When its not about the food!

when its not about the food


May 2017 was the inaugural When its Not About the Food Seminar – which was run in conjunction with Luke, Zoe and Isaac from Muscle Nerds.  Personal Trainers and Coaches from NZ, Australia, and the USA joined us for a weekend that was both challenging and rewarding.  This was a journey into the psychological, lifestyle and hormonal issues that underlie the roadblocks that people experience in their health and wellness journeys.  It aimed to support and educate trainers in the underlying issues that hinder people in achievement of their goals.

Here is my reflection following the seminar:

It is with a sense of privilege that I reflect upon the people and the events from the ‘When its NOT about the Food’ Seminar.   The profound bravery of people to sit with themselves, and with each other.   To sit with pain in a group setting requires both vulnerability and compassion. It requires a willingness to go to depth and to know self.

We journeyed that day to the very centre of ourselves, we peeled the onion, and yes there were tears. We asked of ourselves what we ask of the people we work with. We made ourselves vulnerable in order that we may grow.

I sit with the privilege of the richness that emerged – of growth and of change. I recognise that I will be forever changed because of the shared experiences of the group.

Our experience reminds me of the story of the velveteen rabbit. The story tells us “Real isn’t how you are made. Real is a thing that happens to you. It takes a long, long time. And once you are real, you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” This was a weeeknd where we willingly sat with real, our rough edges, our shabby bits, and from this we cannot go back. Real we can now be with those that we work with. Inviting them too, to be real with themselves and with us, beyond the masks, beyond the story, with incredible capacity for growth and for change.

The powerful nature of acceptance, of being real, and the shifting of pain was witnessed in this group, each of our lives touched by one another and the stories shared.

In borrowing the words of Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

My hope is that we all may connect strongly with our values and that you strive to express them as deeply and as richly in your life. Those that chose to come to the seminar did so with a willingness to sit with the shadows of self, to sit with pain as ordinary people. As a result they shine brighter in the world, inviting others to shine also.


May the world shine brightly today wherever you are.



Retreats and Workshops Palmerston North


Soul-full Living retreats are an opportunity to escape our busy and often complicated lives and to focus on health and wellbeing. Our retreats are an experience of immersion in relaxation, nature, healing, gentle movement, self-reflection, and divine food.

On retreat Nici and Roger offer a selection of workshops inviting you to consider what a soul-filled life and what that means to you. These retreats are designed to support you in living life soul-fully and building health and vitality at physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.

Free time will also be a feature of the retreat, as too often in our lives structure takes over.

Massage, Myo-fascial Therapy, and Reiki will be available also.

Our Chef Roger prepares all meals over the long weekend and there is the opportunity for you to share in learning the art of the master chef.  

We specialise in hosting retreats that offer the opportunity to immerse oneself in health wellbeing and self-care for a weekend. Retreats are typically based upon shared accommodation, and are away from Palmerston North.  Retreats ask you to leave the stresses of life behind for a weekend and to try some new ways of looking after yourself, or to embrace some practices you might have forgotten. Included in the retreats are:

  • Assessment Questionnaires (completed prior to retreat)
  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Recipes
  • Workshops


Soul-Full Living Retreats and Workshops

Soul-Full Living Palmerston NorthRetreats are limited to 8 – 10 participants to ensure a personalised environment where engagement at a soul-filled level can be facilitated. We invite you to be present with yourself and with others for a weekend, and take some time out for you. A focus of the retreat is food, especially designed for health well-being and of course taste. Packages start at $650 per person for 2 nights.  Early bird deals apply.

Workshops will vary and may include a selection of: The Art of Innovative Self-Care, Dream  Boards, Altered bookwork, Health and Wellbeing 101, Personalised Nutrition Fundamentals , Bio-dynamic Movement, ‘Looking Good and Feeling Good’, The Art of Breathing, Bio Signature – hormonal profiling and Soul-filled practices



Please feel free to contact us with any enquiries you might have. We’ve love to hear from you.