A friend and coaching colleague of mine opened a creative studio where she offered art coaching workshops. I had every intention to attend, but too many competing priorities got in the way. When she announced she was closing her studio, I made a commitment to attend one of her last workshops offered at the studio.
No matter a retreat weekend, an event, or a workshop, making the commitment to attend can be one of the biggest hurdles. Often, we let other stuff get in the way of doing something that is good for our soul and state of mind.
When my friend announced she was closing her retreat studio, I immediately felt a sense of urgency to register for one of her last workshops as I was kicking myself that I didn't take the time to attend one earlier. I registered for her Ink Drop Art Workshop and was excited to attend, but when the day came, I had that nagging feeling that I shouldn't go. There were too many other "things" to do. However, I knew it would be my last opportunity so I put my other "stuff" aside and went to the workshop.
When I arrived at the studio, there were some other ladies as well as my friend's mom. She made an hour-long drive on a busy interstate highway to attend and support her daughter's workshop. A friend of hers was also supposed to go to the workshop with her, but as we went around the room introducing ourselves, we came to the empty spot where her friend was supposed to sit. She said her friend couldn't make it because her husband's back was bothering him, and she felt she needed to stay home to take care of him. I looked at her and said, "Really?" with a kind of puzzled look. She said, "yes, really", with a big eye roll and sigh. I couldn't help but envision this man reclined on a barcalounger, barking out orders for his wife to wait on him. Granted, my vision could be far from the truth, but that's all I could imagine.
The Ink Drop Art Workshop was about discovering the magic in letting go while dropping alcohol ink on yupo paper. It allowed yourself to be surprised and curious without expectations and then realize that you are in a state of flow, in a place where the stress goes away, the worries disappear, and you are fully in the moment. I can say it was very meditative and gave me some new awareness.
When we were done with our ink drop art, we went around the room and shared our feelings about our creations. As the other participants were sharing, I looked at my art and suddenly got a bit anxious. Even though creative talent was not required for this workshop which suited me perfectly, as my luck would have it, my creation formed something that I hoped would maybe go unnoticed.
When it came to my turn to share, I looked down and then looked up, and I immediately felt the hot rush going through my body to my face which I could feel was bright red. To me, I couldn't help but see a phallic symbol. The first and only word I could say when it was my turn to share was..."Well...?" with a bit of a grimace on my face. Then, instantly, everyone just burst into laughter, tears in our eyes, gut-busting laughter. I'm glad everyone saw the humor in it. A good laugh can do wonders, and the workshop provided a mental release plus, it was a lot of fun.
I still think about the workshop, and I start chuckling at what my ink created on the yupo paper and how we laughed hysterically. But I also think about my friend's mom, and her friend who didn't go, and I get a bit sad. Shortly after the workshop, my friend's mom had open-heart surgery. I'm glad she took the opportunity to attend her daughter's workshop as you never know what the next day will bring. I think about her friend who didn't make it to the workshop and I hope was able to have an experience like we did.
So if you get invited to a retreat, workshop, or event, I understand it's not possible to go every time, but when you can, don't let the other stuff or things get in your way. Chances and opportunities come only so often. Do it while you can!
Have you regretted not going to a retreat or workshop when you had the chance? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.
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