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Charlotte, NC

Creative Photographer Creativity SoulCollage Labyrinth Mixed Media


Creative Workshops & Retreats

Join Catherine for a creative pilgrimage to Ireland or Italy, or attend a creative workshop with her in NC, VA, OR or NM.

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Catherine and Linda Woolfson invite you to join us on a unique pilgrimage of creative discovery in Portugal as we share our love of Portugal’s wild and beautiful Atlantic coastline, the powerful allure of some of its iconic World Heritage sites, the intimate and quirky charm of some less well-known places and the many delights of Portuguese cooking, culture and language.

We are offering you a creative feast to awaken your senses: slow walking and slow photography; journaling, poetry-making and word-play; SoulCollage®, sea-shore labyrinth-making and walking; a humorous initiation into the Portuguese language, sacred quiet time; ample opportunities to re-fuel, reflect and replenish your soul.

You will be no ordinary tourist! Because while you immerse yourself in discovering a beautiful and much-cherished cultural and natural environment, you will also be embarking on an inner journey of creative exploration, supported by two enthusiastic leaders with a passion for making creative connections between inner and outer traveling. A core part of our vision is to support you in nurturing your own creativity so that you go home enriched by your journey and energized to continue once the retreat is over.

The practice of soulful travel is to discover the overlapping point between history and everyday life, the way to find the essence of every place, every day: in the markets, small chapels, out-of-the-way parks, craft shops. Curiosity about the extraordinary in the ordinary moves the heart of the traveler intent on seeing behind the veil of tourism.
— Phil Cousineau

Our itinerary includes:

  • An 18th Century monastery by the Tagus estuary in romantic Lisbon

  • An iconic blue-and-white tiled cafe where the custard tarts will waft you up to heaven

  • A quirky 19th Century mansion and gardens full of secret symbolism in the lusch micro-climate of Sintra

  • The seaside town of Cascais with its winding photogenic streets, museums and little shops

  • The wild and beautiful ocean, beaches and villages of Colares, Praia Grande, Almocageme and Azenhas do Mar

  • Creating and walking a labyrinth on the beach

  • Time to make a creative container for your images and words

Our inner spiritual world cannot be activated without experience of the outer world of wonder for the mind, beauty for the imagination, and intimacy for the emotions.
— Thomas Berry

We will spend two nights by the sea in Cascais and four nights at a hotel overlooking the ocean in Praia Grande, Sintra. You will share some of our favorite places, east at local restaurants, take a ride on a narrow-gauge railway through beautiful landscapes, visit the Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, take "slow photography" walks by the sea, and come together to create through word-play, story and sharing as we embrace the sense of place that is Portugal.

Included in the creative offerings will be -

  • Your very own Portugal as Portal to Presence Travel Journal created by Catherine which will include photographs, slow travel quotations and spaces for you to add your own notes during the trip. This journal is created only for participants of this retreat.

  • A creative kit filled with papers, transparency images, found words, tapes, maps, Portuguese papers and more to create your own unique Journal.

  • A macro lens for your iPhone or Android phone to enable you to see deeper into the textures and patterns of the beautiful world we live in.

  • A pack of Presence cards - with quotations and questions to use with your SoulCollage® cards or photographs.

Making art is one way to have a relationship with the beauty of the natural world.
— Patrice Vecchione

This will be a small group of twelve explorers. Once you arrive at Lisbon airport, all your needs are taken care of, so you can focus on relaxing, exploring and feeding your soul. The cost is $2,995 per person for six nights shared accommodation, all meals beginning with dinner on the first day of the retreat and ending with breakfast on the last day, all transport (one scheduled group pickup and drop off at the airport), admission to all the places we visit, all gratuities, creative supplies and guidance from Linda and Catherine. If you would like a single room, the single supplement is $390. Beverages and drinks are for your own account.

To reserve your space, you can pay the deposit of $500 and complete the Registration Form. A second payment of $1,000 is due on February 20th, 2019 with the balance due on March 20th, 2019.

This retreat is now full, but you can contact Catherine to add your name to the wait list.

Your deposit reserves your space in the retreat. Certain non-refundable reservation costs are paid out in advance of the retreat.

  • Should you cancel your reservation before December 20th, 2018, your payments less a cancellation fee of $250 will be refunded.

  • Should you cancel between December 21st and March 20th, 2019, your payment less $500 will be refunded.

  • There are no refunds after March 20th, 2019, but you may find another person to take your place on the trip provided they agree to the terms of the agreement.

Written cancellation is required to process a refund.

We reserve the right to cancel the retreat if necessary. In the unlikely event of us doing so, your payment will be refunded in full.

Sacred landscape offers thresholds to sensual secrets, deep yearnings and spiraled awakenings.
— Tonja Reichley

More about your Guides

Linda Woolfson: Linda has a passion for delving deeply into the creative treasures of different cultures and languages. As a creativity catalyst working with journaling, story, myth and SoulCollage®, she particularly enjoys sharing with others her own multi-lingual experience of encountering words and images in a spirit of creative play to open up new worlds of juicy and poetic potential. She has lived in the Lisbon area of Portugal for over 30 years, speaks fluent Portuguese and specializes in running retreats in this quietly fabulous country she knows and loves so intimately. You can find out more about Linda here.

Catherine Anderson: Catherine has a passion for exploring, personally experiencing and distilling an ever-expanding range of creative activities and processes: “slow photography”, Labyrinth activities, SoulCollage® and other forms of collage, mindfulness, visual journaling, and much more. Catherine is a dedicated teacher who excels in finding tantalising ways to support other people in connecting with, deepening and fully enjoying their own creative journey. An experienced traveller and retreat leader, she loves to guide others towards taking wing through the experience of beautiful and unfamiliar places.

How the “Portugal as Portal to Presence” retreat was born
Having met through both being SoulCollage® Trainers, Catherine and Linda discovered to their delight that they both spent their childhoods in the same South African sea-side town and share a passion for the ocean. When Catherine visited Linda at her home in Portugal last year and was enthusiastically shown round the local area, they realized that the alchemy of their shared enthusiasms and different yet complementary approaches to creativity would make for a great retreat.

“Portugal as Portal to Presence” is a one-off, unique opportunity to experience “sight-seeing” in the hauntingly beautiful Lisbon area as a transformative creative pilgrimage.

A voyage to a destination, wherever it may be, is also a voyage inside oneself ...
— Laurens van der Post