If you’re a successful & brave professional navigating
important crossroad this Private Iona Island Retreat helps you
embrace your next chapter by releasing the past 


Imagine … finally being on Iona and looking out over the Atlantic ocean stretching before you, after a glorious pilgrimage across the island. It’s dotted with heather, machair grass, ancient stones, sheep, hairy cows and SUBLIME views from every angle. And how the light dances on the water! You have just followed the well-trodden path 1000’s of pilgrims that have traversed the island before you over decades.

You look around at the dramatic nature surrounding you, re-calling your life and releasing the burdens of the past. You have come to navigate this crossroad and change looking up ahead.


Walk the sacred labyrinth

Standing with Kate at St Columba’s Bay as your witness to your transformation, tapping into the ancient energy of the monk who “didn’t look back” when he started a new life here and founded the Iona Abbey on the island in 563 AD. You can feel your heart has been preparing you for this very moment. The ritual of elegant release. Of finding, clarity, grace and a sense of profound calm.

As the salty breeze swirls around, you notice the long arms of kelp dancing in the rock pools and take in the dramatic Scottish sky stretching above. Close your eyes and take a deep breath of pure air and hear the swooshing of the crystalline water over the multi-coloured pebbles. Will you find a rare Mermaid’s tear on the beach today?

Find your heart

★ Swoosh – it’s time to elegantly release
★ Swoosh  – you can do this
★ Swish – life will only get better by closing this out
★ Swoosh – your exciting next chapter awaits

CUTTING THE THREADS THAT BIND is a gentle yet profound process that releases a euphoric yet calm feeling. Even some salty tears of relief. A palpable lightness washes over you as burdens that are no longer yours to hold onto, slip into the ocean to be washed away.

You feel more like yourself, connected to within, knowing you can sew beautiful new threads together for your next chapter now. Alive with energy & vitality.

After basking in this graceful energy of honouring the past, we turn our backs on the ocean, taking all the gifts and slowly head back across the island for delicious scones, jam and tea!

Is the Sacred Isle of Iona whispering your name on the
wind, enticing you on a personal pilgrimage


The Pilgrimage

You will be so darn proud of who you are, what you have
done in your life and where you find yourself right now! You’ll have made deep peace with your past decisions, dilemmas, and even disappointments. You’ll experience a sense of closure, a profound lightness of being, and truly being able to honour yourself again.

Imagine RELEASING the following:
★ A love relationship that ended
★ A friendship or boss that turned sour
★ A divorce – amicable, messy or both
★ Leaving a country and emigrating
★ An accident or harrowing incident
★ The business you sold or closed
★ A job you hated but can’t stop thinking about
★ A recent retrenchment that’s left you powerless
★ Important chapters in life that recently ended
★ A loved one to grieve and honour fully
★ An important “decade” birthday to acknowledge 

Most of all you want to draw a line in the sand with an outdated version of  YOURSELF  and put a carefully
placed FULL STOP on the past! 

When you are facing changes, reeling from a loss, or up against this current crossroads in your life, you can ease the journey by being intentional in your approach. By actively pausing, seeking the gifts, insights, and blessings of the burdens of the past you have been holding onto….to finally say a heartfelt goodbye and release your energy into the present.

“Kate is masterful at walking you across thresholds and into the lightness and joy of life. It’s her essence!



Joining this retreat on Iona is a calling from your heart. The moment you say yes, the internal shifts start even before you arrive on the island – such is the power of carving out time.

By the time we gather together on Iona, everything will unfold with lightness and joy. Ease and grace.

Imagine greeting yourself NOW and creating the next chapter with clarity.
On this remote island retreat, we tap into the wild power of nature, silence, space, and connection. While everything swirls around “Cutting the Threads that Bind”, the entire purpose is to release love, lightness, and joy into your life again. Remember that when you feel proud and present, EVERYTHING is possible. Walking the sacred labyrinth at Columba’s Bay turbo charges self-compassion and insight that you take back into your life beyond your retreat.

How COMPASSIONATE would it be to trust yourself to make new decisions with clarity?
On Iona, where the “veil between the two worlds is very thin”, we tap into ageless wisdom to connect to your true essence. When you take time to look back at your life with love, pride, gratitude, and a full heart at all you have achieved, been through, and overcome, you enter an enticing new realm and can create this next chapter with energy.

