Author: Louise from France

“Healing castle”. These two simple words, which perfectly describe the place (I will come back to that later on), are the reason why I am, now, sitting in the living-room of a 15th-century castle, situated in the middle of the Saxony-Anhalt state, East Germany. Actually, these two words have nothing to do with the reason why I felt drawn to this place, but I didn’t know that back then. I had to experience the place to figure out what had attracted me here.
If the words “yoga”, “meditation”, “self-discipline” or “self-growth” sound intriguing, attractive or simply mysterious to you, it means that you need a change in your life, but you are either too scared to realize it or too scared to take the leap on your own. Well, at least this was true for me and I can only speak about myself. And I feel the need to give you a little glimpse of my experience, to tell you the story of what I have discovered here. I will, nonetheless, attempt to leave some mystery to this place – which is not so difficult since there is always something new to discover – and, hopefully, make you intrigued enough to come and see by yourself.
The first thing this place teaches you is to never rely on appearances. Go beyond the surface, be curious, be open, scratch the apparent roughness of the place and you will find the real treasure waiting to be taken. The first days – let’s say the first three days – are the most crucial, decisive but also important. Your strength, both physical and mental, your determination are put to a severe test. And the one question that will keep running through your mind and haunt you night and day is: “Should I stay or should I run away?” Now, the second option is totally understandable and believe me, even the strongest-minded person thought about it. But remember, this is your head speaking, not your soul. Deep down, hidden in a lost corner of your soul, there is a feeling that there is more to this place than just the coldness of the12919844_1308678009148167_6078630343227172100_n stones surrounding you, the early rising while it is still dark outside, the hard work without breaks or the frankness and outspokenness of Vulcano Ingrid (I found this analogy in a workaway comment and couldn’t think of anything better to describe her!). Be strong, don’t think too much, be like water running peacefully under the bridge, not minding the obstacles to finally reach the endless sea of knowledge.
I found support there and met many great people from all around the world. I learnt how to adapt to the changes that were thrown on my way and let go of the worries and fears that were tormenting me – though I am still and will probably always be working on this. I made new friends and felt safe to rely on them when I needed to. Ingrid is such a strange specimen that I don’t even know where to start. Since opinions and ideas are so personal and different from one person to another, I will just let you make your own. And, as for Jim, if, like me you love British people, you can only fancy him !
I come out of this experience as a new person. A confident, empowered, strong woman. I still have a long way to go but this place has set me on the right path. It has shown me what I didn’t want to see. It has taught me that I am the only person who has the power to change my life. I
create my own reality, my thoughts shape the world I am living in and it only depends on me whether I see the glass half full or half empty. So believe in yourself, listen to your feelings, acknowledge them instead of putting them in a box. Don’t give up at the first hurdle. And remember, every cloud has a silver lining!