March 2018 Immeasurable Minds News 
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Spring clean your mind
It's been a while I know! I seem to start all my recent newsletters like this! I have honestly been so busy. In a six week period I had seven days of retreat (I was leading the retreats - it's my speciality now! See up and coming ones in Drumalis and the Culloden below) and I was teaching four nights a week and doing other workshops and classes for organisations and the public. It really didn't leave me an awful lot of time for writing but I've made up for it this week by publishing two blog posts as well as this newsletter.

I also got interviewed for the 'building a better body podcast'.  Really enjoyed talking to Karen about all things health and wellbeing check out the 35 min chat here.

As my night classes have stopped (some start up again in a few weeks see listings below) I now have some time to rest and enjoy spring - when it eventually arrives! It did seem like winter is never ending (I even had a retreat day at Malone House in full snow where there was some mindful snow ball throwing! Pics are on Instagram) but when we do get a taste of spring isn't it just delicious?! The sound of the birds, blue skies, daffodils, a certain smell in the air and the discarding of winter coats.

Spring really is a time to stop and savour. As Ferris Bueller says in one of my favourite movies from the 80s "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Wisdom is everywhere, if you've been following me for a while you'll know I'm always advising the practice of stopping. We can have mini stops or pauses throughout the day or for a whole day like a lazy day (without feel guilty). 'Lazy day' is a Plum Village practice they do once a week and Thay used to ask 'have you been lazy enough today?'

Sr Jina from Plum Village will be back in Belfast in May and I'm so happy. She is the first monastic I ever organised an event for - which got me into event organising! She's a really wonderful teacher, check out this recent talk she gave. More details of her visit will be published in my next newsletter but you can check out my social media for updates as, as soon as I have details of any public events I will publicise them. (Immeasurable Minds Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.)

I'm on a pause from night classes (apart from Namaste) for a weeks. I do have workshops like the NEW lunchtime lecture this Friday and my self-compassion workshop on Sunday and I'm also planning a few more blog posts in coming weeks too so do subscribe to my RSS feed but apart from that I'm taking it easy and planning to do a bit of gardening.

A particularly lovely (all of my classes are filled with lovely people) group just finished my 8-week MSC and they all got together and agreed to each buy me some bulbs for the garden. After 12 years of living in an apartment I'm excited to have a garden at last, but it's just been too cold to get out there. Now with all these bulbs to plant I'm feeling under pressure, I've just emailed them to come round and help with the digging! (see pic of bulbs on my Instagram). Gardening is a mindful practice. Thich Nhat Hanh is famous for saying "If I didn't plant lettuce, I couldn't write books." Gardening is what we can call a form of 'natural mindfulness' and it is definitely a great way to spring clean your mind this season.

Simply stopping and noticing is also a great way to spring clean our minds. Getting in touch with our senses, observing and really noticing everything we can see with our amazing eyes like the birds or the buds on the trees. Listening for all the sounds we are still able to hear with our wonderful ears, the sound of the wind and the rain, the song of the birds. Smelling the coffee, the perfume and the spring breeze through our lovely noses. Feeling the sun and wind on our skin, hugging a tree, walking barefoot on the cold sand at the beach, putting our hands into soil to plant a new seed. As soon as we bring our attention to any of our senses we give the mind a chance to stop thinking. Overthinking and anxiety is the disease of our time. Getting in touch with our senses really helps.

Going on retreat is the perfect time to stop as you are guided and held in the practice so you can go a little deeper. A bit like 'bathing' in the practice. I have another fabulous retreat day in the Culloden coming up in June. As well as the retreat days that are part of the 8-week programmes.  I'm also really excited about a collaborative retreat with Tony Carlin in September, based on the famous 'the work' of Byron Katie.

I wish you lots of sensory moments this month - i'll be back with more in April. So in the meantime Happy Easter - enjoy mindfully tasting, savouring and consuming your Easter eggs! Do it as a mindful practice and it will be calorie free (I wish!). xx

This month's video of the month is from the fabulous Emily Fletcher, she's really inspiring and enthusiastic about meditation. In this 18 minute talk she tells us how to save the world in 2 simple steps. I love it! :) 

Book of the month is 'Sleep- 50 mindfulness and relaxation exercises for a restful night', by Dr Arlene K Unger - I took a picture from this book to advertise my blog on sleep which summarises the latest research and tips for better sleep (see the pic on my Instagram). Basically getting enough sleep is absolutely crucial to our overall wellbeing. You can read the blog with all my tips here. I also wrote a blog about another great book I've recommended a few times, check it out here.
There's an App for that!
There's now an alternative way to book my Immeasurable Minds courses - the Immeasurable Minds app available at the Android and Apple App Stores! Click on the Calendar to book. I will be adding some meditations and other features too - exciting - I'd love to know what you think. 

