Viewing entries tagged
#Mindfulness

Comment

Serendipity featured on my intuitive vision board

6017cf2e-f385-48e1-bba7-6dd6d463b1f3.jpg

I recently took a random call from a good friend with a random outcome.

Four days later I’m flying to Dublin for the weekend, all expenses paid, as a kind of tour guide!  I'm to discover the hidden gems of Fingal on the northern shores of Dublin during a music festival in honour of Séamus Ennis, a genius for his uilleann pipe playing. 

The craic
On arrival I am to be collected at the airport.  One hour later my male escorts had still not showed. That’s because they’d gone to departures! That's Irish right?
 
I was taken to nearby Skerries, a charming fishing village where I enjoyed my first taste of real Guinness in a fisherman's pub that has been looking out to sea forever.   I took a photo of the charming boats. I ask you. Do you see any resemblance to the image on my vision board I’d created 11 months earlier when a trip to Ireland was completely off my radar?  A lovely example of precognition.

5a589e13-2962-47e9-a598-ee78cb845d21.jpg
2d0f32bd-a735-41ec-8d19-f7f90ef70b92.jpg

That’s my daughter there too if you’re wondering.  She plays her part in this mystery.  Back home when I’d contemplated this section of my vision board, Denmark kept coming to mind.  I’d even thought I might go to Copenhagen but hadn’t got around to it.  Celine, on the other hand, did - this summer! Not that she’d planned to do so when I’d pasted her up onto my board next to the colourful boats.  Curious isn't it?

It also transpires that Fingal is historically linked with Denmark because the Vikings decided to land here.  I also learnt from the Irish organiser she has a sister living in Denmark, and suggested I might visit her.  The plot thickens....   

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering where you might go next year, come and make a vision board with me on 25th November and all will be revealed.  I’ll show you how to side-step the conscious mind and engage with the unconscious through active imagination and access this extraordinary intelligence we all have but so seldom tap.

More 'Irishness' to follow....  
 After Skerries I was dropped outside my hotel to chill. At check-in the owner asks for my name but says the only reservation he has is for Mary and Jerry.  “I really don’t want to share with Jerry,” I said smiling, “I want my own room.” 

At this point it’s clear I’ve been dropped off at the wrong hotel - and this one is full. I then sit tight to wait for the men to return (2 ½ hours later) to take me out to dinner.  I kept myself entertained listening to the gorgeous Irish brogue and their wonderful sense of humour, while the owner plied me with drinks and snacks on the house. The meal that followed in an ancient pub was fresh and delicious.

Next day, I’m required for a family fun-run.  However my lift is late fetching me and by the time we arrive at the fun-run, everyone has run off and the school hall is empty.  The two of us decided to walk part of the course and pass the lead runners on their way back yet apparently I am still required to give away the prizes. 
 
‘It put the heart crossway in me to hear it’ as I’m introduced as “Mary, who has come all the way from the London Athletics club to support this event.” I look just about the least athletic among them, especially as I didn’t even manage to run the course.
 
We’re on the road again, destination Fourknocks.  This is awesome - a Neolithic site that predates Stonehenge, yet we’re the only people there.  The key to this ancient burial mound resides with Eileen down the road and if you don’t get on the right side of her, she won’t let you have it.  There’s no charge.  No supervision.  Just the four of us under the ground, marvelling at the abstract art painted on the interior walls 5,000 years ago.  

ce24fbe2-463e-4577-9092-b7e8e58b4e3e.jpg
8a304d95-f834-45bf-897c-169fc1cd62c6.jpg

Afternoon tea follows in a lovely artistic café.  Then to round it all off we’re at the music festival in the pub listening to pieces that Séamus Ennis would have been proud of.  A 15-piece band spanning five generations of musicians, the youngest about eight.  

31699cdc-0010-47a0-aa44-8582b69b5205.jpg

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

#visionboard #arttherapy #creativemeditation #imagination #activeimagination #seeintofuture #desire #intentions #creativity #empowerment #mindset #goals #hope #dreambig #planning #gratitude #positivity #possibilities #motivation #progress #inspiration #creativity #intuition #visionary #emergence #mindfulness

When my hostess finally left me at the airport (she didn’t entrust this to men this time), my flight is cancelled due to fog.  No more flights that day so Aer Lingus kindly put me up in a comfortable hotel and treated me to a splendid dinner.
 And since I had to wait 12 hours before I could fly home, I’m also due a £200 refund too.  I think I should invest this in a flight to Copenhagen don’t you - and follow the signs.

