Lila Danielle

A Deep Listening

It's been two months since the last Uninhibited Retreat. It was a beautiful, small gathering and once again, it opened my heart and renewed my spirit in ways that intimate and illuminating shared experiences often can do.  I am honored to have spent several days dancing with and diving into the depths of ourselves with these courageous and delightful women.

There's a certain magic, a palpable yet hard-to-explain feeling that's unique to every retreat I've facilitated and/or attended. A temporary community comes together, extending unearned trust in an experience and in each other and that, in and of itself, is where the magic lies. Retreats offer a safe space and place to give of ourselves to something we might not normally have in our day to day lives.  I know from having been a steady retreat participant and facilitator over the last twenty years, we need to be with each other in creative and curious, open and tender truth-telling ways. We human beings are hungry for experiences that help us remember what's really important in our lives and remind us of our own humanity.

We are a fragile species on the edge of tearing one another and this world apart.

And so what is one to do when filled with longing to be more compassionate and considerate, more calm and centered, more loving and forgiving?  How do we best take care of ourselves so that our lives feel both meaningful and full of possibility?  

We deeply listen.  

Sometimes solitude is best to delve into one's own mind and body and all that it contains; thoughts, beliefs, memories, emotions, feelings.  Sometimes it's better to explore all those things in the company of others. For me, I've found a sweet in-between spot where solo contemplation and group exploration nurture each other. 

In support of that above named sweet spot, I am about to embark on a retreat adventure overseas that I'm really excited about.  I also recently made a decision I felt was important to honor my own process and personal desires which was to invite familiar friends to join me in Maui in October. What this means is...

The next Uninhibited Retreat will be in March 2017. 

The deep listening that's taking place within me needs this time to reflect and remember what makes me feel most free. Upon my return, I trust those longings of mine will have been well-attended to and the Uninhibited Retreat will have evolved into the kind of embodied experience that holds strong appeal for women who not only love to dance, but who want to be deeply seen, heard and felt through their creative expression and presence. I'll be ready November 1 to welcome in those who might consider joining me.  

A Time to Unpack Your Heart

 

Meet me where the sunlight ends
Meet me where the truth never bends
Bring all that you're scared to defend

And lay it down when you walk through my door
Throw all of it out on the floor
Your sorrow, your beauty, your war
I want it all, I want it all

Bring your secrets, bring your scars
Bring your glory, all you are
Bring your daylight, bring your dark
Share your silence
And unpack your heart

Show me something the rest never seen
Give me all that you hope to receive
Your deepest regret dies with me

The days when you stumble and fall
The days when you grind to a crawl
The treasure that hides behind your walls
I want it all, yeah I want it all

Bring your secrets, bring your scars
Bring your glory, all you are
Bring your daylight, bring your dark
Share your silence
And unpack your heart
Then unpack your heart

Oh, I'm on your side
So shed your shadow
And watch it rise

Oh, I'm on your side
So shed your shadow
And watch it rise
Into your darkness
I'll shine a light

Bring your secrets, bring your scars
Bring your glory, all you are
Bring your daylight, bring your dark
Share your silence

Bring your honor, bring your shame
All your madness, I will tame
Won't you lay down, down your guard
Share your silence
And unpack your heart

I love this song. I love the tune, but I especially love the lyrics. They're an invitation to being vulnerable and real. To opening your heart in a deep and beautiful way to another. To becoming free of all the things you might fear.  This is my invitation to you. An opening for you to walk through. A time for you and me to become more free together. 

There is still time and still room for you to be a part of the next Uninhibited Retreat happening March 24-28th.  Registration will close ten days from now on March 1.

Come unpack your heart with me on Maui and... 

Show me something the rest never seen. 

 

The Truth Is...We're Going to Fall In Love

It's almost Valentine's Day - a national holiday dedicated to celebrating love. 

For me, every day is a holiday in which to celebrate love.

