Writing Retreats

For twenty-five years I have led writing retreats for women inspired by my time in Taos studying with Natalie Goldberg. Twenty-three of those years included intensive weekends and four-day sessions in Block Island, Rhode Island. Together, we’ve written our stories and listened to those of others, walked the beaches, felt sand between our toes, sat by the fire, shared rooms, laughs and tears. Many empowering changes have taken place in the lives of the women who have come through the years. 
    
I have loved these strong and spirited times of connecting; they have fed me as much if not more, than they have the participants. But the time came to end them, and last year we had our final session. Block Island, its stone walls, its wind and rain, its stunning sunsets, beaches and spaciousness, will stay with all who have come, for once a circle is formed, it can never be broken
     
However I continue to offer day-long writing retreats at my home in Lakeville, CT. We women need time carved from our busy lives, away from the anguish and overload the world tosses at us daily, the men, children, and jobs that pull at us for response and care. My Sunday retreats offer this oasis, providing a nourishing community for slowing down, telling our stories, taking risks in writing we would never take alone. Responding to prompts, we will move our pens fast across notebooks and pads, with relief that there is no critical feedback, only focused attention and deep acceptance. Writing from the heart and not the head, we find pieces of ourselves and our lives that often surprise us with their vividness and energy.
    
Here is what some of the participants have to say about their experiences:

Sharon creates a sacred circle of women that is safe, allowing the writer a supportive space to fully surrender in the gift of retreat.  For the last 8 years I have grown to cherish these days as not just another item on my “to do” list but a place to fully exhale, release and find my voice. This sacred circle of writing women provides a place for personal growth and continues to be a direct path to an authentic life.
 
                                                                            L.C.
 

As a newcomer to the group, I entered Sharon's home full of insecurity - afraid to expose my tender underbelly. What I found was an inspirational and nurturing guide, a comfortable and deeply personalized sanctuary for creativity, and an eclectic circle of courageous and intuitive women. Being allowed the unadulterated expression of raw emotion sans scrutiny has given me a tangible sense of artistic freedom, clarity, and inner peace that follows me home each month.

                                                                            J.B.

These retreats rejuvenate my writing life in a way that nothing else does. I come away feeling cleansed and eager to move back into my writing projects with vigor, as well as with a handful of new and surprising ideas for future writing. Sharon creates an amazingly safe and nurturing environment that enables us all to move toward our true voices. As we write and speak our words, we hear and are heard in a deep way. The process reminds me how to be present as a listener. These retreats are a sanctuary where there is no judgment, just loving witness.

                                                                             N.M.

Writing in the company of other women infuses the isolation of the art with a sense of community. Reading one's writing aloud in the company of other women validates and supports one's art. Hearing other women read their writing enriches and inspires one's own effort. Above all, Sharon's writing retreats offer a safe, non-judgmental environment in which to explore, to understand in one's own voice one's inner landscape.

                                                                             L.Q.
 

     The Sunday retreats are limited to six women. Please email me at sharoncharde@gmail.com to register or for information. The next ones are June 5, 2016 and July 24, 2016 from 10-5. Cost is $85, with a hearty lunch served.

     I have had to institute a firm cancellation policy as most workshops and retreats do; it has been very difficult to juggle, reschedule and fill spots when people cancel. I understand that everyone has good reasons when they cancel, but I will have had food prepared, and plans in place for the retreats, and need to protect the rest of the group and myself with a policy that is fair to all. Thank you for understanding.

     If you are registered to come for a retreat and have to cancel FOR ANY REASON during the week prior, half-fee will be charged. If cancellation occurs 72 hours before the retreat, full fee will be charged. For weather conditions that preclude travel, the retreat will be canceled. Please check your inbox for information.
 

Sharon's House outside