May 2011 news

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Mindfulness courses running throughout the year

I would like to recommend this course that is being run from March, as mindfulness is an excellent tool for managing stress and improving overall well being. I have attended this excellent course, run by two qualified teachers in the field of mindfulness.

8-week experiential courses, as recommended by NICE, will start Tuesday evenings on 1st March 2011 and run throughout the year, so if you miss this course, do get in touch with Sarah to see when the next course is running at the Ring 0’Bells, Disley at the special price of £150

To enrol, or for further information, please contact Sarah Talbot at:, or call on 0777 202 4653.

Each Wednesday at Blythe House hospice Dave Oldham runs a mindfulness meditation group. If you are local to Chapel en le Frith, this class is well worth attending and all proceeds go to the hospice. For further information, contact the hospice on 01298 815388. Otherwise if you live farther afield then I would suggest looking out for mindfulness meditation classes and learning the practice- it is simple, safe , and most importantly, effective.

Blythe House hospice is running a number of events throughout the year for practitioners and the general public so do have a look out for these- which will include mindfulness retreats. I continue to have the privilage of running wellbeing workshops at the hospice and know the worthwhile work that takes place here and all that this very special place has to offer, so do come along if you can.

Yoga and pregnancy classes

Last Saturday I had the wonderful privilage of being invited to talk to a group of ladies at their pregnancy yoga class in Macclesfield. I would like to recommend this class highly. The class, run by Karina Randall  is respectful and very beneficial. Karina is extremely well qualified and a dedicated teacher. There are women’s classes also as well as pregnancy yoga classes. For further information you can visit Karina’s website

Finally, for my fellow therapists/colleagues. The fifth annual Counselling and spirituality conference is taking place on  Saturday June 25 the Quaker meeting house in Disley. This day enables you to explore the links between spirituality and counselling and brings together people working in a variety of ways and with a variety of faith, and non-faith backgrounds. The conference cost for the full day is £55 and includes lunch and a certificate of attendance for continuing professional development. For more information and to book a place you can contact Sarah Talbot at


Each issue I will include a ‘tips’ section on varying topics.

As this year cruises along towards the summer, I thought it might be helpful to share some positive thoughts and ideas to keep in mind: Some of you may have already received this information as a handout but I think it is a worthwhile information sheet to include to all my readers.

Good things to think about each day


The mind and the breath are connected– our mind is part of our body- the mind can only think about one thing at a time- however quickly it may move to a different topic, so when you focus on your breath, you are not focused on the situation, issue or problem that you have experienced.

In our everyday lives we breath quite shallowly from here (chest) and when we are anxious we breath more quickly and shallowly, increasing heart rate, as blood goes to the major organs for ‘fight or flight’ – not to the brain, so the increasing breathing increases the sense of dizziness, faintness and further fear- so we want to reverse this process quickly and effectively and take control.

Take in a really nice deep breath, – this helps you to take in more oxygen and slow things down.

Hold to the count of four, – the mind is then focused on the count and the breath,

And then breath slowly out through your mouth– this lets out all the tension and you can notice your shoulders going down- and imagine the word ‘calm’ – by imagining the word ‘calm’ you are sending a further reinforcing positive signal to the body that it can ‘relax’.

  • To be in the moment you are a part of, to refocus your thoughts that may be in the past or the future.
  •  So, it is important to know that yesterday is past and you cannot change it- it is gone.
  • The future has not happened yet- therefore it does not exist and we cannot predict what will actually happen, as there are so many possibilities.
  • But, we can choose to acknowledge that just as there may be negative possibilities that we fear, so too are there equally, wonderful positive possibilities, and just because something has happened one way in the past does not mean it will happen that way again.
  • The only reality is this present moment, so to really be in this moment- it is about bringing your focused attention into the space and peace around you- being mindful of what you can see, hear and feel. There is a lovely phrase that is helpful to think about here:
  • Yesterday is history
  • Tomorrow is a mystery
  • Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

Now- just take a moment to:

  • Think of three things you like most about yourself,
  • Three positive things that people have said about you in your lifetime,
  • And then think about what are your three best qualities…
  • Take a moment now to be in the present and be aware of how you feel after thinking about those very important truths.
  • Practicing this often will increase your self- esteem and confidence and enable you to acknowledge your value and help you to put all of life’s joys and challenges into a manageable perspective.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” Wayne Dyer

So to change some of the way we think about things, here are a few ideas:

  • Flaws and failures are growth opportunities
  •  you have accomplishments within you, waiting to happen
  •  Mistakes are research moments- the 40 in WD40 represents the 40 attempts taken to perfect the product.
  • Problems are stepping stones to success

Each day think about this acronym AOL

A your achievements

O all you have overcome on your journey towards positive change and personal development

L all you have learned from your challenges, about you, your abilities, capabilities, strengths, and all you have learned that empowers you.

‘Ask Annette’

A lot of you have asked about ‘Mindfulness’.

SoI am attaching  some information here:

Mindfulness and relaxation

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally” Jon Kabbat Zin

“Mindfulness can be cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, that is, in the present moment, and as non-reactively, non-judgementally and openheartedly as possible” Jon Kabbat Zin

[Mindfulness is] awareness of present experience with acceptance” Germer

  • Mindfulness- Acknowledging the beauty of nature every day- “The mental quality of non-judgmental attention that can see things directly as they appear in the present moment”.when you are walking- this is a good time to practice mindful awareness- being in touch with and being fully aware, in the present moment, of all you can see, hear, and feel on your walk. Mindfulness enables you to switch off from the busy and demanding days and all the joys and challenges they bring- giving you time to acknowledge the space and peace around you. There is much evidence to show that mindfulness helps lift mood and increases overall well being.
  • Remember- the present moment is the only reality, so take time to notice it and enjoy it. I heard a useful saying recently that may help to calm anxieties and worries as you look ahead- “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday”. Anon.

Relaxation classes and workshops

Monday morning classes begin again on March 7 and run from 10-11.00am in the community centre with a warm and friendly group.

The relaxation class is a really good way of boosting your energy reserves, and is a great way of boosting your immune system. It is a useful practice to do every day but this can sometimes be difficult so the classes help to give you some time each week for this beneficial practice. It is also a chance to share tips / ask questions about any concerns you may have around areas such as sleep and stress management.


My CDs are available to buy at my classes or from my practice by arrangement.  Alternatively I can send them to you by post but there will be a £2.00 P&P delivery cost- for first class recorded delivery and safe packing. Each CD is £10.00

There are five CDs titles in all:

Sleeping Well; Weight Management; Relaxation: Tranquil beach; Relaxation: Tranquil forest

Relaxation: Tranquil garden

Also, I can now offer a new CD – Raising self esteem.

Recommended reading:

“The miracle of mindfulness”- Theclassic guide to meditation. By Thich Nhat Hanh.

“The Mindful way through depression” (with accompanying CD) Segal, Williams, Teasdale, and Kabbat –Zin

“Mindfulness for Dummies” Shamash Alidina

“The compassionate Mind” Professor Paul Gilbert

“The mindful path to self-compassion” Christopher K. Germer, PhD

Please note my tips and shared information are not a replacement for medical advice. They are intended for personal growth and development and to enable you to think about new ways of addressing and overcoming emotional challenges. Always speak to your doctor before making any changes if you are under medical care, this includes medication regimes.