Comment

Comment

A Message From The Gods...

65c4bcea-378c-4e57-80f0-821f98c60ec3.jpg

In Greek mythology, Asclepius, son of Apollo, is the God of healing and medicine with his daughters, Hygiea and Panacea, as cohorts.  The remains of his largest healing sanctuary is at Epidaurus in the Peloponnese and there’s another accessible site on the island of Kos.

In ancient Greece when a person had lost their way and their health was out of sorts, friends and family packed them off to one of these sacred Ascelpion sites.  Exhausted, bored, grieving, discouraged... whatever their symptoms the underlying motivation was always the same: take time-out or burnout.

62a2646c-76df-480b-9910-ac706b0d3db7.png

By night, resting in the innermost temple of Asclepius, the seeker would await the transformational dream that would change their life.  Non-venomous snakes also shared this sacred space with them and that's how the two entwined serpents has become our symbol for medicine.

I like to think there are similarities between the Asclepion experience and my Soul Alive Retreat which also gives people space to regroup and re-balance. I use creativity, mindfulness and somatic arts to awaken the active dream state and we don’t wait until nightfall to receive messages from the gods. Oh, and I leave out the snakes!

Why enter this dream state anyway?  Because this is where we gain new perspectives, innovative answers to insoluble problems, and can dislodge habitual behaviours.  By accessing this right side of the brain we avoid our over-dependence on the rational mind, which keeps churning out the same-old ideas ad infinitum hoping this time around they'll provide the answer. 

0032d59d-1ba2-431b-a34d-a1b22ae219a9.jpg

I've secured the exclusive use of a beautiful villa near the sea for next year's Soul Alive.  It's situated on the southernmost tip of the Iberian peninsula, where the Mediterranean sea meets the Atlantic, in the lovely Andalusian fishing village of Tarifa. 

Take a look at the Tarifa slide show and I hope you'll be as enthused as I am. Besides the fully-facilitated retreat, the facilities include both indoor and outdoor studios and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.  Get your body moving, what!  But if rest is what you need most then there's plenty of time and space for that too.

bc1f694c-508e-4ca5-b2fe-7ee0855db7a6.jpg

The 6-day retreat starts Sunday 6 May 2018 in the morning and finishes Saturday 12th May 2018. The weather should be perfect then for both inner and outer exploration and the hillsides covered with wild flowers while the beaches will be empty.  

I like to host small group retreats to ensure everyone receives plenty of personal attention to help bring about the necessary shifts this time-out together can deliver. Here's one woman's experience of Soul Alive this year: 
 

"I had no idea how deeply exhausted I was when I went on Mary’s retreat. At the beginning of the 6 days I actually felt stressed-out at the thought of being away for so long, it was hard to let go. By the end of the week I was feeling very different."
 
"I really enjoyed the combination of self-awareness work and having trips out to the surrounding beautiful areas, somewhere different every day. The fact that all the tours, the workshop facilitation, accommodation, food and transfers were included in the price made it feel like great value."

"Mary had a light touch in all this and spending part of each day out and about meant it never got intense. Nevertheless all of us did go deep; like me the others led busy lives and never gave ourselves time to take stock and reflect.  Mary’s experience and training in dealing with the strong but helpful emotions that sometimes came up meant we all felt safe.  It was a very supportive group, with a lot of wisdom and solidarity."

What you get for your money:

* A beautiful en-suite private room or shared en-suite room - your choice

* All meals including some dining out in Spanish restaurants 

* Airport transfers to and from Gibraltar airport 

* 5 movement sessions before breakfast (optional)

* 5 mornings of somatic arts workshops with group/peer coaching

* 5 afternoon excursions to explore the natural beauty of the area and absorb the Moorish/Andalusian culture (optional)

* On-site massage available as an extra

* Dolphin/whale watching is an optional extra.

