The impulse to create Epiphany Orchards came out of the blue, as most true epiphanies do. I was sitting in a hospital waiting room with a loved one—something I’d been doing a lot lately—bored, worried, and flipping through Zillow ads on my cell phone, looking for inspirations for my current heroine’s home. That’s when I saw it.
First day on the market.
A ten-acre peach orchard.
White picket fence.
Detached buildings for yoga and a bunkhouse.
Heated salt-water pool and hot tub.
Lots of trees, but also a long stretch of open land.
Access to a community lake.
I stared at the house and inside my head I heard a quiet, calm voice tell me in no uncertain terms. You must buy this house and start a creativity retreat for writers and artists.
The minute I got home from the hospital, I made a call and within six weeks, the property was mine. Everything fell into place like stacked dominoes, one serendipitous moment after another. Money appeared when I needed it most. The right people showed up to help at the right time. At every turn I got the message that I was on the right path.
And yet my fears kept cropping up. Loudest of all: Who was I to lead a creativity retreat?
Yes, I’d published 88 works of fiction. Yes, I had hit the New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list on numerous occasions. Yes, I taught romance writing through Ed2go, the world’s largest supplier of adult education, for five years. Yes, I’d thrice been nominated for the Romance Writers’ of American RITA award. Yes, I’d sold well over four million copies of my books. Yes, some of my books had been optioned for TV movies. Yes, my books had been translated into twenty-four languages. Yes, I was also a registered nurse with a BSN from Texas Christian University with a certificate in forensics. And yes, I was a certified Hatha yoga teacher.
But was I really qualified? That’s the thing about the ego. It likes to pump us up, but it can tear us down just as quickly.
What qualifies me to run Epiphany Orchards is the ability I’ve cultivated—through years of writing, teaching, yoga, and meditation—to be able to listen to the inner fear, see it for what it is, and continue on with my vision. We all battle that scared, trembling, bragging little voice inside of us. The goal isn’t to eradicate it, but to love and accept it, and refuse to let it run our lives.
Our mission at Epiphany Orchards is to be of service to writers and artists and hold space for them as they learn to tap into their own inner muses, rest, relax and create. I hope you’ll find a workshop at that appeals to you.