Thinking Candidly is a new creative conversation series that explores ideas for living life on your terms.
Each monthly newsletter aims to uncover valuable insight through stories of experiences and lessons by Masters, Misfits and Mentors . . . from their biggest wins, failures and everything in between.
Another feature, The Retreat Journal (which was a magazine before Covid) will now be a monthly feature bringing you timely retreat news, events and soirees you won't want to miss.
With our feature, Embracing your Wabi-Sabi, we share ideas for the Art of Living as an Art of Imperfection . . . because, we all need a break from This, That and That!
Feature: Masters, Misfits and Mentors
Life Lessons from a Taoist Martial Arts Master
Often we do not realize the brilliant lessons we’ve learned until some years later, then, clarity reigns.
Why do we love the old masters?
I think it’s because their disciplined life shows self-mastery and a way of being that is beyond how ordinary people live. Their mastery forms a foundation and formula for success.
I immersed myself into learning the energy arts for years however, it was not until I spent three-years with Sifu Chen while consulting on his Dao House retreat project that I saw into it all. Chen is a 25th generation Taoist Priest originally from Wudang Mountain in China.
To live and work here at the retreat center high in the mountains of Colorado was an honor.
I lived in a curiously small cabin in the woods, big enough for a bed, bathroom and my beautiful work space. The little windows were laden with snow 8 months of the year and my view looked towards layers of majestic mountains - all in brilliant 3-D dimension.
Here, hard work, focus, and wide-eyed learning were the norm as we trained our infinite potential.
I learned through observation. When you train your body and mind for a lifetime – it shows. Sifu looks like a master. My conclusion is that you cannot TRY to look powerful – others will see right into your whole fake scene.
Some key points Chen shared on developing Personal Power
"In our Taoist training we spend years to train the inside of the body to be more powerful than the outside. And if the outside demeanor looks impressive, that becomes an indication of the real power you have on the inside."
"We train our clarity to become present, which projects Personal Power. Being present starts with how you stand. Because in our fast paced world, it takes a new paradigm of working and operating - you not only need to be mentally fit, but also physically fit. All parts of you need to be operating together like a fine-tuned machine, not as a bunch of scattered pieces."
On Business - Sifu says
"When negotiating, let others start first. Their egos are usually in full force like a tumbling boulder. Their untrained minds think this is power. It is not."
"As others make the first move, you are passive and saving your energy and looking at the dynamics of the situation. Your mind is in every cell of your body. Because you are skilled and have clarity, others will fall into your strategy."
Think in Seasons
Chen looked at life (including business) as measured by seasons and other natural cycles. Instead of trying to accomplish goals quicker, the thought is to slow things down to be more aware of the patterns and energy of what you are doing.
The wisdom is to build “space” or “time gaps” in your projects so you gain clarity as the project grows.
Seeing with the Mind
Sifu would look at a situation from the deepest level and then layer his conclusions thinking how it will play out far into the future.
I's an art form from practicing extreme clarity. It comes from being a master of observation. It’s the art of deciphering the state of mind of the people around you.
The dynamics are made up of all the elements that others are caught up in. Alertness to these dynamics will encompass all aspects of a situation and show you the path to take.
The key point of seeing with the mind is to understand the essence of what the energy is.
This is a warriors art.
It’s about slowing yourself down so all situations originate from a grounded point of view — not from an emotional point of view.
The Three-Month Rule
While working with Sifu to hire new people he never thought of having to let them go. He relied on the fact that people will eliminate themselves.
The time frame was three-months. It always works.
The premise is, you’ll never need to let someone go, as within the three-month time frame, people will either leap ahead, or eliminate themselves before you have to ask.
Watch for Repeating Patterns
The key is to watch how people form repeating patterns in all situations. Identifying repeating patterns is key to seeing into the future of a situation.
When you observe a pattern, look for the energy within that pattern.
When you observe the situation in this manner, you can then change the energy of the situation, or the people or yourself to ultimately position yourself the right way.
Feature: The Retreat Journal
Congratulations to Wander Magazine just launching the Wellness Retreats Insiders’ Guide: a new series featuring interviews with the creators of incredible wellness retreats the world over. I was picked to be on the panel - what an honor. Here is the link to take a look:
The Retreat Journal:
Are Grief Retreats . . . The Future?
