Wednesday, February 3, 2010




  1. oh lovely. i'm so glad you did this vlog.

    to answer your question...i went to 2 retreats last year. be present and squam. i signed up for the be present retreat first, with my friend valerie, and was excitedly nervous to go. the small size of the retreat and going with a friend had me feeling good about going.

    squam on the other hand, i was not planning on going to. i was completely scared to go. but finally after months of this fear, i realized that if my fear was so intense...then it was all the more reason to jump in and go.

    both retreats were completely lifechanging, continually so. and its the connections with people that i'm so truly amazed by and grateful for.

    on that note, can i confess that i've been struggling with my loneliness these last few days and that watching your vlog today and being reminded of the connectedness as well as seeing you "in person" has filled my heart up with the an antidote to loneliness. thanks so much for being brave and doing the vlog my friend.

  2. you are so brave, so beautiful, and so filled with sunshine and divine inspiration. It brought happy tears to my eyes to see your smile and hear your voice. Thank you so much for making this vlog.

    I am so grateful that you were so brave and held your head up high during those first 24 hours. It is really the toughest part and once you make it through that your heart opens up to all of the kindness, all the incredible connections that manifest, and all the magic that swirls around. I am so grateful that I am able to call you my dear scarf sister.

    I have been on two retreats as well. Just like Vivienne they were squam and the be present retreat. Both experiences for me were so very different but equally incredible.

    I had no idea why but squam called to me. I felt it in my gut and it was a feeling that I couldn't ignore. I just knew I had to go. So I went knowing no one and drove six hours in the car with two incredible women who were strangers at the time but became dear friends after our car ride. Squam opened my eyes up to this whole incredible world that I did not know existed. A world of inspiring, encouraging, beautiful, radiant souls who cheered each other on, supported one another, and fell deeply into there passions. I felt accepted and the feeling of "i am the only one who feels this way" vanished. I was not the only one feeling a certain way. I was not alone on my journey in life. I was very shy and reserved and sat back and observed a lot of what was going on but I still felt seen ~ and the feeling of being seen is incredibly powerful.

    At the be present retreat I knew myself better, felt more sure in who I was and more comfortable walking into a group of women because some of them were no longer strangers to me ~ we had connected at squam. And that is the amazing thing about these retreats. You connect with people you may never have met had you not gone. If I had to choose one word that resonated for me throughout my time in manzanita it would be ~brave. I feel deep into my inner core and pulled out my bravery and the most incredible part was because of the support and love of all the women around me I wasn't scared. It felt so good to be so brave.

    since going on these retreats I have made a little vow to myself to go on at least one art retreat a year. It is so healing for the soul. There is just something about a group of women coming together, listening to one anothers story, seeing each other without judgment, and just being there for each other. People listen when you talk and they really want to hear what you have to say. They stop and pause to have the conversation. It is simply incredible.

    So like Kolleen said ~ if you hear that little voice, even if it is just a whisper take the leap because the women you will be surrounded by will teach you how to fly.

  3. you are just so stinkin adorable. loved seeing your face and hearing your voice on your vlog. love ya girl.

    manzanita was my second art retreat. me and my sidekick sister went to a small altered book retreat in here in texas that was driving distance from us. it was interesting to say the least. manzanita was my first stay with strangers retreat. i loved most of the unearth experience. i especially love the beautiful souls i met that I continue to hear from. great post. miss you bunches.

  4. I love vlogs! It was just like seeing you in person! Well .. not exactly .. because I can't give you a hug. But almost as good.

    Manzanita was life-changing. It was my first retreat, though I had done an Inca trail trek a few years ago where I signed up on my own and it was a group of mostly strangers, so that part didn't worry me. I am just back from another retreat and it was equally as memorable. There is just something about coming together as a group for a life-changing experience (even if it doesn't seem like it will be, it will, I think) and having that shared experience - as well as really getting to know the people there (and I do believe that if we really get to know people at their core, we cannot help but love them). Anyway, I am with you - I think I need to make it a yearly event. The problem is that there are just too many good ones .. how on earth does one pick.

    Huge hug and loves to you!

  5. How brave of you! You are so great that you did this. It is cool to hear your voice- you are sweet! I haven't been on any retreats like be present- I'm sure that was amazing. I have gone to Omega and Kripalu for retreats but they were not art retreats or with just women. I love your say whaaaat wednesdays. I keep meaning to post about it on my blog on a Wednesday- I will :)

  6. I love hearing your voice its so sweet..I love seeing you too..Im glad you liked your card too...I also went to art nest in Utah...I loved it and it was my first expirience with that so many artistic females..What set art nest and be present apart was the location. I really loved being by the beach and felt more grounded because of ya....Gloria

  7. oh, kolleen, my heart is just pounding looking and listening to your words and voice. thanks for giving us this "look" at you. you are magnificient. be present was my 1st and only retreat, so far. you know it altered me in so many ways. i feel so much less fearful and a tiny bit more courageous. i can't imagine having not experienced manzanita and all its glories. love you, marilyn

  8. Whoo hoo....doing cartwheels over here! I just loved being able to see you while speaking your soul. maybe....maybe I'll give it a try sometime.
    Be present was my first retreat. It was so much more than I ever expected. Not only did I get the chance to explore myself and grow, but the best part has been the friendships, the support and having a community of peeps who are like minded. and even though our time together was brief, I feel like we've known each other so much longer.
    I am jonesing for another retreat. I feel like that was just the tip of the iceberg. You should check out Art Fest that is up here in the NW. it's coming up soon and I think is mostly sold out, but it looks incredible. It's where Kelly Rae first got her start. Maybe next year we could get a group together to go. And Port Townsend is an awesome little spot in the world. Maybe I'm just dreaming, but ya never know.
    Love you miss K. Keep on keepin on!

