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March 2019 Immeasurable Minds Newsletter
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March-ing joyfully into 2019
Hello! I know it's been a while! My start to the new year has been derailed by a number of things going on in my life. The good news is I have been keeping up my classes and it’s been great to see so many of you old and new students in person. If it’s been a while and your missing my newsletter please check out my Instagram/Facebook where I post every couple of days. I really appreciate those of you who’ve told me your missing the newsletter! Thank you. :) 

I reached my five year, full-time Immeasurable Minds business milestone in January (see pic above!). It seems amazing to me that I'm now in my sixth year of full-time business. I just never thought this far ahead! On the 17 January 2014 I finally got the courage to go to my boss and resign from my job in the Civil Service. Giving up a guaranteed income, with a pension, holiday pay and sick pay was no mean feat. I am SO very grateful for every person who has attended any of my events and kept me going this past five years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It has been a huge privilege.
 
I had and still have no idea where this journey will take me but for me that’s the fun part. :) Sometimes I would really like more security and to know that I will have X amount of people on my new course in April, but life has a way of working out. That’s one thing I’ve discovered. I just have to keep remembering that! After all in life nothing is ever certain, even when you have a full time secure job.

If we can accept the age old truth of impermanence that 'nothing is certain except death and taxes' it may actually help us enjoy our life more. To appreciate what we have when we have it and to let go when it goes. A lot of our anxiety and suffering is caused by wanting to hold on to things that we can't (like the good old days) and by trying to push away things we don't want (like bad weather). If we can just accept the present moment for how it is, a bit more often we do actually become happier. Mindfulness practice helps us do this.

I get inspiration for my practice from all sorts of places. Most recently it’s by Marie Condo on Netflix. Marie is such bundle of joy and it’s just amazing to watch how her philosophy of tidying up has such a profound effect on people’s lives. Watch the show and let me know what you think!

I post a quote every day on the Immeasurable Minds Facebook and Twitter (social media is the best way to follow me in-between newsletters there's also my Instagram and blog) recently the most popular quote was this one from Marie: "when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”  
Who knew tidying could be so insightful!

Some of you will notice I'm no longer running my monthly Sunday morning workshops at Maitri. BUT the GOOD NEWS is I am now running monthly Sunday AFTERNOON workshops at Namaste. You'll be surprised how good you can feel after two hours! The March workshop will focus on practices for anxiety. Comments from the February workshop “Thank you so much I just feel so much lighter now.” “Really loved it, thank you.” See pic of the happy loved up people below.

If you really want to TREAT yourself this March (and don't forget Mother's Day on Sunday 31st) I have a mindful self-compassion LUXURY day in the 5-Star Culloden Hotel, which includes a SPA pass. I have a small number booked so far and I'd love you to join us in this really wonderful self-nourishing day.

I have the sense that now 'mindfulness' in the collective consciousness has reached saturation point and most people have an ‘idea’ about what it is. Yet most people don't really know what it is and they haven't actually experienced it, they may have read about it but honestly it’s not the same thing as practising it… The transformative power of mindfulness needs to be experienced personally... 
 
I’ve just updated the ‘mindfulness for organisations’ page of my website and included some recent feedback from people who’ve attended training with me through their employer. For example from local office of insurance company Aviva: “I really enjoyed the session and was surprised how comfortable I was taking part in the exercises and discussing my issues in a group environment.
Hearing what others are going through also gave me a renewed empathy with my colleagues and I will be more aware of this in the future.
I would say that a big part of the session being so successful was Bridgeen’s personality and presence. She really made me feel that I could really immerse myself in the experience.’
 
From an Extern employee who attended a recent tailored retreat: “I loved the whole experience in beautiful surroundings. Tutor was lovely, gave me time to think reflect and be very thankful, being quiet was amazing. I gave it a go and got so much out of it. After the first day when I went home, I was so content I slept like a baby, also not bothering with my phone was easy on my mind. Would defo recommend would love to do it again.”
 
