Creative Waves: The Alchemy of Insight
Mar de Jade, Mexico | Feb 11-18, 2017
The retreat will begin with gentle yoga at 5:00 p.m. followed by dinner on Saturday, with check-in any time after 2:00 p.m.; it will end at noon the following Saturday. We will alternate sessions of writing with sessions of yoga and meditation. All sessions are optional; if you choose, you may wish to go for a walk along the sandy beaches, continue your own personal writing, take a rest, or engage in some other activity during the retreat. This is your retreat. Do whatever nourishes your body, your spirit, and your own creative soul.
In this retreat, we learn to write from our whole being by moving our bodies through yoga poses, stilling our minds in meditation, and letting go of the inner critic in a safe and supportive writing circle.
As we begin to inhabit our bodies more peacefully through yoga and meditation, letting go of tension, our writing begins to flow and the creative spirit is unleashed. We learn to banish that voice that sounds like our older brother or our teacher telling us how our writing is somehow not right.
As we write and do yoga together, we find inner silence and ultimately, space for our stories to emerge. These stories are both uniquely our own and, because they speak to our real lives, truly universal, serving to connect us with one another.
When we write from this centred space – whether we write poems, short stories, non-fiction, or family anecdotes – we write the truth of our lives. In this retreat we write together, and we write what is true now, however it emerges, be it a country and western tune, a play, a journal entry, or a story about our fifth-grade teacher. This close attention to what is in our writing and the support of a fun and accepting writing community enriches our yoga practice. As we allow our writing to emerge just as it is, we can also begin to accept each yoga pose as it is at the moment – this morning's Triangle Pose, or this evening's Mountain Pose.
This diving-into-the-heart-of-the-moment is crucial to the practice of yoga. As we learn to live in the present moment, we unleash our creative potential in all aspects of our lives. By bringing yoga and writing together, we enrich both practices and find new ways to nurture our creative spirits.
Mar de Jade, the "Sea of Jade," provides one of the most beautiful and tranquil retreat spaces in all of Mexico. Located just ninety minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, our retreat centre is situated on the pristine sandy shores Chacala beach. Enjoy the lapping of ocean waves as you stroll along the shore, relax in the pool or hot tub, or take a quiet walk through the lush jungle.
Founded in 1983 by the humanitarian vision of physician Laura del Valle, Mar de Jade offers holistic spa treatments, guided hikes to secluded beaches, and other activities to help you relax and release into your highest self. Our yoga and writing sessions will take place in a spacious studio with plenty of natural light and breathtaking ocean views. Our meals, served by the friendly staff at Mar de Jade, will be deliciously vegetarian. Please let your facilitator know well in advance if you have any food allergies or intolerances, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Please note that accommodations, including three delicious Buffet meals a day, can be booked directly through the retreat centre. Simply visit the website for further information: http://www.mardejade.com.
Michèle will provide a gentle yoga practice that focuses on breathwork and on finding inner stillness through a meditative yoga practice. While we will sometimes work hard, we will play with our yoga poses as well, learning to be at ease in our own physical forms. Exploring the ways in which our emotions are connected to our bodies, we will see how our spirits are affected by different movements – standing poses, gentle back bends, simple balancing poses, restorative forward bends, and so on. We will focus on maintaining a healthy alignment of the body, an alignment that will help us to breathe easily and move freely throughout our lives.
No experience in either yoga or writing is necessary for this retreat. The retreat is suitable for everyone, from beginners to experts.
During our writing circles, we will write together for a set period of time following a specific writing prompt: Michèle may read a poem, provide a guided visualization, or use a set of words or objects to trigger memories, for example. We will then respond to each other's writing, refraining from any negative critique, commenting only on what stays with us and on what we like in the writing. The writing done in the workshop is fresh and new, and like a newborn baby, it is vulnerable. So we nurture it by focusing on what is strong. In one session on developing a manuscript, Michèle will provide some guidance on what to do in later stages of the writing, but the focus of the retreat will be to support the generative process. This new writing is where the creative spark lies.
The Amherst Writers & Artists' method that we will use in this workshop nurtures writing and keeps writers safe in a number of ways. We will treat all the work as fiction, referring to the speaker of the work as "the narrator," so that we can write what is most important to us as it arises in the moment. We will honour the writer by listening carefully. We will be invited, but never forced, to share our work with the group. While the writing process can be therapeutic, it is not therapy, and we will maintain our focus on the writing.
We will concentrate on the writing at hand, not on anecdotes of similar experiences. As we follow these guidelines, we will find that our own unique voices begin to emerge.
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To learn more about our Creative Waves: The Alchemy of Insight retreat in Mar de Jade, Mexico on Feb 11-18, 2017 enter your name, email address and phone number below.
Retreat spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so please reserve your spot soon. To insure you receive the room of your choice, please book your room early with Mar de Jade as well.
The deposit is non-refundable. Refunds for the balance of the registration will be given only if your spot can be filled by another registrant on the waiting list. Registrations are transferrable: if you cannot make it to the retreat, you can send someone else in your place.