Reactions from HA!Retreat participants

"The HA!Retreat exceeded my expectations. My concept of "creativity" shifted from perceiving my blocks in different spheres of my life as failures to grasping that it is about simply relaxing into my core. And from that place, to allow whatever surfaces to find outer expression." (Jenny Lawrence, healing practitioner, The Crags)

"I came away from the week feeling healthier than when I had arrived; more relaxed, more grounded, able to integrate aspects of memory and experience in a positive way, almost as though I’d undergone years of successful therapy, or something. It was one of the best weeks ever." (Prof Anton Krueger, writer and philosopher, Makhanda)

"Ons het ons kinderparadys verloor deur die rykdom van swaarkry te verruil vir die armoede van oorvloed" This is a quote from a talented South African poet and writer George Weideman. He wants to remind us of the free, uncomplicated, honest and unpretentious life during childhood. We were enriched by it.....but we replaced it with a ratrace for prestige, ownings, titles and accolades that make us actually bankrupt in free expression..... The retraite took me back to my childhood in freedom and unlocked so many locked-up emotions. It stimulates expression, creativity without prescription or form. Indeed the retraite is what it says: " a healing, a revealing, a confrontational act. It is creativity that breathes life and remain close to life itself.” It is indeed a grounding experience and will fill your cup. Go for it!!!" (Dr Theunis Botha, theologian, Stellenbosch)

"What was good for me was a space away from having goals, outcomes, solutions. Moving, humming, trying out instruments, drawing, colouring, in & out of bits of stories, poems, songs - Francois holds a space where what each of us trying by ourselves naturally flows into what others are doing. Some of us might have left with a picture or draft of a poem, but mostly what I 'left with' was a sense of wonder at an experience that allowed me to just be with feelings (some brought with, some evoked by what was happening). As if, by myself, I wind these feelings up in a tight-tighter spool and this weekend of shared expression spooled them out, looser, looser, wider. Not gone, but having had an airing, some breathing space. A clearing." (Marike Beyers, Makhanda)

"Francois is a remarkable musician as well as an exceptionally skilled facilitator: His own unabashed self-expression, together with his openness towards, and non-judgment of our self-expression facilitated our complete involvement. I can't imagine it's usual for highly accomplished, world-class musicians to warmly invite untrained audience members to play with them, but that is just what Francois did. He warmly welcomed our involvement in and contribution towards the musical creation experience. I felt happier, fuller, more confident, and more comfortable in my own body after this weekend. My grateful thanks to this profoundly talented and deeply nurturing human." (Carrie Lichtenstein Johannesburg)

"Die terapie van die Improvisasie naweek was uiters groot in blywende gewaarwordinge met die belewenis van die rou proses en hoe om dit in my lewe te integreer. "Ek doen maar net my ding" - was vir my 'n groot bevrydende veilige basis om my gevoelens en lewensuitkyk teen te bons, idees te beskou en aanpassings te maak." (Amelia Wolmarans, Pretoria)