Spark Retreat Recap, Starting with Thank you.

Spark 2012! by Shiopeitience
Spark 2012!, a photo by Shiopeitience on Flickr.

As I imagine, many of you have been wondering where this post has been- 
my Spark Retreat Recap!
It's been hard for me to sit down & find all of the right words to describe what an awesome, uplifting, brilliant, inspiring, amazeballs, and utterly radical experience I had in New Mexico. Seriously- I don't even know where to start.

Thank you. Yes, that is the perfect place to begin. As many of you know my trip to the First Annual Spark Retreat was made possible because a little more than 20 strangers believed in the foundations of the retreat. They know just like our bodies need sleep and care in order to stay healthy, our creativity needs love and attention as well. These individuals graciously contributed to the scholarship fund- and raised nearly $1200! Generous people rock, and my heart wants to explode every time I think about it. I was gifted this priceless experience. I am forever and ever and ever grateful for that. Mucho gracias!

Check out more pictures of Spark Retreat on Flickr.

Thank you to Tania & Deanna for making it all happen & inviting me to join you at Spark! I could go on here- as we all know I love getting Tania crying with her crocodile tears of joy! I am extremely blessed to have both of you in my life. Thank you to Cassie & Marlene (of Pomegranate Cafe -Phoenix, AZ) for feeding my belly nutritious, whole foods and really giving me such an amazing foodie-experience. -These ladies catered delicious vegetarian/vegan meals throughout the retreat & its important to know that I'm a meat/potatoes kinda gal. The food was sometimes *way* outside of my comfort zone but I tried and like it all... with the exception of stinky tofu. Which I did try at least, and is pictured below.

 Pomegranate Cafe
Now I'm seeing how this post could go on forever- (hey I can't help it I'm really thankful!)  so...  an intricate woven handmade blanket thank you to ALL of the amazing woman who shared their journey with me, their fears, doubts, desires, goals, and ideas. I hope that you each walked away as inspired by me, as I was with each and everyone of yall! 

I left New Mexico with some amazing gifts. Ya know, besides the swag handmade items. There is a deeper fire burning inside- a mission to create, accomplish, inspire, conquer and save the world. Game on!

Check out more pictures of Spark Retreat on Flickr.

DSC_3268 Dyana Valentine helped me pin point some of my Super Conditions. What the hell are super conditions you might ask? Super conditions are non-negotiables you need to be your greatest. Creating an environment (physically & mentally) that allow you to preform, lead, create, cultivate, inspire, act, and do your best work.  
She suggested one of my super conditions to be 'truth no matter what' - whoa? I think shes got me pinned. 

Deanna, Tania, and Jessika all lead hands on- creative goodness fun (and funny!) workshops. Checked off a few of my 2012 goals here as well, including... learn to embroider, screen/block print, communicating in gibberish language and I am now schooled on the international symbol for Hello Kitty. Note to self: Improve boring casual walking style to something outrageous & sultry hip swagger.

Jenelle  + her print
Shiopei & Jessika
Serious soul defining mediation and reflections underneath the star filled NM sky, was- like whoa. Which lead to some fun self expression & crazy hoopla dancing. Sarah's workshop lead helped us digest the breakthroughs and tough stuff that we had experienced earlier in the day. Bringing your best to the table, finding your strengths & uncovering weakness- that stuffs not for the faint at heart. We had a ton of fun, but I'm pretty sure everyone will agree we worked pretty darn hard too!
 Alexandra Frazen lead a workshop Write Yourself in Motion- the exercises were tough but damn, the questions are great! Her gig is to help you say the things you WANT to say. The things you NEED to say. She sums it up with this, "Think of me as your soul stenographer & secret business-building weapon—a copywriter-on-acid with ruthless (but loving) attention to clarity, aesthetics and poetic details."
 I'm still in awe of Alex- she's pretty darn awesome & full of wisdom & enlightenment. I held Alex at squirt gun point and forced her to sit down to help me work on a pitching project. With out a doubt that one conversation (sprinkled with a few revelations) has been pivotal for me personally & for the future of TrashN2Tees. Don't worry you'll get details on that to come. My parting words for Alex were, I will be stalking you. You should too, for real.


No doubt that you'll be hearing more about my Spark experience, its kind of ingrained in my being now. I'm excited to share the new adventures, friendships, and revelations. I'm excited to take action, to grow, to be, to try MORE new things, and to possibly go out on a date night.  For now I'll leave you with this: 

Do not let your fire go out. 
spark by irreplaceable spark. 
in the hopeless swamps of the approximate. 
the not-quite. the not -yet. the not-at-all. 
Do not let the hero in your soul perish. 
in lonely frustration for the life you deserved. 
but have never been able to reach. 
Check your road and the nature of your battle. 

The world you desired can be won. It exists. it is real. 
it is possible. it is yours. 
-Ayn Rand

Directly resulting from this experience---> Trashn2Tees Top Secret Plans to Change the World.


  1. Wonderful! Makin' me all sentimental ... *sniff

    1. Aww *hugs* Deanna!! So... I've given you & Tania enough time to plan. 2 weeks. Whats in store for next year? :P

  2. You had me at crying at Thank You! It was such a beautiful, amazing gathering - I am forever grateful to have met everyone I did and was able to share and support and be love by all of you. CANNOT wait to see your next sparkly, bouncy steps forward, Jenelle. Tania xoxoxo

    1. There is not enough I can say or do to express my gratitude. Cheers to good times, great people, new adventures for all of us!

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Amy! Hope all is well in Canada eh! Keep on Spreadin' that Small Town Love too

  4. Honey! There is so much beauty in what you say. I love that you tried all of the food that seemed so strange to you. And that meeting you, online and face-to-face, is so real. No barriers or posturing--so real. Thank you for bringing all of that and giving it to the world. And your radiant independent confidence will continue to rock it. xo

    1. I just cracked up, realizing that you're making fun of me!! Can not wait until we can do lunch again- even if the only options are airport terminal delicatessen.


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