February 2017 Mindfulness News 
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Me on the UTV

Love your wee self!

It's that time of year again 'hallmark' day is coming up! If you're in a happy relationship you may feel pressure to impress or spend lots of money on roses or gifts. If you're  single you may feel pressure to get a date or may feel left out believing everyone else is getting cards, roses and gifts. It's crazy how we allow arbitrary dates to dictate how we should feel or how or when we show our love....

So this year why not do something radical and choose to use the constant heart and 'luv' reminders everywhere as prompts to send loving kindness to yourself! It's only by loving ourselves that we can really love another - I think I've mentioned this a few times before - but we need to hear it over and over again as it's so counter-cultural. All the other messages say love is outside but actually it does start within.

Every month in my Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) workshop (and on my 8-week MSC course) I am helping people to do it. This month's MSC workshop will focus on how to love yourself. Self-love is not selfish nor self-indulgent. People who love themselves are naturally more loving to everyone around them. So when you learn how to love yourself you will simultaneously love others better too. :) 

If you can't make Sunday's workshop (it's almost full up) Kat Farrents from Movement for Modern Life suggests '5 ways to fall in love with yourself this valentine's day'.  Or you may like to read this 'meditation on gratitude and joy' from Jack Kornfield or from the great teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on 'romantic and true love'.

My Immeasurable Minds blog got hacked this month and I lost my last few blog posts... Such a shame! But it was probably my fault as I had been neglecting it... So I updated it and wrote a helpful post on how to give yourself a 'self-compassion break'.  Really helpful if your just not sure where to start with self-compassion or self-love. Get it here.

If you are single and feeling lonely this valentine's day - please don't give up hope! You never know when you will meet the person who is right for you. I was single this time last year and now i'm all loved up and very happy - we met not long after valentines last year. Some advice:
1. Everything has it's own time. Be happy now (as best you can!), don't expect a relationship, a person or any material thing to make you happy.
2. Be kind to yourself. I'm sure my practice of mindful self-compassion helped me to 'be ready' to be in serious relationship.
3. Have fun! Valentines night can be 'mates night' instead of date night!

Video of the month
I'm short for time so i'm making this one minute video my video of the month! (Still from it pictured above) It's the launch video for my year as Centra NI's mindfulness ambassador. I'm really proud to be part of the #LiveWell and #LiveTodayNI campaign for Centra because it's covering all aspects of wellbeing including fitness and nutrition. I'll be working along side fellow ambassadors Jane McClenaghan (for nutrition), Johnny Davis (for Run Together) and Shane McGuigan (for fitness). You can read the official announcement here. Look out for our pics and tips in your local Centra store. There's more to come and i'll be sharing everything on my social media over the next few months. So like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and see me on Instagram. :)

Quote of the month

"If somebody doesn’t begin to provide some kind of harmony, we will not be able to develop sanity in this world at all.

Somebody has to plant the seed so that sanity can happen on this earth."

—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche 

Namaste Mindfulness classes
Thursday 2 March
The day Northern Ireland goes to the polls is also the day this NEW 6-week mindfulness practice course starts. It's still only £48. Please book early as it always sells out in advance and I've always people asking to join once it's full. I don't operate a waiting list because I'm not organised enough to manage one! So just go ahead and:
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
4 April 2017 - still only £330
Another chance to study this gold standard mindfulness course with me. If you are interested in 'proper' mindfulness training this is the course to do, it's REALLY important that your teacher is properly trained. Always ask who the teacher is and what training they have done. Many people are teaching mindfulness without having studied or practiced formally. The UK (and Ireland's and America's) best practice guidelines state that teachers should have studied the subject on a formal course for at least one year.  They should have their own practice and attend retreats and they should be in supervision for their teaching. This is a minimum standard. Just ask - are you UK registered? The above pic is a screenshot of my listing on you can go there to find a teacher. My MBSR testimonials for past few years are listed here. Read more on or get in touch directly or 07981623566.  
8-week course Mindful Self-Compassion
3 May 2017 - £370 (£350 if booked by 7 April).
Definitely the nicest and kindest course I offer, the current group doing this course are very happy they decided to do it.  Some see it as a kind of 'post-grad' from the 8-week MBSR, but prior meditation experience is helpful but not necessary. Book early to secure your place - word will spread!
The Cave Hill pic above is my most popular ever on Instagram a record 94 likes! :)
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Workshops 
The new year MSC workshop was completely sold out and the special 'Valentine's' workshop with an emphasis on self-love  12 February is close to full - so book quick!  If you miss it the next ones are 5 March and 2 April in Maitri Studio, Belfast 
Themes for these workshops will be announced soon.
For the first time on 18 February I'll be in Santosha Yoga Studio, Lisburn, I always enjoy teaching in new spaces :)
Love-ly treat!
Saturday 25 February, The Culloden Hotel, Co. Down - £120
 *Luxury Amenities *Rejuvenation & Relaxation 
Time well spent. This sums up a retreat. Even if you only have one day you will feel so much better, recharged, revitalised and ready to take on the world! To quote from an attendee at my most recent retreat in January: "Thank you what a truly wonderful weekend!" Fiona. Read more of my retreat testimonials here
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