Do you want to know what it's like to go on an Art Retreat with Artist, Cat Coquillette CatCoq and Creative Business Coach, Logan Elliot, from Flammable Entrepreneur? You can read Part One HERE and Part Two HERE.
It’s day one (or the first evening) of the retreat and to say I feel awks is an understatement. In fact, we’re all squirming a bit. Its like the beginning of a reality show where a group of complete strangers are put in an amazing house in the middle of an exotic location... except without the nudity, snogging and with mostly introverts and extroverted introverts like me.
I get settled and bring up my bags to the third floor and do the obligatory run and leap onto the freshly made bed followed by The-Hills-are -Alive-with-the-Sound-of-Music-twirl in this beautiful bedroom. Once I finish starring in my own movie, I head back downstairs admiring all those gorgeous details that Clio, the owner of the Manior has crafted to make the guests feel at home, but a fancier home, that is actually nothing like your home at all, but it makes you feel feel posh, so you even begin to chassé down the stairs, and into the Grand Salon (if you dont mind) to take your tea... (who am I kidding? It was wine allll the way) Yes, these Painterly Princess feel Right. At. Home.
We all take a wander through the garden and the field for a chat. Where do you live? Were you on vacay before coming to the retreat. What did you see? Where do you come from? You know how it goes. But as we get older, this sort of thing seems to get harder.
We convene back in the manor, settling in couches and chairs without a walk to distract us, and before more awkwardness could settle, Logan calls it out. He as uncanny knack of acknowledging and articulating a situation which immediately puts everyone at ease… and as soon as the elephant in the room is acknowledged, and we realize everyone feels exactly the same, the awkwardness disappears, and that’s when more meaningful conversations flow.
They flowed through dinner, between delicious mouthfuls of food and sips of wine, on walks, over breakfast, and even in passing in a corridor or on a run through the French countryside (Becks maate [my running buddy for the week]))
Do you know that everyone at this table still meets once a month to chat about our businesses?! And we jump on calls with each other in between to offer support and encouragement and advice?! The power of community has been unleashed.
It is here, over our first dinner, that I discover that not just one of our creative entrepreneurs has been to Bunny Island in Japan, but TWO of the 10 of us have been to Bunny Island! Did you even know that there was an island full of bunnies? BUNNIES 🐰
This is our bunny. And it turns out others in our group have bunnies as pets too. Can you see why I'm obsessed?!
It was then, when I knew, this was a special group of people. These were MY people. But even then, little did I know in that moment, with this group of strangers, that I’d feel so comfortable with them, that in just a few short days, I’d tell them all the story of that unfortunate time I got a random man’s neck pillow stuck (when I say stuck, I mean STUCK!) in my crotch on an A380 Airbus. It’s not what you think, and that story had not been released from my story vault for over 15 years! but in between this first dinner and a few days time, some real magic happened and these strangers became solid friends and so did our skeletons in our respective closets!
But more of that later. For now, I need to catch some zeez.
As my head sank into the pillow, I drifted off with the giddy anticipation of the following day and already a tinge of sadness that the first day was already over.
Dormez bien. A demain.
(Sleep Well. See you tomorrow)
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