Love of self. Love of others. Love of nature. Love of dance. Love of creative expression. Love of life. There is so much to love and yet sometimes in the swirl of day-to-day living and the multitude of tasks begging for my attention, I lose sight of what's most important and forget to indulge in love-making and love-taking. For me, feeling free involves being able to both give love and receive it. If I stop the flow either way in any area of my life, that's when I get stuck.  And I hate feeling stuck.  I imagine you might feel this way sometimes, too.

Getting unstuck together is just one of the things we do during Uninhibited.

How do we best do that?  By falling in love with each other and by falling more in love with ourselves.  And how do we do that?  By being vulnerable and real. By showing up fully.  No holding back. No hiding out. By being willing to dive into the depths of ALL of who we are even when it scares the beejezus out of us. When we're given opportunities to express who we really are without fear of judgment or having to worry that someone is "out to fix us" if we share our struggles, this revealing of our stories, our truths, our humanity begins to un-stick us.  

Sometimes the fall is immediate. Sometimes it takes a day or two. But by the time the retreat is complete, we all will have fallen. We are gloriously, ridiculously giddy with the amount of love we are feeling.  I'll admit it - One of the reasons I have both facilitated and attended retreats for the past 15 years is because I'm addicted to that falling-in-love feeling. I'm a freedom-loving experience junkie. And the last bit of truth-telling for today - Once I fall in love with you, that love sticks around . That's the kind of stuck-ness I don't mind at all.

Come fall with me.   

The next Uninhibited is six weeks away and registration for the March retreat closes in just 20 days. So if you're thinking about joining us, don't delay. I hope you make every day a love-filled Valentine's Day.

 

It's almost that time again...

In a little more than two months from now, the fifth Uninhibited Retreat will begin.  I'm just as excited about this upcoming adventure as I was about the last one and the one before that and the one before that and...you understand. You understand, right?

You understand the feelings of anticipation and wonder, joy and delight, enthusiasm and desire. I know you do because I know life gives all of us plenty of opportunities to experience these feelings. I also know life is quite unpredictable and at times we are completely thrown off the 'feel good' train and onto a different mode of transportation or way of being.

I got thrown off that train in such a sudden and shocking way three weeks ago that I'm just now finding my way back to the familiar way I usually travel which is open and lighthearted, kind and compassionate, happy and free.  It's taken some time, a lot of dancing, many tears shed and several supportive conversations to help me get back on track so-to-speak. Even though I'm feeling better today, I know that grief is the kind of train that makes multiple stops and never arrives at a final destination although acceptance is eventually the ideal station to retire that train.  

What do 'feel good' (or any other type of) trains have to do with the next Uninhibited Retreat? To keep the train analogy going a little longer...

Uninhibited is an "All Aboard" kind of experience. 

I ask participants to bring all of who they are into this retreat. All of their trains. All of their feelings. All of their ways of being. Why?  So we can ride the trains we love the most. So we can feel the ways we want to feel. So we can be who we really are.  

Shared vulnerability in small numbers (of people) creates a sweet intimacy between all of us and helps to insure a safe space for everyone. 

So whether you're like me and you've recently been tossed off your regular 'feel good' train and want back on or you're wondering what riding a 'feel good' train would be like or you're happy and content with the train you're riding however you're curious to know more about how you can have the best travel experience, this retreat may be something you'll want to be a part of.   

Registration is open for the next retreat until March 1. If you decide to join us, I promise this will be a beautiful train ride you'll always remember.    

No Men. No More.

Uninhibited is now a women only event. 

What I'm about to share does not diminish in any way the experience of the first Uninhibited Retreat, which had an equal amount of men and women. I LOVED that retreat for everything it was: a wonderful facilitating collaboration with a dear friend, a movement-based event that became so much more than dance, a roller coaster ride of emotions, a heart journey of hard and beautiful lessons, a plethora of awe-inspiring, vulnerable experiences, the beginning of something I wanted to offer for a long time. 

Two years ago when I brought Uninhibited into being, I fiercely wanted it to have both men and women in it.

Quite often in life, what you ask for, you get.

And so it was that the first time I offered this retreat in February 2014, there were six men and six women.  I felt excited and confident in facilitating a mixed gender group and this dozen in particular because I knew many of them personally prior to the retreat.  I'd attended many dance events where the dynamic energy that was created was due in part to there being both females and males.

