Skyros, Greece

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Thursday, 9 June 2011

That's Skyros For You, by Catherine Thompson

The skin has just about finished peeling off the end of my nose (not the most fetching look) having just returned from running my coaching programme in Skyros Centre.

Skyros has been the back drop of significant transformation for me over the last decade. I first turned up at Atsitsa a successful business woman but manic single parent, looking for a bloke.

I had procrastinated prior to booking because whilst I spouted the language of spirituality, I was a corporate-type, tree hugging, channelling angels and other such acts of the mystic were well out my spectrum of experience and comfort zone. However the lure of the Island, Skyros' down to earth approach and the prospect of more evolved potential suitors got me booked.

As it was to transpire, I was guided to Skyros to meet a man but it was not for courtship purposes. In between predating, I attended Malcolm Sterns Courage to Change workshop, most unexpectedly, I found myself screaming like a banshee as he held me with his incredible gaze, representing every man that had ever hurt or betrayed me.

Shy, did not begin to describe how I felt after that experience (I was certainly very furtive around the breakfast buffet) but I felt like I had gobbed up the most enormous psychological fur ball.

Several years later, after a lot of soul searching and a new husband (woohoo,) I was thrilled to be invited back as a facilitator.

Skyros draws to it the most eclectic mix of people. This time would be Writers, Chief Executives, Singles, International Marketers and those of more a mature disposition were all represented. Amongst us was a rare gem called Maya.

Maya is one of those delightful creatures of indeterminate age, with a twinkle in her eye that suggests a life fully and richly lived. Everyday this wonderful, irrepressible Lady would turn up clutching her beloved bottle of Retsina (before you have her down as a lush she is a modest tippler) and just lift us all with the sheer force of her positivity and childlike delight at all she sampled and surveyed.

One morning at Demos (our breakfast meeting) Amanda Smyth our course director and successful author, read this moving story of a man who sold up and travelled the world, unsuccessfully, in search of diamonds, only to die broken and abject. When on the very land he had left behind diamonds were discovered.

Just before a very emotional goodbye after a deeply rewarding week of kinship and endeavour the sun caught the sequins sewn on to Maya’s skirt and all around light sparkled on the floor like diamonds.

That’s Skyros for you..

For more information about Skyros Holidays visit or call 01983 86 55 66

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