December 2016 -Saying goodbye and saying hello! new courses, new venues and a Christmas wish-find out more in this special December 2016 issue

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Call me: 07753957371

Today I find myself in new surroundings and looking forward to sharing new venues and courses in 2017.
This December issue is filled with information regarding my new practice times, and the new courses for 2017

This December issue is filled with information regarding my new practice times, and the new courses for 2017- these are in the pipeline and the dates will be published on my website and in my January 2017 newsletter. All MSC courses will now take place in South Cheshire, however the ‘six weekly gathering’ will continue to be held at Disley Quaker meeting in East Cheshire which boarders with the High peak.
The dates for the 2017 gatherings are available to view and are as follows: 21 January, 8 April, 20 May, 12 August, 23 September, 4 November, and the final one of the year is now being held on December 9 from 10-3 for a special extended Christmas gathering. Thanks so much to all the gatherers who have attended this year and shared so much. Saturday was really special and it was good to share lunch too!
Next year I am bring the focus to corporate and community well-being as I continue with teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion programme (please get in touch if you would like me to send out an information and application form for courses starting in Spring 2017).
I have also enjoyed sharing this body of work in my training sessions I have been sharing with corporate business and I look forward to taking a more active role in the new year and supporting businesses from within. Have a look here at this recent Huffington post article on “Three ways to improve well-being at work” 

MSC for teens and Young adults

Next Spring I am delighted to be introducing ‘Making friends with yourself’ MSC for teens and young adults. Research has already shown the benefits and positive outcomes for this training and I believe it will be the next great move forward in our civilisation towards compassion and emotional resilience. I have had the privilege of training in Dublin in November with Loraine Hobbs and Karen Bluth- 2 remarkable people who are setting the bar for transforming the lives of teens and young adults so they can flourish as adults- I wish this course had been around for my generation- it really is a game changer in developing self-confidence and emotional resilience. Watch this space for further information or get in touch to discuss how I can bring this to your school or community college.

Making plans and moving on
After many happy years living in and serving the high peak, I have now moved back home to the cheshire plains. My Chinley practice days are now Mondays and Wednesdays. I am developing a new practice in the Knutsford/Wilmslow/Holmes chapel areas, so, I am looking  for ‘a place of my own’ where I can continue my flexible service at times to suit.
I continue to offer services at Sett Valley (for the time being) and extending my practice hours at Park Lane in Macclesfield, and The Regency Hospital in Macclesfield.
I am offering a special discount for January 2017 at my Park lane practice of £10 off per session. I am currently reviewing my prices and practice hours and will update my ‘consult me’ page in January.

There are a couple of places left on my ‘Winter warmth’ morning workshop to help you ease in to the Christmas season.

My top tips for Christmas cheer!

To round off this seasonal issue I have included some of my top tips for enjoying the festive season.
Christmas is traditionally a time of festivities and family gatherings. We all look forward to the Christmas break to round off the year before another begins. And, we look forward to the New Year with new resolutions, goals, and ambitions.
With all the festive fun being marketed as a great time to spend, and spend some more, on bigger and more extravagant items each year.

The pressure is on!
To conform by spending to excess, quite often well beyond one’s means; to drink and be merry to excess, from one office party to another…and all of the morning after delights that brings.
The rush to stock up on food mountains worthy of supporting any third world country, creates anxiety beyond reason…..and then comes the big one- Christmas Day…..a time for family to all come together.
Following this comes the huge sigh of relief from bank balances and bellies, and then, the subsequent pain of excess begins to dawn as the new year begins- financial, physical, and emotional.

So before the holiday season stress really kicks in, stop for a moment and think how you would really like Christmas and New Year to be. What does it all mean to you?

Keep in mind my festive tips.

Christmas and New Year brings its own special brand of stress, so here’s how to have a stress free, happy Christmas and New Year, that is different, special, and rewarding.

