My week at Penninghame was truly the greatest gift life has given me to date, and I have given myself. It was the most empowering, enlightening, and liberating experience of my life, and I now realise I didn’t even know what those words really meant until I experienced them at Penninghame.
I finally believe from the core of my being that my previous thinking patterns of personal judgement, criticism, and old conditioned behaviour patterns I have learnt which were no longer serving me, are no longer going to stop me from living my life letting my light shine from this day on. I can't wait to see the changes unfold as I set about my life from this shifted, inner perspective.
I had been doing a lot of work prior to the course on awareness and trying to become ‘present’, and I knew that was where I wanted to get to, but I wasn’t sure how much the course was going to be about that.
I didn’t think that going over old stuff was going to give me that, but once we got to the end I saw that it really was all about giving you that back.
And that’s what the course gave me really, I feel like I am actually finally ‘here’, and ok with being myself. In The Power of Now, Eckhart mentions Buddhas definition of enlightenment as the end to suffering, that's how I feel, it was an end to my own inner suffering, and now I really know how that feels, I can know enlightenment. I’d say that was a pretty good result! Sometimes suffering still arises, but a huge part of it is gone for good, and what arises now I can recognise and dissolve.
Gordon, thank you for words at the end of the course regarding it being ok not to feel I need to do everything all at once. They have been a great comfort to me in the last couple of weeks when I have sometimes felt overwhelmed and unsure where to start to achieve my vision, or if I could really change anything in my life.
There are daily challenges, but every day I manage to take little steps towards shifting from where I was in my life (and thanks to your words, I am also not criticising myself if they are, at the moment, only small steps, because I know that every one of them is an achievement and they all count towards my goals.)
As a result, the belief that the work I did, and holding on to the values we set for our inner state, really will change my life, is going strong.
So, thank you, thank you thank you, all of you!
I feel truly blessed to have been one of the people you have touched with the work you do, and I can never begin to thank everyone involved in the course enough, but by some way of return, I make a commitment to honouring the gift by committing to continue my own inner work, and with everything I do moving forward I will do my best to give back this gift I have received in any way I can.
" the primal course at Penninghame was a profound and beautiful experience for me at a time of stress and transition in my life. Although I was feeling emotionally fragile when I went, I was able to fully immerse myself in the variety of activities because there was so much non judgemental support from the staff, the environment and the wonderful healthy food. The process the course took me through was powerful and deep but not frightening. I now know there is nothing inside me that I cannot face and embrace and that is a huge freedom. Sharing the process with others has also changed my life perspective in all sorts of ways. Words can't capture it. If you're drawn to it, do it! "
I had thought of taking part in the process for many years before actually doing it, but always found an excuse for not going; this was despite my husband and some of my closest friends having gone through and raved about it!
I felt great fear at the prospect of having to face my fears and deal with what ever may 'come up' during my time there...and sometimes it is easier to keep ones head in the sand and plod along, because, let's be frank: change is scary.
I have always been plagued by a hideously low self esteem-I had tons of self confidence, but inside I hated myself a lot of the time. I was convinced this lack of self esteem stemmed from a difficult and sometimes abusive childhood. The scars of my youth had haunted me all my adult life and sometimes led me down some very dark places indeed. I was trapped by my past, unable to move forward. I was absolutely functioning on the outside, but my heart was heavy.
I knew that to move on and grow as a human being I would have to look at and heal some of my past hurts...and where could help me safely do this? Penninghame.
I had seen the massive (positive) shift in my husband and I suppose I thought if it could help a cynical and hardheaded bloke like him (he is a Forman builder, famously gruff!) then it could help me too.
Eventually I plucked up the courage to contact the Penninghame team and can now say with my hand firmly on my heart, that this was the bravest, most valuable decision I've ever made.
I won't tell you about the process because that is for you to experience with your own eyes and heart.
What I will tell you is that it changed my life.
Beautifully, gently; sometimes with great sweeping shifts; other times with hesitant baby steps...I had the breakthrough I was looking for and more.
People often ask me what the process consists of: all I can say is that it's there to help you heal yourself in the most loving, kind and heroic way possible. I call it the greatest gift you could ever give yourself. Go.
