Waking up to Springtime

1 February 2023

Mindfulness Outdoors Experiences

Thank you!

Thank you all for spending this special time together on our latest Mindfulness Outdoors Experience at Altamont Gardens, Co. Carlow.  The feminine force of Brigid-Brigit-Brighid – goddess, saint, poet, protector, healer – was truly honoured together. 

As we took time to practice increasing our awareness and connection with ourselves, each other and the natural world, we enjoyed space for quiet, deep mindful listening and heartful sharing: 

  • We welcomed the slow beginning of Springtime, tuning in to our ancestral connection to the celtic cross-quarter festival of Imbolg that falls on these early days of February.  The 100 species of snow-drops on this land, offering us symbols of hope for ‘brighter days’ ahead and yet also reminding us of the bitterness that may be here too. 
  • After some body warm ups inspired by the energy of water and the bear emerging from hibernation, who turns and pushes down, we practised mindful breathing, grounding and gratitude as we entered this land that many more-than-human beings call home, and acknowledged our ‘visitor’ status. 
  • With mindful walking, we ‘sauntered’ and ‘savoured’ with the senses.  We explored up close the intricacies of the flowers, catching the limits of such focused attention  and appreciating a widening of our gaze and a soft attention as we reached the vast lake, dug by 100 in the Great Famine times. 
  • Wandering into the ice-age glen, meandering with the flowing sounds of the stream,  we awakened to the present moment through our sight, sound, smell and touch.  
  • We continued to drop our disturbance and increase our awareness with a shared silent walk, each step an arriving and a return to our home of the present moment. 
  • Moving into our ‘sit spot’ amidst ancient rocks and oaks, we cultivated a collective and deepening stillness, as we opened to the movement all around, 
  • We continued our downward steps to enjoy a riverside wander, greeted by the song of the robin amongst the hazel catkins, before climbing 100 steps carved in granite.
  • We moved on to sit together, under the call of the buzzard, sharing the poetry of Becky Hemsley. Our council circle practice with stories of our time ‘on the land’ today, made room to honour this deeply moving and honest morning together. We delighted in each other’s delights and discoveries. We offered compassionate witnessing to difficult moments, noticing the time it takes to allow ourselves to drop into being and how clear seeing of mindfulness opens the heart in unexpected and unplanned ways. 
  • We closed our time together with gratitude, honouring connections strengthened today and appreciation for each other and all who continue to make space to live strong feminine values, so deeply needed in our world.

Sharing here the poems and words I included on the day.

Feedback is also welcome on your experience of our time together.  You can click on the button below to bring you to an online form where data is gathered anonymously.

With much joy and gratitude for a special time together.  May this morning serve you well and inspire your future wanders outdoors.

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Breathe

From Talking to the Wild,  A poetry collection by Becky Hemsley

 

As we embrace our new public holiday, perhaps we might be inspired by Brigid to find creative ways to honour and connect to the feminine force in our lives?

Here’s some inspiration from stories told from local elders as part of the Schools Collection of Stories from the 1930s:

“On St. Brigid’s Day the people used to hang out a piece of cloth and that was said to cure a sore throat. In olden times the people used to leave a piece of bread in the window and that was said to cure any sickness. On St. Brigid’s night the old people used go to the field and catch a sheep and pull a handful of wool and leave it on the doorstep on St. Brigid’s night and when they had a cold they used wear it and it used to cure them for the round of the year. In olden times the people used leave all the animals out on St. Brigid’s Night. It was said that none of the animals would die for that year. There is a stone in Knockrow (Knockroe) and it is said that St. Brigid used eat on it. It is about ten yards in width and there are some letters cut on it and there is a track of a saints’ foot on it. On St. Brigid’s Day people used to go and leave things on this stone in honour of St. Brigid”.

Collector Luke Hayden Informant Mrs L. Hayden

www.duchas.ie

What Clients Have to Say

Thank you Sheena for guiding us through the woods in such a deeply connected way. I loved the sauntering pace that allowed space to notice the woodland around and the invite to engage in our senses. I felt calm yet energized after spending the morning at your group. Can't wait until the next one!

Thank you so much Sheena for a wonderful morning - really enjoyed it and will certainly take plenty away from it and use in our walks in the forest.

A total treat; a wonderful morning of NOURISHMENT!

I look forward to our final session in this block, Thursday 20th April at Jenkinstown Woods, Co. Kilkenny.