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I’ve been to a beautiful place. And I’m not talking about the location – Las Alpujarras if you’re interested.

I mean the place I managed to reach personally.

As I always set out to advocate a strong sense of ownership for personal and professional development I feel it’s pretty important to be able to answer that interview question myself: “what have you done with your own development recently?”

For the last six years one part of my answer has been: I go to a detox retreat run by the truly wonderful Midi Fairgrieve and her team at Detox International (https://www.detox-international.com). Working hard on mind and body. A development intervention which can be challenging and, therefore, hugely rewarding.

Life can be toxic – whether it be stress, pollution, other environmental elements, diet, thought patterns or just those things that get thrown at us as we navigate life. So to detox seems to me to be very sensible (if not mandatory) and, in my experience, really impactful.

After a week’s prep which entails reducing one’s diet down to just fruit, salads and vegetables you wend your way to Malaga airport. Then you are transported two hours into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and arrive at Cortijo Romero – a place I now view as an idyll.


For a week, with a diet of only juices and broths, you work hard on physical, mental and spiritual themes. It’s a week for you. With the support of brilliant nutritionists, healers and therapists you focus exclusively on yourself and grapple with…well…whatever is your theme. Sometimes simply a pit-stop for me. But at other times I and others have had significant breakthroughs on major life issues.

I read books I would not otherwise have time for; I meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet; I practice yoga every morning; I listen to music that just wouldn’t sound the same on the Tube; I awake to the sound of birdsong; I retire as the sun does.

On one retreat I made the final decision to set up my own company. I found the courage – or, more accurately, discovered that it didn’t require that much courage. From others I have taken away awareness and learning points which have led to a complete transformation of my diet. From another, to be really open, I dealt with and moved on from something which had been a major point of stress in my life.


And this time, lounging under a tree in the orchard in a state of heightened personal awareness, I realised I had reached a point of complete clarity of thought.  I worked through topics in my mind effortlessly, I debated with myself, I disagreed with myself, I reached new conclusions that otherwise may have been unreachable.

Overall I managed to find a state of mind where there is no interference – and can often recreate that state ‘back in the real world’. This can only add to my coaching practice for example. No interference for the coach = less interference for the coachee etc etc.

All was well.

Actually, all is well.