I used to have a drink problem which nearly destroyed me and my family. I stopped drinking by using a 12 step programme.
But I wanted to go deeper and discover why I drank in the first place. The Penninghame Process was suggested to me by a friend. I didn't have a clue what to expect , I'd never done any self development workshops before. I signed up and did the process 6 years ago. I used to live in Scotland and it stirred many memories within me when I journeyed North. I arrived on a cold November night, the man that walked in was not the man that left. It was over a 6 days but it felt like a life time. The only advice I'd been given was give it 100% by a friend that had already done it. I did and I got a lot from it. I discovered feelings and what they were, I was given the tools to take responsibility for my anger. The Penninghame Process gave me my life back. I'm not full of anger, revenge or blame also it has helped me with my family. If you are thinking of doing it, it will change your life and the friendships I made there are still strong to this day
I am now genuinely happy most of the time, in a peaceful way, and if I am not, I don’t fall into my old patterns of depression. It’s different, and I’m not sure how to explain it, but I usually come out of it quickly and with answers and insights, and then I accomplish a lot of things that I previously wouldn’t have known how to do.
I am so grateful to you, Rosie, Ray, Marie and everyone at Penninghame for the life lessons and tools that are really helping me in a way that is important to me, which is to be free of this sense of victimisation and to feel that I am actually steering my own boat. I have also learned to be so much more at peace with myself and everyone around me and to be more accepting of things as they are. It is a very liberating feeling on the one hand, and it is interesting that I have this need to get used to it – again reminding me of what I learned about the tendency to cling on to the old and familiar even though it may not feel good.
My life hasn’t changed in some spectacularly dramatic way, but the subtlety of the change is very profound. I see it reflected in other people’s faces because they also starting to see me for the first time. Although I still have a few more layers of fear and old stuff to work through, I am just astonished at the number of realisations that come tumbling down on me almost daily, so I can trust that I am right where I need to be.
I have been brought in touch much more deeply with the angry (rage) child in me and how she has been on the rampage with chaos, resentment and revenge. I now have awareness that I have a strong investment in negative thoughts that I need to let go of. Invaluable course.
The sessions when we got connected to our father and mother were very powerful for me and have helped me to see both of them in a new way. I have a relationship with my father now for the first time.
The journey at Penninghame can sometimes be emotionally difficult and challenging, but they take care of you in every physical way. The accommodation is luxurious, the food plentiful, healthy and delicious, the beautiful grounds calming and nurturing. Throughout the whole process, the staff are there to ensure you are safe and supported at all times.
Ms. ES, Therapist, UK
I was hoping to go on the Oneness course but due to some coincidences I got the day mixed up and got put on the Primal. I looked on the website and it mentioned the relationships with the father and mother, so I thought the course would do me some good anyway. After the course I felt more grounded, understand myself a lot more and am more open to everyone.
Bank Clerk, London
I thought that the course leadership was excellent, very thoughtful, caring and wise. The sense of a safe, experienced, wise, loving team brought wisdom and love into the group.
Artist & Film Producer, London
If you want to get the most out of life, whilst also contributing to our beautiful planet, you really couldn't do better than spend a week in the tranquil, natural ambience of Penninghame House.
Kate Russell Peace
I would like to thank the whole team, it has been a real honour to be part of this programme. All the awareness and knowledge you have put into it has made it a very powerful experience for me. Thank you again for such a wonderful, transformative time.
I love the owls in the night and the sound of river and the huge great ancient trees standing and watching us in silence.
The accommodation is luxurious, the food plentiful, healthy and delicious, the beautiful grounds calming and nurturing. Throughout the whole process, the staff are there to ensure you are comfortable and supported at all times.
Penninghame House's holistic programme for mind, body and soul suggests ways to help the individual make choices to create a more balanced life and benefit the greater good. I left with a sense of empowerment, hope and peace.
I am so grateful for each and every person who has contributed to this jewel ... not a retreat, more a "forward"! Not only course but true wisdom delivered with kindness and compassion
Kate Russell Peace
I feel that I have been given a second chance to live life fully to my true self.
Bonnie Ying Liu
Business Owner, Bejing
Having done all of the Penninghame courses, I have seen how deeply and profoundly my life has changed. I've reached a new level of inner peace, joy, freedom and creativity.
