Well, my resolution to give a round-up once a month didn’t last long did it! I’ve done one and missed two… In view of my failings (bear in mind, I’ve already said failing is OK) I won’t beat myself up but will round-up early for December and give a bit of a flavour of my recent discoveries.
It’s been a month of searching – looking for like-minded people and for a course that will equip me to teach mindfulness much sooner than 2017. Within church settings, like-minded people are hard to come by, but then as we are pioneering that should come as no surprise, but happier news on the Mindfulness front. I’ve managed to jump a very long queue for a teaching place at Bangor university. Bangor is the leading centre for Mindfulness so I will be well placed to be equipped to officially take courses by the end of January (provided it doesn’t snow in South Wales!). It’s not just about speed of training either as the Government has now decided that Mindfulness needs to be regulated and is setting minimum standards for how it’s taught. As Bangor is a lead university and has been a major player in advising the government, I should be in a good position not to have to do lengthy re-training in 12 months time.
The second stage in the plan is to lead from Mindfulness and into spirituality groups. We’re a long way off forming groups but we do need to work out what that might mean and start to think how we might begin. I recently met with Roger Walton who put me in touch with some people who are thinking of setting up a hub and offering spirituality days so plans are afoot to see if there might be some common themes…all is looking good.
I’ve noticed that Christian meditation and mindful meditation are very similar and came across this from Richard Rohr. It’s a prayer/meditation to relieve stress/anxiety:
When you are feeling anxious or stressed, try these simple steps, adapted from HeartMath’s “Freeze-Frame” technique, to help you connect with your heart’s intuitive wisdom. Set aside five to ten minutes when you can be alone in a quiet place. Choose a posture that is comfortable, perhaps sitting or lying down, and close your eyes.
Recall the stressful situation and “freeze-frame” the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arise. Observe where and how the stress appears in your mind and body.
Shift your focus from your anxiety to your physical heart area. Imagine your heart pumping each breath through your body. Relax into your breathing and feel your heart warm. Hold your attention here for about ten seconds.
Now remember a happy time or picture someone you love. Feel the sensation that comes from such joy and love. Send that feeling to your whole being.
Ask your heart, “What would be an effective response to this stressful situation that would help reduce future stress?”
Listen to what your heart says. Visualize yourself taking this action and feeling peaceful. Say to yourself, “I am letting go of tension. Peace is within me.”
When you are ready, open your eyes. You might want to journal about this experience so you can return to these insights later and act upon them.
Anyway, if you’re still with me, well done!
I am working hard on writing a Mindfulness course for the Recovery College at Mirfield. Originally, there were a few people booked on the course but after I did a presentation on an introduction to Mindfulness the course quickly became oversubscribed and they’ve closed any more applications so we’e now got a waiting list – a vote of confidence – Hoorah!!
Lepton have kindly offered to let me take a Mindfulness course in one of their rooms and we hope to begin in February, so if you would like to join the 8 week course, let me know. If you are recovering from or been diagnosed with a life-changing illness, are stressed, anxious, recovering from/suffer from depression or just can’t sleep or wake up at 4am and can’t get back to sleep or anything else that stops you enjoying life to the full, then this might be just the thing for you. Please get in touch and I can tell you more.
Hope that’s OK. I’ve been really busy and I am excited at the future. Thank you for those of you who are praying for me and the work. It’s a solitary role but I always feel supported and cupped in the palms of God’s hands.