FAMOUS JOHN & GAIA
Welcome to Famous John C. Parkin and Gaia Pollini
John & Gaia have had a huge amount of press coverage over the last few years: mainly for their F**k It books and F**k It Weeks, but also for setting up The Hill That Breathes retreat centre in Italy, which won ‘Best European Retreat’ in 2011.
This is their story. The story of their F**k It Life.
John Parkin (English) joins the same advertising agency as Gaia Pollini (Italian). The agency is ‘HHCL & Partners’ in London: the most innovative and exciting agency of its era (winning Campaign’s Agency of the Decade for the 1990s), and most famous for Tango (‘You’ll know when you’ve been Tango’d’).
John is on the same ‘presentation skills’ course as Gaia. They realise for the first time that they share an interest in ‘therapy’, alternative therapies and alternative spiritualities. John does a presentation that really upsets Gaia. They argue. The leader of the course, talking about people who would clearly never work together in a relationship, cites John and Gaia as an example.
John and Gaia marry in Milan, Italy. Gaia leaves work and goes to art college. John goes part-time and starts writing films.
John & Gaia start using what they’ve learnt as a hobby over the years (shamanic techniques, Qigong, breathwork, etc.) in weekly groups in their home.
John & Gaia start teaching weekend workshops in London.
Gaia gives birth to Arco & Leone at home in Tooting Bec. John leaves work one month later.
John, Gaia, Arco & Leone say F**k It to London life: put all their stuff in storage, buy a camper van, and set off for Italy to find a property to set up a retreat.
Back to London to live in a tiny flat and earn some money.
The Hill That Breathes, Italy, opens. It’s an instant hit as people are happy to go to a retreat that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Their first advertisement contains a woman in the prayer pose burping.
John heals from chronic illness, partly by saying ‘F**k It’ to the idea of ever getting well.
John & Gaia teach their first ‘F**k It Week’. It sells out straight away and gets a double-page spread in The Times.
More F**k It Weeks and John is writing about this new philosophy in ‘F**k It: the Ultimate Spiritual Way’.
The first F**k It book is published by Hay House, the world’s leading publisher of the genre. It becomes a ‘breakout’ success: selling to people who would never normally buy a ‘spiritual’ book… namely men.
‘The Way of F**K It’, an illustrated book of F**k It wisdom written by John & Gaia, with drawings by Gaia, is published by Hay House.
The original F**k It book continues to be a bestseller, and is soon available in 18 languages.
The Hill That Breathes wins Best European Retreat (Natural Health).
John & Gaia realise that they like teaching the F**k It philosophy more than running a retreat, so they say F**k It, and close The Hill That Breathes.
John & Gaia launch F**k It Retreats: doing what they do best at the best locations they can find in Italy.
John & Gaia publish the first F**k It book in 4 years, ‘F**k It Therapy’, in the U.K. and U.S.A., based on the powerful and successful methods they teach during F**k It Retreats.
John spends weeks in the studio creating ‘F**k It Music’: music to let go to & to relax to… to say a massive F**k It to.
The year culminates in a live ‘F**k It Experience’ at Bush Hall in London for 350 people.
John & Gaia leave their breathing Hill and move to Fano, on the east coast of Italy.
It’s time for their boys to experience life in the city (they are 14 and moving to high school).
And it’s time for long daily walks on the beach.
2016 was the year for Doing What You Love.
In January, the new book ‘F**k It, Do What You Love’ was released – and received great press and reviews. John taught workshops and retreats throughout the year (something he loves).
The new book ‘F**k It – Be At Peace with Life, Just as It Is’ is released in July.
John spent 2017 experimenting with ways to feel both peaceful and ‘at peace’ and found that the sense of being at peace can exist even when there is disturbance, problems, stress and agitation. This book takes people through 3 levels to reach this new ‘at peace’ level.