I usually am thrust right into the “real world” that I don’t take the time to
reflect and respond to the highs and lows. I’m happy to be able to this year.
1) Witnessing Jessica’s transformation. Dancing to her song and feeling
like the energy lifted us all five feet off the ground. It was just as amazing
the second time!
2) Asking Carrik how the men’s group was and him telling me that I say
stuff and they “get it”. I was moved profoundly by the power of his essence
simply being understood.
3) Launching the wishing lanterns. Watching them rise into the night sky
over the river was a sight to behold. The hopeful energy of our wishes and
Raul’s gentle guitar playing made it a perfect spiritual moment.
1) Meeting Marianne’s Webster on the video but not having his physical
2) Missing free time specifically designated in the schedule.
3) Sleeping in on Monday and missing the silent meditation with Joan and
The song Brave has been playing over and over again in my head and I sing out
loud “I just wanna see you….I wanna see you be brave”. You are the bravest
people I know. Until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Loving you is blessing me,
Hello Present Family,
I write to you today with so much love, compassion and honor. My heart is wide
open. Thank you all for such an amazing gift that just keeps on filling me up.
My highs and lows are as follows ( I do not differentiate as I know it is all
for my highest and best good).......
Thank you to the universe, to God, allowance and Faith, I received the gift of
the weekend and was carried there by Karen "Baroness" and Nancy. What an awesome
start to an amazing weekend!
Jayne and Jimmy - getting to experience and observe your presence was so
heartwarming and I have both feet securely planted in my marriage. What a
blessing you two are to all who get to be in your presence!
Communication with Sally, WOW! Thank you, Sally for providing the opportunity
and your essence. I am nearly speechless at how profoundly I have been touched
by the exercises we experienced together. I want to thank you, Kelly for holding
an amazing, safe space for me and Carrik for your allowance of me and supporting
me in my energy release. I am communicating with much clarity and ease now.
I love playtime in the water, so after the dance Sunday, an impromptu
co-creation with a couple of amazing, beautiful, liberating women, sharing in a
late night, intimate, safe, releasing and freeing skinny dip in the pool! SWEET!
Oh, yeah, with a frog, too :)
Making a wish, lighting a lantern and releasing all, over the water was awesome.
Strumming by Raul and Nancy was perfect.
Thank you Joan for all your creativity, generosity and knowingness.
Meeting and being with Spencer, what an "old soul", wise beyond her years.
Spencer, you are a beautiful, gentle and loving spirit. Thank you for coming and
sharing your amazing self with us. I love your connection and awareness of
nature, the Great Mother Earth. Ginny, what a blessing to have mother and
daughter together for the reunion. Simply beautiful. Thank you.
Getting to share love with Songbird and speaking with Joan about the Junior
Retreaters is very heartwarming and inspiring. I chose to awaken at 38 yrs old
(I am now 55) in order to stop the perpetuation of my fears. I feel like I've
come full circle and perhaps there's a gift I will provide to the Juniors. I can
only imagine what is to be revealed and will be encouraging my grandsons to
come....yahoo! It doesn't get much better than this! WOW!
I had a major breakthrough around Receiving with Barbara at our last meal
together. It is a thought and an emotion that I attach to receiving and I
completely release any belief around the price I will have to pay in order to
receive. Thank you, precious, sweet and loving, Barbara for assisting me and
holding a space for this to occur.
Rod, I love, love, love your presence and amazing insight around relationships,
cooperation and communication. The competitor in me came out strong and I
received the gift of awareness of how I show up and how there are so many
choices, if we are open to possibility. WOW! I love that you hula hoop, too!
Celeste was so right about you being a great addition to the Present Family and
for all, truly. Thank you for choosing to come.
Closing presentations captured the feelings so well and I carry it all in my
heart now to help me remember.
My roommate Vicki, I LOVE you! Thank you for being you and for our talks and
laughs and I hope you choose to return home to Palm Beach again, soon! I would
love to spend more time with you. No coincidence that one of my childhood
dearest friends name is Vicki. Love you, and remember, slice em, dice em, cook
em up...........you know the rest!
Keenie taking care of Songbird when she was tired and not too happy, allowing
Joan to be present for all of us, thanks Keenie, sister of Song :)
Love, abundant love, to all of you precious beings of love and light!
