Who gets the most out of working with you?
Being At The Cottage is a personalised solo retreat and ongoing support for innovators and entrepreneurs who have a game changing vision and the drive and imagination to achieve something extraordinary, something that will have a positive, wide-reaching, and sustainable impact on business and on society.
People who come to work with me fall into 2 main groups. There are those who have been consciously or unconsciously ruminating on an idea, a vision and now have a sense that there must be a different way to approach their work. The way they’ve been going about it so far is not getting them where they want to be, so their logic is, that there must be another way of approaching what they want to achieve to make it happen, of making the greatest impact. Their passion is strong and compelling, but the fullest expression of their vision may feel a little elusive – tantalisingly close, but still out of reach.
The second group are those whose careers have been washed away by recent events. They’ve had time to reflect and are ready for change.
Both groups are ready to act, to look within themselves and find that different way. They’re in a position to make it happen, are emotionally invested and have an innate sense of possibility.
“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?
At the heart of the programme is a four- or seven-night solo retreat at Graig Ddu, the cottage deep in the ancient landscape of the Black Mountains. While there, you learn to connect with and access the inspiration, creativity and wisdom of your subconscious mind to develop your vision and expand what’s possible.
During your stay I join you for coaching-style conversation, a stimulating counterpoint to spending time alone, which helps loosen and free your thoughts and ideas.
There’s a period of guided preparation with me before for your stay so that you can make the most of your time at the cottage, and a period of structured exploration in the months following the retreat to enable you to put the learning and insights you receive there into practice.
You come with a conscious intent. You bring your vision and leave the rest behind. It’s 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.
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. We give guidance and a loose structure to your days, but essentially your schedule is your own. You choose what to do when. Even the food we provide is all tailored to your taste and preferences. Our aim is to create a frictionless environment for you, carefully designed to open up and maximise the possibility of you reaching those hidden seams of inspiration, deep in your subconscious. And we work together, one-to-one, on your vision and ideas both at the cottage and throughout your whole experience.
Being alone is key. You just bring yourself and your vision. Your time alone is a condensed, immersive experience, stripped of day to day distractions. There’s no Wi-fi or mobile signal and your days, rich in creative, sensory experiences (which we refer to as the Subtle Dynamics), allow you to pause your conscious mind. You’re divorced from outside influences and other people’s opinions. You have the opportunity for a long, uninterrupted period of time to think, speak, and write your own thoughts, to allow them to bubble up from your subconscious and form in new and often surprising ways. Spending time alone with your vision allows you to re-calibrate, re-evaluate and re-group.
“Spending time alone is a massively undervalued and overlooked phenomenon.”
Then there’s the cottage, Graig Ddu, itself and the mystical 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 you into a still and reflective state. And you get the benefit of the forest setting, acres of trees, birds and wildlife, opening out onto the surrounding grassy plateau and rolling moorland.
Although being at the cottage is deeply relaxing, it is about much more than that. Everything you need is there to help you connect with and listen to your subconscious, unlocking insight and intuition. You 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 – or because of the 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.
There’s the focus of experientially working with the subconscious. Much is written about the subconscious, intuition and synchronicity and the big difference between this and other programmes is that you are fully guided and supported as you put everything into practice over a number of months. This means you can actually put the theory to work and evolve into a different state of being, if you 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 you learn and experience has a solid underpinning based on current brain science.
Afterwards, as you build on your time at the cottage and deepen your practice you will notice how you feel and change day-to-day in body, mind and spirit. Step by step, you’ll notice that you find the answers more easily, your next steps become clear and synchronicity occurs as you enable your 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. My small contribution to change in the 21st Century. I’ve reached my own current level of awareness over the past 30 years and I understand the process inside out. I 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 absorbed by it. There’s a blending of you with it, and it with you – a sense of anticipation and completeness as you lose yourself in its development. I want others to experience this, those who also feel pulled in a new way, in a new direction in pursuit of their vision – their own extraordinary ‘thing’.
What would you say is the spirit of Being At The Cottage?
The 21st Century is throwing it all back at us at the moment. In the last 200 years we have inflicted wounds on our planet that are now demanding to be dressed and healed. The spirit of Being At The Cottage is to provide a place where new ways of being and doing can be uncovered in order to move business and society in another direction – a new and better normal.
It’s about helping to extract the maximum human potential of each person or team, to become the highest expression of both themselves and what they want to achieve. This matters because the more people who evolve to higher levels of consciousness, the more we, as a whole, can create a powerful and positive influence on the world. An idea, service or product born from this highest expression carries a vibration and frequency that positively and exponentially influences everyone it touches.
“This is really about the next level of human development. If all of us were able to get to the highest level in ourselves, we’d be able to see through these problems [creating a sustainable world to live in]”, Sheri Flies from The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge et al.
How do you work with teams?
I usually start working one-to-one with a single instigator or entrepreneur. If they have a team and want to extend the work, then there are options for doing this and bringing others into the process.
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