Meeting a new group of women on a retreat never fails to surprise, delight, and excite me. And often, especially the day after they leave I am pensive; reviewing in my mind what the retreat meant to me and what I think it meant for them. Each retreat I lead leaves me feeling blessed that I can share this special place and it's magic with other women. It also allows me to reach out to both experienced and beginner yoginis and offer my perspective of the practice.
This group was cohesive and engaging and introspective. It was interesting to teach them yoga in an effort to open their heart center and to see that translate onto their papers in an art studio. I realized how I share their craving to express myself creatively, but my right brain rests in the beauty of words on paper where theirs spilled onto the pages of art journals. There is something really beautiful about watching a person create art.
The other aspect of joy came from seeing how Madeline Island inspired them. I challenge anyone to come to this island and not feel a spark to his or her creative center. Prior to hiking the State Park I mentioned to them that we would probably be walking for a good 6 to 7 miles. However, I quickly learned that hiking with artists is a completely different process. They lie under trees and shoot cameras up to capture their majesty. They take pictures of clouds, rocks, wildflowers, and mushrooms. They pick up rocks and our nature to incorporate into their art. We spent two and a half hours on a two-mile hike.
As always, wrapping up a retreat was bittersweet. I was satisfyingly exhausted. Despite Madeline having treated "us to days of sunshine symbolically, the rain came down hard on the day they left. One of the women shared this sentiment, "As the Ferry pulled away from Madeline Island I couldn't help but be reflective of the wonderful retreat and new group of friends I had made there. I also had to say goodbye to an Island I am growing to love more and more."
Thank you Lynnae Burns for guiding them on their art journey and Hannah Stonehouse Hudson for teaching them a new perspective in photography. Thank you Madeline Island School of the Arts for hosting the creative yoginis.