Following last Saturday's powerful Idea Party (I strongly suggest you create your own Idea Party right away), it was decided that a group of us would get together this morning and discuss the possibility of starting an Artist's Way group.
I had heard about The Artist's Way many times, I had read - and loved - Julia Cameron's book Floor Sample, but never had I had the pull to read her famous book, nor join one of the groups.
So when I got to the meeting, this morning, I was basically just ... showing up. I was a bit curious, I didn't know really why I was there. Monday mornings are really busy for me, and I have been playing a whole lot of catch up since I came back from France. Didn't make a whole lot of sense.
But there I was.
Within two minutes, I tried to make it clear to anyone who cared that I was just here today. That I was just here today, with no commitment to being there next week. I said it enough times (if only in my head) that I had to wonder what I was protecting, and from whom.
And then the meeting started and something inside of me began to melt, and open up - and soften. I noticed that I was sitting on the edge of my chair, wanting to grasp every word out of the lovely facilitator's mouth. I didn't want to read my book, I didn't want to talk, I just wanted to listen. And learn. And let it all in.
A few days ago, I had made a declaration that I wanted to be the student, somewhere, somehow. I wanted someone to help me fill my well. And of course, these are pretty much exactly the words that were used today.
And all that was before we were told to "close our eyes and listen to the prayer." The prayer that found very thirsty places within me, and more than once, threatened to overflow out of my eyes.
I committed. Of course.
I committed hours which I didn't think I had, hours which I know are going to be essential in shaping the rest of the hours of my next 12 weeks.
So here I go.
And of course, I am taking you with me.
As a start, here is "the" prayer.
Oh how I love being surprised, and how I love being humbled.
O Great Creator,
We are gathered together in your name
That we may be of greater service to you
And to our fellows.
We offer ourselves to you as instruments.
We open ourselves to your creativity in our lives.
We surrender to you our old ideas
We welcome your new and more expansive ideas.
We trust that you will lead us.
We trust that it is safe to follow you.
We know that you created us and that creativity
Is your nature and our own.
We ask you to unfold in our lives
According to your plan, not our low self worth.
Help us to believe that it is not too late
And that we are not too small or too flawed
To be healed~
By you and through each other ~ and made whole.
Help us to love one another,
To nurture each other's unfolding,
To encourage each other's growth,
And understand each other's fears.
Help us to know we are not alone,
That we are loved and lovable.
Help us to create as an act of worship to you.
Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.