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An article about the importance of embodiment and nature connection within leadership & team development. 

7 min Read

Communicating the ROI of a nature based team retreat?

What is the return on investment of taking time out of your busy schedule to attend an embodied leadership programme like SOMOS or host a team building offsite in a nature location such as Selgars?

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A SOMOS retreat at Selgars enables your team to;


  • Learn the skills of somatic facilitation and empathic communication. 

  • Tackle the root causes of burnout and enhance collective wellbeing. 

  • Inspire your team to work more creatively and collaboratively.

Wellbeing & Emotional Resilience


The practice of embodiment (when we bring our awareness inwards through movement, breath and meditation) allows us to discharge the tension and stress that we may not even realise that we have been carrying. As a result we begin to feel lighter and to think clearer. We feel a surge of energy and inspiration. An aliveness is reawakened within us which brings benefits to every aspect of our lives. During a SOMOS retreat we begin with a session called ‘Understanding Our Physiology’ where we explain the fundamentals of our physiological responses (e.g. Fight, Flight, Freeze & Fawn) and how trauma-awareness can help us to regulate our nervous systems and reduce the level of stress and anxiety that we carry. Reflecting on our behavioural patterns through the lens of trauma-awareness and developing the skill of self-regulation and somatic facilitation can help us to become more resilient to emotional triggers and high pressure situations at work.

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Communication & Collaboration

On a professional and organisational level the impact can be felt through improved communication and collaboration. Spending time in nature enables a team to listen and relate to each other on a deeper level. Conversations relating to culture, values, vision and strategy become more authentic, more inclusive and much more effective in shaping and influencing behaviour and performance over the long term.  In nature we are more present, more creative and more open to new ideas and perspectives. A nature retreat can be a gateway to reconnecting with the deeper meaning and purpose of the work you are doing together. It can help us to realign what we do and say (outer) with what we think and feel (inner).

Cultivating Regenerative Culture 

I believe that there is also a more transformational third layer. I have observed this within myself over the past year whilst living at Selgars. This is incredibly important if you want to keep your team actively engaged and committed to the work they are doing over the long term. Without this layer you might struggle to attract and retain the best talent.

There is a famous anecdote about the stonecutter and the cathedral builder. Two workers do the same tasks every day. One has the mindset of a stonecutter, the other a cathedral builder. The stonecutter is emotionally disconnected from his work, whereas the cathedral builder is fully aligned and is able to tap into a deeper pool of energy, meaning and joy. 

Take a moment to reflect on your team culture. Be honest. Do you and your colleagues have the mindset of a stonecutter or a cathedral builder? What would work look and feel like if everyone showed up everyday with the mindset of a cathedral builder? How do you cultivate and sustain this mindset over time?

This is what building regenerative culture is all about. Getting your team into a new mindset about how they work together and the wider impact this can have on their health, their relationships and the planet. What if we dared to step back from our quarterly KPI’s and chose to reflect on the wider cultural and economic systems that shape our lives? Do we feel balanced and aligned? Are we hopeful or fearful about the future? Are there things we would like to change, but don’t know how?

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Changing the System from the Inside Out

Over many decades and centuries we have elevated the rational and analytical above all other types of knowledge, whilst also teaching that we should mistrust the evidence of our physical senses. As a result we find ourselves in a world out of balance, trapped in cycles of boom and bust, burnout and retreat. We have become numb to the huge amount of information and over-stimulation that modern life brings. We block out the signals that our body is sending us. We focus more and more on our individual goals and become more and more disconnected from the physical environment that we inhabit. We live in a culture that prioritises individualism over community and competition over cooperation. We live in a way that is in conflict with our own nature and physiology. The weight of this reality, whether we are conscious of it or not, can take its toll on our mental health, our relationships and our ability to find meaning and joy in the lives we lead. Living life in our current system can weigh us down. We can fall into addictions. We can fall into destructive patterns. 


What embodiment and nature connection enables us to do more effectively is to confront these shadows and to access a different kind of intelligence that exists within each of us. I like to call this knowledge our super-nature. Our super-nature comes from our intuition, our emotions and our felt senses. When we slow things down and open up these parts of ourselves we begin to notice and perceive the world differently. Our priorities, our decisions and our choices are influenced in subtle yet profound ways. This process may be painful at first but can have a transformational and regenerative impact on our lives which in turn ripples out to our relationship and the planet as a whole. 


This is the deeper layer. It requires more courage, more vulnerability and a willingness to step into the unknown. You might feel that this is too much to bring into a professional context. It is safer to keep things on the surface level rather than opening up a Pandora's box of emotions and opinions about the state of the world. But is safer always better? What if diving deeper is exactly what is needed for your team to heal and grow?

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Activating Our Super-Nature

If the modern world numbs our super-nature, then we need to work harder to reconnect with it by integrating more movement, more mindfulness and more community into everyday moments and situations. This requires us to redesign and rethink the way we live, the way we work and the spaces that we inhabit. This trail of thought leads to a simple conclusion. We cannot do it alone. We need community. We need each other. And we need nature. We are all on the same team. A SOMOS retreat at Selgars can be a spark for developing a fuller regenerative practice individually and collectively. 


Does reading this article stir up some emotions in you? What would happen if you initiated a conversation within your organisation about community, empathy and regenerative culture? What would happen if you started a workshop with a dance? What would happen if everyone in your organisation was more aware of how their words and actions impacted each other’s nervous systems and physiological responses? What if you allowed yourself 30 minutes everyday to visit a spot in nature and just listen to what emerges inside of you in that moment? What if you dedicated a day each month to exploring the systems, values and behaviours that shape your organisational culture?



Would you like to explore hosting a SOMOS retreat for your team at Selgars?


When you make the investment to gather your team in nature you are also helping to regenerate yourself, your colleagues and the planet in a small yet profound way. 

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"SOMOS was a transformative learning experience for me in so many ways. The design and facilitation is thoughtful and intentional, drawing on content that is thought-provoking and interconnected, with time and space for personal and collective integration. The team behind SOMOS have managed to create that elusive experience of community, belonging, challenge and learning in a setting of incredible natural beauty and genuine belonging. I have learned practical skills that I’m already applying to my personal and professional life, reimagined what it means to be regenerative and embodied in my work and relationships, and made friends for life. Can’t recommend enough - just say yes!"


Sarah Brown

Head of Learning and Learning Improvement at International Schools Partnership Limited

"The SOMOS experience offered a perfect balance of personal reflection and collective integration, set against the backdrop of the natural beauty of Selgars Mill Estate! The SOMOS team cultivated a wonderful sense of community and belonging throughout the programme with a great balance of content, embodiment and time in nature. I’ve not only redefined my approach to regeneration and embodiment in my work and relationships but also forged inspirational connections and had a great time as well!"


Elif Baloglu

Senior Global Marketing Manager at American Express || ex. Unilever

"This was such a transformative experience that I will remember forever among such amazing people, in such a beautiful place!"


David Bole

Head of Sector Capacity & Green Economy at the Forestry Commission

SOMOS is like learning a new language. Once you learn it, the way you approach your life, your relationships and your work changes.

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SOMOS is about learning to see ourselves and our lives as a living system

There is a reason why we feel better and think clearer when surrounded by nature. There is a reason why we get that breakthrough idea after going for a run. A deeper human intelligence exists within each of us. What we need is not more over-intellectualised stories and theories, but rather a space to reconnect with ourselves, each other and the natural world. It is only when we engage our emotions, our senses and our whole being in the process of change that we begin to face our shadows and transform our behaviours. 


Let's book a call.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift."

- Albert Einstein

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