Though I often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.
-Paula McLain, The Paris Wife
Paris awakens your senses on every street corner, cobblestone lane and park bench – beauty is in the DNA of everything you eat, do and see. When immersed in this beauty as a temporary Parisian, it’s impossible not to catch a glimpse of the same beauty within yourself. And, while there are hundreds of lovely museums and tourist sites to be visited, the real delight is in connecting with authentic, inviting experiences and people who will engage your heart, soul and senses. By doing so, you may shine a bit brighter… and fall back in love with yourself.
Join Rachel Ford and Nicole Marie on a magical week in France where we rebirth your authentic self through an exploration of the senses. Your Souldust Guides will lead you on a creative, intuitive journey that includes workshops, movement & meditation, and unique cultural experiences and excursions.
The call to Paris…
Have you ever had a moment where you felt fully alive, all of your senses wide awake? Maybe you were aware of the scent and feel of a breeze passing through, its touch on your skin. Or you tasted the most amazing food ever, in an ambiance that amplified the moment… whether it was ribs + country music + the floor shaking with line dancers, or a perfect 5-star meal + candlelight + delicate violins playing.
Were these moments fleeting? You know what this feels like, but maybe you’ve also had more moments lately where you:
- Drove from point to point without remembering how you got to there?
- Arrived at the office when it was dark, and it was dark when you left … you were indoors and never saw the sun, breathed fresh air?
- Scarfed food down mindlessly while on the go, or in front of the television or computer?
Sound familiar? As humans, we are blessed with our senses, but often we sleepwalk through the world without using them. Maybe we take them out on special occasions, or they drop in for a surprise visit once in a great while. We are numbed by the daily grind, of being a parent, an employee, a wife, an everything. Even on vacation, we can get caught up in the itinerary, the lines, wrangling the family, the relentless pursuit of moving forward.
What would it take for you to experience life vividly every day?
To be swept away by music, inspired by beauty, appreciate the soil beneath your feet, have a moment where you were transported by a scent or song to another place and time?
Souldust Paris is for the woman who craves a rebirth, who wants to…
- Pause, hit the reset button and clear off the grime of everyday life
- Feel wide-open sensory awareness again, and remember how to access and all six (yes, six) senses every moment, every day.
- Rediscover herself, and learn practices and sacred rituals to integrate sensory awareness and bring it back home into daily life, as a form of self-care and self-love
If you yearn to come back to yourself, then Souldust Paris is an invitation for you….
What you will experience in this week-long sensory feast…
Each day, we approach a different sense – touch, taste, sight, sound, smell, AND intuition – wide-eyed and curious. The days include energetic and creative practices to call upon the sense, surrounded by local experiences to then fully engage with the senses.
On Day 1, We arrive at our 19th century 10-bedroom French chateau on the outskirts of Paris, where you will be greeted with a glass of champagne and your goodie bag for the week. We settle into our private rooms overlooking the grounds, explore the house, and relax after our travels.
On this first evening, we get acquainted over a hosted welcome dinner at the local auberge, walking distance from the Chateau. After dinner, we engage as a group in a connecting, grounding ceremony and begin our journey of the senses with Touch through art and basic self-care practices for the week.
Day 2 opens with a guided silent meditation walk in the three acres of forest surrounding the Chateau, where we attune our senses, followed by a continental breakfast. After breakfast is a daily mantra and creative journal practice, before moving into the Sense of the day. Day 2 is the sense of Taste, a natural choice for a country renowned for its food.
We take the train into Paris and join Alisa of Sweet Pea Paris, an aficionado of the senses, on a guided tasting tour of markets and shops, beginning in the Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood. We will walk, talk, learn and taste a bit, as we meet shopkeepers, fish and cheese mongers, and shop for artisanal cheeses, breads, charcuterie and more. Our walk will culminate in a gorgeous wine cellar, for a private picnic of everything we’ve gathered. There is time to get acquainted with the city on your own, and then we wrap up the evening with a night cruise on the river Seine, a relaxing and beautiful introduction all of the major sights situated along the river, brilliant lit up for the evening.
Day 3 is about Sight, so after our meditation walk, breakfast and creative practice, we venture out to nearby Chateau de Versailles for the day. Versailles is vast and breathtaking, sitting on over 2,000 acres, 230 acres of which are immaculate gardens, tree-lined pathways, hidden courtyards, and numerous fountains and waterways.
The Palace and other buildings scattered throughout the property are numerous and unique, including the estate of the charismatic queen Marie Antoinette. We will spend a good portion of the day at Versailles, including lunch, a group activity and free time to wander about and take in the sights. Dinner that evening will be back at a restaurant near our residence.
