This Friday join the free Creative Joy mini-retreat – photography, yoga and writing- with Marianne Elliott and Tracey Clark. It’s a Spreecast so you can see us!
Plus there’s a chance to win free tuition to our 4-day October retreat an hour north of Manhattan. Just share this link https://jenniferlouden.com/workshops-retreats/the-creative-joy-retreat/ with the hash tag #mycreativejoy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest – telling people about the mini-retreat. Keep sharing until 9/7 when we will pick the winner.
Okay, now to convince you to give yourself one hour of renewal this Friday, here is Colleen, who attended the retreat last year, talking about her process. I adore what she has to say because it mirrors my own struggles & experience.
Creative Joy: Colleen, do you want to just tell me a little bit about your experience at the Creative Joy retreat last year? What that experience was like, and what, if anything, from that experience has stayed with you over the last six months?
Colleen: Yes. Well, first off, going to the retreat was one of those things I questioned right up to the first day wondering, why am I here? Does this make sense? But I have to say as I reflect on the last year, I’m very, very glad that I honored my intuition about it because it shifted my whole life direction and I’m exceptionally grateful for it.
From the moment I got there, the people that were part of the retreat were inspiring; every conversation shifted my perspective and the way that days during the retreat didn’t my everyday just allowed me to focus on the creative part: creativity and how important it is to me.
The retreat helped me to learn what it was like getting out of your own way and engaging in the tools and the exercises that the facilitators were presenting to us and then just marveling: Wow, I never, ever would have imagined this.
Creative Joy: That’s very powerful. What’s interesting to me is that we chose Creative Joy as the theme for the retreat and at the beginning I had the same kind of question that you had, which is: ‘Is this too frivolous?’.
So it was Jen, wise, wise, wise Jen Louden who insisted on this theme of Creative Joy, which is explicitly and intentionally not connected to the idea that ‘At the end of this retreat you will have accomplished X.’
It’s the act of disconnecting your creativity from having to have an end product. There is something very powerful about choosing to spend time committed to your creativity and your joy rather than your product. And as a result – paradoxically – it has produced a longer-lasting impact. Does that make sense to you?
Colleen: Absolutely. Now I have a completely different vision of why I’m able to do this creative project and the impact I can have in the world because of it. To me Creative Joy was a huge catalyst for being present in the world as an artist in a way that my mind wouldn’t have been able to rationally create.
I will forever be grateful because it was a risk and I did it anyway, and it just blew my mind. It still blows my mind.
Creative Joy: I’m so glad you took the risk because I think that’s a common experience for participants. And particularly because it’s hard sometimes to justify to ourselves and to the rest of our world, our family, whatever why we take time to do this kind of thing, and when the purpose of a retreat is cultivating creativity and joy, it’s a little bit more of a leap.
Is there anything that you would like to say to somebody who’s contemplating this and maybe not sure if it’s right for them?
Colleen: Just say yes if you’re thinking about it. Just give it as a gift to yourself, and be prepared to be surprised and marvel at that experience and you’re worth it. You’re worth that gift. It’s only a handful of days and it’s worth it, you’re worth it. I guess that’s what I would offer.
Creative Joy: That’s beautiful. Thank you, Colleen. Thank you.
Colleen: You’re welcome.
Thanks Colleen and see you in October.
P.S. Sign up for the mini-retreat here. Bring a notebook, pen, camera (smart phones work perfectly) and log in a few minutes early. Yes, there will be a recording but you must be signed up to get notification. Can’t wait to play together.