Neighboring Constellations

I’ve been back home from my coast to coast travels for a week (although there was an overnight trip to Kansas City thrown in there a few days ago to see Ray LaMontagne and Brandi Carlile), and I’m just now beginning to feel a bit more settled. As I wrote last week, this re-entry has been rocky. The rockiness stems in part from the widely diverse portions of my trip and the unfortunate timing of them, as well as from some difficulties I found myself immersed in and having to manage immediately (and ever since) upon my return. I’ve learned the hard way that a creative retreat scheduled back-to-back with an intense training institute for work does not a good combo make. Although I ultimately had no control over the scheduling of these two very important experiences, I wish I could have done it differently. Flying directly to research training in New York City following the Tribe retreat in Oregon couldn’t have been worse timing. Suffice it to say that being launched into discussions and presentations on heady emancipatory research methods and philosophies did not allow for the time and space I desperately needed to savor, reflect, percolate, reminisce, re-live, journal, sing, smile, and cry about my experiences with the Tribe in Manzanita. I tried to get up early each day while in NYC to write “morning pages,” to journal, to capture my memories, thoughts, and feelings about this inaugural Tribe retreat…but it simply wasn’t enough. However, I am grateful that I carved out these little bits of time as it allowed me to at least hold on to some fragments of my experience with eight other amazing women in a small coastal town in Oregon…

There are 11 of us in the Tribe. Two of us couldn’t make the trip. It broke all of our hearts. The rest of us 9 came as almost-strangers. I knew the most members having had the luxury of meeting 3 women previously. Some of us knew one other person in the group, whereas most knew no one with the exception of their online personas via blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Yet we each took a leap of faith…a chance to find community and support for our creative journeys. An opportunity to perhaps discover mirrors for our lives. We each said “yes” to a calling, a yearning, a longing. We each trusted the Universe to do its thing. And we each did our part.

I can’t possibly recount all the details of our 3.5 days together. But I can tell you that when a group of women come together with open hearts and courageous souls, MAGIC happens. I can tell you that there was poetry and songs and dancing. I can tell you that there was creativity with words, paint, glitter, ephemera, tesserae, and film. I can share with you that there was an abundance of love, kindness, joy, trust, compassion, patience, faith, sharing, play, and wholeheartedness. I can also tell you that there was doubt, heartache, fear, uncertainty, sadness, and not-knowing. And there was room for it all.

I can tell you that I’m savoring the shared experiences of our histories as well as our disparate paths. I can share that I’m holding close the expectations of thinking and planning grand and then the shift toward beginning small, starting close in. I can tell you about the bravery of being re-pictured and the strength to roar. I can tell you that it takes courage and struggle to know oneself, truly know oneself. I can share with you the constancy of the ocean and the stars, and the surprise of the sun. I can tell you about the small and not-so-small kindnesses. I can tell you about the collective conversations, and the more private ones, too. I can share with you that there is power in a tiara. I can tell you about the “yes, those earrings/dress/pants/t-shirt/ring/scarf is perfect for you.” I can share with you the ways in which 9 voices formed a beautiful collage. I can tell you all of these things. And yet…none of it scratches the surface of all that transpired, all that we shared, all that I felt.

Photo by Darlene Kreutzer

As I have been reflecting on this gift of a retreat, I’ve also been diving (again) into The Artist’s Way. Much of what Julia Cameron writes regarding sacred circles for the Artist’s Way is exactly what I was looking for in putting together the Tribe and dreaming this retreat into reality. Cameron writes, “as artists, we must find those who believe in us, and in whom we believe, and band together for support, encouragement, and protection.” She goes on to say, “Like neighboring constellations, we can serve each other both as guides and as company. In walking your artist’s way, my deepest wish for you is the company of fellow lights and the generosity to light each other’s ways as we each pass temporarily into darkness.” YES! This is what I was craving and needing (and still need!) when I began to put this seed of an idea out there. I am grateful to the 10 “yeses” I got in return. I also want to encourage any of you reading who don’t have this support to create your own group, your own Lovebombers, your own Tribe. The Universe will rise up and meet you. It will do its thing!

Thank you to Sophia, Darlene, Celina, Elizabeth, Sarah, Melissa, Rebecca, Emily, Stef, and Lindsey ~ for saying “yes,” for being my neighboring constellations, and for allowing me to light some of your way. And thank you, Universe, for doing your thing ~ as always.


About Meghan

Love Warrior. Psychologist. Photographer. Writer. Yogi. Gypsy. Lover of Polaroid, film, and digital.
This entry was posted in Community, Diana, Lomography, Polaroid, SOOC, Tribe, Universe and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Neighboring Constellations

  1. Lindsey says:

    Perfect, beautiful, inspiring … just so you. Thank YOU. xox

  2. rebecca says:

    So true my friend, I love seeing that magical weekend through your eyes. And I love your gratitude for the Universe. I have some for it too, because it brought me to you. 🙂

  3. Celina Wyss says:

    I think you found your words and are still carrying with you the spirit of the tribe despite your NY trip. Sending you lots of love and gratitude. xoxo

  4. I love this, Meghan. Just beautiful. I love all your photos, but especially that last one. It perfectly captures what you’re saying about lighting each our way into the darkness. My creative circle in ABQ is nonexistent; I’m so grateful to ALL of you, my Tribe.

  5. Michelle says:

    Beautiful pictures! Beautiful post!

  6. Karen D says:

    lovely Meghan.. so glad you experienced that sacred creative space… I am also doing Artists Way, just started last week..


  7. Melissa says:

    Beautiful words, beautiful photos. I’m glad that you have found some time to reflect on a major accomplishment and milestone for you. I keep getting signs from the universe again and again after Manzanita and so many things are unfolding for so many of us. I genuinely feel that a part of me is forever changed and that there is something new and thrilling blossoming for me that was planted on that beach in Oregon. It was the beginning of a very exciting bond that will bring us all joy, comfort, opportunities, love and countless other blessings. I am trying to carry some of that spirit within me each day and I hope you can too.

  8. Christa says:

    Oh, the photos are gorgeous – I am a little jealous, but mostly just thrilled for all of you. What a beautiful group in a beautiful location!

    Can’t wait to see what comes of all of this time together…

  9. Emily says:

    “An opportunity to perhaps discover mirrors for our lives.” So perfect. You captured in these words and this post so many things I have been trying to explain about our time together. I will read this over and over – whenever I need to remember that magic.

  10. Sarah Jean says:

    So glad to be a neighboring constellation with you on this journey 🙂 Lovely post. I’m finding myself going back to these Tribal posts often as I need to reminded of the magic in Manzanita.

  11. Brene says:

    Wonderful post! I so get the timing issue. My first soul retreat butted up against a 3-day faculty retreat. I thought it was going to be shifting gears, but as it turns out it was stripping gears.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us! I’m inspired!

  12. Laura says:

    Hey, Megs! Wonderful and inspiring words– and beautiful images! Hope they sustain you through periods of stress– remember that SO many of us love you, are thinking about you, and consider you part of OUR tribe…

    Thanks for sharing your journey, and grateful to be sharing a journey TOGETHER very soon!

    xxo Laura

  13. darlene says:

    i think that i will come back here and read this post every single time i need a reminder of the magic and gifts i received from you and all of our time together. love. xo

  14. Pingback: NYC Dianas | Life Refocused

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