Diving Into the Mystery:
A Journey to Creative Expression
with Libby Wagner & Owen Ó Súilleabháin
Sunday, November 1, 2020
8:00 am - 5:00 pm Pacific / 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern (with breaks)
Our in-person events are on hiatus until 2021, so join Libby and Owen for an extraordinary virtual retreat offering for 2020! We will host this event on November 1, 2020, on the Celtic feast of Samhain via a special Zoom call.
You might be a writer who desires time to dive more deeply into your work. You may be a curious pilgrim to your own creativity and artistry. No matter your journey, you will leave the retreat inspired and transformed by Owen’s Irish music, story, and mythology, and Libby’s crafting and facilitation of exercises to connect you to your own writing and creative mysteries.
In the Celtic feast of Samhain [pro. SOW-in], we mark the beginning of the Celtic New Year, when we notice the evenings coming more quickly and darkness sweeps over the land. This time reaffirms that all of creation comes from the dark interiority, the deep and mysterious darkness, where seeds are buried, and dreams are held until it is time for them to be birthed. This is also a time where our outward sight is directed upon the inner landscape of our selves, echoing in sympathy with the darkness of the land. The veil between what is seen and unseen can be very thin.
We invite you to a time of deep listening, an exploration of the mystery of your own creative seeds, a leaning into the dark places and spaces that hold the magic of creative intention and expression.
LIBBY WAGNER Writing Instructor and Artistry Guide
Libby Wagner is a poet, teacher, writer and speaker who works with organizations large and small, and leaders across the globe, to create the kind of lasting and powerful impact they desire, whether it’s through their unique approach to work, the language they use to influence and create, or the relationships they build.
She is one of the only poets working in organizations where she inspires others to access and express their artistry, even when they might not normally describe themselves as creative or innovative.
Libby is a founding faculty member of the Institute of Conversational Leadership and Invitas with poet David Whyte, and she was honored as a Nellie Cashman Woman Business Owner of the Year in 2014. She has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review.
Libby is the author of Amazon Best-Seller, The Influencing Option: The Art of Building a Profit Culture in Business (2010), What Will You Do With Your 90,000 Hours? The Boardroom Poet’s Thoughts on Work (2016) and three collections of poems, including Like This, Like That (2002), Somehow (2012) and Dancing on the Summer Lawn (NP).
She collaborates with Irish musician and composer Owen Ó Súilleabháin in live performance and audio recordings. Together they’ve created Harvest (2015), an audio collection of poems and original music, and the genre-breaking Now Just This (2017), an embodied experience of spoken word poetry.
Libby has worked with hundreds of individuals to inspire and teach them to locate and express their voices in their writing, work and creative lives.
...Which is why I rise early
in the pre-dawn
before anyone, or anything
can tell me otherwise,
I send this wish out
over the rooftops,
the mountains in the distance,
pink with hope and honor.
Let me be able for this.
Let me say yes, or say no,
but let me say it now:
whatever comes in, light or dark,
I give myself up
to the joy
of every tiny thing.
Libby Wagner (excerpt)
OWEN Ó SÚILLEABHÁIN Curator of Extraordinary Celtic Experiences
Owen Ó Súilleabháin is a singer, composer, and teacher, and believes in the power of the arts and deep listening to awaken our most dynamic and creative forms into being. He draws on his academic background in philosophy, Greek and Roman civilizations, and peace studies, and the wisdom of Celtic culture to unlock creativity in individuals and organizations.
Some organizations Owen has worked with include the Stanford University Storytelling Project, the Natividad Medical Foundation, and eBay.
Owen, along with his brother Mícheál, has recorded ancient sacred chant and performed internationally with his mother, singer and theologian Nóirín Ní Riain, in a trio called AMEN. His father Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin was a treasured composer , musicologist, pianist and founder-director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
Owen has recorded and released eight studio albums, the latest with publisher Sounds True, called Fields Of Grace - Celtic Meditation Music from the Heart of Ireland.
Owen has had the honor of working or sharing a stage with such artists as Steven Spielberg, Sinead O’Connor, Russell Crowe, Bobby McFerrin, Nigel Kennedy, Hugh Jackman and Sting.
