A retreat-style soul weekend experience

By , on April 10, 2013


Spark Batch 7 at Baldwin House, Deer Lake.
Spark Batch 7 at Baldwin House, Deer Lake.

There was a long road, winding, rocky. And darkness, the kind that devours. I could hear the gurgling of  little meandering streams tipping its silver toes here and then there, and on my right was a great body of lake I could feel but could not see. Deep, I thought.

In the distance, a spark.

It was the warmth that greeted me, of Baldwin house, and of hosts Lorie Corcuera and Aileen de la Torre. PCI once featured Lorie; I met Aileen (who was with Lorie) at an event I covered for PCI. Both women were amazing. Now, I thought, I could see them work their magic.

Inner Space

Too much has been explored—and said—about outer space. Neil Armstrong, on that historic trip to the moon, said it was “one small step for man, a giant leap for mankind”. Outer space has certainly captured our imagination, but very recently, the focus has shifted and man has turned some of his attention to inner space. But in this era of wellness and pampering and putting the focus on YOU, we have only barely touched its surface, and have yet to make that giant leap.

E.H. Gombrich put it succinctly in “A Little History of the World” when he said, of pre-historic men: “Do you think much has changed since then? They were people just like us. Often unkind to one another. Often cruel and deceitful. Sadly, so are we. But even then a mother might sacrifice her life for her child and friends might die for each other. No more but also no less often than people do today. And how could it be otherwise? After all, we’re only talking about things that happened between three and ten thousand years ago. There hasn’t been enough time for us to change.”

But not on Lorie and Aileen’s watch. They are women with a mission, that is, to help people discover their essence  and ignite the light within.

Because they understand that only when inner space has been conquered will we human beings realize the meaning and value of life.

Safe space

Candles flickered, the aroma of it bouncing off the glass walls and filling the room. Water was everywhere—sight, smell, feel—it permeated the air.  Pillows and blankets (in green and white hues) were carefully placed in appointed spots. A spider, a “remarkable figure of feminine energy and creativity in the spirit animal kingdom”, visited.

There was a small group of women that night, the perfect number, seated in a semi-circle much like in a campfire. On center stage were Lorie, Aileen and Kristen Bates (a Spark facilitator-in-training), alternatively serious and funny, they ushered the initiates into a deeper communion with themselves, and with each other. Before night 1 was over, we knew we were in the throes of self-discovery.

We crashed the second day, and burned. It seems one must purge the darkness to bring out the inner light. There was a lot of contemplation on day 2, a cementing of friendships that were newly formed, a reinforcement of the safe space and injection of wisdom. Several questions were answered, but more questions lurked.

On day 3, amidst stories (we found that we are made up of fascinating stories), meditative walks, sacred drum beats, torrents of tears, roots going deep and soaring high, realizations, kindness, daydreaming and resonance, we stopped and found ourselves awake, for the first time.

Life purpose

When we have rounded the bend and semi-circled the lake during our meditative walk, no words were needed, just a contemplation of the several big and little miracles: of ducks gliding effortlessly through glass, of trees praising upward, of the vigorous certainty of squawks, of spring sprouting from the dead and the dying. We all realized, there is but one path and there is no straying from it, and on the walk, an abundance of beauty and an explosion of joy.

We have a choice: we can enjoy the ride and soar to our possibilities (wider than our wingspans and greater than our minds can conceive), and applaud. Or not.

[overjoyed applause here]

Some questions did remain, our outer worlds have not changed, concerns were still concerns, but we were moored to our newly-found life purpose, which has created in us a spark which we have promised to nourish and keep aglow.

If you want to have the ultimate soul experience, you can go to http://startyourspark.com/programs/spark-essentials/