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May 2018 Immeasurable Minds News 
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May the force be with you
When we practice mindfulness we generate the energy of peace and happiness. Thich That Hanh also talks about mindfulness as the energy of protection. If we practice mindfulness we also have concentration which then leads to insight. This insight can help us make wise decisions and good choices for lives and our wellbeing.

The science on mindfulness is proving so many benefits for our mind and body. Even from my own students in my classes I hear about amazing benefits all the time. One lady told us she didn't have any feeling in her feet and legs for years, at the end of the 8-week MBSR she had feeling in her feet and legs. Other students have told of the confidence it has given them, of the difference it has made in their life as a professional, a parent and a friend. Mindfulness surely is a force! And a force to be reckoned with at that!

When I was thinking about what to say in my 2014 TEDx talk at Stormont, I had the idea of giving the talk about 'mindfulness as force'. During the 2014 21-day retreat at Plum Village Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) mentioned the mindfulness 'forcefield'! This coupled by the fact that he does have a resemblance to Yoda in his brown robe had my brain spinning with ideas.

I was going to open with this quote from Rumi 'Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field, I'll meet you there.' In the end I decided to keep it simple for the talk. Though I did use the Rumi poem  as reading at my wedding 4 years later!

The idea of a forcefield being out there and that the force is with those who practice still appeals to me. Have you noticed that your energy is different after a day of practice? Or perhaps noticed that the people who do practice have a totally different energy from those who don't? Even a few mindful breaths can connect you with the force - try it.

I've just come home from a five day retreat with the Sisters of Plum Village in Ards Friary, Donegal. The force was definitely strong up there - especially in the scenery - all the photos in this newsletter are from that retreat. You might see why I thought I found heaven there... If you click on my social media you will also find a short 50 second video clip of the beautiful, peaceful, quiet beach where we went for a mindful walk.

Sister Jina who led the retreat in Donegal will be staying with me later in the week with English Sister Susan and a French Sister. They are pictured below on the beach in Donegal. I'm so honoured to have them. Sister Jina is half Irish and half Dutch she joined the Plum Village community in 1990 as one of Thầy’s first European monastic disciples.

On Friday night (18 May) Sr. Jina is offering a free public talk in Clonard Monastery, West Belfast. Arranged through the Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum, everyone is welcome. There's no need to book just turn up in time for the 7.30pm talk. Clonard is a special place and they are delighted to be hosting this talk by Sr. Jina. It will be a wonderful evening.

On Saturday 18 May the Sisters will be in The MAC, St Anne's Square, Belfast to lead a day of mindfulness. The cost for the day including a vegan lunch is £25 so complete bargain! Don't miss it if you are free. To book your place, please send an email to: belfastbonsaisangha@gmail.com who have helped organise the event. I can't wait :) 

As summer is approaching my courses are coming to an end. But my monthly mindful self-compassion workshops, Sunday mornings at Maitri (that have been going for 4 years now) continue.  The next one is on 27 May - we may be doing some mindful dancing as part of it... so don't miss it book here....

I'll also be busy with the Centra NI Live Well Roadshow which will take me across Northern Ireland from Enniskillen, to Derry, Larne and Banbridge to name a few places. Hopefully I will meet many of you newsletter readers then. Centra have relaunched and updated their 'Live Well' plan - please go to centra.co.uk to sign up  and receive a new 10-week mindfulness plan (written by yours truly) a nutrition plan from Jane McClenahan and fitness plan by Jonny Davis. It really is a brilliant free resource and this year I have recorded a yoga video, a podcast on gratitude, one on sleep and new meditations for you to download. Go get it!

My next Namaste Mindfulness practice class will start on 23 August as for the first time I'm having a bit of summer break - I won't know what do with myself on Thursday nights as I've been in Namaste every Thursday for ten years! I'll miss it but August will come around quick!

My 8-week winter courses (MBSR & MSC) will start in mid-October as I will be visiting my husband's family in Turkey before that.  These courses are available to book now - it's always good to be an early bird and get a discount.

If you don't have the time to commit to a course you can always get a lot of nourishment from a one day retreat like the one I have coming up on 2 June in the Culloden. It's a fantastic way to recharge and the spa at the end is a bonus!

On the 1 and 2 September I've organised a special two day retreat with Tony Carlin from Derry. Tony is one of only 5 qualified Byron Katie trainers in Ireland. He will be offering 'the work' or mindful inquiry - I'm so interested in this! A must for anyone wanting to deepen or learn more about looking deeply.

These newsletters aren't as regular as they once were but I do post everyday on social media (Immeasurable Minds Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and my blog) so you can find some mindful inspiration. I love to get your feedback so do stay in touch. xx

This month's video of the month and book of the month are the same! 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' is a 2012 non-fiction book written by Susan Cain.  She also has a TED talk with the same title. Having just come from a retreat where we were mostly silent, even though I am an extrovert, I really appreciate what she has to say about the power of quiet and the tyranny of making everything a group activity!
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6-week Namaste Mindfulness class
Thursday 23 August still only £48
This 6-week mindfulness practice class sells out every time so it is necessary to book in advance. Drop-in is not available. The class is suitable for total newbies and those of you who already know how to practice but like the support of group practice (pro tip: it's always easier in a group) xx 
 
BOOK NOW
8-week course Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
Eight Wednesday nights @ The Lagan Weir, Belfast City Centre, beginning 17 October. £350 if early bird.

Such life enhancing and transforming course as Whitney Houston sings in one of her greatest hits: 'learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all'. Unfortunately most of us were not taught how to do this, but the good news is we can learn and it does make a huge difference.  These 3 hours every week are often my most favourite.  Fabulous course. 
BOOK HERE
 'The Work' retreat
'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 you're 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
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Workshops still only £20
My 27 May workshop will mark my fourth year of continuous monthly workshops at Maitri! Each workshop is standalone you can come along with no experience or as an old hand. You can even bring your (older, sensible and can be relatively quiet for 2 hours) kids with you! June's workshop is on Father's day so why not treat your dad?! 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. All welcome. Future workshops are on 17 June, 22 July and 19 August.  Check out my instagram for a wee video of the last group :) 
BOOK NOW
Mindfulness for life or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Eight Tuesday nights starting - 16 October @ The Lagan Weir, Belfast City Centre. £330 if early bird.
This classic course is the one to do to really learn about the power of mindfulness - you will surely feel the force of the practice. Click on the link to see the January group. It really is suitable for everyone no matter what background you have.

A wonderful day's retreat is included plus the 8 nights and a file of notes and resources to practice with. To read what more previous participants thought click here - testimonials finally up to date x
BOOK HERE
Mindful Self-Compassion Luxury Day Retreat @ the Culloden Hotel
Saturday 2 June - £120
This wonderful retreat day is filling up fast but there a few places left - grab them while you still can. I'd love you to join us. The Spa at the end is bonus. xx
Book now
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