October 2016 -Big waves and Autumn leaves

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Big waves and Autumn leaves-gratitude, self-compassion and a look ahead to the retreats and events you can enjoy this Autumn with me.

So, I’m here at this point in the year, reflecting  on all I have achieved, overcome, and learnt (aol) personally. I feel this is a time for me to be so grateful and to see the bigger picture, as I pick myself up and keep walking after this year’s big waves. I know many of you have endured a great deal of challenge this year and also enjoyed some ease and even joy. So, now it really is Autumn, the year is drawing gently to a close after what seems to have been a very exciting and unpredictable year in so many ways. But as I always say -it’s all good!
I was reminded twice recently, -at a time when a timely reminder was greatly appreciated- about the importance of trust-trust in yourself and your own abilities, and the importance of seeing the bigger picture, keeping on going, and getting through difficult times and challenging obstacles. So I am including something in this newsletter that I hope will help you on your own journey through the joys and challenges of living your daily life and being human.
In a recent newsletter I received from The Mindfulness Association an association I am so very proud to belong to and grateful for- I read Heather’s blog  : “Just rest” ….Wow! So simple, so powerful. I have shared it here in the hope and genuine wish for you to find comfort and strength whatever your life is feeling like right now.
Further own the line as I began to confront my own big wave, synchronicity in a a loving universe provided me with a message from Pema Chodrun that I would like to share with you: “How to move forward when you’ve hit rock bottom”– it made me smile right down deep inside and warmed up my own readiness to continue and devote myself to my life’s passion and soul’s purpose to learn, heal, and share with others , care for other’s and give my very best in what for me is ‘my calling’ as a therapist and a teacher of mindful self-compassion.
Oh yes, and I know I mentioned gratitude within the lead-in to my newsletter this month. Gratitude is something so beautiful and so profound in its healing and supporting of our well-being and here I would like to mention once again the work of the renowned neuroscientist Rick Hanson . During this summer and into the Autumn I have come to know personally and deeply my own gratitude for all that gives me strength and emotional resilience.

So here I want to do something a little bit brave and share my deep gratitude particularly for the love and support I have received from my Sister and my sister in law, and some dear friends. For their love, kindness and support I feel genuinely blessed and loved and want to say a very personal and public “Thank you. I am stronger for your kindness”.

I recently spoke at one of the ‘six weekly gatherings’ about ‘shame ‘and my own recognition about feelings of shame when offered kindness and the willingness to accept kindness and the ability to actually reach out and ask for help. I talked about Brene Brown and her teaching on ‘the power of vulnerability’ . I was able to do this in no small part from my own Mindful self-compassion journey as a participant and as a teacher – I am reminded gently, every day, it is a life-long practice and we are always learning-especially when we teach.

In the last  ten years that have passed, I have grown and evolved as a practitioner and expanded into the field of training and mindful self-compassion. I look forward to continuing to grow and evolve as I reflect during this short break from teaching and take some time now to deepen my own practice on the mindful path after a busy summer and I look forward to teaching “Making friends with yourself” – Mindful self-compassion for teens following my training in Dublin later in the year. I am taking this important work into schools and colleges so do get in touch if you feel your school or college would like to know more. I would be very happy to come and give a one-hour talk and overview for developing mindful self-compassion practice and benefits with your students.
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” 

I now have the Willersley Castle retreat dates provisionally booked 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 programme. If you would like an MP3 download of the meditation just for you please email me

Also, it’s 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 and email me if you would like to pre- order this year’s ‘Annette Boden Wellbeing’ calendar. 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.
  • From October this year I am expanding my clinical practice and Mindful self-compassion training into South and East Cheshire- reaching Knutsford, Congleton, Holmes Chapel, Alderley Edge, and Wilmslow.
  •   Willersley Castle Hotel Autumn weekend retreat of Mindful self-compassion practice.
    set in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, just a short stroll to Cromford canal and the historic Arkwright museum village. November 4-6 2016. Limited places left! More details here!
  • Winter warmth morning retreat December 10 in Adlington

NB: as of today October 14 there are just 2 places left so completion of the information form, and a deposit and a first installment or the full amount is payable by the end of September. I can then confirm your place on the November weekend retreat at the beautiful Willersley Castle Hotel in the mews. There are limited places for single en-suite but I have reserved enough if you book soon. For more details from the March retreat have a look here. It is an all-inclusive weekend of mindfulness, nurturing, replenishment, and self-compassion.

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

The Willersley Castle Hotel Weekend Mindful self-compassion March retreat was an uplifting and very special experience for me. This was the first of its kind that I have facilitated- the first of many! 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.

I am aiming to hold a bi-annual weekend retreat for Mindful self-compassion practice at Willersley Castle every Spring/Summer and Autumn. Dates for next year are already now booked!

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.

