Today, I am sharing another post in a series of guest posts from a few of the ladies who have attended my retreats over the last few years. My hope is that these posts will give you a glimpse into the Be Present Retreats and invite you to realize the importance of taking time away from your daily life to recharge, connect with your kindreds, and rekindle your creativity.
As I am in the midst of re-entry from the Unearth Retreat this week, I am so happy to welcome these words from kindred spirit Erica about her experience of retreating earlier this year. Thank you Erica for sharing your open heart and beautiful words.
because sometimes we lose ourselves amidst the hay-day of life. sometimes we realize, we need to take a moment, or a few hours, maybe even days, for ourselves. so we can reconnect with our true inner- self. i realized the need for this moment last year as i browsed through my new magazine to which i so joyfully and unexpectedly found at our local stationary store.
i truly believe the best things come to you when you least expect them, but need them most. this was the case when i was instantly drawn to the cover of mingle magazine. it was as though i secretly knew there was something unique awaiting my discovery. it was whispering my name. i recall saying "this magazine has my name written all over it".
i recall the evening like it was yesterday, when i flipped to the double page spread that said "BE PRESENT RETREATS: Community and Creativity" followed by "Once you get here you won't have to worry about anything" these two phrases could not have appeared at a more perfect moment in my life. community and creativity? yes. not have to worry about anything? book my ticket!
this all surfaced in front of my tired eyes at a time when I was feeling lost from myself. overworked, overwhelmed and out of touch with what truly makes me, me. as i read on, i felt the pull inside of me. i shed a few tears as i knew i had just discovered something so rich, so inexplicably meant to be. i knew i needed to go. with the support of my loving husband a few weeks later, i finally booked my ticket. i was going to seattle. to retreat. to be at peace with myself. to look inward. to cultivate, uproot and reroot myself.
i assummed, based on the fabulous article in mingle there would be a lot of time to heal, nourish, rest and rejuvenate. that much i knew would be true. what i hadn't realized amidst all my pre-retreat jitters (and believe me....there were many!), was just how much it would all resonate with me. stick with me. guide me. lighten me. capture me. envelope me. balance me. it did all that and so much more, too.
it got me out of my head and into my heart. it connected me, spiritually with myself, the universe and beyond. it helped me remember who i really am. it helped me recognize there ARE people like me, with passions like me, in this world. i am not alone. there are souls out there who love writing, all things vintage, getting messy with paint and being at one with nature and your camera. yes! this retreat allowed me the time and space to accept myself for who i am. it provided the opportunity to invite myself to be me.
this poem best sums up reasons why kindred spirits such as those i met on this fabulous retreat should retreat.
i created works of art with my hands
i wrote poetry
it poured out of me as if my heart were a volcano
juicy, molten poetry lava is what i released
deliciously, yummy food.
got back to my roots.
i met beautiful women
with open hearts
wanting what we all want in life
to love and be loved
like and be liked
be happy and bring forth happiness
i explored the beautiful woods of frog creek lodge
i gazed at the mossy green trees
alive like fire
i captured moments with my camera
i relished in my time with nature
i listened to the rain
a beautiful place in a beautiful world
i let myself be me
i worked hard to let go of the powerful critic within
i accpeted the present
i released the past
i embraced the future
i looked inward
seeked the quiet inside my mind
i was present
present with me
erica lives in the beautiful annapolis valley of nova scotia, canada with her phenomenal husband and two cuddly fur-babies. she describes herself as an eclectique woman and lover of the sand and sea. you can peek inside her world at www.femmeclectique.blogspot.com where she blogs, not as much as she wishes, as she is currently completing a masters degree in counseling and completing her yoga teacher training, along with working as an elementary school teacher full-time. she looks forward to less busy days and is patiently awaiting the completion of her garage-turned-studio makeover where she plans to "retreat" so she can: sing. play the piano. paint. write. sew. do yoga. sit fireside. read delicious books. seek the necessary quiet inside her mind. she plans to continue to nourish her soul and express herself the way retreating so gently reminded her that she deserves.