Pippa's blog

Mamas making journals...

It's a bit of a rushed storify this month (I haven't even read it through!) because time is sparse in the first week of school.

But we had a wonderful time at our #somum Make Date on Wednesday, as always, and hopefully we've inspired some mums to take a little bit of regular one or two line mini journalling time for themselves... Read what we got up to below.

It might even change your life like it's changed mine :)

Fairy Tale Chocolate Competition

My fairy tale life would definitely include chocolate, so I'm very excited that we have appropriately-themed chocolate goodies from Fairy Tale Gourmet to giveaway this month!

Win chocolate eggs from Fairy Tale Gourmet with Story of Mum

You could win yourself one of two delicious artisan chocolate eggs from Fairytale Gourmet - and this Easter, you could crack open your very own Humpty Dumpty or steal a Golden Egg from the friendly giants in your house...!

These are eggs to hide from the kids... SO well that you get to eat them yourself ;)

This month is all about fairy tales - and we'll be sharing our stories in My Life, the Fairy Tale. We would love to hear yours - and one of the ways you can enter the competition is by sharing it with us!

Your own fairy tale might be life-changing or silly, small or huge - you choose. Head over here and complete seven sentences to tell us a fairy-tale from your not-so-fairy-tale life...

Our daily battles may not always feel epic, but the truth is, they are.  Most importantly, sharing those stories of how we overcame the scary stuff, (eventually!) reminds others that they can make it through - even if today's quest is simply to tackle the never-ending laundry pile...

You can also enter by tweeting and hanging out on facebook, as you do...

Tale Gourmet are an award-winning company producing hand-crafted and ethical high-end chocolates and desserts, inspired by the literature of fairy tales. Go and explore their website - it's imaginative, original and guaranteed to make you drool...

We look forward to hearing your real-life fairy-tales, and eating chocolate together..a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a Fairytale Gourmet golden egg with Story of Mum

Start your year with joy at our January Mamas' Retreat

Join a Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat with Story of MumWe'd love you to join us on Sunday 18 January 2015 for a very special Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat in Penzance, Cornwall. Come start your year with joy! (scroll down to book your tickets below)

Three years old

We're officially three years old today!

To celebrate, we're sharing a couple of stories from Story of Mum mamas about what Story of Mum has meant to them.

Story of Mum is three years old! Hear how the project has helped mums grow.

We are so proud of reaching three years with you all. And of those brave mamas who are sharing their stories here with us today. Thank you.

We'll also be sharing fabulous old posts, and giving away a DIY Mamas' Retreat Kit on twitter (share this post and cc @storyofmum on twitter to enter), and another one on facebook, so look out for the tweets and posts for more info...!

You can also enter to win one by commenting below and sharing your thoughts on Story of Mum... 

That's 3 fabulous chances to win today!

Last but not least, we're celebrating by sharing the picture of us where we look most pretty, (thanks Pat Kelman!)

pippa and penny best, story of mum - credit: Pat Kelman

“I discovered Story of Mum at a time when I was very low and feeling totally isolated. I suffered badly with PND (post natal depression) and had no support other than my husband.

I felt worthless as a woman, a wife and a mother. Connecting with other Mums online through creative activities and discussion helped me realise that I wasn't the only one struggling and feeling like I was failing.

This was the turning point for me as I was no longer alone but part of a friendly, supportive, loving online community. These wonderful ladies are now amongst my closest friends, several of whom I have had the great pleasure to meet.

I highly recommend every aspect of Story of Mum to women everywhere, to help you feel whole again.”

Kat Pearce

Story of Mum Exhibition, The Exchange

““When, in September 2013, I attended my first Story of Mum event - the Mums’ Make Date at The Exchange, Penzance - I had only recently relocated to Cornwall from the West Midlands.  My daughter had started at her first school in Penzance the previous week, and I knew no-one!  I was feeling quite isolated, and having had severe Postnatal Depression after my daughter’s birth, I knew it was not good for me to feel this disconnection.  The Story of Mum flyer had come home in my daughter’s schoolbag, and I promised myself I would summon up the courage to go along.  My goodness how glad I am that I did!    

At the end of that evening the feedback form asked how I was feeling about motherhood… my answer was clear - “Much better than before I came out”. 

That evening, just a brief but eye-opening couple of hours - was the start of a revitalizing journey for me.  Story of Mum, its honest and open approach to motherhood, and all its various madcap, thought-provoking, soul-searching, celebratory activities, has made such a difference in my life as a mum. 

