Jun 17

Calm, Clarity, Creativity


words: Dave Swan

photos: Tylani Ngatai-Stokes

How nature nurtures your creativity 

Most would be aware of what it feels like to be ‘stale’. After slogging it out day upon day, weekends too, our ability to think clearly suffers. Our judgement becomes clouded, our creativity stifled – these are the classic signs of mental fatigue – ‘burnout’. 

As difficult as it is to step off the hamster wheel we put ourselves on, we have to, not only for our own sanity, but also to aid our ability to move forward with purpose. To have clearly defined objectives and goals, and most importantly how these can be realised, we need to have clarity of mind. This can’t be achieved while we have mental lethargy. 

Company spokesman and Head of Operations for the off-grid cabin operation Unyoked, Julian Rapattoni, explains how addressing ‘burnout’ became their core purpose. 


Given that this is our Winter edition, there is nothing that conjures up the image of warm and cosy more than a woodfired bathtub and this little escape in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, just an hour inland from Byron, has one. Hidden at the end of a valley among lush Byron hinterland, it’s the ideal place to regain a sense of space, peace and tranquility. 

$283 weeknights 

$363 weekends 

Price per night in AUD. 2 night minimum, everyday. Check in 3pm. Late check out at 11am 

What’s Provided? 

  • Bedding  
  • Solar Power 
  • Fire Pit 
  • Kitchen supplies 
  • Wood fired bath 
  • Bar Fridge 
  • Composting Toilet 
  • Aircon 
  • Towels 
  • Plates 
  • Fan 
  • Toilet 
  • Gas Stove 
  • Hot shower 
  • And, TP 

Expedition Packing List 

  • Shoes, Mosquito repellent, Water bottle, Sunscreen, Flanno

“It’s commonly known that modern day living comes hand-in hand with mental fatigue and low productivity. We believe spending an extended period of time in nature is the perfect antidote, and that thinking is backed by numerous scientific studies. 

“Many of the world’s great business leaders have been doing Think Weeks for years, recognising the benefits that being off-grid has on basically getting sh*t done. Visionaries throughout history have used frequent nature immersion to help them dream up game-changing ideas.” 

There’s no denying the claims. I believe all of us would be aware of what it is like to claim some ‘quiet, alone time’. That’s what surfing presents to many of us. I know that is primarily what surfing is to me, an opportunity to switch off, relax and simply immerse myself in nature. Perhaps if you’re surfing Snapper Rocks it’s an altogether different experience, you’re only alone time is perhaps when you’re returning to your car. Needless to say, we all need that alone time to reset and recalibrate our minds. Unyoked retreats are another means that not only facilitate the chance to rest but, with an extended period in nature, get your creativity flowing again. New business ideas, new ways of doing things, solutions to a problem/s, Unyoked presents you with the key to unlock the answers. Jordan expanded on this way of thinking by way of their Calm, Clarity, Creativity philosophy. 

“In terms of our reference to ‘Calm’, out in nature, there’s no interruptions. We present an opportunity to unplug from you’re busy, noisy, always-on life in the city. Reconnecting with nature is scientifically proven to lower your cortisol levels, so you can stress less. 

“With regards to ‘Clarity’, it’s often hard to see the smoke from the trees when you can’t see any trees. We facilitate a reset of your expectations to get some perspective thanks to the vastness of the outdoors. 

“And finally with regards to ‘Creativity’, let’s just say that nobody ever comes up with great ideas staring at the same four walls on a deadline. The reason why creatives and visionaries regularly venture to the outdoors is that it is proven to boost creative thinking by up to 50%.” 

Julian is certainly not alone in his thinking, pardon the pun. There is no denying the power of nature on lateral thinking. Showcased amidst these few pages is further inspiration to undertake an Unyoked retreat and get your creative juices flowing.