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It was a pristine weekend in the Napa Valley as we gathered for my 10th annual Harvest Your Wisdom Retreat. The rain follwed by sun made the drive through the valley inspiring–how to describe such beauty? What “sensual details” would a writer use?

See, I can’t stop being a writer even while driving! We began with an exercise I use each year–it’s a secret, but I will say this: it always gets everyone’s creativity stirred up and breaks the ice. By the end of the first evening, we had begun to know each other more intimately.

I have several goals for the retreat: to help each writer learn how to manage and bypass the inner critic; to have the group witness the stories that need to be told. And to create an atmosphere of inner listening so the stories can emerge.

By Sunday afternoon, everyone had been writing, or sketching pieces to write, journaling, or musing. We all said goodbye with more energy, inspiration, and several new stories, along with a timeline and turning points to draw from in the future.

I left inspired as always, feeling the strength and power of writing  the true stories that have shaped us all into who we are.

On the way back, the sun glowed on the vineyards, and the fallen leaves blew. It’s the end of the harvest, and the beginning of long winter nights, where in the darkness all new growth begins.

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