* Pre- and post-retreat coaching check-ins to prepare for and integrate the retreat.

The retreat package is £1,700 (private room) or £1,500 (shared room). Flights, UK transfers, and travel insurance are on top.  

If you're feeling adventurous you might tag on some extra days to visit wonderful nearby towns like Seville, Cadiz, Jerez, Malaga, Granada - or hop on a 30-minute ferry to Tangiers.
 
I’m taking reservations for Soul Alive already so please indicate if you might be interested.  Email mary@marynonde.com or text/call me on 0782 7017188.
 
Hasta la vista…. Mary

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

Comment

Comment

Vive l'amour

ce6e4c7e-d88b-4e81-a713-8448758b7a83.jpg

I bade a silent farewell to Le Presbytere - the 15th century property that seems always to welcome us with open arms, located as it is on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail.  This year's Retreat received a good omen even before I left Heathrow.  In ordering breakfast at Pret a manger, I distracted the server by chatting to her and she forgot to include the coffee.  When I came to pay she said "there's no charge".  Bemused I sat down and looked at my receipt which said:  "Joy giveaway".  Whether she was called Joy or it was the name given to this discretionary giveaway, my admiration for the brand went up a notch.

This year in the Tarn valley the weather was unseasonable HOT for June.  The swimming pool provided a welcome respite after a morning of reflective practice through somatic movement, creative arts and writing, enjoyed under the trees in the garden with the air full of the fragrance of roses in full bloom. Here's one woman's experience who is an HR Manager:

"Mary did a great job to try and meet everyone's individual needs.  The surroundings were just fantastic and I loved being with such wonderful, wise women.  I will never forget my time there.  What it has done for me, to coin an awful phrase, was to lance a boil.  And boy, oh boy did that boil need to be lanced! "

 

a973456d-e204-4906-ae67-02897bc00d35.jpg

 "When I got back I felt totally and utterly overwhelmed with everything - my grief for the recent loss of my partner, my son's long-term illness, other losses and also everything that's happened at work.  I realised I was so stressed that I went to see a Doctor and, for the first time in my life, have been signed off for two weeks with "stress and bereavement reaction".  

"I am giving myself time now to really heal.  I do meditation, my writing first thing in the morning as I did on the Retreat.  I'm seeing friends occasionally but mainly giving myself the space that's so needed.  The Retreat therefore was the tipping point for me to really focus on healing me."

During one of our daily late-afternoon excursions (this one to beautiful Albi), I sat in the palace grounds overlooking the river while the group visited the Toulouse Lautrec museum. 

d0aa7ee2-7217-4ae0-aab4-fc6aed2ac776.jpg

I was gobsmacked because that's exactly what we were doing on this Retreat as adults and delighted to learn this reflective practice is already embraced by young students across the pond.

A young American student came to sit beside me and got out a small watercolour set and started to paint. She had been given 40 minutes downtime to sit in silence and to reflect on what engaged her attention in the moment and to capture the essence of this on paper. She was from a special creative school in Boston and this was normal. 

02ba98ed-7148-4d80-9f8b-5cf0c66af7d6.jpg

After six days of this heavenly lifestyle, I put the last remaining guests on the little train back to England (lol) and headed directly for the Languedoc coast in the black 'limousine', now a little over-sized for one person

a92e1561-b2e0-4b93-a449-63bfacbc9556.jpg

Once I spied the sparkling sea, I took a sharp right turn onto the A9 and headed for Collioure close to the Spanish border.  It's a very picturesque, historic harbour town encircled by a ring of mountains with a beautifully preserved castle and church, both on the waterfront. All the beaches are within walking distance, plenty of very good cafes and restaurants to choose from, and there's an abundance of artist and artisan shops to browse. 

As I sat sipping my cold beer in a beach bar on the first evening, I watched as a woman in her mid 70s arrived on the sand.  She was wearing full bikini briefs and a lacy bra, which restrained her copious breasts.  In full view of cocktail hour drinkers she took delight in spraying herself with water, graceful in the way she moved while her flesh bore all the marks and veins of a life well-lived.

e300e2e2-c6dc-4b96-a215-1f46657b37dc.jpg

She wasn't the only older person enjoying the sea at this time of day.  The hours before sunset seem to attract all those for whom the sun is too bright during the day yet the water now at it's warmest.  It was a delight to behold.


