Taking a leap of faith and knowing I have never done anything like this before…
Although I am fearless, I decided to take a leap of faith and spend a week in the Calistoga Hills of California on an Intuitive Painting & Creative Expressive Art retreat. A bit unsure what to expect, I was looking forward to being open and learning and it was intriguing to think about something spontaneous and creative colliding.
Arriving in Calistoga, 75 miles north of San Fransisco at a rustic mountain lodge on 350 acres of woods was a bit of a shocker. I had not prepared myself for the rustic surroundings that were to be my home for the next 6 days. My world became much smaller in a split second and settling into my downsized guest house left me a bit disheveled. To say I was out of my comfort zone would be an understatement
Doing some deep soul searching (which maybe that’s what retreats are for) I made it through the night and looked forward to what Monday had to offer – hopeful with my 10 new friends.
The Week Begins…
On Monday, we began what would be the routine for the next 6 days. Breakfast at 8:00, Lunch at 12:00, and Dinner at 6:00. Each meal was announced by the ringing of an old iron triangle on the front porch of the lodge. I have not had that kind of structure since grade school. I was grateful for the meals that were prepared by our hosts.
Time to Be Creative…
When not eating, our time was spent gathering, sharing and learning new ways to engage with others. And then it was painting time! If you are not familiar with Intuitive Painting or Creative Expressive Arts, the simple explanation is “its about the the process NOT the product”. This was easy for me to grasp and my biggest draw to learning about it although it is not so easy for people who have an arts background.
Take that leap of faith…
Part of the process involves being able to release your emotions in a very freeing way into the painting. Letting go of the inner critic that may be holding you back even in other areas of your life. For me this process was amazing! I am in a pretty good place in my life about what I have and do not have control over – so being creative and letting go of any judgement was not that hard and my paintings were filled with happiness and much joy! Obviously this could change given a circumstance or just a bad day.
Having the knowledge to be able to allow myself this creative freedom is pretty cool and the prospect of sharing this with people that I know and love is even cooler!
Here are some things I learned during the week:
- I am a confident traveler.
- I am always learning about new strengths that I have or can develop in myself.
- I can be out of my comfort zone & SURVIVE!
- I made some amazing new friends <3
- Female energy is very powerful!
- As much as I don’t watch TV not having it as an option is weird.
- I love painting and want to continue to grow my practice!
- A mid-week retail therapy and fine dining experience (w/wine) can be restorative 😉
- My family can survive without me at least for a week 😉
- I still don’t follow rules well, LOL!
- Being a strong, brave and powerful woman is cool 🙂
For a different kind of California Coast experience, visit this page and enjoy California dreaming.