Until we meet again and hopefully before PR2014!!!!
I am still wrapped in the weekend experience. I am sending my lows and highs in
an attempt to get my focus back onto my pending work. You “people” are darn
I need a “do over” on the turn the tarp challenge. I too know it can be done; I
have done it with fewer people on a larger tarp without using hands. I don’t
seem to be letting this one go easily, there might be more to be learned and
I regret kicking the beach ball and my shoe to the ceiling, my anger for things,
from small group process was expressed. I would never want to hurt anyone by my
shoe being kicked off and hitting anyone. I am thankful that no one was hurt and
many saw it as humorous.
No third low identified. Delete!
Meeting the new, to me, seekers of truth (a.k.a. participants and staff) and
especially meeting the baby “Buddha” KyraSong. Connecting with people is
irreplaceable in my life.
Launching my wish lantern and watching other’s launch their wish lanterns. It
would be nice if my wish would come true. But, I get it. I was present, in the
moment, there and experiencing the moment. I am grateful for the weekend
experience and being able to stand in my truth.
Dance… Dance… Dance… Dance. I need and want more “dance” in my life. I would
like to warm up faster and feel comfortable sooner, but I am me. I just
appreciate, love and look forward to THE DANCE!
Fondest regards and love,
Hello, my lovelies!!! I have been super-tired and thinking of you all. Well, I
certainly experienced a number of highs...almost too many for me to recount, but
I will try to narrow it down to three ("try" being the operative word).
1. The whole dance was amazing, but I was particularly blown away by three
moments that night: 1) Karen L's song and seeing her out there "on fire" after
having shared so openly & courageously earlier in the day was so powerful for
me. Thank you, Karen! 2) Joan's song and her sharing her heart and soul with
us...the amount of vulnerability and love was beautiful. Thank you for sharing,
Joan...you continue to amaze me and inspire me to be the best I can be. 3) When
Jessica shared herself and her song with us, the whole room came to life!!! It
was fabulous...I had the best time with my "roomie," Jessica, and I will have it
be known that she is one of the funniest, smartest, and most authentic young
women that I have met in a LONG time!!!
2. Jimmy & Jayne's workshop was so meaningful to me, and the concept of "both
feet in" will stay in my heart and in my intentions forevermore...then, seeing
them dancing together at the dance...wow!!! Seeing these two in action provides
me with such an incredible amount of HOPE for the relationship that I will
create with my future mate & life partner, and it continues to inspire me to
work on myself and excites me when I think of the prospect of working with my
partner towards our goals...standing side by side and looking forward down the
path!!! <3 It's GREAT stuff!
3. Getting to play Terry and Jerry's daughter and seeing how powerful that was
for both of them was a great honor! Then, getting to connect with Terry and
Jerry afterwards was so special. They are an amazingly loving, committed couple,
and I felt honored to get an opportunity to spend some time with them.
4. I HAD to do one more...just one! Having David in my group was great!!!! He is
just so gentle and easygoing, and I felt like I was learning some HUGE and much
needed lessons on "going with the flow" from him. In many ways, I think that the
lessons I learned from David this past weekend are among the most profound that
I will take away with me from this year's conference. I was also touched to see
him beaming with love, joy, and pride when Jayne prompted him to talk about his
grandson!!!! Thank you, David...although you weren't at the dance, your spirit
was there, prompting me to be open and joyful and to go with the flow!!!
1. I did not get to connect with everyone as much as I would have liked to.
2. I was sooooo tired that I missed the morning yoga and meditations.
3. I missed seeing and spending time with Rae! :( I sure wish that she had been
4. Awwww...what the hell??? You break the rules once...you may as well go for it
I wish I had spent a bit more time with Spencer!!! She is such a funny, bright,
beautiful, and sweet young woman!
Thank you all for being you.
Love and peace,
My 3+ highs. The whole weekend was a natural high; these stand out
"Yes, no" exercise in Sally's communication workshop. I shared with my partner,
Rod, and in the group the many "ah ha" moments and links going back and back
that came to me from this exercise. I was grateful that I was present enough to
be able to journal while there about this experience.
The dance: the energy, vulnerability, and strength that came through; Jimmy and
Jayne still dancing together after all those years and living the concept of
"both feet in." It was so much fun! I still see Raoul jumping around to
everyone, like the energizer bunny, and hi-fiving everyone out of pure joy.
