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Midwinter Retreat: An Elemental Journey into Midwinter Dreaming

Dec 19, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm CET

$30 – $70

Join Gwyneth Jones and Matthew Painton for a reflective, dreamy afternoon of looking inwards at what the year has brought and what the next year might bring.

As the sun returns we start to turn outwards, become more active, we grow our relationships, projects and ideas, the sap rises and we burst into flower song and activity towards midsummer. Towards autumn, we appreciate and harvest the fruits of our labour, gathering and laying down our resources for winter, and then let go of our outwards being as we turn deeply inwards to sleep, rest and recuperate at midwinter, to dream ourselves anew, before the new cycle of growth begins.

With COVID the world has paused, but have we dreamed ourselves anew? Midwinter is the best time to do that; to do the personal and collective work of dreaming new stories, of finding a new ambition to grow into.

In this afternoon retreat, we will follow a spiral, based on Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects, to connect and interweave deeply personal and wider global perspectives, dreams and stories. In this workshop we do not teach: we all arrive as doubtful experts and wise dreamers. Let’s plant and nurture the seeds of our collective wisdom and take care of the fragile shoots so that they can germinate and grow.

A useful metaphor for our journey is to look at the five elements:


Resisting the darkness – What shines a light in the dark? What values light me up? What values does my life and the world need more of?


Feeling our way into the darkness, how does it all feel? What can we let go of, what am I afraid to feel into? What have I lost, what do I fear?


Preparing the soil- what are my physical resources, relationships, how do I nurture and take care of the physical, earning a living? What are the physical challenges at midwinter and the year to come?


Making sense of the darkness – what is meaningful at this time of year, what dreams, fantasies, myths and stories am I connected to? What stories does the world need?


At midwinter we can let go of how things ought to be, might have been, of how we wanted them to be, and make friends with what is. We can connect with the deep unconscious, and with our dreaming and with myth. What personal and collective stories are we connected to, re-telling and and living out, how do we re-frame and change or evolve the narrative to dream it anew?

What do we hope for or fear in the year to come, for the lean times before the sun returns? What would we like to have achieved by next winter?

How we can better align ourselves with our hopes from where we are now?

The ‘elemental’ theme will also follow the spiral of the Work That Reconnects, of which both Gwyneth and Matthew are trained facilitators.

This retreat will take place over 3 hours and is offered on a sliding scale from 30 to 70 GBP.

About the facilitators:

Gwyneth Jones writes, facilitates and coaches around deep adaptation, connection to nature, and emotional intelligence (to name a few things). She lives in the magical city of Prague (Czech Republic), where she tends her small garden and dreams about opening an ecological centre, where she can teach others how to reconnect to their souls, to the earth, to the land.

She originally comes from the beautiful lands of North Wales, and is also a fluent Welsh speaker.

Matthew Painton is a Deep Adaptation Coach helping people take the world predicament deeply into their being so as to find ways to respond appropriately, proportionately and with love.

He has an academic background in Philosophy and Science and has practised and taught meditation for many years. He offers Wider Embraces meditation as a part of his coaching practice. His working career involved different ways to immerse and involve people with nature for mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well being. As part of the Deep Adaptation network he has developed and launched a web environment where all kinds of practitioners can offer their services and develop and cross-fertilise their practices.


Dec 19, 2021
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm CET
$30 – $70
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