It's been a varied, diverse and intense month as we've hosted our first Mindful Mini-break Retreat, a workshop in support of the Lifestart Foundation, met other entrepreneurs at a talk evening at 'The Hub Hoi An', watched Poppet, Bobo and Dotty settle into a semi-harmonious friendship and welcomed new members into the Gratitude Family! We also have an exciting line-up of local community events for August, including a three-day launch 'Gratitude Summer Fest' with twice-daily yoga and workshops!
The Gratitude Family!
Following a few weeks of fractious interactions, Bobo, Dotty and Poppet have found an endearing level of acceptance, and a fascinating level of cooperation around food. Initially, Bobo was the most incredible puppy 'vacuum' for food, whilst Poppet would literally only eat when spoon-fed - we looked seriously ridiculous sitting on the kitchen floor, enticing her with a little at a time! Dotty loved the dog food, Poppet, the cat food, and Bobo - well, he would eat anything! Now, Bobo eats what he needs at a more moderate speed, and Poppet will eat from a bowl - with anxiety over food now greatly reduced on both their parts, they now often alternate between bowls or share amicably and politely from one!
We also think we may be inadvertently acquiring another cat! We've named it Vanish as it is a little bit of a Houdini, and almost identical to Dotty, but several shades lighter and a lot skinnier! We think Dotty may be secretly sharing her food and enjoying snuggles when we are out during the day, as Vanish has slipped out a few times now as we've arrived home, and remarkably, our territorial puss seems completely unbothered by the intrusion!
In human news, we have employed a wonderful cleaner, Phuong, who has already brought so much joy, love and care to the villa! She is a truly fantastic addition to our growing family, and delightedly showed us an origami towel 'Bobo' on the bed before our first retreat begun! Phuong's initiative, dedication and beautiful smile has enhanced our days and we are sure that all who join us will appreciate her presence as much as we do!
Manifesting has yet again come to fruition in the most unexpected way! On Tuesday last week, Hannah and I were discussing the need to recruit some additional help for marketing and social media, as we've begun to realise how involved it really is... so we decided that on Wednesday afternoon, we would sit and write a job description for a work-away placement and advertise a post. As it turned out, writing a job description was not necessary, as on Wednesday morning, the perfect solution presented itself!
Around 11am, we had an unexpected visitor arrive in search of the meditation labyrinth and a coffee... this visitor, David Haigh, (who happened to be looking for accommodation in Hoi An) moved in over the weekend, and has already made a tremendous impact on our marketing in so many ways and provided clarity of direction in terms of an actual marketing plan (something we were seriously lacking!). He also happens to home-brew Kombucha! Thank you Universe! Welcome, and thank you David!
"After 5 years of corporate marketing and entrepreneurship, I discovered yoga in 2015 and began a journey of adventure and self-discovery - starting in New York as a self-imposed walkabout. This chapter was diverse with weekends in the Hamptons and weekdays blueberry picking in New Jersey. Ultimately it led to me to a corporate position in London, and the opportunity to explore Europe and the UK for 6 months through work and play.
Feeling the pull to something more meaningful, I headed to Costa Rica to complete a 6-week volunteer program in the rain forest on an eco-ranch. Most recently after some time back in South Africa, I moved to Vietnam. All the while my journey of self-discovery has been ebbing and flowing with expansion and lessons. I now find myself in a position of melding my professional career in line with my interests and passions to create something meaningful and inspiring to my heart."
Community Events in Hoi An
On 25th July, we co-hosted our first community event in support of the Lifestart Foundation - an organisation that supports young-people in Central Vietnam with access to education. Whether in the form of bikes to get to school or university funding, this amazing organisation provides opportunities that as former-teachers, we are delighted to promote and raise money for.
Doodle, Eat and Ground was a lovely afternoon with a two-hour art workshop with StrayCatArtWorks (Cat McGinn), amazingly delicious dinner lovingly prepared by Hannah, and gentle grounding sound bowl meditation to close. Cat artfully (!) guided participants through an expressive and exploratory journey of pencil lines, throwing paint and forming texture whilst exploring emotions in a meditative, (messy!), and collaborative activity that we look forward to sharing again!
We now have an 'Events in Hoi An' page, with a host of workshops and events for parents, children, yogis, meditators and musicians alike. August is going to be a fun month and we're excited to plan more for September during retreat down-time!
From August through to June next year, we have a variety of retreats and trainings from Singing Bowl Practitioner Trainings through to Chakra Balancing, Introduction to Mindful Living, and Inner-Child retreats.
We are extremely excited to share our newest retreat - An Alternative New Year which will run from 27th December to 2nd January. The new year is a wonderful time for reflection and manifesting, and we have both loved bringing a beautiful puja ceremony into our annual new year celebrations over the past years. This retreat will not only provide space and time to reflect on the past and set intentions for the year ahead, but kickstart 2020 with mind, body and soul in alignment... with a lot of fun and delicious new year feast along the way!
Most immediately, we are just thrilled to have rock-star and healer, Jeremy de Tolly join us for a series of local concerts, evening of 'Modern Devotion' (contemporary Kirtan), and a two-day 'Everyday Rediance' workshop from 13th-18th August. Both Hannah and I have practiced TRE for the past four years to Jeremy's 'Noctures' classical piano album, specifically composed for this purpose, and having attended a training with Jeremy as a facilitator in Thailand, we can highly recommend his practice and workshops.
About Jeremy de Tolly
Jeremy is an internationally renowned pianist, singer, composer and performer, as well a TRE® (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises) practitioner, consciousness and voice coach, energy healer, and mantra and sacred music facilitator. He has won a number of South African music awards, and his seminal ambient piano album Piano Nocturnes Vol. 1 is used on healing workshops around the world.
Jeremy has trained with a number of teachers of the consciousness community, including Dr David Berceli, Loch Kelly, Bill Petrie, Jai Uttal, Eckhart Tolle, Dora Dias and Fiona Soma. He is available for 1:1 sessions during his visit to Hoi An, please contact us for availability.
We still have so much to share, but will save other news for a later blog!
Have a fabulous weekend, and for teachers, parents and children alike - enjoy the summer holidays!
With gratitude and love,
"The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment." - Thich Nhat Hanh