Living with grief is not inspiring.
It makes one feel weak and totally demoralized - leading to the critical stage where you no longer see hope or a way out.
You find yourself staring into space with vague dreams of future goals and unhappy routines. We know if we lose ourselves now — years can go by.
This is when it’s time to go on Retreat - Like a Happiness Vision Quest
I call it a More Me Project. It’s about taking time to regenerate, renew and gain reason to start over.
But, working on grief takes practice . . . it takes having the right mindset and being with others who understand. It’s a time to gaze into the future to create new plans.
Join Us – On Retreat Throughout the year we are inviting small groups of women who are grieving the loss of family, or another serious setback to join us at special healing locations around the world to explore new beginnings. It’s the most amazing do nothing work retreat where ideas, change, reinvention, courage, and personal power form into a courageous new inspiration.
We're going to Bali
The first retreat will be hosted at Bali Floating Leaf (https://balifloatingleaf.com/)
From the 2000 s.f. open air yoga studio, the large healing pool, 2 award -winning spas and luxurious rooms, not to mention the many peaceful lounge areas throughout the premises and 5-star staff, Floating Leaf was designed to give unequaled comfort and an authentic connection to the people and culture of Bali.
Hosted by Cindy Kidd with Sassy Women Travel (https://www.sassywomentravel.com/wellnessgrieving-retreats ) the venue, price and activities cannot be matched. Thanks to Bali Floating Leaf retreat they have given an extremely low fee as Bali ramps up re-opening to tourism. Take advantage of this if you want to be with other remarkable women and experience renewal with special Bali healers.
Feature: The Art of Wabi-Sabi Living
The New Art Experience Journey coming to Wellness Resorts and Retreats
By Cindy Kidd of sassywomentravel.com
It’s not a Mere Getaway . . . It’s a Transformational Journey
Striving for perfection with anything is so yesterday . . . don’t you think?
I attended a Wabi-Sabi day retreat led by Maria Camille in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico last month and no perfection was needed!
The half-day experience started with an immersive Qi Gong breathing movement meditation to get our energy focused on our minds and bodies. Then we transferred our energy into our giant brush to create “the brush mind.”
Next, we transferred this energy onto giant pieces of paper to create works of big and bold spontaneous art.
More than an experience of getting away for the day, it was about connecting with myself in a most unusual way. For me, it was a journey of discovery – the breathing, the art and nature helped me embrace new creativity through learning to just “let it go” -
What is Wabi-Sabi?
I learned that Wabi-Sabi is about the wisdom of simplicity. It encourages you to do your best, but not make yourself ill in the pursuit of the unattainable goal of perfection. In art it’s typically defined as “flawed beauty” - it emphasizes the process of making art that is ultimately incomplete. It’s about the aesthetic of things that are “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” something I think we can all embrace in our world today.
The Ultimate Unwind
At this time when it feels as though every facet of our lives has been taken over, it was exceedingly refreshing to be without constraints, if just for a day. I’m now seeing that time-out needs to be touched, felt and experienced tangibly over time. It requires participation and emersion into self. It needs a distinctive narrative that changes lives forever. Like the cool side of the pillow, an experiential journey should refresh and catch you off guard just a little, and, the Wabi-Sabi experience will certainly do that.
Wabi-Sabi coming to destination resorts worldwide
Many incredible properties worldwide are bringing Wabi-Sabi Art Retreats to their properties by inviting Guest Artists who have completed Maria’s online course to become Hosts.
This art-as-therapy experience has become incredibly popular as resort guests are now traveling for transformation and self-actualization to create “a better me”. It’s becoming less about “what I have” and more about “who I am”.
Instead of a serious “art class,” guests get to “play” with the art. They start with smaller pieces of paper and work up to the giant format paper that is up to 5 feet long. The art is BIG and BOLD as guests learn to use the beautiful giant Japanese brushes that are half as big as the person taking the journey.
For more info on How to Become a Host Wabi-Sabi Art Retreats go to:
That's a Wrap!
Stay tuned for timely offerings, and inspiring ideas from the most interesting Badass women and men who live Big and Bold
AND, hats off to all those doing something new and special . . . congratulations, really! It's not easy getting off your app and deciding to reinvent your daily routine.