See more like these on the organisations page. I am always happy to come to your group or workplace. Currently I'm teaching two 8-week mindfulness for life courses (MBSR) in Belfast and Dungannon for the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) that I won by tender back in August (it takes a while for these things to come round!). I’m also looking forward to giving a talk at Church group and for a local caring organisation next week. Just drop me a message if you would like to discuss options for your business or organisation.
 
Some recent posts about mindfulness in the media:

You may have missed this? Prime Minister Teresa May talking about how great mindfulness is! 'we all need a bit more mindfulness!' 'reduce human suffering and increase human flourishing!' If you’re interested in this training I offer the SAME course (MBSR – which I’m also teaching for VSS) available in Parliament, here in Belfast - next one starts on 10 April - details below.

You know it’s gone mainstream when the Royal's are doing it: Prince Charles urges doctors to prescribe yoga for health and Prince Harry meditates every day as inspired by Megan!
 
If you go to the media page of my website you’ll find more like this. You’ll also see links to some of my work in the media.

In December I was interviewed by awesome (and very impressive) local company ProfileTree about my teaching mindfulness and self-compassion – watch the YouTube interview here over 2200 people have already!!

One very popular post I shared on Facebook was about the dangers of fake positivity and spiritual bypassing. I teach people to ‘look for the good’ and ask the question 'What's not wrong?' But this doesn't mean we don't acknowledge suffering when it is present. We need to take time to acknowledge, rest and be with difficult things in our life. Doing this means we don't allow difficult things to overwhelm us or colour all the aspects of our life. This article is a warning to us to beware charlatans in the spiritual world and to question what we read and who we get information from. Another reason I always emphasise going to recommended and properly qualified teachers.
 
Although I always like to emphasise the positive in this newsletter and on my social media (because I think there is enough negative stuff out there!) that doesn’t mean that my life is perfect or that I don’t make mistakes and experience suffering like everyone else. Mindfulness teachers are human too. Difficulties happen to everyone and it’s important to have trusted people in your life who you can share these things with.  It’s also important to have practices that help you process them.  Mindfulness practices are really powerful in helping us to deal with our difficulties be that grief and loss, PTSD, depression or anxiety (my March workshop will focus on practices for anxiety) and even just day to day bad weather and annoying colleagues and family problems. More and more research on mindfulness is proving just how powerful it can be. I urge you to sign up to a course when you can.

Every week I get emails from people who want to teach mindfulness. In many cases these people haven't even practiced meditation before! (Over 30 people including nine high-school teachers who have completed 8-week courses with me have gone on to teach mindfulness as part of their work). I wrote a blog post about it. Our society does need more mediation teachers for schools and workplaces and to support our mental health, but they should be properly trained, qualified and actual practisers of what they are preaching. My blog post ‘so you wanna be a mindfulness teacher’, tells you the pathway to become a properly qualified mindfulness teacher.
 


I’m sure you heard? Sadly the distinguished Pulitzer Prize winning, wonderful poet Mary Oliver died at 83 years old on the 17 January this year. The popular American poet's poems inspire mindfulness as she describes moments in nature and moments of beauty in the kind of way that puts into words the inexpressible. The sort of experience that mindfulness practice induces. I really love her work and use her poems regularly in my teaching. Her poem 'Wild Geese' has been credited with saving lives... I advise you to investigate her work. Here I give you the poem I read most often in my classes. 

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver

Book of the Month: The Itty Bitty Gratitude Journal.
This book is by local company The Itty Bitty Book Co, if you've been in St George's Market, Belfast over the past six years you may have seen them or bought one of their inspirational postcards (unfortunately they are no longer attending the market). Now they have these beautiful, practical little journals (see pic on my social media) that have the power to transform your life! I've talked about gratitude a lot in this newsletter. It is such a powerful practice. I now have these books with me at my classes only £6 for one or two for £10. You can also buy them for the same price directly from the Itty Bitty Book Co website. One of my students on my Thursday night Namaste class bought one for herself and one for her son who lives in Manchester. They 'What's app' each other, each night about their entries - so feel good, and so bonding for them!  And if that's not enough, for every 40 sold the Itty Bitty Book Co will give 40 FREE to a local school. In fact, if you know a local school who would benefit from this, please tell them to get in touch with Astra via their website. 