It has helped me to feel “normal” - like I’m not the only one struggling with (whatever this week’s “issue” is) being a parent!  The shared stories - at the exhibition, on the website, on the twitter “Make Dates” - have reassured me, uplifted me, comforted me, inspired me, helped me to laugh at myself, and allowed me to cry – in empathy, in joy, and yes in sadness. 

At times Story of Mum has simply kept me sane!  It has given me more confidence in my abilities as a mum, and helped me to find a balance between being a mum - and being “me”.  I have even felt able (with lots of lovely guilt-free “permission” and encouragement from Story of Mum), to attend a Mamas’ Retreat… 6 months ago I couldn’t have imagined myself ever doing that.     

It has been wonderful to meet, spend precious time with, and share thoughts, ideas, angst, and laughter with such a diverse group of women, face-to-face, and online at the monthly “Mamas Make Dates”.  I have never before been amongst such a group of supportive, non-judgmental mums with not a clique in sight!  I have connected with lots of truly fabulous women, and made friends that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.  Not only has this benefitted me, but also my daughter because of the mums and children that she has connected with, and the happier person that I am.  Truly, Story of Mum is a warm, welcoming and nurturing community which I am immensely glad to feel part of."

Pippa Lilley

I'm a mum and a... 

And as for me? Well, Story of Mum has reconnected me to my creativity, and helped me to find a new identity when I felt lost. It has supported me to make sense of the challenging transition from career woman to mother, and to become passionate about giving invisible mothers a voice.

It has boosted my confidence, got me doing things that terrified me but which felt amazing, and reassured me with humour and honesty when I feel like I'm the only mum in the world who messes up. It has helped me to make time to look after myself, and to overcome bad mummy shame at my horrendously messy house.

Projects like Love Mum Body have helped me to dramatically change my relationship with my body. And I have loved the opportunity to spend time and grow a project with my own inspiring mother (especially when I got to do that in New York...!).

Most of all, Story of Mum has connected me to an amazing global tribe of mamas that support me in feeling like I can do anything I dream of.

I hope it does the same for you, and I am so grateful to all of YOU.

Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey these past three years.

 

Come join our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 9 April from 8.30 - 10pm GMT (find world times here). We have some more fantastic prizes for you! Find out more here.

 

Thanks to Andra Alexander, Ian Kingsnorth Pat Kelman and Chris Webber for the photos above.

Sharing our mama identities at BritMums Live

motherhood exhibitionI've just loaded up all the "I'm a mum and a..." photos I took at BritMums Live this weekend, and the gallery is looking amazing. Let the images scroll on by.

We are the same and we are different and we are all unique. 

It's powerful stuff - funny, thought-provoking, heart-breaking and inspiring, and I'm so grateful to all the mothers (and one brave widower) who have taken part so far.

The gallery will continue to grow day by day as "Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves" travels around England in real life, and the world online. Including a wonderful virtual tour - check out some of the posts so far here.

There are well over 200 contributions to "I'm a mum and a..." now and it's fascinating how some words are starting to come up more often than others...  

Us mums are often also dreamers, crafters, poets and artists, dancers, and there's a wonderful groundswell of writers.

There are nanas, daughters, friends, wives, and referees. 

There are some proud me's reclaiming their identities, and others on a journey to find themselves. 

We're addicted to chocolate, tired and crazy. And we're trying our best.

Visit the gallery here.

Read more about my experience of BritMums Live here.

You can add your own picture at any time by visiting the gallery and clicking on 'join in' (if it still says 'join us' you'll need to register with story of mum first - which doesn't take very long, and means you get to hang out with us some more which can only be a good thing...!)

mum and an ear wiggler   mum and a survivor    mum and bibs award winner    mum and education reformer

PS If you're visiting from BritMums Live! and want to find your own photo to see how absolutely beautiful you look (because, yes, you all did), you can scroll through the gallery or visit the BritMums page here that lists all of the pictures I took there.

PPS If you sign up for our newsletter you get a free book of mums' reward charts. You deserve them. Just saying...

Join us to sew slow

We'd love you to come to our next #somum mamas' retreat on twitter from 8.30pm to 10pm on Weds 10 February (find times in your timezone here). We'll be sewing words (if you want to) and talking about hanging out on our sofas, and going slow...

Join a #somum Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum on twitter

You can win PRIZES!! Because we'll also be giving away three places on our new online adventure - Mamas' Mini Sofa Retreat, running for the first time ever from 29 February to 4 March.

