Minutes of gloriousness

stand and stare

Life full on? Hardly time to catch your breath, let alone think?

Take time to stand and stare! Look at the natural world. Marvel at the intricacy. Be absorbed in its activities. Just for minutes.

It’s counter-intuitive. We think we don’t have time. But when we take those minutes it changes the minutes and hours that follow. It changes us. It gives us a different perspective. Try it and see!

And I love this poem which celebrates that need we seem to have so deeply within us: to stand and stare.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

By Wm. Henry Davies

This is Mindful Monday on 14 October 2019.

If you live in Cheltenham or nearby, join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of each of our uniqueness on Monday 4 November 7.30-9 pm at the Oasis. There is no charge but you do need to book your place. Simply email hello@essencecheltenham.org

 

 

Surprised by nature

pineapple surprise

Have you seen a pineapple growing?

It was a first for me last week on Tenerife in the Canaries. I had always imagined they grew from trees, a bit like dates. I couldn’t believe it (Victor Meldrew moment) when I saw a pineapple on a low-growing plant. While my husband, my fellow-traveller, could not believe I hadn’t seen a pineapple growing before or that I could have thought they might grow on trees (second Victor Meldrew moment).

It made me look up how many types of plants there are – and google tells me it is about 391,000. This tells me I have more to see yet that will surprise and entrance me.

Back in England now (yes it is a bit cooler!), it is time to mark harvest. Today join me in being thankful for the crops we have, many of which are food on our plates. Including, of course, the amazing, surprising pineapple!

This is Mindful Monday on 7 October 2019.

If you live in or near Cheltenham, join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of each of our uniqueness on the evening of Monday 4 November 2019 at the Oasis.

Email hello@essencecheltenham.org to book your place. No charge – simply make a donation towards the costs of room hire and resources on the night as you are able.

 

 

 

 

Small things

snail

I just heard a very similar quote to this on a Billy Connolly travelogue of the States – I am a Billy fan!

It reminded me of the card you see here: “The happiness of life is made up of small things.” It is so true that it seems simplistic. And actually that was the quote from a character in the Billy Connolly travelogue: “It’s the simple things in life that matter.”

What is there in your life that might seem simple, that might seem small – but actually when you think of it they are the BIG things? Celebrate them.

This is Mindful Monday on Monday 30 September.

If you live in or near Cheltenham (UK!), join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of each of our uniqueness on Monday 4 November at the Oasis. There is no charge (you can simply make a donation on the night towards room hire if you are able) but it helps us to know how many to prepare the space for. To book, email hello@essencecheltenham.org

Can’t make 4 November? Join us instead on Monday 2 December, 7.30-9 pm.

 

Unique you

print

We met last Monday for an evening of mindfulness focused on the theme of each of our uniqueness. We made an intentional choice – knowing that our minds often do otherwise – to focus on the positives about each of our characters.

In twos we each spoke for a couple of minutes of things we loved. From this our ‘listener’ fed back a strength they could see.

After we had chosen a card and chosen a paper on which to print one or more of our finger prints, we each had that strength to put inside our card. The rest of it private, we spent ten minutes individually reflecting on what might be some of our strengths, writing them inside the card.

I heard from a fellow participant in the evening during this week:

Those ‘finger/thumb print’ cards we all made were so unique, alright and such an unusual idea – mine is displayed in quite a prominent place and all those affirmations such nice reminders of our attributes – thanks!

Maybe you weren’t with us last Monday. What if you paused and reflected for a moment? Note a strength. Write it down. Note another strength. Write it down also. You have just had two important moments. You have just realised two strengths – which combined with all the other strengths you have – make you unique. Uniquely wonderful.

This is Mindful Monday on Monday 23 September.

Join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer for an evening of mindfulness once more on the theme of uniqueness: Monday 4 November at the Oasis, 7.30-9 pm. Email hello@essencecheltenham.org to book your place – it helps us to know how many to prepare the space for.

 

 

Absolutely unique

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

I first saw this quotation on someone’s T-shirt.

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

Researching its origin, it looks like this came from Margaret Mead, an author and speaker well known in the sixties and seventies.

I love it. I love it for its duality.

Certainly we should remember we are each absolutely unique. May be that helps us to celebrate the mix that makes me me and you you.

But have a go this week and note each person you meet. Remind yourself that they are unique. As you do this, you may find yourself more open to that person, more appreciative of who they are.

That way we can all celebrate that indeed I am me and you are you.

This is Mindful Monday on 16 September 2019.

Join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer tonight for an evening of mindfulness on theme of each of our uniqueness tonight at the Oasis, Cheltenham. To book email hello@essencecheltenham.org

 

Amazing you

amazing you

Each of us is unique.

We may quickly acknowledge this in our heads but miss the wonder – the truth – of the fact.

Wiki estimates there are about 7.7 billion people alive. Let’s face it with that many people it is tricky to be exact!

Yet each of us is unique. You are unique.

We could look at a whole range of attributes in demonstrating this. Fingerprints seem a possible starting point. Did you know that not even identical twins have the same fingerprints? Each of us (each of the “about 7.7 billion people”) have a different set of ridges and lines, right from the time we’re born.

It is easy to compare ourselves to others. It is harder to celebrate the unique mix that is you. And only you. Now that is something special. That is something priceless. That is worth celebrating. Go on, be you!

Join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for a mindfulness evening at the Oasis in Cheltenham on Monday 16 September (7.30-9 pm). Using meditation and art, we will explore and celebrate each of our uniqueness. To book email hello@essencecheltenham.org or send a message on Facebook.

 

Letting go

Letting go

Summer is often the time for exam results for many young people and some not so young. It is the moment of finding out whether hard work has paid off and you can proceed with the next step as you had planned or need to think again.

Sometimes there is a clear link between hard work and achieving a good result; sometimes there isn’t a clear link.

Here’s a story:

A martial arts student says to their teacher, “I am devoted to study. How long will it take me to become a master?” The teacher replied, “Ten years.”

Impatient the student said, “But I will work hard. I will practice every day for hours and hours. How long will it take then?” The teacher replied, “Twenty years.”

Mindfulness is like that. We need to let things unfold. When we are impatient for a particular result, our understanding will be clouded. We will be frustrated.

Mindfulness is about letting go, not trying harder. As we do this, our understanding of ourselves and those around us will deepen. As well as becoming more physically, mentally and emotionally aware, we may also find ourselves more spiritually aware.

I know that letting go in itself ain’t easy – but it is nice not to have to tell yourself to try harder!

This is Mindful Monday on 2 September 2019.

Join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of each of our uniqueness on Monday 16 September at 7.30 to 9 pm at the Oasis, Cheltenham. There is no charge but you do need to book in advance. To book email hello@essencecheltenham.org. Looking forward to welcoming you!