Monday, April 7, 2014

Words From The Weekend: The Wild Places

Did you have a wonderful weekend? Mine took me out of the city and into the woods, for some time to think, reflect and connect with other women, breathing deep and gaining strength, thinking about how to live better and more beautifully.

Across Elliot Bay from Seattle is Bainbridge Island. Just 30 minutes by ferry, but somehow a world away...

Reconnecting with the wilder places can restore the spirit like nothing else. A visit to IslandWood, a 255-acre outdoor education center on the Island designed to provide exceptional learning experiences, is a retreat to a sacred space. A place to stop and remember to look at the world with wonder and be grateful for your place within it.

The highlight of our Circle of Friends Weekend in the Woods was keynote speaker Cheryl Strayed, author of New York Times Bestseller Wild. A true and honest story about pain, healing, fear and hope, Strayed's description of her 1,100 mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail is one of those reads that inspires you to think about your own journey, and how to find your way to the best places within yourself.

Since I'm not quite ready to return from woods, why don't we start the week with a few words from Cheryl that I managed to scribble down: 

"Do the unreasonable. Don't listen to the voice of reason." 

"You are not required to measure your success by other people's standards."

"You have to try to offer up the very best thing you have to give." 

"Find a way to be grateful for lessons learned." 

"Fill the holes in your life with beauty, not ugliness." 

Happy Monday, all. I hope you have time this week to find a way to connect with some of the world's wilder places - if only through your breath and your in mind.  XOXO


  1. Jeanne,
    I love knowing that you have a "wild" side so close. I am back from my morning walk and spotted 5 dear. The birds were out in full force and things are beginning to green up! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hearing 5 female authors speak about facing your fears. A few of them had blogs and they all agreed that a blog takes courage.
    Happy Monday! This wednesday is our Wellness Fair and I can hardly wait! It is going to be wild with all the high school students! They are in for a treat.

    1. Hi Patricia, I hope your wellness week is a smashing success - it's wonderful how much work you've put into it. What a gift you are giving to your community.

      Your morning walk sounds just lovely - I am thinking about how I can bring a little bit of the woods back into my everyday city life. Taking the time to walk and observe is a fantastic start.

      I love the courage you bring to your corner of blog world!

      Happy Monday to you. XOXO

  2. Looks like a great weekend, I love nothing more than being outside and having time to think, I always end it feeling clear headed and renewed. The book sounds wonderful, going to go learn more about the quotes too and each and every one of them resignated with me. I went for a long walk with a friend yesterday and it was cathartic to be outside again, breathing in the fresh crisp always does wonders. Wishing you a fantastic week.....

    1. Tina, I'm so glad that (hopefully) the snow is gone for good and that you got out for a walk. Here's to me to breath and observe. Hope you have a fantastic week, too! XOXO

  3. Sounds like a fantastic weekend...I looked at the event site and it looked like an amazing event. I wish we had something like that around here! And, Bainbridge Island...what a special place to spend the weekend! I haven't read the book but have heard how good it is - I will add it to my "must read" list.

    Have a wonderful week, Jeanne! xoxo

    1. Thank you Sandy! Yes, Bainbridge is just lovely - that's one of the best things about living in Seattle, there is so much wonder and beauty just on the doorstep of our city life. I hope you pick up the book, it's fantastic. The film comes out later this year and sounds like it will be amazing, too! Have a wonderful week! XOXO

  4. Jeanne-
    I need some woods in my life too! Glad you were able to get away to such a beautiful place.
    These images are so peaceful.
    Happy Monday, and thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Teresa. I think we all need a walk in the woods sometimes - even if it's just in the imagination. Have a great week! XOXO

  5. That is a VERY good question you put up in that first photo spot!Which I do not have the answer too!I'm lucky where I live we have deer……..deer that came in and ate each and every rose I had in the front garden this week!THATS OKAY, I tell myself…….I would rather see the deer as I travel down the street then not see them.Roses, well I have more in the backyard so thats okay!I'm going to ponder that question today as I go about my routine……………..I will get back to YOU on that!XX

    1. It is a good question, isn't La Contessa? I think it's one that is never completely answered, that we have to ask ourselves anew every so often as we make our way through the world. A conscious and mindful life is something to strive for.
      Have a lovely week! XOXO

  6. My best friend lives on Bainbridge Island. It's always rejuvenating to my very core when I visit this magical island. What a great book and such inspiration. It's a nice way to start the week, thank you.

  7. The line, "you have to try and offer up the very best you have to give" resonates with me. I've found that so much of our personal growth depends on timing, our state of readiness, our ability to finally 'hear' a particular truth and take it in. And that line certainly reflects my stage of life.
    I've heard of this book but have yet to read sounds like something I'd enjoy. Thanks for sharing your peaceful, lovely reflections.
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

  8. Love this post, Jeanne!! And so timely for us. We just returned from Maine where there is certainly a strong connection to nature and the land. Tom and I love our time there: life is slower and simpler.

  9. What a wonderful way to start the week, Jeanne, and your wise words really struck a note with us. We've been saying that we need to get out from behind our desks and experience spring to its fullest. Thanks for inspiring us today and every day!
    C + C

  10. Jeanne,
    I'm so intrigued with your weekend get away. It sounds like just the kind of thing I would enjoy. Sometimes you really have to step out of your day-to-day environment to get a fresh perspective and to get refreshed. So happy you had that. And, thank you for the words you shared. Several of them hit home to me.

    Wishing you a tranquil "re entry" and the space to maintain what you brought home.
    xoxo Elizabeth

  11. What fun this must have been Jeanne and I need to check out this book. We are so fortunate to have local mountains and the San Juan Islands to explore on foot. My husband and I spend A LOT of time on trails:) with our pup Layla. I never tire of the beauty here in this state .. nor to I take it for granted. This is a great post and I appreciate it so very much. Happy Monday! xxL

  12. Islandwood is such a treasure, it sounds like a wonderful retreat, Jeanne. Thank you for sharing the words of wisdom from Cheryl. I've always been fascinated by the Pacific Coast Trail, Wild, sounds like the best book for me to learn more about that journey. Hope you're having a great week. ~ebh



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