Hope you’ve all had a good Easter! It’s been a relaxing week for me here at Liberty Towers with a blank diary meaning I can spend lots of time in the office. One of my favourite places! The weather has been inclement so lots of tea at my desk, brisk walks with the dogs, the odd yoga class at the club (plus a swim) and some drawing in the evenings has been about the sum of my activities. Hope you’ve had a peaceful time too – do let me know what you’ve been up to.

Diaries

I’ve been keeping a diary in recent weeks as part of our mindfulness class, helping me gather information as to how I’m spending my day. This has been such a hugely valuable process and one that I started some while back and revisit in earnest during the course. I’m a keen collector of data so I’m always tracking something – how much time I spend on a particular activity, or how long it takes me to perform certain aspects of my work. The mindfulness diaries though have an emphasis on noticing how long you can perform a task before it becomes tiring or matching up passive activities with more active tasks so that you don’t end up in an energy deficit or overwhelm. One of my facebook friends recently posted up about his “decompression day” after a busy weekend exhibiting his artwork. What a fantastic idea, knowing that it would be a tiring experience, deliberately building in a day of rest (or more even) so that he could unwind, spend some time at home and gently release the tension of the exhibition. Without paying attention to the demands our days activities have on our bodies, how do we expect ourselves to manage them appropriately and build in enough rest time?

With a busy schedule of teachers, many different events here at Liberty plus my role as a chaplain to balance, it’s important to keep an eye on when things are taking their toll. I’m finding more and more people are keen to have some help or direction on just how to do that. It’s like we all know it (taps forehead in exasperation) and yet for some reason we don’t seem to be able to bring it about. One of my students at Christchurch University this week said that she knew she was meant to be ‘kind to herself’ but what does that really mean? A little exasperated at her own inability to do something that was basically rather simple and surely inherently easy to do and yet, she felt incapable of actually doing it. There’s nothing quite like a teacher to help bring a subject to life I find, I know I much prefer a real life teacher rather than an online course or a book to read. When I look back at all my years of training, it’s that spent with a teacher that has had the greatest impact.

Our Wellbeing Day is a great example of that too – it brings in people who’ve never tried anything like yoga or meditation before and perhaps don’t want to commit to a long course or programme. This opportunity to try it out and have a taster, is just the right amount of commitment, direction or guidance that people need. Next one’s coming up soon if you fancy coming along.

Training Programmes

One our most recent projects is our yoga teacher training programme which I’m very excited about. SallyAnn and I are busy collecting together all the information so that we can pass on our knowledge and experience to new yoga teachers. One of my tasks is to do the drawings which you can see from the picture, I usually have my trusty dog with me tucked in down the side of my armchair. She’s rarely more than a few feet away and we’ve managed to companionably complete the bones and skeletal section of the manual so far. SallyAnn is also able to bring us a Thai massage CPD day which is open to everyone, not necessarily just professionals. If you fancy learning more about this gentle, fully clothed massage technique then do consider coming along. I’m definitely going to be taking part in this one!

Reading Lists

I’m a keen reader (you can find me on Goodreads if you’d like to make friends and see my reading lists) and one of the men at work recommended a book he’d taken out of the prison library. He loves Deepak Chopra and I do too, but I’d not read this one so thought I’d buy a copy myself. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfilment of Your Dreams. It’s a light read, only taking me two sittings to get through but talks about the symphony that nature plays and how we rail against it causing most of our upset and inability to get all that we want. Acceptance of how things are and non judgement are featured of course so they’ll be going on my immediate lists of “to do’s'” – for a little book it packs quite a punch with many great pointers to create more freedom and expansiveness in ones life.

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