Creativity and Magic...
Two years ago I dreamt of a getaway--my dream had specific details about a weekend in the woods, in a beautiful cabin, where I could be inspired to write, hike, and be with nature. My dream came true this past weekend when I got to spend four days at the writing seminar, Brave Magic--An Invitation to Curiosity, Creativity, and Courage, at 1440 Multiversity.
This past February I saw a social media post from Elizabeth Gilbert about a writing seminar in Scotts Valley at 1440 Multiversity. I went to the website to check out the details, and it described my dream to the very last detail. I registered and made travel arrangements, and many months later, the date finally arrived. I arranged for a shuttle service to pick me up at the airport and when I jumped in the van, I met two women, Laura and Sunny, who would become the beacons of light. We had an instant connection, the three of us set out to enjoy our weekend as peacefully and authentically as possible. I could combust in happiness just thinking about my new friends! The three of us stayed on campus and shared almost every meal together the entire weekend. We hiked, did yoga, ate healthy and tasty food, soaked in the enormous Jacuzzi overlooking the forest of redwood trees, and in between, we managed to do some fantastic work on our creativity and confidence. The amazing women who led the seminar, Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed, are two of my most favorite authors and badass inspirational women.
The forest surrounded our rooms and campus. We'd wander around during breaks or took yoga classes. One early morning I took a yoga class before breakfast. It was before sunrise, and the yoga room faced a massive cluster of redwood trees. Minutes into a few yoga poses, the sun peeked through the trees and revealed the most stunning light I'd seen in a long time. I remember looking at the beautiful exposed beams, now being highlighted by the sun, and looking at the redwood trees through the window and thinking, “I dreamed of this day for so long! I can’t believe it came true.” The truth is that I didn’t know this place existed or that I would meet Sunny and Laura, or that it would be an event led by two of my favorite authors, but I did know one truth for sure, and it was that I belonged there. At that moment in time, with my two new friends, and six hundred other women and some men, I belonged and deserved to be there. I still sporadically combust with gratitude just thinking about it.
As if my heart could take much more joy, there was a tree in the forest on campus referred to as the Mother Tree that is 1,200 years old. 1,200 years-old! I fell in love with Mother Tree. She's beautiful, wise, and her energy vibrated a joyful and breathtaking kind of way. She mesmerized me. I went to visit her every day I was there.
The entire experience lived up to its name and was nothing short of Hogwarts, School of Creativity itself. I figured the bliss would wear off when I got home, and I’d have the blues, but it’s been the opposite. The joy every day since I got back has magnified, and I figured out why…The combination of Mother Tree, the forest, Liz Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed, inspiring people sharing their stories, and Laura and Sunny, all brought me back to life and out of the routine of self-neglect and doubt. I experienced what it's like to feel worthy and have self-love for four consecutive days at a time, and it refueled my spirit and soul. I practiced self-love the entire time I was there. I took a bag of peanut M&M’s as contraband of sorts to soothe myself in case I needed it. I listened to my body, and without being a slave to routine, I let the flow of life dictate what was next. I was in touch with my awareness of being worthy of goodness. I was present and awake to the simplicity of being and not judging, doubting or comparing myself to others. The few times that I entered a negative space in my head, I'd talk about it with my friends and accept their input and love. I did the writing work, was raw and connected, and my authentic-self emerged, and just like the sunrise behind the redwood trees...I levitate into Nirvana.
In hope, I am fearless.