Last year I participated in my first retreat ever, a Brene Brown Daring Way retreat, with my friend Gina. I never wrote about in detail and I really wish I would have documented more. Both were life changing, which sounds so cliche, but its so true.
Like the Daring Way retreat, I went in feeling terrified and vulnerable and left feeling forever grateful for the incredibly transformative experience. Right now, I'm a couple days out, thirsting for more, raw with emotion, open to possibility, and embracing connection.
This shit is all connected. Seriously.
I can look back and see the connections, this trajectory of artistic awakening happening simultaneously with my path towards more whole hearted living. Or maybe because of each other? Who knows, but it's happening and it's awesome and scary and confusing and makes so much sense.
I know I signed up for this retreat the same week that I quit my full-time job (that I've had for the last ten years) and accepted a part-time gig. That feels connected, too.
It was a total mind, body, and soul experience. Flora (and her amazing team) curate a long weekend of magic that goes beyond painting. There's so much to savor - the welcome meditation exercise, the stunning studio space in industrial Portland, gift bags full of goodies, delicious food (platters of gorgeous treats from LoveShovel and catered meals from local restaurants), optional morning yoga with Lynx, gifted mini paintings from Flora, live music from a local musician, a pop-up tea shop, an extended wine and pizza painting night, and Pearl the therapy dog.
It was rad. All of it.
(Actually, I'm reading that book right now, but I'll save those thoughts for another day.) She's so talented and I'm thankful she shares these gifts with others.
That's not to say I didn't struggle. I ended day two with a meltdown, frustrated beyond belief, convinced I'd wasted my time and money, and questioning whether I wanted to return.
Looking back, it's hard to believe I felt this way. The third day I had major breakthroughs, overcame the fear, and worked it out.
By the fourth day, I knew it was worth every penny and valued the process.
I came home, rearranged my craft room, and created a painting studio space. Flora encouraged us to create 100 paintings and practice practice practice.
So 99 more paintings to go.