|a family hike at Chautauqua Park (photo by my mom)|
In June 2009, I attended my first creative retreat and it was seriously, one of the best experiences I have ever had. I went by myself ~ didn't know a soul ~ and had the time of my life. Not only did I take the most amazing creative classes designed for anyone, but came home with the most genuine friends, a huge amount of inspiration and a renewed spirit. This was the first thing I had truly done for myself since having my two little ones. At first I felt guilty and selfish for taking a few days out of our busy lives to go, but then I realized how terribly important it was to have a little time and space to just be me again ~ something I had lost a bit along the way with the intensity and beauty of being a full-time mom (which please read ~ I love more than anything in the world!). I learned so many things that weekend ~ so many things:
* how important it is to honor who you are and what you love to do
* the power of being in a like-minded community
* that you can have your own thing and still be a great mom (in fact, I found I was a better mom because of that!)
* how honoring and exploring your creative side brings out the best in everyone
* to listen to your heart
When I came home, I shared this magical experience with all my friends and family, and they all wanted to go. So I told them I would find a place in Colorado a little closer to home and we would all go. I searched and searched for something similar and couldn't believe that there was nothing like this in our majestic Rocky Mountains. How could that be? There must be a place like this here! And maybe I should start one? In my heart, I knew that I wanted to create a place to give people the opportunity to experience what I did, but in my own backyard that I love so much. I wanted to provide a place where people could step out of their fast-paced, everyday lives, leave technology behind for a few days and reconnect with themselves ~ a space to simply play and feel like a kid again. It does wonders, let me tell you! I still carry the magic I felt from this first retreat, and am eternally grateful to Elizabeth and the courage she had to create Squam Art Workshops. It truly changed my life.
As I approach the endeavor, I am doing so with an open mind and heart, and trust it will evolve as it should. I have cherished the input and support from so many amazing people and feel the greatest power in creating this is the warm and wonderful community it already seems to be bringing together. My greatest hope for the Makerie is that it provides a beautiful energy to all it touches, and that it might inspire someone to follow their dreams too. The Makerie is most certainly a dream come true for me and something I do believe we will all create together. So here we go! Hold on... it's going to be one wonderful, wild ride!