Activities and meals were planned. Music and goody bags were created. I had some expectations on how the retreat might go and all of them were pretty much obliterated. There are things I can't share due to confidentiality and out of respect for others' choices. The sharing I'm doing here is from my perspective and my experience of the retreat and leads to the reason why I've decided to make all future Uninhibited retreats women only events. 

For several days, my home became their home. My heart and eyes opened up in ways that hadn't in years.  My birth name changed to the name I'm now called. It was a big deal. It was a game-changer. It transformed me. The retreat's tagline of "An experience where anything can happen and everything is possible" turned out to be my own ass-kicking, my own wake-up call. 

The last three retreats have been attended by women only.  The last three retreats have had 5-6 participants. The last three retreats have had most of the women staying at my house, not at other accommodations. What I fiercely wanted and received two years ago served me in many ways, my ego included.  

Since then, a Fierce Softening has been occurring. Perhaps you've heard me use this expression before. Perhaps it sounds familiar because it's the name I used for a ceremony I held in March 2014 where many of my friends gathered to celebrate my name change. Perhaps it sounds familiar because you're one of the people I've told that it's the name of my forthcoming book. Perhaps it will sound familiar when I say more about what a Fierce Softening is. 

Less ego involved. More soul invested.   

What I want now for Uninhibited, for my work in the world and for my life has changed.

I am NOT interested or involved in the next level, scaling up, maximizing profits, growing my list, increasing my success rate, or achieving "massively great outcomes" as Tony Robbin's current Facebook ad screams. Oh…I used to want these things. I chased after them for years. Bought the hype. Bought the online programs. Bought the bullshit. No more. Never again. Not me. 

I AM interested and invested in what's present, diving deep, minimizing excuses, strengthening my relationships, evolving my being and having meaningful experiences with others that make me and them come alive. Oh…and these things aren't about things. They're about feelings and people and presence.

The last three retreats with women only have shown me where I want to invest my soul. They've shown me a depth of heart and spirit and extreme vulnerability that's so fucking real and raw, it requires, it demands an audience that is so safe, so sacred that if getting naked is what one needs to do, there is no hesitation and nothing to stop one from doing so.  I know there are plenty of co-ed retreats and retreat spaces where nudity is a given and no one thinks twice about it.  I'm comfortable being naked in those settings, but Uninhibited is not one of those retreats. And no matter what someone says about "nudity not being an issue," mixed gender groups are distracting even without a single penis or vagina ever being seen. It's not our genitals that do the distracting. Trust me. I know this from a very tender place.  

This was a lot longer than I thought it would be. It was important to get it all out. It was important to say what's true for me and what's now true about the Uninhibited Retreats.

  • It is a women only event.
  • The retreat is limited to 8 participants. 
  • It is an all-inclusive experience. All participants retreat, eat and stay at my house.

Registration for the March 2016 retreat

opens December 1.     

 

An Uninhibited Question & Answer

What can your friends count on you for? 

I just returned from a sweet weekend of dance, delicious meals, dramatic weather and deep connection with some of my favorite people on the planet.  I would do pretty much anything for any one of these six friends of mine in the photo above.  

I would dance in the pouring down rain with them. 

I would buy them a meal, a bottle of wine, a plane ticket  and especially something special that they would want, but might not buy for themselves.

I would hold their gaze and not look away when they needed someone to see them. 

I would hold their hands in mine, hug them  hard and not let go until they do. 

I would tell them the truth even if it's hard to hear. 

I would be there for them when they asked, when they least expected it and when they needed someone or something, but didn't know who or how to ask.   

My friends can count on me to be fiercely loyal, relentlessly upbeat, ridiculously silly and real.

What is it that you give to your friends without a second thought?  What are the qualities of being others can rely on you for?  And if you had you  as a friend, could you count on you? 

You can count on being asked questions during this retreat that  will make your mind think, your heart feel and your spirit relax. When you take time out to delve into how you live your life and what's most important, thinking, feeling, relaxing  (and dancing!) is bound to happen.

