Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Retreat Inside of Oneself

For my milestone birthday this year, I gave myself the best present I could have ever asked for... I always wanted to go on an art retreat to learn from wonderful instructors and spend my days creating art! I signed up for a week-long retreat with Squam Art Workshops called "Into the Mystic."

What I ended up receiving from this experience was so much more than the creative techniques and art making that I expected.  The gift I received was spending time in the company of the person who I take for granted on a daily basis...myself! Even the art classes were a life lesson. Instructors, Joetta Maue and Colleen Attara embrace the imperfections of creating art.  The art is the process and sometimes letting go can create the most beautiful outcomes.

I would never consider myself a nature girl.  I'm the girl swatting at flies, fighting with humidity, running from bees and covered in mosquito bites. With time seemingly standing still, I naturally slowed down as well. I laid on the hammock with butterflies, coexisted with massive spiders and walked through trails to sit riverside with my journal.

My life  is usually so loud- days are packed with conversations, podcasts fill my daily commute and days off often consist of chores, obligation, planning and "should dos" with art squeezed in between it all. In the mountains in the woods, I loved the quiet sounds of nature. There was no need for constant stimulation. Instead of my non stop inner voice commentary, I was alone with a sense of peace. The should dos became the question, "what do I want to do?"

Now back for over a week, I admit, it is a struggle to keep that inner quiet and peaceful feeling. I find myself craving walks through nature, time to meditate and journal.  By allowing myself the gift of granting these things whenever I can, I find that magical place in myself again.  The skills and lessons learned from that transformative week will stay with me forever. Every single woman that I met on this retreat I love and cherish like family. There is no possible way for me to describe this experience properly-nor do I wish to- doing so would take away some of the magic. It was a personal journey in which I feel extremely grateful to have had.