My first retreat was a disaster…No a catastrophe…In fact the more I sat with this, the more I realized that it was the biggest success! It actually was the best learning experience that I totally needed to have. The nature of retreats right?  You know that saying: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong? Well, that is pretty much how I have been rolling  since I arrived here.

I know, I must have called this experience in, because honestly, I could go into the coulda, shoulda, woulda, but I refuse to.  It is all in divine order.  All I know is that if you are not ready for this work, you will find a million excuses not to do the work.

This stuff is not for the faint of heart. Putting together a retreat and a retreat space are too much for one person alone.  I really needed more support, I also needed to know a little more about my students before they signed up. Lessons learned, in no specific order:


Things will go wrong- you can feel sad, but don’t react.

YOU are the only one to help bring things up the stairs – there’s your daily workout ! Ha!

YOU will forget many things and have to drive to the nearest town like 10 more times – enjoy the scenic drive.

Things will break – you can curse, but don’t stress.

There will be nights you can’t sleep because of cold weather, weird sounds, too many thoughts…- stay with it.

The weather will go bad – accept.

The 5 elements will mock you – laugh with them.

The fire will not start – befriend it.

The water will not cooperate- go with the flow even if it means no shower for four days.

The electricity is controlled by Enel – just have the whole town, including the mayor calling them.

The wind will howl and slam the shutter- lock that damn shutter!

The students will not be ready – send them home, perhaps they will be back when they are ready.

Feeling alone on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere- facetime your entire family.

People will be weird – be weirder.

The dance floor you ordered goes missing in Aprilia – dance on the terra cotta!

Only 2 out of the 10 cushions you ordered arrive- message the German vendor on,  in Italian ?


And just when you think everything is working fine, you suddenly just cannot sleep because the tile is a bit too terra cotta-ish for your tender back in your sleeping bag- get up and write your next blog  😉


Keep the hope,

keep the focus,



thank the helpers in human form and otherwise,

and know there will be a fresh new retreat real soon

Some day it will all work out.

My biggest take away: so many people are afraid of their shadow, and most are afraid to paint.  I am sure there is a connection.

Signing off…until the next post…


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