Seven more weeks until the next retreat begins. Four more weeks to decide if you'll be a part of it. Registration closes October 1.  

An Uninhibited Question & Answer

    

 

 

What's something in your life

that turned out better because it failed?

Failure is a loaded word.  For so many people, it implies that what failed is the person, not the project or the process of other particulars that were out of your control.  Banks fail. Crops fail. Efforts, behaviors and outcomes fail. People do not.  

I don't believe in failure. I believe in living life courageously, making mistakes and learning to do things differently. I think shit happens, plans change and new directions are taken.

This is how it played out when I owned a dance studio along the north Oregon coast for a year.   For nine months, my friend, Elia and I did everything we could think of for the studio to be a success. And when I say success I mean that enough money was made to keep the doors open so we could continue offering ecstatic dance classes to our community.  Our efforts failed and the studio closed after the year's lease ended, but we didn't consider ourselves failures.  We were disappointed that the vision we had for this space ended up being different than its reality, but to have made this dream of ours come true in 2008  even if it was for a short time (opening a new business that year might have been one of those particulars), made us happy and gave us many opportunities to learn about ourselves and what we really wanted to be doing.  

The truth was...neither of us wanted to own or run a dance studio. We wanted to facilitate classes and we wanted to dance. It was my truth then. It remains true now.

Had the studio not failed, perhaps I'd still be living in Oregon and not Hawaii.  Had the studio not failed, perhaps I wouldn't have created Beach Dance. Had the studio not failed, perhaps I wouldn't be leading retreats.  

I shudder to think of all these things that are in my life now that perhaps wouldn't be if the studio had been successful. And when I say shudder, it's not just the thought of being in the cold, gray Pacific Northwest weather that makes my body shake - it's this thought: What would my life be like now if I  had thought I  was the failure?

We are not failures. We are successes who make mistakes and who become better if we want to.

Becoming better is becoming more of who we really are and being who we really are is what living courageously is all about.  A bit of courage is needed during Uninhibited...so shit can happen, plans change and new directions are taken.   

Calling all scarecrows, tin men and lions for the next courageous adventure that begins exactly eight weeks from today.     

 

The Latest Goodness

The next retreat is now less than three months away...  

October 22-26, 2015.

It's a quaint affair when it comes to number of participants - just twelve people and three spots have already been claimed.  Speaking of three...here are the latest words of loveliness from some of the last retreat's participants: 

    "I love Lila. I love her music. I love her attitude. I love her ability to hold a container. Her house is gorgeous. Swimming with the sounds of whales and taking five days to write and dance and sink into my needs and desires, that's why I said yes (to attending). I felt seen. Really seen while I was expressing some tenderness. I felt held and taken care of completely which allowed me to deeply rest and reset."     - Christi from Kapaa, Hawaii   

 

"I love Lila. I love her music. I love her attitude. I love her ability to hold a container. Her house is gorgeous. Swimming with the sounds of whales and taking five days to write and dance and sink into my needs and desires, that's why I said yes (to attending). I felt seen. Really seen while I was expressing some tenderness. I felt held and taken care of completely which allowed me to deeply rest and reset."  

- Christi from Kapaa, Hawaii

 

    "Lila's Uninhibited Retreat is like nothing you have ever experienced.  Her loving welcoming character puts you at ease as soon as you walk through the door.  The food is fantastic. The beach we danced on and the ocean we danced in was a piece of heaven you usually only see in travel magazines. I had bonding experiences with each and every wonderful woman that was there.   If there is any way you can get yourself to this retreat...you will be forever proud that you did."     -  Connie from Ventura, California     

 

"Lila's Uninhibited Retreat is like nothing you have ever experienced.  Her loving welcoming character puts you at ease as soon as you walk through the door.  The food is fantastic. The beach we danced on and the ocean we danced in was a piece of heaven you usually only see in travel magazines. I had bonding experiences with each and every wonderful woman that was there.   If there is any way you can get yourself to this retreat...you will be forever proud that you did."