Here are blendings of chant, hymn, and instrumentation,
so uplifting and mesmerizing they may bring your mind
to a complete stop,
which is a good thing
if your thoughts are anything like some of mine.
Having worked closely with Owen and Libby for the past several years, I feel the work they are now embarking on together is sure to create a beautiful understanding of the way the power of the arts can transform individual and organizational life.
POET AND U.S. POET LAUREATE 2001-2003
DAVID WHYTE, POET AND PHILOSOPHER
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Writing in Ireland exceeded my expectations in every possible way—and you can quote me! Fabulous food, faeries, facilitation of breakthroughs personal and professional. I was bathed in your wisdom, cleansed in the fires of Bealtaine, and changed forever in Parknasilla’s magic presence. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart, whose depths have opened deeper than ever before in this life.
C. Lafferty Eckl
This positive writing experience has been like no other for me. It has inspired me to have more confidence in my writing ability, along with new techniques to arouse my inner muse. The love and warmth of the other attendees is still with me. Thanks to you all, I feel lucky and privileged to have crossed paths with you.
For many years, I have desired to see Ireland…and to hone my skills and become more disciplined as a writer. This seemed the perfect opportunity to indulge in both; it absolutely did not fail to deliver.
Libby Wagner is an accomplished and published writer and hostess extraordinaire! Her credentials might be intimidating were she not such a beguiling and encouraging Coach.
The program was designed to inspire on the deepest levels, feeding and calling upon all of our senses in a myriad of ways and within the safety of an environment that allowed us to flourish. We were immersed in an abundance of poetry, story, music, divine food and of course, writing. There were provocative exercises and inspiring excursions. We were treated to guest performances and lively conversations beside a smoldering, peat fire.
This carefully curated, exquisite container made for an unforgettably rich experience. Already I long to return!
The writer’s retreat in Ireland can be summed up in three words: Departure, Deepening, and Connection. Sure it was a departure to a foreign country, but it was also a departure to and from so much more. It was a departure from my everyday life, routines, work and worries. It was a departure to a magical and ancient land that held surprises around every corner. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to say “Yes” to Libby’s invitation – so I’d like to think I went with an open mind, an open spirit and an open heart – all of which were filled to overflowing during my time there and even still at the memories of it.
I also experienced a deepening on this trip. Taking this time away really helped me focus and deepen my writing. It gave me time and space to think, to go deeper – and in most cases, to write about it. It reminded me that I really enjoy “deeper living,” and it rekindled my desire to notice and be amazed by the small miracles that happen around us all the time. This deepening started with taking notice of the profound quietness and solitude of Parknasilla, and continued as each gathering unfolded, and during times of personal reflection that were built into the retreat.
Through the whole experience, a deep connection to Ireland developed. This connection encompassed the beautiful landscapes, people, stories, rituals, language, flavors, places, and songs that Libby, Owen and Dónall navigated for us. Connections were a pleasant surprise! When I arrived, I only knew Libby. Through her facilitation and the experiences we shared, I have a wonderful group of new friends who are incredibly interesting and talented.
If you can, I encourage you to say “Yes” to this invitation. Take time for your own departure from everyday life and find out what personal treasures Ireland holds for you.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A VIRTUAL RETREAT?
ON NOVEMBER 1
Our retreat will combine music, writing, discussion, exercises and practice. Instead of sitting in front of our Zoom screens for the whole day, we have crafted an interactive experience to have “screen time” along with “quiet time” for you to dive into the practices and do your own exploration, much as we might’ve spent our in-person time together where you had time for writing, walking the land, reading and reflecting. Our time will culminate with a “noble call” to share work, insights, writing and reflections.
BEFORE NOVEMBER 1
You will receive a special reading and some reflective exercises to prepare for our time together. Samhain is a deep time of cultivating the mystery and depths of your intuitive creative genius. You can expect ritual and inspiration!
Special Fee $500*
Due Upon Registration
*If you previously registered and paid for the Samhain Sleeping Lady Retreat, your deposit gets you a seat in the Virtual Retreat. Please contact Maria to discuss registration and payment questions. firstname.lastname@example.org