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Moving with Mindfulness in the Landscape

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I walk along a near-empty beach and find my way to a black rock revealed by the receding tide.  Tenderly I lie down on my side and edge backwards so that the length of my spine rests against its face.

My body is laid on damp sand, my knees curled up in front of me and my head resting on my hands.  I drift into sleep under the watchful eye of Golden Cap, the highest point on this coastal section of Jurassic Dorset.

 

The density and stillness of the rock engenders a corresponding stillness in me so that when I awaken I am alert yet my mind is empty.  No instructions were given; the wisdom of my kinaesthetic body led me to this and it is nourishing to both my body and soul.

The harsh gaunt cliffs are like sentinels behind me, slumping their mass of black clay into the sea while fossil hunters risk their lives at the foot of them.

Rivulets of clay emerge from the base of the cliffs like molten lava coursing across the sand towards the sea. Shards of sunlight pierce the clouds and spotlight my dance across this rocky tide line.  I feel at home here.

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This is what Moving in the Landscape means for me.  A time when I experience myself most physically alive.  A time when I give my body permission to move in response to the immediate natural environment, in this instance the beach.  I have three glorious days of this ahead of me, the mornings spent in the studio in preparation for the afternoons when I am moving outdoors.

As my body finds ways to move naturally and organically in this unfamiliar terrain, I discover ways of moving I'm not accustomed to.  It’s a terrific workout for my whole body while my mind takes a break from an overloaded routine.

As my rib case expands my breathing deepens and this has a calming effect on my nervous system. My headache has cleared and my movements are no longer dictated by thoughts running through my head. I move with a new-found freedom and vitality.  I am present, centred in the very ground of my being and at one with nature.

 

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Floating around in Cork - a premonition on my Intuitive Vision Board

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I have a £800 Nikon strung over my shoulder and a JVC camcorder around my neck and I’m prayin’ to Mary that I don’t slip on the cobbled stones of Penrose Quay into the Atlantic waters while I'm here to make a video.

 Those colourful boats on my Intuitive Vision Board (top left) have been working their Irish magic again.  Only a few months ago they took me on an all-expenses paid trip to a rural suburb of Dublin as a visiting “tour guide”. This time they've led me to Cork for a week.

I’m working on a building site in a cleverly reclaimed wharf, accompanied by two engineers.  It was never supposed to be a building site but work is so far behind schedule that I’m surrounded by men of all trades doing their thing.  It’s dirty, noisy and fascinating.
 
I've never worked alongside men who use their bodies and hands each day. I'll be honest and say I held a prejudice there would be a lot of testosterone flying around and vying for position in the hierarchy.  What struck me more was the courtesy and respect shown by the men towards each other. 

The only firework moment was when a man pasting vinyl didn’t realise the touch-activated shower on the wall behind it was switched on - and it drenched him.  His swearing in a Cork accent, incomprehensible at the best of times, was really more entertaining than scarey.

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I was on my feet for 8-9 hour days filming.  So were the engineers I was accompanying to install the two float rooms.

 It went through my mind how satisfying it must be to make something and see it materialise before your very eyes, channelling all that masculine energy into it rather than just being sat behind a desk every day.  

Meanwhile I was very grateful to be able to retire to a comfortable, elegant spa hotel and peel off my dusty clothes to relax and freshen up.

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This is a float room (right) by the way.  It's a private, ambient bath tub where you lay on your back in silence, darkness too if you prefer, suspended on a dense Epsom Salt solution - a bit like floating in the Dead Sea. 

For the past three years I’ve worked part-time for the market leader selling their float rooms around the world. The UK, Holland, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Australia are the biggest markets.  I even attended a Float Conference in Oregon last year; it's a growing industry.

The people who gravitate to this business are inclined to be spiritual by nature and have a desire to foster that in others.  I enjoy encouraging them to establish their havens of floating tranquility where they can let go of all the stresses, tensions and worries of life for an hour at least. For those of you who've worked with me will know how well this sits alongside my own modus operandi.
 
How did my floating life transpire?   Just over three years ago my practice was fledgling while I was slowly emerging from the roughest, toughest period in Mary Nondé recorded history.  At that time I attended a Tango dance lesson and found myself paired with an Aussie.  When I heard he was a business owner, I asked whether he knew of anyone who could offer me part-time work.  He wasn’t looking but he liked the sound of what I could do.  No CV, no interview.  Just a month’s trial - and I've been working for them ever since. 
 
Yes, there's a woman floating on my Intuitive Vision Board below!    I made this board before the floatation company came on my scene six months later.  Up until then I'd only floated once at a Spa.  She was a premonition for sure,  alongside the three photos of the ocean and including the bed-on-the-rocks beside the sea (to dream for), and Daniel Craig walking towards me.   

So here's the craic. The floatation company I've been working for is called Ocean Float Rooms.  It's like having a bed by the sea.
And the owner has the body and stature of Daniel Craig, as far as I can tell.
 
Warm and ambient wishes, Mary

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When retail therapy gets out of hand

When retail therapy gets out of hand

How many of us have splashed out on purchases only to wish we hadn’t later?  Sometimes we’re lucky and we can return or exchange them if we’re not feeling guilty about it!  But what if this behaviour becomes more ominously compulsive?
Please read how one courageous client, Susan O, speaks candidly about how she faced up to her problem - and addressed it.

 “When I made my first vision board, things were not going well for me or my daughter; we both felt stuck in a rut and I was compensating with retail therapy.  I’m a district nurse with a full-time job looking after people - and also a single mum.” 

“One year on, I feel like a real visionary, living my life on a whole different level since I overhauled my home through de-cluttering and Feng Shui placement.  My daughter has benefited enormously too and now participates in this activity.  With her own vision board to inspire her, I have watched Laura grow stronger and become more confident every day, even taking on a job that would not have been possible before.  Having left school early because of bullying, she has been awarded a distinction at the end of her first year in college.”

“For me Feng Shui & Decluttering is applied therapy.  You’re not just sitting around talking about what you think and feel, you are actually doing the therapy on the hoof.  It’s a dynamic process and there’s no avoiding change that results unless you just stop acting on the advice.”

“When I first started de-cluttering, I became acutely aware that I’d been acting out on my home what had been going on inside me.  So the Feng Shui task became more than simply shifting pieces of furniture around.  It’s like my cupboards were the inside of my head and Mary gently accompanied me to look inside them and unpack and get rid of what was no longer serving me.”

“Every time I handled something, I touched the emotion associated with it – so over time 12 months I was shedding the layers of shame and my mindset has improved accordingly, without me having to work at it.”  

“It’s a very understated therapeutic approach yet utterly transformative and with immediate effect. Mary is a such a brilliant facilitator, non-intrusive, very allowing, not prescriptive, and with a huge sense of ethic.”  

“I enjoyed each session for the rare occasion it gave me to focus on myself.  I was enthusiastically engaged in creating a space where my vision could unfold.  I feel as though I’ve fallen in love with myself and my creativity – and this is empowering. I've noticed that this shift is long-lasting and sustains even after the feng shui session is over.” 

“I visit homes all the time and sometimes I see people who have far more than me.  I feel very blessed and fortunate because the things I have around me now I have chosen with care and placed with awareness.  And because there is so much more than before, I enjoy them even more.”  

“Before I was buying more than I needed, trying to fill a void.  I was burdened by the bags of shopping which created extra stress for me when I got home and had to find somewhere to put it all!”   “It’s been so cathartic.  I could never go backwards now.”

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