Creating Your Legacy

A modular retreat for people emerging from roles that are defined for us, at work or at home, to become a freer and fuller expression of who we truly are.

Is the life I am living true to the life in me?

Throughout our working lives it can be a challenge to remain in touch with who we really are – the person who exists beyond our predefined roles at work and at home.

We then reach a stage where we begin to glimpse the horizon beyond these roles.  A new space which invites us to connect with our deeper identity.  ‘What do I really want my life to be about?’

By taking time to deeply understand ourselves and embrace this mature phase of life we can make much clearer, more fulfilling choices about how we spend these years and bring our active wisdom to the world.

Who is this for?

This retreat is for people who are transitioning to a new phase of their life in which they are no longer ‘driven’ by the pressure of work or family in the same way: 

  • Entering the final phase of your career?
  • Thinking about our legacy, what to give back?
  • Children leaving home?
  • Considering handing on your business? 
  • Feeling a bit stale or trapped at work and looking for more fulfilment?
  • Facing into the prospect of the retirement years…which for this generation will be twice as long as our parents. 
  • Developing a new appreciation of the experience and wisdom you have to offer to the world?
People sometimes liken this stage of life to a kind of second teens – a time of creativity, freedom and self-discovery, but without the angst!

However this transition can also be a daunting prospect, and certain factors can make us fearful of the change.  We might struggle with a lack of structure, fear a loss of social or professional status, or face into expectations of retirement that `re deeply unfulfilling.  It is also a time when spiritual, moral and philosophical questions start to grow in importance for us.

Perhaps you’re heading into a retirement that you don’t want, or seeking a new sense of purpose s your children move away.  With the confidence and courage to embrace the deeper wisdom that life has given us, this phase can be more rewarding and fulfilling than we might have thought possible – opening up new, exciting, and stimulating ways to live in the world.


Sometimes it can be necessary to get away from it all to discover who we really are.

The modules are held in the beautiful and peaceful surrounds of  Waverley Abbey House in Farnham.

Our retreats are designed to create an environment conducive to inner development, where deeper reflection and self exploration are possible away from the intrusion of daily life.


By providing a unique space in which to focus, our clients can achieve a greater depth of insight that is not available in traditional development.  People are consistently amazed at the clarity, confidence and inner strength that they discover through the process.

We adopt an integral approach that gives equal importance to all aspects of your life: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, relational and intentional.  Often, for a variety of reasons, people have neglected or underplayed one of these aspects within their life so far.  By aligning these deeper value systems, we can begin to unlock new ways of fulfilling our place in the world.

What happens on the programme?

The programme comprised an opening 3-day retreat set in the beautiful surroundings of Waverley Abbey House in Surrey.  This is followed by two 1-day follow-up retreats, 4 months and 12 months later.  The dates for these follow ups will be arranged in consultation with attendees.

On the retreats you will work with a small group of 6-8 people, all facing similar transitions.  through a mix of practical exercises and activities you will discover new ways of thinking about the questions you face, gaining the skills to help you maintain a sense of perspective and self-identity going forward.  By working within these small groups, you will develop a sense of closeness and community that will offer new perspectives and growth opportunities as you move through this exciting journey together.

Supported by highly experienced coaches you will have a completely free, unconditional space to explore where you are in life right now and identify real possibilities for the future.  It is your journey, and we want to create a space in which you feel comfortable enough to tackle practical, vocational, spiritual and emotional questions with honesty and balance.

During the initial retreat you will explore what you really want from the next phase of life, and create a personal programme that will enable you to start living and working in this way.  The practices and disciplines you learn will help you stay focused and centred, allowing you to tune in to your deeper self.  In doing so, you will begin to identify the values that truly motivate you, distinguish them from the conditioned habits and responses that obscure your core personality,  and create a new set of aspirations and intentions for your life to come.

The follow-up retreats will enable you to reflect and learn as you work with these new intentions – allowing you to monitor your progress and refine or reaffirm your objectives.

What do we cover?

Although the content of this course is deeply serious, our approach is lively and refreshing with a great mixture of experiential learning, reflection, practical planning, skills development, creative self-expression, physical activities and relaxed, social evenings.

The opening retreat provides a vibrant and creative space in which to think deeply about what you really want from the next stage of your life.


In the initial retreat you will:

  • Pause and assess where you are right now in an open, honest way - your successes, things to treasure, your sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Reflect on some of the patterns in your life up until now, and how they are manifested in behaviours and relationships.  Which serve you well, and which do not?
  • Face openly and constructively into experiences or relationships that you may be finding quite challenging right now.
  • Attune yourself to what really energises and fulfils you.
  • Learn how to be more choiceful in relation to events, people and time, so that you are taking charge of your reality.
  • Explore radically and creatively the options available as you look ahead to the future.
  • Develop your capacity to take risks - whether in your personal relationships, or your life's general direction.
  • Experiment with new techniques and resources for living a more enjoyable, conscious and fulfilling existence.
  • Leave with a personal programme to begin the process of transitioning into the new world you want to inhabit.

Your personal programme will include practical tips to help you manage your energy and time, as well as self-observation techniques to monitor your progress and strengthen your resilience.


As you pursue this programme between retreats you will be encouraged to keep a reflective log of your progress.  There is also the option of face-to-face or telephone coaching from the Waverley team.

The follow-up one day retreats provide space for you to share and assess your progress as you step into the new options and approaches that you have identified.


In our follow up retreats you will:

  • Review your progress and extract fresh insights from the experience of making new choices, taking risks and living in a different way.
  • Discover and develop the 'rhythm' in your life that is most productive for you.
  • Foster a new understanding around the nature of time and the 'saesonality' of life - how different times require different things of us.
  • Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and blind spots in your ongoing development.
  • Evolve and strengthen core virtues such as patience, integrity, compassion, courage and wisdom.
  • Refine and renew your plans for the future and reinforce your life planning skills.
  • Receive more practical tools and tips for sustaining your focus, so that you can become your own coach going forwards.

Programme Leaders

This programme is run by Chris Blakeley and Karen Stefanyszyn, both Directors of Waverley Learning.  Chris and Karen have been coaching individual leaders and facilitating leadership retreats for over 20 years, helping people find their best selves in times of deep change and uncertainty.  Formerly Head of Leadership and Culture at Aviva, Karen is an accredited integral coach and mindfulness practitioner.  Chris is the founder of Waverley Learning and has run senior leadership programmes for leading organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors.  He is a trained coach and counsellor, and also lay monk and spiritual director.

This programme has a maximum of 8 places, ensuring that all attendees get time for high quality dialogue and have access to 1:1 coaching as and when needed with Chris & Karen.

"My challenge was creating a sustainable business not dependent on me - and a fulfilling life for me not dependent on my business."


CEO ,Mid-sized Law Business

"Inspiring and creative.  I have come away with a new sense of optimism and renewed self-confidence.


Director, Service Business

"...a challenging and thought provoking experience that inspired a different way of being - on many levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  The spirit created among the participants was immensely powerful building deep trust and belief."


HR Director, Financial Services Business

"A uniquely challenging and creative programme with a deep care and concern for the person which I have found extremely valuable and enlightening."


Senior Church Leader

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