November 2018 news: Double rainbows -celebrating all that we love and all that we hope for

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Double rainbows – a special edition celebrating all that we love and all that we hope for and finding peace after suffering.

Welcome to my November 2018 newsletter.

Managing loss and change – finding peace after suffering

So, it’s been a while as they say..
This month I am offering this special edition- reflecting a little more deeply on the things that matter and offering some ways to embrace change and overcome some of the greater challenges and difficulties we face as human beings.
With GDPR, Brexit, and all manner of problems in the world that fill our tv screens and email in-boxes, social media streams, and day to day conversations, it’s easy to reflect more on what’s wrong in our life – indeed as Paul Gilbert and Rick Hanson and neuroscience reveals-it’s not our fault that we focus on the negative -it is the way our brain is designed- not for our happiness but for our survival – with a negativity bias firmly in place!

Savouring the good and gratitude practice
But what happens when you start to retrain your brain and change your focus of attention on what’s going right? ENERGY+MOTIVATION+INSIGHT -you start to strengthen your problem- solving skills and step away from the neural pathway that says ‘victim, pain, fear’ and take a peep down another path. Rick Hanson and neuroscience shows us that we each have choice and agency.From this understanding we can begin to strengthen our emotional resilience. When we also acknowledge our strengths, abilities, and capabilities we are able to manage life’s changes and challenges more easily and celebrate all that is good when we practice gratitude and savouring the good within ourselves. When we acknowledge our own good qualities, we are also honouring those who have loved us, taught us, inspired us, and led the way.

When I acknowledge my achievements and the gifts I have been given, and the strengths I have developed, that I choose to share in my work, I am honouring and acknowledging my first and greatest teachers, my parents whose enduring love and compassion have guided me and supported me. Who are your greatest teachers?


Lifeshocks and silverlinings

However, life doesn’t always make it easy and as ‘Sophie Sabbage’ who I have had the good fortune to meet and listen to speak recently, says in her new book “Lifeshocks and how to love them”
we do have “unwanted and unexpected moments of our lives, many of which we don’t like and some of which we do. They surprise us. They blindside us. They shock us. They command our attention.”
She spoke recently at a conference I attended, about ‘lifeshocks’ and how they happen to ‘wake us up so that we can live fully and abundantly’. SteveTaylor a psychologist and one of my favourite authors wrote a couple of books; “Out of darkness” and “The Leap” which moved me greatly and informed some of my thoughts and feelings about spiritual awakening and silver linings.

Whilst this year has been at times, busy and fruitful, enjoyable and uplifting- as happens to all of us at some point in our life, I have had one of the biggest ‘lifeshocks’ we come to experience and endure.

In September I was faced with the sudden and unexpected death of my father.
I have worked with bereavement in my clinical practice for many years and acknowledge death as ‘the final healing’.

This loss for me was significant and painful but I am reminded that the measure of our grief is most often the measure of the deep love that connects us to the person who has passed.
I would also like to share with all of you who have experienced deep loss this year of any kind, a quote that a close relative shared with me that gave me comfort. This quote comes from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians
“There are three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love”

In the late summer, the first week in September, and the week before my father’s death, I had the good fortune of attending the most significant and uplifting retreats of my life on Holy Isle -shared with beautiful souls and led by Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche whose Buddhist teaching spoke of the natural process of life and death and living joyfully. However, nothing can prepare you for how you will feel and grieve the loss of a loved one. We are all different-there is no right or wrong way to grieve, but I would like to share a couple of links that may give you some comfort, whatever your belief or faith.
Jack Kornfield gives a meditation on grieving mindfully and has written a beautiful book “A lamp in the dark”, and Pema Chodrun shares her reflections from when she was a novice nun in her article “How to move forward when you’ve hit rock bottom” .

Following my father’s death, in early October I was blessed with the strength and privilege to facilitate the Autumn retreat at Willersley Castle Hotel in Cromford. I can honestly say that the group of individuals, including myself, that came together that weekend of 5 October shared something deeply spiritual and powerful -Common humanity and loving connected presence. This is a special retreat I run twice yearly now, and if you would like to know more, here is the link to next year’s dates.

On November 24th I am holding a special retreat and invite you to join me in ‘a day of peace’– to nurture and replenish, for whatever difficulties you have faced this year and are facing. This day offers a moment of comfort away from the business of everyday life, to give you strength and inner calm; to reflect with compassion on the year that has passed and to prepare the way for the holiday season and winter months ahead.

Life is full of change and uncertainty, but without change we would not grow. Accepting change can be difficult but it brings into focus our ability and flexibility to adapt and evolve.


My big news!

I am so thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity and privilege to accept the position of chair of the board of trustees on the board for Anxiety UK.   I look forward to supporting AUK and offering discounted courses and retreats to its members! and keeping you posted on all the news from AUK HQ!

Anxiety UK is a national registered charity formed in 1970, by someone living with agoraphobia, for those affected by anxiety, stress, and anxiety- based depression.

To read more please Click Here »

I am offering once again, the popular New Year day retreat “Setting our goals and intentions” to start your new year 2019 and set your own goals and intentions for the year ahead.

To build resilience and emotional strength, The Mindful self-compassion training first dates for 2019 are now on offer and registration is now open!

It is good to remember and be drawn to the fact that in amidst the pain and suffering there is always light and enduring beauty when we look mindfully and with gratitude for all that we love that surrounds us in each present moment, all that we accomplish, and all that this precious human life we are given can enjoy.

I look forward to sharing with you much more wisdom and encouragement in the months ahead, but for now I have these offerings to share:
A book: I had the privilege of meeting and spending time with, this incredible GP and author up on Holy Isle on my summer retreat this year. I have read her book and I hope it gives comfort and strength to all who walk this path of life for it is a book about living in joy and how we can do this despite life’s often limiting, and sometimes life- threatening difficulties. “Well” by Mary Gunn
A blog: For those of you who are struggling with and coming to terms with great and life- threatening difficulty I hope you find Karin Siegar’s blog as uplifting and inspiring as I have.
I have found much to uplift and strengthen me in both of the above offerings.

Looking forward- towards light.
As neuroscience shows and Rick Hanson teaches. There is much we can celebrate within ourselves, the strength and the courage we find when faced with life’s greatest challenges. Those strengths we recognise within ourselves, our good qualities, abilities and capabilities, are often Bourne out of the grace and welcome teachings of those that inspire us to do more and enjoy more. When we recognise the very best within ourselves and come to know what Jack Kornfield describes as ‘our deepest nature’ Love, we are recognising also, those who lead the way, and those who love and loved us first, so dearly and unconditionally.
As always, do get in touch if you are looking for support and help. My clinics in the High Peak, Macclesfield and Knutsford are open and I welcome you.

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.
Wishing you all well and happy, this month of November 2018
Thank you so much for your continued support and as I continue to develop my programmes and offerings.