San Miguel de Allende, Mexico ~ October 17-23, 2022
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
ABOUT THE RETREAT
Have your creative energy and wild dreams been pent up or quashed for the past 2 years? If so, why not gift yourself a week’s stay in sunny San Miguel de Allende – where you can shake off the lockdowns and uncover latent ideas and simmering visions. By liberating yourself from the strictures of past art-making experience or skewed beliefs, such as: “I’m not an artist,” you’ll learn to see creative experience as a benevolent vehicle for deeper understanding, acceptance, transformation, and growth.
You made art before you wrote, before you planned, worked, traveled, and long before you started to think too much. Art is the basis of human expression. It’s at the core of your existence, so uncork and celebrate the fizz of your being!
Feel the fear, take a leap, and unleash your bottled-up creativity, with a brush in hand – and openness in your heart. Each day, you’ll stand up to paint; yes, you’ll be painting on your feet, and moving about – thereby activating the brain, the body and ALL senses. No need to come with a plan: Watch the colors and brushstrokes come alive; and see the magic and mysteries unfold, as you greet your square of paper anew, every day.
This 7-day journey through creative expression includes: Daily breakfast. A welcome Mexican dinner. Prompts and gently-guided facilitation for painting. Lightly structured activities, rather than actual instruction, are designed for grounding, relaxation and no-stress art-making.* There will also be time for writing, processing, meditation and movement.
* This is a no-critique experience, so all you (so-called) non-artists are warmly invited!
Walks around San Miguel will amplify the experience and plant seeds of inspiration, transforming your encounter with the sights, scents and sounds of San Miguel onto paper.
Your walking excursions include:
- A visit to Fábrica La Aurora, a renovated textile mill, now featuring galleries and artist studios;
- A walk through one of San Miguel’s colourful neighborhoods, to marvel at the extensive urban street art scene.
- Learn to focus more deeply on presence;
- Discover a deeper connection with your Inner Artist;
- Un-tether yourself from “shoulds” and past lessons and patterns;
- Enjoy the process of extracting meaning from ephemeral moments and sensations;
- Amplify your experimentation with out-of-the-box thinking;
- Develop deeper confidence in self-expression;
- Help clear and transpose difficult or unexpressed emotions;
- Reconnect with, and give voice to, your inner sparks of thought, feeling and vision;
- Feel greater freedom with risk-taking in your daily life;
- Increase your appetite for creative expression of every kind;
- You’ll go home with ideas for continued exploration of your artistic yearnings!
TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE
The art-making space will be available to you at all times. Situated on a expansive outdoor veranda, it has plenty of sun-covering, to ward off the midday heat.
Thursday is unscheduled. But don’t worry! You’ll be provided with a list of nearby neighborhoods and places that you might enjoy exploring.
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast (included).
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Movement & Quiet Time. Intros, check-in, review previous day’s experiences
10:30 a.m – 12: 45 p.m. Studio Time
12:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Lunch on your own, or as a group. Explore SMA or rest.
3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Art-making and/or writing.
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Dinner or your own
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Discussion or a walk about town.
*Schedule is subject to modification; depending on timing of walking excursions.
Register ASAP, to ensure your room choice and attendance in the retreat! (*Full payment due by June 1, 2022)
Imagine yourself… soaking in the sun and San Miguel’s creative atmosphere. If you’re looking for a transformative experience, this retreat is for YOU!
The Mexican government has effectively addressed pandemic-related challenges, keeping numbers low. With a rigorous certification process in place for the hospitality industry, adhered to by our venue, Casa de la Noche, we hope these measures will alleviate your concerns.
ABOUT THE FACILITATOR
Artist, labyrinth designer, and author of a memoir about walking the Camino de Santiago, Amit initiated the 9/11 Montreal Peace Quilt as a collaborative memorial. Her juried photography has been exhibited at the Diaspora Museum (Tel Aviv, Israel) and, more recently, at the International Center for Photography (ICP, Manhattan NY). She is also the founder of Retreat On Your Feet – a walking & creative wellness experience.
As a seasoned facilitator of creative expression workshops (Heartshops), presented in Canada, Cambodia, and Bali, she invites participants to access their dormant art-spirit – and to find the joy in little steps towards self-discovery.
PHILOSOPHY of PRACTICE
This retreat does not involve art-instruction; but rather gentle guidance and nurturing through a mindful and joyful creative process, including silent practice. You will make art that springs from your interior experiences; and that will gently, and without judgment, assist you in breaking through barriers of expectation and blocks of expression. Consider this retreat a heart- and soul-liberating activity.
“Make Art Like Nobody’s Watching!”
Years ago, Amit taught art to teens at summer camp. There was much fear, trembling and a quashing of natural creative impulses. Since then, her passion has been to support adults in connecting with their long dormant or banished inner artists. Many of her retreat and workshop participants have felt a sense of relief, wonder and triumph as they open themselves up to creative self-expression through a newly-discovered voice and vehicle.
Register by April 15, 2022 to ensure your spot.
The retreat will be held in the historic San Miguel bordello-turned-B&B boutique hotel, CASA DE LA NOCHE. This charming, centrally-located hotel, among Conde Nast’s top picks, was also recently awarded TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice “Best of the Best” Award for 2021. The venue has its own art studio, spacious gardens and grounds, and original art throughout the property. Learn all about Casa de la Noche.
The retreat takes place over 6 nights/7 days, and is limited to 12 participants. Accommodation (including taxes), registration, retreat facilitation fees, walking excursions and basic art supplies are all included in 4 different pricing options – depending on your room choice: Luxury Rooms (USD$2950), Suites & Cielo Suites (USD$2950), Deluxe Rooms (USD$2750), Working Girl (USD$2550).
