"Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause." ~ Cecilia Tran
Three years ago I received an unexpected phone call. Would I be willing to be an artist-for-hire for a friends' weekend up north? It was for a retreat of a close group of women. They annually rent a house, bring in good food and do art. Would I be willing to join them and lead them in art activities?
I'd met them in a workshop. I didn't know them well and I am inherently shy. It is the oddest thing. I love people. I love teaching. Yet it always requires taking a deep breath to go in front of a group.
When a door opens, walk through it, right? A group of women who want to do art for 3 days in northern Michigan - what could possibly go wrong? Actually, a lot of bad scenarios existed in my overly active imagination.
Yet, a door opened on a new experience AND life is meant to be lived.
So I said yes. It was wonderful. Fully absolutely wonderful.
We created art from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon. They kept up with me and reveled in it. Our pajamas became our art clothes. We were a mile from Lake Michigan in February. Think ice, snow, and below freezing temps. By Saturday late afternoon I had to go for a run. I ran to the beach for the sunset and suggested they pick me up - to at least SEE the outdoors.
I tell you all this to give you insight to something I then put on my bucket list: To create an annual retreat for women focused on art, laughter, friendship, rejuvenation, good food, nature and being present in the moment.
Then I met Betty Gauthier, a sound therapist (think singing bowls and reverberating gongs). I would call her a "sound artist." We were at a funeral of a mutual dear friend and instantly connected. Betty is soft spoken, kind, authentic. Somehow our conversation took a turn to our joint desire to host a women's weekend retreat. An idea was birthed.
An here we are, walking through an open door.
June 2020 - over my birthday weekend - we are hosting our first annual Women's Well-being Retreat at the Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids, MI - an absolutely delightful Inn that was originally a dairy farm. My bucket list dream to help create a weekend of art, laughter, nature and relaxation, is being launched. I am thrilled.
Everyone should do something in life that takes you out of your comfort zone, right?
Want to celebrate my birthday with me? Think recharge, rest, create. What could be better? We are purposefully keeping the group small, so don't hesitate. I want you to join us.
Love to all!
Inn At The Rustic Gate, Big Rapids, MI