So I am back from the art retreat I attended last weekend. I blogged about going about a month or two ago. It was a small retreat that I was DYING to attend. Mindy Lacefield and Jeanne Griffin Oliver where teaching and the retreat itself was hosted by the beautiful Serena Berry. It was called Nurture your Creative Seed
It was held on a small island outside of Seattle, Washington.. near on the water.
If some of you are on my facebook page.. then you KNOW I almost didn't go. Last week was HORRIBLE as far as pain. I hadn't had one pain free day in like 4 days.. and it was coming time for me to leave and i was SO worried I wouldn't be able to handle the flight and drive to the island (we flew into Seattle then rented a car and took the Ferry over and drove another 40 mins to the beach house. It was only actually 15 miles away, but its a beautiful drive through small towns and gorgeous scenery). I was worried though! I thought, what if I wake up thursday morning, and am in complete pain, and my meds won't work and I get on the flight and I am dying and want to just lay and the floor and cry. So i had decided not to go, and then I got an email from one of the girl attending.. telling me that she actually was coming because I had said I was and she had been so excited to meet me and that is the reason why she was coming. Then margie kinda gave me a pep talk too and so did my friend Chrissy. I also knew if I didn't go, i would miss out on meeting Junelle for the first ime and I had been SO looking forward to it! And SO after thinking about it.. I was decided to put my faith in my Heavenly Father and take the leap and go! I KNEW once I got there even if I was in pain, I would be okay.. because I could just hang out.. it was only the traveling that was holding me back. So I had posted that on my facebook page and SO many of you.. I think over a hundred comments and 200 hundred liked it.. and said you would PRAY foR me and all would be well and you were proud of me for doing it anyway.. and guess what? Miracles do happen and our Father in Heaven DOES love us. He wants us to trust and take the leaps sometimes so he can bless us. I woke up thursday, with SO much energy! I had gone to bed at 12:00 and got up at 4:00 am, and I still felt insanely GREat!
(this is a picture from the BainBridge Ferry heading over to the island from Seattles Port)
ALl day long, I felt wonderful. Granted I was still taking my pain meds, but they were actually WORKING and I felt normal! (recently I have been taking my pain meds and they haven't even TOUCHED the pain I have been in). And it was like that the ENTIRE week! I even took my oils and only used them ONCE! AND the even craizer thing is the weather wasn't warm.. it was actually in the hight 40's and rainy and I STILL felt wonderful! I woke up everyday just feeling SO amazing, and normal and wonderful and I felt SOO blessed I had taken the opportunity to go and to be blessed by the amazing experience and women I met there!
So I wanted to share some pictures of it with you. I have to say TRULY, it was exactly what how I want my own personal retreats to feel. The schedule wasn't crazy busy. it wasn't jammed packed full of "stuff".. it didn't need to be. It was nurturing and warm and there was sense of calm. We all pretty much just wore our pj's the entire time. and no make up. etc. I did the ENTIRE time. So you will see lots of pictures of me with hair up and makeup free.. but it's okay :). We woke up every morning and had a wonderful healthy breakfast prepared by Serena.. and were able to spend some quiet time before the day started!
this is a vew from my balcony of my room in the house.. I spent quiet a few moments here, sitting and reflecting and just listening to the ocean..)
(a vew of the kitchen from the living room.. our "gathering space most of the time)
then when every had had a chance to get "ready".. We made our way to the smaller cottage out back and created art with each of the teachers! Serena and the teachers, had added some wonderful personal touches to the space.. not over the top.. but just enough to feel cozy and inviting!
Jeanne wrote us all little messages on the tables! so cute!
of course getting messy was one of my favorite parts too!
We spent a day with each teacher and I loved it! it felt so relaxing! We had a wonderful cozy lunch in between, again SO healthy but it was just delicious. ( I had lentils for the first time and I LOVE them!) and usually would take a leisurely walk on the beach or in the woods.
(junelle and Jeanne documenting the beautiful scene)
Found this "sand heart" on the beach.. and HAD to take a picture! always see God's hand in everything we do..
Junelle just bringing her JOY to the entire week.. LOVE HER!!
(this is Jeanne Oliver and Junelle .. LOVE the excitement and happy on Junelles face. SHE IS SUCH a happy person! always smiling and always laughing! LOVE HER!!)
Dinner was amazing and then after dinner we just sat around in the cozy house and talked, laughed, ate delicious HEALTHY snacks (there was absolutely NO candy present.. and I usually am a candy addict.. and i didn't miss it at all! Serena made us incredibly healthy snacks that fed our bodies and it was just what I needed!).
the "late nighters" as I call us (we had earlier risers and late nighters. But us late nighters would stay up late each night painting and playing in the studio, and then every morning around 6:00 the early risers would get up and you could hear gathering downstairs, talking, sipping morning hot drinks, some even went for walks, etc.. before breakfast.. but it just felt SO cozy and at home. (I was one of the late risers, and would get up, take nice hot bath, sit out on the cozy deck outside of my room, and then would saunter into the kitchen right before breakfast time was over and eat a wonderful healthy meal. Serena had breakfast for us, open between 8-9.. anytime you wanted to come so it accommodated both early risers and late risers (those who had stayed late painting :)). I truly found it SOO thoughtful that she would schedule it that way! it felt so relaxing and not pressured to hurry up and be somewhere at a certain time.
