“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though… Albert Einstein

In our last ‘Women’s Workshop for Wellness’, we delved into the notion of gratitude, and what that means to each of us. We looked at how we can be mindful of all that we have in life, and not just focus on lack, or what we would like. How to understand we are all interconnected and nothing can occur without a web of support – seen and unseen. It was a lovely, soft, gentle and reflective space.

As we meandered through the afternoon we considered different takes on gratitude from others who have contemplated before us. Sarah Ban Breathnach, famous for her book ‘SIMPLE ABUNDANCE’ became popular within the group for her reflections, such as:

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

Others that proved worthy of reflection were as follow:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

“Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” — Marcus Aurelius

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. ” — Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

 

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Reflections on Gratitude – February 10, 2018

 

 

Workshops for Wellbeing

 Reflections on Gratitude 10 February, 2018

 

When do we, as busy women, give a second thought to the deep and mysterious interconnection of the events, people, and circumstances without which we wouldn’t be where we are now?

How do we appreciate and give deep, appreciative gratitude for the good things? And how do we fathom the good that comes from the difficult? And give thanks for that too (much harder but liberating when we can).

 And just as importantly, how do we receive and experience gratitude from others for what we have offered?

 Tapping into a sense of genuine appreciation can increase our sense of wellbeing and peace. We feel more vital, connected, and content.

Gratitude is a skill or a habit that can be cultivated; often people report that being able to fathom the depths of gratitude can be a life changing, or transformative experience – for ourselves, and for our relationships.

 I will be offering a gentle reflective space on Saturday February 10 for a maximum of eight women to come together

•  to reflect on what gratitude means to you personally

• to share stories of gratitude – both from us to others, and others towards us

• to provide the opportunity to look at ways in which to cultivate a sense of gratitude that could fit into your personal lifestyle

I invite you or someone you know who might be interested to join us. Please feel free to pass this flyer on to someone who might find it useful.

 Where: The Neridah Practice, Chatswood, Unit 13, 47 Neridah Street, Chatswood

 When: 2.15 for a 2.30 start on December 2, 2017

 Cost: $80.00 for the afternoon, including afternoon tea. Non-refundable deposit of $40.00 required to secure a place*

 Reply to: Sally Brooks, frinton1@bigpond.com.

 Facilitated by: Sally Brooks, B.Ed (Hons); Master Gestalt Therapy (La Trobe);

Sally has been a psychotherapist for over 20 years and brings to group facilitation a wealth of experience. Sally’s experience in working with women is extensive. When women learn to reflect, take time out and reconnect with themselves, they are less exhausted, more empowered and peaceful. Sally has learned that women coming together in a circle to share and be heard can be grounding, uniting as well as offering one of the most sacred spaces to set intentions and remain loyal to them.

 * Minimum number of 5 participants. In the event this minimum is not reached then the workshop will be cancelled and deposits returned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Year’s Eve, 2017 – A Contemplation

 

 Palm Beach Boat & Blue Mountains 102

“A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

Albert Einstein

 This afternoon of 31 December, 2017 is warm and sunny with the buzz of bees and butterflies flitting from flower to flower in our Blue Mountains garden. Every so often one of the chickens decides to launch into frenzied clucking, for no particular reason, and the windchimes on the porch are gently swinging.

As I enjoy the sounds of this country town, my thoughts have been with the year that is about to close, and how I want to mark the occasion. There are years that I’m glad to see the back of, years that I’m sorry to say good-bye to, but whatever the case, another year passing is always tinged with some regret of ‘another year over, another year older,’ as well as some hopeful anticipation for the year to come.

At the end of this year of 2017 I am reflecting predominantly on events and circumstances that have made this year particularly difficult. While it would be easy to say ‘good riddance to 2017, bring on 2018’ I am approaching the ending differently from my usual way of farewelling another year.

My shift in attitude is largely attributable to a book I have recently re-read called “NAIKAN; Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection” by Gregg Krech.

It is a book that fundamentally asks three questions for us to ponder when we reflect. These are:

•   What have I received from……….?

•   What have I given to……….÷

•  What troubles and difficulties have I caused……….?

In each case the name at the end is the same. And, of course, we all have more than one person in our life of whom we can ask these questions.

The last question is the most challenging. As a Gestalt therapist I know that we all do our absolute best in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Our intentions are rarely, if ever, to inconvenience or hurt another human being, or animal. But sometimes and inadvertently we do. A very simple example is when I recently went to the local, independently run supermarket. The assistant was restocking shelves at the top of a ladder. I asked from my position on the ground where an item was. She generously came down and helped me find it. Yes, it was her job and, yes I interrupted her regardless. I am grateful for her care.

Paradoxically, as I have worked through these questions quietly and reflectively with a couple of different people in mind (the list is long over a 365 day period), I have begun to feel immense gratitude for my life, for those people who have put themselves out for me, for circumstances that could never have occurred without the world rising up to meet my needs, and how often I have taken this for granted.

And so, as we end 2017, I very genuinely wish you all the best for 2018 and in the words of the old Irish blessing:

May the road  rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.

If you are interested in reading more about Naikan, you can find information here

http://www.todoinstitute.org/naikan.html

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Reflections

The drive to create the perfect holiday season seems to gather more and more steam each year. This particularly seems to affect women folk. Long gone are the traditional days of having one day off, enjoying a big feast, playing family games and exchanging simple well considered gifts.

It is difficult to escape the Christmas and school holidays frenzy of the 2000s. With a little determination and discipline to find a tiny bit of space at least for ourselves, we can, however, affect the mood and manner in which we approach Christmas – no matter how hard we believe that to be.

Having worked with women for many years, I have seen the pressures (and felt the pressures) first hand and the exhaustion that ensues, even before Christmas arrives.

This year I have put together a little, easy to follow list on staying grounded, and enjoying the festive season. Even if you follow one of these ideas on a regular basis, it will help.

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness, and just be happy.
~Guillaume Apollinaire (French Poet)

We have to breathe – we may as well make the most of it! Just noticing, not trying to change our breath. Our minds will wander, just gently guide them back to breath.

It takes no time at all to count 15-20 breaths entering and leaving our bodies. This revives us, grounds us and brings more energy for the next thing. A simple approach is to do it between activities, or to set a timer for every hour or couple of hours – it works!

Do something nice for yourself – even if only a cup of tea sitting outside and listening to the birds – but really listen – don’t sit and ruminate. Listen and be present.

If you are able to take a personal moment of space, honour yourself by just reflecting on your intention for the holiday season.

And finally, ask yourself some of these questions  –  and be honest with the answer:

– If I don’t buy all that list of tree presents, decorations, pillow case stuffers – will anyone suffer or know any different? Can I get away with less?

– I’m feeling torn and pulled in all directions by the kids. Do I have to satisfy every single one of their needs to make myself feel like the perfect mother? Grandmother?

– Do I really need to feel as though I won’t get everything done, if I just stop for 10 minutes, breathe gently, sit for a cuppa or a cool drink, go for a swim etc.? Is life going to stop if I do?

And finally, as you start to feel more frenzied or stressed, simply ask yourself the question:

How important is it that I feel this way right now? Is it making a difference? Is this making me happy?

I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

 I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
~Charles Dickens through Ebenezer Scrooge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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