Blogger Beautyh2t shares her insights into week 2 of our Mindful Parenting course…
This week @theweeretreat mindful parenting class was all about beliefs. We spoke about the pressures and demands of being a parent and how sometimes this pressure is fuelled by certain beliefs that we might hold (often without even noticing!). These come from so many different areas such as our own up bringing, society and culture, and other parents around us, and we spoke about how often these beliefs are just there but we don’t question or challenge them and forget the element of choice that we can apply..We managed to pinpoint our own examples of a time where we might not have been the parent we would like to have been in a situation and about what belief was present in that moment. Frustration with sleep patterns for example and how maybe acknowledging the belief that is causing the pressure might not actually be necessary at all, or how we can tweak that belief in terms of time scales just to turn the pressure down and make it easier for everyone. It was really fascinating to see the different examples around the group and everyone having light bulb moments. You could really sense the difference the conversation could make going forward for people and how we all realised that we are so busy just keeping on, that we forget we have choices all the times and can make changes.. Just a glimpse of the kinds of discussion we manage to squeeze into 90 mins while still fitting in meditation and tea and cake ? What a relaxing and beneficial way to spend a Friday afternoon!
Blogger Beauty h2t has joined our 1st Mindful Parenting course at our new premises and we’re thrilled she will be sharing her insights via her weekly blog… here’s week 1!
“I was beyond excited to see the new home of the Wee Retreat and boy was it worth the wait. Vicky has created the most beautiful spot to bring together an impressive array of practioners offering some amazing services under a calming, comfortable and functional space. It is perfect for a group of us to come together to try out Vicky’s mindful parenting course, I had week one just before the weekend and will be sharing the mini updates as I go over the next 4 weeks with you…
For the first session we introduced ourselves to each other and learned a little bit about why each of us wanted to do the course. It was reassuring to hear that we all have such similar reasons for doing the course and the same struggles as each other with raising little people and it felt really encouraging to have that group support. It’s a small and diverse group of people joining in which will be helpful in sharing our experiences as Vicky leads us through the content and I am so keen to get into it. I know it’s going to give me some vital tools to carry with me in the coming years to help me be the kind of parent I would like to be… So stick with me on here and I’ll be updating with a full review post at the end.”
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.”
I felt a lot of emotions going into week 8 of @theweeretreat. The emotions in particular are less imortant here than the fact I both felt them and could acknowledge I was feeling them as I walked in. Now if that doesn’t instantly tell you I have taken a lot from the course I don’t know what else will! For some that might seem something that should be a given, but for me it is an observation that means quite alot.
I will be doing a proper summary blog post shortly on my whole experience, but for now I just wanted to finish up my little weekly diary. Today we summarised what all we have looked at over the course, and we reflected on the changes it has meant for us. It was so nice to chat through the different ways we have interpreted the content and how we have been applying it to our busy lives. We learned more about how Vicky came to structure her courses and the huge amount of work she has put in to ensure retreaters get as much from it as possible. Her passion for making sure retreaters get the most from the course is really inspiring. .
Words that resonated me in this past week were from the song in ‘A star is born’
Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?
I might not be knocking back the booze or narcotics like Bradley Cooper in the film, but to me the line made me think of how tiring it can be to just always be moving, keeping going, not stopping and not acknowledging how I feel. @theweeretreat has absolutely shown me how exhausting keeping that pace is, and how beneficial it can be to slow it down, get to know myself and be present in my own life. Its weirdly been like I have been going on a date with myself every Saturday these last 2 months, and boy have I learned alot about me.
#theweeretreat #mindfulness #meditation #astarisborn #glasgowreviewed #lovingkindness #beherenow
Week 7 of 8, it has gone in so quickly @theweeretreat, but at the same time it feels like a lifetime after all the things we have covered and how far I feel I have come personally.
This week was all about compassion. We spoke about empathising and understanding others pain as well as our own. We spoke about how easy it is to try and fix whatever it is someone is feeling when that is not always what is needed. Maybe trying to fix it is easier to do than accepting that someone else might be feeling sadness because that in turn is painful for us? It is definitely the same with myself, it is easy for me to jump to the practical aspects of a problem and ignore the emotional which is refreshing to realise.
The ivy in this week’s photo is because I felt invigorate after this weeks session and headed home to do work in the garden, a job I have put off for well over 6 months. I laughed as I once again tackled the ivy that climb all over the fence as I realised it was a lot like emotions and the things we have spoken about over the course. I can just ignore it and let it pile up and up, until eventually one day it takes the fence down. Or I can pull at it, cut it all back and repeat that time after time and get frustrated as it regrows, but really until I get to the root of the cause ( hello my neighbours garden….) it’s never going to go away. I do love how the retreat travels with me through the week and pops in and out of my thoughts. Some weeks I just simply enjoy and absorb the topic as we chat and it doesn’t all start to develop until I get home and process it all, it is pretty amazing where all it crops up.
#mindfulness #theweeretreat #glasgowreviewed #meditation #compassionatemind #glasgowsouthside #selfcare
Curiousity | this week’s theme at @theweeretreat and something that really spoke to me. We looked at being curious about our emotions and walking towards them, allowing ourselves to explore them without judgement or fear.
We discussed how easy it is to simply ignore what we are feeling for many reasons; incase we can’t cope, incase we don’t like them or because we don’t ‘have time’. But what If we just tried to sit with whatever we are feeling and explore it a little, even if it makes us uncomfortable? We chatted about what happens when you ignore emotion for a long time, instead of letting it live, over eating, over working, over drinking, take it out on others, keep ourselves busy – masking them can take a lot of forms.
