(that me in my apron and my cowgirl boots. photo by andrea scher)
i want to tell you about how sweet this retreat was. how uncomplicated it was. how solid and brave the 24 other attendees were. i arrived as a teacher, but i learned so much.
i loved andrea’s class where i sat with a sweet dear heart name chrissy to help her uncover her core values (an exercise andrea led us through). earlier in the day, andrea asked what we’d like to invite into the day and i said intimacy. minutes later i was engaged in such a truthful and heartful exchange with chrissy where we spent a good amount of time speaking eye to eye, face to face, about all thing things that matter the most: grief, service, community, capacity, wholeness, honesty, discernment.
what a gift.
(the beautiful chrissy. photo by valerie [i think]).
the next day, during the painting class i taught, i invited the ladies to step into my style for the day – to learn a few techniques to take home, cultivate, and then make their own. i warned them that each painting would go through what i call the ugly stage. i talked about how this was to be inevitable if we fearlessly created, if we didn’t allow ourselves to be attached to our pieces, if we gave ourselves the gift of non judgement as we dove in. often times, i think about the ugly stage (and every painting has one) as a metaphor to the messy, not so pretty, times in our lives. the trick is to have faith, not stop, and push through. we have the choice. it arrives every single time. the choice to give up, or the choice to trust the process and work our way through. it’s a big challenge, in painting and in life. it’s why the creative life is so relevant to our everyday lives. it’s all connected.
it’s what makes teaching so rewarding: the witnessing of the pushing through. because when we do, gorgeous artwork is born on the other side. and shifts occur within that would have never otherwise shifted. i’m telling you. this stuff is real. and will make your heart huge if you’re willing to begin. to simply begin.
(student works. photo by mindy [i think])
on the last nite, liz led us through a ceremony i won’t soon forget. as i sat at her feet, petals falling nearby, i was incredibly moved and honored to have taught at her retreat but more importantly, to have her as a friend.
(liz elayne, and all of her truth)
thank you to everyone who attended. my heart has expanded. truly, it was an awesome few days. i was telling andrea one evening as we were brushing our teeth that i hadn’t laughed that hard, that long, in such a long time. we all cracked one another up. we told stories. we cried. we unearthed. we woke up. we re-evaluated. we shopped for cute hats and arm warmers. we listened to our breathe in liz’s yoga class. we ate cupcakes. we pushed through.
of course, within 24 hours of returning home i came down with a sore throat and the sickies – happens just about every time i go somewhere. so i’m taking it easy over here (in between updating the shop with more wall canvases
, catching up on emails, and other fun stuff). i’m hoping to be 100% again soon….