Greetings to All:

As summer is nearing its end, the season turns to the coming of fall, back to school days, the diminishing of the light, the anticipation of the shedding of leaves and the hibernating time of winter in the wings. For yours truly, coming from the leisurely expanse of my sabbatical/retreat time from January to June, I am back into planning, teaching, and counselling.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Retreat Day and classes at Source Point this summer and they provided me with a wonderful sliding into the “back to work” mode. I find the challenge of staying with my practice of “following impulse,” to be more difficult with the scheduling rather than the actual teaching and sitting with my clients which I find enriching and stimulating. So the challenge continues with paying attention to my somatic & feeling response to planning, scheduling and being “on” as teacher, guide and facilitator. The sabbatical also reinforced how absolutely necessary it is to continue to make time for myself, in my own practice, my study and my rest time. When we get busy it is so easy to slide into ways of rewarding oneself that are not particularly nuturing.

From an amazing evening with the incredibly human & knowledgeable Daniel Siegel on June 18, I was struck by how many practices promote mindfulness, which Continuum certainly does. So much of my practice for myself in January was in this vein – following impulse, paying attention to my somatic responses with curiosity, love & compassion & without judgment. As one does this with oneself, it then extends outward to others. Seigel himself came to this awareness through his psychiatric work with families.

Seigel spoke to the importance of relationships in mindfulness – to the interpersonal attuned mind. The social circuit of the brain is the regulatory circuit and social circuits are thicker in mindfulness practitioners. Practice generates a state of mindful attention in the present moment and promotes the integrative, transformative growth of the brain, those functions being primarily in the pre-frontal lobe of the brain. In addition, there is evidence of healing of a variety of clinical conditions with mindfulness practice as well as increasing the immune system and the neuroplasticity of the organism, the ability to shift & respond to changing context.

I leave on Saturday to join the amazing “Miss Em” for her “Moving Medicine” workshop at Hollyhock. I plan on extending my time on Cortes Island for another week of dipping into the retreat & playtime space at our cabin on Gorge Harbour.

With love & blessings, Doris


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