  9. seeing your face this morning has made my whole day start off on the right foot. thank you.

    you ladies made the retreat such an amazing experience. not a day goes by that i don't think of you and how you all showed up as your open and brave selves. (i am working on a little something something for the fall again so stay tuned...hee, hee)

    thank you for being out there walking on your path and sharing your stories dear girl. big smooches!

  10. i think you know what i think about these retreats. and i can't believe you wanted to leave the first nite! for the love of apples! i slaved coring those dang things! how could you have left that!

    you are so is the souls that you meet, the friendships that are formed that are truly is inspiring to me.

    the one thing that is so hard it not getting to see each of you on a regular basis. i hate that part. but love when i get little messages and notes. love that.

    smooch. kelly
    [psstt...i have tears in my eyes, watching this. i loved that i got to hear your voice again.]

  11. Following you back! Thanks so much for visiting my site.
    Deal Wise Mommy

  12. Coming back to watch the vlog..kiddo just woke up...just wanted to return the visit...Happy Friday Follow!

  13. Wasn't sure where to put this, but this is a Friday Follower. This is my first week, and now I'm following you.

  14. so glad to hear that you still like the chair...its kind one of those things you dont know if you will love it in 5 years!!! Im trying to redo my home little by little!!! :)


  15. New FF! Have a great weekend.

  16. Oh... I am a new reader from the FF list. Please come follow back if you would like. I am doing some great giveaways right now and have some great ones coming up! Nice to meet you!

    I have never been to a blogging retreat but I hope to in the next year or two!!! Love your music on your page by the way!!!

  17. DEAR kolleen, kind, lovely-hearted & worded womaaaan! how amazing it is to see/hear your dear face & voice!! i have to say i had technical difficulties & wasn't able to hear your whole video (sooo sorry!!) but still it was a gift to have some fuller color of your being!! much celebration of YOU...xox

  18. So awesome to see and hear you! I loved your vlog!!! Your retreat sounds wonderful - I've never been on one.

  19. This is great!!! I love Vlogs!! I hope to do it anytime soon too!
    You're so beautiful, caring and an inspiration!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend and thanks for the sweet comment!

  20. Dearest Kolleen, how in the heck did I miss this! You are so beautiful and articulate!! I'm beyond impressed!!

    I've only ever been on one women's retreat and that was probably 15 years ago. It was a Wild Women's Retreat and it changed me forever! I went during a time when all was chaos in my mind and it was the beginning of me finding myself. A most amazing experience!!

    So glad you had a great experience at your retreat! They do change you, don't they?! I am still in touch with some of the women from my retreat!

    Love, Silke

  21. Hi, slightly belated Friday follow.

    Come visit me at



  22. Following you from the Friday Follow!

  23. KOLLEN! I've been an emotional wreck lately and I can't believe I missed your VLOG! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I told you you would get some great feedback!
    I just posted another vlog and you were spotlighted lovely lady!! ha! funny to come over here and here you say my name!!
    I haven't been on any retreats, wanted to go to the one you went to last year but just couldn't afford it. I'm planning on saving up for SQUAM 2011. I can really only go in October, the other dates they have don't fit to well with my work schedule. But hopefully next year will be the year and you know whatever I choose I'm going to beg you and Chrissy to go with me!!
    Awe, I'm so loving your smiling face!! Brave woman, you give me strength.
    Love you,

  24. Kolleen amor, I am so sorry that I am just now getting to visit you :( I missed our visits, but let me say was worth the wait :) It is almost 2 am here and I am going through your posts that I missed and eating cashews and a pear as I watched your Vblog...amor, first let me say...I always thought you were such a heart because when I visiting you always makes my heart smile, but seeing you "live" was wonderful! You have the sweetest personality, you and Kelly both are so beautifully adorbale...ya brats :) I say that with nothing but love :) Your voice is so lovely and how I wish I could get to go to a retreat like you just one time, but sadly at this time, just can't afford it, but...if I ever get the chance too...well I am alot like you I think, I have a fear of new things, always worried that I will be that one sitting on the fringes watching everyone enjoying themselves, while I wish I was apart of it..but that is just me I guess, sometimes old thoughts and habits are just hard to break :)But through blogging and meeting such wonderful people like you, I am starting to learn to open up and just let people get to know me and hope that when they find out what a goober I really am, by then they will have invested so much time getting to "know" me that they won't run away lol...I hope you do some more Vblogs, you did wonderful amor! Besos, Rose

    ps...Thank you for your lovely comments on Lorraines loss, I know she appreciates everyones loving thoughts at this time :)

    again...sorry so long, but your posts always make me just go on and on :)


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