Serena also left us little notes all around the house and studio.. reminding us to love ourselves and this time we had together!
She created a TRULY nurturing space for every ones needs. THE Only wish we all had was that we wished we had just ONE MORE day.. one day to just take in and soak in all that we had learned from the two days before, relax in the wonderful setting, take walks, explore, etc. We did a lot of that during the other days too between classes, but I would have loved one more day to do that as well. I was also very nervous going into it, to meet new people. I had originally planned to go with one of my closest friends.. Chrissy and she wasn't able to go at the last minute. BUT luckily Junelle Jacobson decided to go, and though we had NEVER met, I was SO excited and yet nervous to meet her! We text all the time and talk on the phone all the time, but what if in person we just didn't "mesh"? silly me.. really silly me lol. It was like seeing an old friend that I had known for a lifetime!
it was the same way with all of the women there! The first night, after dinner, we all gather around the fire in the cozy living room and shared what had brought us to the retreat, and a little bit about our creative path.. and I was BLOWN away by the strong, beautiful stories I heard. They all had such wisdom and positive outlooks on life and even though each one had been through trials that led them to art and healing from it, they knew that they were blessed and could see the good even from the trials they had. LOVED meeting and spending time with these women!
it was a really positive, loving, and nurturing group of women. I loved it. I fell instantly in love and stayed up late each night talking to them individually.. as much as i Could. I wanted to get to know EACH of them and know their stories! It filled my SOUL. The entire experience was something I have realized I need in my life. I NEED to take that time for myself. I came back so peaceful and rested and ready to take on everyday life again. ready to face my fibro (which by the way.. came back instantly the day I got home.. darn little bugger lol).
(This is junelle and the morning we were leaving.. don't we look so restful and peaceful!! TRULY! )
It also gave me some wonderful ideas for my own retreats. I guess I had always assumed that in order for a retreat to be successful it needed to be jammed packed with constant planned activities and it really doesn't. It just needs to be a quality experience, with a nurturing, creative place. Where you learn and are also given time to have quiet as well. It was the perfect mix. I LOVED It. I also LOVED meeting Mindy too. wow that girl has a sweet soul about her. She is one amazing creative person and I am so blessed to have her as a life long friend!
I also got to hang out with Jeanne Oliver who was already a very close friend and it was SO great to re-connect with her and just sit and talk and laugh. She is SOo funny. She kept us all just creaking up. OH man I love that girl!!
I already told Serena to put me on the list for next year. I want to come back. AND as I have said before, I don't want to travel very much to teach but that is ONE retreat I would totally teach at. She even made it VERY relaxing for the teachers as well. It just is the perfect environment for me. Can't wait to go back! I can't wait! I encourage all of you.. to take the time and money.. which I know is so hard for all of right now, to justify spending stuff on ourselves.. but TRULY i would suggest saving your money and taking time from family, work etc.. to attend retreats like this. And everyone is different.. I prefer the relaxed, calm, quiet ones.. but there are ones that are bigger, jammed packed and full of activities all day long. But whatever suits your fancy go! I think the best way to find out about them is to just go to your favorite artists blogs and see where they are teaching at! that is what I did! I wanted to take a class from Mindy and found about this on her blog! It turned out to be just what I needed! I for SURe will post here when Serena holds her next one.. and also if she will let me come and be a teacher for one of them, (me and junelle thought it would be SO fun to come teach together).. I would in a heart beat too! I know I have my own personal retreats I am doing this year, but sometimes letting someone else plan and prepare for it, also helps the teacher have a nurturing experience as well.
So.. thanks for letting me share my experience! I am going to share with you all the Art I created too.. but wanted to share with you first the nurturing and healing experience I had. I will share that on thursday! I was SOO blessed to go! It was a scary thing at first to think about going, not really knowing ANYONE, and having to drive a little ways to get there once I flew into Seattle.. but it so funny how you make things in your mind SO much more crazy and big then they really are lol. Catching the Ferry and driving to the retreat was a piece of cake and actually one of my favorite experiences as well! it kinda all fit together. can't wait to go back!! eek!! lol. Make me super excited for my own retreats this year! Excited of those of you that are joining me here in Idaho and also in mexico! can't WAIT!
well hope today is wonderful.. NEXT week Junelles CLASS begins! the Art of SPRIng! So I will be posting probably next monday.. the sneak peeks of her class! (it starts tuesday) for those of you still on the fence about signing up! You are going to love what she has done with the class! We are also wrapping up the She Art Workshop no.3 but like with ALl of my classes, they are always still open.. and I SOO encourage you to join us in that one! I will be posting pictures in a next couple of weeks of things students have been creating and you will be blown away by it! TRULY amazing!
Have a happy tuesday! thanks for being apart of my life. xoxox