The Sanctuary at Omega
Last weekend I drove to The Omega Institute to attend a writing workshop with the one and only SARK!
It was kind of a long drive (6 hours) to make on my own, but I knew it would be worth it. I stopped at the public library and picked out 6 books on tape to keep me company. I have never listened to a book on tape before and was surprised when I put the first one in and saw it was 13.5 hours long! I didn't finish it during the drive and for the first time in more than a year I miss having a commute - I'm dying to hear how the story ends! (It's The Condition by Jennifer Haigh.)
So the book kept me occupied and the drive was pleasant. The trees were still bursting with brilliant colors. (I was afraid they might be past their peak.) I arrived at Omega around 5pm, checked in, and headed to my cabin. I shared a room with a sweet woman named Neena who showed me pictures of the 6 (!) dogs she and her husband foster. I enjoyed a delicious dinner and then it was time to meet SARK! (Actually, I spotted her in the dining hall during dinner but was nervous to approach her.)
SARK had meditated on our names and made us each a name tag with an adjective that came to her as she thought of us. Mine was "Willing Mindy," which I had a tough time interpreting... There were less than 20 people in the group (I was certain there would be hundreds!), mostly women, but two brave men were there as well.
SARK is just as amazingly fabulous as I imagined she would be! All weekend long she told us enchanting stories. She gracefully held the space for our group and supported us on our own transformational journeys.
We were each assigned a mentor for the weekend. Mine was a beautiful soul named Creative Susan and we were definitely a perfect match! We have a lot in common in terms of our backgrounds and our current writing projects.
We actually didn't write very much, which may be surprising because it was a writing workshop (based on SARK's book Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper). We did talk a lot about strategies for writing and how to move forward on our projects.
My top take-aways from the weekend are:
- Work on our Creative Dreams is meant to be delight*full (delight is where the best work happens)
- When teaching a techniques use stories to inspire people
- Action before inspiration (just do it)
- Develop habits of completion
- We all have something fabulous to offer the world (you never know what impact your story might have)
The last thing we did as a group was something called Stand and Receive. Each person took turns standing in front of the group and the group called out things they admired and appreciated about the person. I found this to be pretty powerful. I think we should start doing it at birthday parties with the people we love! Just imagine being surrounded by people all calling out fabulous things about you! We definitely need more of that!
I got lost on my way home. But after an entire weekend of SARK talking about transforming our stories, I couldn't bring myself to be annoyed. Instead I focused on the beautiful mountain views, the great book on tape, and the sweet girl at the gas station who gave me perfect directions to get back on track. My intentions for the weekend centered around resting and rejuvenating myself and I definitely returned home feeling like I had pressed the reset button.