She was however the only older woman to be photographed as she gracefully emerged from the sea.  A man in his 40's had also appeared on the beach brandishing a camera.  "Oh", I thought, "how lovely he's doing a photographic study of the older woman's body!" Then he put a towel around her shoulders and patted her dry.  "Oh, it's his mother", I thought "what a tender gesture that is!" And then they kissed on the lips...."Oh, ....!"

It was his turn to strip off, his body virgin-like in comparison to hers.  She held his camera as he hobbled over the stones to the sea, shivering as he took infant steps into the water, meeting the sea with resistance whereas she had met it with joy.  He lasted three minutes and she was waiting for him with the same towel to pat him dry. 

There must have 30 years between them and they were obviously in love.  Vive la France for being so liberal-minded in matters of love.  Vive l'amour.  Perhaps I should move to France to increase my chances.  

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

Comment

Comment

Little-Known Feng Shui cure revealed

d826fb93-d726-4150-b923-b5f46bc7b8d7.jpg

Think of the room in which you regularly work or where you go to get your personal administration done. If it’s at home it’s likely to be your spare bedroom, which you share with the Christmas decorations and the toys the children have out-grown.  Sound familiar? 

Typically the desk faces the wall and the door is wide open behind you.  There’s probably a bed in there too with the ironing on it.  How motivated are you to get to work in here?  How easy is it to stay focused when it's not set up for business? 

If you work in an office consider a typical room you might congregate in for meetings. There are stark white walls, it relies on artificial lighting, it receives no fresh air and already smells stale from the previous occupants who, by the way, have also left their debris behind. The table is a long rectangle occupying the centre of the room with chairs crammed underneath it and there's just about enough space to circumnavigate the edge.  I'm reaching for the Anadin already ....

Now let’s take a peek at the main open-plan office.  How many people can you see with their desks facing the wall like they've run into a dead end - and with their backs to one another.  That's disengagement played out right there.

Meanwhile the rest of the gang are likely to blown around in the middle of the room like dust bowls, never sure from one day to the next where they’ll land in a hot-desk culture.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that morale is low and staff accused of being unproductive.  The company will never get the best out of its people in this way. 

5d79d5f0-daeb-47e0-9161-504c78d83edf.jpg

Some of us are fortunate enough to start our working day on a life-enhancing note.  On the way we pass by green fields, we see trees, hear birds - all of which lifts our spirits if we raise our head long from the mobile phone.  A 10-minute walk around the block can achieve the same effect if we work from home or do the school run on foot.

Contrast this with the mad dash to work in the rush hour, partially underground to arrive at offices that are 15 floors up and look out onto a concrete landscape.  In this instance the company would need to work extra hard on the interior using Feng Shui methodology to create a space that feels more natural and healthy in which people can thrive. 

One of the operating system of Feng Shui is concerned with creating balance between the two opposites -  ‘yin’ (the feminine) and ‘yang’ (masculine).  When an environment is disharmonious – whether it’s a room or a whole office block – the people working there will not function well.  The company is paying for their salaries and a chunk of this is going straight down the drain in reduced effectiveness.  

Whether it’s through good quality lighting, a humane arrangement of furniture, the introduction of a water feature, enriching colour schemes, healthy plant life, inspiring artwork and accessories - or a combination of all of these and more - by paying mindful attention it doesn't take much to create a more harmonious environment that’s conducive to work in.

6a11e1c6-cb8c-444c-ac54-5d977685faf6.jpg

I walked into an architectural award-winning office block once to do a Feng Shui consultation with an image consultant in tow, only to find the two receptionists wearing woolly cardigans.   She wanted to go straight up to them and sort them out.  I asked her why she supposed they had a need to dress like this in such a prestigious building.  She didn’t know.  So I took her on a quick tour of their high-tech environment through Feng Shui eyes.

The reception desk was like a tiny island floating in the middle of a vast open sea exposed to the elements.  Right opposite, where the two were seated, were large impressive, revolving doors.  While these were energy efficient and minimised drafts, for the women it was like sitting in front of a wind turbine and very disturbing.