The feeling of "family" like never before. Perhaps it was magnified by having
Spencer and Song with us, so basically we had 3 generations of family together.
Spencer is such a joyful, open, accepting and willing presence and addition to
the retreat...and little Song, walking around and among us all in her amazing
sweetness, curiosity and innocence...and Keenie, ever present yet behind the
scene often, offering healing touch to all and assurance that little Song is
safe and attended to.
Rod's exercise with the tarp: everyone in our group was offering creative ideas,
working together with no egos involved, everyone listened to, and the right
choices were made. The process just flowed; we jumped together, in unity and as
one, and WE WON. A life lesson.
It went so fast; it seemed there was not enough time to be with everyone.
Joan: My deepest appreciation for all that you do to organize, counsel, and
bring play to us.
Karen: thank you for your beautiful closing email: "I carry you all in my
heart. Until 2014..."
Love to all,
Hello Magic Present Bus Co-Riders!
My highs started, of all things, with the ride to the retreat. It seems that my
weekend theme was "enjoy the ride". I came this year I came without an agenda,
but rather with the intention of receiving from work others may do. I knew there
would be gifts.
I had the pleasure of sharing the ride with Karen L, Kelly and Carrik. In
between naps and drooling, there were laughs and loving banter. It felt like
kids going to summer camp.
The powerful exchange between Jimmy and Karen in our process group touched me
deeply, and further crystallized for me how love does not have to diminish in
intensity simply because the form of the relationship changes. There was no
doubt the intensity of love both Karen and Jimmy feel for their lost ones is as
great as when those loved ones were in the form we interpret as "life". Thank
you both for being so willing to be vulnerable. The image of you two dancing is
still making my heart resonate with love.
Performing my song once again for all of you, feeling your loving support was
moving. Thank you all for the encouragement. I am already thinking of songs for
next year. Requests are welcome!!
The addition of Rod and his energy to the family was awesome. There was a
familiar feeling to your presence - a seamless integration that for me spoke of
how perfectly the universe works when we align with it. I'm glad you will return
For me today there exist no lows, just the gifts of opportunities . The biggest
one for me actually came after the reunion, and it presented itself in the form
of the video of my performance. Watching myself was difficult, and I have
actually not been able to watch the entire performance. I am curiously not yet
able to hold myself in the same loving, supportive, and non critical space you
were all able to. I am being confronted with looking at the ideal image of
myself (how I thought I performed and sounded) side by side with the reality of
myself (what I actually sounded like). Very representative of how I have shown
up in my life. I see my work as changing my story from shame for not being the
ideal to it simply being a benchmark by which I identify where work is needed.
Kind of like perfecting a song.
Thanks Joan, Sally, Barbara, Jane, Jimmy , and Rod for putting together a
wonderful weekend. You guys rock!! I have photographic evidence if that! :)
I am looking forward to 2014...
With much love,
My highs started before ever getting to the retreat. Being able to ride up with
3 absolutely amazing people started the weekend off for me. Raul informing us he
needed to pack 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave...he and Carrik
having more luggage than Kelly and I...the drool stains in my backseat.
My Peace group...what an amazing experience. It seems like we all couldn't have
been placed in together more perfectly. Each and everyone of you showed such an
outpouring of support and love..I am so grateful to you all. And to be witness
to amazing bravery by so many of you...thanks for working your magic Joan.
Jimmy- thank you. What a blessing to be able to experience what we shared. I
will be eternally grateful to you.
Games with Joan- how can it be so hard for a group of grown adults to follow
simple directions?? I've been divorced, Rod gave birth, and well, we won't talk
about what Kelly and Nancy have done!! The laughter of the weekend is so
healing...definitely a high.
Re-writing my story was so powerful. Having a group of people say "you need this
and we want to help you do it." And me accepting that offer and using it as an
opportunity to grow. Sitting in front of all of you was completely terrifying
for me, but I knew I was safe and loved. Thank you.
As for the lows:
Too short...just not enough time.
I wish I had more opportunity to spend time catching up with everyone. I feel
like there were people I never got to really talk to.
I carry you all in my heart. Until 2014...
