Renew. Retreat. It is time.
I believe in the idea of retreat.
We are always going forward, moving ahead. We are taught from childhood that this is important. I remember in grade two we had this series of books that were in levels that we were encouraged to work through during the year. We would start with pale pink ones then work our way through to pale green, blue, and then on to deeper colours. There was no better way to teach me to read. I wanted to get through those colours and on to the next one. I was aware that other people in the class were at certain stages, but mostly I was deeply focused on getting to the next colour. We learn early on to keep pushing forward, to keep moving. We are encouraged and rewarded for this.
And in many ways it is good, it is life. We push on. That is what we do. It is later on in life that we learn the importance of retreat. The idea of retreat is as important in growth as is the pushing forward.
I was much much older when I learned that as important as it is to go forward it is also important to retreat. To take a few steps back and rethink, and examine, count your blessings, and prepare for more.
What does the word retreat even mean? For me it means to take a step back from my everyday life and focus on something that is important to me. In doing this I take time out for myself. I read, I learn, I write, I make, I dream. Over the years I have gone to several online retreats with leaders that I want to learn from in both art and creative business. I took the time to step away from the routine of my life to focus on something that was important and beautiful for me. And it was good for me. In many ways I think it lead me forward, rather than pushed me and I like that.
Sometimes in life no matter how much I do or accomplish, I just move on to the next thing. I bet you find that you do this too. I take it for granted and think," ok, what's next? "
And then I remember my word for the year a few years ago, "Savour". Take the time to appreciate, to love, to respect what is right now. Take time to step back and see the beauty.
Retreating, yes it's a verb for me, is about taking the time to be. To feel the love and the glory of the moment. No matter what online retreat I go to I have my rug hooking ready and with me. I use it to absorb everything I am learning. I hook away for a couple of days and I listen and watch. I put my hook down sometimes to draw to take notes and capture the inspiration of the moment. I listen to the people who are facilitating the retreat and the very nature of retreating helps me listen to myself. I take the time to step back from my daily routines and responsibilities and I hook, and I find the quiet place inside myself.
It renews me.
I have always found that finding the quiet place inside myself deepens me and my creativity. Most days I get up carry on with my routine and get lost in the world around me like everyone else. I know that my rug hooking and my writing benefit from this, but I also know that the real jumps in both of these things happened because sometimes I stepped back from this world and went on retreat.
I stepped back, and because I did, I could see and feel what the next right thing was. The idea of retreat has had an enormous impact on my work, on my life, on who I am. I believe in it, the beauty that abounds from it. I know it has deepened and changed me and help me grow. But it is more than that.
For me it is just so much fun. It is joyful and meaningful for me to grow in what I love to do. It ignites my passion for making, for art, for life. It inspires me. It is what I am here to do. And I am here to teach you the same, to help you find meaning in rug hooking and creativity and I want to do that.
Retreat. Renew. Winter.
It is time for something beautiful.
Time for you.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick