A few years ago, I facilitated an eight week creativity workshop which was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. For eight wonderful weeks, a group of about 8-10 women came together to get inspired, share the fruits of their labour, encourage each other, find a safe space to create, try new and daring things, get their hands dirty, and discover that they were more gifted than they’d ever thought they were. For most of us (myself included), it felt like an awakening – an un-shackling. It wasn’t about painting the most amazing, critically acclaimed work of art, or writing that great novel that would launch you into stardom, it was more about giving yourself permission to pick up a paint brush or pen or camera or guitar or whatever your tool of choice may be, close the door on the laundry room, and just create to your heart’s content. It was about acknowledging that creativity is as high a calling as any and there is value in the process even without any astounding results. It was about discovering that, despite what our highly productive society too often preaches, creating art just for the sake of enjoying it is NOT a waste of time.

Last week, while I was blog-surfing, I came across a reference to a “creativity retreat”. Something stirred inside of me. It was that old longing again. A longing to go back to that place where women were safe enough to admit their fears of failure and yet encouraged to find the boldness to try anyway. A longing to once again serve as a midwife to other women’s art-babies. A longing to see the tears well up in someone’s eyes when they gave themselves permission to create. A longing to listen to the whispering of the muse and to help other people hear it too. A longing to see the bold yet terrified looks on their faces as they laid the fruits of the labour before the rest of the group.

I have waited nearly five years for the chance to do it again. I’m done with waiting. It’s time to go back to that place. Who wants to come with me?

Here’s what I want to do. I want to set aside an extended weekend (perhaps 3-4 days) where a group of women can escape to a quiet place to be inspired, to cheer each other on, to make art, to tell stories, to sit in silence, to let the tears flow, to laugh with delight, to birth and share their art-babies, to have a-ha moments, to forget about unfinished laundry, to think bold thoughts, and to just be safe for awhile.

I expect that the time-frame for this will be some time in November. Yeah, I know it’s not the BEST time to be at a retreat centre in Manitoba, but hopefully I’ll find somewhere with a cozy fireplace.

I haven’t worked out the details yet, but I thought I would first “cast my bread upon the water” and see if I can find enough interested women to make this worth the effort. Who’s willing to give it a shot? Anyone is welcome (well, any WOMEN anyway – sorry guys), as long as you can get yourself to the Winnipeg vicinity for a few days. You don’t have to be an accomplished artist, you just have to be willing to open that tiny door to the creative space in your brain.

I’m not sure of the cost yet, but I’ll work that out as I put the plans into place. (It’s not a money-making venture, so the costs won’t be astronomical.)

For now, just let me know if you’re interested. No, I’m not promising you’ll be imparted with great wisdom from a creativity guru or accomplished artist, but I can promise you that, if you are willing to share of yourself and open yourself up to new ideas, you will be inspired. I may not be the most qualified “teacher”, but I do believe I have some gifts in “facilitating” creativity and learning. Most of your learning will not come from me but from the other amazing women who choose to offer something of themselves.

Who’s with me? Reply in the comments or send me an email.

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