Mamas' Mini Sofa Retreat is an ecourse and online party designed to bring more rest, creativity and joy into your life, even when that feels completely impossible… 

So hopefully you'll be one of our lucky winners! We'll allocate the places randomly during the conversation from 8.30 - 10pm using Tweetdraw to select from those using the #somum hashtag, so join us then and use the hashtag to take part.

So why are we sewing words this month?

I recently hosted a lovely virtual mamas' retreat for an inspiring mum who loves sewing that reminded me of the power of sewing words.  As I lost myself in the flow of making, wonkily but enjoyably, I remembered that there’s something beautifully calming about slowly embroidering a word onto material. It allows that word to sink into your mind and body as you carefully sew it into place. 

(...That is, if you can manage to thread your needle, avoid pricking yourself with it, and accept the many likely imperfections you'll encounter... Which is as good a lesson for life as any!)

It can be so rare for us as mums to take a moment for ourselves, to slow down. We talked last month about how much better we feel when we allow ourselves to put our feet up and enjoy creating just for the sake of it.

Sewn Words by Pouch Vintage

So get comfy on your sofa, nuzzle down into cushions and blankets, and take some precious time for you. Think of a message you'd like to give yourself right now, or a quality that you'd like to invite more of into your life.

Sometimes you won't even know what that is until you allow yourself to go a little slower.

Sew this word or words on to a piece of material. As you sew, allow yourself to mull on this quality or message: what does it mean to you and how are you engaging with it right now? Allow yourself to just enjoy the quiet, slow time, just for you.

When you're done, you might like to frame your word and display it, like clever Pouch Vintage demonstrates beautifully above.

If you're feeling especially crafty or in need of some extra mama me-time, you could try using your sewn word for one of the projects on the activity page and gallery over here.

Whether you feel like sewing or not, we'd love you to join us at our next #somum mamas' retreat on twitter on Wednesday 10 February.

We'll slow down, share our sewn words with each other, and inspire each other to spend more time on gentle pleasures...

Remember, as extra inspiration, we'll randomly give away a few spots on our Mamas' Mini Sofa Retreat for free to tweeting mamas as we go!

Join a #somum Mamas' Retreat on twitter with Story of Mum: sewn words

What is a #somum mamas' retreat on twitter?

Think of it as a twitter chat that's more like a free Mamas' Retreat with lovely mums online. It's a chance for mums to get together on twitter and tweet while we attempt to do something creative - like doodlingtaking a photowriting poetrymaking stuff or even squidging plasticine.

We give ourselves some creative me-time and connect with other lovely mums. We do it every second Wednesday of the month and we would love you to join us. New friends are always very welcome.

You don't have to be a clever crafter, an artist or wordsmith. We're all about having a go regardless of talent or experience. Most of all, it's about getting together and having fun.

If you just want to chat, that's completely fine. If you just want to make something and lurk and never tell us you're there, that's fine too. We're just happy you're making time for you. 

Residential Mamas' Retreat announced!

Exciting news! We're hosting a small group retreat from Wednesday 11th to Thursday 12th May at a spectacular Cornwall location, and we'd love you to join us! It's midweek to keep it as affordable as possible, and we're hoping this is enough notice for you to come...

Join a retreat for mothers with Story of Mum in Cornwall

Why?

You deserve some time for you.

You don’t believe that’s really possible.

You dream of having a room or a bed to yourself. Of having a clear space in your mind to think. Of looking at the sea and feeling the waves crashing below. 

Of stretching your well-used mama body without your children hanging from your arms. Of eating delicious health-giving food.

Of reconnecting with yourself again, in a supportive and creative environment. 

You dream of having the time to remember who you are.

We dream of that too. So we’re making it happen.

29 child-free hours. It’s a lifetime in the world of a mother.

It can change how you feel about yourself.

It can give you focus, reawaken a hidden passion.

It can remind you of what you love about your life. Of what you love about you.

Join us in Cornwall. In a stunningly located house by the sea. To take time for you. 

Join Story of Mum for an individual or small group retreat for mothers in Cornwall.

We’ll be staying in The Haven, in a secluded beautiful coastal location, Prussia Cove situated between Penzance and Helston in Cornwall. This cove is where Pippa got married, almost exactly 11 years before the date of this retreat, so it holds a very special place in our hearts.

The Haven sits looking out over the coast, a moment’s walk from the sea, banked by gorse-covered cliffs and surrounded by stunning walks and beaches. It's the big house that you can see in the top right hand corner of the image above.