Next, you RE-THREAD your future and life around the roaring fireplace. You’ll step off the island with a suitcase of powerful yet practical tools to navigate life from your inner core and a place of deep, unwavering trust.

How awesome would it be to greet yourself again and feel witnessed in a safe space?
This PRIVATE RETREAT combines conversation and delicious meals, while experiencing your story being witnessed, oodles of quiet downtime plus one-to-one daily connection with Kate. The invitation to stay off social media and e-mail helps you reduce the incessant pull of the outside world.


Gratitude in the fairy glen

You yearn to feel free, present, and lighter! Yes, please.
If you are at a major threshold and not sure how to leave the past behind to start a new chapter, then joining Kate on Iona is
your key. If you have perhaps felt lost, alone, or stuck in pain and
grief from the past with negative cycles on repeat – it’s time to experience the sweet release by CUTTING THE THREADS THAT BIND.

Imagine feeling heart-centered acceptance and GRATITUDE
and experiencing peaceful calm in your heart. A sense of purpose, light and energy in your life again.

There is elegance in closing a chapter so that it fills you with
love and pride, whereby you can leave any pain and burden
of it behind. When you have experienced that – you are then standing fully in the present in the GAP that exists between

You will step off the island with a lightness in your step, renewed vigor and delightful anticipation for your future armed with practical tools to face life challenges as you walk your new path.



This is IONA island

The Sacred Isle of Iona is where the veil between the worlds is said to be very thin! Access to the spirit realm abounds.

A small working croft island, off the South West coast of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland. It is the permanent home to approx. 170 folk. Remote, wild and refreshing. Once experienced, you will always hold the magic of Iona in your heart. A place where Scottish kings are buried, the book of Kells was originally illuminated, Celtic crosses carved and the beaches beckon. It’s a place known as “The Cradle of Christianity’ after St Columba, an Irish monk landed in a small currach on the island in around 563 AD and founded the Iona Abbey.

Iona offers pilgrims and visitors (around 200 000 per annum) a place of community, a respite from the world and a rare chance to pause and reflect on life. A place where visitors cannot bring cars and the only access is by ferry. It’s a place that offers up answers to your profound questions and offers you a way of coming “home” to yourself.



The Green Shed on the North Shore as seen from Dun-I highest point

Depending on what time of you year you book your retreat, this is one of the possible venues Kate books for your retreat. There are other gorgeous hotels in summer, and retreat homes in shoulder season. The sooner you book, the more choice you will have for your retreat.
Based at the northernmost tip of the island, The Green Shed (former Iona Hostel) is a truly special space on the island. Located footsteps away from the beautiful white sand beaches of the North Shore, means you can wake up and have your feet in the sand before your kettle has even boiled. Run with sustainability uppermost in mind, the Green Shed offers a variety of accommodations, both single and twin, that oozes charm, warmth and creativity within its walls.

It is also a working croft and has an award-winning small forest that has been painstakingly planted
by John and volunteers over the past 20 years.

☆  The Sea Room

The large Sea Room is where enjoy our retreat, chatting, eating and circle space. With a glorious long wooden table for communal meals, a fireplace for special rituals, and views to die for. Wander the shore looking for pebbles or take a dip in the crystal water just two minute walk from our front door  – looking out for seals and crabs, dolphins and minke whales, or watch the gannets divebomb the water!

Large windows bring the ever-changing, dramatic view right inside – you can see the Dutchman’s Cap, the Cullins of Skye, Tiree and Coll in the distance and keep an eye on the resident Hebridean black sheep or hairy cows who pop to the window to keep an eye on proceedings.

There are three simple, yet beautifully appointed bedrooms in the Sea Room, either twin or single, all with shared bathrooms.

☆  The Studio and The Snug – PERFECT FOR ONE PERSON!

Delightful self-contained studios under the same roof as The Sea Room, each with its own private entrance, a shower/toilet and kitchen facilities for that early morning cup of tea. These two spaces offer you a little more privacy if that’s what you prefer on retreat.


Sustenance is key and Kate LOVES the celebration of life through food. You will be well nourished with delicious home-prepared meals, and where possible, sourced from the island.

Meals form an important part of our retreat time. Think hearty breakfasts, picnics for our pilgrimage day, and decadent afternoon teas.

