September 2017 Immeasurable Minds News 
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Me on the UTV
Just happily married! 

If you follow Immeasurable Minds on Instagram or Facebook you will know we got married two weeks ago! We had the time of our lives. It really was wonderful. 

I published the FULL story on my blog.  After all joy is one of the immeasurables and you can see lots of joy in our photos, there are more pics on the Immeasurable Minds Instagram feed, including lots of pics of my very handsome husband too - just scroll down.

And we're getting married again, in Belfast in two weeks time! It's very exciting but I'm afraid some of you may be sick of my wedding photos by then - sorry fair warning it's a loved up overdose at Immeasurable Minds right now! When you wait until 43 to get married you might as well do it twice and be doubly excited, thrilled and over the moon about it is my theory! :)

My husband's surname is Kaya. So from October you will see me change to Bridgeen Rea-Kaya. I'll also have a new address as at the end of next week we move house! After 11 years of living in an apartment I'll have a garden! How excited am I about that?! The gifts of married life! So lots of change happening, new husband, new name, new house, new family, new life. I'm very grateful and happy.

Of course that's not the only thing happening next week - there's my monthly Mindful Self-Compassion workshop happening at Maitri Studio, Belfast on Sunday 17 September and then my two 8-week programs start. This is the LAST CHANCE to sign-up for these courses until 2018. See below for more info.

The Video of the month is 'how to stay young!' its episode one of series shown on BBC this week. You can watch on the iPlayer catch-p. The main reason I'm recommending it is because I was very excited to see my Thesis Supervisor at Bangor University Dr Dusana Dorjee on it!  I also did the neuroscience module at Bangor with Dusana - she is so lovely. The program also features a Bangor trainer Susannah Crump teaching a participant who is suffering with a lot of stress an 8-week mindfulness course. Dusana is seen doing a before/after EEG measures on the impact of the training. The participants biological age comes down by 7 years following the mindfulness training. It's what I always say - mindfulness helps you stay young! 

This month's book of the month is 'The Book of Joy' by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu it was given to me by my wonderful new husband in November (if you scroll down my Instagram feed you can see a pic of it there), essentially it's about how joy can be born from suffering. Written by two of the world's wisest men - it's a valuable edition to any collection. I thought it was appropriate for this month - not just because of the title but because the Dalai Lama was in Derry on Sunday 10 September.

His message to those of us who were lucky enough to be there was of the importance of practising compassion - not just feeling it. He said without action it is not compassion. I felt very glad that I get to do something in that I teach others how to practice compassion for themselves in my Mindful Self-Compassion courses and workshops.

He also talked a lot about children and young people and the importance of ethics education for them, which made me feel very glad to be part of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre's MYRAID project, it's the Mindfulness and Resilience in Adolescence project funded but the Wellcome Trust based on researching showing that adolescence is a vulnerable time for the onset of mental illness: 75% of mental disorders begin before the age of 24, and half by age 15. By promoting good mental health and intervening early, particularly in the crucial childhood and teenage years, we can help to prevent mental illness from developing and mitigate its effects when it does. The MYRAID project will touch 85,000 young people across the UK over the next five years and is a HUGE initiative to bring mindfulness training to schools. It is a randomised control trail - the biggest of its kind in the world. Only 4 schools in Northern Ireland have signed up but I hope to be training at least one of them.  

It was privilege to see the Dalai again - he is a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland mainly because of his friendship with Richard Moore the founder of Charity 'Children in the Crossfire'. Richard's story is an inspiration in itself - the Dalai Lama calls him 'my hero'. Thank you Richard.
On 5 September 2017 my dear friend Debbie Ranger passed away. She was 48 years old. I'd known her from my first year in Ulster University, Jordanstown when I was 19. For 24 years she was a constant. A kind, reliable friend who was always supportive and full of fun. Debbie lived in England but after she graduated she came back to Northern Ireland every year, sometimes twice a year. She was always there for our group of uni friends. She came over for weddings, birthdays, any occasions often we got together just because the occasion was 'Debbie's back'. She even came to Ibiza for my 40th celebrations.

Above is a picture of us group of University friends in September 2016 in Spain - she is the first of the group - we are all true amigos and the loss of Debbie will be felt at all our special occasions for a long time to come. Debbie was so thoughtful. Had she been well she would have been at both my weddings I've no doubt. She was so happy for us, she saw the photos of our Turkish wedding days before she passed away and said I was beautiful.  It is so bitter-sweet even in her last days Debbie was thinking of her friends, thinking about and caring for others happiness.

When I returned from Turkey there was a wedding card from her with heartfelt congratulations and a beautiful message for us, she had asked her family to buy and post it to us. She handwrote the message even though it was difficult for her. She had already passed away when we received it. None of us know how much time we have on this earth or how long we have with our loved ones - it really is a poignant reminder to treasure every moment of this short life.

Debbie found out she had a terminal brain tumour in March this year. She suffered a lot these past six months. It was devastating. So many of us worry about ageing but it will be the lucky ones who will get that chance.

Debbie will be sorely missed by all her Belfast friends, her colleagues at Warwick University and her family, including her mum and dad her brothers Stephen and Paul and her sisters Beverly and Sharon. We are deeply sorrowed at her untimely loss. Rest in peace my dear friend Debbie.

Pictured at the end of this group is my friend Helen Blakley - it was mainly Helen who Debbie stayed with on her many NI visits. This Sunday 17 September Helen is running the Belfast Half Marathon in aid of the Myton Hospice where Debbie stayed during part of her illness. Please donate if you can. Debbie's younger sister Sharon has also set up a Justgiving page in Debbie's memory in support of The Brain Tumour Charity.

We will be attending Debbie's funeral on Monday 18 September in Coventry.

Namaste Mindfulness classes
Thursday 5 October. 
There are only 5 spots left on this class one hour six-week class. Really looking forward to getting back; I know my life will be back to 'normal' when I'm back in Namaste again on Thursday nights - it's been too long :) .
8-week course Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
8 Wednesday nights beginning 20 September 2017 also includes a day retreat on Sunday 29 October. £370.
The 8-week MSC is an empirically researched, powerful course developed by Chris Germer and Kristen Neff from the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion. Consisting of eight 3-hour sessions plus a day retreat. WARNING - you may be kinder to yourself as a result of this course, it may change your relationships in positive ways and transform your life experience. It is necessary to fill out an application form for a place so please get in touch ASAP.
New Year 2018 Mindful Self-Compassion RETREAT: Mindfully envision 2018
6-7 January - £250
I've been offering this retreat for the past four Januarys and I love it! It's a great way to start the year and helps you feel positive and full of momentum. This retreat helps you set out what it is you want and how you would like to live. There are limited places so it stays intimate and personal. Highly recommended. 
Book it
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Workshops 
The next one is THIS SUNDAY 17 September at Maitri Studio, Belfast also only 5 spaces left! I've uploaded the next four months up until 14 January 2018. Everyone is very welcome to this class it's a good opportunity to meet me in person and have chat about which of my other courses best suits you. Many people also buy a place on the course as a gift for a friend or family member - it's something different and something you can experience together! Book directly: 8 October, 5 November and 10 December. May everyone be happy and free x x
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
8 Tuesday nights starting 19 September 7-9.30pm - 
Including an all day retreat on 28 October 

MBSR is an evidence based programme that has been taught around the world for over 30 years. In recent years this course has been the subject of controlled clinical research which has found beneficial effects, including stress reduction, relaxation, and improvements to quality of life. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.

See what previous participants thought here.

I've been teaching MBSR since 2010 and it is the backbone of all mindfulness training you may be interested in.  

Only 1 spot left.
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