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Email: tamsinhartley@hotmail.com

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Bringing a moment of calm to the festive season

December 1, 2019

 

How do you manage the sense of 'busy-ness' that life can bring? Particularly as we head into the festive season.

 

In a recent episode of One to One on Radio 4 (12.11.19), writer Alys Fowler has a conversation with her friend and poet, Greg Leadbetter, about what helps them survive the hustle and bustle of busy city life. Alys explained that sometimes the din of the city life is so loud, the litter is just too numerous, and there are people everywhere, leaving her feeling overwhelmed. However, gardening helps her to tune out the sirens and street noise and find the birdsong. Her sense of calm is restored.

 

Greg, on the other hand, finds relaxation through writing poetry:

 

Poetry is the answer to paying the right attention, to editing out the ‘un-essentials’ and creating space for the things of value.

 

This is the kind of attention that so often happens when someone holds a Listening Space for you using Clean questions. So, I thought I’d share a simple mindful activity taken from my book, The Listening Space: A New Path to Personal Discovery, that you might like to try. This activity invites you to head outdoors and take time to reflect on an issue that is important to you. You can do this activity on your own or with a friend. Bear with the repetitive nature of the questions. They encourage you to dig a little deeper and think more about what you are noticing each time. If you are asking the questions with a friend, try bringing different intonation to the way that you ask the repeated questions; this will help you sound curious and inviting.

 

 

Activity: TAKE A WALK

Choose a walk that you would like to take. It could be a walk around town, in a local park, or out in the countryside – anywhere that you are drawn to walking.

You might find it helpful to bring a notebook and pen to jot down the answers to the questions below as you go or record your answers on your phone.

 

Think of an issue that is on your mind at the moment. 

When you are established in your walk, pause for a moment to look around you. 

 

Thinking about this issue:

 

How does what you see around you inform you about this issue?

 

Is there anything else about what you’re noticing?

 

And is there anything else about what you’re noticing?

 

And is there anything else about what you’re noticing?

 

And is there anything else about what you’re noticing?

 

And what do you know now?

 

And what difference does knowing that make?

 

 

After the activity

Take a look at the answers you have given.

 

Were there any surprises for you?

 

Did you gain any fresh perspectives?

 

You might like to capture the essence of what you have discovered during your exploration by:

 

Creating an image using pens, paints, photography, collaging or searching for images online.

 

Creating a piece of writing in the form of a mind-map, poem, short story, or blog.

  

Remember, this is not about trying to create a masterpiece. It is about finding a way to represent what arose for you during your exploration.

 

 

What did you notice as you did this activity?

Were there any surprises for you?

 

Maybe you also had the kind of experience that Greg describes when he is paying attention in this way?

 

I’m letting my attention simply be led, but at the same time

a part of me is waking up that is normally asleep.

 

Wishing you time for peaceful reflection over the festive period.

 

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