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The 'bus driver' is warm-blooded: integrating mindfulness & emotion 2

I wrote yesterday about a couple of 'notes of caution' when using mindfulness approaches and the "The bus driver metaphor".  I pointed out that many primary emotions & constructive thoughts help energise and direct us towards healthy goals.  I also mentioned the importance of integrating head & heart in mindfulness practice.  In today's post I want to extend the head/heart integration to include 'gut' as well, and also talk a little about the importance of sometimes using 'emotional processing' methods with some of our most persistently troublesome 'freeloader bus passenger' inner voices.

Peer groups: Ravenstor autumn group 6 - respect & friendship

It's a couple of days since we drove back up to Scotland from Ravenstor.  I blogged yesterday about the last morning of the group and I was thinking a bit about judgements and who we choose as closer friends.  I feel a bit uncomfortable exploring this issue as I don't want to be dismissive of other human beings.  However there is a valid question - do some characteristics or qualities that people have make them "better" potential friends than other characteristics or qualities do?  For me the answer is a clear "yes". 

Peer groups: Ravenstor autumn group 5 - valuing, connection & disconnection

It's "the morning after", back home, reflecting on the group that finished yesterday at lunchtime.  "Peer groups: Ravenstor autumn group 4 - nature, father-son, flow & celebration" took us up to the beginning of the group's final half day together.  This last morning was pretty compressed.  We'd agreed to meet in the full group of 34 for a final session from 11.00am to 12.30pm, with the medium-sized groups of 11 or 12 meeting from 9.30 to 11.00, and the small support groups of 3 or 4 starting when they chose to!  Beforehand we had had to strip our beds, pack and clear our rooms.

Peer groups: Ravenstor autumn group 4 - nature, father-son, flow & celebration

So the fourth and last morning here at Ravenstor.  Didn't get to bed till after midnight and was up "late" this morning a little before 7.00am.  The dawn mist is already clearing on a beautiful day with the sun's glow just beginning to emerge over the ridge.  It reminds me of dawn in the Sahara, also on a "journey" with a group of friends, 18 months or so ago.

Peer groups: Ravenstor autumn group 2 - warming up

It's the second morning.  I wrote yesterday about our arrival at this group.  Didn't get to bed till later last night and slept in for longer.  The conversations are beginning to "ignite".  As we spend more time here, get into it, hear how deeply & openly others are prepared to be, and explore going deeper ourselves ... so the little conversations (waiting for a kettle to boil, on the way to bed, in the corridor) start to deepen too.  So touching.  Lovely.  The best kind of "village".  34 of us wandering around with our hearts so much more open. 

Peer groups: Ravenstor autumn group 1 - arriving

It's the first morning of this four day, peer-run Men's group.  We've been meeting like this every autumn since 1993 - a collection of friends & friends of friends & friends of friends of friends!  I've written extensively about these peer groups on this blog.  For example, five posts on last year's group and half a dozen on the year before.  There would have been 36 guys here this year, but sadly 2 dropped out at the last minute.  We're a real mixed bag - ranging in age from our 20's to our late 60's (maybe early 70's), ranging in experience from people who have been to large numbers of these kinds of groups to people for whom this is their first experience.  There are four father-son pairs - three where fathers invited their sons, and one where the son invited his father.