I’m recently back from a truly amazing week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I went for a painting workshop (and much much more) with the fabulous Flora Bowley. Seriously, I can not think of a better way to start a new personal chapter, which for me means coming back to center.
San Miguel is an unbelievably gorgeous colonial town in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico that's as colorful as any place I’ve ever been. And Flora Bowley, in addition to being an inspiring and fabulous painter, is a truly amazing teacher, guide, and fun, generous spirit.
Our week included: meditation, dance, writing, yoga, sketching, music, poetry, "heart circles" and altars, collaboration, getting in touch with “our voice,” hot springs, jicama tacos, tequila, being brave, new tools, and of course lots of painting! In fact, I painted with my finger so much that it bled (I guess my banjo calluses aren't wide enough-yet!).
Courtyard as metaphor:
We stayed at the lovely “Casa Carmen” near the jardín, which encompasses a gorgeous courtyard with papel picado strung across it, bougainvillea, and a lovely fountain. I have long dreamed of a home with a courtyard. They are light, open, and center. They are at times a place for tranquility, and at others for gathering. This week under Flora’s encouraging wing brought together many different parts of my life - like "the surrounding rooms" - back to center, my "courtyard." In my life I’ve meditated, I’ve done yoga, I’ve danced, I’ve designed and painted, I’ve been alone and with family and community, I’ve played and enjoyed music, I’ve been in womens' groups, and more. But usually each of these experiences was separate or perhaps only combined a few parts. I don't think I've ever brought them all together at once as part of the process of being creative. To then face a blank canvas and create from that place, it felt like magic. I feel, yes, more whole-hearted. I also feel ready, excited, and grateful beyond words. Now, my challenge is to be brave and share while I’m in the learning process and not be a perfectionist...and carve out time to paint!!
I am so grateful to and for: Flora, Rebecca Brooks and Rachael Rice (Flora's assistants), Casa Carmen and all that treated us so well there, the fabulous women in our group, and to my dear family and friends - ¡Gracias!
Thanks for reading my post. I hope you'll also check out "Part 2" (coming soon) for the painting part of the week specifically (too much for one post!). I also had so much fun taking photos...it was hard to choose from such a soulful feast for the eyes and heart - I hope you enjoy (more below).