Business Consultant, Croatia
Penninghame...Where the world really starts to make sense and YOU start to feel alive, engaged and vital. I really can't recommend it enough!
Management Consultant, London
I have undergone many similar processes over the past 20 years both within the UK and other countries and I can honestly say that the Penninghame Process is the most powerful, life-changing course I have ever undertaken. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
I'm not sure what words I can use to thank you for giving me a piece of myself back - what gift is more priceless and precious than that!
Emily Davies, P.A., UK
Firstly I would like to thank Ray, Rosie and Lynn (& team) for a wonderful week at Penninghame. Going to Penninghame changed my life for the better. Before attending I felt stuck, unable to move on which was so unlike me. The course was so well structured, something for everyone. The macrobiotic diet, the dynamic meditations, activities all contributed to me having much more energy. Never have I experienced so much love and gratitude in one place, such a nurturing environment. All participants felt cared for as if we lived with the most caring parents for a week.
The strangest thing was the last evening when we went into town, once I stepped out the taxi it was like coming out of the womb, with fresh eyes seeing things for the first time, even my brain had to recall – do I remember how to cross the road?
My friends and family could see the change in me, my outlook to life was different, I had got my mojo back. Even when I returned to work and there had been lots of changes (redundancies/restructuring etc), I was still so cheerful and upbeat that I was able to still motivate my team. They worried for me in my absence that the change would drag us all down, yet I was feeling as light as feather.
I’ve recommended the course to so many people as they are all curious as to why I look and feel amazing.
My journey at Penninghame began with me pointing out of the car window at the fat, smiling stone Buddha at the entrance and nudging my partner to look, so he too could enjoy the cheerful countenance of that famous eastern embodiment of letting go. My ‘letting go’ of my fear and anxiety of what was to come lasted for approx. 20 minutes. ‘Is it usual to feel terrified at this point?’ I asked one of the assistants as were descending the staircase from the tour of my accommodation block. He looked at me, laughed and said ‘Of course! But trust me, I have done this 4 times now and it gets so much better, and it really can be a lot of fun…’ Fun? Hmmm, I switched on my radar for that word I associated with helium balloons and laughter. In the dusky silence of the tree-studded grounds, my radar was working over-time.
I have struggled long and hard with myself – I have tried alcohol, long walks, (sometimes both together, which ended up in a dark meeting with a nettle infused ditch) studying, physical labour, eating only brown rice, cutting my hair short, growing my hair long, moving house, leaving jobs and getting a dog. The dog was the most effective out of the lot, for through him I learnt about consistency, routine, afternoon naps and play-time. Yet, even my lovely hound could not put an end to all the inner turmoil I felt on a sometimes moment-to moment basis. Feelings of anxiety, anger and despair, which writhed around like dank, dark fish and long slithery hot eels in a black sludge of self-hatred and disgust deep down inside myself. Which made people, situations, events etc. feel frightening, as if life was a huge beast, and I was on its back, clinging on in the best way I could, trying to stay small and trying to survive.
So I went to Penninghame clutching onto the only hope that maybe I be able to find a way to get clean inside. With the incredible support offered from the staff, assistants, and other members of my group, I engaged with the process, I began to trust. It was hard, it was liberating, it was exhausting, it was life-affirming, it was moving, it was joyous and at times very, very funny. After a couple of days, I noticed a lightness in myself emerging up from my stomach, which seemed to flow up into my head and give me new lovely thoughts about myself -zesty, sustaining thoughts, like fruity gob-stoppers for my mind to suck on. By the end of the week, I felt physically different. I felt as if a jam- jar full of shiny, copper pennies had been placed on a sunny shelf down inside my being. I felt connected, alive, certain, full of life, potential and wonder, and I saw that I was good and I could offer this goodness out. The night before I left, I went back to the stone Buddha. In the cool night air, I rubbed his belly and left him an offering of a pine cone, my currency of gratitude and thanks.
Penninghame will be the best gift you could give to yourself.
I’m so glad I went to Penninghame. Though it was challenging, the rewards were massive. It was great to let go of some things that I’ve been hanging on to for a long time. By the end of the week I felt a really powerful connection to myself. I actually had to pull the car over twice on my journey home because I was crying – not through sadness, but because of some sort of feeling of joy/happiness/connection/love/release.
