Many years ago I first heard of Squam Art Workshops from my best friend Kate who had found it through a blog called Soule Mama. She talked about it like it was this colorful, creative, positive, woodsy, fun dream. One day, she thought, she’d love to get there.
A few years later, another bestie, Flora Bowley, was asked to teach at Squam. Flora stayed with me when she returned from the workshop and was legitimately love drunk about it. In fact, her life has been dramatically different from that initial time at Squam, and she realizes that at least part of her professional turning point happened there.
So, you can imagine how humbling, terrifying, exciting, and holy shitting it was to be asked to teach there myself last year. Elizabeth Duvier started Squam Art Workshops after attending another gathering of creative like-minds out in Washington State. Understandably, she must have had a true What The Fahk moment when she realized there was nothing like that on the East Coast. I’ve never asked Elizabeth for her business card, but the only thing it should say is ‘Elizabeth Duvier: Manifester.” This woman gets. shit. DONE. Most of the inspiration from both of my times there has been over the fact that this woman dreamed this thing up, and now it’s sold out every year by this tribe of smart, creative, fun, funny, smart, cool, talented women. THOUGH it’s not just for women.. and any smart man would attend. 🙂
So, Squam….. it’s on the grounds of some sort of Dirty Dancing camp in the deep New Hampshire woods at a family camp called Rockyworld Deephaven in Holderness, NH. The cabins are serviced by ice boys and log boys (gulp) who literally fill the ice chest with new frozen ice from the lake, and restock your firewood EVERY DAY. If that wasn’t enough, every single cabin has a private dock on Squam Lake and all the screen doors creek and slam. And did you like Alvin and The Chipmunks growing up? How about Chip n’ Dale? Of course you did, you’re a human being with a heart. Well, they live there. And so do all their friends. It’s literally the cutest thing on the planet and I wish I lived in a village of only chipmunks.
So, going to Squam, whether teaching or attending, is four days of this dreamy, woodsy, fun, funny, creative, INSPIRING AS HELL, rejuvenating, relaxing, exciting, hilarious, giggly time. Like anything, you get from it exactly what you need. Elizabeth makes a point to remind everyone that you actually don’t have to do a damn thing. You can sit on your dock and do nothing all week, or you can attend the classes you signed up for. It’s YOUR week, and she trusts that if you got there, you will leave a different person. Defined by you, designed for your own life. For your own personal evolution, frankly.
If this sounds even kinda nice, why don’t you head over to her website and sign up for the newsletter, or keep track of the hashtag #squamartworkshops Start putting it out to your friends… or not… and just start the journey. I can literally feel myself start a new chapter in life every time I return. You will return home more alive, more inspired, more determined, and more full. Never mind you’ll have ten new friends all over the country and be reminded how truly. fucking. awesome. you. are.
Here are some photos I took of my classes learning how to see people like the shiny, gorgeous, stars that they are. Photography as a tool to spread love. Who knew.
Life don’t last forever, ya know. Love more. Fear less. Go sign up. 🙂