French Alps Retreat with Debra Moffitt
August 10- 16th, 2014
How the retreat is facilitated: As someone who has both deeply benefited from retreats and also facilitated many retreats and workshops, Debra Moffitt aims to offer a safe, creative space for participants to take a step away from their usual activities and move more deeply into their own Self-awareness. Retreats can be a very creative time, a time to relax and enjoy, to contemplate, to discover what your heart and spirit are calling you to do and to anchor this in writing. Debra’s gentle, caring approach encourages participants to find their voice and gain Self-confidence.
Workshop Sessions: The workshop sessions are highly interactive. Lectures tend to be short (5 to 10 minutes) followed by individual and group activities. This approach is very conducive to personal exploration and creative growth. It draws out participants’ natural inner wisdom. Who will benefit? Anyone interested in taking time away from the usual hectic pace who wishes to explore their inner life through writing, meditation, contemplation, and reflection.
Who will benefit from this retreat:The retreat is for people open to using writing as a way to tap into creativity and soulful guidance. It will be helpful for those seeking to find more direction, listen more deeply to their inner wisdom, and if you are a writer it will be an ideal time to gain more clarity about writing projects, particularly for writers with spiritual interests. The time will flow between scheduled events and free time as well as some excursions to the lake or walking.Retreats can be times of soul opening and exploration. If, for any reason, you feel a need to take time alone and not join the group activities and sessions during part of the retreat, please know that this is accepted.Note: While the retreat will draw on some spiritual practices like meditation, it is not religious and has no religious affiliation.Recommended Reading: “Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery” and “Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life,” both by Debra Moffitt and published by Llewellyn Worldwide.
What Will You Take Away? Retreats, even in a group, are very personal and what you take away will depend on your aims and desires. Before you come please reflect on your aims for the retreat.
How will the retreat work? The program schedule aims to respect natural rhythms, and provide a balance between scheduled sessions and individual time for personal writing and reflection. This program is indicative and may evolve. A typical retreat day may include the following:
7:00 a.m. Meditation (Optional)
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Dream Work – (Optional)
Dreams are a wonderful way to tap into inner guidance and discover some of your best and highest wisdom. This will be a daily informal session over breakfast where participants can learn more about working with their dreams for guidance and creativity.
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Discovering the Voice of Your Soul (The topic of these daily sessions will change.)
We’ll use guided visualization, writing, and other tools to explore inner life and tap into creative resources as ways to deepen understanding and connection with creative life. Tools and exercises will vary each day along with the topics which may include “Vision and Values”, “Staying Grounded”, “Staying in the Creative Flow,” “Celebrating Successes,” and more.)
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Lunchtime
Afternoon session: Times will vary according to weather and location, but will last approximately two hours. Some may be held outdoors (weather permitting). Sessions continue explorations of the morning's topics in a more deeply experiential way and lasts about two hours. For example the morning session on "Vision and Values" will be followed with an after session focused on sight, seeing, paying attention to synchronicity, and the process of seeing -- both outer and inner.
7:00 p.m. Dinner
Evening: Group sharing of writing and/or any experiences.
French for Fun – playing and having fun with learning some French. (Optional)
9:00 p.m. Evening Meditation (Optional)
More About the Clos des Capucins and Lodging: The Clos is a converted 17th century monastery. The ancient part, where the monks once worked, gardened, meditated, and prayed, retains much of its natural and ancient feel. The main chapel has been converted into a large space for events. The grounds are enclosed by a wall. A new building was built as part of the retreat center at the Clos des Capucins to accommodate guests. The new rooms include both doubles and singles with showers. Please note that rooms are clean and simple. They are French sized – which means they may feel small compared to North American standards. Most rooms contain one desk. They are not air-conditioned (weather is generally mild – see more below under Packing). There is ample space around the grounds or at the nearby village cafes for writing or sitting and thinking. The village is literally a two minute walk away. The food for meals is prepared onsite by the chef and uses fresh, local ingredients in as much as possible.
Communication: Wifi is available at the Clos des Capucins. If you’re a Skype user this will be the best way to communicate with family and friends during the retreat, should you decide to do so.
About the Clos des Capucins and Other Retreats Taking Place at the Time of This One: During the “Exploring the Voice of Your Soul” retreat at the Clos des Capucins, a “Danse Libre” (“Free Dance” which inspires natural movement and connection between body, mind, and spirit) retreat will be taking place, so expect to hear some music and see and meet dancers from all nationalities on the grounds.
Options for staying at the Clos beyond Saturday, August 16th: The Clos des Capucins invites anyone who would like to stay over on Saturday night, August 16th at the special rate of 72 Euros (meals included) to be paid directly to the Clos. After the 16th the Clos is fully booked.
Travel Insurance: Be sure to buy travel insurance. While a cancellation of the retreat is highly unlikely, travel insurance will protect for flight and trip cancellations caused by weather conditions, health, and unusual circumstances which might occur beyond anyone’s control.
Travel Suggestions: While travel can be challenging in August, it can be a delight to visit Paris. It’s a time when many Parisians leave the city in droves on vacation. It’s still ideal to book hotels early. Be sure that your passport is valid (and doesn’t expire in the six months before travel). Also remember to get to the airports for international travel at least two hours before departure time to make it through long lines at check-in, security checkpoints, and TSA screenings. On-line check in is ideal to save some time. Taking a carrying on bag with important travel items and a change of clothing for a day or two will help to keep peace of mind in the unlikely case the baggage arrives late.
Easy access to Annecy: We will meet in Annecy and depart to the Clos des Capucins together, where the retreat will be held. Annecy, our departure point, is about a 40 minute drive from Geneva Airport or about two hours by bus or train from Geneva's Gare Cornavin train station. From Paris Annecy is about four hours by train which arrives directly in Annecy's city center. If possible Debra will try to coordinate a pickup or help you to find the bus and train schedules to and from Annecy.
Packing: The French Alps and the area of Yenne, where the Clos des Capucins is located, is generally mild and pleasant during the summers with an average annual temperature of around 77 Farenheit for August, though it may be cooler or hotter. You may want to bring a light sweater and some rain gear, but also prepare for summer weather with summer clothes. The French generally tend to dress up more than most Americans. But that doesn’t mean that you have to. Bring comfortable walking shoes and a swim suit in case we make it to the nearby lake for a dip.
Registration: Please register by sending and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional questions call: 1 843 410 0152 (US) or +33 6 44 89 3600 (France). For complete pricing see here: Pricing
Photo of the inner courtyard of the Clos des Capucins.
Author and retreat leader, Debra Moffitt (left) at a book signing.
Saturday morning market in Annecy, France.
© 2023 by SAMANTA JONES
The reception area in the newly constructed part of the Clos des Capucins.
Double rooms at the Clos des Capucins.
Group departs from and returns to the beautiful lakeside town of Annecy, France.