About a year ago, I heard of Caits Meissner's Digging Deep, Facing Self online writing course for women. I enrolled in the course and was exhilarated by the work I created thanks to its gentle push. Caits and I continued talking after the course concluded. I felt like we had a simpatico. As I lead yoga retreats, and have offered yoga and writing workshops, I asked if Caits wanted to collaborate.
She said yes.
We began developing Mythic Beings, a Yoga & Writing Retreat. I booked Good Commons, a retreat center I'm fond of in Southern Vermont. Caits and I believed in this offering, our own abilities to hold space, and a shared energy between us. However, this was the first try at this specific experience! It felt like something of a gamble and a bit of an adventure.
Fourteen women enrolled with us, though one had a last minute conflict bringing our numbers to thirteen participants and two facilitators. I was nervous as the retreat began, spending a lot of time breathing so that I could focus on being present to the retreat participants. I remembered the last time I felt nervous like that: when I facilitated at the Power of Words Conference last fall.
In each instance, big nerves and huge rewards.
Chef Alejandra Ramos was on site for this retreat offering the most delicious and inspired vegan meals. We all fell in love with her style, flair, and big laugh. Melissa Gellert assisted her, alongside Good Commons' owner, Tesha Buss. We also had Body Worker Danielle Fink on site offering massage and aromatherapy.
The meals were intoxicating, invigorating, and almost distracted us from infectious laughter. This group was quick to claim one another.
Each morning we had a guided meditation sit followed by a sweaty vinyasa practice, infused with story. The stories that inspired the asana, or physical yoga, poses connected to our later writing prompts.
Caits powerfully read into the myths that shape yoga asana, connecting the themes to our lives and our words. With insightful and yielding prompts, we shared conversation and quiet writing time.
And of course-- down time! Afternoons were spent in the hot tub (the best place to marinate in advance of a massage), taking walks, runs, exploring nearby towns, hiking, curling up with a book, or enjoying a nap.
The last night, a sharing of works written over the weekend naturally evolved into a dance party. Cuz. You can't dim these bright lights.
This powerful weekend moved us all. It was definitely an affirmation to Caits and I that these offerings are important & needed. We are already developing the next Mythic Beings Retreat! Keep an eye out! Take the time to create and connect.