(from The Observer – Lucy Gillmore)
John and Gaia run the very New Agey sounding The Hill That Breathes, a holistic holiday centre in Le Marche, Italy.
Once there you must practice the “Fuck it” Life Phylosophy. Saying ‘fuck it’, John says, is a spiritual act. We all need to say ‘fuck it’ when we’re out of sync with the natural world: it helps us to go with the flow. At the Hill you can scream in the woods, sleep through every session if your body needs to or chill out down by the pool with a beer – because anything that helps you to let go is OK on a Fuck It week.
The Hill still runs more ‘conventional’ yoga weeks, as well as courses with visiting experts such as the Barefoot Doctor and various tai chi and chi kung instructors (chi kung, the Chinese energy art), breath-work, meditation and tai chi.But it is the Fuck It week that appeals most of the people.
‘Fuck it’ it is ‘the perfect western expression of the eastern spiritual idea of letting go, giving up and finding real freedom’ well explained in John’s book, Fuck It. The Ultimate Spiritual Way.
John and Gaia both practise what they preach. Fuck it was what they said when they gave up their lives in London in 2002. They were both creatives in an advertising agency when they met in the Nineties, realised they had similar interests in New Age philosophies and decided to quit the rat race and open a holistic retreat in Italy. They stopped in Urbino and the rest is history. The Hill was the first place they saw and it matched all their criteria. It is on a hill, so has good chi or energy. It is surrounded by water on three sides and had two abandoned farmhouses so that they could expand. They bought the 100-acre site for less than they got for their flat in Balham, and then spent the next couple of years renovating it.
Today, the Hill is a magical place. The kind of gorgeous Italian farmhouse – plus pool, gardens filled with wild flowers, and panoramic views. It’s still slightly off the beaten track: the Marche region is separated from Umbria by the Apennines so you get the beauty without the hordes. The rambling house has been tastefully converted. The atmosphere is welcoming and laid-back, the design low-key but stylish. You share rooms and bathrooms, although a handful of single rooms are available for a supplement.
See on www.thefuckitlife.com
I am passionate about Le Marche Region in Italy, follow me to discover it.
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