“STROMBOLI WAS A GREAT EPIPHANY FOR ME –
I’M SO MUCH MORE RELAXED ABOUT MY LIFE
AND I SEE A HUGE IMPROVEMENT IN MY PHYSICAL
AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH.”
R.M., LONDON

BEING SERIOUSLY RELAXED
RETREAT PROGRAMME
STROMBOLI
JUNE 2-8

THE HUMOROUS WAY IN WHICH YOU PUT ACROSS CONCEPTS MAKES THEM MEMORABLE. YOU CREATED A SAFE AND LIGHT SPACE FOR SOME VERY DEEP HEALING.
D.T., AMSTERDAM

Ooohhh, a VIDEO from John

Watch John chatting with you personally about this ‘Being Seriously Relaxed’ Retreat Programme  🙂

Why you’ll love this retreat – 

EXPERT INSTRUCTION

John is an expert in relaxation.
Most known for his F**k It books, the foundation John has built all his work and teaching on is ‘relaxation’. He is an expert in meditation, qigong, eastern philosophy, and how to apply this timeless wisdom to current trying and stressful times.

SUPER-RELAXING HOLIDAY

You’re going to be living on a live volcano for a week.
And swimming in the warm sea, wandering the blossom-heavy alleys, eating the Sicilian food, oh wow.

GOOD COMPANY

People don’t expect this,
but you’ll feel safe and supported amongst new friends, 
who are likely to one day be old friends.

YES, THE CURRENT NETFLIX FILM ‘STROMBOLI’, IS INSPIRED BY A F**K IT RETREAT, LED BY JOHN & GAIA

A writer, Saskia Noort, came on a F**k It retreat a few years ago.
She wrote a fictional book about a woman who goes on a retreat on Stromboli.
That book has been turned into a film, ‘Stromboli’, out now on Netflix.
It was filmed on Stromboli, including in the hotel that we use there, so the scenes of the group doing workshops on the roof terrace are where we do our group sessions.

BEING SERIOUSLY RELAXED RETREAT PROGRAMME


John here. 

By the time you’ve finished reading my words here,
you should be in no doubt that, if you’re stressed or worried or anxious, it’s time to take relaxation very seriously.
And even if you’re not currently feeling stressed or worried or anxious (and you thus realise that this is currently not the programme for you), then you’ll understand more about the necessity to take relaxation very seriously if you ever do feel those things.

I’VE RUN A LOT OF RELAXATION RETREATS. HERE’S WHAT I NOTICED.

The idea for this Being Seriously Relaxed Programme came from looking back at many years of retreats, and noticing who got the most from them.
And by ‘who got the most’, I mean those who had dramatic transformations in their lives: those who healed from illness, those who turned their lives around, those who went from stress-pots, worriers or anxious angst to more relaxation, joy and, yes it’s possible, peace. 

There were two key things I noticed about these ‘got the most’ people:

  1. They took the teaching, the practices, the movement towards relaxation VERY seriously.
    They turned up, made notes, asked questions, did the work, pondered deeply about their lives, and their stress.  They saw the possibility of huge change if they could relax more.  And they left the retreat with the intention of continuing to practise, to learn more, to stay on the path to relaxation.
  2. They carried on their path to relaxation AFTER the retreat.
    Most people love the retreats, and get a lot from them.  But they sometimes then stop the moment they get home.  Their life takes over, the stresses return, and, without implementing the practices and ideas, they drift back to where they were.  Whereas the ‘get the most’ people carry on the practice, learn more, do more and set up habits to keep them moving along their path to greater relaxation.  I know this because they stay in touch, they ask me questions, do more workshops, read more books… sometimes they come back years later and say things like “you know I’ve been doing the qigong every day since the retreat, I can’t start the day without it”.

So, this is the –
3-month Being Seriously Relaxed Programme (Including a Retreat on Stromboli)

  1. Only for those who are willing to take relaxation VERY seriously.
  2. Supports these people over a full 3 months (yes, around their work) so that they get the very best chance to get Seriously Relaxed and stay that way forever.

