.

Sleeping place with sleeping bag on the coast covered with shrubs on the Greek sea at sunrise at a nature therapy retreat

a journey to...

# inner and outer hidden places

On the daily search for a place to sleep - every day on a new beach - I groped around step by step in places and places that were unknown to me until then. Inside as well as outside.

By exploring the outer places, I also explored my inner places: my needs, feelings, insights. Why, for example, did I not feel so comfortable on this or that beach, why did I always want to sleep in the corners of the beach. So through the outer places I also got to know and assess my inner map better.

a journey to...

# nourishing colors

The focus was entirely dedicated to the colors of nature. The longer I was in the retreat, the clearer my eyes, but also my mind, could see and recognize the countless colors, all the gradations, nuances and shades. No distractions from street lights, scrolling social media, monotonous cold office lights or the artificial light at home.

The absence of straight surfaces, human-sized shapes made my eyes and mind feel freedom and enjoy vision. Inside as well as outside.

How often I was just there, in the moment, my mouth open, marveling at how aesthetic and noble nature is modestly around me.

Now, back in the city, when I close my eyes and engage with the memories with my whole body, I see the intense colors of nature in front of me. Very lightly, but still intense. I can also feel, hear, smell and feel small wonders of nature and life, even in the city, in front of my doorstep.

a journey to...

# warmth

The fire was the center. The center for coming together in the group. The fire was the group. It was not made without the group and it did not stay without the group. It was made by the group - from choosing the fireplace, finding the wood and stones, to tending it - for the group.

It brought us together in a circle at least twice every day. In the morning for a warm porridge, sometimes at lunch, in the evening for a warm meal and cozy warmth before bedtime.

During group discussions around the fire, everyone looked fascinated into the flames, which disappeared before we could even describe them in words. It was a piece of warming nature that was around us when it was dark and the landscape disappeared into the night.

The element fire is experienced by us humans as something rather lively, potent, energetic, perhaps in some contexts also angry, dangerous. Here, it brought everyone to rest and into the now.

I can still feel it now, the warmth on my face, on my upper body, on my knees. I looked up into the indescribably dense starry sky and suddenly the warmth in my face was gone. With my mouth open, I turned back toward the fire.

a journey to...

# reliable trust

On the one hand, natural space may seem frightening, harboring dangers, but on the other hand, it can also provide a great deal of safety and security.

At first I was still restless, worried about the forces of nature. But the more the time outside progressed, the more I could get involved, the more confidence I got in myself and in nature - given by nature. The reliability that the outdoor space brings almost as a daily matter of course is a gift.

Every day the sun rises, even if it is sometimes covered by clouds, the earth rotates, the day progresses, the starry sky comes. The space changes day by day, but still remains a constant.

These naturally recurring rhythms of nature give me confidence in my life's journey, in the rhythms and movements of my life.

a journey to...

# gifts of nature

Gifts of nature, we just need to see them, feel them and engage with them:

... water that nestles softly around me

... waves that cleanse me

... recurring waves that remind me of the recurring breath

remind me

... wind that brings air into my thoughts, my ego

... wind, which brings clear sight into my thoughts, my ego

... wind that sweeps away the clouds in my mind

... rocks that offer security

... rocks, like open hands for shelter

... rocks that radiate potency

... sun that lovingly caresses my skin

... sun that tenderly caresses my soul

... fire that brings survival - warmth and nourishment

... fire that gives me peace

Tarp as sleeping place on natural beach with stones and sea at sunset with clouds at nature therapy retreat in Greece

a journey to...

# an indescribable journey ...

All the multi-layered experiences escape me when I try to form thoughts and words from them, to describe them more precisely. Ultimately, the goal of the retreat was to get away from the head and towards oneself, towards one's own body. So here is the evidence that Olivia succeeded in this in her retreat. I experienced more than I can tell.

Nevertheless, a few more descriptions of where the nature therapy retreat "Children of the Sea" has gone. They may now just stand here, listed without further explanation. Set out on your own journey and make your own experiences.

A journey to...

... simple life

... nature

... slowness

... coming down

... various processes

... exploration

... desire

... satisfaction

... the elements

... myself

... (back) to me

... perspectives of space and time

... nomadic life

... basic survival

... openness in nature

... openness in the group

... acceptance

... trust

... letting go

... getting involved

... intuition

Are you a "Child of the Sea" too?


Be part of it


a retreat on wild beaches



a retreat in the desert & by the sea


(c) all photos by Laura Haipl & Olivia Köhler


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