Artwork by Annelinde Tempelman
We are designed to seek out our deepest longing: that is to uncover the essence of who we are and to express ‘that’ in our relationships with others, and with the world at large.
We each, in our own capacity, long to make our unique contribution to the creation of this world by conceiving, inventing, ultimately, creating something using our inner gifts and the culmination of our life’s learnings. Then, we can go in peace.
To live with this conscious intention and authenticity requires a deep awareness of what is our heart’s desire, what is truly important in the face of all the choices we face in today’s world. We can easily become bewildered by the pursuit of ‘happiness’ and ‘pleasure’ in the many forms we are bombarded with, but are ultimately, misaligned with our deepest longing.
Regular retreats are essential to finding that perspective, to listening to that voice and to nourishing the soul. Some spiritual discipline is useful to direct us and track our progress. But spirituality alone can be dry and lonely, the whole point of the practices is to arrive at Creativity, that is the juicy part, the part that we call ‘flow’. The journey need not be heavy, it can be enchanting. Knowing who we are as soul leads us to creativity. And adopting a creative habit leads us to our soul’s ‘song’. But either way, the key is to position ourselves in that 'flow' so much so that it becomes effortless.
That is how I have come to these Creative Journeys; to create the conditions needed to access that state, a difficult task in our day to day, even on our holidays for this is a much deeper experience than mere relaxation. Their intention is soulful and about helping each person find their own inner process. No prior spiritual or art experience is necessary, just a willingness to explore how your creativity works and what you would like to express and what are the kinks that get in the way of that. I am keeping the groups small so that I can keep a close eye on each person and see what they need, it is such a treat to be able to spend that quality time together.
Whether you are wanting to write a book, or compose a song, or open a shop, or redefine your life after a crisis, or build a business, whatever your thing is, travel sketching is a simple and a beautiful way to entice your creative flow. You don’t have to be skilled at it to use it as a pathway into creativity, because it is familiar, as children we have all drawn. Creating a travel journal is the perfect companion to travelling as it takes us into that 'flow', that state of play, of mindfulness. It is a way to savour what we see, to capture what is inspiring, to honour the individuality of each person and still connect as a group. Not to mention that everything about it is portable.
On these journeys, I want to encourage people to dream, to explore, to make discoveries, to soften in their experience of life, to open themselves to inspiration, to beauty, to laugh together. Part of the experience I am passionate about is that bohemian spirit, the expansion of the senses, the depth of appreciation and the growth that comes from exploring other cultures and foreign destinations. I also invite both men and women to join, because we need to remember how to play together in harmony.
My first Quintessential France Creative Journey to Paris and Provence in April next year has only one place left and I am starting to take expressions of interest for the one after that, which will be in a stunning chalet in the French Alps in 2020. I am very excited about these...
They say, life is a journey; may ours be well travelled and well accompanied - an art work in collaboration with life itself!