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Writers! Retreat! #2 July 28, 2009

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in My Life as I See It, Personal Observations.
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flower cart at mabel, taos nm

Today marks the first full day of the writer’s retreat that I am attending in Taos, New Mexico. It’s been the first day without a thunderstorm since I arrived here. As is usually the case here, the weather is glorious—clear, dry and of course sunny. And the smells here are wonderful—juniper, sage, pine and many other lovely natural scents

Today was the awkward first day which I find common in most retreats and workshops I have attended–people just getting to know one another’s names and stories.

I started the day with free form dancing for a half hour. I always enjoy this because I am a ballroom dancer and like to move my body.

Our topic for the morning session was Waking Up Your Brain and Settling In. Jennifer Louden engaged us in a free writing exercise or two. Then it was time to work on breaking out of our old patterns with Havi Brooks. Havi does something called the Dance of Shiva whose purpose it is to re-groove your brain through movement. She challenged us to “do it wrong” and I certainly obliged her. The technique is a series of movements done with the arms. These movements are shuffled and sped up as the session goes on. Wow—I was perplexed by it, so I guess I was really doing it right.

This session was followed by our writing time—it is a writer’s retreat after all. I made some progress with the help of Jennifer’s coaching. I am venturing into a new project—a non-fiction book on how it’s possible to make the workplace a more satisfying and joyful place. So far—so good!

This afternoon we had a session which enabled us to confront our inner critic in a constructive way. Last year I absolutely hated this particular session and the temptation was to skip it. However, good sense prevailed and I attended. Surprisingly, I found that I was able to move through it with a lot less tension. I believe that the process of surfacing this critical voice that is part of me was an important piece of being able to incorporate it into my writing process in a more productive way.

So, the first day is almost over. Tonight will be another evening council.

There is the usual assortment of reasons that women have come here—some of them even have to do with writing. I have noticed that many women come because there is healing for them to do and this is a safe and supportive place to do it. And I guess we are all healing on some level all the time anyway.

Stay tuned.

—Amara

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Comments»

1. Kate Robertson - July 30, 2009

Amara,

Your posts are bringing back those wonderful days from last year. Ah memories….

Kate

edgyangel - July 30, 2009

Hi Kate!!!
There are four of us from last year and we’ve talked about you and NaNoWriMo…
wish you were here!!!

2. Karen Talavera - July 29, 2009

Thanks for the update, and I hope you are basking in the joy of healing, among other joys! I hope to someday meet the wonderful Havi – I hear great things about her from several sources.

edgyangel - July 30, 2009

Glad you’re keeping tuned in to my journey. I’ll have some more complete comments next week!


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