Reflections on Nice Retreat by Janet S. Steinwedel

by admin | November 5, 2013 3:11 pm

I had such strong resonance with Karin’s book on Female Leadership when I read it last December, that I was eager to meet her and learn more about her work in the world. In fact, it felt important that we meet. And, so it was.

How lucky we were to arrive in Nice just as the rain was ending. It was a beautiful week in many ways…the museum exhibits and churches, the food, the people and even the cemetery. Or, maybe, especially the cemetery.

We came together at an ornate cathedral, Basilica St. Raparate, in the old part of the city. Starting with a reflective 30 minutes was wonderful for settling down and quieting all the noise in my head. I had been musing about living and dying over the last couple of weeks, curious for how we might enter this immense domain.

Having the opportunity to experience Karin and Harry’s approach to learning in a retreat format was perfect for me at this time. The relaxed meandering and the open, honest, real conversation made it easy to move into relevant living and dying territories. I had not anticipated that I would discover a question that was dying to be recognized within my own soul. Answering the question was emancipating and life-giving.

Photography by Joe Zammit-Lucia

Both the MAMAC exhibit with Artists Reflecting on Matisse, and the Maeght Foundation exhibit teased out some symbols that have recently been active in my life, showing me a web of connections that begged my attention. What at face value seemed like innocent enough exercises were actually full of energy and surprises.

The well crafted meditations were very useful in connecting dots and opening new avenues of thought and feeling. While I know how important it is to slow down and get quiet, it is still hard for me to do it with the same benefit as when someone else is leading and helping me manage the energy.

Of course what seems like simplicity often requires a lot of thought and planning and I’m grateful for the artistry of Karin and Harry. It was a delight to eat, drink – literally and figuratively – and partake of a sampling of the many offerings of Provence. À bientột!

Endnotes:
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