-Connie from Ventura, California 

 

    "I loved it and loved all the ladies. (The experience) gives me something to  think about every time I speak.Lila knows how to reach people.  The most valuable thing for me was  having a group of people trusting enough to open up their  most personal  selves and learning how to give others a chance to listen to me."     -Trish from Alberta,Canada 

 

"I loved it and loved all the ladies. (The experience) gives me something to  think about every time I speak.Lila knows how to reach people.  The most valuable thing for me was  having a group of people trusting enough to open up their  most personal  selves and learning how to give others a chance to listen to me."  

-Trish from Alberta,Canada 

If something is beckoning you to go on retreat this fall, this might be the one for you! 

Explore your dance.

Speak your truths.

Be uninhibitedly you. 




The Countdown Begins!

Tomorrow, July 1, is when registration opens for the next Uninhibited Retreat which is happening October 22-26.

While the event is still three and a half months away, you know how quickly time flies and October will be here sooner than you think. Starting to look for reasonably-priced airline tickets now is much better than three months down the calendar road when registration  closes October 1.

 Perhaps what you don't know (and need) in order to make a decision whether this retreat would be the ideal experience for you  is to get a sneak peak of what I'm going to call...

~The 13 Delicious Details of the Uninhibited Retreats ~ 

 

This is not a huge conference with name tags.  It's cozy and intimate and you'll know everyone's name before you even arrive. There are just 13 people. Sometimes less, but definitely no more than that.

Each day of the retreat is a full one. From 8am to 8pm, we go all out for 12 hours. And just in case  that gave you pause, we take breaks during the day. Naps are highly encouraged.

You will laugh at least 11 times during the retreat (it will probably be more) and there's a good chance you might cry this many times as well. Aching bellies and snotty noses go well together.

You will hear (and dance to) a minimum of 10 songs you've never heard before. And you'll get all the playlists of the music we dance and listen to during the retreat! 

You will be delighted by the 9 or so items in your island goody bag. 

It will take only 8 minutes for you to fall asleep each night. (See Juicy Detail #12)

You will learn and/or be surprised by at least  7 things about yourself. This is a promise and a fact.

Your accommodations are not included in the retreat fee, however I have room in my house for up to 6 people and can offer you significantly reduced rates compared to other places you'll find nearby.  Early registration helps secure those more affordable rates at chez moi. 

Considering you need to arrive on island at least the day before the retreat begins (Wednesday) and you need to stay until it ends (Monday at noon)...attending Uninhibited requires a minimum 5 night stay on the island of Maui. No arm-twisting required, right?   

You will learn at least 4 Hawaiian words. Aloha is lovely, but you already knew that one so it doesn't count.

We eat 3 scrumptious (primarily vegetarian) meals a day and chocolate for dessert is a given.

You can pay the $799  retreat fee in 2 payments. $300 when you register. $499 on October 1.  

You can trust this 1 retreat to offer you an experience you'll never forget. 

I invite you to join me in October for the next Uninhibited Retreat.   

Bring on the deliciousness!

 

 

The A-Z Alphabets of Inhibited/Uninhibited

Read this A-Z list and then check in with how you feel. 

Abstain

Block

Constrain

Disallow

Exclude

Forbid 

Galumph

Hinder

Inhibit

Kibosh 

Junked 

Limit

Muzzle

Nix

Obstruct

Prohibit  

Quash

Repress 

Stifle

Thwart

Unacknowledged

Veto

Withhold  

X-tinguish 

Zapped 

 

How about this one?

Allow

Boundless

Connected

Delight

Expansive

Free

Go-ahead

Heartsome 

Infinite

Just

Kick-ass

Liberated

Moving

Nexus

Open

Proclaim

Quagswag

Real

Spacious

Thrilling

Unrestrained

Vast

Welcomed

X-hilarating

Yummy

Zippadeedoodah

 

What kind of alphabet would you like to create and live  this year? 

There are just a few days left to say YES to attending the next Uninhibited Retreat that's happening here on Maui March 19-23. 

If not next month, perhaps October? Registration for the second retreat of 2015 opens up July 1.