Join a retreat for mothers with Story of Mum in Cornwall

Join us at a Mamas' Retreat for:

 *  Space to hear yourself think

 *  Heart-opening creative activities

 *  Gentle strengthening yoga

*   Good food and laughter

 *  Wild and peaceful nature

 *  Reassurance that you are not alone

 *  A reminder that you are brave and beautiful and wonderful, flaws and all

 *  Delicious vegetarian meals

 *  Support to be heard, make shifts, reconnect with YOU, and move closer towards that life you deeply dream of.

You don’t need any special skills or experience to join us, you just need to be you

So read on, dream about joining us for this precious mama me-time, and then, book your place below!

Join a retreat for mothers with Story of mum in Cornwall

The Haven is a grand Victorian House, once the ‘second home’ of the Archdeacon of Cornwall, du Boulay. It stands in a commanding position beside The South West Coast Path with magnificent sea views from most of the rooms towards The Lizard.

In January 2012, the house was the location for the Lamorna Cove painter Laura Knight’s house and studio in the film Summer in February.

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in CornwallWe hosted individual retreats here in the same week of May last year, and you can see from the picture on the right, the weather was beautiful.

So fingers crossed for more of that this year! However, we're in Cornwall, so nothing is ever predictable. Bring warm clothes and waterproofs so we can get outside into the elements and appreciate our surroundings if we want to. And be assured that if the weather gets stormy, we’ll provide the hot chocolate and the open fire, and you can simply revel in watching the sea crash below.

This is a unique venue and spaces are limited. As a result, we are offering just 6 spaces for the full residential retreat - 2 sharing a twin room, 3 with single occupancy of a twin room, and 1 with single occupancy of a double room (allocated on a first come first served basis).

Bathrooms are shared and simple. There are two sitting rooms, and two kitchens, so you will always be able to find somewhere quiet if you want to - or find some company if you'd prefer that. The accommodation is delciiously old and eccentric. The location is awe-inspiring.

What will we do?

You'll arrive between 9.30 and 10am on Wednesday morning to settle into your room, and take a few moments to breathe in and absorb this beautiful location: that heart-swelling view of the sea, green cliffs and rolling hills, dotted with sheep, sweet-smelling yellow gorse and bright white daisies. Waving tamarisk branches gently frame the smooth grey rocks below, the coastline of the Lizard stretching out beyond.

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in CornwallAt 10am, our small group of big-hearted mamas will come together for a day of joy, connection and creativity.

Pippa will lead you through a gentle nurturing morning of rest and reconnection. We'll provide delicious fruit and beverages to boost your energy and creative materials to inspire you.

There will be some guided writing, creative collage, and conversation with other lovely mamas.

We'll pause for a delicious vegetarian lunch together (hopefully outside if the weather is kind...). 

And after lunch, you'll be able to take advantage of our spectacular location and spend some time in nature (whatever the weather!).

Outside, you'll gather materials for some gorgeous nature art and mandala-making, returning to The Haven for tea and fabulous cake and a big shared creative project. You'll also spend some time making yourself an inspiration card for Pippa to post to you after the retreat - as a vital reminder of this special time together, and of the importance of looking after you.

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in Cornwall

After a full day of creative activities, you'll have some quiet time to nurture yourself the way you love best while dinner is prepared for you - what does that mama-nurturing look like for you...?

Would you be resting by the fire on a cosy sofa with a good book or another creative project?

Spending some blissful quiet time reflecting on the day, tucked away in your room?

Kicking back and chatting to other mothers around the kitchen table?

Taking yourself off for another rejuvenating walk to explore this incredible coastline?

We'll all come together again at 7pm for a mouth-watering dinner - likely accompanied with much laughter and a game of Bad Mummy Bingo...

After dinner, the evening is yours.

Treat yourself to an early night and revel in lying on your bed listening to the sea crash on the rocks below; stay up late talking to friends, new and old; or take a chance to dance outside under the stars! 

As evening falls, you might spot bats flit across the sky, dark shadows against the deep blue sea sparkling orange into the far distance - or even see a badger rustling around outside.

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in Cornwall

And on Thursday morning, you start the day with a precious lie-in...!

Ahhhhhh, that rare rejuvenating joy of no alarm clock, no children calling your name, and blankets to snuggle into as you listen to the sounds of the sea outside.

Unless of course you want to get up early and watch the sun rise over this spectacular cove, because you can certainly do that if you want...

You can help yourself to hot drinks whenever you want them, and a breakfast of warm croissants will be available from 10am.

Maybe you'll wrap yourself up in a blanket and take a steaming mug of something delicious outside to breathe in the fresh air and listen to the birds singing.

You can watch herring-gulls, gannets, kestrels (we even saw a rare Cornish chough last time we were here) swoop by, and delight in the song of robins, swallows, and numerous curious small birds.

