Archive for February, 2016

Blog: Northern Lights

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

aurora 2

I was lucky enough to visit Iceland this autumn, and even luckier to experience something I’d always wanted to – the northern lights. This is a collage of four images that sum up the experience for me.

The aurora had already started appearing over the city as we travelled down to catch the boat – groups of people were gathering and pointing at the sky, others were running through the streets with cameras and tripods.  The excitement was really building and finally we were on a small boat, literally feeling buoyant as it zipped us across Reykjavik harbour – out into the night to find the lights.

Then they appeared – a pale green arc formed over the boat in the shape of a rainbow, the engines stopped and we floated around silently watching as the arc of light expanded right overhead.  It’s hard to describe – but the top edge of the band of light started to move, swirling like sand does when a strong wind propels it across a beach. I noticed a feeling of childlike amazement as well as a connectedness with the people on the boat as we stared skyward.

The link to mindfulness for me, was something about the process we went through to see the aurora – planning, preparation, travelling, searching – all ‘doing’ or ‘striving’ activities, and the contrasting sense of just ‘being with’ an incredible experience.  I was keen to photograph the lights.. and I was just as keen to really experience them – to look through the lens and receive the images, rather than setting out to ‘capture’ or ‘take’ or strive for anything.

I feel grateful that rather than ending up with hundreds of pictures and little memory of what it actually felt like to see the northern lights – I can really remember the experience, the emotions, thoughts and physical sensations I had as I savoured just being there.

 

Thanks for reading, if you’d like to have a look at my website please click here:  http://www.northernlightcounselling.co.uk/

 

Mindful Nation UK NW Launch

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Mind in Salford is co-hosting the Mindful Nation UK Report Manchester and NW Launch in Media City on 22nd February.

Mindful Nation UK is a report published by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG) and was launched nationally on 20th October 2015 in Westminster.

The report looks at Mindfulness in 4 program areas: Healthcare, the Workplace, Education and Criminal Justice.  The group was set up to

  • Review the scientific evidence and current best practice in mindfulness training
  • Develop policy recommendations for government based findings
  • Provide a forum for discussion in Parliament regarding the role of mindfulness and its implementation in public policy

This event will bring together speakers from key mindfulness organisation, university researchers and case studies from the North West.  It is a valuable opportunity for you or an alternative representative from your organisation to find out what mindfulness is, how it can benefit both the public and private sectors in terms of well being and resilience and its benefits to service users.

The Manchester & NW Launch will start at 1pm, 22nd February, at the University of Salford Digital Performance Lab in Media City, arrival from 12.30 – see Mindful Nation UK report – Invite programme.  There are a limited number of spaces available, please contact Markus Greenwood at Mind in Salford, mindfulness@mindinsalford.org.uk or 0161 212 4880.

Speakers will include:

  • Markus Greenwood, Mind in Salford CEO
  • Singhashri Gazmuri, Breathworks CIC Program Director
  • Geraldine Thomas, Mindflow Training Ltd
  • Taravandana Lupson, Mindfulness Leadership Programmes in NHS and Kings Fund, London
  • Ruth Passman, NHS England Deputy Director for Equality and Health Inequalities
  • Tim Duerden, University of Salford Senior Lecturer in Multi-Professional Practice Studies & Breathworks teacher
  • Ken Harrison, Knowsley Borough Council Head of Communities
  • Peter Malinowski, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Catrin Eames, Liverpool University
  • Heather Regan-Addis, UK Mindfulness Association
  • Jamie Bristow, The Mindfulness Initiative Director
  • Yogesh Patel, Urmston Grammar School Teacher
  • Collette Power, Breathworks Associate & Teacher, Liverpool
  • Sylvia Daniels, Carer, Salford
  • Sue Pheasy, Course Participant and Teacher, Salford