Four years ago, Elizabeth Duvivier had a high-powered job in product development. She had watched her company grow from a small, single-owner entity to a corporate behemoth and wasn’t sure she had grown in the same way. She felt that the creativity and intuition she used to possess was slowly draining away. Drawing inspiration from local art festivals, she then had a vision for a creativity retreat at some rustic cabins on the beautiful shores of Squam Lake in New Hampshire. The first year, Elizabeth shared a weekend retreat of small group classes and was stunned by the turnout. Women from all walks of life wanted to be inspired. Today, what is now known simply as “Squam” has expanded to four retreats per year that offer full-day classes in painting, writing, yoga, embroidery, sculpture, screen-printing, and other non-traditional art forms.
Elizabeth chooses hip, under-the-radar teachers that include remarkable designers, yogis, potters, and do-it-yourself gurus to instruct between 8 and 15 students. In addition to the arts, the fall retreat will offer classes in intuition taught by Marie Manuchehri, an energy intuitive and Reiki master, encouraging participants to detach from over-processing and tap into creative chakras via guided meditations. To date, Squam has not advertised, instead relying on a community of online bloggers to fill the retreats with attendees from as far away as Qatar and Japan. Squam also gives back with a worldly perspective — it is a proud participant in 1% for the Planet. From humble beginnings, Squam and its staff of creative women — determined to seek beauty in the everyday, sing out loud, and get their hands dirty — have begun a movement. For the first time ever, Squam is going international, with a retreat in Italy this October, holding sessions in a stunningly restored farmhouse in Abruzzo, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. (For more information, visit squamartworkshops.com.)
ENTER TO WIN A WORKSHOP WITH ALENA HENNESSY! Squam teacher, author, and artist Alena Hennessy is giving away one free admission to "Abundant Wild Life," a four-week online workshop that will help you develop your own artistic voice and style through a powerful approach to creativity that integrates body, mind, and spirit. The course works at your pace and includes admission into an exclusive community of like-minded, supportive people. To enter, leave a comment below answering the question: How do you tap into your innate creativity? A winner will be announced Friday, April 27; workshop begins Monday, April 30. Click here to learn more about the workshop, and don't forget to visit Alena on Facebook and at her website, alenahennessy.com, where you can learn more about her new book.