I am on my way with my family to marathon. For those of you in my Love group,
your insight into my situation in the keys is definitely one of my highs from
the weekend. Jerry, Cathy, Amy, Nancy, Rod, Frank and Sally I will have you all
Another high was the communication group that Sally led. It really helped me to
see how ineffective my communication skills were. Debi, it was one of the most
powerful times for me thank you for being my partner in it. Saying what I mean
and meaning what I say is my new mantra (thanks Raul) with compassion (thanks
I could go on and on with the lanterns and burning the lies, abundantly grateful
for everyone that was there. Brittany's words at the dance, Karen my roomies
insight and just plain "cool" ways. Raul with his deep wisdom and great
delivery. Carrik and his ability to live a transparent and full life very
The meditation walk with Joan was the perfect antidote for the anxiety
surrounding me on the last am. Back to the real world all that Delete delete
Lows were the times when I caught myself thinking of negative situations and
believing my lies regarding those.
I initially thought how can I not be in Joan's group, but I found wonderful
wisdom from Sally and Rod and am eternally grateful for our love group. Another
example of letting things happen the way they should and how amazing that can
be. Trusting the process. Oops became a high.
I've returned home with a renewed sense of bravery(thanks Andrea) and only one
Love to you all
Wasn't sure I would get an opportunity to put my thoughts down today, however
one of my clients missed his session and alias I was graced with time.
Something the universe always grants me on important matters...time.
Having a rough start up on Friday morning and being frustrated and angry and
expressing it to Keenie first and then Barbara and Sally and being heard,
validated and supported. No defensiveness or personalization. So liberating
and loved. Thank you friends.
Having Rod with us. He was attentive, helpful, dedicated, reliable and
sensitive. I am so thankful he has agreed to join us next year.
The Peace group (small process group) and co-leading it with Jimmy as well as
each person in the group. The trust in the process, supporting each other,
loving each other, watching out for each other. It reminds me of the story of
the difference between Heaven and Hell, a room with a banquet table and tons of
food and each person given a very long spoon. Hell had the people at the
banquet table starving because they could not get their spoon to their own
mouth...Heaven had laughter, abundance and fullness because they each were
feeding each other. That is how I felt in the Peace group.
The Wish lanterns being launched. So connected, beautiful, spiritual and rich.
Raul and Nancy playing guitar in the background.
Ginny checking with me in how she could support me after "changing the story"'
workshop and taking the initiative in organizing all the beautiful decorations
being put up for the dance as well as all that helped pack everything up. It
was so effortless and I am profoundly grateful.
Having some of the faculty and participants room together. The final frontier
in eliminating the hierarchy of staff and participants. We "host" and we are
all participants. You were a great roommate Marianne.
Okay one more...I know this is number 7, and there are many many more, having
Spencer with us. Breaking the ground for the vision of having families heal
together, especially our youth. Yahoo. Thank you Spencer for being so present,
engaged, and wise. You rock, and thank you for the hug after my dance.
It went way to fast. I was beside myself when it was Monday, it can't be over
Finding myself torn between meeting Song's needs of being with me and being
fully present for the group and the experience. Especially at night when she
Missing Jayne and Jimmy's group, Sally's group and the women's group. I want a
clone as well as being immortal!!
Much Love, Peace and Wisdom to you all,
Joan and KyraSong
Dear Soul Mates and Friends,
The weekend was truly uplifting. I think back to the "Yoga by Candle Light"
(thank you, Barbara, for the candle) with the chanting waifing in the
background, what was a beautiful beginning to the day! As I think of it, if
there was one song to catch the theme of the weekend it would be:
This Little Light of Mine
I'm going to let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
To witness and stand in the truth of our being, to be present and accepting and
encouraging to stretch, is there a greater gift? For many, that is a new story!
When Joan, Barbara, Keenie, Rod, and I were reviewing the weekend, we noticed
how organically the theme groups lead into each other: beginning with team
building, exploring the sustainability of a long term commitment, experientially
and psychically saying Yes and saying No, and rewriting our stories. There were
so many opportunities to shift from crisis to other, healthier options.
To recap some of the points in the Communication talk, ask yourself:
"What stops me from communicating more honestly?" (Is it fear of judgment, of
being wrong, of being yelled at, or being shamed or ridiculed, or being rejected
or abandoned, etc)
Think of the old ways you've used to address issues: Telling everyone else but
the person who needs to hear it, getting advice from unhealthy people,
relapsing/using or whatever your choice of escape is.....has it helped?
