About Us

Belgian doctor and portuguese dentist met and decided to share happiness.

Michel already started his personal revolution and went from working 7 days a week between hospital, private practice, university department director, doctor of the Ghent football team to combine his private medical practice with sailing and horse riding activities. As a natural entrepreneur he is always searching for new projects and always looking for ways to develop new skills on him and for others.

Manuela worked as a dentist for 18 years, but she always felt she was not going to do it forever. When she was working in Belgium, she attended a workshop of “Mindfulness in the dental practice”.  After, she spent one month in Africa doing voluntary work, experienced all the life changing benefits of mediation and mindfulness and started the mindfulness teacher training. She attended workshops, courses and retreats. She has a solid meditation practice for many years, she is a retreat facilitator and organiser, a MBSR qualified teacher, and has absolut trust that everyone has within themselves all the resources to live a happier life. In 2018 she stopped dentistry to dedicate herself to design and plan Âncora Retreats.

Exhausted, unispired or overwelmed?

We live in crazy busy times. I'm sure you know the feeling of having to split your attention between a demanding job and a busy family life, balancing social life, trying to keep healthy and fit.

It's hard to find time for yourself. Or to be really there for the peolple you love. Maybe you feel life is running fast without you, really, appreciating it or that you are not, completely, in control of it.

But deep down inside you also feel that there is more to life than this. You know that you want to live a happier and more balanced life.

We believe that happiness is a choice. We believe in what you practice goes stronger, we believe in improving your life and in personal growth. Most importantly we believe in living life in a calmer and more focused way, a life where you can enjoy the better things more.

Because we believe in all of this our mission is to help you to start and build a strong meditation practice. Mediation and mindfulness can bring you the shift towards a greater wellbeing.

Mindfulness and meditation practice are not "miracle cures" for life. They are trainning programs that develop mental skills and new attitudes and habits to deal in a more skillful way with life challenges.

Sometimes it's not pleasant, you will discover how unwillingly you contribute to your own unhappiness. But if you put in some practice you can learn new ways to deal with whatever lifes throw at you.

Stressful moments, frustration, anxiety are still going to happen (they are part of life) but these feelings no longer determine your life anymore.

Âncora Retreats was a natural step. The name Âncora represents the link between the sea and mindfulness meditation.

Behind Âncora retreats is @seaspirit_storie with all the experience, joining forces, dreaming and planing more adventures to come in the future.

Manuela Rodrigues

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Qualified Teacher by UCSD - Mindfulness based Professional Training Institute- California University of San Diego.

My name is Manuela and I am a meditation and mindfulness teacher. I help people to find the space in their lifes, and in themselves, to start and develop a solid meditation practice, and to live in a mindful way.

I help them to create a life with more clarity and focus on what really matters to them. A happier life.

A few years ago, I too was on a path of stress and unhappiness. I was a dentist for 16 years and what I remember from those years is a strong feeling in my chest followed by thoughts of "calm down, the day is almost over". I was living life by default, reacting to whatever happened, watching the days go by.

One day I decided to try something new and I realized certain things: I was living my life on auto-pilot. I have unlimeted choices, I am not a prisioner of anything. I can pause. What I practice becomes stronger.I need silence to understand what I really want. My thoughts don't define me. Gut feelings are always right. Good things come from outside my comfort zone. I need to treat myself with love and kindness, which leads to treating others in the same way. Gratitude raises my vibration. I can choose to be happy.

How did I realize this? I started to meditate.

The practice of meditation led me to a selfdiscovery journey and to a deep internal change.

After years of work I finally had the clarity, and courage, to take the next step and help others to live a happier life through meditation and mindfulness.

Michel Rousseaux

Degree in Medicine, specialist in sports traumatology, and currently works in Belgium.

Founded Seaspirit and made it a reference in team building and sailing events. He has the diploma of sailor instructor and the diploma of "randonneur équestre".

Speaks Nederlands, French and English.

Natural entrepreneur, sports lover and life enthusiast. Trying to live life on the moment connected with nature, always curious about everything.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Michel's Testimonial

I experienced my (too invasive) professional life as a continuous succession of stressful situations

As a specialist in sports traumatology daily involved in trying to find solutions for the medical problems of highly demanding elite sportsmen, I experienced my (too invasive) professional life as a continuous succession of stressful situations.

Moreover the fear of making mistakes, the fear of to be not qualitatively corresponding to what my patients expected me to be, made me acting as a rough, unfriendly, pretentious and unfriendly person…

I became aware of this way of acting by my son suggesting me to google myself on internet and to read the comments about a ‘qualitative excellent medical doctor but  a little bit unfriendly (about "ego"...)’.

Anyway it was like my life was programmed to work more and more and harder and harder...

A few months later however, due to the sudden death (massive stress related heart attack) of my colleague and dear friend, I decided to take a break… taking more time for myself.
Sailing and horse riding being part of my favourite sportsactivities, I had in this period the great opportunity to meet two ‘mentors’ who played a crucial role in the "change of my life-style"…

The first one is Ronan (www.seanergie.fr): man of the sea, high level professional sailing skipper who learned me every skills concerning solo ocean racing and who’s basic life principle is: work to live instead of live to work…

The second one is Jean-Louis (www.lafermecouhet.com): the horse whisper of the Pyrenees, one of the best horse rider I ever met, impressing me also through his incredible charisma always predicating the true deep human values.

By initiating me in horse riding tracks through his marvelous region of the ‘Pyrénées-atlantiques’, he learned me how to disconnect and reconnect making me discovering my ‘true me’…

So on, I decided to progressively slow down my medical activities and to create a little french company called Seaspirit (www.seaspirit-stories.com) specialised in organising team building events through sailing in south-brittany and meditation retreats combined with horse riding in the Pyrenees.


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