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The Art of Conscious Living Retreat is an opportunity to step away from the business of our everyday life so we can go deep within. After reflection and healing we emerge ready to return to our life feeling awake and energized.
We tend to get caught up with the demands of everyday life only to look up to wonder about the bigger picture of our life. What do we really want? Why aren’t we happier? Where are we headed? At these times, hitting the pause button can be very helpful. Far more than a vacation, The Art of Conscious Living Retreat is a time to rest, heal, reflect, and renew our spirit. As we step away from the daily tasks of our life – no meals to cook, no chores to do, nowhere to go – we are able to sink deeply into the present moment. Without the pull of deadlines, relationships, the Internet, or other media, our minds become less cluttered, and we are able to focus inside.
At the Wiawaka Holiday House, we will be surrounded by the beauty of Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains. As we tune-in and immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of nature, we are better able to really listen when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, and delight in a soft breeze blowing on our cheek. We have time to connect to the sacred geometry of the labyrinth, take a swim off the dock, or take a long, reflective walk through the woods where we can give each step our full attention.
We will be led on this 5-day journey by Louise M. Finlayson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and transformational coach who is known for her ability to inspire lasting transformation in her clients. Through her expert leadership we will create a safe and accepting space where we can fully embody our authentic selves. We will experience deep connection with each other as we explore, grow, and play together. Through individual and group exercises we will come face to face with our joys, sorrows, and fears. As we learn to own our feelings and release them, we will feel lighter and more fully alive. We will shed old ways and beliefs that no longer serve us which clears space for us to focus on what we truly want in our life.
Art of Conscious Living Community (ACLC). Because transformation is a life-long process, Louise formed this group to help support us on our journey of conscious living. Membership is free and provides a number of avenues for continued growth and connection throughout the year.
Find out more about the June 2017 retreat at Wiawaka, Lake George
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” (David Henry Thoreau)
What do you see? I mean, what do you really see, as you go through your day? This question speaks to the essence of mindfulness and consciousness. How often have you driven home from work and not seen anything around you? Instead your mind is reviewing the events of the day, replaying conversations, making up to-do lists, thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner. Our minds get so busy that we forget that life isn’t taking place in our mind but is here in each moment, unfolding around us.
All of our internal chatter is just that, chatter. Perhaps you might like to challenge yourself today, to see what is around you. See the food on your plate, the person in front of you, the tree outside your window, and this is key, see without judgment, without story. Your mind will want to evaluate, compare, label what you see, red flower, old man, ugly painting. Plan on it. Our minds quickly move into action taking ownership of what we see, defining it, trying to control it. No worries, gently, without effort, come back to the simple act of seeing.
How much does your mind affect your health? A lot!! Your minds and your bodies have natural healing abilities. Your thoughts, your feelings, and the way you use your mind, if properly focused, can be a powerful ally in the healing process. Similarly, when misused, the mind can hinder healing or actually cause poor health. Unfortunately, many people unconsciously use their minds in ways that negatively affects their health. For example, focusing on worry, fear, anger, resentment, or other negative emotions contributes to all sorts of needless suffering.
The mind’s healing powers are a mystery to most people. We are not taught how to channel the mind’s energy towards healing and health. Here’s the good news. There are powerful, practical strategies that anyone can learn to alleviate pain, and suffering. Whether your challenges are physical, emotional, or spiritual you can learn to use your mind for health and happiness.
I am starting off the New Year with much awe and gratitude for my work. At the end of 2015, a cluster of my coaching clients were finishing up their work with me around the same time. As each of them was wrapping up, they looked back on the transformation they had undergone. Some had let go of destructive relationships, others made positive changes in their careers, others had straightened out their finances, while others had given up self-harming habits. However, while each of them had made concrete changes in their lives and were grateful for these changes, what they focused on was the shift they had experienced internally. They described seeing their lives through different eyes. Where once they might have seen problems, felt trapped or felt like victims, they were now able to accept responsibility for their lives. Each of them described feeling more empowered, freer and happier than ever. Ultimately, the one thing they all had in common was that they had elevated their level of consciousness.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Physicist and Nobel Laureate, Albert Einstein (1879-1955)