Change happens – so why not be intentional and invite it with ease
We sailed across the sea to the “Sign of the Dove” house on Block Island on a sunny afternoon in late September. The song of the dove in our hearts, stirring the emotions within and promising new life awaiting. The intention being held by all was to learn about the process of change and each participant had come with a personal mission in mind, something in their life they knew they wanted to change but didn’t know how.
The next 5 days, amidst raging storms outside and turbulent s eas inside at times,we shared a 9-step process of embracing personal change. We started the days in meditation and asana practice, overlooking the freshwater pond surrounded by weeping willows and ducks.
The sounds of our joyful cook, Marty in the kitchen as we practiced, got our appetites ready for a healthy breakfast. Then gathered on pillows by the crackling oversized hearth, we snuggled in for group process. The afternoons held time for island explorations, massages with Marty, labyrinth walks and quiet self reflection. The early evening yoga nidras put everyone into a state of deep relaxation and the chanting was purelydivine.
When silence was broken with a heavenly choir of voices singing Ong Namo, the joy and love in the air was palpable. Everyone effortlessly coordinated household duties with no words needed. It was like we were well-rehearsed actors dancing across the stage in a musical. I will also never forget the amazing dancing that erupted fireside on the last night as we celebrated our journey together. Bodies moving blissfully.
“I feel so blessed to have been part of such an incredible group. A gathering of souls that was able to experience those rich, sublime moments that occur when human beings are authentic, reaching for deep meaning and perhaps purpose beyond themselves. Your loving concern and attention to each person, each practice, each ritual, each meal was so comforting, so serene. You resolutely forwarded and fostered growth in all of us with kindness and intention. I thank you so very much! With deep respect and love,” ~ Pat
“Just to express my gratitude to you for your inspiration, belief, tenacity and brilliance in organizing, executing and living our retreat. All your hard work and preparation paid off with every thoughtful detail from the linens on the shrine to the candles to the curriculum to the food to each individual, to the millions of steps and points you had to put into place. Phenomenal for one person to manage all of this and then to have the energy to give to us in so many ways – bringing us to our edge with challenge, supporting and guiding us, teaching us, listening, holding, witnessing, blessing us. My heart is full of admiration and appreciation.” ~ Carolyn
“Thank you, each one of you, for creating and holding space for the LOVE and LIGHT we were able to call forth. September on Block Island has been engraved in my heart. I see each of your shining faces there when I travel each night from the darkness into the deep blue ocean of LOVE that surrounds us all. Peace to all, and peace to our beautiful earth.” ~ Sally
We all need reflective time and space to feel balanced between work and play, and able to live what we know and desire in our lives. Retreats like this are dedicated to personal change, playfulness and deep self acceptance.
The Sign of the Dove is a serene retreat house overlooking a fresh water pond, just minutes from the quaint town and beautiful beaches on Block Island and late September is warm, perfect for hikes, bikes, horseback rides on the beach and the kind of silence that brings peace to our hearts.
“Integrating spiritual change happens only when you take the insights or inner experiences of your awakenings and radically apply them to your life, allowing them to percolate within you and change the way you express yourself in your actions and relationships.” ~ Sally Kempton
Ten thousand years ago, glaciers pushed their way down the East Coast and left behind the rocks and soil that was to form this little paradise that we call home. The result was a cozy community (only around 800 folks in the winter), a land of stunning vistas and a very fragile ecosystem that we have had the good fortune to preserve for all to share. Because of the particular forces of nature that went to work on Block Island, no other place on earth shares its geography, nor its balance of species. A rarity, indeed. Block Island is a rarity in another sense; it’s a place that moves at its own pace and is known for a relaxed way of life. It’s where “dressed up” means a pair of shorts. Islanders speak of going to the mainland as going “off island” — an expression of the feeling that Block Island is its own entity, as unique as the North Light or the 250-foot bluffs.