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23 February 2008


IMG_3151 2012 Creative is a Verb retreat announced!  

37days and Life is a Verb author Patti Digh and her business partner and master coach, David Robinson, offer two small public retreats each year. In their April retreats, they are joined by artist and gallery owner Kim Joris.

The Creative is a Verb retreat is focused on helping people reclaim the creative spark in their lives, whether they call themselves an artist or not. We keep these retreats small (14 participants) to allow for the creation of an amazing community and a more intimate and individualized experience and journey.

  "CREATIVE IS A VERB: if you're alive, you're creative - Six Commitments for More Creative Living - April 19-22, 2012 near Asheville, NC (Limited to 14 participants)  

"You will look at the world with new eyes and a startled awareness that you are living your stories this very minute. You'll laugh, you'll cry and make some fabulous new friends. Highly recommended. Two opposable thumbs up!"~Elizabeth Bailey


When I say be creative,

I don’t mean

you should all go

and become great painters

and great poets.


I simply mean

let your life

be a painting,

let your life

be a poem.


What would happen if you could learn to:

Be ordinary – We feel such pressure to be clever and smart and “with it,” don’t we? What would happen if we could put down our clever and pick up our ordinary?

See More – We need to turn around and look more, slow down and see more. Sometimes the beauty we seek is right in front of us. How can we recognize it, see it, find it every day?

Get present – Ram Dass was onto something powerful when he said “be here, now.” To see our lives as creative acts, we have to fully embody them in the present. How can we get present for every moment of our wild and precious lives?

Catch fire – Reconnect with your passions, some of them long buried in the stress of every day life. What do you yearn for, long to say, care most about? Re-find that spark.

Clear ground – Spaciousness is vital to creativity. How do you create spaciousness in your life? How do you create clutter?... both literally and metaphorically…

Let go -  To fully express our creative spark and spirit, to create the story of our lives as we want them to be, we must let go of the expectations of others, let go of comparisons, and let go of the stories we’ve constructed about what it means to be an artist.

Somewhere along the way, we lose our innate creative spark--we get blocked by comparisons with others, by fearing what people might say, by expectations of perfection from ourselves.

How can we reclaim that creative spark from our youth? This retreat is intended to help you do just that. We'll explore the Six Creative Commitments outlined in Patti's newest book, CREATIVE IS A VERB. This work is at the core of Patti and David's work in the world, and this special retreat is focused on three audiences:

Those who say, "I'm not an artist."

Those who say, "I'm just a dabbler."

Those who say, "I'm an artist."

All will feel equally at home and challenged and supported during this unique gathering. This is a retreat about your creative soul, not your creative output.


Meeting_space_3 SCHEDULE

We begin at 6pm on Thursday (check-in will begin at 5pm) and close at 12 noon on Sunday.




Patti Digh and David Robinson, co-founders of The Circle Project and artist Kimberly Joris, founder of The Folksart.

If the Buddha had two kids, a dog named Blue, a Southern accent, and a huge crush on Johnny Depp, his name would be Patti Digh," wrote one reviewer after Digh's grassroots bestseller, Life Is a Verb, was published. Digh (pronounced "dye") is a Southern-born master storyteller whose stories are full of humor, poignancy, surprise, pain, and knowing. Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally, was one of five finalists for the prestigious Books for a Better Life award and a nominee for a Book of the Year award from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association. Patti has two new books out: Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives and Creative Is a Verb: If You're Alive, You're Creative. She loves to laugh, loves the smell of lavender, and writes a thank you note every day.

Wide awake yet unable to decipher the notes he writes to himself, David Robinson lives in a cycle of learning old things anew. He grew up in Colorado and was shocked to discover that there was more than one way to pronounce the letter "A." He  can’t remember a time that he wasn’t drawing peoples faces mostly in an attempt to see what was going on behind their eyes. What he discovered behind those eyes was a powerful capacity for story-creation and that’s the theme that unifies his work as a painter, a theatre artist and a coach. He loves to work with people who suspect that there is more to life than what they’ve been led to believe, people who desire to uncover the secret wild possibilities that they’ve buried in the backyard of their lives. A keen observer once said, “There is something feral about David Robinson,” – a quality that he thought he was hiding so now that he’s been busted he makes no apology for his inborn sense of play, laughter, rule breaking, and desire to live life beyond the domestic. David has been Artistic Director of The Dimensions Theatre Project, General Manager of The Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Artist-in-Residence for the Lincoln Unified School District, among other engagements. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Ksjphoto Our special guest instructor for this retreat is artist Kim Joris. Kimberly Joris was born in SC and raised in GA by parents from NY state, so she grew up confused: a Southerner without sweet tea and grits, y’all and m’am. Here’s what she says about her art: “My Art is like me. A finished result that often appears simple. Fun and whimsical, compassionate, self-righteous, principled. Loyal, loving and filled with messages of peace and justice, equality and community. The messy part, the complicated part, the hours and days of planning, the arranging and rearranging, the decision making as to what is best, how to represent, what to say is hidden.” A combination of mixed media, folk and outsider art and storytelling, she uses what she has, what she finds, and what others bring to her. Kim founded the FolksArt in Milledgeville, GA an interactive art space  designed for inspiring, creating, teaching, buying and selling art. She teaches The Art of ReUse at the John C. Campbell Folk School and Little/Middle Folk School, coordinates community art projects, works as a visiting artist in the local schools, provides private workshops and serves on local historical and arts council boards.