Namaste Mindfulness class
Thursday 26 April £48
This 6-week introduction to mindfulness practice class ALWAYS sells out. Its an easy accessible introduction to mindfulness practice - but it's not that easy to stick with it, so come along and try it out for yourself. The only way to know if it works for you is to do it!  
There will be break on Thursday 10 May as I will be on retreat - this take us up to Thursday 7 June 2018.
The picture above is me on my Donegal retreat for carers in February.
8-week course Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
Eight Wednesday nights @ The Lagan Weir, Belfast City Centre, beginning 18 April. £350.
Also includes a day retreat in Drumalis, Larne on Sunday 20 May. We will have a weeks break on 10 May.
I'm pictured above here with my most recent MSC group (more pics on Instagram) on their retreat day in Dromantine, Newry. They really were a wonderful group and they loved the course saying things like: "Excellent course - it would be difficult to improve on it as it was presented to us. The group discussion were very useful.  The videos really added to the course and stuck in my mind. The time  we spent doing the various mediation was really enjoyable.  The snacks were great too - yum! Thank you so very much." Mairin

They were also the very kind and generous group who got together and bought me hundreds of bulbs for my garden.  Being a part of a course like this is a really personal and special experience, I hope you can join when your ready for it (I recommend the MBSR first) Bx
Up-coming Drumalis retreats 'the work' and 'envisioning'
'The work' 1-2 September, Drumalis, Larne  - £300
With Northern Ireland's only qualified Byron Katie trainer, Tony Carlin. I will lead the mindfulness practices that will frame the retreat but Tony will be doing 'the work' with you. This is a unique opportunity not to be missed. 'The work' is a simple, mindful and powerful method of identifying and questioning the thoughts that cause suffering. Stress is an alarm clock that let's you know your believing something that is not true. When we discover a truer perspective we are more at peace and more able to deal with whatever issue we face. I'm personally really excited about learning from Tony he's a great guy and a wonderful trainer who I have known for over ten years now. Find out more about the retreat, Tony and Katie on this link.

New Year's envisioning retreat, Drumalis, Larne 26-27 January 2019. £250
My popular New Year's retreat will sell out so I'm advertising it early - put the date in your diary and book when you're ready to commit to an awesome 2019!
Book 'em
Ormeau Baths gallery lecture room where I will be speaking this Friday.
Lunchtime Lecture
23 March, Ormeau Baths Gallery 12noon. £15
In this one off special event I will be giving an interactive talk on mindfulness and the science of happiness. It will be a fun and informative session where you will learn and have an opportunity to practice. It's also a 'daytime' session that many people have been asking me for - hope to see you there. xx
Book now
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Workshops at Maitri Studio. still only £20
I love these ever popular workshops! In the next one THIS Sunday 25 March I will be giving everyone one of these lovely red heart tea lights. Each month the workshop is slightly different though I usually decide closer to the time... you can book now right up until August. I now have a group of regulars who come most months and it really is lovely to see familiar faces as well as the new ones! The up coming dates are:  29 April, 27 May, 17 June, 22 July and 19 August. Everyone is welcome - you can buy a place as a gift using your name, the person just gives your name when they turn up on the morning to check in.  It is usual to have friends and family members attend together, young teens can also enjoy the workshop with you. It's also ok for for guys - don't  be shy this is a fun and relaxing way to spend a Sunday morning. xx
NEW! Mindfulness for life or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Eight Tuesday nights starting - 17 April @ The Lagan Weir, Belfast City Centre. £330
Includes an all day retreat in Tober Mhuire, Crossgar on Saturday 26 May.

I'm currently teaching this fantastic course to a group of secondary school teachers in a local school as part of the Oxford MYRAID programme and they are loving it! You will too! It is a real life changer. Recently my mum told me a lady in my her book club told her my course changed her life! How nice is that? Sometimes I don't get to hear how people do after the course but sometimes I do and they give amazing feedback.  
Last year one lady from Carrickfergus told the group that she had no feeling in her feet and legs for 8 years, on completion of the this course she had feeling in her feet and legs and was able to sleep without socks for the first time in 8 years! Of course I can't promise everyone this type of result but this type of result is possible.
The shiny happy group above just finished their course with me at the start of the month I'll just give one quote from their feedback: "It really has changed the way I look at things." Tadhg "I feel much more able to deal with my intrusive thoughts and negative feelings about myself." Fred 
To read what more previous participants thought click here - I will be adding more up to date testimonials very soon! (Next week, as I've employed someone to type them up for me I've so many from 2017 and 2018.) x
Mindful Self-Compassion Luxury Day Retreat @ the Culloden Hotel
Saturday 2 June - £120
So I'm holding yet another day in the Culloden because its such a popular, nourishing and fun day to be a part of. No experience is necessary everyone is welcome. Why not treat a friend? On the last day in February two people brought their husbands and one brought their sister. The more the merrier, though places are limited! Looking forward to it. :)
Book now
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