Each summer, I head to the ocean. Living in Vermont, I need crave time with the sea to recalibrate my heart, soul and perspective. For the past three summers, Hurricane Island in the Penobscott Bay, Maine, has been my destination to co-facilitate a Courage Earth Retreat with Dave Oakes.
Before I was born, Anne Morrow Lindburgh wrote Gift of the Sea and each summer I keep discovering new gifts. This summer, fifiteen of us let go of mainland responsibilities and distractions to let island time work its way into our cells. Here are some images and reflections from Hurricane:
"The retreat allowed me to slow down enough to seek out my own voice. The noise of a mobile, constantly "on" life subsided. The venue and the open structure let my shy soul speak as my inner teacher and allowed me to hear. Hurricane Island offers gently lapping waves, a starry sky and the shady forest as an invitation to fully embrace the generous nature of this place.
I made commitments for daily practices that will hopefully continue the quiet and stillness I found on Hurricane Island. I came to believe in the power of my inner teacher and in generous questions. I am now working through what questions frame my life in ways that are expansive and of value to me."
"The experience on Hurricane Island was a way to unplug, recharge, and remember that we are part of a larger, more magnanimous existence. It is a touch-point and guidepost in the soul-work of realizing that we are bigger than our routines and bigger than our self-narratives, and allows for an opportunity to feel our way into that reclamation project."
' We close the retreat each year with an invitation to identify a new practice for 101 days to integrate a gift or insight from the retreat into life back on the mainland. This year, the slow, constantly shifting tide was my teacher. In that honor, I am unplugging from screen time - computer & iphone - from 8 pm to 8 am to refill myself and reconnect with my breath and being. I am discovering an old and familiar buoyancy that I had lost touch with. This, I know, is essential for my wholeheartedness! I wonder what 101 practice might call to you and your well-being.
"I want to be ready,
I want to be ready,
I want to be ready
when joy comes back to me."
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
Holly is Executive Director of WholeHeart and Courage & Renewal Facilitator. She is grateful for work in the world that connects soul & role and requires commitment to the wisdom of the heart.