Blogger Beauty h2t kindly shares her thoughts on our beginners Mindfulness course in this insightful blog…

“This post has taken me longer to write than I expected and for a good reason….. The course was actually so impressive I actually haven’t quite found the time to try and put it into adequate words. I think I was allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the sheer wealth of information and insights I had picked up over the weeks that I was attempting to try and succinctly summarise the whole process into one post. However when I stopped for a moment and actually put some of my learning into practice, I realised that was not what I was needing to do and I that I was being hard on myself which was stopping me from completing what I wanted to do- How is that for demonstrating what The Wee Retreat has taught me??

If you have been following me over on instagram you will have hopefully seen my weekly updates about how I had found the course, and some of my thoughts on what we had been discussing each week. I was so touched and encouraged by the feedback that I have received from many people who have been interested and intrigued by some of the stuff I have covered and its been so rewarding to hear people sharing their own thoughts on some of the topics with me.

So instead of going over all the ground again and attempting to condense such a fantastic course into this one page, I am instead going to just let everyone in on how it has made me feel. Before I went along to our first week I was in a strange place, I was coming to terms with my new life as a first time mum, someone who wasn’t at work and still wanted to get a million things done a day but couldn’t. I had lost a lot of myself in the process and was making no time to do something for just me and focus on how I felt. Then I took on writing about this course and each week I would go along to this open and warm group and we would tackle a different theme that Vicky would lead us through. We would try a new meditation, we would chat, we would eat cake ( something homemade each week I should add!) and ultimately I would leave with something that I didn’t quite understand in relation to my life until a few days later. Some weeks I would walk in and truly have no idea how I felt until I sat down and thought about it in a quiet space for a moment and some weeks I would leave our sessions feeling quiet and contemplative as I took the time to really think about what we discussed and how it was relevant to me. The way the course content would just ruminate in my mind as I went about daily life was really something, I loved how it quietly challenged me and allowed to feel more in tune with myself than I had in a long time.

There is something so powerful in the way Vicky has planned and arranged her courses, she helps guide you so sensitively through what can also be a challenging set of weeks depending on what is happening with you and your life right now and you never fail to leave with a thought or practice that would teach you something new. She really emphasised to our group the importance of practising mindfulness meditation through the week and it really helped me carve more time out when I could, and not just attend the course and leave again and carry on as normal. She emailed us all each week after the session to summarise what we had covered and also to set us small bits of homework to try in between sessions and it just made you feel further supported on what felt like a very new ‘journey’.

I am so aware that mindfulness and meditation can sound too hippy dippy for some, and I completely understand that preconceived idea. I think that what is so accessible and relatable in The Wee Retreat however is the totally practical angle that it provides. It is real people taking time to talk about real things, and learning to open up a little and let a new experience in. I know the whole group felt like they had taken so much from our time with Vicky and it was really inspiring to see how much each of us had grown in that time. When I first went along I know I was fearful of simply ‘failing’ at mindfulness and I love that Vicky helped me see how it is never about failing, that mindfulness isn’t something I can just tick off a list and achieve and move on and that if I stick with a commitment to myself, it can be so rewarding.

I have learned a lot about myself thanks to The Wee Retreat and it actually feels like a gift I would want to give so many others in my life. It has helped me see how hard a lot of us push and push without stopping, never letting ourselves rest or taking time to check in and see how we really feel. Taking time to attend something like this can be transformative and help you try and slow it down a little and in turn actually help you really experience life more. In the first week Vicky taught us something her teacher taught her, “Mindfulness isn’t for wimps” and do you know what this course has made me realise how true that is. I have had to face things I had clearly shelved away, I have looked at some things that I was doing previously that were no longer serving me, and It has made my address how my time is spent and why I was spending it that way. It is no walk in a park at times, but a walk SO worth taking. I feel more calm, more present and absolutely more excited about pretty much everything! I enjoy things more, and I am quicker to see when something isn’t quite right and take time out for myself. I understand now making changes takes so much time and this is an ongoing habit that will continue to help me if i commit the time to myself.

That is a large amount of feelings, emotions, and new learning for someone to impart to a group of people but Vicky does it with such ease and warmth that truly you don’t even notice it happening. She simply facilitates how you are processing some of the new ideas you are being introduced too and provides a really friendly support to your questions. She is an incredibly insightful and generous person that is so well placed to being this teacher for retreaters.

Overall I think it is pretty clear from the above that I give The Wee Retreat a hugggggggge thumbs up. I couldn’t have told you how much I would take away from the experience and I am so thrilled to know others are already considering a course in the new year- do it you wont regret it!! If you are keen to hear more about the group, Vicky holds candle light meditations regularly which would be the perfect way to give mindfulness a little go with no pressure and commitment.

The most exciting news is that since finishing my course, Vicky has secured her own gorgeous space in the Southside of Glasgow, The Wee Retreat has a new home!! A beautiful building with just the right ambiance for these courses and for people to come together to do a variety of activities, and it is right next to Crosshill train station near Mount Florida. She is holding an opening party on the 22nd of December ( between 1pm and 7) which would be a great occasion to go over and meet her and see the new home at 2 Myrtle Park. I am so thrilled she has found a place to settle, I have the feeling it is going to become a special place for a lot of people.

Thanks so much to everyone for getting so involved with my time writing about the course, it is exactly the reason I have kept this up over all these years, it very much felt like a lot of us were learning a lot together as I went.”