MelissaI came to Into the Fire in hopes of finding some kind of special “tonic” to refresh my ambitions and inspire me to take more action toward my goals. But, as it often happens at the beach, I ended up digging up things I didn’t expect to find.

What I found was joy in connecting: connecting with others, with myself, with the ocean, and with life itself. And I discovered that maybe what I was missing most right now wasn’t the achievement of specific goals, but rather a real, honest-to-goodness sense of well being.

Into the Fire reminded me that I can have what I need if I mindfully seek it. It doesn’t have to be complicated. There is creativity in solutions. The act of playing can engender progress and growth.  Maybe some of the hardest hitting words of the day were the most basic: “Take what you need. There are snacks, water and sunscreen. Make sure to take care of yourself today.”

P1020782Like most people, I want to leave my own unique mark on the world. I still want to achieve specific goals. I still want results. But, more importantly, I want to connect with my children, my husband, and myself. From these true connections any choices I make will only be richer, better and a truer reflection of myself.

Since the retreat, I’ve found simple ways to have meaningful moments with my children, husband, and friends. I’ve found myself slowing down more often and enjoying it. I have allowed myself to ask for and take things that I need to take care of myself. As a result, I have a clearer understanding of what I want in life and, most importantly, why.

Life can be more connected and mindful like that day at the beach, if I choose it to be. That is the biggest gift I’ve received in a long, long time.

Thanks, Karen and Gary! It was an amazing day. — Melissa Stone



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