I talk a lot on the blog about reinvention, and also about the importance of being creative. For me creativity is as important as breathing!
Raising my children was a very creative experience for me. Besides the obvious act of turning out four kids, it was the everyday creativity of raising a family, and making a happy and comfortable home that I found so satisfying.
When I started my reinvention process that led me to publish this blog, and eventually to starting the boxes and the magazine, I discovered a new and wonderful kind of creativity. Taking photos, weaving words, interacting with new friends digitally and for real. I was instantly hooked on my daily fix of creativity.
But as the business has grown more layered, and more intricate, creative moments have to be ‘budgeted’ for. it is necessary for me to plan for creative time, to carve out moments when I get some ‘play time’. Whether it is to write, to design, to take photos …
I was particularly aware of this over the weekend at Tahilla Farm with my friend Jeanne Henriques. We were hosting a retreat on the theme of reinvention and creativity, with a mix of discussion, floral art and walks in the forest. It was fascinating to hear the different tales from our guests; of how their lives are changing or have changed, and how they also have come to understand the importance of creativity.
We had guests with entrepreneurial projects and others who have walked away from high powered jobs and are now looking for a different way to express themselves. We heard from ladies who have spent their entire lives caring for others, and who now are trying to work out how they could do something for themselves. And we listened to artists at the start of their journey, or those who were working out their next artistic steps.
Some of our guests have recently taken a new direction, and were looking for some confirmation that they had permission to please themselves ….. that sounds crazy, right? But as women we often spend our lives pleasing everyone around us. It is important and liberating to finally say, ‘OK, this is my time now’, even though it can feel strange. Discussion between Jeanne, myself and our guests was rich and comfortable. People were relaxed and confident to talk openly and frankly, and in return they were listened too.
This weekend’s retreat took place at Tahilla Farm, the most stunning New Hampshire property, where Jeanne Henriques offers retreats on different themes, that she calls Tahilla Gatherings. Jeanne and I have been good friends since the early days of blogging over a decade ago, but this was the first time that we really had the luxury of spending quality time together.
Both Jeanne and I have found new directions that stem from our early days of blogging. After travelling for years around the world, Jeanne has now returned to New England and is excited about her Gatherings, which will focus on sharing, creativity and reflection.
To say that Jeanne enjoys some rather special space would be like saying that Marie Antoinette had some rather nice dresses. The view from the front of the house out over her meadows and to the forest is breathtaking, and on arrival, guests immediately and visibly relax as they breathe in the fresh New Hampshire air and take in the beauty around them.
Jeanne takes wonderful photos, but she and I were both happier to be talking to our guests rather than glued to our phones or cameras. Luckily for us, Jeanne had also invited Christine Harris for the weekend. Christine is a gifted photographer, who also has her own tale of reinvention, as she has not only moved from the west coast to the east coast of the US, but has also recently found her happy place in photography, and is setting up a new business specialising in portraits. All of the pictures on this post are by Christine.