Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dragonfly New Years Retreat

(Left to Right back row) Ruth, Linda, Carla, Paula, Dawn, Holly. 

(Front row) Me, Meredy, Patti Sue, DJ, Sharon, Melody, Maria. Liesa is in the hot tub and Laura home exhausted!

This post is a bit on the right outside my door side of Life In My Backyard. It is about amazing women with such strength and power that my life seems so very small and insignificant after just one weekend of sharing our lives and journeys with each other. Dragonfly is a Yoga and wellness retreat center of sorts that is offered and hosted by Linda Long. Linda is an amazing facilitator and over all incredible human. She has a giving intuitive heart that seems constantly open to others and what  her path lays out for her. After a very long stretch in my journey of keeping the rubber side down and the sunny side up, I crashed and burned, biffed it, chin dove into the gravel and big time. Just lost my vinegar and got tired. It was one day after that that Linda came up to me and said "I really want you to come to the retreat this weekend". Well, I knew that wasn't something I was to ignore even though I wanted to retreat into my cabin and hunker down in the coming storm swimming in my own pity pool. Linda offered a way for me to join in without wreaking havoc on my unemployed pocket book. Wow. Bloody well better listen up when the higher up prompts, and I knew that was what was going on. I've said "no" before and learned what a B-A-D idea that was! I knew I was in for it, but never expected to be surrounded by some of the most admirable women I've ever come to know. No kidding, these gals have lives and are forming lives that floor me! Here are some highlights of the weekend (sorry guys, the hot tub was off limits for the camera!)

Friday evening we started by getting to know each other over an amazing dinner prepared by Chef Liesa  followed by a smudging ritual upon entering the yoga studio for some personal growth and good yoga. Once inside we were given homework to document our "intentions" for the year and be prepared to share them the next morning .
Linda opens her home and her heart for people.
Holly is no doubt telling Her and Liesa
about flying a helicopter, being an investment
banker, or climbing El Cap.
The girl is a maniac!

True bliss comes from each moment embraced

 Liesa is passionate about her cooking and her life.

      We all learned so much over the weekend, and one thing I learned is that I have a LOT to learn about taking pics in low light indoor situations! Oh well, the subjects are great!

                                                            Liesa is also one of the totally awesome  yoga instructors at Dragonfly

Dinner was awesome, and as Laura said "not a drop of testosterone in the room"
Maria does the smudging



Embrace this moment

                 Take joy in each treasured day

Life happens, breath...

Saturday morning most of us walked the labyrinth in the rain and meditated on our intentions for the year. I will try to get a pic of the Labyrinth to add in later. After sharing our intentions (harder than it sounds!) Carla did some talking about chakras and led us in some pretty  sweet yoga. The morning was emotional and full.

 After a great lunch, Paula, Liesa, Meroday & I hit the hot tub. Ahhh, nice, but not quite hot enough, so we turned it up. While we were in there, Holly busted out the door with a humongous grin on her face and a mouthful of chocolate pie. She announced something about baking brownies with nuts, cherries & coconut in them. They turned out to be a staple for me that night! Holly later shared with me in email how spoiled she felt being fed pie and all!

This gift, this treasure, this day...

Regina contemplates the teaching

Carla gave us all plenty of food for the soul. She had us laugh out loud on prompt. I agreed when Paula said she didn't get laughing for no reason. I get a great amount of belly laughs in life and Paula seems to as well, so I guess it's ok if we don't laugh on promt!
"I don't get it"

Paula is another awesome Dragonfly yoga instructor.

Saturday evening Ruth taught us how to make a very tasty ayurvedic meal as well as all about ayurvedic principles, digestion and showed some of the essential oil products she makes & sells.

Chef Ruth and helper Meredy
 The meal was incredible even after we chose to eat dessert first and chowed Holly's brownies!
Sharon agreed that dessert first is a good idea!