Below are details of my retreats for Autumn 2016 and a look ahead to 2017

The Six weekly gathering

The next date for the six weekly gathering is on Saturday October 22 10.00am-12.30pm at our usual gathering home – Disley Quaker meeting House.
The topic is open so do get in touch this week if you have anything you would like to cover.
I would like to thank everyone who attended for a special retreat day for gatherers in August on Saturday 20th. It was a beautiful day and so good to see so many of you connecting and sharing as our community grows.
These gatherings are open to all who are completing or who have completed the MSC programme and are a great way to keep your practice going, an opportunity to discuss any issues or insights you have encountered in the previous weeks, reconnect with each other and share experiences of the practices. Each time I cover a topic or theme from the course and we have open discussion and sharing time. The cost is just £20 for each gathering.

Expanding the Mindful self-compassion training into East and South Cheshire.

I am expanding my teaching into East and South Cheshire and I look forward to sharing this beautiful programme throughout 2017. Check out my website over the next few months for details of when and where.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported, 8-week, 9 session (a day retreat is included) training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the ground-breaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.

After participating in the 8-week programme, you’ll be able to:

Practice self-compassion in daily life

  • Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Transform challenging relationships, old and new
  • Manage caregiver fatigue
  • Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation


        November retreat 4-6 November 2016

There are just a few places left so completion of the information form, and a deposit and a first installment or the full amount is payable by the end of September. I can then confirm your place on the November weekend retreat at the beautiful Willersley Castle Hotel in the mews. There are limited places for single en suite but I have reserved enough if you book soon. For more details from the March retreat have a look here. It is an all-inclusive weekend of mindfulness, nurturing, replenishment, and self-compassion.


Thank you to all who have already booked and I look forward to seeing you there!


The cost of £270 for the full weekend retreat includes full board with en-suite facilities, swimming pool, all meals and full retreat programme from Friday to Sunday.

Open to all who have completed the MSC training or have a formal meditation practice, and have completed other mindfulness- based courses.
A deposit of £50.00 (non-refundable) will secure your place. The full amount remaining is due by the end of September.
For full terms and conditions contact me
NB There is a £20 discount for MSC six weekly gathering members. The retreat will run from Friday early evening until Sunday at 4.00pm.


Here’s some of the feedback from the Spring retreat:

“I have enjoyed so much about this weekend. The attention to detail that you always do is lovely, it’s so enriching and comforting and calming. It makes me feel safe and calm. The meditations are so enriching. Meeting new people is great. The meals and Castle are lovely- a treat in themselves”

“Thank you Annette for a wonderful weekend. I have fully enjoyed it and have benefited more than I anticipated. It has really helped me refocus, and ground me”

I enjoyed the most:

“Finding that the retreat really made me feel “away from it all” and my mind was clearer and more receptive to the meditations.”

“Companionship, meditation, peace, and excellent food. Good combination of activities”

“Annette’s beautiful loving care and made some beautiful memories this weekend – lovely group of people – a gem of a weekend away”

“Loved all of the practices..enjoyed the location for walking/swimming. Great group of like-minded people, lovely atmosphere”

“The people! Lovely group. The morning long meditation, the meals together and the fab food…the general pace and relaxed feeling of the weekend.”

“enjoyed your tender care Annette. Have learnt a lot about myself. Thank you”


Natural awakening new Autumn retreat!
October 29 2016

Summer Philips and I are really happy to announce our long awaited Autumn 2016 Natural awakening day retreat.
Saturday October 29 2016
“The loving heart, the creative spirit”
The practices of mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and self-compassion are brought together in a culmination of exercises that will refresh, replenish and rejuvenate.
Join Annette Boden and Summer Phillips
for this ‘Natural awakening’ day-retreat and workshop.
At St George’s Parish church hall, new mills
11.30am – 5.30pm:
Cost £50.00 payable in advance of the day secures your place.
Places are limited and booking up fast so get in touch ASAP if you would like to attend!
Places are limited and can be reserved for a non-refundable but exchangeable deposit of £20 for the day workshop/retreat.
For further information visit www.annetteboden.co.uk
For more information and to reserve your place call Annette on 07753 957371
We look forward to seeing you there!

“Winter warmth”
A morning of mindfulness, self-compassion, and deep relaxation ready for the festive season!
December 10th from 10.00 am until 1.00pm

At Adlington Village Hall

This lovely morning workshop is being facilitated by Annette Boden MSc.
I am  very pleased to introduce this unique and uplifting workshop at a new venue for you to enjoy and experience the combined benefits of mindfulness, deep relaxation, meditation, and self-compassion exercises that will refresh, replenish and rejuvenate mind and body ready for the festive season.
And yes…Betty and Bob will be there!
The cost of £30 payable in advance of the day reserves your place.
For further information and to book your place, please contact me via email :or call me on 07753 957371
So this brings to a close my October news and updates. I very much look forward to keeping in touch and seeing some of you at various events and retreats as we journey through the rest of this year.
Do get in touch if you have any questions or would like further information on any of the above links, courses, and retreats or would like me to come and speak at an event or run a mini retreat for you and your friends and family.
Thank you so much for taking the time to scroll all the way down. I hope you have found something of interest.

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