Workshops and retreats offer a unique combination of natured based experiences combined with a self-reflective theme. They draw on the use of poetry to give focus, drawing and group sharing to help frim up the path ahead, by spending time in nature, with forest and river, a place to find a slower rhythm of being, as they refresh, revitalise and ground us.

Michael has a facilitation style that supports the individual to find their own questions and answers, that draws upon such things as the insights gained from your own drawing (as simple as crayon on paper – reflections, not art works), the wisdom found in poetry and story, along with workshop exercises, journaling and the interaction with others and nature.

There are several options for accommodation for workshops and retreats longer than a day. We can offer individual bedrooms in the farm cottage, house, as well as a house bus. Otherwise there are several B&B options close by. Or you can lower the fee cost and camp in your own tent.
See 2020 offerings below.

Into your own unfolding

What will be your unfolding in 2020 that deserves the most attention? Is it work, relationships, improving wellbeing? Does something call you, is the path ahead clear, can you see your way marks, what will sustain you, what will hinder?
You are invited into a circle of friendship to reflect and explore these or other questions you hold.
We live busy, full and often cluttered lives. Finding enough time to take time out to reflect on where we are at and where we’d like to be is not easy. Often, we are giving to others but not to ourselves. The weekend retreat is short enough to hopefully allow those in our lives we support to manage without us while we restore and re-energise ourselves and our path ahead.
By using some time in nature and inspirational poetry I offer participants a quick as possible entry into that quiet space were reflection and direction are to be found.

me into the unfolding photo by gaye

March 2020 – Carterton Wairarapa. Arrive early on Friday evening – 20th
Depart Sunday 2.00pm – 22nd (train pick up and return on the Sunday option).
October 2020 – Carterton Wairarapa Labour weekend. Arrive Saturday 24th late afternoon Depart Monday 26th 2.00pm.

“I attended this retreat not really searching for answers but for connection. But in connecting back to my source, to nature, I found both questions and answers I will be dwelling on for a long time to come. I left feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and nurtured. Thank you, Michael.” (Conor)

  • A facilitated weekend that draws on several metaphors from the natural world, a facilitation practice that includes drawing (as simple as crayon on paper), poetry from the wise, some universal learnings, meditative walking in the stunning Mount Holdsworth area.
  • Single room accommodation at our rural property is included in the fee. (four rooms, 3 are queen – ideal for couples).

Fee $295.00.

You can camp in your own tent on the farm if you prefer. (Workshop fee is $250) There are also a number of B&B options nearby. (fee also reduced to $250).

All meals included regardless of accommodation choice.

Optional: Bring your swimming gear for a dip in the river. (subject to river and weather conditions)

Who is this retreat for?

  • You will be seeking some time out from your everyday, from the distractions that can easily fill the quiet moments of our lives.
  • Keen to discover or re-confirm the people, the things in your life that support you, give you both strength and purpose. Identify what counts and what may not as you continue on your life’s unfolding.
  • Be open to the sharing and learning within this weekend retreat community,
  • You may want to nourish your soul. Take time out of the fast currents of your life, and join us in this quiet spot, to sustain, refresh and renew.
  • You will want to rewild yourself a little, by spending time out in nature and letting your river run through you.

Retreat is limited a max of ten adults. But will run with 4-10 people. Secure you place with a refundable $50 deposit.Refundable with a cancellation notice of 14 days or more. For more details. Email facilitator Michael Woodcock


Being Pākehā – of Place and Promise

Being Pākehā is both a call to action and a gift. The gift is as Professor Lydia Wevers says “It’s a belonging word—you can only be Pākehā in New Zealand, you can’t be Pākehā in Sydney, or in Paris, or in London—you’re only a Pākehā in this place, in this culture, in this landscape. And you can only be a Pākehā in relation to Māori.” A name not invented by Pākehā but given to them.
The call to action is two things.
One is to reconnect with the sacred in this place and this time. As Juliet Batten puts it. “When as Pākehā we claim our sacred place, our spiritual connection with the land, we enter into partnership with both the land and its people, recognising and honouring the heritage of Māori without seeking to appropriate.”

From this place of sacred connection, we must honour the Treaty of Waitangi and our Pākehā ancestor’s commitment to the promise of two peoples living in one land, to appreciate and not appropriate.

Are you ready to commit to it?


To be a Good Ancestor – 1


Human beings are a legacy leaving species. Once, that was as benign as stone circles, buildings and monuments. But since the Industrial Revolution we have been creating a legacy from nuclear waste, through to the sixth mass extinction and now a climate crisis that threatens all.
How do we achieve what Joanna Macy calls the great turning, how do we as individuals collectively leave a legacy of being a good ancestor to those who follow us?

At Live Like the River Flows we believe that until we reconnect with the sacredness of the world we live in, and rediscover our spiritual oneness with it, we will fall short. To halt the worst of the climate crisis we need with urgency to replace that ache inside us that has the globe obsessed with consumption and the economy, with a much slower sacred rhythm of connection and sustainability.

This workshop will either help sustain your current journey if you are on the path and if not, to step out boldly onto it.

Following the success of the first workshop in November 2019, the 2020 dates will be offered soon.



Stay in touch for regular workshop updates.