Authors Retreat: One Week Later
Every autumn since 2009, when Berrett-Koehler published my book Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life, I have attended the inspirational BK Authors Cooperative Retreat, which I blogged about in 2011 and 2010. Once again it was held in a lovely setting, the Trinity Conference Center (which unfortunately will be closing soon), located in West Cornwall, Ct.
As always, I learned a lot from both the dedicated writers and members of the BK publishing team. Surprises and revelations were around every corner, all four days. I loved when the entire group came together, but especially meaningful were the small group sessions, where people were unfailingly open, giving and humorous.
Particularly interesting and meaningful were the extended “Deep Dives” into various topics. There were several on offer simultaneously; on Friday I chose Living & Working Proactive Leadership, led by Roberto Vargas; and Happiness vs. Growth, led by John de Graaf, on Saturday, which revolved around the Happiness Initiative. Roberto also led the deeply moving opening and closing ceremonies, on Friday and Sunday mornings, which blended the sacred and down-to-earth. The talent show and dance party were terrific. Music was weaved throughout the entire weekend, especially as we listened to and sang along with Barbara McAfee and connected with the ethereal flute-playing of Holly Blue Hawkins. The voice of Rachel Bagby was a revelation. A particular highlight was an intimate concert by singer/songwriter/author Marisa Handler on Saturday night.
There was also space for solitude, or spending time outside in the beautiful surroundings. Noah Blumenthal led a silent, walking meditation along a path that started at the conference center and then dramatically opened up along the Housatonic River. With train tracks on the other side, you could have been in the late 19th century. The spirit has continued in the days since, as people have been sharing photos, music and related reflections and memories. I am looking forward to next year’s retreat in Minnesota, with its inevitable sense of surprise and serendipity.