Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day Five ~ Last Day of the Retreat

The day began beautiful again. 7:30am Yoga on the rooftop patio, a total of four of us are there to say the final "Sun Salute" to the Manzanillo morning sunrise. Several of us sit in meditation following . . . to center for this wonderful day.

Following breakfast, we gather at the big dining room table at 9am for a final mandala exercise and then, review of all the mandala pieces we'd created. This piece was based upon totems and "I am" work . . . very intriguing. Each design, placement and animal so were an extension of each one of us individuals at this time in our lives. At the review, we generally agreed that mandalas will now become a more regular part of our creative process and be used for self examination. A couple ladies swore they were "in love" with the circle now.

I take the floor next, to lead the way with an "Emotion Vignette" exercise. I've heard tale of such a thing before and most recently used it for expressing a very volatile situation I was experiencing in my life - with not alot of outlets, save for my painting it. It proved to be very satisfying and I've since talked to artist friends who have used this same process to process situations. Finding it a very valuable tool, especially for journaling where we can't always find words to express our feelings, this painting tool is invaluable! We all choose a topic that was "charged" for us and went to work with paint, magazine tearings (be they images or words), glue and found objects (I went outside, hunting for a feather, to symbolize "freedom" but instead, found lil seeds that represented the seed that grew into freedom). The results were quite expressive and powerful.

Here is my piece. It was around a situation where I'd had expectations of someone and was disappointed with what that person was willing to share. I found it created a big knot feeling in my stomach, and other images of reaching out with no one being there to meet me. In this process of creating, I realized it was the expectation that I had to let go of to find freedom. So with "faith'", "reaching across" the knot I'd felt, I found the "seeds to my own release". Anyway, this exercise worked AGAIN for me.

We break for lunch and for working on our individual journal entries. Some munch on our remaining Mexican food from Maria's delicious preparation or head out to the pool for a dip and some sunshine.

Our afternoon is filled with review of each participants work and comments on how they felt about the journaling process as well as filling out the retreat critique sheet we had passed out earlier. Some commented they were surprised at the amount of work they had actually done but, overall, we were all pretty "wow-ed" by each artists output. Three of the participants were relatively new to watercolor and felt they'd had some success in learning basic techniques. Bonnie still hates the bumps on the "cold press" watercolor paper. Sorry Bonnie :) We also worked up our individual "3 x 5 Card" process . . . a sweet, positive exercise that enables each participant to take home "a vision/insight" of themselves when seen thru eyes other than our own.

Our last retreat dinner together was just caddy-corner from us at the Tenisol Restaurant. It's a nice outdoor venue, with a gurgling fountain and nearby swim up bar. One of the things I noticed was that now, at this point, we all know and trust one another. The conversation was interesting and, some questions we pose one another each other, are pretty intimate. And beautifully, in saw the answers were - honest! For me the food became in material, my soul was so fed!

After dinner we meander the grounds, actually getting lost in the bowels of the condos, having to back tract to get out, but eventually trot down toward the beach and little market.

It's awkward this ending thing, to be honest, my brain seems to have completely blanked out what we did that final evening together. I'm not surprised, I've never been know for graceful g'byes. Somehow knowing we'd all meet and be together for the morning blurred the finality of this fifth and ending day of the Women's Mexico Retreat 2009.

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