Sometimes you need to retreat to gain some clarity on your work on progress, get inspired and connected with some other great writers. Last week I was so fortunate to be to a host a mini writing retreat with three other wonderful ladies (Thank you Jacqui, Judy and Jo-Ann for joining me on this adventure).
My friend Jacqui and I have been to the house once before on another writing retreat and the other two ladies were in awe of the accommodations and surroundings and who wouldn’t be, a beautiful house on Shawnigan Lake, all to ourselves, to rest, relax and write. I am very grateful to have this wonderful opportunity to be able to share with others.
As we drove to the Lake I felt myself unwind quickly, leaving all work concerns and the last pieces of the struggling friendships have faded. Now I am starting fresh and not only with friends but my writing, my true passion of a creative life – I’m living a creative life and I’m just letting it take over as it needs too and for the first time in a long time, I’m having fun!
The retreat started with everyone arriving to the house around noon, then they settled into their rooms and then we had lunch together. We connected, chatted and shared what we were working on and then all of a sudden we got up and went to our rooms (or other areas of the house) to simply sit down and write. The last thing my friend said to me or maybe I agreed by saying ‘just knock on my door when you’re ready to go for a walk.’ three hours later I hear a tap on the door and a soft voice ‘ready?’ Before that tap, I was sitting in a rocking chair and tapping away fiercely on my laptop.
I love to go for walks especially after a great writing session and when two other people have had inspirational writing sessions the creative energy is high and vibrating. Inspiration is ready to celebrate! Walking provides many things, moving the body, connecting to the earth with each step, great conversations with your higher self and in this case with friends to share ideas, goals and passions.
On the days when I walk, my day unfolds with powerful synchronicity. I have talked not just with God, but with both sides of myself. Perhaps most important, the land has talked to me. I love the clarity and the flow such walking brings me. Just as Morning Pages create a step-by-step trail into the interior of our own thoughts, so does walking move us into intimacy with ourselves one step a time. In other words, when we walk into the outer world, we are moved into the inner one as well. ~ Julia Cameron
As we walked along the train tracks I watched my steps, I gazed at the lake, I breathed in the trees soft whispers of relaxation. Our conversations and the scenery triggered memories and ideas, I heard myself thinking ‘that’s a great idea, write that down when you get back.’ and I did…small town Jasper… I know what this means, so I will pursue it soon, I love the creative process.
We returned from our walk and continued on with our writing until dinner and then a movie – there is nothing like watching a movie with four women with a great sense of humor. After the movie, when everyone retreated to their rooms, I went to my room, opened the drapes to let the full moon light in as I sat down and wrote for another two hours, I never felt so rejuvenated! Filled with that deep hunger to write, to share, to get the words down on the page because inspiration is guiding me and I’m in the zone and I never slept so good.
Sunday morning, we woke up on our own and everyone wrote in the rooms, then I heard people in the kitchen, sounds of joy and coffee percolating, what a great sound. Another few hours of writing, connecting and tidying up before we leave and we’re hugging and sharing when our next retreat will be, we all agree, never too soon.
These moments of truth and creativity are serendipitous, we meet for a reason, we learn from one another and just be ourselves, these are moments of Big Magic. For this I am grateful.
Until next time, keep on typing….