Hopefully these comments will give you a feel for the type of people who come on the Retreat and the “atmosphere” in which they are conducted.
"Taking the time out to go on “Finding your Smile is” one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. I am a busy working mum and it was hard to take the time out, the things I learnt about myself were amazing and will benefit myself, my family and my work colleagues for yeas to come.
Colin is an outstanding facilitator and has a natural gift in helping people on their personal journey. If there is one thing you do for yourself book onto this, you won’t regret it!"
Training and Development Manager
"I came to the FYS retreat with these objectives: figure out how to deal with a problem family member, learn how to smile again, and have a vacation in Spain. I left the retreat transformed, genuinely having found not just my smile but my purpose in life. And by knowing my purpose, my sense of security, future action, daily needs, and how to grow all became more clear to me. I learned that "the problem" wasn't anyone but I. I had to take charge of my life and change it. FYS gave me the tools to do that by teaching me how to ask the right questions of myself. I had an experience that renewed me and met wonderful people. It is the best thing I have ever done for myself and for my family and friends."
Kathy Hermes aged 49
Associate professor of history
“I had absolutely no idea what lay in store for me when I booked onto the FYS retreat, but somehow I just knew it was the right thing to do. I was really nervous and excited knowing I wasn't there by chance; there was a reason for it. The whole experience did not disappoint in any way, you have really achieved your objective - I am inspired. I understand authenticity and true self and it has become front of mind in everything I do - it's work in progress but I'm getting there. I have a clearer idea of my purpose, the fact that I have one has made me a HUGE difference to me and again I have started on that journey. I'm writing my story on a clean page and it's exciting!!
I feel reawakened and reconnected to nature, my eyes have been opened and I have to thank you for that Matt - I remember to turn over the rocks and smile while I do it.
It was a fantastic experience and I envy the people who come next.”
"Colin Hiles is an authentic leader and it was my privilege to be a part of the first ´Finding your smile´. I would recommend Colin and FYS unreservedly to anyone who wishes to look within and find their own smile"
Businessman and (sometime) Spiritual Warrior
“For the last 23 years I had been totally focussed on ‘Mouse Metropolis’ – being successful according to how our culture identifies success – bigger houses, faster cars, better holidays, public school for the kids etc. Recently however I had begun to ask myself the questions “Is this it? Is this what my life is all about? Why am I ‘successful’ and yet not as happy as I ‘should’ be. What is my life’s true Purpose?” These questions became louder and louder in my head and when I came across the ‘Finding Your Smile’ website I decided to attend with a friend in similar circumstances.
What I came to realise over the three days was just how much I had lost my smile and in the company of some really caring, open and honest fellow ‘travellers’ I came to the realisation of what my true Purposes were and a clear approach of how to focus on them in the coming years.
Up until a few months ago I would have viewed anyone going on a ‘retreat’ or a ‘time-out’ as someone not in control of their marbles – now I realise that its those who don’t go on such an experience are those who will lose their marbles or die wishing they had done so many other things in their lives.
If you want to refocus on what you really want out of life, I strongly recommend that you look at the Finding Your Smile timeout and decide today to start taking control of the rest of your life.”
Nigel White age 45
"A great excuse celebrating the brilliant perfection of nature and how it can be used as a metaphor for life. A relaxing and deeply rewarding experience facilitated by 2 extraordinary individuals who's whole intent is to provide as much or as little guidance and support as necessary."
“Thanks so much to Colin and Matt for a really nice balance of learning and reflection and the use of nature made it very special. Thank you both for providing a verypowerful journey.”
Its day one and I’m sitting amongst a group of fellow “travellers” in the most idyllic setting on the beautiful and unspoilt western coast of Spain. Colin, one of our “guides” for the week looks up and introduces his job title as ‘Director of Balance for Me PLC’…I know I’m in the right place!!
If you feel that your life is out of balance and there’s a niggling feeling somewhere in your head that’s something’s not quite right in your life, don’t hesitate for a second, although Colin and Matt give their time voluntarily and freely for the 3 days, this is THE most valuable gift of time that you’ll ever give yourself.
I guarantee that this course will change your life and set you on the path to finding your smile. Don’t expect lentils and incense…this is a real down to earth course run by real people who gone through similar experience as you and have lived and worked in that real world just like you and want to share their experience and lessons learned along the way…Colin and matt are the perfect guides to help you along that path.
If you’re of a similar age to myself you’ve probably got around 13,000 days left on the planet…sounds like a lot...it isn’t…do you really want to spend the nest 13,000 days feeling the way you do right now???...I think it’s too few to waste!!!
Do yourself a favour and spend those first 3 days wisely on the FYS course and you’ll never look back…I did and I found my purpose in life in a sunny glade in Tarifa.
Well the FYS experience helped me incredibly … and you certainly do have to be careful what your wish for!!
Budding Artist, Spanish Linguist & Interior Designer
After returning from my first retreat I knew that it was the beginning of something really good for me. I realised that I was not living my life authentically and that was a lot to do with what was making me unhappy. I knew that I was at the start of a journey but found it scary and exciting.
Having now returned from my second retreat I am feeling so much more positive about where my life is taking me. I was encouraged to ask questions of myself, which is tough, but Matt and Colin are so so supportive and made me feel very safe.
Spending so much time in the outdoors in what is such a beautiful part of Spain was amazing!
I am at the start of the journey through the rest of my life...and I am really excited about it!
'I found the retreat an amazing, rewarding and thought-provoking experience. The structure of the process with the carefully thought-out, varied format; together with the beautiful setting and use of natural resources for some of the more significant exercises was truly powerful. A lot of careful thought has gone into this 'absolute must' for anyone over the age of 40.'
Time of my Life
I went away to find my smile
Not lost, yet not deep inside me
I found a thousand smiles today
And a thousand reflected back at me
I found a stream of tears
For the moment and for me
I shared my tears with friends today
And they gave theirs to me
I went away to find my smile
To find a time to be
I found a thousand moments
And a thousand threads of possibility
I found a strong and deeper trust
In my journey and in me
I gave my trust to all today
And leapt with their trust in me
I went away to find my smile
In Gaia, in her multiplicity
I found an infinite source of wonder
And an infinite source in me
I found a place, a time, with love
With friends who guided me
They gave me a thousand gifts today
And filled my heart for me
Thank you to Matt and Colin, two wondrous souls, and to all my fellow travelers.
'Thank you for a challenging and thought provoking experience. The structure content and delivery of the course was excellent. The ability to take time to dwell on thoughts / activities and rejoin later allowed me to move into another space at a pace and in a way that was right for me. This was key to my overall experience and the quality of the outcome. The key breakthroughs for me came from unexpected parts of the course, one of the key ones being right at the end. Don't go into this with any preconceptions.... just accept, enjoy the three days and who knows where you'll be at the end!
IT programme manager
"Before the FYS retreat I wondered how much of a smile I could find in three days! With the guidance of Colin and Matt, being in a truly amazing part of the world and meeting kind and caring fellow travelers, it was certainly there when I left. I feel very grateful I had the opportunity to be part of a FYS retreat. It has given me the confidence to explore my true self (certainly a work in progress) but I'm getting there. Thank you!"
To find out more about the next Finding Your Smile Retreat click here