It is a truly lovely day on the island and I have just retreated inside for a break. We are outside planting our willow cuttings which has tripled our potential crop. We have plans to plant even more in the next week or so. Our first crop last season was just so beautiful and the islanders loved their island grown wreaths for Christmas. I made all the cuttings while George and Max planted and Pete found heavy stones to weight down the garden fabric.
I then disappeared into my tunnel to carry on sowing seeds. You can keep up to date with what we are doing on the smallholding on the Seasonal Speak page.
When I am in my tunnel I am truly in the zone. I feel completely at peace when I am beginning new plants because they always promise so much. This ability to get into a zone was the nugget behind my course Meditation through Writing that I offered for the first time last year. The aim was to create some meditative exercises that encourage an inner sense of peace and calm allowing the mind to become free from every day stresses and worries. I very much wanted to link those exercises with writing exercises as a way of making sense of the meditations. This analysis then provokes extended meditation and the pattern becomes clear.
Lots of people have asked me to say more about the course as it is due for a repeat run in March. The mechanics are easy. Every month your course module drops into your inbox and your explorations begin. You can do as little or as much as you like and you can study in your own time and place. Many of the meditative exercises are about decluttering the mind and training it to focus on simple, peaceful and life affirming thoughts. In the decluttering comes a degree of cleansing and I think that is a vital element of the course. Learning the skills to declutter and cleanse our minds is an investment in our own happiness. Happiness is generated from a feeling of contentment but contentment is not easy to achieve. We live in an aspirational world when the next thing is the thing that becomes important. In that type of world we lose touch with the moment as our minds are either bogged down in the past or skyward in the future. Nearer places allow for contentment.
A journal is the methodology that supports this course and it becomes your best friend as you work your way through the different exercises. The course is heavily influenced by the seasons and there is plenty of opportunity to get outside in a bid to re-appreciate our natural environment. This informs the mind in a unique and completely compelling way.
There is a strong creative element to the course and this is not restricted to writing. There are many ways creativity filters into course and students can take these moments into new directions as they like. I am available by email to support and, last year, it was a complete honour to see just how well students began to place meditation as a daily practice capable of revealing so much. Beyond that the quality of the writing was clearly influenced by the meditations and, as minds became untangled, the writing voice became much stronger. Developing a unique writing voice is not easy but I could see how the course worked its own magic and the feedback from the students was so humbling.
So, whether you are interested in establishing mindful meditation as a life habit and/or interested in developing your unique writing voice this course is for you. For me it is the space between meditation and writing that is so completely fascinating and I think there is a more advanced course brewing on the edges of my own mind just at this time.
If you are interested in the course I would love to hear from you and we can chat. If you would like to book a place just visit the courses page under the Store tab and you can see how the booking process works. Payment can be made monthly which allows you to spread the cost over the duration of the course which is six months.
I am off outside again to take some photographs of our hard work. It is lovely to keep a photographic record of all we do on the smallholding.
Speak very soon. xx