Write down what the issue is and how/what you want to communicate fully,
completely, honestly. Visualize how you would say it, feel how it would feel in
your body to speak your truth;
Remember you are not responsible for how the other will react...that is they're
(Rod said something very powerful in our break out group: If women would stop
"pandering" to the "little boy" in men, it will give them a chance to grow
up...it keeps them weak and small....)
Stay out of the Rescue mode, it does not serve anyone in a healthy way, it keeps
growth possibilities stagnant.
Practice what you want to say completely, role play with a safe and healthy
person or in a mirror so you can see, feel, hear what you are saying. Practice.
Practice being honest in every thing you do.
Meditation regularly is the most effective way I have found to stay in touch
with my true self. (When I let it slide, I feel myself fall back into unhealthy
way of thinking and feeling).
Anyway, I loved seeing everyone! I had all highs, if there was any low, it would
have been not talking to each of you, one on one, at a deeper level of what was
most important to you!
Love to you all,
Hello my Extended Family,
The Present Reunion, Recharge, Retreat…. It is all of the above and beyond
I was blessed with the opportunity to do a Transmutational Breath with a group
last night and it was divine timing to help release some thoughts that were able
to surface over the weekend and to also integrate the love from the weekend so I
could finally write and share this.
First off, I was up late Monday night and early Tuesday morning to prepare for a
lab with my students and usually I would think I am just back to “reality.” I
realized that lately my “reality” is just how I was over the weekend, there is
no difference, and I really want to keep it that way. I want to live in the
“reality” of The Present because I enjoy work, and life, a lot more in this
I am assimilating Rod’s exercises by presenting my perspective of the weekend by
not following the assumption that I must list my 3 highs and 3 lows. So, I am
Moments to remember-
1. My first Men’s Group, I felt heard for the first time on a topic that I
have shared with many others (both men and women) and with finally being heard
by a great group of beings I was able to heal a part of my past still lingering.
Thank you guys!!!!
2. Allowed myself to take opportunities not offered on the schedule, such
as sleeping in, going for a run, going for a swim in the pool, falling asleep on
the dock missing Joan’s meditation, able to sit at the end of the dock with my
shirt off allowing the strong cool breeze of the storms to hit my bare skin
while watching the clouds build up and the lighting show across the river,
fellowship in lighting the lanterns
3. Having authentic laughter throughout the weekend, starting with meeting
at Raul’s and ending... well, it hasn't really ended.
4. Who is John Green? And how did you program your fan?
5. Hearing the pattern of surrendering in the Wisdom Group. I totally surrender
to not having to listen to the thoughts in my head!!!
6. All of the participants of the talent show… the bravery to expose
yourself to everyone (you danced beautifully Andrea!!) and Pat to get the comedy
routine organized… Also, if anyone would like to face the challenge of Emceeing
next year go for it, it would be great to be a participant and audience member
next year J
7. No longer being the youngest of the adults…. So Jessica you’re coming
next year right????
8. Upon reflecting, this statement came to me when thinking about Joan and
Barbara. “Our Human Body is mortal and our Human Being is immortal.” Every
being I have met at The Present Retreat is forever immortal (I meant to be
redundant) to me especially Barbara and Joan, both of whom been immortal to me
for years now and have kept me from giving in to my mortality.
9. Meeting Spencer after all of these years hearing about her from Ginny.
Spencer showing Pat the grasshopper.
10. No Joan I did not say incontinent, although after you used a plastic bag
as a blindfold and non-stop laughter I was incontinent that evening.
There is soooo much more I could share!!!! I love all of you and all of you are
in my heart always!!!!
Keep in touch.... 2014 will be here soon, but it doesn't have to be the next
time we see each other!!!!
With infinite energy,
I just sat down tonight to thoroughly read everyone’s musings,
highs/lows/gratitude/appreciation/reflections. How do I not sound cliché in
typing, simply what a gift the time was…what a gift it is a week later to
experience feelings of joy, light and love resound in my chest! I have also been
feeling a little funky and this was the reminder, the wake up that I needed. I
feel a little space after reading all the notes, and very grateful to each of
you – for all of your presence, and beautiful Selves! What a truly amazing group
I am jumping on the no high’s or lows wagon…I really appreciated the way Debi
posed it, all the experiences were for my greatest good .