 

This if for you if –
1. You are experiencing stress, worry or anxiety

You don’t need me to tell you what these feel like.
Sure, you may well have become so used to some of the symptoms, that you almost assume that ‘that’s life’.
And the effects of these three areas, stress, worry and anxiety, vary, and they vary between people.

But it’s likely that it affects your thinking.  It’s common for the mind to be racing and analysing all the time.  It’s usual that when one worry subsides, another one pops up to replace it.  Like Whack-a-Worry.  You might feel overwhelmed often, not knowing what to do.

And the racing mind then affects other areas of your life.  You can never really settle. You can’t find any peace.  And other people might notice this too, and thus it affects your relationships.  And the overthinking mind can affect your sleep too. This is very common with stress, worry and anxiety.  Difficulty getting to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night, or simply waking up very early and not being able to get back to sleep.

Many of you will be aware of physical symptoms of stress, worry and anxiety too.  It can go to different places for different people. But can often result in gut issues, headaches, tight muscles around the shoulders and neck, and high blood pressure.

This if for you if –
2. You’re willing to take relaxation seriously

If you suffer from stress, worry and anxiety, you know about it.

Even if you have assumed that there’s nothing much you can do about it.

Or you’ve tried various things, like meditation or yoga, or apps like ‘Calm’ and ‘Headspace’.  Which either don’t work for you (as is the case for meditation for many people) or they help, but not for long.  It’s back to the Whack-a-Worry…  you calm down around something for a bit, but then it pops up again later.

You’re also likely to know about the effect of stress on the body over time (ie. ‘chronic stress’).  The stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol can be useful in an emergency, but released over time, they have huge effects on the body and mind.  Medics call stress ‘The Silent Killer’.  Chronic stress will affect our blood pressure, our heart rate, our immune system, our sleep, our ability to concentrate.

And maybe it’s because you think that there’s not a lot you can do about it (not with your busy, full-on life, and with all your responsibilities) that you haven’t previously taken this seriously enough.

So, if you knew there are ways to crack stress, would you start taking relaxation seriously?
Most people say YES.
And that YES and that seriousness are going to be critical to you cracking stress.
I know that from 20 years of observing people who try to crack their stress.

This if for you if –
3. You’re VERY KEEN to sort this out

If you think you’re currently too busy to work on cracking stress, then this is not for you.

If you know you need to calm down and change things in your life, but you’d prefer to wait till next year, this is not for you.

If you’re still thinking (after reading up to here) that stress is a part of life, that most people feel it, so what’s the big problem, then this is not for you.

If you’d like a quick magic-pill-like solution to your stress, worry or anxiety, some quick exercise you could do that would solve everything, this is not for you.

If you don’t fancy looking at the reasons you’ve got to where you are, then, I’m sorry, this is not for you.  Because in order to see how we can get out of this, it’s important to know how we got into this.

 

Yes, it is sortable (and here’s my story)

I hear this a lot from people who are suffering, and have been suffering for years, from stress, worry and anxiety…
That they no longer think it’s sortable.

Quite a few people I talk to add “well, my mum suffered all her life”.
And that’s often a key to anxiety, as it’s our mums who tend to create (or not) the sense of safety we have (or don’t have).

But even when we think it’s so embedded, or even ‘genetic’, IT IS SORTABLE.

I’ve seen that in my life, and I’ve seen that in so many clients’ lives.

You could say I have the worrier gene.  My mum has always been worried and scared.  Her mum the same.  My dad’s mother was mentally ill throughout her life, so his sense of safety was also compromised.

So I grew up feeling nervous and scared about things.  Worry was what I did (apart from when I was playing football).  And I was sick too, from a young age.  I was frequently in hospital as a child.  I was allergic to everything and would suffer from the symptoms of these omni-allergies.

As I grew up, though, late teens probably, I began to realise that my symptoms got worse when I was stressed.  I’d get more sick around exams for example.

Ha, I remember now that I went to see a GP at uni, who said “do you feel better at the weekends?” I said I did, and she said it’s likely that the alcohol I was drinking was relaxing me and thus easing the symptoms.  That’s EXACTLY what you want to hear at uni… that alcohol is healing you 😊

It was after I left university, and faced with the stress of having to get out there and get a job, that I became more ill again.  And I then started to look seriously at the stress thing.  I got some relaxation tapes, and I was fortunate to be invited to a Tai Chi class.

