Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breitenbush - a vibrant retreat or intensive of a different kind?

You would not believe how amazing Breitenbush is?  The website gives a bit of a glimpse - http://www.breitenbush.com/ - but the weekend that Paulette puts together adds a whole extra layer.

"Be vibrant" was the theme and the weekend schedule opened with the quote "Are you ready to dance? Sweat? Invent? Write? Laugh?  Here we go…"
I should have known it would not be about lazing around in hot tubs and relaxing!

Friday started slowly with checkin to our cozy warm cabins and filling our bellies with yummy Breitenbush food.  Then we started building our chocolate temple and introduced ourselves around.  Then the dancing began with what i can only describe as drills across the floor.

I was so pleased to wake a little early and have time to take in the beautiful surrounds and a quiet soak.
 Everyone seemed quiet on Saturday morning and drifted silently like ghosts towards breakfast.

Then a lovely half hour of yoga with Lynea to get our bodies ready for a big day of dancing.  Paulette then set us up with the tools to get started with journalling and capturing our creative talents.  Dulcinea then introduced us to modern dance style through the Gemini project.  Then Paulette and Carol put us through our paces with advanced combos.

After lunch, a spot of shopping for those dancers who just had to have another choli.  Then Carol warmed us up with some intermediate moves and Dulcinea got us journalling with our bodies, creating new moves.  She also brought a whole new meaning to squat muscles with descending and ascending for counts of 32!  Just in case we had any stamina left, Lynea picked up the pace with African moves.

A break for dinner to refuel with the fabulous Breitenbush vego food.  Then onto the salon where there was so much talent and so little time.  We had everything from dancing to writing, poem, singing, solos and troupe presentations.  Heres a few of my favourites included below.
 African tribal with Lynea and Kim        Singing    
Writing                                                  Gypsy heart

Tribal mums                                   and who could forget the laughter yoga

Sunday was very special day bringing together everything we had experienced over the weekend and taking it into our daily lives, as much as possible.  And finding time to soak my weary muscles.

The dancing closed with soul train, then hugs all round to set us on our way back home.
pictured: Sun, Hillary, Lisa

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clatskanie CS1 and TT1 adventures

What a buzz, I can feel my muscles, they feel like they have really worked and I feel GREAT!
I am in Portland now spending time with Mark, but have lots to tell you, hold tight, its on its way.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I'm finally here at Clatskanie with Paulette

Its been a long time coming, but i am finally here and doing my refresher collective soul then my teacher training with Paulette. After two failed attempts to get here, i am actually here.  Its like a dream come true.

Yesterday was day one, we started at the farm.  I was welcomed with a beautiful big Paulette hug (and her corgis). Then Paulette and i sat down with Jeff and Mark and chatted about our wonderful trip and their fantastic life.  It was like being in an Aladdin's cave of rich colours, beautiful pieces placed deliberately and mountains of information, to be  in her personal space.  As Stephanie and Kit joined us we launched into the introduction chat and the day began.  I was torn between listening and taking in the space around us.

With a belly full of apprehension and excitement, we then headed off to Blue Nutria, a fantastic old building with beautiful wooden floors and a big mirror.  Good thing we all dance with such pride and presence, or we would be dwarfed by the space.  Paulette eased us into the course gently, but rattled through the moves.

Lunch was at the Cultivator to take in a lovely sustaining salad of yummy real flavours, then we returned to the hall to finish our days work with zills and rhythms.

The day was finished with a wine tasting at Cultivator, the perfect finish to the most wonderful day.  Jeff looking very comfy, standing proudly behind the counter with bottles of wine to share. As we sat and enjoyed the ambience and great company i had to pinch myself to remember that i am actually here and this is real.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Snow and springs - thinking of family!

Of all the travel books and brochures we have, i am reminded of how much i value family and home.  Advice from home has sent me to:
 - firstly to some hidden away hot springs and
 - secondly the most magical snow experience.
Only family would know how treasured those memories will be.

Most recently we had the return of snow.  One day was sunny, the next snow - out of nowhere, which gave me the opportunity to follow up on my sisters advice to make a snow angel!  Shell said i would really enjoy just lying on my back and feeling snow fall on my face - how true.  It was like soft gentle kisses on my face.  I think snow is the most beautiful thing, it makes everything look just so beautiful.
We saw snow again at Yosemite a few days later, so spectacular against the rocks and trees - another million photos on the hard drive.  As the sun came out, the snow would fall off the branches in great clods and thud on the snow around us, then shower in small snow flakes like rain.

another reminder of family is that before we left, i was talking with my brother and her partner about where we were travelling.  Hiroko suggested while in the Eastern Sierras i should check out the natural thermal springs.  We did and what a treat they were!  We checked out a couple close to Lee Vining in the time that we had and they were just what i needed for my travel weary bones and snuffly nose.  Sitting in the sun and soaking up the warmth was just divine - check out the backdrop. The only thing better would be to be there on a full moon with snow!

I write this on day twenty-six of our six week holiday and am thinking of home and how everyone is going.  Funnily enough i don't seem to have a proper sense of time, i had a situation today where i didn't know what day of the week it was or the date - how lucky i am to be on holidays!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What makes something great?

I have been fortunate to have experienced some amazing things over the past few days that have moved me and I am sure will leave a permanent print on my mind.
Mark and i spent a few days at the Grand Canyon and spent a day walking into the canyon to get a perspective on how immense it really is.

We stumbled across a small but significant place called Salt Creek Conservation Area and saw a long eared owl nesting in a tree, which felt very special to discover.

We also went to see the Cirque de Soleil Beatles show called "Love" in Vegas which filled my heart with joy and left me toe tapping for the evening.

So why do these things affect me and do they have anything in common that makes them great?
Is it the expectation that is exceeded?
Is it because it is a new experience?
Is it just because it means something to me only - perhaps others would not be so impressed?

Maybe because you can't put your finger on it, is what makes it special?
Maybe there isn't anything in common and i am just very fortunate...
But i think there is something, because each experience has filled my senses in a humbling and appreciative way.  And i think others around me felt something too which makes me think it is something really great, because it was not just me that has realised this.

Or perhaps i just wanted an excuse to write about what an amazing trip I am having…