See room reservation details below.
A welcome Mexican dinner and daily Mexican breakfasts are included; you’ll be on your own for most other meals. A kitchen is available for use by all participants throughout the retreat.
This historic multi-level hotel does not have an elevator, and most rooms are accessed by stairs. If you have concerns about your ability to negotiate steps, please email Amit, so that she can help you choose your accommodation. Or, for any specific lodging questions, please contact Barbara at Casa de la Noche (firstname.lastname@example.org; 831-373-8888).
Basic painting supplies – Acrylic paints, some brushes and paper – will be provided. Please bring some of your favourite brushes and, optionally, a sketchbook. Additional supplies can be purchased at a nearby store, with a 10% discount for all participants.
Included in Retreat Cost
Six nights accommodation (including taxes). Studio space available 24/7. Group facilitation and discussions. Welcome Mexican dinner. Daily breakfast. Basic painting materials. Walking excursions.
Excluded from Retreat Cost
Airfare. Airport transfers (See details below). Transport around San Miguel (Buses and cabs are easy to use and very affordable). Meals (except where indicated). Tips. Travel insurance (ESSENTIAL).
All accommodations are single occupancy, with en-suite bathrooms for all – to ensure privacy and maximum focus on your retreat. (If you’d like to invite a friend or significant other to join you after the retreat, the hotel offers reduced rates for retreat participants.) An optional 3-day add-on is available, if you would like to sign up for a cooking lesson, a day-tour to the pyramids or hot springs, a hike in nature or just spending time in town to shop, people-watch and marvel at the sights.
All fourteen rooms are individually decorated, and all have air conditioning and private en-suite baths. Some have kitchenettes, separate sitting areas, TVs, fireplaces, gardens, patios or terraces, and all have access to light cooking facilities and common living areas. Our main common rooms have in-floor heating and all accommodations have electric or gas heaters, fans or air conditioning. All water is purified and WiFi is located throughout the property.
RESERVE YOUR ROOM
The room choices depend on availability: Luxury Rooms (USD$2950), Suites & Cielo Suites (USD$2950), Deluxe Rooms (USD$2750), Working Girl (USD$2550).
Please email email@example.com to reserve your room, and pay your $500 USD non-refundable deposit or the full cost – by one of these following methods:
> PayPal (please choose “Friends & Family”);
> WISE (formerly TransferWise – details to come), or
> Direct bank transfer (if based in Canada; please email for details).
Balance of payment is required on or before June 1, 2022.
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
This picturesque UNESCO heritage town welcomes you to its cobble-stoned alleyways, colonial architecture and delicious street food. March is an ideal time to spend in the arid highlands of Guanajuato, in central Mexico; days are warm, nights a little cooler. While the center of town is flat, some parts are quite hilly; with cobbled streets and narrow sidewalks. Even so, walking is the best way to explore the city…so please bring good shoes!
San Miguel is a perfect place for artistic, creative types who like to wander around markets and galleries, and take pictures of street murals, doorways leading to lush courtyards, and larger-than-life puppets called mojigangas.
For any workshop questions, please contact Amit at retreatonyourfeet (at) gmail (dot) com.
Please book asap! All payments are due by June 1, 2022!
I look forward to meeting you!
During my Heartshop, Amit created a supportive environment to set the tone, starting with stillness, breathing, contemplation and poetry. While I painted, she wandered in and out of the space, asking questions and providing input to stimulate the process. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but at the end of the session, Amit and I discussed my experience – which I’d unconsciously embarked on with preconceived ideas. Amit graciously agreed to leave her supplies and encouraged me to try again over the next couple of days. Instead of paint brushes, I decided on a more tactile approach; using my hands as tools, with no pre-defined expectation of creating “art”. Very powerful stuff! Thank you, Amit for your guidance and insights. ~ Cheryl S., Bali, February 2020
I was visiting Bali and looking for a little something to spark my creativity and get my mind and body moving, but didn’t have time to attend a week long retreat. Amit’s Heartshop was just the thing! She is very generous, patient and supportive. Her insights into my work encouraged me to think deeper and push my ideas further. It gave me just the inspirational push I needed at the start of my new journey. Thanks Amit! – Julie P., USA/Bali, June 2019
*Read more about Heartshops.
A minimum number of participants are required for the retreat to happen. Please wait for final confirmation before booking your flights.
Please read the Cancellation Policy below very carefully. Almost everyone who wants to cancel their registration has a good reason to do so. However, because we are renting the entire hotel, our costs are the same whether you attend or not. For this reason, we do not offer refunds after the balance payment has been made. If you do not want to risk loss of this payment, please purchase travel insurance to cover your expenses in case your plans change.
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL
Participants who pay for the retreat in full by April 1, 2022, will receive a complimentary (return) airport transfer to Leon or Queretaro airports.
We understand that it is sometimes difficult to plan ahead for a trip such as this, especially during these uncertain times. Thank you for understanding the need for these policies on our end.
The $500 deposit is NON-refundable. That means, if you pay the deposit and before you pay your balance, you decide to cancel, there is no refund. Once you pay your balance, there is no refund. An exception is made if there is someone waiting to fill your spot. All balances are due by June 1, 2022.
If, due to unforeseen circumstances, Amit must cancel the retreat before June 1, 2022, all payments received up to the date of cancellation (minus transaction and minimal administration fees), shall be refunded. Unforeseen circumstances include weather or safety concerns, acts of God, political or government regulations, and any and all other circumstances that may be beyond reasonable control.
We urge you to purchase travel insurance that will cover your expenses in case your plans may change.
For any workshop questions, please contact Amit at retreatonyourfeet (at) gmail (dot) com.