I just recently returned from holding my first creativity retreat of 2020 at Bodega Sky Ranch and was reminded once again why I have made retreats the cornerstone of my work.
The women… and it’s almost always women… who attend my events come for many reasons. At this retreat two women were there to process grief from the loss of long term and beloved partners, one woman was contemplating a potential cross-country move, someone else had questions about her choice of livelihood and another one was healing from a major and unexpected health crises.
But one thing they had in common was that they were at powerful transition points in their lives and were looking to answer the question of how to navigate this time of dizzying change by identifying potential next steps.
So the spontaneous theme that arose during this retreat was related to the issue of desire. The question that kept arising over and over again was what do I want? How do I identify what I want? And even more importantly how do I get in the way of knowing what I want and then acting on that desire?
This issue was played out in the studio while they were painting and then shared in the circle when we met for debriefings after the painting sessions. In the studio they found themselves confronted with the baffling pattern of being strongly drawn to a color or a form, allowing themselves to paint what felt so good and right for a short period of time and then unconsciously derailing that feeling of joy by inexplicably cutting short the expression of freedom and play by stopping that expression. And then wondering why they were feeling so disconnected from their painting process and their own emotions.
They were truly shocked to discover that they were actively short circuiting their desire without even realizing it.
But through their time in the studio painting and being on the retreat they were each able to make profound changes to that particular pattern. And they were able to do so because they’re healing process wasn’t happening in a vacuum. In the studio I facilitated them to become conscious of this pattern and to change it and then in the sharing circle they got to see that they were not alone and to get support from their creative sisters to continue to challenge the pattern in an atmosphere of permission and laughter, tears and love.
The sense of community that gets created at these retreats is incredibly deep and real and nourishing. And it’s that community that allows people to confront some of their deepest fears and most intractable psychological strategies and transform them into an experience of liberation, joy and connecting with the source of their creative and spiritual power.
Which is why I will always, always, always create retreats as part of my healing offerings. Because nothing is more powerful than a group of women getting together to honor their intuition, their creativity and their longing to connect with their deepest creative source.
If you would like to experience some of this healing community magic for yourself I have a luscious Wild Heart Painting retreat opportunity coming up this spring. For more info, click on the link below!