2105 title RED WHITE.JPG


19 July 2022


When it is wise to be a loser






Dear all


To retreat.


In war-making, retreat could be tactical. But mostly, it is associated with defeat. Losing territory. being outnumbered or outmaneuvered. Giving in. Being the lesser one.


Of course, I am not into war making. Most of us are not. But I offer retreats. And many people attend retreats of all kinds.


Are we then a bunch of losers?


Of course you could say I get it wrong, that we are talking about two different kinds of retreats here. But I am curious to look at a public and arranged retreat in a somewhat secluded space also as a war-like form of retreat.


As in saying, life is a war. And I am being overwhelmed.


Life, a war?


These days I look around and it starts to look like there are wars going on all over the place. Yes, there is The War of Mr P, but there is also war-making between humungous companies, there are social wars against poverty and disease, there is the war on the environment and the war to save the environment. There are wars going on in stadiums (hardly anyone killed, but there is little difference between the cheering of a sports team and an army). There are countless domestic wars taking place with the personal trauma count running ever so high. And then the most prevalent and simplest of wars: the war to survive, to keep it all going. The war of life. Life as war.


Oh dear oh dear. We do not wish it to be like that. And we have countless mental strategies going in order to perceive contemporary life as normal, while it is normally not quite so normal. An who are the winners? Those with the most money or power? Those who achieve the most? Those with all the fame and accolades? But many (or most?) of those “winners” land up at the psychiatrist, the cancer ward, or simply the bunker bed of loneliness.


But OK, let me not be naive here, this is the society where the winners are clearly defined, and they know that and they feel it. We also do. It actually is exactly those with the most money and power, the famed and awarded ones who are the winners. And the losers? Well, pretty much the majority of humankind. That is why large chunks of society is on anti-depressants, addicted, traumatized, propagandized, at best only mildly happy, dysfunctional as families and, well, materially impoverished to boot.


As for me, I am a loser. “You could have been a this or a that! You could have been well off! You could have been famous with all that talent!” And yet I am not.


So being on the losing side, what did I do? I retreated. For my own safety and well-being. In a way, my whole life became a retreat. And now I am offering you a retreat – or rather, three of them for the rest of 2022. All in South Africa (see below).


Do I offer some magical experience, a wonder-way of healing, an escapist escapade or a booster for productivity? None of these. All I am saying is, throw in the towel. For a few days, just say, I cannot keep it all up. Life has the better of me. For my own health and safety, I need to take a retreat. A step back.


Not only do I offer you to be a loser for a while. I also offer you to lose something. Or a few things. To lose something of yourself. And perhaps only then, something more lasting will be gained.


A HA!Retreat is actually a retreat within a retreat. It is not a set of exercises or a traditional way or an alternative concept of being. It is a retreat from yourself to allow for an expression, even only a breath, that otherwise would not or could not have been.


In war-making there is always the goal, the target, the competition, the graph, the aiming and the charge. Retreating is allowing for not knowing, it is tentative, it is cleaning the slate to allow for something to emerge, something fresh, if ever there was.


A retreat expands the horizon to a range of possibilities, from charging anew to withdrawing completely. It could also be the seed for a life and a world beyond war-making. A HA!Retreat does this through allowing you to retreat from doing anything (you could, in fact, go through a HA!Retreat without doing anything). But if there is a breath, if there is the slightest movement from the inside, that wants out, then there are instruments, the body, the voice, the floor, the microphone and the clean sheet of paper that awaits your expression – an expression that was crowded out during war making, perhaps crowded out forever. A self-expression. Also a collective expression. Expressions informed by each other’s expressions.


My crucial role in this is frame and enhance the possibility of taking a new breath. This I do mainly through intuitive musical accompaniment and discussion. A single sound as a finely felt nudge can unlock a decade of frost.


A HA!Retreat is a retreat from making things happen, even from making a retreat happen. It is an allowance to give birthing a chance.


And then.. back to life.


Throwing in the towel for a while will cost you on many levels. But it might just also save you a lot. Save something of you that got neutralized over time.


Consider. Feel. Weigh up.


I await those who can afford, and wish to.. retreat!





ps feel welcome to suggest new venues for future retreats, wherever you are





Fearless Flow: Do Nothing - just Play! Spontaneous Creativity Retreat two hours from Gauteng, with Anton Krueger and the HA!Man

Fri 19 to Thu 24 OR 21 August 2022 | 18h (Fri) to 13h (last day)

Tara Rokpa Centre | Kuilfontein, Groot Marico District, 2865

ALL INFO | or go straight to BOOKINGS

NOTE: this retreat is in collaboration with Anton Krueger's workshops in mindfulness. He has a special interest in improvisation as a form of mindfulness that brings his work in close relation to mine. We have worked together in the past and believe that participants will receive enhanced benefit from us working together.


A weekend HA!Retreat in Stanford, Western Cape

Fri 7 to Sun 9 Oct 2022

For more details and to book please enquire


HA! Weekend RETREAT in the Tistsikamma

11-13 Nov 2022 | 17h00 (Fri) to 17h (Sun)

Neverending Story | Yellowood Road, Sedgefield, South Africa

ALL INFO AND BOOKINGS | Download flyer




HA!MAN (Francois le Roux)  spontaneous performer in partnership with Joke Debaere


+27 (0)83 558 7380 > more contact info -|- get / manage HA! emails -|- schedule -|- HA!World Online Experience




Copy (2) of DSC01425.JPG


kindly use this link (and not the YMLP one at the bottom) to

unsubscribe / subscribe / update address / manage HA!mails

thank you!