the beauty of retreat

There are certain moments in life that become milestones.  You use them to measure the passing of time, like you use the days of the week or the hours on a clock. Holidays, birthdays, new years can be like that.  For me, art retreats have become a measurement of how far I have traveled.

When I was shy and unsure of myself I was standing on the edge of

squam lake

for the very first time.  A whole new world of creative possibilities spilled open for me.  Standing amidst that beauty I vowed to myself that some way, somehow I would incorporate into my life one art retreat a year.

In 2009 I hoped on a plane and traveled all the way across the country to


.  I discovered bravery inside me that I did not even know existed.  I sat amongst a group of women and openly shared my writing.  Through their love and support the seed that I may be a writer was planted.

It wasn't until the following year when I was standing alongside the


on the east coast that I knew and felt deep within that yes, I am a writer indeed.  Fabulous women surrounding me.  Laughter bubbling up.  Beautiful sunrises calming my soul.   Magic swirling, swirling, swirling.

In 2011 I worked with two others to create a


to sink deeply into.  Gathered in the warm sunlight of Sedona Arizona I witnessed firsthand dreams coming true.  Connections blossoming.  Life unfolding beautifully to the music of my own creation.  A divine bonus moment in time.

Later that year I traveled back to the


.  A bit battered, unraveled, vulnerable.  I was held gently.  Created passionately.  Healing words poured from my heart.  Deep conversation and creating long into the night fueled my spirit.

This year I went


to the place it all began five years ago.  I stood at the edge of the lake; strong, confidante, happy, open.  My heart overflowing with love and support.  Soulful conversations spilled open.  I felt seen for me, exactly as I am.

Each year has stretched me in so many unexpected ways.  Growing, healing, giving, learning.  All of it guiding me back to me.  Providing me a space to retreat.  A place to heal.  A moment to just be, as I am.  My life has been forever changed by each of these little getaways.  The destination doesn't matter.  What is important is the journey that it takes to get there, the openness to just be there, and the courage to keep that fire burning throughout the year.

When you are passionate about something and you gather with individuals who are passionate about the same thing.....magic....pure magic happens.  You can't control how wide it will expand, or how deeply you will be touched.  All you can do is stand in it, soak it all in, and say yes.