The Power Of Retreats
Published on September 19, 2013
Six amazing women from all over the USA and Canada made the pilgrimage to Sedona, Arizona last weekend to devote time and energy to nourishing their own creativity and spirit at Total Alignment. We FEARLESS® Painted, hiked through the magical landscape, sketched from mountain tops, soaked our feet in Oak Creek, and even banged drums wildly while it rained!
But most of all, these women bravely journeyed into the depths of their hearts and released much of what no longer serves them through the power of FEARLESS® Painting and sisterhood.
Every time I host my Total Alignment retreat I leave Sedona a different person. Softer. A bit more courageous. And definitely more in tuned with the incredible energy that connects all of us as one.
But I learned something very special from this group of women this time–and that’s about the great healing that happens from letting go of shame and celebrating our failures.
Yes, you read that correct. Celebrating our failures.
One of the most powerful moments of this four day retreat was not planned for and couldn’t have been more perfect. The sky was beginning to grey, lightening was starting to strike, and there was even a faint sound of thunder in the distance. We were gathered in circle when one of the participants spontaneously pulled the failure card out of an oracle deck.
Failures. We each started to lovingly begin to connect the dots on how so many of our failures in life created the road map for getting us where we were.
The jobs we lost.
The relationships that fizzled.
The mistakes we made.
The words we wished we never said.
The things we chose to look the other way with.
All of these things no longer felt like failures when we decided to celebrate them as vital parts of our lives and who we were.
We even sincerely smiled differently at each other, due to this new found freedom that came from untying ourselves from the burden of shame.
And of course, it doesn’t mean little thorns of shame won’t show up again and again as time progresses, but something shifted while we were there–something healed and transformed into light…which ultimately gives us one last thing to worry about and keep suffering over.
That’s why I believe so deeply in the power of retreats.
Sure, going to a beautiful place, surrounding yourself with kindred Souls, and having all the details taken care of for you certainly helps make a ripe environment for transformation–but it’s not necessary.
Not only do I grant myself two actual retreats a year as part of my own professional and spiritual development–but I try to incorporate even a few minutes of retreat like engagement in my everyday life. It’s usually at night–when I refuse to watch tv or sit in front of the computer, and instead practice yoga or meditate or just read an inspiring book in a salt bath. And of course, it may not happen every night–and I’m ok with that. I don’t beat myself up about it.
I also try to grant myself a full day of FEARLESS Painting every few months too–which not only helps me get out the junky junk creatively–but is starting to become much like a cleanse for the seasonal changes.
So on Sunday, as I drove back home from Total Alignment, it came to me that it was time to put out the call!! To encourage other women to carve some much-needed time out for nourishing their own spirits and creativity and join me on Saturday, October 19th for Gather, Retreat, PAINT & Repeat again. This is my virtual retreat that was a beautiful success last time I hosted it in June!
In Gather, Retreat, PAINT & Repeat you commit to spending the day painting from your own home or studio and I shower you with love and support through emails, a video, a guided visualization, a private Facebook group, and two LIVE Spreecasts where we can all share our progress and hang-ups–and I will personally give you feedback on your art work!
Here are some of the kind words FEARLESS Painters from last Gather, Retreat, PAINT & Repeat had to say:
I just wanted to send you a message to say thank you so much for hosting the gather, retreat, paint and repeat day! It was not only fun, but cathartic and something I really needed… Thank you!
~Melody F. from Arkansas, USA
Thanks, Connie! I really enjoyed the retreat. My birthday was on Saturday and I really enjoyed having a creative escape to celebrate the day. I am thinking about making it an annual tradition….Your suggestions to follow the juice and paint like a 5 year old helped me when I got stuck and I was also really impressed that I could actually finish a painting in about 6-7 hours.
~ Theresa S. from Texas, USA
I just had an amazing time yesterday, fearless painting and journaling all night with Connie and a bunch of lovely ladies!
~Kim P. from the Netherlands
If you are feeling called to treat yourself…to renew your creativity…to allow the powers of retreat to work on you…than I want to encourage you in joining me and a circle of kindred Souls as we Gather, Retreat, PAINT & Repeat on Saturday, October 19th. You can read more about it and register by going HERE. Plus, automatically when you sign up you will receive a PDF with information on how to prepare for our retreat—and the whole week before we begin I drop daily emails of inspiration into your inbox as well–you will be well supported and loved!
Let’s paint FEARLESS together in October!