Frequently Asked Questions
TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS: Where and when do we meet and how do I get there?
We will meet at the Avignon TGV train station on Saturday March 17, 2018.
First pick-up : 12pm, Second pick-up : 2:30pm, Last pick-up : 5pm
If you are traveling from the US to Avignon, you will likely want to fly into :
• Paris (Orly-ORY or Charles de Gaulle-CDG)
• Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE) or
• Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS).
(These are the 4 largest airports in France)
After arriving at the airport, you will transfer to a train. The train system in France is excellent: fast, safe and comfortable. It’s also a beautiful way to see the French countryside.
Transfers from the airports to the train stations are always available by bus, with varying costs and times. Transfers are also possible by taxi, uber and in some cities, by subway or commuter trains. Check carefully before reserving your train ticket to allow for ample transit time between the airport and station.
The price of the train to Avignon will vary. Check : http://www.sncf.com for prices, schedule and train ticket reservations.
• From Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Avignon TGV - train time : 2 hrs and 40 mins
• From Nice (Nice Ville) to Avignon TGV - train time : 3 hrs
• From Lyon (Gare de Lyon Part Dieu) to Avignon TGV - train time : 1 hr and 10 minutes
Please note : Avignon has two train stations. Please be sure to meet at the Avignon TGV station.
We know that organizing travel in a foreign country can be confusing. All of our staff have a lot of experience with international travel. We are happy to answer questions or offer tips to assist with the booking process.
We do recommend purchasing travel insurance, as we are not liable for any travel complications, last minute changes, or medical emergencies. We recommend WorldNomads.com.
PACKING, CLIMATE, PREPARATIONS: How do I get ready?
Once you have registered, we will invite you to the “Participant Portal” - a section of this site reserved only for those we know will be attending. Here you will find all of the tools and tips you need to prepare fully.
FOOD: What kind of food will be available?
The food served at the retreat will be vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. Colorful, inventive, and prepared by a professional chef. We will also be sure to always have raw and living options available.
Our ingredients will always be bio/organic and local, to the best of our abilities and seasonal availability. Our menu will be based on traditional foods from the area with our own healthful and detoxifying spin.
Taking a break (or even better - walking away!) from refined sugars, processed and packaged foods, animal protein, and pesticide-sprayed or genetically modified ingredients will directly assist in this process of transformation. You will not only feel better in your body through the lightening aspect of this detox, but in addition, you will find a greater sense of clarity in your thinking, confidence, and maybe most importantly, a greater sensitivity. You will be able to communicate more clearly with your body, and truly listen to your deep and subtle inner-voice as you go through this re-invention.
GROUND RULES: Expectations for Participants
Joining our circle is an act of self-care and self-love. Thus it is important that every participant understands that they (alone) are the best person to decide what is healthy or unhealthy for every aspect of their wellbeing. We ask that you take time throughout each day of the retreat to check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.
We want you to stretch. We want you to be brave and courageous in facing the unknown. But we also want you to honor your own limits and boundaries.
Nothing we have planned is obligatory. You always have a choice to say yes or no. We will always respect that. Our schedule will be very full of many wonderful offerings, but if you find that you need to take some time to be alone, or that your body needs a little more rest one day, or taking a walk in nature to listen deeply feels, intuitively, like the right next step - Please. Yes. Listen. Listen. Listen.
We are there to support you, but we need you to decide and communicate what feels right for you. Transformation and change can be full of stimulation, excitement, creativity and fiery-fierce-determination, but sometimes slowing down to be kind and gentle to yourself is called for.
We simply cannot offer refunds. We do encourage you to purchase travel insurance for this trip. We would recommending having a look at WorldNomads.com.
Why is our circle only for women?
Most of us live in a world where both domestically and professionally our environments are largely guided by a patriarchal (or masculine) vision of what a woman’s role is in society. It is so embedded in the culture that it is often never recognized and acknowledged.
We don’t want you to worry about who or what anyone else wishes or expects you to be. This means walking away from the masculine pressure. When I say “masculine” - I don’t mean that this voice belongs only to men. It is the voice of institutions, of competition, of authority, of reputation, of public life.
We gather together in circle to listen to ourselves and to one another. Many women feel safest and most secure sharing amidst other women. We want to join as a sisterhood to lift one another up. To cheer each other on. To be encouraging witnesses and sources of inspiration. We are also here to decide together, with great strength of will, to bring more compassion and sensitivity and creativity into our shared world. This happens through embracing and celebrating the feminine, in all of her diverse forms.
If it is a women’s-only retreat, why do we have men on staff? Will they participate in everything?
The men on our staff have fully embraced the feminine within and are aware, attentive, empathetic individuals who provide our ‘chemistry’ with a certain kind of balance. They bring their own expertise and a whole-hearted wish to be supportive. However, as we want to protect the sisterhood space of sharing, all gathering circles and workshops involving openness and vulnerability will be women only. All of our staff members understand the reasons for this; they are fully accepting and respectful of this guideline.
INCLUSIVITY OF EMBODIMENT: Age & Gender
Being a woman is a prerequisite for full participation in this retreat (both in age and gender).
We stand behind a strong non-discrimination policy regarding transgender women.
women are welcome. All women have a place in our circle.
INCLUSIVITY OF BELIEFS: Diversity of Religion, Spirituality and Belief Systems
Though we will be visiting some sites related to certain religious traditions, we are in no way linked or affiliated with any system of faith.
Our coordinators and staff come from a vast variety of backgrounds and belief systems - from quakerism to judaism to protestantism to shamanism to animism to buddhism to sufism… even among us, we represent such a plethora of possible paths.
When we talk about the ‘divine feminine’, it is a universal concept which is manifested in the majority of world traditions. We may speak about
Mary Magdalene, but the Hindu
Saraswati, or the Jewish
Miriam, or the Celtic
Brigid, the gnostic
Fātima of Islam, or
Inanna of the Sumerians - these are all amongst the faces of the sacred feminine force of the universe.
We welcome this force with all of her many faces, shapes, bodies, voices and sources of inspiration. We aim for diversity. True harmony comes not from all people singing one singular note, but rather from the beauty of difference and cooperation. We harmonize by listening to ourselves and to others simultaneously.
PHYSICAL ABILITY: What level of 'fitness' is expected or required?
We welcome people in all circumstances of physical fitness and ability.
All physical (embodiment) practices are optional, and all can be practiced with a large spectrum of ‘fitness’, ability or experience.
On our excursions, we spend quite some time exploring by foot. Though there will not be any strenuous hiking, some of the villages and sites are on mountain tops and there may be some
small slopes to climb. Don’t worry - everyone can walk at their own pace.
We cannot guarantee that all venues will be wheelchair accessible. If you are concerned about this, please get in touch with us and we’ll see if we can find a way to support you.
Anyone attending the retreat who is working with a care provider, please invite your caregiver to come too. We are happy to offer support, but our staff will not be able to provide for individual care needs.