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Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing

“ Example has more followers than reason. ” - Anonymous

In the 1970's I taught yoga and several different types of meditation.  In the 1980's I began teaching courses in Autogenic Training, a form of deep relaxation/meditation.  I continued running Autogenic classes for about 25 years.  In addition to the relaxation/meditation exercises, the teaching also covered several other life skill/stress management techniques.  For a much fuller description of these eight session courses, visit the Autogenic Training section of this website.

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. 

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