I don't always republish my work from magazines, but in this case I am making an exception. I first met Fiona Arrigo last January on a cold winter's afternoon in London. And, in all honesty, my life hasn't been the same since - it has been better! She softly peeled away the tough outer layers in the gentlest way possible, leaving me honest and open, but never vulnerable. She resonates deeply and her profound wisdom is mesmerising.
This article first appeared in Asia Spa magazine
Although therapeutically trained, Arrigo is more a muse or wise woman and her work has a very strong philosophical inquiry. “I invite clients to contemplate and consider. It’s not mindfulness nor psychotherapy, but a very different flavour.”
I was scheduled for a 3-hour mind cleanse. I was intrigued. How can my monkey mind be ‘cleansed’ in just 3 hours? “This particular programme was developed not so much from the perspective of a mind cleanse as we know it now, but more from the angle of being given time to process, to assess – time being the commodity of the 21st century,” she explains. “We don’t have enough of it and I found that when people came to me for a typical 60-90-minute session, there so much pressure and demands on their life that even stringing thoughts together was difficult. So by giving a body of time, where there is no rush, where you have time to receive, time to be, time to process and hear your own wisdom; often they will reach a relationship with their mind and their consciousness. Three hours and you are cured, it is not! I go with the flow of what is happening rather than feeling we need to use every second. If you are ‘cooked’ in 2 hours, then we don’t stretch it out.” But when are we ‘cooked’? “You just know when it’s complete,” she replies, smiling.
Arrigo is a qualified psychotherapist and biodynamic psychologist with a deep passion for ancient philosophies and teachings. “I was born with an inquiry and have been on my own journey since I was 30,” she clarifies. Travelling through adversity during childhood and early adulthood, having to relearn to walk and pretty much live again after 2 serious car accidents, she met some phenomenal teachers along the way.
Arrigo has the gift of insight and clarity and her work is gentle yet profound and life changing for those willing to allow change. Combining ancient healing practices with contemporary scientifically grounded research, The Arrigo Programme is increasingly being recognised as a necessity for our changing times. “I’m passionate about this philosophical inquiry into where we sit in the world and how we interrelate and I absolutely believe that the body is the healer for the mind. There is a beauty in honouring and listening to your body and being that nourishes you at the core.”
She references that woman ‘sitting gracefully at end of infinity pool sipping her green juice,’ adamant that “this state of grace is a misrepresentation, as most of us have real lives – a partner, a job, and children and it’s through finding some equilibrium between these aspects, through your own power of investigation, that you become a better human being. It’s this discipline of taking yourself seriously and finding the time to do it that becomes your anthropological journey of finding you. We have all detoxed and retooled, now life is calling us at a much deeper level we need to take the preciousness of life more seriously. As women we need to foster and cultivate the depth of our female wisdom –aspects like the wise woman, the giver and nurturer. She is the healer, the inclusive one who can bind life in a very wise way.”
The Arrigo Programme in Somerset UK, India and New York is curated based on her clients needs. She knows who and what is required to bring about that deep transformation. Take Somerset for example. Here a team of up to 25 healers (some flown in especially for the sessions) work with grief, addiction, trauma, depression, exhaustion and much more, to bring clients through a journey of themselves in a deeply nurturing environment (think cosy cottages with log fires, candles, hot baths, fresh soul food). Days are committed to in-depth emotional exploration and profound physical healing through hands-on bodywork, psychotherapy and philosophical inquiry. “ There is a profound energy and emotional shift with very precise body work is applied, that helps clears your mental body; removes stress thus more of you becomes available. All these years later I’m still gob smacked at what is possible.”
The Arrigo Effect
What started 40 years ago as a passion for helping women rebalance their lives is now an intense transformational package designed to help men, women, couples, mothers and daughters get to the root of their issues in a very deep way. “I’m always looking at the journey and weaving the connections. If I have a gift,” she adds, “its very strong intuition – an almost immediate response to where a person is at. I hone it quickly. I can feel your being.” And after just over 2 hours of my personal inquiry I can vouch for that! While I wasn’t fully ‘cooked’ (that will come soon) I knew it was complete and left feeling freer and emotionally clearer than I have in years.