We'll come together as a small group again from 11am for another creative boost, before we're joined by the wonderful Leif Olsen for a gentle 90 minute yoga session and an extra long relaxation.

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in CornwallYou'll take time to stretch your body, rest, and be reminded to value all it does for you.

This is your chance to ease out all of those aches and pains gathered from your daily mama life. You'll be strengthening and nurturing every inch of your body, and practicing some simple stretches that you can take back into your busy life.

We'll share a light and tasty celebratory lunch, and come together again for our final group session. Here, we'll support each other to think about how we can take the discoveries we've made over these precious hours together back into our daily lives.

We'll make space to remind ourselves of all the incredible things we do as mothers every day, and celebrate creating this experience together.

We'll finish at 3pm on Thursday. 

You'll leave feeling inspired, alive, rested, stronger and more confident. You'll also take away a raft of practical mama-nurturing tools that you can use any time to bring joy and clarity into your life.

Extra one to one support

Pippa is also opening up two slots for a 55 minute one to one mama-nurturing session at the end of Thursday - at 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

In these, you can look in more detail at the challenges you're facing at the moment, and work together to create a simple plan, agreeing small steps that you can take to bring more rest and joy into your life, even when that feels completely impossible. These sessions will be offered on a first-come first-served basis. Find out more about one to one support sessions over here. 

Extra FREE goodies

As well as the retreat, we’ll give all those purchasing an overnight ticket for the residential retreat some fabulous additional free resources to take away:

DIY Mamas Retreat Kit - a freebie for residential Mamas' Retreat attendeesE-books and printables

 * A DIY Mamas’ Retreat Kit so that you can host your very own retreat for friends at home whenever you want (worth £37). Your kit includes gorgeous printables, inspiration for creative activities to try, and access to videos to guide you, including a 30 minute yoga session with Leif that you can use again and again...
* A book of Mums’ Reward Charts to inspire you to keep going
 * Your very own Bad Mummy Bingo cards!

Continuing inspiration:

* Access to a private facebook group for retreat participants - a space where you can get to know each other before, and stay in touch afterwards
* Last but not least, you'll get a very special little mama-nurturing treat in the post after our retreat...

Remember - you deserve some of that support you provide to everyone else. You are the heart of your family, and you need nurturing too.

PRICES

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in CornwallWe know how hard it can be to allow yourself to invest in you, to support all that you do as a mother.

You forget how important you are. You think that everyone else's needs are more important than yours.

But your needs matter. Without meeting your own, you can't meet everyone else' needs. You need to be well-rested, happy and fulfilled - for yourself, and for your family.

To make this precious opportunity for mama me-time possible for you, we're keeping costs as low as we can. We're also offering early bird prices for those that need them.

You know what a difference it makes when you feel happy and fulfilled. The benefits of investing time and money in you will quickly ripple out to your whole family - and the value of that is incalculable.

Give yourself something very special to look forward to in 2016. Believe in your own worth enough to take this step towards nurturing yourself, with us. We look forward to seeing you in May!

 

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in CornwallResidential retreat: 6 places available

The retreat will run from 10am on Wednesday 11 May to 3pm on Thursday 12 May.

The price includes all creative workshop and yoga sessions, all simple delicious vegetarian meals as detailed above, and overnight accommodation in The Haven. Click on 'add to cart' below to buy.

Single room (either a double or single occupancy of a single room):
Early bird price: £149  Add to Cart
Standard price: £169

Shared room (shared occupancy of a twin room): 
Early bird price: £130 Add to Cart
Standard price: £149

 

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in Cornwall

Additional one to one session with Pippa: 

2 places available

Early bird price £35   Add to Cart
Standard price £45

 

Day retreat: 6 additional places available

For those that prefer (or need!) to return to their own beds, you can buy an individual day pass to join us on Wednesday (including dinner and Bad Mummy Bingo if you would like to stay).

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum in Cornwall

Wednesday 10am to 5pm
Early bird price £35    Add to Cart
Standard price £45

OR

Wednesday 10am to 8.30pm (including dinner)
Early bird price £55    Add to Cart
Standard price £65

At the moment, we are unable to offer day retreats on Thursday.

 

Please ensure you read our terms and conditions.

 

Want to know more about how to get here from where you are?

The nearest train stations for Prussia Cove are Penzance and St Erth - you can book a taxi from either to drive you down some stunning winding Cornish-hedged roads.

