August was an unexpectedly quiet time for me at work – a time to catch up on the to do list, and prepare for a busy fall season. After a whirlwind year when I cycled close to burn-out several times this was a welcomed pace. During this downtime, I flirted with the possibility of going on a little trip somewhere - to get away, and maybe get inspired with some relevant training before the programming year started.
This is how I ended up on the Hollyhock website, searching through their “Creativity” Programs. I had heard about Hollyhock over the years - always positive experiences of residing in the wilderness for a few days, eating good, garden fresh food (that someone else cooks and cleans up!), and enjoying soul-full programs. I landed on the description of the “Create to Liberate” program and was drawn in like a magnet. I’d rationalize why I shouln’t go (time, money, probably not what I hope it will be), but couldn’t get if off my mind. I kept reading the words Creativity, Power, and Individual and Collective Liberation. I wanted to dwell with these concepts, learn more, practice more. My work often involves creative facilitation, but this program offered an opportunity to bring that work to a more meaningful level - the level of the heart and soul.
The program was designed and facilitated by a dynamic pairing of Khari McLelland and Rebekka Goldsmith. Their complimentary personalities and skill sets as well as a their deep friendship and high regard for one another was a key component to the depth of the program. Much of my personal learning was through witnessing what caring, relationship-based creative facilitation looks and feels like.
Flowing between activities which included embodied movement, writing, visual arts, dance and singing, we explored thoughts and feelings related to our personal and collective power, and perceptions. We were challenged with questions such as “If you knew the infinite limitlessness of your creativity, how would that change the way you live?” and “How is my body powerful?” and “What element in nature is a metaphor for the intuitive voice you wish to discover?” And we experienced liberation. As we let ourselves go through these different creative modalities, we experienced the flow of ideas, perspectives and truths that can be released by through creative engagement.
Supporting all of this personal and collective process was the beautiful ocean-side forest setting that is Hollyhock. The views, the gorgeous garden, the abundance of delicious fresh vegetarian food, the yoga, the simple and comfortable wood buildings and the coming together of intentional people. Topping off the experience was a late-night swim in bioluminescent waters that sparkled and shined all around us. Reconnecting with that childlike wonder, in community, feeling safe and supported and free.
I am deeply grateful to these facilitators, and the group members that made this such a special experience. I’m grateful to the scholarship supporters at Hollyhock who helped cover some of the program and accommodation costs, so that I could worry less about the financials, and focus more on becoming a better change-maker in this world. And I’m grateful to myself, who listened to and trusted my own intuition that I should spend the time and the money on this program. Rest, Renewal, Jubilation, Liberation. Go to Hollyhock if you have the chance. Check the schedule for this program, or find these facilitators doing meaningful work in this world and spend time with them.
|Music is for everyone!||