The chakra candles burned through the evening
Ruth is a natural at cooking and teaching. She will do great  things with that gift! Patti Sue (next to Ruth) is a Dragonfly  yoga instructor and an impressive Master Gardener (my neighbor! S-C-O-R-E!)                    


 Learning and growing over brownies and good energy! 

 When one door opens we often look so   
 long and so regretfully  

upon the closed door that we do not
   see the one which is open for us."                                                                     

Life happens...breath
Beautiful women

As the evening went on, the chakra candles burned, and conversation tied together what we had learned about ourselves and each other. Each of us on a path, a journey, now with intentions.Linda brought out the Taro cards. As each woman pulled her cards, it became quickly obvious that coincidence played no part. The cards fit the woman and the challenge at hand. We all knew enough about each others path and intentions now to recognise that. Holly went near to last observing in amazement the cards each person drew. When she finally drew her first card her response was "HOLY CRAP!...That's WEIRD!". Our intentions came together more cohesively that evening mushing together like the melted  wax of the chakra candles.  

It's all in the cards
and lower...

Linda's card! Many of us (the oldies!) passed around glasses.

and lower!

It's not the breaths you take, it's the moments 
that take your breath away


My cards in order of how I drew them. Bricks laid on my

Not quite ready to sleep on all we had experienced (or maybe it was the wine & brownies?), Regina, Holly & I hit the hot tub. The stars were out, the frost was on the tub cover, but the water was hot! We yaked solving all of lifes problems until after 1:00 am. Getting out in the  frozen air was the tough part! I decided to crash there instead of treking up the hill home only to return early next morning.

Sunday morning was very full and certainly pulled all we had done and discovered together in tidier bundles. Still though, for some more was revealed to make the path a bit more challenging. Linda demonstrated skilled intuitive facilitator abilities and didn't let any of us get away with buckling under to fear or uncertainty. Our intentions were stated confidently in the end and it was evident that we had sisters to hold us accountable and offer support. Yoga was a part of that morning.

Arms up!


Bottoms up! (sorry ladies, it was too cute!)


Is your life full of temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then oyu will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.
(James 1:2-4)

Melody's bridge

Sharon's backbend!

   Wow! Maria wants to try!                                                                This move led Holly to show us her stuff!


Regina always glows.

Holly's straight, it's the camera holder that's crooked!



Susie is thinking of trying that move!



Hallelujah I'm a bum! Hallelujah bum again! hallelujah
give us a handout to revive us again!
(Utah Phillips) 
Take joy in your present situation and embrace it as a gift for it will be different in an instant and never the same again.
Freedom from the restraints of employment is a gift
Turning from the closed door will soon swing wide the open door.
Fear not and enter with confidence, passion and vigor!
(ok, just a bit of lightness on my own journey!)
Beauty and grace!

Sunday morning was topped off by an awesome brunch spread prepared again by Liesa! I had to run in order to meet with some friends and light my stove fire, but Linda prompted me to take a plate home! I gobbled it all the way up the hill. YUMMMMMY! Thanks Liesa! All said and done, the grace and beauty in body, & soul during this retreat weekend left me in awe. Every woman there is an incredible amazing being and leaves me humbled. 

         All Good Things       Have the courage to love 

Beauty and grace                                          Ladies, you all rock!
in every face                                                          
lovely as the flower                                
petals fade, wither, drop         Sweetness lies in.... (please answer this in a comment!)
spirit blooms
light, truth, power
                                                  What if The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?                       
                                                     Put your right side out & rock the world!                                     


  1. I am already gearing up for the next one! It was such a wonderous pleasure, meeting everyone, sharing, and allowing others to share with me!
    Ladies, I have found my voice! (turns out I had just misplaced it after all!) Thanks and many blessings to everyone.
    This article summed it up perfectly. Now, I am really sorry I missed those brownies!

    1. Thanks Laura! The brownies now live on my hips! Blessings back and wishes for all good things in your life.