So, you know when you wake up from a really good dream? For the first couple of moments, you are not sure what you dreamed about, but you just know it was really really good. And if you can rest in the feelings for a bit, slowly the details of the dream come back to you. But often it can be like trying to capture a snow flake: the minute you try to grasp it, it melts away.
The memory of Squam is like that snowflake: in danger of dissolving but captivating my attention as it floats through my body/mind. And like waking from a delightful dream, I want to steep in the feelings in the hope that I can put down all the details to save for a future inspiration-challenged day.
Here are some thoughts I wrote down in my journal while journeying home:
My intention for Squam was to be cleansed; emptied so that I may be filled; and to go in deep and ride the wave.
I leave feeling connected to a new group of creative souls; I leave feeling like I found a mentor/source of inspiration in Sarah Ahearn; I feel excited to know new teachers I wish to experience and learn from in the future.
I leave more confident in myself as a creative being; trusting I will continue to nourish my creativity and it in turn will feed me.
I leave Squam feeling lighter, free from the doubts and concerns that previously nipped at my heels - why do this? why bother? who cares?
I care, I matter, I know I am a light in a constellation of stars illuminating the way back to our source, back to our original purpose which is to Shine. Pure energy released, feeding others, feeding myself.
I leave Squam certain of the knowledge who I am is a work in progress; is a creative adventure unfolding into new layers of light, inspiration, beauty and truth.
I leave Squam understanding my intention is to live life with arms wide open, taking it all in, paint splattered hands lifted to the sky and offering back myself whole and complete.
I can somewhat articulate the what of Squam, but have been thinking about the how. And the answer came to me in the wisdom of my soon-to-be six year old daughter. Apparently her school has been addressing the issue of bullies by using the image of a bucket: there are people who fill your bucket by being nice, helpful, caring or supportive (known as "fillers"); and then there are those that try to take from your bucket by being hurtful or mean (she calls them "dippers".) So I started my day today thinking "I will only acknowledge the fillers and not allow dippers to rob me of my positive energy."
And then I understood the magic of Squam: it is a place inhabited by fillers and devoid of dippers. For four magical days I was surrounded by people who understand what I care about; understand the gremlins that threaten the creative spirit; and stand ready to support, encourage and inspire me knowing that to do so not only fills my bucket, but in turn fills their own.
group shot by Thea Coughlin
So the dream of Squam is a world of nurturing, caring spirits that stand ready and eager to fill my creative bucket. There was no space for dippers at Squam. Indeed, as my daughter is learning in martial arts class, when threatened by bullies - which in my case are those nasty gremlins of doubt, judgment, and comparison - the only response is to step back, plant my feet firmly upon solid ground, hold out my hand and confidently shout "Leave me alone!"
And now I know the other gift of Squam is a tribe ready to shout out with me. I know my Squammie friends have my back. And I have theirs.
Did I mention I was cleansed by the lake? In the moonlight? In my birthday suit? Checking off one more thing from my list of 100 goals for the year.
Thank you Squam for these gifts and the many more I have yet to uncover. And yes, I have lots of lake, feet, and horse shots I will continue to share!
Stephanie & her snazzy socks ♥ i think i took pix of all her footwear!
My advice? Get thee to Squam somehow. You will not regret it. Just bring a heating pad.