MidLife Retreats

Did you know that Midlife does not have to be a Crisis?

Midlife does not have to be a stressful or insecure time.
No one needs to feel lost and invisible at midlife.
Midlife does not necessarily mean that you have to start doubting your identity, the meaning of life, your purpose in life.
Midlife does not mean you are no longer attractive, that you have to start wearing boring clothes, that wearing make-up is a waste of time or that the physical side of your relationship will stagnate.

Midlife can be a new beginning. A Midlife Blossoming.

Midlife can be no more than a transition, a time ripe with opportunity, a second chance, a second spring.

Mindful Midlife Renewal Retreat

Maybe at this moment in time, you feel an urgent need to get away from everything and everyone to find a place where you can quietly think all this over. Alone. Or at most, with other women who are going through the same experience as you are.

A midlife crisis is often triggered by:

  • A death in your family/of someone close to you
  • An aging parent that now needs your physical/emotional care.
  • An empty nest – your children have all left home and lead their own lives now
  • You are retired and now feel useless and without a purpose.
  • You’re going through menopause
  • You ask yourself, “Is this all there is”? and feel dissatisfied
  • You start noticing that you are getting older: you need reading glasses, you have less energy, wrinkles and gray hairs start appearing etc.

Feeling stressed/anxious/irritable/depressed is perfectly understandable. It is easier to take stock, to meditate and to evaluate your current situation somewhere peaceful, with support from other women who understand what you are going through, who have the same questions as you have and who have to cope with the same physical changes as you do.

This Mindful Midlife Renewal Retreat was created to offer a sanctuary to women struggling with the challenges and changes of midlife, to give them time away from the stress and demands of their daily lives so that they can think about who they want to be are where they want to go in the second part of their lives. The retreat is structured to introduce participants to coping strategies that will help them avoid a midlife crisis and instead, help them make the best use of the opportunities that a well-managed midlife transition can offer.

Midlife Retreat

Midlife is the perfect time to:

  • Take time out to take stock
  • Look back at what you have achieved so far
  • Look forward at what you want to achieve in the second part of your life
  • Reconnect with you really are, with what is most important to you
  • Get rid of anything and anyone that no longer serve a purpose in your life
  • Find yourself a trustworthy mentor/role model 
  • Re-create yourself and redefine your goals

When we take time out to re-explore who we are and what we want, some of us may find that we are way off course, others may only need to make a few adjustments and yet others may barely notice that they are going through a transition. Whatever your situation, our retreats will inspire you and introduce you to tools that will enable you to make the most of yourself and of the rest of your life.

Retreat Leader 

My name is Margaretha Montagu. I am a « reformed medical doctor » who now hosts Mindful Midlife Renewal Retreats at our farm in the sun-drenched south of France. I am also a woman at midlife and I fully understand the trials and tribulations a midlife transition can involve, not only on my own account, but because I have treated many menopausal women during my career. These days I am less into medicating the menopause and more into mindfulness and meditation as natural coping strategies. More about Dr Margaretha Montagu.

During this retreat, you will

–  be introduced to various ways to meditate or, if you already meditate, you will have the opportunity to refresh or deepen your meditation practice. It has now been scientifically proven that meditation is an effective way to relieve stress and from personal and professional experience I know just have useful it can be during the menopause.

– find out more about mindfulness, its extensive benefits and why it is especially useful during midlife.

– have the option to attend one or more equine-assisted experiential learning sessions that will enable you to:

  • discover how to deal with midlife stress/demands more effectively,
  • communicate more efficiently,
  • build strong and enduring relationships,
  • dramatically increase your self-confidence,
  • eradicate limiting beliefs that have blocked you in the past,
  • develop more successful problem-solving skills
  • find out how to thrive on change and challenges,
  • re-discover and re-define your purpose in life and
  • gain a solid understanding of who you are now.

Hang on.

Did you say «EQUINE»?

Midlife Crisis retreat

Yes, indeed. Like many other women, I have always been fascinated by horses. When I had to retire from medicine due to a serious deterioration of my vision, I wanted to find a discipline where I could still use my medical knowledge and experience while working with horses. Equine-assisted experiential learning fit the bill perfectly. I hasten to add that ABSOLUTELY NO RIDING is required during these retreats. Nor do you have to know anything about horses to benefit, in fact, it is better that you don’t and best yet if you have never been anywhere near a horse and the mere idea scares you witless.

– be able to talk to other women, also at midlife. I always rejoice in the benefit women get from the presence and support of like-minded women, the lasting friendships that form, the readiness of women (who may in their normal lives never have the opportunity to honestly express themselves) to say what they really feel, in this safe environment to sympathetic listeners. They may start by just talking to each other a bit, sharing their impression about the retreat’s activities, but soon, especially after the first experiential learning session with the horses, they open up to each other, quickly finding common ground, common challenges and shared joys. Talking with other women, and discovering that they have as much trouble coping with stress, even if the cause of the stress is different, is infinitely reassuring. Offering and receiving support is another great stress management technique, women with sympathetic listeners as friends, who they feel they can trust, deal with stress much more efficiently than those who do not have such a support network.

There are many other benefits to enjoy on this retreat, like good wholesome food and excellent wine (no deprivation diet on this retreat, we believe in feeding the body as well as the mind), a peaceful and inspiring location, gorgeous, understanding and generous horses, easy international access and comfortable accommodation in a 200-year-old, lovingly restored French farmhouse. 

Retreat in France

Who should attend?

This Mindful Midlife Renewal Retreat is for women from the age of 30-35 onwards, women of all shapes and sizes, all religious persuasions (or not)and all sexual orientations who feel overwhelmed by the demands of midlife. Women who have always felt themselves drawn to horses and who want to spend time in close contact with a small herd of irresistible horses, especially if they are willing to share apples and cuddles in equal measures, are especially welcome.

When to attend, how long to attend and costs involved

The best time of the year to come here on retreat is during July, August and September. We host 5 and 7-day retreats, either in group format or on a one-to-one basis. The costs of the retreats are 899 euro for a 7-day retreat and 699 euro for a 5-day retreat – this includes accommodation in a single or double room, all meals (food and wine), wifi access, all meditation, mindfulness and equine-assisted experiential learning sessions and all the course material. Alternatively, we have open days 3 times a year – a single non-residential day-retreat: to find out more, CLICK HERE.

Additional Options

If anyone would like to arrive a day or two early, maybe to explore the cultural, historical and gastronomical treasures of the Gascony region, we offer accommodation on a bed-and-breakfast basis, but this is only available to retreat guests, we do not otherwise offer B and B accommodation. In addition, our guests can choose to add an extra day at be beginning or end of their retreat: a sightseeing day or a day visiting one of our local spa’s, at additional cost.

If you would like to find out more about our Mindful MidLife Renewal Retreats, or would like to make a booking, please send an e-mail to welcome2gascony@gmail.com or fill in the form below. Your privacy is crucially important to us, your e-mail address remains your personal property.

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