The course is described as a ‘process’ and that’s it’s exactly what it is. It’s not always clear when doing the course, why you’re doing each part of it. However, when you get to the end you can really see how well designed it is and how you’ve been taken along a path that leads to greater clarity and a better connection with yourself. The course leaders and the assistants were all amazing. I felt so well looked after and cared for throughout the whole experience.
If you’re reading this wondering if it’s worth risking the money to go on this course…the answer is in my opinion is YES. DEFINITELY. 100%! Don’t hesitate.
I first heard about Penninghame through my sister-in-law who attended the course two years ago and also went back last year to assist. She raved about it and the change in her was amazing. I still held my reservations as I hadn’t done anything like this before. It wasn’t until my ex-partner attended last year and I saw how much he had gained from the experience did I then start to consider attending the course myself.
I was at a stage in my life where I felt I didn’t know who I was and had lost my identity. I almost didn’t feel ready to face up to my past as I had buried the pain deep inside hoping it would disappear. With a little push from my sister-in-law I decided the only way to make a positive change was to throw myself in the deep end. What did I have to lose?
The first day I felt so scared as I didn’t know what to expect but wow how quickly my feelings changed. For the first time in years I was able to express my emotions and share my story, no judgements made. I didn’t have to worry about what people would think, I could be myself and know there was a room full of other people who were there for the same reason as me and were there to support me. The journey was amazing! I have made friendships with truly amazing people of which I would of never of been blessed to meet if I had not attended this life changing course.
The whole team are amazing and helped me open up and get the most out of the experience. I felt like a scared little girl when I arrived and left a strong women! I have gained so many life skills to help me continue my journey.
I feel honoured to have been a part of this wonderful course and thank you to everyone I shared my journey with.
I went to Penninghame feeling flat and disconnected to others and what was around me.
It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It woke me up in so many ways and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The people, the food, the setting and the process are all amazing.
So many people have commented on the difference they’ve seen in me. It’s definitely worth it!
Prior to commencing my Penninghame journey, I was retreating into a steep and rapid decline. As I denied and rationalised my emotional ill health, my physical health began to suffer. Deep down, I was aware that the manifestation of my physical ailments stemmed from emotional pain but I was too disconnected to help myself.
My initial attempt to book onto Penninghame failed as the programme was fully booked but just as I stooped deeper into helplessness, I received a lifeline; I got offered a place.
At the beginning of my Penninghame journey my mind resisted everything, causing further physical pain. Only when I began to be present did I begin the journey.
As I began to take personal responsibility for myself there was a remarkable positive shift in my physical and emotional health. I do not believe that any amount of talking therapies could have such an prolific effect in such a short space of time. The insights and awareness I experienced in one week could not have been realised elsewhere.
The Penninghame Process was one of the most painful yet amazing experiences of my life. There truly is ‘nowhere to hide’ and everyone has ‘their story’ but what makes this different is: the uniqueness of the process, the feeling of ‘a safe place’, the level of support offered by people who have been through and who continue their journey, as well as the aftercare I am receiving.
I now feel reborn, insightful and refreshed. I am going to embrace everyday by being present and listening to my thoughts, my heart and my feelings, I am going to stay connected!
Penninghame is a priceless gift, you just need to be ready to receive it.
I started my journey by attending The Penninghame Process in 2014. Having been a chef since leaving catering college, I found myself feeling quite irritable and stressed for many years. I thought that due to my line of work that it came with the job and I deemed it acceptable, both in and out of work. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to party and have a good laugh but I also had a side of me that for many, many years was not present in most things that I did. Going on The Penninghame Process and seeing Gordon once a week has really helped me be present within myself. Acceptance of anger, greeting it and thinking before I react…these things may seem so small, but for me they are huge.
The blame I had for my loved ones, friends and work mates has now dissolved. I’ve learnt through seeing Gordon, that it is my personal responsibility how I approach different situations, and mainly my dad. For 26 years I held on to so much hatred, anger and hurt, and blamed him solely for all of this. Listening to other people’s experiences and thinking about my own, I have learnt to take a different approach with others, especially the relationship I had with my dad.