Very soon, I saw the undeniable link between my symptoms and my stress or relaxation.  Pretty much the only time I felt okay was either in one of those Tai Chi classes or lying on my bed doing the relaxation exercises.

And thus started my journey into relaxation.  I’ve learnt every technique, I’ve meditated, done yoga, qigong, I’m trained as a hypnotherapist…  I’ve sought out and trained with what I call the ‘Super Relaxers’, the 1% of people who are seriously super relaxed.

And over the years I started to notice habits that the Super Relaxers had that they weren’t talking about.  I’m not even sure they knew about these elements.
And seeing these habits created my own epiphanies.

And with each epiphany I’d have a significant physical healing or mental breakthrough (where I would become happier and more relaxed).
To the point where I’ve been largely healed for the last 20 years.  And largely happy and relaxed.

One of these epiphanies was ‘F**k It’ and all that it stands for.  But there are more.

So I’ll boil down my learning about Serious Relaxation into 2 points –

  1. The practices and techniques can help, but they’re only a part of the story. Alone they’re unlikely to get you to crack stress.
  2. It IS sortable. I’ve experienced it. I’ve had many clients experience it

The FOUR STAGES to Being Seriously Relaxed (and the timings)

STAGE 1

You need to fully understand the seriousness of the stress, worry and anxiety thing and set your intention to crack it once and for all.
You’ll do this with me and the others in the group one month before the retreat in an online get-together.

STAGE 2

You’ll learn the very best relaxation practice I’ve found over the 35 years I’ve been looking at this. You’ll learn it via short daily video lessons (filmed on Stromboli).  The exercises are easy but powerful.  They critically mix physical movements to calm the body, with a focus that calms the mind.

STAGE 3

On the retreat on Stromboli, as well as having a fabulous holiday, as well as meeting a bunch of new friends who’ll be your companions on this path to relaxation, I’ll guide you in understanding what got you to where you are (with stress, worry and anxiety)… I’ll help you unlock your unique relaxation holy grail, the one that will work just for you, and work like a dream…  you’ll do exercises that prove to you beyond doubt how everything in your life can change when you’re Seriously Relaxed… and (this is perhaps the most important part) you’ll hit a level of relaxation that you’re unlikely to have ever hit in your life, and be able to access that at will.

STAGE 4

In the two months after the retreat, you’ll meet with the whole group online twice, and report how you’re doing.  You’ll use this time for embedding everything you’ve learnt so far, and instituting a solid daily practice.  You’ll also continue to learn about Serious Relaxation via weekly online video modules from me that emphasise The Secret Elements of Serious Relaxation That Go Beyond Relaxation Exercises.  You’ll have the support of me and the group in testing out your new-found relaxation in the place where it really matters…. Your everyday life.

And you’ll learn this –

The astonishing art of ‘Qigong’, as well as deep relaxation, as well as how to live a freer, happier life in every moment.

“THANK YOU THIS WEEK FOR YOUR WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND UNIQUE BUT POWERFUL PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE. I WILL TAKE SO MUCH HOME WITH ME THAT I COULD NOT SEE BEFORE.”
A.D., EDINBURGH

IF YOU’RE FEELING REALLY SERIOUS NOW –
HERE’S HOW TO BOOK
YOUR ‘BEING SERIOUSLY RELAXED’ RETREAT PROGRAMME


The prices are below.
All with your £300 discount applied.
That’s valid for 48 hours after you first looked at this page.
(this offer has now expired)

So check the dates are good.
Choose your room.
Click to book and pay your £900 first instalment.
Your balance will then be split
into 3 further instalments,
depending on the room you choose,
and the time of the year you book
(all payments are to be made by one month prior to the retreat).

ALL ABOUT WHERE YOU’RE HEADING…

STROMBOLI YUM SHOW

YES, YOU’LL BE LIVING ON A LIVE VOLCANO

ABOUT STROMBOLI

Stromboli is awesome, a one-off.  We’ve been going there for a month every summer for 10 years. And we’re still in love, and in fact, even more awed every time we go. I (John) was concerned that I’d never managed to successfully capture the Stromboli experience in words for you so when we got on the departing hydrofoil last year, having said goodbye to our Stromboli friends for another year, I started typing.  I just looked at that piece and it’s 2500 words long.
 STROMBOLI LONG CAPTURE

So, to be brief(er):  Stromboli is a volcanic island.

