Spring Retreat in Taos: Greening your Creative Spirit
With Carolyn Scarborough
And guest teachers Sharon Zeugin and Julie Wylie
The Mabel Dodge Luhan House
Taos, New Mexico
April 7 – 12, 2024
Have you ever sat down to create… and found something depleted that used to be full?
Perhaps your creative spirit feels flat where wildness used to roam? Maybe you sense there’s something essential missing, but you can’t quite put your finger on it?
Mabel Dodge knew that feeling, too. That’s why she escaped the confines of her upper crust New York life in the early 1900’s and journeyed to Taos, finding herself reawakened amidst the stunning, untamed New Mexico landscape.
She channeled this inspiration into building a home that would become a creative hub, drawing literary and artistic luminaries from Georgia O’Keeffe to D.H. Lawrence.
Her home is still an inspired place that calls the weary spirit to rest and revitalize, making it the perfect place for the Spring Retreat in Taos. Amidst the mountains and vast skies, essential pieces of your creative soul return. And as you move deeper into presence, creative energies begin to percolate. You pick up a paintbrush and what is true begins to flow through it. You sit under a cottonwood tree and your pen beckons with inner stories waiting to be told. Soon, your natural creativity is flowing again as you rediscover yourself as writer, creator, free spirit, inspired human…
Who is this for?
Women ready to escape the demands and depletion of everyday life and instead immerse in deep personal and creative renewal through writing, movement, art and natural beauty. (No experience necessary; all levels welcome).
I LOVED the retreat. It was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more. I went with the intention to clear my schedule and my mind so that I could focus on writing. What I found was a serendipitous occasion that fueled my creativity, joy, and appreciation through art, writing and dancing. For the first time I experienced what is referred to as “flow” with my writing. I became prolific! I felt like the words came through me and my job was to write quickly enough to capture it. What an experience! And it has stayed with me and given me the confidence to continue writing.
— Karen Furey, LMFT
What you’ll experience during this retreat…
- Deep creative and personal renewal
- Writing, creative process, visual journaling and gentle movement workshops
- A mix of reflective free time and daily guided sessions.
- Nature Walks with writing/sketching
- Creativity sparking field trip
- Lots of choices, few directives
- Connection with women who “get” you and the joys and challenges of the creative life
- Writing and art studios open and accessible 24 hours a day
- Time to work on your own creative projects if desired
- Plenty of laughter, warm community and delicious, fresh food!
- Take home tools to creatively refuel anytime
Location, location, location
The Mabel Dodge Luhan House is a rambling hacienda nestled between an Indian pueblo and the artsy village of Taos. This historic home has inspired creatives since the early 20th century. Imagine sketching in the landscape that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe, or writing in the room where Willa Cather pondered and penned her books. Named after Mabel Dodge, a patron of the arts who married Native American Tony Luhan in the early 1920’s, this home exudes creativity, spirituality and intimacy.
While the interior of this quaint adobe is warm and cozy, it pales in comparison to the beauty just outdoors. Walk the labyrinth in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Settle into an outdoor rocking chair to capture ideas. Or watch mockingbirds slice through the blue skies.
This is a place to commune with beauty, listening for inspiration, be it rock, sky, bird or mountain. If ever there was a place to simply BE, this is it. You’ll come across the vibrant green of a spring leaf, the cawing of distant crows, the scent of pinon. We will learn not just to create, but first to SEE as we focus on what is before us, not simply what is in our heads. The mind chatter quiets as a spaciousness opens inside us as vast as the New Mexico sky.
A Culinary Repast
Mabel Dodge is known for its healthy, delicious food created by top local chefs from the nearby pueblo and beyond. When possible, garden-raised or local produce is used. A typical lunch might be pissaldiere (a yeasted crust topped with caramelized onions, cheeses, herbs and olives from Provence), tomato bisque served with croutons, mixed baby greens with Dijon vinaigrette and carrot cake. To keep you energized throughout the day, coffee, tea, water and fresh baked cookies are available.
I have been to four different retreats at Mabel Dodge Luhan House. The atmosphere itself is amazing, steeped in artistic history and culture amidst the grandeur of Taos. The food is always better than one could hope for. Yet, this was the best of all the retreats I’ve attended there. Carolyn led beautiful writing exercises where I connected deeply with myself, Sharon brought lighthearted expertise in the arts and Julie kept us moving with intuitive dance. There was simply a joyful, fun sense of creativity in it all. And all the women were extraordinary. I just wish it was longer…
— Dr. Sandra Marston, Author, Artist, Physical Therapist
Not Just One Seasoned Teacher, but Three!
