Wednesday, November 11, 2015

COMING HOME: An Invitation For You

I'm sitting in a railway station.
Got a ticket to my destination.
On a tour of one-night stands my suitcase and guitar in hand
And ev'ry stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound.
- Paul Simon & Art Garfunkle
It's the last days of October 2015.  Hong Kong and Shenzhen.  Been here a while. Tomorrow I'll head home.  Then back here in two weeks and on to Tokyo, Nakatsugawa and Nagoya.
The series of stop-and-go's before (this current round) ended three weeks ago.  Feels like yesterday, but it wasn't; Russia's Moscow and from there on to Italy's Tuscany region.  Wonderful places.  More importantly: wonderful people.  A plus is something I've loved doing ever since I was seven years old and was bit by the "I get to fly in an airplane!" bug:  the watching out of airplane windows at our planet rushing by below.  Three weeks ago were breathtaking views of the Alps standing between Italy's Pisa and Germany's Munich.
"Forty one years." This was my response last night.  Someone I had been chatting with here in Hong Kong asked the question, "How long has this journey of yours been?"
On almost every trip I can depend on hearing that question multiple times coupled with, "And where do you live?"  Since 1989 my answer to that latter ("where") inquiry has been, "Petaluma. A cute little house in a small farming town in Sonoma County California." 
A short while back, though, and I can't remember exactly how long ago that short while was, a hesitation surfaced in my reply. I paused, then smiled and offered up my standard response anyway.  The hesitation, the quiet truth, the whispered voice (loud and clear) inside me, "Oh no you don't live in Petaluma; you live in Mexico City and Beijing, Shanghai and Amsterdam, Chengdu and Shenzhen and Taipei, Oklahoma City and Guadalajara, Toronto and Wenzhou, Valle de Bravo and the Coyoacan and Hong Kong, Rostov-on-Don and Tyumen and Moscow and Togliatti ... and, and ... and now and then you visit Petaluma."
That inside voice is important.  It talks to me a lot. Sometimes I don't want to hear it.  Sometimes I need to hear it.  It's in all of us.
So ... the time has arrived to begin a long journey back home ... home.  Home where three very old huge oaks stand outside my front door.  Home where a rose garden graces the ground out back.  Home where Velasco's is a short evening walk, where owner Teri chats with her customers as she oversees American-style Mexican tacos ... not the same as Coyoacan tacos, but none-the-less tasty.  Home where Japan's deep undercurrents encounter western world-ers practicing inside Two Rock Aikido dojo ... my refuge and my learning place and where I enjoy friends.  Home where not-so-well-known-to-the-outside world businesses (Dempsey's, DiFalco's, Hallie's and Acre and The Apple Box) deliver their services with spirit as great as anywhere in the world.  Here is the longed for home, a town less populated than two of the high rise apartment buildings adjacent to my Hong Kong hotel.  Home where ... well, you know, where "home" could be.  I'm going home, in the larger sense yes, going home.
So here's an invitation ... and if you respond ... it's meant for you.
My long homecoming journey ... 41 years in the making ... begins with an offer for you to join me on February 7-11 at "The Ronin Huddle" - a retreat I crafted in 2002, then called "The Leaders' Retreat".  The old name is no longer appropriate.  People mistakenly thought the retreat was reserved for executives or business owners; but that simply wasn't the case.  The retreat - The Huddle - is for anyone who decides to attend to their own wellbeing and engage in thoughtful practices of listening, dialogue, feeling and quiet; practices of integrating physical movement and nature - all for the purpose of serving what's important to their lives and their future. 
Though I'll be The Huddle's host and facilitator, I'll also be as much a dedicated student as everyone else.  Our venue: Four Springs Retreat Center - in Middletown, California, an hour from my Northern California front door.  Susan Hammond will also facilitate, bringing her strength and expertise as a Feldenkrais practitioner in service to us all.
So at this point it's a wide open invitation - and there's room for only twenty.  Do you want to come?  Will you?   
Your fee (request details and information here) will cover your 4-evening stay, your meals, exceptional instruction, rich experiences and the joyfulness of time richly spent with wonderful people.
Transportation to and from Four Spring is yours to handle. 
Winter is a good time for a respite.  Winter is an important time for the ending of one thing and the beginning of another.  Winter is a great time to begin a journey home.
You've been invited.  Call +1-707-364-2900 or
My Promise: Four days serving only what matters to your life.

Home where my thought's escapin'
Home where my music's playin'
Home where my love lies waitin' silently for me
- Paul Simon & Art Garfunkle
©Lance Giroux, 2015

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