Friday, April 27, 2012

More Photos from a Women's Spiritual Retreat and Questions on Balance

The Association of Universalist Women's Annual Spring Retreat Continued . . .

The opening ceremony was led by several women.  One of them was Leslie Johnson.  She is a local Twin Cities artist and ceremony officiant.  She does similar work as my good friend Briana Melom.  I believe that ceremonies are so important in our lives, so I feel very honored and grateful to know amazing people who officiate such events.

Maria Genne (the woman with the dark hair pictured above) was a special presenter at this year's Association of Universalist Women Spring Retreat.  Maria led us in movement that turned into storytelling that also educated us about our brains, bodies, and spirits.  I was reminded once again how important movement is for the whole body system.   You can find out more about Maria Genne and her Kairos Dance Company here.  On Maria's site, there is also a section called Five Ways to Start Dancing Today.  I love this!  Be sure to watch the little video on the side of the five tips, too!

 Isn't it beautiful to see women supporting one another and enjoying the moment through movement?

 Ah . . . quiet spiritual reflection time.

Ruth MacKenzie, a local folk and jazz singer of the Twin Cities, gave a wonderful keynote on Saturday.  
 We didn't sit and listen the whole time.  We moved our bodies, we listened, we wrote and reflected, and we shared our thoughts.  

Pictured below you see Rev. Barbara Kellett in the olive green, and Bell Barr smiling in the purple, among many other amazing women.
 Here, we are all lined up to go upstairs for lunch.

 The tables in the main gathering and eating room were decorated with such love and care by Heather Baradan and Bell Barr.  These two beautiful women walk around with such love and light, that it radiates into the souls of others.

(Sorry for the out of order photos).  
Below you will see a few random photos:  a loon on the lake, the fabulous Mary Melia who led the Shamanic Journeying workshop, and an outdoor gathering of women before dinner one evening.

Back to the fantastic table settings in the main room.

This is one of the magical faerie houses made by Bell Barr.  I own one, and I love it!

Here is a photo my husband took of me right after I got home from the retreat.  Don't I look so relaxed and balanced?  Yup, I love women's spiritual/creative retreats.  They help me find my center.  Finding your center might be the key to feeling good.  What do you think?  Do you have a favorite retreat that you attend?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, April 20, 2012

To Balance or Not to Balance, That is the Question

The women's retreat I mentioned in my previous blog post had a theme around the concept of balance.  What we learned there is that balance is a verb, not a noun.   Balance as a noun is unattainable, when you are talking about life balance.  Life is ever changing.  When we finally wake up and realize this, life might feel a little bit easier.
Danielle LaPorte's new book The Fire Starter Sessions  arrived on my doorstep this week.  The book is bright orange and full of really bold advice, but advice that feels good, too. There is a section in the book about giving up the concept of balance.  On Danielle's blog, she wrote, and has quotes by others, on the issue of balance.  I find this all quite interesting and important to keep in mind.  To read her article on balance from her blog, you can find it here.
Though I haven't read her new book yet, I know I am going to like it.  You can watch Danielle's promo video.
Are you inspired yet?  I love the first mantra, "I will figure it out".  That's bold, brave, and feels good.
What are your thoughts on life balance?  Do you feel like you have attained it?  Do you feel overwhelmed trying to?  What are your thoughts on this new perspective?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Labyrinth Love + Photography Love

This past weekend I was away at a Women's Spiritual Retreat.
I walked the outdoor labyrinth at sunrise.  It is my favorite thing to do on this particular annual retreat, which I have attended for the past eleven or twelve years.  I think I only missed the retreat's first year back in 1999.
The other thing I love to do is to photograph the event.  There is such beauty in all of the women who attend this retreat.  We span in ages from our mid twenties to our nineties.  It is fantastic.  I love the intergenerational wisdom and love that is shared here.
I will share more photos soon.


Related Posts with Thumbnails