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Sunday, November 12, 2006

musings on mallorca

Returning to the magical island of Mallorca renewed my sense of self, my purpose, and my plans. I first explored Mallorca when I took a 2-week solo vacation to celebrate my 30th birthday. This time I returned to honor the fruition of my book and a long-term dream. My time in Deia, made famous by novelist Robert Graves and the numerous artists and writers who followed, was picture perfect.

I arrived Wednesday night after 24 hours of traveling to a dark, but tranquil villa in Deia, Mallorca. The majority of the group had arrived and were chatting around a table in the outside garden. I immediately felt at home.

The first day we explored our various roles, values, and masks that we wear. I spent the afternoon down time exploring a nearby town with my newfound Finnish friend.

The second day focused on well-being and began with a 2-hour kundalini yoga session and then after breakfast turned into a lecture on the 6-fold path of well-being. Namely, mind, food, exercise, Vitamin O (oxygen), relaxation, and meditation. I spent the afternoon napping and our evening session included a lecture on herbs from a local expert and the sharing of a poem we were to write during downtime. I’ll spare you my lack of poetic prose. I read it to my beau and he said it sounded like an 80s hairband ballad!

The third day focused on emotional intelligence and how our emotions create our thoughts. This day got quite intense and the facilitator took us deeper. For example, we explored the concept of the shadow self and how we project our shadow onto others. She encouraged us to ask ourselves “What is it about them that I’ve got to learn?” The statement that 85% of leadership success is based on our EQ – how we manage emotions of self and others really struck a chord. She also emphasized self-control by choosing the appropriate response to emotions and creating space before responding. We all thoroughly enjoyed our intense day with her.

The fourth day we got to do some fun creative play. It began with sketching ourselves in 7-year increments. My only change was hair color from 7 to 14 to 21 to 28 to now. Then we practiced blind drawing and continual drawing techniques. The afternoon was spent in silence working on our visionary collage and the evening we had a bonfire where we were to throw into the fire what we were giving up or shedding ourselves of. I tend to be very practical in these exercises as I know that it isn’t as simple as throwing a piece of paper into the fire and POOF, certain things are gone. So I simply noted some simple changes I’d love to make – weekly solitude time, earlier to bed and up in the morning, carve out grocery shopping time, set a nice table, have meal times with beau, incorporate more creative play.

The final day was a focus on action steps. I’m the queen of action steps so this was a fun day after loads of inner work and play. We shared our visionary collage with our assigned buddies and they were to present our vision to the group. I was blessed with the perfect fit buddy from the beginning and we resonated on many levels. My collage was filled with images of things I love – French pedicures, hot cocoa with whipped cream, stargazer lilies, waterfalls, yoga, mediation, bathtub soaking, beaches, couple time, fresh fruit and veggies. The focus was clear – more “being” time. Although my goal for the retreat had been to get clarity on business development, what emerged was a need to focus more on being rather than doing. I spent the afternoon gallivanting in nearby Soller and visiting a huge church that brought about an immediate sense of peace. The evening culminated with sharing our action steps and dancing for three hours. We got all gussied up, some of us donned wigs (mine was a long blue bob), and had a wonderful evening of celebration.

The following day was bittersweet as I was one of the last to leave and said goodbye to my colleagues throughout the day. I spent some time at the Robert Graves museum, podcasted with Lynne, sipped tea in the village and discussed visionary work with Tatiana, and hopped in a cab for the airport. The drive to the airport was sad. I knew the experience had come to an end and we were all heading back to our regular routines. All the women were such gems, powerful entrepreneurs, and incredibly loving beings. The sun was setting as we drove the 45-minutes to Palma and I kept peering out the window until I could no longer see. The island of Mallorca is truly powerful and has offered me many lessons over the years.

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Amanda said...

This makes me nostalgic for Tobago! There's something so powerful about going on a retreat like this by yourself in a faraway place... it's scary beforehand but has a way of transforming you that stays with you for so long afterwards (maybe always). I still think often about yoga under the stars, floating in the sea, and other memories from the TS Tobago retreat...thanks for sharing your Mallorca experience and for providing the opportunity for others to have similar experiences through TS.

Anonymous said...

It all sounds so wonderful, Kimberly. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. What powerful insights you have learned and it was interesting that what you thought you were going there for turned out to be something totally different!
Glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

I inquired about attending this specific retreat however I was unable to attend as I have recently started a new job and was unable to take the time off to attend. I've marked my calander for next year's fall retreat and I am so looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and thank you for inspisring and empowering me in so many ways to live my true self each and every day :)