TEDx of the Month
Do you love an afternoon nap? Or are you too busy? In this talk Sarah McKay tells us the importance and benefits of the 20-minute power nap. Hold my calls...Zzz
 
Thank you!
Due to the generosity of all of you who attend (or didn’t attend but donated to the cause) my Namaste Christmas Charity night in December in aid of Action Cancer, we raised £236. There’s a picture on my social media if you want to check it out. Thank you so, so much, it was a lovely festive night and it feels good to give xx
 
Namaste mindfulness experience class 
Thursday 18 April

This 6-week mindfulness experience class sells out every time so it is necessary to book in advance. Drop-in is not available - unless you've done it before and text me first. If you've done it before you're welcome to attend again :) The class is suitable for total newbies and those of you who already know how to practice but appreciate the support of group practice (pro tip: it's always easier in a group). xx 

Namaste Sunday afternoon Mindful Self-Compassion workshops 2-4pm
Sunday 24 March - focus on dealing with anxiety
Sunday 14 April - Easter Special
Sunday 12 May - Special?

These workshops are so popular and enjoyable. Some of the participants on the February workshop are pictured above, it was a self love special and we all loved it! For March I'm going to focus on dealing with anxiety as its such a pervasive issue in our society and mindfulness and self-compassion practices are uniquely qualified to help!

I'm open to ideas for the April and May workshops - what would you like me to focus on? Please get in touch! Email me on mindfulmind@outlook.com xx
BOOK HERE
8-week course Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
Eight Tuesday nights @ The Lagan Weir, Belfast, beginning 9 April. Plus a day retreat. £350 if early bird by 22 March.

This course is not for the faint hearted and I do prefer if you have done my 8-week MBSR or similar training before you apply. To go to vulnerable spaces and places in our life and heart is not easy. It takes courage.

I facilitate this course to give you the space to do that and along the way you gain huge insights and knowledge about self-kindness and compassion. A really amazing and life changing course.

The picture above is from amazing local company Profile Tree who I did an interview with about Mindfulness and Self-compassion back in December. You can watch the youtube video here

Please get in touch for an application form if you wish to do the course.
BOOK HERE
8-week Mindfulness for life / Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Eight Wednesday nights starting - 10 April @ The Lagan Weir, Belfast. Plus a day retreat £320 if early bird by 22 March.

This is the course they are offering to MPs and Westminster staff. This course will enable you to meditate, it will give you tools for dealing with stress and anxiety, it will enable you to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. It will also give you increased capacity to concentrate, to remain calm and be more confident!

I've used a picture here of me before I gave a talk to the She Said Club in Belfast in November (with my two beautiful friends Roisin and Helen - see more pics in Local Women magazine here.) Mindfulness practice really does help me personally be more confident and able to address large groups of people from all walks of life. Im sure I wouldn't be able to do it successfully if I didn't know how to practice to calm and centre myself.

Read what others thought of the course here. If you are interested do get in touch for an application form. I'm always happy to discuss to. 
BOOK HERE
Mindful Self-Compassion Luxury Day Retreat @ the Culloden Hotel
Saturday 30 March - £120

Come and nourish yourself with gentle mindfulness practices, delicious food, like minded people and some special self-care. And of course time in the beautiful spa at the end of the day.  Guaranteed to leaving you feeling great!

Photo of roses are the beautiful ones my husband bought me for Valentine's day. (I wrote a post about it here.) I'm so lucky he is so good but I also like to treat myself to a spa day too, we don't have to wait around for other people to be good to us we can treat ourselves!

I can't wait to be back in the Culloden. I have to say do love a self-care day - please join me! xx
Book now
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