The retreat was called "Heart Refuge and Revival." It was my daughter's 38th birthday and we decided to celebrate this year on the cliffs of Big Sur, doing yoga and meditation with Shiva Reaat the Esalen Institute. The two of us have been on retreat together many times, hosting my Creative Wellbeing Retreats, but never have we taken the time to go just for ourselves.
Even though it was Brita's birthday, this was a gift for both of us. What could be better than to share an experience that will live in our hearts forever?
Here's what I know:
There is no material gift that compares with sharing time with someone.
One of my goals this year was to break out of my comfort zone and try new things. After 30+ years in business, I decided to take an online “B School” business course with the amazing Marie Forleo that I found through Gabby Bernstein (Spirit Junkie), which led me to attend this Create & Cultivate Conference in Brooklyn last weekend. It is designed for online entrepreneurs who want to make a difference while also making a living.
Here is a quote from their social media:
“Create & Cultivate is not your average conference. We gather the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs, and business leaders…”
On Wednesday I had an awesome day. I felt love for everything and everyone around me. My energy was so positive it practically lifted me up off my feet and my heart felt like it was going to burst open. This, just hours after the previous day, which I'd spent under a dark cloud, with no ambition, feeling defeated, uncertain of everything and unable to lift myself above it.
I thought, “Thanks, universe for showing me myself from all sides, even though the irritable, lazy, hopeless me is just so unattractive it’s embarrassing. The happy me is so much better.”
Honestly, the contrast was so pronounced I had to consider the “why” behind it all....
About my Creative Wellbeing Retreat Art Workshops:
First of all, you don't have to be an artist to participate. Trust me. Everyone is creative.
We were all artists as children, but then what? Some of us were encouraged, nurtured, even educated in art. We found our visual voices early on and kept them. For some of us, though, that pure, joyful, creative urge was quashed, silenced, erased. These workshops are designed for everybody. Professional artists, DIY fanatics, passionate amateurs, even self-professed non-creatives...and everyone gets something out of it. This art-making is more about process than product and it has become the thing I am m...
Wow! A whole year has elapsed since my post on last International Women's Day 2018. It's a theme in my life: the connection I have made with women over the years. It is what sustains me, supports me, and, best of all, makes me laugh. As the years go by, I am approaching the age of "village elder" and I love it. I get so excited when my retreat community ranges in age from teens to grandmothers. I am constantly awed by the powerful sharing that happens between us. This photo is from 2017, but it shows how much we all have in common and how happy we are to be together, sharing stories, crazy cocktail hours, yoga, art and guided meditation. Last...
Today women everywhere are posting, sharing, celebrating and pondering what it means, not only to be a woman, but to be among the company of women as we go about this tricky business of living. One thing I know: the women in my life make it better. Period. Every day. The inspire me. They support me. They love me and I love them back. In fact, it's one big crazy love fest when we get together. Who knew it would be that way when we were in high school and everything was so competitive and superficial. I had very few female friends, then. I found it more fun and less taxing to just hang out with the guys.
Today, there are moments when I look at my life and I am stunned. I live in a place where most people clamor to spend hard-earned vacations. My sweet bungalow home is my office and I am filled with inspiration. I have a creative circle of friends that enjoy life. Fresh, organic food is readily available and nature surrounds me, as I navigate this new "creative wellbeing" life style, where work is play and creating beauty is my trade. I am in business again and I love it.It wasn't always this way. I had a thriving company ten years ago that disappeared so suddenly it left me breathless, literally.
I know it is cliche, but I was feeling a little depleted and not quite myself when 2016 came to a close, so I decided to do a cleanse. I needed to re-set my body/mind/spirit, and I have done these types of things many times before, but I know that to accomplish this, setting an intention is not enough. Action is the next, very important step, so I decided to make a slightly more public commitment than just a promise to myself.
That is how my 2017 New Years 21 day Re-set Cleanse came to be. Now a dozen or so others connect each day on a newly created Facebook group to support one another and share ideas, challenges and inspiration as we nav...
November has been a difficult time for many of us. There is so much chaotic energy happening, politically, personally, and spiritually. Not one of us has remained unaffected by the friction of current events, myself included. Add to that an intense work schedule, with frequent travel and the usual twists and turns of daily life, and you have a recipe for stress.
One thing I should know is how to alleviate stress. I diligently created a life that supports the best in me and gives me a soft place to land when times get tough. I have even created an 8-step re-set check list for when times get tricky and life feels off-balance. I know what to do....
Every year, October sneaks up on me and I am reminded of how breast cancer affects so many women (and men) all over the world. I share my experience in hope that it will resonate with anyone who has been touched by this disease. This is an excerpt from a speech I gave at the Susan G. Komen luncheon in Sarasota, January of 2012:
I am one of the lucky ones. Whenever I tell my story, I feel as though my experience pales in comparison to others I have heard and witnessed. Everyone's story is unique and personal, but there is a common thread of humanity that knits our experiences and makes us united. This is the beauty of it.