Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rock Bottom

i.m afraid that’s where i have landed.  i don’t even want to write about it but i seem to have no choice.  in my head, i’m writing….. so here goes.  4 years ago, i started setting up my retreats.  stepping waaay out of my comfort zone, inch by inch and it seemed to work.

 i had found something that seemed to bring all the pieces of me together.  teaching, art, nature, planning, hiking, photo powerpoints, connecting with other women, etc. it became quite consuming and i put vast amounts of time into making them happen but was so rewarded when they did that i was inspired to keep going. i even dared to hope that i had found “the thing”.  the singular pursuit that fueled all my passions and even had the potential to become financially rewarding. big stuff. 

 4 retreats – each one a struggle to get off the ground, but each one an amazing experience in its own right, thanks to the fabulous women that stepped up and attended.  i had a simple goal:  bring women together who need to find,  re-find or refine their creative mojo and help them do that.  i thought i had a little momentum going and launched a 5th retreat.  it wasn’t meant to be and i blamed it on bad timing.  i waited a few months and tried again.  again i could not get the sign-ups to make it happen.

i was down but not out.  instead of retreats, i moved into teaching some classes (with the idea of meeting women who would eventually be interested in a retreat).  i taught “creativity unleashed” and loved that, then moved into my favorite “contemplative photography”.  i taught that 3 times and loved how it evolved with each session.

so after 2 years, i was hoping it might be time for another retreat.  i had so many great ideas for it and spent a lot of time and positive energy putting together activities, art projects, agendas, “homework”, menus, goody bags, raffles, etc. etc. i did have some sign-ups and quite a bit of interest in it.... but in the end, it wasn’t enough and it turned out to be just one big emotional roller coaster. 

on-again, off-again, on-again, waiting, waiting…. as soon as i would get ready to cancel, i would get another inquiry.  i probably should have pulled the plug a long time ago, but  i did not want to let go and was still trying everything to make it happen and thought it might until yesterday.

so it’s over.  and i have a need to be honest here.  it’s not a “disappointment”.  it feels painful - more like a death.  because, despite all those who have said “not this time, but next time”, i don’t think i have it in me to do it again. 3 strikes and i’m out.  it’s draining and i can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

i know for years i have written here about ways to deal with life’s difficulties.  radical gratitude.  the healing of nature.  the healing of art.  staying present and in the moment.  turning the energy of sadness around into something positive.  that will happen…. eventually.

i’m not there yet.  i still want to crawl in a hole and hide. i will move forward, but at this moment it’s impossible to imagine anything else that could energize me as this has.  as i’ve often said, one foot in front of the other…thanks for listening – as always, it does feel good to write it out.


  1. I'm so sorry, Patty. Lay low for as long as it takes to work it through. That's all we can do ... isn't it? xo donna

  2. I am sorry, Patty, that the retreats didn't happen. I can see all the time, love, creativity, thoughts you have put into this. It's easy to understand that you stop now - and that this is painful. It has happened to my classes as well - just like you, I had thought that I had built up some momentum, and then suddenly I had to cancel one class after the other. It is very frustrating. I have decided to let go of some of the classes (the German one, my favorite...) and still wait it out for some others. However, this I cannot compare to your retreats which are so much more intense with work and time. I hope you can work through it - I'm actually quite sure that eventually you will, but I do see your pain. It's so sad to see something "fail" where we put our heart into.

  3. Thank you for being honest and open about the experience that you're going through. What courage! Seasons change, we too are going through our own evolution. Fall & winter is a season to hide and rest yes? Enjoy the changing season :)

  4. boy...i do ever know what you are talking about. you have to give yourself time to grieve and be angry about letting go of your dream. then you can move on to the other good stuff!

  5. Patty I am always amazed at your ability to capture life with photography and words. That was so inspirational. I know you are thinking how? Well I had a similar loss, a little different, but very similar. I don't always voice my emotions well. And there you are putting it into words for me so I can heal. You are a gifted and talented person. I am so happy you are in my life. Thanks for always sharing the tough stuff. I wish you inspiration and happiness.


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