Going into his house made me worried and I had my guard up, ready for a fight. Instead, I was showing love and compassion. For years and years I had craved my dad’s attention and after changing my outlook and approach to him his actions seem to have softened. I was finally getting some love and attention that I had wanted for years. He even turned up at my house to say hello, we have also been out socialising (without arguing) recently. These things, up until now, were unheard of. Miracles do happen.
I have never felt so happy and free in my life until now; I put good intentions out and everything seemed to slowly but surely fall into place. I do what I want to do with my life, rather than pleasing others all the time. I have attracted new, like-minded friends who I adore spending time with. I’ve learnt that I can become addicted to people due to my nature; I can become addicted to people just like an addict is dependant to heroin. I’ve learnt to give myself boundaries and to surround myself with like-minded people.
I feel like I’ve been a dancing bear, locked up for years and years and now I’ve been set free.
This was an incredible experience for me. Before I was in a dark place seeking change and knowing I needed to help myself. I couldn’t get out of my mind, I spent hours of everyday letting it control my feelings and affect my actions. Miserable periods of ups and downs, anxiety, panic attacks and distraction. I started planning every minute of my days months in advance so I’d know there’d be no possibility I’d spend a second alone with my thoughts.
It came out in various different ways; I would go out a lot and act like a completely different person, sometimes binge drinking or smoking. Other times I would spend weeks alone, hibernating in my room, not talking to any family or friends for days and weeks. I saw no way out of any situation and felt like the world was against me. I became fed up that everyone relied on me and that I had to fix everyone’s problems, I was the person they would call for solutions.
I was giving a lot to others but was receiving nothing in return. Why did I always have to visit everyone but they never came to visit me? I have spent the last few years feeling angry towards my mother who is going through her own process of depression. Why can’t she just sort herself out? I was recommended The Penninghame Process by my healer, Gordon who is an assistant on the course. I’ve been seeing Gordon for over a year as a method of therapy but working with energy which is just fantastic. It was a blessing for me and it was such a strong recommendation, one I will cherish forever.
The Penninghame Process is a sanctuary of well being and an incredibly safe environment in which I could share all of my deepest issues and not feel judged or dismissed. I could share my issues and worries with not just one person but with all of the course leaders and other participants. Sharing openly with so many people was an achievement in itself. I talked, cried, shouted, screamed, learnt to say ‘no’ and took back my power. I got in touch with problems I so deeply suppressed in order to rid them from my life. It’s a gift, one to myself and my life, I have begun to set myself free.
I would recommend this experience so highly, it’s never too late, but the sooner the better.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
I had been thinking about going to Penninghame for over a year. I know quite a few close friends who have been and the change in them is remarkable but something was holding me back, fear of change I think, even though that’s what I desperately want and need.
On New Year’s Day, I made the decision that I was going to go, and as soon as I booked my place, I felt something stir inside me and I knew it was the right time.
The second I stepped out of the car and entered the main house at Penninghame, I was taken aback by the energy. I have never been in a place that felt so calming and pure, I thought to myself ‘if it’s healing I’m after I’m definitely in the right place’.
I was amazed at how much I connected with each and every person on the course. I could relate to parts of everyone’s story, even though from the outside we were all extremely different. It made me realise that we are all the same on the inside, have the same thoughts, feelings and struggles.
I have struggled for many years with self love & acceptance and have used an eating disorder as a mechanism to protect myself from my feelings and emotions. It had reached a point where I was not only blocking ‘bad’ feelings but I had dulled down Joy and Happiness to the point that I either felt very low or just kind of ‘meh’.
The Penninghame process has unlocked a part of me which is allowing me to accept my feelings either good or bad and not let them control me.
I feel so much more connected to myself since I returned home and my awareness has grown ten-fold. For the first time in ages I’m actually excited about the future. Massive gratitude to all at Penninghame.
When I let go to The Penninghame Process and followed the fantastic guidance and support of the group leaders, a new world opened up in which I was able to explore, safely, with a beautifully loving and professional support team.
I was first introduced to the Penninghame Process through my friend Dave who is currently an assistant on the course. We met through an organisation called Band Of Brothers, this is a great charity established by men committed to positive social change through personal development and community building. So I had already started my journey to personal development through this organisation but still felt like I needed to transform my life further.