Right behind them were two sets of lift doors, opening and closing constantly.  As the front line of the business, no wonder they felt vulnerable and exposed and needed to add 'yin' layers in the form of woolly cardigans to feel safe and protected.

The surrounding area in which they were seated could be described as very 'yang' – with strong angular lines, lots of harsh natural light and steel supporting structures.  The Feng Shui solution to obviate the need for woolly cardigans was to relocate the reception off to one side, to introduce softer, curvaceous lines in their desk area, utilise large healthy plants to screen the reception desk and warmer, softer tones to define their working area.  

25d46023-868f-4b2f-9c22-7784c24dc43e.jpg

The seating area for waiting visitors was also exposed and needed similar treatment in order that visitors could arrive, feel welcome and relax.  

The purpose of a Feng Shui assessment is to enhance the quality and quantity of chi (life-force energy) in our living and working spaces.  For so many of us who are deprived of any natural experience during working hours, we risk returning home more depleted than we should be.  After a few months of this, along with the lack of protection from electromagnetic stress that saturates a typical working environment, can leave us wired and frazzled.

When the environment is clean, clear and vital people respond by feeling happy, motivated, productive, creative and engaged.  Absenteeism and staff turnover are minimised.  Clients and stakeholders enjoy visiting. The company becomes a magnet for success.  And the same goes for the office at home.

That's why Feng Shui makes perfect business sense even if it's difficult to pronounce!  
And why there's always room for a woolly cardigan as a stand-by Feng Shui enhancement.

Harmonious wishes to all, Mary

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

Comment

Comment

What everyone needs to know about the value of "NO!"

a6e533f8-8cb3-490c-834a-f1998a0d8b45.jpg

What everyone needs to  know about the value of "NO!"

Have there been times in your life when you’re doing too many things out of a sense of duty only to find yourself over-burdened by the complexity of the juggling act you are performing?  Or perhaps someone else you know springs to mind?

Rather than be able to take these responsibilities in your stride and gain some fulfilment from them, there's a point where it all becomes too much.  Big chunks of life are consumed in this way if you’re not careful.  Don't I just know it!

Tangled up in blue
I went through a period like this once that lasted for five years.  I became very adept at putting my significant other's needs ahead of my own in order to maintain the status quo while my owns lay languishing. Why? Because I was afraid of the uproar that would ensue if I didn’t - and the consequences of it.  It’s a weak reason I know but I didn’t know any better at the time and I was enslaved to the situation.  I kept myself busy so I didn’t have to face up to the fact I was being emotionally bullied and manipulated, trapped in a classically co-dependent relationship.  This realisation had not escaped my body however.

0aa06502-eb98-4897-96ee-d28e0d2fd707.jpg

I suffered from insomnia.  I got run down and regularly picked up colds, verrucae, fungal toe infection – all signs that my immune system was depleted. As I became increasingly dis-empowered by the situation, my confidence sank to an all-time low and my self-esteem plummeted; I no longer had a sense of who I was or where my real strengths lay. 

Why illness is the consequence not the cause
Medical studies have shown that when we suppress a “no” in favour of a “yes”, we go against ourselves and this is a form of self-attack.

37620afa-2b41-446d-a78c-082aa300fd5e.jpg

One of my teachers, Anna Halprin, an experimental dance-movement pioneer, discovered this while working with HIV/AIDS patients.

With their immune system compromised by HIV, their body was not able to defend itself sufficiently from infection and she found how difficult it was for them to say “no” in other areas of their life. 

She worked with patients using therapeutic dance-movement to strengthen their boundaries and help them express a clear “NO” and a convincing “YES”, with every fibre of their being.

This helped them to manage and sometimes reduce the number of infections they caught.

Stepping of the merry-go-round
That’s why I enjoy so much to help people find their genuine “YES” – their real passions, desires and motivations. 

When I was caught up in the web of co-dependence, the biggest obstacle was my logical left-brain.  It controlled my thinking and provided me with all the rationalisation and justification I needed for sticking with the status quo.
 