First, I felt so welcomed to this beautiful gathering of connected souls. My
first interaction, after Shawn the receptionist, was with Debi, who warmly
welcomed me with a hug. More than that, I felt that I belonged…which I believe
is a true testament to each of you - providing welcome and safety, in turn
allowing me to be able to turn off my head. Saturday morning, jumping on the
tarp, holding on to Karen, I started laughing – and that was the soundtrack for
my weekend – laughter – pure joy –being in the moment, existing from my heart –
able to just experience, participate, not hindered by the noise – the whispers
of shame that seem at times to be a governor to my every move – ever present,
ever critical... It was so interesting coming back – I felt myself more open,
more intuitive, less noisy. I was blown away how cathartic and freeing
experiencing 72 hours of pure joy can be! It is as if there has been an opening
Rod’s workshop brought some great awareness for me – I felt what it was like to
experience supporting vs caretaking. That felt really good, light and very
different compared to the obligated, or unhealthy secondary gains of the “have
to help” I am familiar with. How often do I assume and not ask? How often do I
just jump in?
Sally’s workshop was awesome! I got so much out of it and the YES - NO
experiential – wow, it was very powerful for me to feel my little girl show up
in that moment of hearing no…giving me an opportunity to gain awareness and make
a different choice going forward vs acting out old roles in communication.
Pat, you are pure joy (hilarity), kindness and love manifested! I have your
beads in my car and have used them as a way to conjure a smile, or some space
inside over the last week.
Nancy – I admire you so much and so appreciated seeing your many gifts-
creativity, honesty and genuine showing up.
The talent show - Amy, I LOVED your locks; there was so much grace in your
movements–that felt very powerful to me. I really enjoyed watching each person
take a risk and exist in the moment, showcasing their creativity - allowing me
to see a piece of their heart. I felt a little embarrassed after my living room
dance– but It proved to be a great a learning experience. It brought awareness
that I need to take more time to honor myself, to give myself credit.
Amy, I am still giggling at all of our serendipity… you my dear one are a very
bright, gentle, loving light. I am very grateful to have met you.
Carrick – your words to me, helping me reframe “giving up” to surrender have
proved to be very profound. You are an inspiration.
The Love group – your closing skit was one of my favorite parts of the weekend
–incorporating the locks, Nancy’s exercise, and bursting out into song, ALL YOU
NEED IS LOVE. Just WOW! I LOVE LOVE!
The dance - Jessica, there was this moment during your song, as it was getting
going, I looked at you and your leg was going and you were there, in it and it
was just beautiful. Marianne, your song, and purple and gifts to each of us – so
much thought and love went into all of it – thank you. Joan, I don’t think I can
put into words your words before your song. It was so touching. Thank you for
allowing us to witness your heart. Spencer thank you for your kind words and the
moment we shared - you are wise beyond your years and have a glow pours out of
The last process group –holy shit I am a perfectionist! I saw my shame show up
very briefly –I was late, which wasn’t a big deal – however, I watched myself
spiral.. It was interesting though to be able to experience it in a different
way – I was outside looking in. I saw how I was stolen from the moment, how it
was distorted, how I went inside, hid – closed down. I also saw myself move
through it faster than I ever have and was able to bounce back…teaching me that
it just doesn’t fit –
DELETE< DELETE< DELETE! Jayne, I have you in my head space:)
I wish I could have had more time to spend with each person.
Thank you to all the faculty Joan, Rod, Sally, Barbara, Jayne, Jimmy, Keenie
(and the amazing massage!!)…each of you brought your own unique style, wisdom ,
offerings of yourself personally and professionally – I was touched by each of
you this weekend.
Joan, thank you doesn't do justice to all the gratitude I feel for you for
creating this weekend. You are a gift to this world. You are an intuitive healer
and an amazing human being!
Thank you to each and everyone one of you.
I am so looking forward to next year.
Sending you each love,
Hello beautiful friends!
Following are some of the highlights for me from this year's retreat. I find it
hard to label high/low because often for me, the lows end up becoming highs.
I loved having Spencer with us, her radiant, joyful energy was so uplifting!!!
