May/June edition of The Tyne Valley Express magazine:
I’d like to begin this edition by thanking those of you who contacted me following the last article I wrote about my rescue dog, Nessie (‘Joy’, March/April). Your kind words were much appreciated, especially so because shortly after publication little Nessie died. We had 10 wonderful years together and although I miss her terribly, I’ll try to remember everything she taught me about living in the moment and appreciating life’s simple things. As such, thank you, Nessie, for showing me how to love and to love life through every day simple joy – the recognition of the places in life where all points and purposes stop.
It had always been my intention to launch my new community wellbeing initiative in this edition of the magazine, and therefore, in honour of Nessie – I invite you to read a little about Joyful Simplicity.
What is Joyful Simplicity?
Although the term 'wellbeing' has proliferated in recent years, just what do we mean by the word? We live in a world where busyness is increasingly the norm. A world of scrolling news feeds, smartphone apps and social media all chattering away for our attention. An overcrowded, manic-paced consumerist-driven world of instant gratification that gives more choices than ever before, but leaves many of us feeling stressed, anxious and time-deprived. I believe that it's helpful to take a step back from the auto-pilot of daily life, press pause for a moment and create a space to reflect on what really matters. What matters for a kinder, gentler way to wellbeing for all: for ourselves, for all sentient beings, and for the world all around us. Some years ago, I decided to press that pause button and reflect on the busyness of my own life, and by trying to live kindly, gently and sustainably, I've come to find a quiet contentedness and joy that I'd like to share with you. Through community workshops and 1-to-1 coaching I’d like to help you to cultivate a way of living that brings wellbeing and happiness through making simple, sustainable and compassionate lifestyle choices: a joyful simplicity.
Joyful Simplicity brings to the Tyne Valley a series of independent workshops on wellbeing, happiness and sustainable, joyful living. All workshops include TED-style talks from experts in the field, the opportunity to reflect on your own personal experiences and partake in welcoming, safe group discussions over tea, coffee and biscuits. If you would like to pre-register for any of these events please get in touch to be added to the mailing list for details and registration dates.
Saturday, June 16th 2018: What is Wellbeing? Corbridge Parish Hall. NE45 5BQ. 10am-1pm.
***SALE ENDED - do re-register when we run this workshop again!***
What do we mean by 'wellbeing'? What actually makes us feel well? What is eudemonia and why does it matter? Society seems to place an increasing emphasis on materialism and what you show to the outside world. However, mental health issues are on the rise, with more and more of us feeling disconnected from others and ourselves. What do you think really enhances a sense of wellbeing? How connected are we to our inner values? When are our happiest times in life and how can we nurture this? In this 3-hour workshop you'll have the opportunity to listen to TED-style talks by experts in the field of Positive Psychology, reflect on your own personal experiences of wellbeing and partake in welcoming, safe group discussions over tea, coffee and biscuits.
Positive Psychology Practitioner Training: Learn to become a Positive Psychology Practitioner. An in-depth training course covering Levels 1-3. Includes topics such as resilience, mindfulness, positive emotions, engagement, relationships and meaning. Designed to help you cultivate simple, effective, proven practices to improve mood and quality of life for yourself and others. This course is a great introduction to Positive Psychology, helping you become familiar with practices for personal use (Level 1) and/or for passing on to others (Levels 2 & 3) Begins with Level 1 where no experience is necessary. Offered in small group format over a number of days during the 2018-19 year.
Your Authentic Self: How can we find peace with ourselves just as we are? We live in a culture which increasingly emphasises the significance of our online, 'edited' identities, exacerbated by social media and the feeling of being 'on' 24/7. Many of us are introverts who feel overwhelmed in a world which seems to celebrate extroversion. We make social comparisons and then are filled with anxiety when we feel we don't fit in. In this workshop we'll explore these issues and ask how we can help ourselves feel more equipped to press 'pause' on the culture of constant 'betterment' and be happy with ourselves just as we authentically are. You will have the opportunity to explore certain tools that can be used in difficult times to nurture personal resilience and self-care.
What Really Matters in Life? In this workshop we bring together themes connected to wellbeing, happiness, compassion and living a mindful, joyful life in connection with ourselves, others and this planet we all share. An opportunity to come together to reflect and explore questions such as: What is 'happiness'? Why does it matter? What do we feel really matters in life and what should we prioritise as a society? Should we focus more on mental health rather than wealth? Includes a moment of mindfulness meditation, personal reflection exercises and TED-style videos from two experts in the field followed by facilitated group discussion.
Authentic Mindfulness: An Introduction: What is mindfulness? An introductory workshop to explore the thinking and roots behind this increasingly-used concept, listen to a TED-style talk by an expert in the field, find out how mindfulness can help you and others, and the opportunity to practice some short mindfulness practices yourself in a safe, friendly space. No experience or prior knowledge required.
Connectedness: Part 1: How connected do we feel to others? What impact does this have on our happiness and wellbeing? Do some people feel the need to be connected more than others? Are there practical things we can do to enhance our relationships and what exactly do we mean by Emotional Intelligence? In this workshop we'll consider the importance of having good connections and ask how we can encourage a culture which values more authentic connectedness and empathy with others. You'll have the opportunity to listen to a TED-style talk by expert in the field, Brene Brown, reflect on your own experiences through personal exercises and partake in welcoming, safe group discussions
Connectedness: Part 2: What it means to be connected to ourselves. What does intrapersonal connectedness mean and why is it important? What is the difference between being alone and being lonely? Why is solitude an important part of self-care? An opportunity to hear the views of experts in the field of wellbeing, reflect on your own personal views and experiences, and partake in a welcoming, safe discussion
Wellbeing & Work: Is there too much focus in our society on defining people by what they 'do' for a living? What do we mean by 'success' and 'achievement'? Can we really be happy at work and how can we create happier workplaces? In this workshop we'll explore these questions, consider the importance of personality differences and preferences for working, explore creativity and hear a TED-style expert view. You'll have the opportunity to reflect on your own experiences through personal and take-away home exercises and partake in a welcoming, safe group discussion.
Pre-registration available online for the above forthcoming events.
The aim of 1-to-1 coaching at Joyful Simplicity is to help you make simple, sustainable adjustments to your life in order to live in accordance with your values, to find meaning and purpose in the small, attainable things in life, and to feel more in harmony with the world around us. Using my own professional and personal experience, I can help you find joy and wellbeing through evaluating aspects of your life and helping you to make changes which are affordable, attainable and in harmony with what you feel matters most. It's too easy to get caught up in the 'treadmill' of negative news, social media, materialism and feeling like we constantly have to be 'switched on' and busy. I offer my clients the opportunity to talk about their feelings in a non-judgemental space in order to reflect on their lives. Together we can work on simple, realistic and bespoke 'actions' to feel happier, more joyful and peacefully content with your life. For more information: www.joyfulsimplicity.co.uk/coaching
simplify ~ appreciate the little things ~ spread kindness ~ spark joy ~ a quiet contentedness ~ a sustainable happiness ~
Joyful Simplicity: A Kinder Way To Wellbeing
For more information: www.joyfulsimplicity.co.uk
Workshop enrolment: www.joyfulsimplicity.co.uk/workshops