I needed to find a way to by-pass this voice and create space in my body-mind so that a deeper, more wholesome wisdom could get through. This proved difficult when my constant immersion in the detrimental situation prevented me from having access to an alternative viewpoint - so I kept going around in circles.  Now I'm able to recommend people find a moment to step off this merry-go-round by attending one of my workshops or retreats, which would have helped me greatly had I been able to do so.

4139507b-f837-4c21-9416-43b6ccd74b14.jpg

Taking downtime
When you take time for yourself along with a suitable guide what it is you need for your sanity and vitality comes sharply into focus.  I use reflective, creative enquiry to help you identify the people, places, and activities for you to welcome in with a resounding “YES”.  With this awareness it will become even clearer when you need to say “NO” as well. 

You won’t find this clarity while you continue to drill away at the coalface.  You’re much more likely to keep on drilling as I did and end up dead on your feet - and we don't want that.  

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

Comment

Comment

Feng Shui - ancient practice or New Age nonsense? 

8729dda9-a294-4045-9f48-de1e2e366e6f.jpg


I’ve been a Feng Shui practitioner for 21+ years. I qualified just before I became pregnant with Celine.  In the early days I used to take her around with me on jobs strapped in a sling.  One time I left home so fast to bundle her in the car that I forgot to put a nappy on her and had to wrap her delicate regions in my scarf. Tra la la ...

I'm very passionate about this ancient, universal practice and I'd like to share some of the wisdom and common sense behind it.  If I had my way I'd rename it living mindfully because it makes such an important contribution towards leading a healthy, wholesome life - a far cry from New Age nonsense.  

e9d9f8e8-7cc2-4659-9329-2d4bbe741ee1.jpg

Going with the flow
We're all familiar with the expression going with the flow, which is about adopting the path of least resistance. When we embrace the flow, things seem to miraculously fall into place and our lives evolve with less effort. 

 

When we go against the flow, other symptoms are instantly recognisable: we get sick, feel exhausted, and lack direction.  If this continues, we risk depression and burnout, which are increasingly evident in our frenetic world. 

Part of the flow solution requires significant changes to our lifestyle.  Another approach is pay closer attention to the spaces in which we spend most of our time. Living and working environments that are clunky and don't promote well-being, make additional demands on us - physically, mentally and emotionally.  When homes, offices, gardens and any sub-set of them are going against the flow, similar symptoms to those described above can affect the inhabitants.  Enter the dragon ...

c6b3f34b-3659-4374-a478-9d57af89e583.jpg

Good chi
Feng Shui is a practical and metaphysical tool used to promote health, wealth and well-being by improving the quality of our environment.  

At the heart of this practice is the recognition of chi or qi (life force energy) which moves invisibly through space and knowing how to cultivate it to our advantage.  There's a similar principle at work in practices such as Acupuncture, Yoga, Reiki, Tai Chi,  Shiatsu, Qigong, - the purpose of which is to open the channels (meridians, chakras, nadis) in the body for chi to flow more freely so that chi can reach and refresh all parts, like Heineken. 
 
When we neglect our homes and offices thinking we have other more important things to do, then we miss out on the opportunity to cultivate good chi and improve the quality of our life. 
 
Where there are constrictions or blockages to the flow of chi - such as inappropriately placed walls, too much furniture for the size of the room, and other unconscious clutter - our task is to remove these obstacles so that chi can flow more easily.  Since everything that appears to be solid all around us is actually atoms and molecules in motion (according to quantum physicists), then everything in our environment is worthy of mindful consideration from a Feng Shui perspective.

0f54f8d5-7da2-49d2-9ee1-304d9391cc51.jpg

Wind and water
The literal Chinese translation of the words Feng Shui means ‘wind and water’ and provides further understanding of this invisible phenomenon, still considered by some to be a fabrication of the imagination.  If we could go back in time and ask a Chinese farmer 3000 years ago where he would choose to site his home and grow crops, his answer would be couched in terms of Feng Shui - prevailing winds, proximity to water, aspect to the sun, and soil quality - because all of these would affect the quality of his life.
 
Ask a gardener today the same question and he would give a value judgement which included similar considerations.  To do a good job, both farmer and gardener need to be mindfully aware of where their land is situated in relation to life-sustaining elements.  The rest of us don't typically know and yet we are still at the effect of these all the same, even though we spend most of our time indoors.  