I finally decided to attend the Penninghame Process to further explore my journey of self-discovery, to help me to find out who I was and what my purpose in life is. I believe we are all born with purpose in life and I was out to find mine. I was looking for ways to help me consistently feel good about myself and the world around me. I wanted to overcome my limiting beliefs and to live in a space of joy and abundance….. and then help others do the same!
Before I went on the course I knew that I was unhappy within my three businesses, which had taken me 10 years to develop. I was no longer putting my heart and soul into them and getting up to go work was not a joyful experience. I really wanted to make the shift from those businesses and start on a path which fulfilled me emotionally and spiritually.
Before I went to Penninghame I constantly felt that my business partners suggestions to leave were out right rejection and implying they no longer wanted to work with me. Once I returned from the course I realised that actually they deeply care for me, love me and were giving me their blessing to go to do what I felt I needed to do to start my new journey.
While I was at Penninghame I had many personal revelations, however there were a few light-bulb moments which I believe helped me to to move into deeper understanding and transformation. One evening I was sitting in a small group with other participants. The evenings topic was about our past experiences and I talked about how I had been very closed down as a child and protected my emotions. I was invited to enter into a simple but gentle process which led me to experience a deep and profound feeling of fear, rejection and anger bubbling up from inside. It transpired that when I was 11 years old I had someone taken away from me in horrific circumstances, this moment helped me to dig deeper into my past. I experienced a lot of care, attention and love from both the assistants and other participants. I felt I was in a safe environment where I could open up and express myself fully while being looked after and supported. I feel I experienced true unconditional love for the first time in my life. I am now able to receive and give this love in my day to day life which brings joy to me and the people I have around me.
Since returning to day to day life I have been able to appreciate my own qualities, we can be our own worst critics and because of the Penninghame Process I have now changed the way I view myself. Acknowledging appreciation from others and the connection I have with them, we are all part of each other, so if someone is in pain then so am I. I have been able to build on my connection with my mother and father, forgiving them and understanding why they did the things they did.
Are you living? Are you enjoying life? Before I attended Penninghame, I believed that I was experiencing my life to the full but I wasn’t. This course has enabled me to connect with people and myself, it was the best investment I have made in my future. The course allowed me to shift my limiting beliefs, self-doubt, shame and everything which held me back. Penninghame will help you to create and manage anything you want in life, it is a magical place!
Whilst busy ‘making the most of my life’, I hadn’t realised how much I was feeding my ego and getting wrapped up in my mind’s stories. I was weighed down by a cocktail of frustration, stress, sadness, loneliness, blame and anger.
I was on a merry-go-round and didn’t know how to get off.
Learning to break free of it all is the only way of finding peace and happiness. It all makes perfect sense now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not shed a lifetime of behavioural patterns in just 7 days, it will take a lifetime of practice, but I now feel empowered and confident to find my way. How exciting is that?!
Now, when I stop and reconnect, I feel like I am smiling inside.
Attending Pennighame is a gift. If you are ready to make a change in your life then this is the place to start.
Before I went to The Penninghame Process I felt very unconnected with my true self. I was always very focused on what my mind was doing and thinking and never actually listened to what I truly wanted out of life. I would always act and feel how I thought everyone wanted me to, always ‘appearing’ to be happy even when inside I wasn’t and never felt safe enough to release my true emotions.
I also gave myself the chance to get out very raw emotions from a traumatic part of my childhood. Once I gave myself the permission to connect with those emotions I felt so much lighter, almost like a tonne of weight had been lifted from me.
Since spending a week at The Penninghame Process, it has completely changed the way I look at life. I can now listen to how I actually feel and what my actual needs are, rather than just acting how I think other people want me to act. I now notice when I’ve lost the connection with my true self. I can now tell when I am listening to my thoughts rather than my true feelings. It’s amazing to be able to see that because you can then take a step back, reconnect and you feel a million times better for it. Being able to experience the process was an amazing gift to myself and will forever help me in my life.