I likened it to that drawer or cupboard of crap most people have. You stuff more and more in and the thought of clearing it out feels exhausting or unmanageable, but one day if you don’t it simply won’t close anymore or it bursts open and then it really does feel overwhelming. However, when it is all cleared up and sorted you feel amazing and often you think, it really wasn’t that bad. You feel calmer and more capable and that niggle is gone. Maybe being curious with emotion would feel the same? It is worth a shot.
We discussed ‘what you feel, you heal‘ and that felt very true. It’s pretty hard to work on something if you don’t acknowledge it is there. And we spoke about how sometimes its not as bad as you might think, just the fear of it can be greater.
So much food for thought this week and you really could see why Vicky teaches the topics in the order that she does. Keeping last week’s kindness to ourselves in mind, made being curious about whatever I was feeling much easier to process and it certainly made this week feel less daunting.
This weeks photo is the reading Vicky gave to us, I thought it was a beautiful reminder that when it’s sorrow or its like that I feel, joy is still there just waiting for me.
We asked yoga teacher Angela Meiklem what she thought about our Peace day public meditation… she kindly shared her thoughts with us here…
“I had never heard of World Peace Day until the wonderful Wee Retreat got in touch with a plan, a big plan. Would it be possible to get 100 people together for a lunchtime meditation on the 21st September!? The well known quote “if you build it they will come” sprung to mind – and come they did.
In the beautiful City of Music Studio, housed within Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, the gathering of people is testament to the warm, welcoming and peaceful environment that Vicky creates with all Wee Retreat events. Greeted with smiles at check in and the sounds of Scott York (student of the Junior Conservatoire) on guitar, writing an intention set the scene for all that was to come. Meeting and sitting with friends we settled in ready for a minutes silence at midday – the perfect pause to bring us all on to the same level.
We were treated to wise words from Dr Maureen Sier (Director of Interfaith Scotland), thought provoking, poignant poetry from Imogen Stirling, etheral hand pan music from David (Samadhi Soundscapes) and a beautifully guided meditation from Vicky – the one we all had to thank for making it happen. Vicky’s honest and genuine approach to mindful living is a true inspiration and brought us all together for what will hopefully be a yearly event now. I’ll be there for sure!”
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Kindness was the topic to at this weeks @theweeretreat. Instantly I thought how lovely, I like treating other people! But as we chatted and I realised oh wait, she means kindness to myself…. Why did my heart sink? Why is being kind to people more fun or fulfilling than being kind to myself? Why don’t I deserve to give myself that same treatment? It made me realise how much I need to give myself permission to sit back, to relax and to do what I need to in order to maintain some balance and sense of self. I love how even booking on a course such as the wee retreat can even be a stepping stone in being kind and investing in yourself.
We spoke about the ego and how it drives us to be somewhere, to do something and to be someone and how we might need to learn to just observe that voice as it is and not just accept what it is saying. It is OK to be kind to ourselves and just stop. It really struck a chord with me as I had seen a lovely piece of art this week that said “don’t believe everything you think” and it really resonated with me. Why do I take the negative self talk as gospel and not challenge it a little by being kinder to myself?
An insightful and thought provoking week this week with the group, its so interesting to hear how the others have found the previous sessions have impacted them when we leave and what have taken from them through the week. I am always excited to return and catch up before we start a new topic to get stuck into.
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Blogger beautyh2t.com has taken up Mindfulness! Share her journey and candid review of our 8 week beginners’ course with her weekly blog right here on our Mindful Musings page. Read on to find out how week 1 went….
“I was nervous! Yup. that’s the thing when you try something new; I guess sometimes it’s the thing that stops actually even stops you trying something new? “I’ll be rubbish at it, no one will talk to me, I don’t have time” etc etc, my list to not go to things has been pretty long in the past so being asked to write About The Wee Retreat has forced me to jump right in. Top of my worries for session one was, can I stay awake and not spend the time worrying about the baby??! And do you know what, I managed both….
Session 1 was all about meeting each other (a really lovely open group of people who are all there for similar reasons to each other) and learning about The Wee Retreat course and what it will entail. We tried our hand at a short meditation and it was really useful to learn how others found it and be honest about what aspects I struggled with (mainly for giving myself a hard time for not being ‘good enough’ at it). Vicky skilfully guided us through our discussion and provided insight into why we were experiencing what we were. It was really refreshing to have someone remind you not to be hard on yourself, and that something like mindfulness is not a hard goal you can set yourself as there really is no finishing point. I won’t just achieve some perfect state and then cross it off my list like I might want to. I feel like with my ever growing to do lists and constant guilt for not replying to people, going to all the things, keeping everything in order, it is all to easy to want to give up a new habit like this and mark it as ‘too difficult’ or that I have ‘no time’.
The biggest thing I took away this week actually was that perception of time. Since being off on maternity leave I have never felt I have more to do yet I have also never spent so long sitting staring at Instagram stories, to the point of big passages of time passing on little snippets that I don’t always need. Obviously I love some of them and they are a great distraction but suddenly I find myself just getting lost in them for too long and it’s possibly not benefitting me as much as just a quiet moment alone with my thoughts could.
So my initial thoughts on the process are that this is going to be a hugely interesting course, there is so much to be said for taking the time out for me, listening to other people share their experience and pick up what might seem like small nuggets of information that carry am much bigger impact out in day to day life. I left feeling a mix of emotions, excited and energised to try out my home exercises, reflective on the hard time I had been giving myself of late, and calmer. It was like things had stopped swirling around in my head for a while and I noticed just how freeing that could be.
Bring on week 2!”