Suitably located wind and water delivers good chi - and most primitive cultures knew this and worked with Feng Shui in one way or another, although they each had their own name for it. The wisdom is therefore ancient, universal and timeless. 

Feng Shui for all
I would argue that our lives are lop-sided when we don't pay more attention to our relationship with the environment in which we are unfolding.  Feng Shui is not a philosophy since it encompasses many practical tools and techniques.  It's not a religion although some may consider it part of their spiritual practice.  It's not recognised as a science since its principles have not been proved by scientific method, although an electron microscope could reveal a thing or two about matter that appears so solid.  

I went to work for a scientific establishment both in their London and Monaco offices.  They had no problem at all understanding why management had employed a Feng Shui consultant to help them improve their business.

Feng Shui is an art - and when applied wisely can enhance our living and working spaces so that the life force energy that envelopes us works for us rather than against.

May the flow be with you.

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

Comment

Comment

Force of Nature

0de726fd-7fc1-4533-99a0-5f6b6176babd.jpg

I love the forthrightness of this quote from the great Irish playwright who is also described as being a polemicist (I wouldn’t mind being one of those when I grow up).

 

I totally subscribe to his point of view.  I believe each one of us is here to make a very special contribution to the whole that only we, with our unique personality, set of predilections and skills, can do.  Finding that something - or combinations of somethings - that fires us up and gets us out of bed in the morning after a night of not-enough-sleep, is a life’s journey. 

While it’s the easier and safer option to indulge in hedonistic pleasures in our time off, these alone will not deliver the deeper fulfilment and purpose to our lives we secretly crave.  We need to balance hedonism with the quest for eudemonism - both Greek like Feta.
 
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one.”
 
George Bernard Shaw's point about “being recognised by yourself” holds the key here and not what others might think about your title or position.  You could be the CEO of a company with all its attendant trappings and still not recognise yourself for who you truly are at heart.

c4a26403-9fe3-41ea-9244-9ca8868d1559.jpg

I remember once facilitating a group of CEO’s to make their Vision Boards.  We’d got to that moment in the proceedings when I was cruising around the room to view the near-complete visions.  I approached one man; middle-aged and overweight, the successful owner of a large software company. 
 
To my surprise he had placed a Tango-dancing couple in ‘close embrace’ right in the centre of his board.  I looked up at him as I blurted out the obvious:  “They’re dancing Tango!”  And then I saw the man’s eyes were filled with tears as he mouthed back:  “Yep, that used to be me once.  I was a very good Tango dancer and teacher and I’m a million miles removed from both now and it’s hurting; I must do something about it.”
 
Compare this scenario with the office cleaner who has mopped up for the same company for the past 30 years.  She works her hours around home and family.  She takes pride in her job, creating a sparkling environment to welcome staff to work the following day.  She travels to and from the office out of rush-hour and has no issues with parking.  She's her own boss and left alone to ruminate or listen to the radio uninterrupted as she labours.  Another true story, by the way.


I ask you, which of the two is more fulfilled?  Who has found a ‘mighty purpose’ by their own definition?  Then ask yourself sincerely:
 
“What might I too be doing if it wasn’t for:
the money
the security
the ‘job title’
the family
out of habit
other plausible reason?

0c59bf7e-de57-4d25-a95e-b730d01cb3c9.jpg

You owe it to yourself to feel deep within your heart that your presence is worthwhile and your purpose on the earth is a mighty one.  Life is all too short.  And for the sweet privilege of being alive, I invite you to take whatever steps you need to take in the direction of ‘being a force of Nature’ and find the courage to let yourself blossom.  

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

#visioning #imagination #empowerment #breakthrough #inspiration #mindfulness #yourcalling #authentic

Comment

Comment

 Too much to do and not enough time? Five good reasons to favour a Retreat

Retreat.jpg

A client was musing-out-loud recently and touched on something that resonated with me and possibly is true for many of us.

"I have too much to do and not enough time.”
“But when I get time, like on holiday, I can’t sit still for long because I want to explore where I am."
  

