April 10, I left to instruct my first international "Women's Mexico Retreat" in Manzanillo, Mexico. The aforementioned friend, Damaris, and I converged the next day and detailed the presentation, placement and logistics of our co-instructed class. I'd focus in the journaling, watercolor technique and design aspects, Damaris would present Mandala exercises and introspective perspective generated from the mandalas and Buddhist meditation. It was going to be a delicious intermingling of creativity & self-exploration.
The week plus retreat began with a "Welcome Dinner" on Sunday evening and continued thru the week, ending on Friday. We included painting techniques, creating stamps, adding WC pages to your journal, abstract emotion painting, and a sampling of mandala creations. Three of our days were spent away from the classroom at: a local Mexican beach, local bus ride to downtown "Centro" and a chauffeured trek north to a smaller town for market day and beach sketching. Our evening shared a variety of dining experiences and coffee/dessert back at the condo was when we took our "talking stick" time to share our own individual stories. All these activities wove a beautiful connection among all of us women. In fact, on my "Retreat Critique" sheet, one participant commented what she liked best about the retreat was that she "connected with everyone and didn't want it to end".