I’m so grateful to have spent the last week in the Dutch forest, on an intensive Mindfulness Self Compassion course with Dr Chris Germer, Professor Kristin Neff, and nearly 100 other brave and kind strangers from around the world.
We spent nearly six days together exploring both the concept and experience of meditation, common humanity, suffering, pain, joy, courage, and compassion.
It was overwhelming, challenging, safe, hard and absolutely beautiful.
I went on the course lead by my interest in the relationship between fear and creativity; holding space for ourselves ‘in the room’ of our lives, and having the courage to use our voices. (Kristin’s work in self compassion was often the only way I got myself to my writing desk on some days throughout the process of writing my novel. And still, with edits.) During the intensive course I got to examine these things, but I also got so much more. Like the glorious warmth of connection and kindness shared between new friends. And, laughter; belly laughter until my guts ached. Also, the gift of being asked what I do over and again, and noticing my voice growing stronger every time I answered, I’m a writer. Plus the delight of my first five rhythms dancing experience, and on top of that, doing it with 100 people (the possible highlight being thrashing out to the Prodigy amongst our group, in one of the most serene places I’ve ever stayed).
Before I booked my place on the course, I felt such fear and doubt wondering if the cost/time/personal expense would be valid or worthwhile. Turns out it was such a good lesson in listening to first instincts. Even if it hadn’t been as deeply rewarding as it was, going along was a powerful reminder that sometimes, wherever and however possible, it’s essential to do the things that make us uncomfortable, so we remember who we are and what we’re made of.
And now… a few days in Amsterdam, my second European home away from home, with my soul sister, whose company is a curable for re-entry.
I hope this past week has been peaceful for you, wildflowers.