If you are joining us by car for the residential retreat, you can drive on past the main Prussia Cove car park down the lane towards Porth-en-Alls. Instead of driving on towards Porth-en-Alls, take the first turning on your right, and drive up the hill towards the large house at the end of the lane - this is The Haven (pictured at the top of this page). It's a short bumpy lane, and there is a small parking area next to the house.

As parking next to the hosue is limited, if you are joining us for the day retreat, please park in the main Prussia Cove car park, and enjoy the short walk to The Haven from there.

Coaches also travel to Penzance. The nearest airport is Newquay, about an hour's drive away.

If you're arriving earlier, and would like to arrange local accommodation for the night before the retreat, let us know and we'll do what we can to help.

About us 

Your retreat host, Pippa Best is the inspiring Mum Champion behind Story of Mum, an online and 'real life' community of supportive mamas doing creative stuff to celebrate the ups and downs of motherhood.

Pippa Best, Story of MumShe says “Getting creative connects us to who we are and what we want. It makes us happier, braver, and we shine brighter together. Sharing our stories reminds us that all mums are amazing, especially when we make mistakes…” Pippa has worked for many years in film development, helping film-makers to write and share their stories – and is passionate about helping mothers to share theirs.

Pippa runs regular Mamas' Retreats in Cornwall and elsewhere, as well as hosting monthly online #somum Make Dates that inspire mums to get creative and take time for themselves. She has hosted mama events and a national participatory exhibition celebrating motherhood that culminated at the Museum of Motherhood in New York. Participants describe leaving Story of Mum events feeling celebrated and exhilarated, moved and honoured, relaxed and grounded. Trained as a Mama Bliss Coach, Pippa also provides one to one support to mums, and her Story of Mum work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Parent Tribe, Juno Magazine, UK Handmade and many more magazines, podcasts, radio shows and press. Pippa is mother to a 7 year old boy and a 5 year old girl.

Joining us on Thursday is Leif Olsen, a very special yoga teacher. Teaching from the heart, she changes the lives of those in her classes. People travel from all around the world to practice with her in Cornwall.

Leif OlsenLeif has a special knack of knowing just what you need when you need it, whatever your yoga experience – whether you’re a pregnant women who has never tried yoga before or an expert who has already made yoga part of your life. Her gentle and powerful holistic approach to yoga transforms how you feel about your body, and your life.

Leif says “Yoga teaches us about flexibility, balance, strength, relaxation, softness, stamina and patience – benefits that ripple out into our everyday lives. Attending a yoga class is like indulging in a massage, a trip to the Oesteopath, an exercise class, a counselling session, a stress relieving workshop and a confidence booster all in one.” Leif is mother to a 23 year old daughter and a 7 year old son.

Providing our delicious meals will be Kate Binnie. Her cooking makes you sigh involuntarily as you take that first bite... 

Kate BinnieFrom fresh and revitalising vegetarian cooking to her legendary brownies, tarts, and chocolate peanut-butter cake, she cooks with love and delight. She lives her life with wholehearted spirituality and you can taste that in her food - and feel it in her company.

Warm and wise, Kate is always exploring – whether that be the world, her relationships or herself. Having worked in adult learning for many years, she remains passionate about helping others to grow. Kate is mother to a 9 year old daughter and a 5 year old boy.

Wise words from mamas who have played with us before:

Don’t just take our word for why this is a great thing to do for you, read this feedback from other mums about our short retreats:

“The Mamas’ Retreat was immediately a very honest space to expose my vulnerabilities and support others to do the same, and that helped me enormously to move forward with some of the worries I had been harbouring on my own. Exposed to the light, I could forgive myself for not being perfect, and then feel light-hearted about it. Creating space for yourself is rare as a mum, but I think space with other mums to actually focus on looking at how being a parent affects you is even rarer. The retreat was essential maintenance and empowering and a giggle all at once!” Emily

‘The Mamas’ Retreat gave me the opportunity to be me! It also gave me a rare chance to be creative, and to get in touch with both my mind and my body though gentle yoga. I was able to take a step aside from my normal daily routine and reflect on what I achieve each day as a juggling mum. I left the day feeling stronger and more appreciated. It was a very beautiful and liberating experience and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any mum.” Miranda

“As a working mama, I rarely let myself stop and take time out for me – I’m either working or mothering most of the time. It was wonderful to give myself that gift of space. I loved connecting with other supportive mothers, voicing my hopes and dreams, and eating cake! I left as a stronger mum and woman, rejuvenated and inspired.” Kari

To book, contact [email protected] 

 Let us save a place for you.

 

 

Many thanks to Porth-en-Alls, Prussia Cove for some of the lovely photographs above.
The others are from our retreat at The Haven last year

Want to know more about our retreats?

