Summer Camp for the Soul

I’m bubbling over with a velvety mixture of desire, creativity and determination that is both inspiring me and making me a crazy person.

It’s clear I’m drinking way too much coffee. But moreover – I’m really fired up about finishing an incredible class, and I want to share some of the golden nuggets with you all. Once you’ve tasted something so sweet, you want all your beloveds to taste it too, right?On October 30th, one week before Dad went down, I signed up for an online course titled PathFinder. It’s led by a blogger, author, photographer, and humanitarian named Karen who writes at “Chookooloonks”. She’s an exceptional human. Her life mission is to show each of us how uniquely beautiful we are. Don’t try to argue with her – she’s right, and she’ll win.

During the first week of the course, Serg and I mourned and buried his Nani who had just passed, and then 5 days later received the news of my Dad’s aneurysm.  It was the worst of times. I was filled to the brim with grief, fear and frantic energy – which oddly I think, fueled my appetite for the class even more. At night after our hospital visits were complete, I would retreat to my room in my parent’s house, open my computer and journal and greedily welcome the creative exercises that Karen had e-mailed the class.

Over the next 5 weeks, we were led on a delicious, deep-digging, self-discovery of everything that makes us awesome.

Starting with a Love List. Have you ever reserved an entire hour to simply ponder all the things you love in life? Wow.  Such a simple concept, but extremely enlightening and impossible to not have a smile on your face afterwards.  Here’s a snippet of mine:

Then we made vision boards. Now admittedly, thanks to the whole craze over The Secret a few years ago, I used to think vision boards were a little pathetic. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but I no longer care because the process was immensely satisfying.  Resisting the urge to self-brand was tough, but in the end you have a fancy collage of images to serve as a reminder of things you’d like to cultivate in your life. Mine now lives on my desk and it makes me feel happy and motivated, every time I see it.
We also made Life Menus – or – everything you’ve EVER wanted to do. I have a feeling I’ll be adding items as quickly as I cross them off. First spread below:
We identified our “oxygen masks”, which are things that keep us sane, that are most likely neglected but should be made non-negotiable.  At the end we wrote mission statements. This was challenging. I haven’t decided yet if I want to share my mission statement, so more on that later…The themes that came up for me over and over throughout the course were writing, adventure, joy, growth, gratitude, family, community and a near overwhelming love for this multi-textured world and the wonderfully gorgeous and good things that reside within it. So much love.

So. It’s now up to me to figure out what to do with all this.

Even as I write I’m struggling to bring it around – besides sharing my shiny new nuggets like a proud toddler, why am I writing about this? I guess I want to declare that Karen WAS right. There is a vast sea of awesome, beautiful, good things inside of me, and inside all of us. Because ultimately, each of us is just a reflection of each other and our particular surroundings.

Wonder. Goodness. Love. That’s what I see, and that’s what I want to create more of.  The shit circumstances of the last few months and losing/almost losing so many in our tribe has lit a real fire under my ass …a fire to make it count. Now what exactly that will entail, remains to be seen. Please stand by.

And Karen, my answer to your final question is, unequivocally, yes. I want to do this for the rest of my life.

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2 thoughts on “Summer Camp for the Soul

  1. Awesome, inspiring and uplifting is how this article made me personally feel. Wow Autumn, you know how to embrace life and then to share it with those of us who have subscribed to your Mommy Rock Out. I loved being able to see your journal entries and to read about the course you took. Your excitement about the personal discoveries you found along the way is infectious and I must check this out! Thanks for sharing . . Stephanie

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