No, Stromboli is a live volcano rising out of the sea, that’s the truth. And you live on the edge of that volcano for a week.
It’s the only volcano in Europe that erupts constantly, with any lava that’s emitted running down the ‘sciara del fuoco’ (chute of fire) on the other side of the island from the main town. It depends on the year, and how active it is, but you will often hear what at first you think is a crack of thunder roughly every half-hour. That’s the volcano erupting. You can climb halfway up the volcano to see it erupting from closer quarters (it’s an astonishing experience) or watch it from a boat or even a remote pizzeria.
But forgetting the volcano (which is kind of hard to do when you’re living on it),
Stromboli is still a magical place.
There are no roads or streetlights – just enchanted lanes overhung with bright and perfumed blossom from the dreamy white-washed houses. Just walking around these unlit lanes at night under the star-packed sky is a dream (I’m dreaming of it now).
There are numerous coves to explore, accessed by difficult-to-miss paths, where you can sunbathe and swim in the warm sea.

YUM BEACHES

COVE AFTER COVE, LAPPED THE WARM TRANSLUCENT WATER

The hotel we stay in has the best position on the island – right on the beach.
You can hear the sea from wherever you are in the hotel.  It is a simple family-run hotel with a direct link to the dramatic history of the island (which was dramatised in the famous Rossellini / Ingrid Bergman film ‘Stromboli’).
And it now, as of 2023, has the added filmic history of the new ‘Stromboli’ film, set in the hotel, where you’ll see the rooms, the dining room, the roof terrace, the beach below the hotel, the lot…  a film based on a writer’s fictional interpretation of a F**k It Retreat with John & Gaia.
You can have a room with a sea-view.  And even if you don’t, you’ll be close to the sea. We have either lunch or dinner together at the hotel, depending on the schedule that day ( such as if we have something planned like a boat trip around the island, where we swim in the pure blue sea).
And we do the sessions on the delightful roof-terrace: covered from the high sun, but with views both up to the volcano and out to sea.
Stromboli is the perfect place for the work we do on our various F**k It Retreats.  It supports and reinforces the life-transforming work. Well, Stromboli is the perfect place, full-stop.

Travelling to Stromboli (in brief):
When you’re on Stromboli, it feels like you’re on the edge of the world.  And, even though you’re in Europe, within reach of airports that are served by the budget airlines, getting there feels like quite an adventure.
We will give you (very) detailed instructions once you book (in your ‘holiday pack’), but, briefly…

We will also invite you to a private group online so that you can talk to other guests who are coming on the same week, and thus meet and share taxis, and sit with each other on the hydrofoil, etc., if you fancy.
For years, we’ve kept our advice on how to get there simple: fly to Naples (Napoli); get a taxi across town to the port; get the once-a-day hydrofoil to Stromboli (which takes 5 hours); then get the hotel to meet you at the Stromboli port with one of their golf-carts (there are no cars on the island).
But recently we’ve been giving other options too. By choosing to fly to Sicily, for example (such as to ‘Catania’), and then take a shuttle bus (they go regularly, take around 2 hours and cost around €50) across to the port of Milazzo, you can reduce both the time and cost of your hydrofoil (or ferry) trip.  The hydrofoils go around 5 times a day, take between 1 and 3 hours, depending on the one you choose and cost around €50/60. That’s the option we now take (we fly from Gatwick to Catania).

Also bear in mind that this is a FABULOUS part of the world, so do put aside time at the beginning or end of your retreat for some island hopping (the Aeolians are a UNESCO heritage area) or city visiting (Palermo or Napoli for example).

YUM HOTEL

THE HOTEL IS ON THE BEACH – AND THIS IS THE VIEW

“JOHN, LONG STORY SHORT, YOU CHANGED MY LIFE,
SO THANK YOU AND…  I’LL BE BACK.”
D.T., NEW YORK