I am really inspired by experiencing this young woman. My motivations for
homeschooling my own children was really affirmed by seeing such a joyful,
connected, confident, grounded teenager. Kuddos to Spencer and Ginny on your
The lantern wishing was incredible! Beautiful and magical in every way. My
heart will forever hold the feeling of reverence, connection and bliss as i
experienced our family on the dock. The image of the lanterns soaring in the
night sky lit up with heartfelt wishes is one I will treasure always.
The talent show is always a high for me, experiencing everyone express their
creativity authentically is a true gift.
The dance also is a special highlight! Nancy's dance so spirit led and
inspiring. Joan's so vulnerable, deeply felt and touching. I personally
struggled with my dance, the lyrics of the song "landed" as I was dancing and
had a turtle sensation, feeling very vulnerable, popping in and out of my shell.
I judged myself for being overwhelmed with emotions. I was touched that my
daughter Wynter picked the song and the wisdom and knowing she has with seeing
the Truth. She is light years beyond me and so patient with my turtle paced
growth. I am grateful for all the love and belief in me that I saw in you all
encouraging me to roar! Brittany's sharing before her dance was Divine
intervention and a mirror to my own holding my spirit down recently. Thank you
for helping me see how I was showing up so I could remember how I truly am.
Jessica knocked it outta the park and made us all jump with joy :)
The coincidences aka God winks from start to finish of the retreat were too many
to begin to mention. I am grateful for every one of them!
I LOVED rooming with Andrea, what an earth angel, our late night chats are dear
to my heart.
The woman's circle with Jayne...AMAZING. It was so sacred, intimate and loving.
The higher realms of support was tangible.
Each time I passed Keenie I felt her warmth of spirit and love. Even though I
have had little time with her, she creates a space where my heart feels like it
knows her heart.
The games with Rod made such an impact on me. That saying how you do anything
is how you do everything rang true for me with that experience. The speaking up
for what I feel is in integrity, then what I perceived to be dismissal and
ignored, even expressing the correlation between my patterning of my family of
origin and then being left out/abandoned because my view is different/not the
path to "win" Then resigning myself, withdrawing and standing by the sidelines.
Still processing what that all means....it is a cycle I have experienced for
years....at least I can see it clearly now, that's a beginning.
Love to each of you, I wish there was more time to connect individually.
Joan thank you for bringing us all together in love and for the highest good of
Hi To All,
Hard to believe it has been a week since our last day. I think that is because I
have been reliving so much of what happened over that weekend, enjoying many
I won’t do well at specifying top Highs and Lows, but here goes some of my
It would be impossible to leave out how well I felt accepted and included in the
group as a whole and in any experience of the weekend. Always felt welcomed and
accommodated, and I hope all first timers had that same experience. Doesn’t
always go that way at all places. It is a huge plus that I hope the community
recognizes about itself.
Another huge part for me was seeing you all be open, working on stuff, but
mostly trusting and being authentic. I saw so much goodness in you that I am at
a loss for words to describe it.
You probably know what I mean, even without my attempts to detail it. Let me
say that witnessing it was a most wonderful gift, very touching, and very much
I would like to add to the Highs the experiences I have had with the
facilitators. Am still benefiting from our planning and processing together and
being in their groups during our weekend.
Elsewhere with many people, there were a lot of 1:1 conversations, too many to
mention, that I am still enjoying. They are not forgotten. Thank you.
On a slightly different note, I am now so grateful that it only took two
washings and two sun-bakes to get the mildew smell from our sleeping room out of
my yoga mat.
Over in the Lows column, and these items are pretty negligible in the scheme of
I wish we would have had more time to process after the Gator Boards “exercise,”
though that is probably unrealistic given those activities don’t lend themselves
to scheduling. There was a lot there to deal with given all persons seemed to be
doing then/there what is done elsewhere.
Missing most of the dance and the balloon release, I learned later, was a big
loss. So many references to those by many of you convinced me of that.
Another serious disappointment was Joan having left the late-night swim off of
the schedule I was given. Currently having suspicions that was done on purpose
Love and Best Wishes to All,
Hello, Fellow Travelers,
(Thanks, Raul, for the idea of being co-riders or travelers. Besides the car
rides up together and the bus rides during the weekend experience, we have
traveled light years together (which I’m sure Spock and Dorothy could attest
to). It always amazes me that the time spent together during our weekend journey
feels much greater than four days. It reinforces for me how rich and full life
can be when one lives from within, authentically experiencing each moment, and
making connections with others.