Depending on the season, our final evening celebration will be a feast at the local hotel, complete with wine. Think kelp-fed lamb, locally caught fresh fish and delicious vegetarian food from the organic garden.

Please give advanced notice of allergies etc, to ensure island supplies.


The iconic Iona Abbey – for pilgrims from all corners of the earth

Days consist of quiet contemplation alongside connection

We will make the most of the island and the weather alongside your energy and personal needs.

Expect some dedicated silence built into the day, process work with Kate, alone time, and delicious meals for deep connection and heartfelt chats.

This is a retreat after all … which means slowing yourself down and having plenty of time and space to BE.


★  I can’t seem to get a grip and make peace with all the past decisions I have made. I feel unsettled yet stuck at the same time. I’ve willingly made all these massive choices, and also dealt with a few more that have been thrown at me and it’s left me reeling, to be honest.

I need some space to BE, to belly laugh again and find ME!

★  It’s impossible to admit that I’m a tad embarrassed. I don’t have my supposedly successful life “sorted” right now. So much has happened and changed and I’ve just kept going. I haven’t stopped to soak it all in, breathe and catch my breath. I can’t think straight as I seem to be looking backward all the time. I want to feel lighter and look forward now.

★  I should be charging forward with my new life but … I’m a bit stuck. I’m questioning everything I have done in life and it all feels like such a waste to be honest. I keep going round and round reminiscing about my ‘old life’ and scared to make the same mistakes or wrong decisions going forward. What the heck is wrong with me?

★  I’ve lost my ‘vooma’ and feel exhausted and weary! I’m constantly stressed and I’m at the bottom of my own priority list.

★  I burst into tears regularly and have zero patience with anything, even the people and things I love.

★  I just said to my girlfriend this week it feels like I’m split, scattered and confused. Life feels weird and heavy like I’m lugging around a hundred bricks in my bag.

★  I wish to draw a line in the sand and say ENOUGH – the past is the past and it’s time
to look forward! Time to create an awesome next chapter for myself.

Yes, that’s just what I need – I need to greet myself on Iona!


★ 5 nights accommodation, to be advised when booking. This is a seasonal island with limited options in winter
★ 5 nights of soulful retreat process and guidance
★ Home-prepared Scottish fare meals, snacks and refreshments.

★ 5 Dinners, 5 Breakfasts, 5 Teas & 4 Lunches 
★ Final evening celebration feast, wine included
Guided pilgrimage across the island
★ Access and tour of Iona Abbey
★ Surprise experiences included 
★ All materials required while on the island



★ Preparation Session before you arrive – Understand how to best prepare yourself!
★ Integration session– integrate your learnings and shifts once back at home! This takes place within a month of leaving Iona
Further coaching and support sessions can be booked in addition to your retreat. Price upon request

INVESTMENT: Private Retreats start from £3900

Final price is determined by your date and accommodation
A non-refundable deposit of £1000 when booking
Final balance payable two months before the retreat
If booking within 8 weeks of your date, the full amount is payable


Transport to and from Iona Island. Getting here is part of your pilgrimage. READ MORE
Any personal massages/treatments
Wine/alcohol other than final evening celebration
Bicycle hire to explore the island
Any items of a personal nature – exquisite craft shop & local silver jeweler
Personal, medical
or trip cancellation insurance



Cutting the Threads That Bind is a life-shifting, FUN, and soul-revving experience on a tiny, ancient island so powerful that the air tingles with magic. We started by setting our intention about what we’d like to clear and then we got to work. Kate shared tools and practices so amazing that we could actually feel what no longer served us clearing.

We went on a pilgrimage across the entire island and stopped to clear and process along the island’s chakras. (Yes! The island has chakras which is probably why the energy is palpable.) During the pilgrimage, we spoke aloud our intentions in a tiny chapel built in 1100. When I slipped off my shoes and stood on the stone floor, the energy vibrated up my legs. We were doing magical energy work in a truly magically energetic place.

Beyond that, we had the most fabulous meals including dishes like African Peanut Stew, Vietnamese Noodle Salad and so many delicious cakes.

