As I mentioned above I spent the first four days of October in my most favorite place - the Oregon Coast. Specifically Manzanita. A tiny town just off Hwy 101. If you don't see the small flashing red light when the highway bends you'll miss the town. But it's there and it's simplicity is such an invitation to me to slow down and breath.
I took a huge leap of faith - I rented a (very large) home right on the ocean (well, not on, but pretty close!) and invited 10 conscious leaders and service providers to join me. This was officially my first retreat.
I called it my experiment. An experiment in what would happen if I brought together a group of people all asking this question - How do I serve my purpose and get out of the way?
The answer to this experiment was...magic happens.
Now I get that this is a bold statement but I don't have many more words to describe what happened. I didn't have a schedule or an agenda. I left room for awesome food (Thank you Lionfish Supper Club) and of course space to walk the beach and hike Neahkahnie Mountain.
I did the most uncomfortable thing I've ever done with a group - I left space for the event to create itself. Thus began the theme of the weekend to stop pushing.
Here's my understanding of what this means (and it's still flushing itself out):
Show up. Just show up. Don't try and prove anything or push an agenda. Be open to what's already available to you.
Let it be easy. I, like many, am a professional at making things far harder than they need to be. It's so easy to 'add more value' a.k.a. try and do too much.
Do the thing that feels the best. This could be giving yourself permission to go the direction you actually want. This could also simply be doing the thing that actually feeds your soul. This weekend fed my soul BIG time. As I told my coach (who attended!!) "This is my jam...I could do this all day long.' What's your jam?
Get out of your own way. I am also a professional at getting IN my own way. You know, doing my work through my doubts or listening to my intuition and then doing the opposite. I know we all get in our own way - it's inevitable AND again, what if you let it be easy?
Mostly what this weekend taught me was that I don't have to try and be something. Yes, I enjoy learning and growing and carving out space to improve my work. I encourage you to do the same. An artist doesn't stop with finger painting. They get curious and pick up a brush and keep learning.
But here's what I think the difference is, you can improve your practice without trying to 'be more' or 'do more'.
I also just finished 'The War of Art' and 'Turning Pro' by Steven Pressfield. What an awesome follow up to the weekend.
He so clearly showed me that as an 'artist answering her calling' it's so easy to take ownership of that art and try and make it perfect before sharing it with the world. But it isn't yours to own. He says that we employ our gifts for the sake of sharing them with others.
I am still wrapping my head around this. If you read his books please reach out so we can talk about them!
In closing, what I watched transpire over these 4-days were 10 people AWARE that they have something to gift the world and wanting to do it in a way that serves all involved.
No easy feat but I am so grateful they showed up. Because we all benefit from people tuning in. Don't you think?
In light, love, joy, and success, Andrea