One of the most delightful new experiences introduced at the last Uninhibited Retreat held in March was "Chalk it Out." Armed with many different colors in our hands and plenty of thoughts in our heads, we filled the driveway in front of my house with our not-so-nice notes and sweet scribbles about ourselves. It was illuminating to see not only my inner voices scrawled across the pavement, but others' as well. There were words that resonated with my own and there were some sentiments I'd never say to myself. And that was a large part of the point of this activity - To look at what we say to ourselves and then to consider why it is that we talk such smack about our bodies, our feelings and our lives when we'd never say these same things to our mothers, our sisters or our girlfriends.
It was an exercise designed to reveal both our insecurities and our confidences. It was a time to witness, to be vulnerable and honest, to be kind and forgiving. We even had a playlist of music to move to as we chalked our way from the voices of mean-spirited nonsense to full-on light and goodness. This back-and-forth dance happens throughout the retreat. Our feelings and emotions are taken on a beautiful and sometimes not-so-beautiful ride as we see and acknowledge those places in our lives where we're fully being ourselves and where we're not.
The Uninhibited Retreat illuminates our light and our shadow so we can see more clearly who we are and who we are not.
Here are a few more pics of our light illuminated in photos by Richard Marks.
One of the words I chalked was 'pause'. Even though it's been five months since I wrote it down on my driveway, I still feel its impact. I'm happy to say that its meaning has shifted from what felt like a fierce demand back then to a more kind reminder now.
Going on a retreat is an intentional pause. We take time out of our "regular lives" to slow down, get out of our normal routine and try on something different. Every few months, I look forward to planning this retreat and participating in it.
Earlier this summer, just before registration for the October retreat was scheduled to open up, I thought about pausing and the reasons for it. Clarity led to prioritizing. And in some kind of odd way I haven't quite sussed out, prioritizing is leading to me to simplicity.
So while I pause, prioritize and prepare for a big adventure I'm about to undertake, Uninhibited will pause for a few months and be back in March of next year.
May you take intentional pauses in your life from time to time and may it be time well spent.