The Green Shed is lovely. My room had its own little kitchen area and bathroom with shower and the most amazing green grass and sea view. A fantastic experience. I would follow Kate Emmerson anywhere. Suzanne Casamento

I have been on many retreats since the start of my enlightenment journey 19 years ago. I have found all of them transformative but THIS retreat surpassed all expectations. Kate is able to to be personally supportive with each member of the group, sharing the tears and the laughter, while holding the sacred space together, a rare gift. I have left feeling lighter, knowing the healing will continue, and that I will keep evolving into the best version of myself. I am overflowing with gratitude. Thank you Kate Xxxx Lesley Emery

Adventure and the wild embrace of nature – couple these with Kate’s kind and expert guidance, and it made Cutting The Threads That Bind a truly expansive experience. Wild swimming was five stars, so was the food. I ate so much. Also a perfect balance of the course and free time. I stayed in the bothy – perfect for a retreat in quiet and to feel the elements. Dory Walker

When I read about Cutting The Threads That Bind, I knew I wanted to go on it- moving on from the past was what I needed to do. I had never been on a retreat before so was not sure what to expect. The retreat involves 4-5 women. I was lucky to meet the other three women on the retreat coming over on the ferry-what a wonderful group. I found the retreat profound and life-changing with opportunities for reflection and spiritual growth. The mixture of group work and time alone and with Kate was perfect. The walk on day 2 as a group was an amazing journey for change, completed – for me – by climbing to the top of the highest hill in Iona and washing my face in the well of ages at the top. The accommodation was very comfortable and warm and the food was delicious and plentiful. The whole experience was well managed and safe – with joy, laughter and tears – and you have to try going into the sea around Iona. Carol Gardiner

This is a retreat with a name that matches and delivers on its objective… And more than that, you are left with a toolkit to ensure that you don’t become entangled in threads again; empty of energy. During my time on stunning Iona, I stayed in the bothy – and can highly recommend it! A beautiful little home, it was warm and comfortable and secluded. Angela Quinn

I can only highly recommend these few days spent on Iona under the skillful care and guidance of Kate – with a mixture of powerful questions and ancient practices we were able to understand and practice cutting negative ties and holding on to our own powerful energy. The retreat was a mix of belly laughs, creativity, vulnerability and tenderness surrounded by a group of amazing women – and I think we all left as our best selves. One month later the lessons learned and shifts achieved continue to impact positively across all aspects of my life. The long journey to and from Iona are bookends to the most brilliant chapter. Iole

On the beautiful Isle of Iona, I experienced Kate’s guiding work of cutting the cords and letting go. At an emotional time in my life, I was able to invest time in myself to do this course with the intention to re-set and re-energize. Wonderful walking, sea swimming, and fun all added to my personal experience and I left Iona positive, and peaceful with new skills for life’s challenges. Thank you, Kate. Susan

I have the tools to centre myself, make decisions that are right for me, and the confidence to know that I can let go of anything that doesn’t serve me, but most importantly recognize and honor my instincts. There was a lot to think about after the structured sessions so free time to reflect, write, sleep, walk or swim gave me the time to process – and have a bit of fun! For my age group, I’d say it was a chance to reclaim your 30s. It was a complete energy refresh at a tough transition in my life with a lot of upheavals personally and societally if we look at the bigger picture. LM

This is what Annabel Heseltine has to share.CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW!

Warmed by the sun, Kate took us through our ‘letting-go’ ceremony and here again, I sought solace in the water, its silkiness curling its way around me, washing away the fears and opening my heart to the recapitulation. Kate’s unique brand of recalibrating the spiritual and emotional being so that women leave her retreat stronger, more resilient, more in tune with themselves, feeling lighter and more complete is cuddled in love and laughter with some serious foodie experiences on the side. Annabel


Kate supports women on the threshold of making courageous leaps and she lovingly guides, supports and nudges you forward. She oozes light, possibility and presence.


She believes in the strategic power of disconnecting from the outside world to journey within to greet your heart. She is known to facilitate effortless and rapid shifts while also embracing the wisdom of patience and divine timing for transformation.

She has a diverse toolbox gleaned from 20 years of coaching, mentoring and facilitating transformational retreats globally. She has been living globally #LocationFree, leaning into her motto of #LiveLightLiveLarge.

Known as South Africa’s clutter expert ensures you will be in professional hands – someone who can see the bigger picture, yet who can also hone into the details of what’s keeping you stuck and stagnant. She embodies a unique combination of patience, compassion, insight, and kindness along with her no-nonsense, stop-mucking about energy and well-aimed heel when needed.

