One CEO’s experience of the Mindful Leadership Retreat

Kevin Rogers, CEO at Paycare shares his story of attending our Mindful Leadership Retreat.


“I was sitting by the window in a big spacious room downstairs fully dressed at 5am  in the morning. The stillness of the house was telling me that everyone else was still asleep….but not outside.

The nature was looking at me as I was admiring it through the big bay window in this beautiful Victorian house. The sun was rising in the cloudless sky, the birds were singing their greeting songs and I found myself in a rare moment of total calm and bliss.

The day before when I heard that we had to be outside for a 6am start on a second day of the Retreat I complained.

“Who wants to be up so early? What a silly idea!”

My complaint was rejected with a stern look on Julie’s face. 

I’ve known Julie for a year now and she was the one who introduced me and my team to Mindfulness. This introduction and our follow-up sessions have virtually changed the way I viewed myself, significantly increased my self-awareness and impacted the ways I connected with others. I  got used to my short sessions of mindfulness but a 2-day retreat was a new experience.

The other participants were totally new to Mindfulness and I felt I could offer them some guidance and support.

But on our first day of the retreat I found myself struggling as well as everyone else with an idea of a Mindful dinner or shall I say a Silent dinner. It felt uncomfortable to say the least when we sat at the table looking at out plates and listening to an unorganised melody of everyone’s knives and folks. I was afraid of being heard to chew too loud. One of the participants finally lost his silent battle, got up and declared that never ever in his life he had to eat in silence at the table!

And he walked off… The dull noise of our desert spoons confirmed that the rest of us were still strong enough to finish off our delicious deserts even in silence.

On the first day of the retreat our minds, our egos were rebelling against Mindfulness as we were gently pushed to challenge the norm and experiment. The idea of just being present to what it is was still alien to us. We were keen to discuss, engage, judge, like and dislike.

The second day was all about allowing. We were finally allowing silence, allowing stillness, allowing to focus on our breath and listening to what was going on inside us. 

Like children we were keen to explore the nature through our senses, to greet the warmth of the morning sun, to inhale the smell of the freshly cut grass, to talk to the trees!

We have been learning to connect mindfully with each other, which meant connecting by trusting, by letting go of the control, by listening deeply, but not judging with our quietened minds.

And then there was that moment, that space of time…if nothing else has happened but just that moment …it would have been enough. It was felt by all of us. A space has opened or we unlocked that space somehow of just being, of interconnectedness, of unity, of peace, of no time. We were all in that space. Through practicing, through breathing, through finally allowing the stillness within us we created it or it created us.

We asked for more… we craved for more of that unusual peace and natural bliss.

“Can we do more of this practice after lunch?, we asked. “We need to do more of this practice”, we confirmed. We finally knew why we came. The ray of enlightenment cut through our noisy minds to reach something deeper inside us.


“You can’t request it, you cannot work hard at it to get it”, said Julie.

“It is totally the opposite. It is when you detach yourself from the outcome, then it comes.”

We did not get more of it after lunch.

 It was an aftertaste of the event as well. I missed it. I missed that feeling of getting a glimpse of the door opening within me to point to the path to walk on. I began to appreciate a lot the gift of our Mindful dinner. I finally started to pay attention to the taste of the food I eat and I slowed down my food consumption process significantly.

I admitted to Julie that I feel a bit greedy sharing my experience and this retreat with others. I just wanted  it to be intimately mine.

But as a leader I know that my role is to bring this experience to others as this is the only way we can achieve balance, vision, clarity and happiness in our lives and bring it to the lives of others.


To all Mindfulness Advocates:

Remember! When you try to bring Mindfulness into the business world you have to be brave, you have to be courageous, you have to be prepared to challenge our minds, our egos that firmly guard the way to our blissful garden of life.


 If you want to join me on the next Mindful Leadership retreat on the 28th-29th June 2017 please contact me directly on or download the brochure below and contact Julie directly.”

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