Who gets the most out of working with you, Wilma?
Innovators, leaders and entrepreneurial thinkers who have a vision for change.
They’re ready to explore becoming the highest expression of themselves, in order to make their difference in the world.
They’re ready to act, to look within themselves and find that different way. They are emotionally invested and are in a position to make it happen.
Their vision is intrinsic to what they do next – they’re being pulled along by it and can’t not do it!
They also have a strong sense that change is needed and are inspired to break new ground. They may have a head full of ideas … but don’t know which one to develop next. And above all, they want to make a difference, and are prepared to do what it takes to do that.
“They have to have an all-consuming desire to see their vision, this extraordinary idea, come out of their head and into reality.”
Could you give us an overview of what Being At The Cottage is and how it works?
Of course! Being At The Cottage is a collection of carefully designed and curated experiences built around personalised solo retreats, wrapped up with in-depth coaching support for clients ready to do the game-changing inner work on themselves to achieve their aims.
Clients need to come with a conscious intent, which we help them with.
This is not for those who just want to spend a few days in nature on a short, therapeutic break from the stress and hustle of everyday life.
The thing is, most people are ‘busy’ spending time and paying a high price for it.
The difference with Being At the Cottage is that it’s not about doing, but being. It’s about helping the client discover who they need to become in order to deliver their vision. We support them fully in this with the retreats wrapped around with 1:1 impact coaching
At the heart of any work together is a four- or seven-night solo retreat at Graig Ddu, the cottage deep in the ancient landscape of the Black Mountains. While there, clients learn to connect with and access the inspiration, creativity and wisdom of their subconscious mind to develop their vision and expand what’s possible.
Before their stay, there’s a period of guided preparation so that they can identify the one thing they need to pay attention to while they’re away. We make sure that they bring just that one part of their vision, leaving the rest behind.
During their stay I will join clients for coaching-style conversations, which are a stimulating counterpoint to spending time alone. These help to loosen and free thoughts and ideas.
Following the retreat, there is a period of structured exploration and coaching, enabling them to put into practice all the learning and insights they received.
It sounds amazing, what would you say are the key differences compared to other types of business retreat?
Well, I’d say there are five main differences.
It’s not an off-the-shelf package, it’s a totally personalised experience.
Our aim is to create a frictionless environment for clients, carefully designed to open up and maximise the possibility of them reaching those hidden seams of inspiration, deep in their subconscious. Even the food we provide is all tailored to their taste and preferences.
We give guidance and a loose structure to the client’s days, but essentially their schedule is their own. They choose what to do when. And we work together, one-to-one, on their vision and ideas both at the cottage and throughout their whole experience.
Being alone is key. The client just brings themselves and their vision. Their time alone needs to be considered sacrosanct. It is a condensed, immersive experience, stripped of day-to-day distractions.
There’s no Wi-fi, mobile signal or television and their days, rich in creative, sensory experiences (which we refer to as the Subtle Dynamics), allow them to pause the ramblings of their conscious mind. They’re divorced from outside influences and other people’s opinions. And this gives them the opportunity for long, uninterrupted periods of time to think, speak, and write their own thoughts, to allow these to bubble up from their subconscious and form in new and often surprising ways.
Spending time alone with their vision allows them to re-calibrate, re-evaluate and re-group.
“Spending time alone is a massively undervalued and overlooked phenomenon.”
Then there’s the cottage itself, Graig Ddu, and the enchanting Llanthony Valley in which it sits. It’s an intrinsically tranquil and spiritual place. A place of possibility, that seems to act as a portal for ideas and draws the client into a still and reflective state. And they get the benefit of the forest setting; acres of trees, birds and wildlife, opening out onto the surrounding grassy plateau and rolling moorland.
There’s the focus of experientially working with the subconscious.
Much is written about the subconscious, intuition and synchronicity. The big difference between this and other programmes is that clients are fully guided and supported as they put everything into practice over a number of months. This means they can actually put the theory to work and evolve into a different state of being, if they continue to practice.
It’s a visceral experience, very different to just being told about it or reading about it or going on a short course, or even other forms of coaching. And everything they learn and experience has a solid underpinning based on current brain science.
Although being at the cottage is deeply relaxing, it is about much more than that.
Everything a client needs is there to help them to connect with and listen to their subconscious, unlocking insight and intuition – discovering their inner wisdom. They get to choose from a range of carefully identified and hand-picked Subtle Dynamics, either related to the natural setting – like listening to bird song, walking or running the mountain trails, star gazing or simply being still in nature or you can even do some gardening.
There are also creative tools and activities to hand. Things like dabbling with paints or pastels, drawing, grown up colouring books, puzzles, reading, free writing, playing piano or guitar, listening to music, essential oil bathing, massage and even a sound healing gong bath.
Afterwards, as they build on their time at the cottage and deepen their practice, they will notice how they feel and change day-to-day in body, mind and spirit. Step by step, they’ll notice that they are finding the answers more easily, their next steps become clear and synchronicity occurs as they enable their vision to unfold.
“It’s a structured, lightly choreographed process designed to deepen your practice so that it becomes second nature, part of your way of life.”
What’s drawing you to do this work, Wilma?
For me, it’s all about being able to make a difference with the people who are making a difference. It’s my small contribution to change in the 21st Century.
If, in helping each client access their inner wisdom and advance towards becoming the highest expression of themselves, I can help them take their extraordinary contribution to the world in a deeper and more profound way, then I’ll consider my job well done.
I’ve reached my current level of awareness over the past 30 years, and I’m still evolving. I understand inside out the process that clients are guided through and live it day to day. I know what’s it’s like to have a vision, to be pulled along by it and to experience the deep desire to see it through, to become immersed in it and be absorbed by it.
I also understand the trepidation we can all feel by what’s required sometimes. I’m inspired by others who also experience this and still continue. Those who feel pulled in a new way, who can’t not do this, and go in a new direction in pursuit of their vision – their own extraordinary ‘thing’.
Ultimately, it’s about supporting each client to shift from the inside and evolve to higher levels of consciousness, and this matters because the more people who evolve to higher levels of consciousness, then the more we, as human beings, can create a powerful and positive influence on the world.
How do you work with teams?
I start working one-to-one with a single leader or entrepreneurial thinker. If this person has a team and wants to extend the work, then there are options for doing this and bringing others into the process.
The philosophy of Being At The Cottage
Eight books worth reading
‘Source’ – Joseph Jaworski
‘Reinventing Organisations’ – Frederic Laloux
‘The Necessary Revolution’ – Peter Senge et al
‘Doughnut Economics’ – Kate Raworth
‘Blackfoot Physics’ – David Peat
‘A New Earth’ – Eckhart Tolle
‘The Power of the Subconscious Mind’ – Joseph Murphy
‘Presence – Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworksi, Otto Scharma, Betty Flowers