Reflections on our first Freeing Creativity Retreat

In short, last weekend was just the best. One of those weekends to go down in the books for more reasons than fun and adventure. It was an honor to co-host and facilitate the first ever Freeing Creativity Retreat alongside Brittany Zellar-Holland of Two if by Sea Studios. We gathered with 16 others who took the courage to join in and reconnect with the their creative sides. What a fabulous time we had! Thanks to the natural and respectful connection Brittany and I share, along with plenty of tenacious hustle, the retreat flowed with seamless ease. Notable perks included the amazing weather, fabulous food, the good-vibing group, and an inspiring venue.

As a group we learned to value to power of yoga and art combined. Together we learned to support one another’s journey of creativity, self-discovery, and empowerment. The inspiration behind the retreat lies in exploring the relationships between yoga and the arts under the umbrella of mindfulness and positivity. We explored therapeutic aspects of both yoga and art, all the while being mindful of our thoughts and attitudes. Present moment, gratitude, compassion, and positive affirmations were thematic pillars throughout the programming. Other technical practices explored yoga asana, breathwork, mudras, brief meditations, and subtle body visualizations. On the arts side, Brittany guided the group through several watercolor techniques, mandala drawing, and art journaling. We would either practice yoga and art independent from one another, or woven together within the same workshop so as to make more direct and intuitive connections. 

Prior to the weekend, Brittany and I had covered so much groundwork, marketing, and planning, that I held a palpable readiness to simply enjoy the retreat feeling confident in what had prepared and were more than ready to share. Hardwork and hustle aside, the experience was refreshing and inspiring to say the least. I view yoga and art as one of the same. Both have been innate to my upbringing, adulthood, and creative lifestyle. They are both direct present moment practices that promote an unveiled or unharnessed state of flow. Yoga and art come from the same inner source, a common energy that connects us all. Creativity itself could just be source energy. That said, may we not underestimate the power of art and yoga combined.

A special thanks goes out to Tim Ruggles, student, teacher, and valued friend. Although he lives down state, him and his family have roots Elk Rapids. Since meeting Tim over two years ago when he began attending my yoga classes, I’ve heard him speak of this town and his sacred sailing adventures. He helped us make connections with caterers, aided in securing the venue, joined in on heartfelt conversation over dinners, and even was so generous as to serenade the group with nightly gong meditations. We couldn’t have put on such a spectacular retreat experience without his support!

For those who attended the inaugural Freeing Creativity Retreat, may our memories, laughter, and inspiration be lasting! Thank you for all of your feedback as well. We love and appreciate all the ideas to keep improving and maintaining a fresh feel to the retreat. For those of you who would like to attend a future retreat, here’s to meeting for a powerful and creative experience!

 Freeing Creativity Retreat.  Elk Rapids, MI.  September 22-24, 2017.

Freeing Creativity Retreat.  Elk Rapids, MI.  September 22-24, 2017.

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