Painting In Paradise
Published on December 13, 2019
I feel this strange sense of urgency to document a few of the adventures I had this year here on my ol’ blog. Something is really itching at me to get it done before the new year and new decade begins.
I’m not sure why I’m feeling this way. But I will say that it brings me a sincere sense of joy to scroll through my photos and look back at the proof of a life well lived.
2019 was a tough year. I navigated through a lot of loss and health issues.
Documenting my adventures reminds me of how privileged I am to live such a magical life. Looking back, I’m aware of how even the hardships I endured are laced with beauty and grace.
Today I’m stretching back in time to March when I was in Costa Rica to teach my very first Paint FEARLESS Costa Rica.
Nine months later and I still struggle to put into words what this retreat really meant to me.
You see that photo above?
I love that photo. Like really, really love it.
Those women are super special to me. Not because they accompanied me in such a powerful experience in tropical paradise. But rather because each of them are artists I have taught/mentored for years now.
We have real relationships with one another and after Paint FEARLESS Costa Rica, we now fave a real full-blown adventure tucked in our hearts as well.
The beach photos above were taken at one of my all-time favorite restaurants in the whole world: La Luna. We arrived there shortly after swimming and playing in the ocean together for hours like little kids.
Paint FEARLESS Costa Rica was held at Ahki Retreat space in Nosara, Costa Rica.
First, Nosara is probably my most favorite city in all of Costa Rica and second, I personally went to a retreat at Ahki in 2015 and fell in love with this place immediately.
It has been my dream ever since to take a group of my painters there.
What I love about being at Ahki is that we are completely tucked away in the mountains — far from any type of city life or hustle and bustle. It’s just us, our creativity, and the wild ways of Mother Nature.
What is also super special about Ahki is that it was built with the greatest of intention and mindfulness. CLICK HERE to read more about the great love that was put into each detail with the mission to fully support healing and creativity.
When I first arrived in Ahki in 2015 I felt the love of that place immediately. I even pulled Karen, the owner, aside and asked her what the deal was.
I could tell that this just wasn’t a building in the jungle and it made my heart a million shades of happy to share this healing oasis with my painters.
Plus, this Paint FEARLESS retreat is different than my Sedona or Mexico retreats because I guide each artist to build a body of work based on the four natural elements: water, air, earth, and fire.
Each day at Paint FEARLESS Costa Rica was dedicated to one of those elements and we spent time in our creative practice exploring it, as well as having an actual experience dedicated to it too.
For water day, of course we went to the beach!
For air day, my sweet friends Ayi and Michael Mayzel of Shanti Sounds invited us to their gorgeous home for a sound journey.
It was beyond powerful.
Ayi and Michael went out of their way to create an inviting and healing environment for all of us to relax and receive this transformative experience.
What made this sound journey even more healing was the way the peculiar sounds of the jungle came through the open windows and doors and added their special contribution to the orchestra of sound.
About 90 minutes later, when it was all finished, we stood together on the beautiful patio watching the sun set over the ocean.
None of us said a word.
It was pure perfection.
Pure life or as they say in Costa Rica — Pura Vida!
For earth day, we had options.
Everyone could choose if they wanted to stay back at Ahki and be pampered with time to nap, lounge, or get a massage or another healing modality or go out on an adventure.
The adventure choices were kayaking, horse back riding, zip lining, and hiking.
A few of my painters stayed at Ahki to sink in deep for the day and a group of us went out to explore.
Here’s me and my adventurous crew:
One of the best pictures from Paint FEARLESS Costa Rica was taken when I wasn’t there.
My painter Joan decided to fulfill a big dream of hers to horseback on the beach and all of us were moved to pieces when she returned with the biggest smile ever and this fabulous photo.
It gets me teary eyed every time I look at it actually.
A few of the women went kayaking together and I joined a pack of wild women for my first ever zip-lining experience.
To say I was nervous about the whole situation is an understatement. But I was excited as well.
Here’s me trying to be all brave before heading out in the covered pick-up truck that drove us to the top of the mountain.
Below are photos of our crazy, cutie-pie guides that came with us as well.
They made the whole experience even more fun and hilarious.
What was funny actually is that one of my wild women told them that I was married to a Tico (what locals call Costa Ricans) and all of a sudden our “status” in whole tour was elevated!
We got the VIP experience from there on out. It was pretty sweet!
Towards the end of my zip-lining adventure one of the guides jump aboard with me and held my camera as I acted obnoxious across the mountain canopy!
I couldn’t wait to send this footage back to Hansel and Phoenix back home.
I was having too much freaking fun!
For fire day we spent the entire day back in the studio painting, painting, painting!
In other words, we stroke the fires of our own creativity.
What could be better, right?
On our last day together, in usual Paint FEARLESS format, we had what I call a “Vision”.
A Vision is my format of a kind-hearted, supportive, and hugely insightful “critique”.
Ahki has a pretty awesome space to do our Visions from. Take a look of a few below.
I have to say that Paint FEARLESS Costa Rica was by far one of my best retreats in my 10 year career of hosting retreats.
What made it amazing was part the soulful artists that answered the call to join me, part Ahki retreat center, and part Costa Rica that made this week long experience so creative, healing, and fun.
I will never forget it. Seriously.
And these artists will always have a warm, cozy space in my heart.
Always. Always. Always.
But my adventure in Costa Rica did not end on the last day of Paint FEARLESS. Nope!
A few days later my guys Hansel and Phoenix arrived and the journey continued.
Please stay tuned for my next blog post where I look forward to sharing the second half of my 2019 Costa Rica adventure.
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Also, as of today there are still four spaces open in my Paint FEARLESS Costa Rica 2020 retreat happening November 13-21, 2020.