“It's just occurred to me the kind of ‘free time’ I really need is contemplative time just to be still and with my own thoughts and to take more notice of what's going on around me."

"I'd need a specific environment and particular conditions to provide me with this kind of free time.”
“So a holiday is not the ‘free’ time I need.  It's something else... like your Retreat!”

 

Yes, there is a big difference between taking a holiday and all the joys and pleasures it brings versus the virtues of taking contemplative time-out just for you.  

I've been running the Soul Alive Retreat  for five years now for the purpose of giving people time to themselves because:

1. You have too many plates spinning and it feels relentless  

While you’re busy spinning the plates, it’s impossible to decide which ones to drop.  Yet continuing to spin them - and more - is exhausting, especially if you’re being pulled in different directions at the same time.  

Recognising that you have a choice and deciding what changes to make is impossible when you’re in full spin  Taking time-out on a Retreat allows your head to clear and the better, alternative options become evident.

2. You're starting to snap at 'nearest and dearest'  

In fact, they may be part of the problem!  No kidding, I’ve often thought I should rename the Soul Alive Retreat “Escaping Housewives” - not that they’re exclusively for women.  It’s just that typically women leave it too long, giving so much of themselves to others; we forget to balance this with receiving - until we’re so replete and desperate to leave 'them' all to it.  

When you go on holiday with your partner, children, or friends – delightful as it is – they naturally want a piece of you so you’re still on call 24/7.  There’s no time to switch off completely and be idle and daydream with your thoughts and feelings.  On a Retreat you can.

3. You need to take stock of where you are in life because it’s been too long

Trundling along in the daily routine, there’s very little time to rise above it all and get a hot-air balloon perspective of what’s going on below.  Continuing as is, you could end up at the wrong destination before you know it.  Much better to get that higher perspective and make any adjustments now before it's too late.  

Not that any course is irreversible. It may just take a little longer to get back on track, beginning again where you are and at whatever age you’re at.  I know that one.
 
4. You've had a recent loss or change in circumstances

Hitting a wall can happen to any of us at any time – whether through health issues, bereavement, relationship problems, a career change – this is life.  The difficulty arises when you can't address this properly  because you’re so preoccupied with it, sat right in the middle of the situation.  

You cannot figure out a way through when you’re knee-deep in.   You must step back from the wall in order to come to terms with it and to receive the inner guidance you need to determine the next step… and the next.  This is the grace a Retreat offers you.

5. You have a ‘dream’ that won’t go away.  

It keeps nibbling at your ankles to get your attention and you keep pushing it to one side because it’s not convenient.  

The truth is that there’s never a perfect time to begin so why not start now.  The mind will always come up with very good reasons for you not to pursue the dream  - or to delay its start.  By going off-duty on Retreat you can see a way to begin.  You’ll also gain the support, energy and motivation to keep going.  Remember providence can move with you only after you’ve taken the first step. 

If any of these 5 reasons resonates with you, a Retreat will serve you well.  

There are many types of Retreat you can choose from but whatever the focus, its ultimate value is to restore balance, repair your sanity and improve your well-being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  When you stop being swept along by the agendas of others and start favouring your own, it's life-promoting.  

This requires longer time-out than an hour’s therapeutic or coaching session, valuable though they all are.  To make a deeper, sustainable connection to your self and to receive the powerful guidance this can provide, requires you to slow things down and slip into a more spacious experience of time and rest there for a while.  

A Retreat isn’t a selfish activity.  Returning home feeling good about yourself, empowered and confident, you have more to offer your loved ones, your work, and the world in general.  You are making a  solid investment in yourself, your happiness and well-being - and this is priceless.

If the promise of six unadulterated days to yourself lights your fire, consider joining me and other ‘blazing’ women.  

Please RSVP below or email mary@marynonde.com.   I’ll send you details about the Soul Alive Retreat in SW France, which rolls twice a year.  Set in beautiful sunshine and countryside bursting with life, this is an opportunity to be still, take stock of where you are, and arrive at what needs to happen next.

IF YOU ENJOYED READING THIS BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE ONE REGULARLY PLEASE SIGN UP HERE

#humanspirit #self-reflection #contemplation #timeout #sensuous #possibilities #mindfulness

 

Comment