She has shared her life-changing work globally, from Dubai, Italy, Scotland, USA, South Africa, DRC, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Greece, Italy, Spain, Romania, the Czech Republic and more.

Kate is described as a mix of insightful spiritual energy that’s grounded in the real
world of practical
life and business experience.

KATE & IONA: a 20-year affair

Kate worked one summer in the St Columba hotel over 20 years ago and visited another twice within a year. She was so connected to the island that she put it in her will for her ashes be scattered on the North Shore beach one day. She was once again recalled to the island to heal and retreat to Iona in 2020, just after travel opened up to the island after lockdown. She needed to unplug and find JOY, LAUGHTER & LIGHTNESS again.
Read her journey here

She had 3 major transitions and junctions that she wanted to honour. First, saying thank you and goodbye to a beautiful country she no longer called home (South Africa), forgiving and moving on from her ex-partner and finally “recapitulating” her energy from 17 years of running an international coaching business and saying goodbye to the slice of it she had sold off to a client.

She was burnt out, bored, grieving and unsure of her chapter ahead. Her vision for the future had gone awol and through her expertise and life approach, knew she simply had to go to this sacred isle to go within to do the work. She just knew she needed to release and honour the past to STEP INTO THE LIGHT. 

Armed with her professional toolbox and a simple calling in her heart – she ventured to the Iona to
sit quietly, go within and do the heart and soul work.

To bring closure to a chapter
To clear out the debris lurking in her heart
Feel peace and a sense of absolute perfection in timing
Look for the gifts insights and blessings of the past
To feel so darn proud of her life
No longer feeling small and uncertain
To summon the courage to create her next delicious chapter

She has walked that road before you and understands the highs, the lows, and the depth of the work required to get the burst of energy as a result.
It is these same powerful processes she will share with you on this retreat.

Iona Calling 

By Jenny Grant

The wind burling and whirling,

tugging and pulling at the heart;

The mermaids sing,

Pulling you in;

The faeries raise their arms

swirling magical charms,

Luring you in.

A longing so broad burrows within –

Deep, Deep in your heart, your soul,

your very fibred being.

Calling, Calling,

Calling you in –

until the feet touch lightly on hallowed ground

which greets you;

Hello old friend.

A hug

and the storm subsides,


washes in with the Tides.



A non-refundable deposit of £1000 secures your place, once we have established your  Retreat Date
If the retreat is canceled by the organizer due to Covid or another emergency,
there will be another retreat date offered.

The balance of payment is due one months before each retreat.

You are strongly advised to take up trip, cancellation and medical insurance

Please note the following cancellation terms:

➜ Up to 90 days before the start date of the retreat, 50% of the full fee paid
(LESS THE NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT) will be reimbursed within 14 days

➜ 60-90 days before the start of the retreat, 25% of the full fee paid
(LESS THE NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT) will be reimbursed within 14 days

➜ 0-60 days before the start of the retreat, 0% of the full fee paid will be reimbursed


★ Iona seems remote:
That is EXACTLY why it’s the perfect place for this retreat. Getting here has a few elements to it
that just require time and patience. It is also the most scenic trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh.
First, you get yourself to Oban, West Coast Scotland. A great place to spend a night!
Hop on the 45-minute Ferry to Mull.
Next, a 75-minute drive (with connecting buses to some ferries) across Mull
Then a 10-minute ferry across the Sound of Iona.
Lastly, a beautiful 20-minute walk to stretch your legs, open your heart and greet the island!
Kate will greet you at the ferry when you arrive and get you settled into your “home”
Approach the journey as PART of your retreat pilgrimage.

★ I’ve never done this kind of work before:
Kate is an expert at supporting and guiding diverse people through 30 years of retreat
work since her mid 20’s. She combines her practical energy and vast life and business savvy
with down-to-earth tools and techniques that simply work. While you can expect deep
transformational work, you can also rest assured it’s not too wild and woo-woo. Kate operates
between the space of grounded energy and spiritual insight. There will be a mix of alone and
connect time so that while you get the connection needed to support your work, you also have
plenty of alone time to process it all and be still. You are in total charge of what you choose to participate in!

★ What if I book and have to cancel?
Please see the full cancellation policy above.


or mail her directly on kate@kate-emmerson.com