“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive & uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time” Mary Oliver
I quote this powerful sentence by Mary Oliver from Olgii, a remote town in northwest Mongolia where I have just led my first international Walking & Creativity Expedition. The quote encapsulates what I believe with every cell in my body: we are here to create, to make, to bring to life something new and unique that is our own.
For a minority of people this self-expression may take the form of great architectural and engineering accomplishments, scientific and technological breakthroughs, acclaimed literary or visual art masterpieces, stardom through film and music, or hugely successful businesses and enterprises.
For most of us our self-expression & creativity will come through small acts like making soup, writing a heartfelt postcard by hand, putting together bed covers that make a room cosy and appealing; small creations that go unnoticed or unacknowledged: guitar riffs, poems, paintings appreciated by only a handful of people, dancing with the local over-60s dancing club, birthday cards made out of leftover cardboard, fun activities for your children, creative activities in the classroom, making wooden furniture. Then there are some of us who feel we have something a little bigger inside us: an autobiography, a novel, a play, a line of bathers, an exhibition of still-lives, a vegan catering business, a marketing company...
I believe that making, creating, expressing ourselves through what calls to us, is part of our divinity. Creativity is one of our most precious human qualities and when we negate it, ignore it, drown it out with busyness and the pursuit of status and worldly accomplishments, we slowly kill an important part of ourselves and our spirits…and eventually it gets to us.
Yes, I am passionate about this…I have found something I know I am here to do and have followed my heart to where I am now…and that is NOT a place where there is guaranteed success…as Brené Brown says, it is a place of vulnerability…a place of uncertainty and of many failures…a place of falling and having to get up over and over again, but a place where we are guaranteed to feel alive and connected to a greater power.
For example, for this expedition I have just led here in Mongolia I only had one client right up to the last month before departure - while I feel confident about creating the content and about leading the expedition, I am still learning about the tourism industry and what it takes to sell a multi-day tour! When I sought advice from my creative, and now very successfully self-made brother-in-law, he told me to ‘give the money back and nip in in the bud’. I sat with that idea for a while, I made a call to Holland and told my enthusiastic client what I was considering, but even as I was talking to her I knew that it was not what my heart wanted to do. Cancelling the tour was not what was going to keep me holding the vision of bringing people closer to nature and their self-expression through walking in this amazing country I find so inspiring. So I continued to reach out and barely three weeks before the start 2 more people joined our tour! I ran it, and it was a joy, a one-in-a-lifetime adventure and hugely fulfilling experience, for all of us! It was not very financially profitable but there are already 5 people planning their Mongolian walking experience with us in 2019.
What it comes down to, is that it is not about getting published, or being famous, or being recognised in whatever field we are active in; it is about being in the muck of it all, not knowing what will come of it but knowing that you have to be there because something calls you to it.
I am writing to you now because I want to remind you that our 8th Creativity & Walking Retreat in Margaret River, Western Australia will take place on October 11-14.
If you have felt a call to do something creative, whatever that may be, if you know you want to do something but you are not sure what; if you know what you want to do but feel stuck, unable to take the first steps, fearful, unsure or anything else that is keeping you from taking action, I invite you to join us.
This is our signature retreat. This is a 4-day retreat into which I pour all the learning and research about creativity, aesthetic, embodied learning, self-expression and transformation. This is a retreat where we focus on disrupting thinking patterns, examine individual and collective innate knowing; play, paint, sculpt, write and walk in the stunning natural beauty of the southwest. Most importantly, it is a retreat where you get to reignite and reconnect with something that makes you come alive. It is a retreat where participants gain access to ideas, insights and direction.
I am so proud of this retreat and of having had the courage to run the first one back in April 2016. I sell it to you now with pride and love; knowing it is something I have created that is both beneficial and fulfilling.
So, if you have felt the call to do something creative; if you have felt your spirit craving to expand through creating and self-expression, don’t leave it any longer, even if you do not join us in October; give in to it without fear or hesitation; have no regrets and answer the call.
Here are some testimonials from past participants:
Read more testimonials.