Find more information on the other Mamas' Retreats we offer over here.

If you'd love a retreat, but can't make these dates, register with our lovely free Story of Mum community over here so that you can be the first to hear about any new offers and retreat treats!

Our next Sunday morning Mamas' Retreat: 20 March

We had such a great day today that I promised to put the tickets for our next retreat on sale straight away! So here they are, scroll down to purchase yours... and have a peek at some photos from today's Mamas' Retreat!

UPDATE: This retreat is sold out - sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear when tickets are released for our next, or get yourself a gift voucher for priority booking ;)

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum and Leif Olsen

Join our Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat on 20 March and have some precious rejuvenating time with other lovely mums.

You'll return to those you love happier, calmer, and ready to embrace the holidays ahead...!

We'll do some gentle yoga, a little bit of writing (you don't have to show anyone!) and a simple joyful creative activity that helps us to get into the flow, connect with ourselves and be reminded of who we are and what we need. We'll chat and eat heart-warming soup and share tasty treats. 

Most of all, we'll be inspired by a group of supportive exhausted but amazing mamas. Because there's something about the energy of our Mamas' Retreats that is very special - these mornings always attract a group of warm brave thoughtful kind women. It's just four hours, but it feels transformative.

This is time created for you - and you can choose to do as much or as little as you like. So if you don't want to try a yoga stretch, you don't have to. If you don't want to talk about anything personal, you can eat cake instead...

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum and Leif Olsen Yoga in Cornwall

If you truly want to spend the whole morning dozing on the sofa in the corner, enjoying the sea view from the balcony, you're more than welcome to do exactly that. 

If you're nervous, just drop Pippa an email once you've bought your ticket, and we'll make sure you always have a friendly face on hand if you need it.

It's soul nurturing for mamas...

It's time for us.

It's time out. To breathe. To stretch. To make. To be heard.  

You'll leave feeling supported, inspired, and ready to face whatever comes your way when you venture back into the big bold exhausting world of motherhood...

But don't just take our word for it, here's some feedback from our recent Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat attendees:

"I really enjoyed the retreat. The level of support was amazing from all the mamas and the relaxation yoga was just what I needed. And OMG the soup - gorgeous!!" 

"I loved how genuinely happy everyone was to be there, the quiet, yoga without a baby crawling on or underneath me, the food, being listened to and heard for 5 minutes was amazing!"

"It is rare, very rare, as a mum to find time for oneself, to give yourself the time and space, and permission, to open up, be honest and allow some magic to happen.

The mama's retreats led by Pippa and Leif provide a nurturing, safe, fun and creative environment for you to reconnect with you."

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum and Leif Olsen Yoga in Cornwall

"A chance to relax, reflect and breathe away from the stress of juggling a busy job with a long commute and my family (and the guilt that as a consequence I'm a bit rubbish at both!)"

"The Mamas Retreat was an escape from motherhood for a couple of hours - a chance to reflect on the joy it brings, and a chance to give myself the space I needed to be myself. To acknowledge that when times are tough as a mum you are not alone."

"I left feeling rewarded with a relaxed state of mind and joyful, with the pleasurable experience of new friendships."

"It's so easy to say we don't have time to do relaxing things but it's more about prioritising some time for yourself without feeling guilty, and you will most definitely feel the benefits from a morning at the retreat."

"The mamas' retreat gave me a chance to connect with other mums, share hopes and fears and feel much more positive about taking care of myself and my family. I have found it hard to meet people since moving to the area and the mamas' retreat was one of the most welcoming and supportive groups I've been to."

"A friendly, creative space to have a good stretch, relax and share thoughts and ideas with other like-minded women."

"Loved sharing stories, and having time and respected space to say whatever is on your mind. I love that it is a place for creativity - encourages blooming!"

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum and Leif Olsen Yoga in Cornwall

"It made me realise that I'm doing ok considering all that had actually occurred during the year. Also pure, uninterrupted yoga - such a joy and a real treat. I felt a million dollars afterwards!"

We'd love to see you there!

Tell me more!

No special skills or equipment required. You don’t need to be ‘creative’, or to have done yoga before. We'll provide the yoga mats, creative stimulation and the relaxation. You just need to bring yourself. 

We have a different theme and focus each retreat, and you're welcome to join us as often as you like. 

How many mamas will be there? Places are limited, so it won’t be a scarily big group – just a lovely community of mamas coming together to nurture ourselves and support each other. 