I have attended two Penninghame courses back to back and firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to all the course members who have helped me through this process, I owe a great debt of gratitude and compassion towards them. In the lead up to my initial course I started to develop a lot of self centric, negative and habitual thoughts about myself which led me into a slight depression followed by a lot of anxiety and even though I was constantly active socially, it was abundantly clear in my mind and my feelings I was not enjoying my life. I visited my local GP numerous amounts of time in order to find any answers to my state however nothing was identified. I knew couple of people who had attended and recommended the course to me and at the state I was in it felt like it was the final option I needed no convincing. On my travel to Scotland I experienced a panic attack on the plane and it wasn’t until my arrival at Penninghame I realised my body was in huge fear and resistance to taking part in the course.
Once the course started I felt safe, secure and supported within the surrounding environment at all times. It was a very intense process for me, I brought up a lot of neglected emotions i.e. anger, sadness and fear that was stored in my body through old programs and patterns that have been running in my mind at an earlier age, I was able to release this throughout a range of exercises and meditations. It was a gift to witness what my unconscious mind was conjuring during various constellations I was able to understand concisely why I had adopted this negative state and towards the end of the course I was given fundamental tools that I can adopt in my day to day life along with my own inner vision, which brings me into a state of real presence and awareness eliminating any long lasting suffering which had tormented me up to that point.
I came back a few months later to do step 1 again because I had neglected the work I did in the first course which gave me a timely reminder that if you don’t continue your work and revise the tools given on this course it’s easy to fall back into suffering which I had experienced. The second time round was very enjoyable for me and far less intense considering the surprise factor of the course was no more, I was able to build a solid foundation to my inner vision with a clearer perspective on what I wanted to do in my life.
I felt very connected to each member and participant from both courses, everybody had a story which I could relate to in a way, even though they came from different backgrounds and have different personalities, it made me see that everybody has the same chain of thoughts, emotions and suffering.
Finally I feel more happy, calm, present and aware, in addition to that my vision which I’ve left Penninghame with I am able to channel my energy in a positive direction and live life without projecting any negative thoughts or judgements all the time, I thank Penninghame for giving me this priceless gift.
I had done various bits of personal development work through my life, including a three year counselling course, but nothing prepared me for the week I had at Penninghame.
Step 1 was the most incredible journey on all levels, physically,
emotionally, and spiritually. After 50 years on this planet, I had clarity about why I had been the person I was and really understood how I could only “be” according to my family’s story, it was a habit that I had clung to, not the real me.
At times it was very challenging and a bit scary, but I told myself to go with it, that it would be ok. The team were always around to talk to, whatever was going through my head or if I had something that I wanted to explore with their support. We had a lot of fun too!!
The food, although I had misgivings before going, was amazing and I felt so nourished and well by the end of the week, in spite of lots of thoughts running in my head at night! The week has given me lots of tools to use to access my true self.
Just do it! You will learn so much.
This is the second time I’ve done the course. The first time I did it, when I finished the course I was literally blown away with love for myself. I burst into tears of joy three times whilst driving home and had to stop the car. I used to spend most of my time incessantly beating myself up, so to find myself in this is state of joy was truly unbelievable.
However, I did not keep up with the things I had learnt on the first course and got myself into an awful place. The second course was much harder than the first and the course leaders tried really hard to help me to see how my thinking was doing me so much damage. Even though they were able to explain it to me in a way that I understood, I still couldn’t quite ‘see’ it. Then on day five of the course whilst eating my lunch, it really ‘dropped in’ as a realisation and I could see my own personal version of destructiveness / insanity really clearly. This has helped me enormously.
Since the second course (four months ago now), I have twice started to descend into a bad place, but I’ve been able to cope with it so much better because of my experiences at Penninghame. I have the tools to work with when things get tough and the fact that (a) I’ve experienced a deep love for myself and (b) I’ve seen my own insanity in an objective way means that the thoughts that used to drag me down, no longer have a such a strong hold on me. I can see them as a saboteur who takes me away from ‘life itself’ and my connection to happiness. If you need a push to commit to going on the course because you’re unsure about it, I literally beg you take the plunge. Life changing stuff.
I feel so honoured and grateful to have taken part in the Penninghamme Process Step 1. I began the process feeling very angry, irritable, frustrated, sad, defensive and full of self-loathing and the transformation has been quite remarkable.
