It was a horrible Christmas. It was a great Christmas.

I’d been looking forward to it for weeks. My young adult twin sons were coming home on Christmas Eve. And some old friends of ours were coming to stay with their 3 younger children. Our preparation was thorough: a beautiful Christmas tree, abundant food and drink, Christmas stockings full of presents. And the best December snowfall for years in our French Alpine village – promising great skiing. The forecast for Christmas Day was 100% sunshine.

Such good fortune.

And then the norovirus struck.

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Guest blog by Stephen Burt

Executive coach, speaker, teacher and facilitator

The words “vegan mindfulness retreat” sent a chill through my heart: summoning images of cold, Spartan cells, raw tofu and severe gurus. I owned up to this to my host and guide, Sally-Anne Airey of Alps Retreats when I spent five fabulous days in the French Alps recently, adding that I had found the experience in no way justified my fears.

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Do you ever feel you’ve got so much to do you don’t know where to begin? Have you ever thrown yourself into something important only to get stuck? Have you ever been frozen by fear of failure?

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