We have some mums who come to almost every retreat, and others who come just once. Either is fine with us - it's always a warm and welcoming crowd, so don't be frightened of your first time.

Where? At Leif’s studio, Garbo House, Bread Street, Penzance

What about food? We’ll provide tea and a simple lunch. Let us know as soon as possible if you have any special dietary requirements when you book your ticket, and we’ll do our best to meet your needs!

When?  9.30 – 1.30, Sunday 20 March 2016

Join a Mamas' Retreat with Story of Mum and Leif Olsen Yoga in Cornwall

How much does it cost? £25 plus £4.50 for lunch (total: £29.50) 

NOTE: If you'd really like to come, but can't afford it, please do get in touch - we want as many mums as possible to have this experience and will do our best to make it happen at a price you can afford.

For terms and conditions, head over here.

Visit the Half Day Retreats page to find out more and hear from some MORE lovely mamas. They share a little bit more about what we do on a half day retreat, and why they love to come. 

When was the last time you did something to nurture YOU?

Don't miss out on this time for you - choose and buy your ticket by clicking on 'add to cart' 

Standard ticket: (£29.50 including lunch): Add to Cart

... and if you can't make this one, how about letting us host a retreat for you, in the comfort of your own home (or somewhere tidier...)? You can find out more about our virtual retreat programme over hereGet in touch with Pippa and we'll pull out all the stops to arrange something special just for you.

You can find out more about all the other retreats we offer over here.

How do you really want to feel in 2016?

At this month's #somum mini mamas' retreat on twitter this week, we spent some precious mama me-time thinking about how we really want to feel this year. How do you really want to feel in 2016, mama?

We also did the same at our Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat - find out more about that, and how to book for the next one (tickets just released!) on 20 March over here.

Collage how you want to feel in 2016 with Story of Mum

We didn't talk about what we want to achieve, or which mountain we should climb next, or which big change we need to make to who we are - but instead, how do we want to feel? And what makes us feel like that?

Because when we know the answer to that question, we can start to do more of the stuff that makes us feel good. And we feel good, more often. Simple.

And what we discovered as we chatted and collaged is that much of the time the stuff that gives us the feeling we want is simple too. It isn't the journey to the top of Everest (although if that makes you feel the way you want to feel, go for it!), it's time with friends, time in bed, time with books. It's time listening to what our needs are and making space for them to be fulfilled.

It's the 20 minutes where we allow ourselves not to feel guilty for enjoying a little time away from the kids; it's the 20 minutes where we stop everything else just to enjoy life alongside our kids; it's a walk amongst nature on a sunny day; it's connection with other people that we love; it's reading on the bus; it's stretching and looking out of the window.

Collage how you most want to feel in 2016 with Story of MumIt's accessible.

It's possible.

We can all feel the way we want to feel more often this year. We just have to know what we want - and look for more moments that make us feel that way.

And when we're in a moment that doesn't feel great, we can pause and ask ourselves 'what could I do in this moment to make me feel more like the way I want to feel?".

Over the past few years, I've learnt that when I feel purposeful or generous, vital or worthful, and even better all four of them at once, I feel happy. It took me a while to identify those four feelings for myself, and collaging how I wanted to feel was one of the most important steps in this process.

For me, that might be taking a few deep breaths or having a front room disco when I want to feel a little bit more vital. Or sending a kind text to a friend when I want to feel I have more generosity in my life. It's a moment when I question why I'm doing what I'm doing and changing direction if I don't have a good answer - which makes me feel more purposeful. And when I want to feel more worthful, it's reminding myself of a kind word that someone has shared with me.

Collage how you most want to feel in 2016 with Story of MumYou won't necessarily need to feel those same things in order to feel good - because each of us needs something slightly different.

Perhaps, like some of the mums joining our mini Mamas' Retreat last night, you want to feel more joyful or persistent, constructive or safe, connected or energised, confident, fearless or calm. 

Take the time to find out. Make yourself a collage in answer to the question: how do I want to feel? And share it with us hereIf collage isn't your thing, describe the moments where you have felt happiest and look for patterns - how did those moments make you feel?

Because a visual intuitive creative process like collage connects us with our intuition, and what we create helps us to understand the conditions we need for happiness - what sits behind happiness for you? What do you see in your collage that you would like to feel in your life?

And moment by moment, year by year, this focus on those core feelings, inspired in part by the wonderful work of Danielle Laporte, has changed my whole way of being. I know how I want to feel and I'm happier than I have ever been before. I still get sad and low of course, but now I have more ideas about how I can make myself feel better.

You can read the storify of some of the lovely chat from our online get-together below...

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