Clearing the way: a three-day retreat

5th-8th June, 2017 - Firle, Sussex

"How can we bring total clarity to our work and lives, so that everything becomes natural, creative and free?"


Three days in the downs with Charles Davies and Max St John, learning to be who you are and do the work that's yours, in effortless collaboration.

We are all lost geniuses, waiting to rediscover ourselves.

We're born with an intuitive sense of what we need, and no fear of asking for it.

Born with a natural, unbounded creativity and no fear of expressing it. 

With unconditional compassion, kindness and peace whenever we need it. 

But as we grow, we lose ourselves in the shoulds and oughts of parents, teachers and bosses.

Underneath the striving and busy-ness, we are still capable of total clarity and infinite creativity.

With the right tools and a little practice we can tap into this whenever we like.

We can find the answers we need, the peace we seek and the compelling ideas that the world needs.

Spend three days with Charles and Max to find the tap and turn it on.


Over three days we'll dive into the fundamentals of the creative process, discovering how play, the body and the mind can work beautifully together.

We'll cover everything you need to develop effortless collaboration and beautiful work:

Very Clear Ideas - how to be very clear about your ideas, to stand fully in your own creative authorship, and to articulate your deepest needs.

Identity Yoga - how to unlock every part of your identity so that you are the perfect creative instrument for every situation you can ever find yourself in.

Initiative Mapping: how to understand natural collaboration and the workings of any initiative, from large organisations to projects with friends, so maximum creativity flows.

We'll be practicing empathy and connection, learning how to create compassion for self and others through working with Needs.  

We'll be creating inner space and quiet, getting into our bodies through the ancient arts of Qi-Gong and Nei-Gong.

We'll be learning how to play again, to be free from any of the rules of life with the equally ancient Way of the Fool.

And more.


You're seeking clarity.

Like all of us, you know that you're full of superstitions and craziness that gets in the way of all the good stuff happening.

You want to clear the way for all of that good stuff to come, totally unimpeded.

We'll show you the tools and methods to:

  • Clearly articulate your most compelling ideas and help others do the same.
  • Develop collaborative working relationships that meet everyone's needs.
  • Play with your sense of identity so you can show up however you want.
  • Tap into and resolve the source of any stuckness or difficulty in seconds.

If you think this might be for you, but you want to understand more, get in touch with Max ( or Charles (


Arrive: 3pm Monday 5th June, 2017

Leave: 3pm Thursday 8th June, 2017


Tilton House is a beautiful retreat centre and manor house set in the South Downs National Park, just 30 minutes from Brighton.

Surrounded by the rolling hills and miles of walking trails, the house is a historic home with gardens, fire pit, cosy spots to retreat to and a 28ft yurt where we'll be learning together.

There are seven luxurious bedrooms where Picasso, Virginia Woolf, and John Maynard-Keynes have all visited.

All food is provided, cooked by the owners - all vegetarian, seasonal and local where at all possible.

How much

There are 12 spaces available - either residential or day visitor. 

Residential spaces: £950

Non-residential spaces: £800

If you can't afford the full fee, or need to spread the cost, just get in touch with

Residential spaces include three nights full board (breakfast, two-course lunch and two-course dinner), sharing a twin or triple room.

Day visitor spaces include a two-course lunch and dinner on request (£30 supplement) if you'd like to stay on.

Both spaces cover all training and materials over the three days.

About your hosts


Charles Davies is the creator of Very Clear Ideas and author of ‘I thought I was on the way to work, but I was on the way home’, a new version of Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching. Former Features Editor of The Face magazine, Charles has taught at business schools across Europe, toured Arctic Norway as a stand-up comic and once wrote lyrics for a platinum selling Russian pop group. He lives in Northern Ireland and offers coaching by Skype to anyone who’d like to be clearer:

You can read his writing at:

Max St John is the founder of Wild Things in Brighton and author of ‘The Needs Work’, a book about empathy and collaboration. Former MD of Brighton digital agency NixonMcInnes, Max is trained in The Art of Hosting and Non-Violent Communication. He is just taking his first steps towards establishing a democratic primary school in Brighton.

You can read his writing at: