Mindcamp bound

One week from today, Heather and I will be travelling east to Toronto on the first leg of our journey to Mindcamp, Canada's creativity retreat.  This has been an annual pilgrimage for me; I think this is the 6th year in a row that I have made this trip. I actually had to use my fingers to try to figure out how many times I have gone.

I discovered Mindcamp thanks to a single tweet by my friend Tim Hurson.  "Are you coming to Mindcamp?" he tweeted back in 2011.  Innocent enough, but the impact that single tweet had on the course of my life cannot be overstated.

Mindcamp, and the people that are its soul, arrived at the perfect time.  I was beginning to have misgivings about the course of my professional life and I needed an injection of ideas and tools to figure out my next steps.  Mindcamp offered all of that and more.

So, what is Mindcamp?  Great question.  It is an annual gathering of people from literally around the globe who converge on YMCA Geneva Park in Ontario (near the small community of Rama) and offer workshops.  Unlike many other conferences, nobody gets paid for their expertise.  It is a sharing and a testing environment; it is also a place for renewal and reflection.

In recent years, I've enjoyed spend my leisure hours at Mindcamp painting some of the amazing people who form its core.  There are many more to come, but portraits of Tim Hurson, Win Wenger, Bruce Baum, Joe Miguez, and Steve Shama have all happened while at Mindcamp.  Jeanne Chatigny was added to this distinguished list a few months ago after she passed away.  I have a few days to figure out who I'm going to paint this year.

We can postulate until the cows come home about how things happen in life.  What happened and when that brought us to where we are right now?  We can try to intellectualize the chain of events and identify causal links to everything.  However, it's enough for me to know that my life path and my surprising mid-career deviation to painting is a direct result of answering Tim's tweet, "Are you coming to Mindcamp?" with "What the hell is Mindcamp?"

The rest is history, as they say.  I couldn't get Mindcamp out of my head that day and I signed up that same evening.

Heather and I will be co-presenting for the first time, a Mind U series called "Painting Your Life".  She will also be doing some additional yoga sessions throughout Mindcamp and I'll be doing a special painting workshop with the kids group, children of attendees who get to enjoy a fabulous program of activities specifically designed for them.


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