16 April 2020

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In case you missed it, Emma member Claire Thompson (2005) is designing short mindfulness activities each week for us, to share with the college community during this difficult time. See Claire's ongoing series of activities.

A woman with a backpack sitting on a large fallen tree trunk in a wood, surrounded by green and white cow parsley.Permission To Rest

There can be a huge pressure, even in these times of 'lockdown', to feel like that we should be seizing this moment by taking up exciting new hobbies, projects and being productive with this newfound free time. Of course, if we feel this drive, we can go with that flow and embrace it!  But what if it were okay if we didn't? What if we gave ourselves permission not to if we don't feel like it? 

Let's remember that whatever our circumstances at the moment, this is a really difficult and traumatic time for many. Our lives have completely changed almost overnight, and our bodies & minds may have been consequently shocked into perhaps not having the same resources and energy as they used to.

So what if it were necessary to be kind & gentle with ourselves, to take the pressure off and take time to simply rest—in the company of nature? And what if it were enough for a while? Just being and belonging—alive and part of the natural world? Could there be a simple sense of peace and comfort in that? 

To support you with this, here's a 20 minute audio guidance for a mindfulness practice called "In Touch with the Earth". It's a guided resting meditation—with a reading of one of my favourite Mary Oliver poems at the end.  So this week, find a quiet spot by a window, in your garden or in a local park, lie back and enjoy!

If you'd like to find out more about Claire or expand your practice of mindfulness in nature, join the free 'Sit Spot' initiative she has set up for people to connect with nature with others during this challenging time.

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