Instead of one teacher for the week, you get three seasoned teachers. Carolyn, Sharon and Julie all lead vibrant creative communities and bring many years of experience. Carolyn’s sweet spot is writing and creative process, Sharon’s is art and Julie’s is movement. All share a passion for creating safe, nonjudgmental space as well as process over product. What does this mean? We write, dip into paint and move not for a polished product, but in order to come home to our true selves. From there, words, images and ideas flow that are fresh and alive.
This was the best retreat I’ve ever experienced. The woman who led the experience — Carolyn, Sharon, and Julie — are very strong space holders. I have heard that palm trees do not get uprooted from the hurricane winds because they know how to bend and flow. I would say that each of them have that kind of inner yoga that allows for flexibility and intuition. Each of the facilitators have their own unique and genuine grounding that feels both warrior strong, softly nurturing, and deeply human at the same time.”
~ Merri Isom, Licensed Counselor and Art Therapist
What is Included in the Retreat Cost?
- Lodging in one of Mabel’s historic rooms
- All breakfasts, lunches and snacks, as well as three special gourmet dinners in the Mabel Dodge Dining Hall.
- All workshops
- Gentle expressive movement
- A beautiful hand-created, take home journal and new visual journaling techniques
- A private Facebook page for participants to communicate before and after the retreat
Registration and Retreat Information
- $2,300 – Single Room
- $2,000 – Double Room
$450 (non-refundable deposit to secure your spot)
Full tuition is due no later than January 17, 2024. Any cancellations after that date do not qualify for refunds, but you may sell or give away your spot, contingent to Carolyn approving the new retreat participant.
You may arrive any time after 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 and we will all gather for dinner at 6 p.m., followed by our welcome program. The retreat ends after breakfast on Friday, April 12. If you want to come a day early or stay a day later, rooms are available at the lodge with enough advance notice.
For more travel details, visit the Mabel Dodge Luhan House website.
Questions about the retreat? Contact Carolyn here.
Carolyn Scarborough founded the Creative Soul Community, where women gather to create lives of greater purpose, vitality and creative expression. She is an award-winning author, creativity/writing coach and retreat facilitator. Her zone of genius is creating grounded, welcoming spaces that ignite writing, creative exploration and fresh insights. Carolyn leads popular writing, creativity and women’s events ranging from retreats to online workshops, as well as private coaching. She is the author of “Backyard Pearls: Cultivating Wisdom and Joy in Everyday Life,” has written more than 500 articles for national and international magazines and has studied various creative/spiritual practices for more than 30 years. Among the places she has presented are Story Circle Women’s Writing Conference, the International Coach Federation, Esalen Institute, Seton Cove, the National Speaker’s Association’s writing program and Unity Church. Carolyn is passionate about removing blocks that keep you from your authentic writing, purpose and expression in the world. Read more about Carolyn.
Sharon Zeugin makes art and teaches workshops in her Austin, Texas Studio, and throughout the USA, Canada and Italy. In addition to being a faculty member of numerous international calligraphy conferences, Sharon has been Program Coordinator for the Literally Letters Program at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, and is a faculty member of the Austin Contemporary Art School. Her award winning work appears in publications such as Letter Arts Review, The Calligrapher’s Engagement Calendar, Somerset Studio Magazine, the Lark Book,” The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering,” and most recently, the 24th edition of the classic Speedball Textbook. Teaching people to overcome fear of the blank page is her mission and all levels of art experience are welcome at her retreats. Read more about Sharon.
Guest teacher Julie Wylie, a spirited, down to earth facilitator by nature, has over 35 years of movement experience. She has a passion for somatic story telling & fostering communities of ‘women lifting women higher,’ including volunteering with Truth Be Told (a creative program supporting women behind and beyond bars). She has also taught at Isadora Duncan International Symposiums, Gene Keys StarDreaming Retreats in New Mexico, Unity Church and Seton Cove in Austin, Texas. Although she has a Nia black belt, Julie loves gently guiding non-movers to move in simple ways that increase joy and body pleasure.