So many retreats these days are just so goddamn harsh. From the fitness retreats that push you to the point of vomiting, to the juice fasts that leave you fainting over your twice-daily colonic. From meditating non-stop for 12 hours a day to yelling out your angst until you lose your voice. Even yoga retreats aren’t immune – some switch off the Namaste factor pretty fast if you can’t levitate during your pristine lotus.
Blush Love Retreats say ya boo sucks to all that. They maintain you can instigate big changes in your life without a modicum of masochism. Founders and facilitators Gail Love Schock and Kate Taylor are ostensibly life coaches but, in reality, they’re more like fairy godmothers. Their retreats are dizzily beautiful celebrations of juicy aliveness that weave together meditation, kundalini yoga, Qoya (a mix of yoga, dance, ritual and therapy), ceremony and coaching.
Gail Love Schock and Kate Taylor
They’re not remotely worthy or po-faced: they’re profound yet playful, challenging yet compassionate.
Blush Love invites you to be vulnerable and open; to stand up and be seen. Above all, a BL retreat is all about radical self-love, teaching you that you are a total goddess just as you are. Yes, it might be a little tough in places – taking a look at the parts of ourselves we’ve neglected or rejected isn’t always easy. I can’t promise there won’t be tears but they may well bring deep realisations. What I can promise is that there will be plenty of laughter and random outbursts of pure unfettered joy.
Few women who have been on a Blush Love retreat come away without being changed in some profound way. Yet it’s all done with grace and compassion, heart-centred humour and, yes, deep deep love. You walk away (head a little higher, eyes a little sparklier, a little dance in your step) believing more in yourself, believing more in life, very nearly believing in full-on magic. It’s a heady trip that’s also firmly centred in the heart and grounded in the body.
I’ve experienced both their week-long retreat in Portugal and their weekend break in Somerset. Both were full-on Bliss with a capital B from the moment I walked through the door. As a veteran of hundreds of retreats, I’m not easily impressed but I seriously couldn’t fault these.
The next full-length Blush Love retreat runs from October 7-14th in Odemira, south-west Portugal, just 15 minutes from beautiful wild beaches.
‘We will dissolve layers of who we think we are, what we perceive we ‘should’ do and begin to trust who we are, and allow sweet abundance into our lives,’ say Schock and Taylor.
The retreat costs from £999 for seven nights (inclusive of three delicious meals a day, plus snacks). Flights and transfers are extra.
If you’re not quite ready for full immersion, you can dip a toe into the Blush Love experience with a one day retreat in London, entitled Blush Love Awakens. ‘We will indulge all the senses in a feast of pure Blush Love,’ they promise. ‘For one day in time, we will be wrapping you in divine essence, and inviting you to love yourself awake. Slow down, connect in, and savour all that is you.’
Blush Love Awakens is being held on September 16th at 42 Acres, Shoreditch, running from 10am – 5pm and costs £111.
My advice? Do yourself a favour. Ditch the dour and treat yourself to a bit of Blush Love.