This year I imagine many of us had placed great expectations on the Summer months to fill us up, and, in some way make up for, much of what has happened since March 2020. Did the Summer meet your expectations? And how are you feeling now about crossing the threshold into Autumn? I spotted some ripe blackberries the other day and, while they offered a beautiful feast for my senses, I got a bit of a fright at the thought of Summer being almost over and not enough done! Instead of letting the ‘panic’ set in, I sat and reflected on how I have been spending my Summer. While, for my own personal reasons, and maybe for some of you too, Summer 2021 will not go down in memory as the best of times, instead of writing it off in its entirety, as we can so often do with an experience, maybe we can look for the diamond in the rough. When I did reflect over the last few months, I found many, many, moments of love, delight and friendship to savour.
Special memories included floating in the warm sea near Courtmacsherry, camping in Caherdaniel, early-morning and late-night swimming at Lough Hyne, walking to Baltimore Beacon at sunset with visiting friends, eating 99s with my father, walking and river swimming in Drimoleague, there were so many memories to choose from. So very often, it is the simple things that sustain us, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. And it doesn’t matter ‘how much’ we do, what matters is that we are there for it and not already planning the next thing! If we can be present with these precious, ordinary moments and soak them up, they can rest snugly in our long-term memory, there to revisit any time at all.
As we make the gentle move from one season to the next, it might be worth reflecting over your Summer, taking a few moments now to appreciate the people, places and activities that made it feel special. Perhaps also taking a few moments to cultivate acceptance for those difficult times, those moments where patience and tolerance were required. Let’s set an intention for ourselves as we begin making the annual transition from Summer to Autumn, even if it is one word that comes to your mind now, a feeling or even an image, ask yourself “What is my intention as I move towards Autumn?” My own intention is to plan my work mindfully, with care, balance and attention, leaving plenty of space for self-care, for loved ones and some room for new opportunities. These lines from the wonderful poem ‘Hold Out Your hand’ by Julia Fehrenbacher come to mind as we step over this next threshold, into this new September, together. ‘Life is not a straight line, it’s a downpour of gifts, please— hold out your hand.’
My Autumn schedule of classes is taking shape and, being a Castlehaven native, I am very happy to announce that I will be offering a range of in-person mindfulness classes and workshops, both indoor and outdoor, at Myross Wood House, now home to the wonderfully inspiring Green Skibbereen and CECAS team.
An online mindfulness based living course (MBLC) will begin on Tuesday evenings, 7-9pm, from September 21. This eight-week course includes an in-person full day silent retreat, an optional introductory session and a follow-up session. A course manual and full set of guided meditations are also provided. Please get in touch for more information if you are interested in participating.
My online meditation sessions via Zoom run consistently on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm, please do consider joining in, whether you have tried mindfulness meditation before or are new to it. These small group sessions are personal, down-to-earth, informal and donation based. Individual or group sessions are also available.
If you need any support to begin or to deepen your meditation practice, please feel free to get in touch. For more information on upcoming workshops and courses please like my Facebook page (Mindhaven) or feel free to get in touch by phone: 087 2700572 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.