  • Pace yourself with the Christmas drink. Traditionally, people do generally drink to excess at this time of year. However, by drinking less, you will enjoy more, with less physical and emotional suffering. Space out alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. Swap carbonated mixers such as tonic, which increases alcohol absorption for vitamin enriched fruit juices.
  •  Downsize on Christmas gifts. Remember, it is a gesture of an offering to celebrate a special time of year, not a time to think about having to re-mortgage to pay for extravagant gifts. Have a Christmas spending budget and stick to it, to avoid overspending and New Year debt. Have an idea of what you want to buy people before you head for the shops- it saves time and sore feet. And, finally, children will still love you even if they don’t get this year’s ‘must have’ toy.
  • Plan in time for relaxation and rest– germs feed on exhaustion!
  • Take the opportunity of the spirit of Christmas to heal rifts and let go of old grudges. Write letters to old friends.
  • Delegate where you can –share out the Christmas jobs.
  • Reflect on all that you have achieved over the past twelve months- really focus on the positives.
  • Assert yourself. It is ok to say no to over commitment.
  • Streamline the late- night partying. A good night’s sleep reduces symptoms of stress.
  • Focus on positive nutrition to balance out excesses and indulgences. Antioxidants help relieve the physical effects of stress. These can be found in Satsumas, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, all available at Christmas. And of course, a little bit of chocolate. Go for 70% cocoa solids so you have the benefits with less fat and sugar. Drink less caffeine- it dehydrates and increases stress.
  • Forget about piling on the pounds. Enjoy your food more: Eat slowly, chewing well, and really tasting your food, savouring every mouthful. You will soon find you are eating much less, and may actually lose some unwanted weight this year.
  • Take a deep breath, hold to the count of 4, and breathe slowly out through the mouth, and imagine the word, Calm-letting go of all tension.
  • If you smoke-cut down / stop. Nicotine is a stimulant. It increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and your metabolism- increasing stress not relieving it!
  • Be kind to yourself and others.


  • Jack Kornfield says “Our deepest nature is love”

Love is the best message to share this Christmas – be it through giving a helping hand to those around us or just making contact with old friends, relatives we rarely see, and making new friends.

  • Kindness and compassion for self and others releases a powerful and important chemical called oxytocin that promotes our health and well-being.

  • Compassion and loving kindness heal emotional rifts


  • Think about writing a compassionate letter to yourself when you are feeling particularly hard on yourself see Kristin Neff’s website for this and further exercises in self-compassion.
  • Be kind to yourself through the busy festive season and as part of your new year programme of wellbeing commitment pamper yourself and nourish your body and mind from a selection of the many wellbeing treats on offer, and perhaps treat a friend or loved one too! See my website for further details and my newsletter!

Willersley Castle Mindful self-compassion weekend retreats 2017

I now have the Willersley Castle retreat dates confirmed for next year so do get in touch to register your interest so that I can secure the dates.
There are two retreats next year: 23-25 June 2017 and 29 September 2 October 2017

I almost forgot!!
Check out the APP insight meditation. I have just uploaded a free mediation there “Giving and receiving compassion” the third of the core meditations from the Mindful self-compassion programmeIf you would like an MP3 download of the meditation just for you please email me

Also, its getting close to that time of year again when we think of loved ones and friends and buying them a gift so why not check out my new online shopping page  My online shopping page is a new venture and I hope to update it regularly -adding items of interest and enjoyment. I will also be uploading videos and downloads in a free resource section as I get my new website fully up and running , so watch this space!

Further news and updates, and a request:

  • If you know of any schools or colleges that would like some journals for their psychology department or class, then do get in touch. I have back dated copies of the British Psychological society journal and other psychotherapy journals for anyone who is interested.
  • Winter warmth morning retreat December 10 in Adlington

For more information /to reserve your place call me on 07753 957371 or email me.

The Willersley Castle Hotel Weekend Mindful self-compassion November retreat was an uplifting and very special experience for me,building on the March retreat, some new ideas were introduced and the weekend proved to be a profoundly nourishing event. This was the second of its kind that I have facilitated- and I will be running the retreats twice a year from now on!! I am deeply grateful to all the participants who made the weekend so beautiful with their sharing, and good company.

Willersley Castle Hotel, for me superseded expectations- the food and setting were superb, and the staff were warm and attentive as always.

There are limited places available to keep the weekend relaxing and intimate. For me this provides the opportunity for greater comfort and sharing.

I have popped a few photos on my Face book page to give you an idea of the setting and location. The swimming pool is set back in the grounds as you can see below in the pine lodge. Accommodation this Spring was in the Mews and this is where we held our retreat practice also in the newly refurbished conference room

In my private practice I teach mindfulness based compassion focused- approaches alongside psychotherapy and cognitive counselling to bringing about change and improving quality of life and I have the privilege of seeing huge change and success from these approaches. So do get in touch  or call me on 07753 957371 if you would like help with anxiety issues, low mood, or other issues you feel I may be able to help you with.

I wish you and your families every happiness this December and look forward to seeing you all again soon. Thank you so much for your continued support and,  as I continue to develop my programmes and offerings.

Please forward this email to anyone you think may find the above of interest/ useful.
Wishing you well and happy as you continue on your journey in 2016 and into 2017