It is absolutely the most engaging and enlightening workshop I have ever taken. -Cate, Seattle, Washington

Patti and David are a dynamite team with so much wisdom and power between them. Their training is like taking a personal and collective journey into a place where innate knowledge is illuminated into new ways of seeing ourselves and others. -Teresa, Portland, Oregon

It was like following the yellow brick road. There was a sense of expectation that made me wonder what would come next….When the journey was over, I wished that it had not ended. And it was the journey itself that made me grow, exposing so many layers I had to think about again and again. The most beautiful part of the whole experience was how our two guides made sure everybody was involved and included, graciously and effortlessly. -Alex, Seoul, Korea

It's rare to have the safety and encouragement to explore your edges, question your assumptions, change your perspective, and have a lot of fun doing it. Patti and David's facilitation style is fluid, smart, creative, balanced, and aware. They expertly extracted the wisdom in the group and guided us through a playful, and sometimes uncomfortable, journey of discovery. None of us will ever forget it.  -Marlo, Portland, Oregon

My experience with the 37days retreat was absolutely magical!  Patti’s wry humor, intelligence and expertise, combined with David’s brilliant ability to facilitate learning through stories and theatrical games, created an environment in which I felt completely at ease. I was inspired and motivated to explore deeply within my own heart and mind. -Janna, Asheville, North Carolina

Bend_of_ivy LOCATION: We will meet at the Bend of Ivy Lodge.

This beautiful Gathering place is nestled on 63 acres of land that slopes gently down to the Ivy River, just 20 minutes north of the unique mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina. Called the "Paris of the South" and "Santa Fe of the East," Asheville is a special place.

Our location will support our purpose. Imagine 63 acres of quiet serenity down a gravel road, a beautifully restored barn, sleeping rooms that showcase art from around the world and bring people into community, gorgeous wooden beams—add delicious organic vegetarian meals on the porch, sitting areas by the pond and in the covered pavilion, and a remarkable meeting space. You’ll leave TV and email far behind here. Our Lodge will be non-smoking and alcohol free.

As a recent guest at the Lodge wrote, “I was aware of the sacred all around me, from the craftsmanship of your construction, to the beauty of the natural environment, to the love, thoughtfulness, and spiritual qualities of your design of space, to the art and books all around—all of this encouraged quiet connection. Thank you for creating such a place and sharing it with others!

We urge participants to stay “on-campus” with us to maximize your experience, build a community of learners, and allow yourself to really relax. If you are local and would like to go home at night or stay elsewhere, we ask that you plan to participate in all sessions.

2beds SLEEPING ROOMS: The living space at the Bend of Ivy Lodge is simple, clean, and inspires community and reflection. Shared rooms provide two twin beds and participants share baths on each floor of the Lodge.

SIZE: Like our location, our size will also support our purpose. We can accommodate no more than 14 participants, so early registration is recommended. 

COSTS: The retreat costs $1275, and that includes everything (retreat, materials, meals, snacks, and lodging) except your transportation to the Lodge.

Your tuition is all-inclusive, covering a signed copy of Patti’s book, CREATIVE IS A VERB, double occupancy lodging with shared baths, delicious organic vegetarian meals and snacks from Thursday dinner through Sunday brunch (cooked by a wonderful chef, Dava Melton, whom David calls the Kitchen Goddess), and all Retreat materials.

[If you’d like a single room and we can accommodate your request, we’ll ask you to pay an additional $200. Please inquire by email to patti at pattidigh dot com.]

Ashevilletownnight Transportation: The closest airport is Asheville (AVL), which is about a 30 minute drive from the Lodge. The Greenville-Spartanburg airport (GSP) is a 1.5 hour drive away, and the Charlotte airport is a 2.5 hours drive (CLT). All are easy drives on major roadways. Directions and other details will be provided in your registration confirmation letter.

TO REGISTER, go here to reserve a place in the retreat. 

Cancellations: If you should have to cancel, we'd miss you terribly, but we understand that life changes our best-laid plans sometimes. Cancellations over 30 days prior to the Retreat will receive a full refund less a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations between 1-30 days prior to the Retreat will forfeit all fees if the space cannot be filled. If the space is filled by another participant, you will receive a full refund less a $75 administrative fee.

Don’t hesitate to call Patti at 828-280-5766 or email her at pattidigh(at)gmail(dot)com and put "37days Retreat" in your subject line. She’ll be glad to talk with you and answer any questions you might have.

Many thanks for your interest. We'd love to have you join us there. It won't be the same without you.