“May you respond to the call of your gift, and find the courage to follow its path”
– John O’Donohue
You’re getting off a plane in Marrakesh, Morocco, being collected by a 4×4 jeep, leaving behind the hustle and bustle, not only of your own city, but also one of Morocco’s largest tourist destinations and heading far into the desert in the knowledge that there is no more contact by mobile phone or internet for six days and five nights. Entering the Atlas Mountains, the home of the Berber Nomad Tribe, a huge vista with breathtaking scenery faces you. You’re held by the womanly curves of the hills that seem to hug the main camp in the Sahara Desert and protected by the orange and terracotta shades of sand. There you notice how very lovingly the earth surrounds you, and suddenly things start to slow down so you begin to let go and relax.
You’re driving across Arizona, vast expanses of land, with very few settlements to show, heading deeper and deeper into the centre of the Navajo Indian Tribes world, a homeland surrounded by four sacred mountains: to the east, Mt. Blanca, located in south central Colorado; to the south mountain, Mt. Taylor, located in northwest New Mexico; to the west, the San Fran Peaks; and to the north, Mt. Hesperus, located in southwest Colorado.
Add some Restival magic (aka serendipity) and you’re heading to the land owned by a couple who run the Star School, which specifically teach Navajo children the Navajo way. You’ll pass old Hopi settlements, meteorite craters, dinosaur footprints, numerous fossils, and find the camp situated in the centre of this incredibly powerful geological area. Here the sun rises and sets over the painted desert, and the Navajo community open their doors to you, a rare glimpse into an ancient Tribe living with mother nature in its purest form.
You are embarking on a journey into lands where the earth is pure and the energy is untainted. You are in the company of those who have come to share a similar experience, born out of similar desires, to remind themselves what life is like without our modern day distractions.
“May my mind come alive today to the invisible geography that invites me to new frontiers, to break the dead shell of yesterdays and risk being disturbed and changed.”
Speaking with Caroline Jones, the manifestor of Restival, I asked how the concept came about:
Caroline: “There was never a concept about setting up a festival like this, but several things occurred to me that in due course led to a vision. The first one being that because I work in the event industry and I run my own business, I am constantly tired, really tired a lot of the time. Another is that I have worked in the festival arena for some time and go on many retreats myself and there wasn’t a space that inhabited both of those areas.
As a non-drinker, there was nowhere to go if you don’t want to get out of your head or didn’t want to sit in silence and follow a strict daily schedule as on retreat. I wanted to go somewhere I felt comfortable, I didn’t have to eat alone and somewhere I could met new amazing people. I didn’t want to go on holiday with friends and their children, and I didn’t want to hang out with my festival friends for an all-nighter. The answer came like a bubble of consciousness that rose to the surface and there it was, the name Restival followed. Again, I’ve no idea from where, but it too, bubbled up.
One of Restivals’ pillars, the first pillar is ‘Connecting with Local Tribes’, to shine a light of awareness on the cultural tribe of the region. We are losing the ancient tribes of the world, we are losing the knowledge and the wisdom that has been passed down generation to generation and we need to reconnect and learn before it’s too late, before Westernisation takes over completely. To get to these areas where the tribes live, it’s naturally off the grid, so a digital detox is just part of what a Restival experience brings you, along with a connection back to oneself, to each other, and to nature – mother earth.
There is a cultural exchange that happens at Restival. In Morocco, the Berbers sing their songs as you lay around a fire under a plethora of stars in the evening, they cook the food they eat as they move their wares and camels around the deserts, and you stay in their beautiful Berber tents. In Arizona, the Navajo will teach you about nature and its cycles and how to live in and on the land. There will be plant medicine workshops and Navajo ceremonies.
We are all intelligent enough to know that when we manage to stop, slow down, and start listening, something quite magical happens, and to facilitate that Restival has created a wealth of workshops from sand art, writing workshops, gong workshops, yoga, and mediation to encourage everyone to find their confidence again in their own creativity.
You may arrive a bit jangled, but over the five days, you’ll start to unpack whatever may be blocking and holding you, and by day four you’ll be enjoying and soaking up energy from the earth, opening your heart, finding new friends, and forming a tribe – a tribe of people who are connecting consciously to themselves and those in lands so pure and clean”.
“…awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence, have joy and peace in the temple of your senses and receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.”
Are you ready to experience an escape unlike any other? Visit Restival to learn more and book your ticket for what is a conscious choice towards a healthy global future. In 2016, Restival will have retreats in Arizona (September 8-13 and September 16-21) and Morocco (November 10-15 and November 18-23).
London Lead, SERENE Social
Davina has been working in the Health and Wellness industry for over fifteen years and has been teaching Yoga for ten years. Davina’s classes encourage you to come home into the body using the beauty of combining the breath with movement and mindfulness with stillness. Having taught and lived in India, Italy and Ibiza Davina has now moved back to London bringing with her a wide experience and knowledge of alternative therapies, diet and nutrition and wholesome living. She teaches regular weekly group and private classes in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Pre and Post Natal yoga throughout central London. She is also the founder of GlamRaw.