Reset & Renew Retreat Recap

writing retreats

Okay, yes, that title is a tongue-twister. But it's exactly what we're going to do here. The retreat last month was... magical. Exactly what I needed. And it turned out to be even more amazing than I could have imagined. Before we left the Inn we set dates to do it again next year (stay tuned - registration will be up in the next month).

I could gush on, but instead I am going to turn it over to my co-host, Rachel Redmond, who posted this lovely re-cap on Facebook, and who's given permission for me to share it here, with you.

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A few weeks ago, Stacy Opalewski Walsh and I co-hosted our first Reset & Renew Retreat on the site of an old dairy farm surrounded by over 100 acres of wetlands and woodland trails.

I had expected it to be peaceful and introspective and that I myself might have time to process some of the heavy emotional load over the past few years.

What I didn’t expect is that it would feel so BOUNCY! 🤩

Yes my friends, BOUNCY. 💓

I have a one year- old kid. A husband. A dog. A mountain of domestic tasks on my “to-do” list AND lately I’ve been putting in extra hours to bring forth my concept of “The Yin Way” to the online world.

But the past few months have been particularly challenging.

I’m still settling into the role of being a mother. I’m still figuring out how to cope with chronic anxiety that revved up after the birth of my son. And I’m still learning to navigate my life while grieving the loss of my first baby.

So, as I drove the 2 hours west to The Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids, Michigan, I started to settle into the space of practicing what I teach in The Yin Way by slowing down.

I paid attention to the details of the drive, the road, the purple wildflowers studded along the median and that’s when when something amazing happened...

There was a truck in the lane next to me and as I drove past I noticed the driver was literally BOUNCING up and down in his seat.

It looked like his seat was actually a trampoline (likely a safety feature intended to soften the impact of all the bumping around)... But when I looked at the driver bouncing up and down, I started to laugh!

Then I had the urge to bounce up and down in my seat! It didn’t really work as you can imagine, but I found myself thinking about this bouncy driver for the rest of the drive and as I entered the space of the retreat.

If you know me well, you know that I giggle A LOT! But to be honest, I haven’t been giggling that much in the past 2.5 years.

It’s been hard for me to find my joy again after such a devastating loss as the one I experienced.

And as much as I am so grateful to have a healthy, thriving baby, the first year of motherhood was a bit challenging -- to say the least.

I actually decided to host the retreat because I knew that it was exactly what I needed for myself.

The retreat reaffirmed for me that paying attention to the present moment is what heals. It’s where the banal moments of daily life intersect with that which is sacred.

It's not easy to do this. Sometimes what we find is that the moment is really painful and being present with it may seem intolerable. But other times, if we really pay attention to what's right there, we just might find that everything feels right.

I realized the necessity of going on retreat is not just about doing the deep inner work. It may be about that, but it may also be a chance to reconnect with joy or experience bliss in a way that may feel foreign.

I’d love to know...what’s been your experience if you’ve gone on retreat? And if you haven’t yet, what’s stopping you?

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