During the whole process I felt safe, supported and nurtured both in terms of my physical and emotional well being. All the course leaders and assistants were amazing. Having had great difficulty in expressing my feelings throughout my life I now felt I was in a place where I was safe enough to do this without feeling judged or threatened.
I found one of the sessions on the course particularly powerful which left me feeling such compassion and love for everyone on the course, not something I would usually feel, so completely blown away by that experience. Although the course did deal with a lot of very sensitive and painful experiences, there was also a lot of fun and light-heartedness throughout the course.
Since returning home I have felt very content, calm and peaceful with an inner knowing that my life can and will be different now. So my message to you is, if you are reading this and just thinking about attending this course…………then do it………remember if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got!
When I signed up to the Penninghame Process my life was seemingly on track in a number of areas, but I knew there was more inner work that I needed to do to really propel myself forward and become the best version of me I can be. Penninghame provided the most loving, supporting and insightful process in which to do this. As I peeled back layer after layer, I realised that some of the answers to my questions had been with me all along, I just needed to be present enough to hear them. The peace, tranquillity, structure and space offered by the Penninghame Process all combine to create the perfect conditions to really make contact with who we authentically are. And once you’ve made that journey within, your life can really begin in earnest.
Quote: “There is nothing more precious than self trust” (Yogi Tea, Day 2, Ellie’s Journal)
There is a place in Scotland, which 3 years ago only existed in my dreams. A place that can help open up possibilities, a place that can help you heal, a place that can show you another way of living, a place that offers you unconditional love, a place that helped ME save my OWN life, a place that I love to call HOME.
It took 33 years for me to find Penninghame House for the first time, or perhaps it was Penninghame House that found me, only the universe knows the answer to that!! All I know for sure is that change can happen at any point in your life, it is never, ever too late to really start living.
I want to share with you all an excerpt from my Step 1 journal, this course of which I decided to repeat just over a month ago now:
“All this little girl ever wanted was peace, love, forgiveness for using the tough survival mechanisms that she did. It was all she could think of to survive in her world. The little girl is still there Ellie, still waiting to be nurtured and she can be nurtured in abundance if you just open your eyes to see her. The wounded child missed out on a lot of her childhood and teenage years. She is so strong inside of you and has been in control for a long, long time and you didn’t even realise it.
She wants all the fun and adventure that this world can give her. My healing will come when she is seen and not punished any more. When I come to a place of heart, a place of connection, a place of love then all this opportunity is wide open to be received.
In those beautiful moments I found my place of peace, I was in love with my life, I was free, I was in love with the very being in that moment.”
My story is different to that of everyone and everyone has a story different to mine. What we all have in common is that our stories do not define who we are, it is our thinking around our stories that keep us stuck in a place of suffering, repeated patterns and complete unawareness.
At 33 years old I was raped by two men, this was shortly after the break up of a beautiful, yet painful relationship. This is not the first time I have experienced pain like this, it has been a key feature underneath the blur of alcohol, drugs, men and eating disorder, but yet to the untrained eye I don’t think you would ever really have known. Through my work at Penninghame, I have been given a safe, trusting environment to release my deepest and darkest secrets, which have been in my life’s driving seat since the age of 8 years old.
Penninghame House has given me the tools, the vision, the support and the love to take personal responsibility for my life and take steps towards the happiness and freedom I have always craved. I have made peace with much of my past and with baby steps the art of self -love and self -care is becoming a priority for me, after all, if you don’t love yourself then how can you ever expect the world to love you back? I am an imperfectly, perfect human being and am standing on my own two feet and moving forward.
My vision is already starting to fall into place, I have been accepted into a Postgraduate Psychotherapy Course and I am completing a counselling skills course at the moment. I want to work with children and young adults affected by trauma in the future.
I also want to have a beautiful partner one day and become a mummy. I know that every part of this crazy journey will help me make a wonderfully imperfect job of it all and I am excited to meet it all.
The course leaders, volunteers, kitchen staff, grounds staff are all committed to a vision and an intent for every participant to live a life of joy and peace. At every corner you turn, in every bit of food that you eat, in every exercise you complete, in every hug you receive, in every bit of country air that you breathe, you will find everything you could ever look for in a personal development course.
Quote: “Love your soul” (Yogi, Tea, Day 4, Ellie’s Journal)