The first high was finding out that I didn’t have to choose two of the four
workshops. I liked not having the pressure to decide and being able to attend
and benefit from all of them. I made some important realizations like seeing how
my “yes” voice in Sally’s communication workshop is rather weak and unfamiliar
to me, especially when saying yes in the area of caring for myself. Playing the
strong voice in Terry’s skit or new story and seeing how much effort it takes to
block out that persistent, negative voice was also eye opening and very powerful
for me. (Thank you, Carrik, for being willing to change the plan last minute
and play Terry’s role throughout!)
The talent show was another high. Because of Joan’s nudging to follow out my
intention for the weekend, to risk and show up more, I was able to walk through
a fear and to take part in the improv (something that I usually stay away from).
Due to Pat and Spencer’s additional nudging, I was able to take it a step
further and do the freeze method where one comes up on the spot with another
act. I’m not sure if it was funny, especially topics of death and marital
conflict and separation, but I find myself smiling and giggling when I think of
pumping Spencer’s stomach and Song’s comment. I’m sorry if I was a bit too
intense though. I guess those things are still a part of my psyche. I loved
Spencer and Pat’s interview as Dorothy and Dr. Spock. I don’t know how Spencer
kept a straight face, however, with those long faces that Pat made and the slow
motion voice! And Andrea’s “living room” dance. How courageous and graceful!
Thanks for letting us look in your window, Andrea.
Magical and tender are the words that come to mind when I think of the lantern
release off of the dock. Although I did not release any myself (perhaps because
I have a hard time with wishes and/or trusting that my lantern would take
flight), I thoroughly enjoyed being a witness to others. From where I sat, I saw
people bravely lighting them, helping one another, and waiting for the right
moment to let them go up. I also saw some sending them out too soon and watching
them drop into the water, and then relighting another one. This was all
happening against the backdrop of Raul’s strumming and the frogs chanting their
own kirtan. I was mesmerized by that sound that the frogs were making. It was a
first for this Jersey girl.
And the dance. What wonderful music and a joy to be a part of everyone’s
personal best. The love, continuous support, and playfulness in the room was a
trip beyond words. Hanging out all night with my good friend Vicki was an added
joy. I’m sorry, Vick, that I didn’t have it in me to dance the night away like
we used to do. Perhaps I was full from all of the love and release that I was
able to experience in each of the dances. And to dance with you, Joan, during
your song was an ultimate high for me. What an honor and a gift and a treasured
moment that will live on in my heart forever.
And then swimming (or should I say skinny dipping) with Debi and Cathy. I
suppose by doing so that I continued to carry out my intention to risk and to
“show up more”. One never knows where the learning will come from during the
recharge weekend! As with many of the circles of love that graced the weekend,
it was an honor to be in this one and to form a bond with two very special and
Speaking of circles of love, I just want to thank my group, the love group, for
all of their courageous sharing, and also for flooding me with love and
affirmation after I shared the “between my ears stuff” with them.
And last but not least, meditation on Monday morning was simple and exquisite. I
am still in awe of how silent that was, even with a three year old!
Although the highs far outweigh the lows, there were a few lows for me.
As many have said, there wasn’t enough time (clock time, that is) to relax and
to be with others more. I suppose that is one of the drawbacks of having all
On Saturday evening I was feeling a bit tired and low and a bit disconnected (my
demons, the ones that tell me I don’t matter, were surfacing again), and I
missed games with Joan, as well as Marianne’s dog video. After talking to my
sponsor/friend back home, I was able to go back out into the world and found
myself in Jane and Jimmy’s AA meeting. It was tranquil and inviting, and I felt
accepted, exactly the space I needed in the moment.
The trip back home and finding out that our flight was cancelled was a low at
first. Knowing that I was going to miss my first day of school as a teacher put
me in a temporary panic. Eventually, Pat and I were able to find acceptance and
to use the idea of going from crisis to opportunity. I often wished that I could
take off the next day after recharge to unwind, so here was my opportunity, as
well as a chance to spend more time with Pat (who I don’t see very often even
though we both live in NJ).
I’m grateful to have had another chance to “be amongst those who keep my fire
burning” (to borrow from Debi’s shared quote). Thank you for an awesome weekend.
I love you all.