On Wednesday, Day 4, we head back into Paris for more adventures in the street. We start our outing on a guided tour with the hilarious Edith, a Parisian native who knows everything about everything Paris. The focus of the day is Sound, so Edith will share with us haunts and stories of well-known women of Paris, women who lived and spoke their truth in vibrant, memorable ways.
The afternoon is open, then we regroup for an evening of classical music in the amazing Saint-Chappelle, a 13th-century Gothic cathedral erected by King Louis IX to house the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the Cross. The intimate setting is reminiscent of how the cathedral has been experienced for centuries, played near dusk in the vaulted upper chapel — originally only for the King and his friends — surrounded by soaring stained glass windows.
Day 5 is our third and final day visiting the inner arrondissements of Paris. The theme of the day is Scent, so we tackle on one of the products Paris is famous for – its perfume. In a private perfume workshop, we are initiated into the world of perfume composition, learning about perfume bases and components, and then practice making our own scent.
After mixing your perfume, you are off on your own for sightseeing and shopping. Or maybe you will simply park yourself at a sidewalk cafe and spend time sipping coffee and people-watching? We regroup in the evening for a multi-course meal with wine pairings at an mouth-watering Parisian restaurant, where we can immerse ourselves in and truly appreciate the experience with all of the senses – the smell, sight and taste of the lovingly prepared food, the feel of it in our mouths, and the sound of good company.
On Day 6, we go beyond the five senses into the realm of the sixth, Intuition. Intuition is often considered out of the ordinary when, in fact, it is simply another sense… albeit often sadly underutilized. After morning practice to explore the use of intuition in supporting engagement of the senses, we journey to the Chartres Cathedral, medieval church and sacred destination famed for its ancient floor labyrinth, walked by monks and pilgrims since 1205.
Our last day full together wraps with evening celebration and ceremony, under the New Moon — a time of new beginnings — where we commit to this rebirth, to the self-care sensory practices we’ve established during our time together.
Day 7 will close with a final visit to the forest, breakfast, and a last gathering for hugs and good-byes before we head out, whether to the airport or other travel destinations.
Please note that Paris is a city for walking, we will often take to the streets for the activities of our day and will typically only take the train for longer-distance jaunts. While we will not be walking marathon distances, we do ask that you consider your ability to spend a fair amount of time on your feet before registering.
More about the Chateau
We will spend our time together in a gorgeous private Chateau, located on the outskirts of Paris near the Palace of Versailles, nestled on 3 private acres filled with centuries-old trees and bordered by a river and lake. Built in 1825, this historical mansion was meticulously restored in 2007 by a world-renowned interior designer. Every guest will have a gorgeous private or shared bedroom, some with private baths. Access to Paris is via a quick tram ride into the Saint-Germain neighborhood, giving us the best of both worlds — adventure by day in the vibrant city of Paris and elsewhere, relaxation in the morning and evenings in a spacious, calming home and grounds.
The room options include:
- Deluxe – either the Royal Suite (the fanciest digs in the house – shares a large bath) or King with private bath.
- Private – there are 5 private queen or king bedrooms, which share a bath with 1-2 other guests. One has a private bath (first come, first served)
- Shared – there are 2 bedrooms with twin beds, for the more budget-conscious. These also share a bath with 1-2 other guests.
More about the cuisine…
Paris is a city renowned for its amazing restaurants and bistros, open-air street markets filled with fresh produce and local goods, and exquisite specialty shops including patisseries, chocolatiers, fromageries (cheese!) and more. We will experience all of these delights in our week-long retreat, through tastings, tours, and simply wandering the streets where delicious food can be found on every corner.
We will host you for two sumptuous meals, as well as make arrangements for a variety of other dining experiences throughout the city — both authentic French rustic and nouveau cuisine, but also food from other cultures that have joined the melting pot of Paris.
All the included goodies
- 7 days, 6 nights private accommodations, with private or shared bath
- Daily traditional French continental breakfast
- First night welcome cocktail reception + dinner
- Final night gourmet multi-course dinner celebration, with wine pairings
- Daily sensory awakening workshops and activities led by your Guides
- Daily explorations + outings, such as a cruise, night concert and an adventure outside of Paris city limits
- Authentic Parisian activities such as a market tour and perfume making
- Transportation, guide, and entrance fees for planned excursions
- 5-day subway pass, for use during our outings + your own adventures
- 4-day Paris museum pass, for use during our outings + your own adventures
- Group transfer from and to CDG airport (on a fixed schedule)
- Invitation to a private Facebook group to connect before & after our time together
Note: Itinerary and activities are subject to change due to availability or other circumstances.
- Airfare or other transportation to/from Paris
- Trip insurance (recommended)
- Transportation from airport to residence if you are unable to make the group transfers
- Transportation outside of retreat activities (other than subway pass)
- Lunches and dinners, other than first & last night
- Tips for services