Wellbeing notes: nature’s message of hope

01/01/2021 at 3:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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There’s something so uplifting about the first, tiny snowdrops of the year – a reminder of balmier weather to come. One summer I lost someone I was close to. Grief was ever present. There was no respite from the sadness. The following January, I saw the first snowdrops emerge from black earth. And for the first time in many months, I felt uplifted. It was as if the dots of tiny white flowers spelt out the word ‘hope’ in a dark landscape. Since that time I have especially treasured snowdrops, planting them in small drifts around my garden, bringing in a few blooms for the kitchen table. 

Hope is an excellent quality to cultivate in 2021. Hope reminds us that the potential for happiness is a core part of every human being. When we focus on our potential, when we visualise it as though it is already present, wellbeing enters. We become uplifted. And in that state of openness, we become receptive to the loving kindness that, I believe, always surrounds us. 

One simple exercise is to write the word ‘Hope’ on a square of canvas or paper. Enjoy choosing the placement of the four characters. You might write them large and plain or add illustrations that are meaningful to you. Then display your finished work in a place where you will often see it. Let its beneficial message spill into your life.

Releasing 2020 with love and thanks

01/12/2020 at 11:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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When my two children were growing up, we used to hold parties around 21stDecember every year, to mark the longest night and to celebrate the return of longer days in the seasonal calendar. Some years we’d just hold a small family event. Other years we would invite 40 or so people and cater with big, easy pans of cheese and onion flan, parsnip and potato mash and salad, all washed down with local wines, beers and cordials. After supper we’d step outside for a simple ritual that had evolved with the help of a stoneware bowl – we’d make a tiny fire of handwritten notes on which we’d symbolically let go of the past in order to make room for the new.

Each person would quietly write down something they were ready to let go of from the previous year. We’d write, “According to the highest good of all concerned I now let go of (fill in the blank) with love and thanks.”  Then we’d scrunch the paper up and deposit it in the bowl. When all the notes had been gathered, everyone watched the flames. It was a good way to declutter mind and heart. After all, who needs to carry old emotional baggage into Christmas and the New Year?

November’s message of self-acceptance

01/11/2020 at 9:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The trees around me in Wiltshire UK where I live are fast losing their colourful canopies as we approach winter. Leaf by leaf, they reveal their true shape. This is the perfect time to notice that there is no such thing as a perfect tree. They are all asymmetrical. Limbs and branches twist and extend in a mysterious pattern. We accept and delight in a tree’s unique shape. Why then should we not delight in our own unique human forms? 

Seen without judgement, human beings are gorgeous examples of creation. I’m pretty certain we are adored by the divine, creative force that lies within and beyond all living beings. And yet we can be so quick to find fault with ourselves. Even something as simple and natural as our age or weight can become something we prefer to hide. Think, for a moment, about how conscious so many of us are about our height. We feel too short or too tall. And yet we are only talking about a difference of a few inches! How can that matter compared with the vast reaches of the universe?

Each of us has the capacity to carry many psychological wounds through life. From childhood onwards we may retain messages from external figures of authority who have left us feeling ‘not good enough’. In adulthood we may become experts at criticising our appearance and our actions in countless small and punishing ways. We may even be unconscious of how wounded we are in this respect, which can lead to a tendency in us to project our unresolved issues on to others, and even to judge others harshly for their own perceived faults.

Yet the revealed shapes of trees in winter suggest to me that humans, like trees, are perfect, just as we are. Our healed wounds and scars are part of our personal story, to be honoured and even loved. Humans, like trees, are surely a beautiful and unique addition to the landscape. And, just like our cousins the trees, as we prepare for winter we carry the potential for new personal growth in the new year.

Walking mindfully through October

01/10/2020 at 10:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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October, with its mists and mellow fruitfulness, is a fantastic month to take a daily wellbeing walk. I could motivate myself for this challenge by imagining a healthier me by the end of 31 daily walks, but that would be ‘end-gaining’ – I would be focusing on the goal rather than the many enjoyable moments in between.

Wellbeing is not actually about hard work or duty. It’s not about struggling or depriving myself now in order to enjoy some future goal. Rather, it’s about being open to the countless small moments of happiness that add up to a happy life. 

So my wellbeing walks are not long, or arduous. But I aim to be fully present during each one. Have you ever walked or driven somewhere, only to arrive and realise you don’t remember the journey because while your body went through the motions, your mind was elsewhere? 

During a wellbeing walk, I mindfully focus on the natural world. This month, that means I witness the colours of autumn: exactly how would you describe the rich red of an acer tree’s leaves, or the polished brown of a conker lying on green grass? I pause to notice the stunning, concentric pattern of an autumn flower such as a rosy petalled dahlia. I look upwards and sideways and all around to observe changing patterns of sun and cloud. I listen to an incredible natural orchestra of bird song that radiates outwards into infinity. Such moments pause the mind’s busy thoughts, bringing a fresh sense of happiness. 

This is what life after brain surgery is like

27/08/2020 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Nine months after surgery, this is what I’ve learned about brain injury caused by an acoustic neuroma…

Being alive is wonderful and to be appreciated for the miracle it is. Being alive is also often overwhelming. When I get tired, there’s no choice – I have to rest. Overall, I do less, but focus well while I’m doing it. The small daily achievements lead to progress, they really do. Being mindful has become a powerful necessity – it’s essential to stay focused to keep my balance, and also to hear better.

Simple pleasures, like cooking veggie casseroles, or cultivating lush jungle indoor plants, bring sheer enjoyment at my new, slower pace. Patience is a daily lesson, as I understand it takes many months – years – for nerves to mend and new neural pathways to form. Life is sweet and never to be taken for granted.

Spiral – a (free) audio meditation

21/04/2020 at 5:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week’s meditation, from a session seven years ago in my Studio, is an invitation to travel through a stone circle portal in your imagination, and into the spiralled beauty of the universe. Deeply relaxing, our meditation pays homage to the importance of spiral patterns in the natural world, from the humblest of snail shells, to cosmic formations that shape and reflect patterns of movement, learning and expansion in all our lives. I hope you enjoy Spiral Meditation!

As always, please do join me in listening to the meditation at 1 pm Thursday, or any time that suits you. Have a lovely week.

Image by beate bachmann from Pixabay.

Spiral meditation

Healing Plants – a (free) audio meditation

31/03/2020 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Wild garlic, known for its immunity-enhancing properties, is widely available in neighbouring woods right now.

This week’s (free) audio meditation again comes from The Intuition Group, seven years ago.

I’ve always believed in the healing power of plants and have often noticed that the plants I need most at any particular time have a habit of growing in my vicinity. Right now, of course, that means lots of immunity-enhancing wild garlic in the neighbouring woods which I wilt down like spinach, or eat raw in pesto; vitamin-rich ground elder– the young shoots are delicious stir-fried; and quantities of refreshing lemon balm leaves emerging, full of relaxing properties that make an excellent herbal tea.

This week’s meditation celebrates the healing beauty of nature, which brings us therapy in so many different ways. There’s the colour therapy of uplifting yellow daffodils and deep blue hyacinths. There’s the fresh, subtle fragrance of unfurling willow leaves. And there’s the nutritional medicine of spring vegetables and greens. 


I hope you enjoy this meditation. As always, I will be doing this alongside you at 1 pm Thursday, or any time that suits you.


Wishing you a wonderful week,

Suzanne x

Healing plants meditation

Mother Earth, Father Sky, a (free) audio meditation

24/03/2020 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week’s audio meditation that I’m sharing with you is called Mother Earth, Father Sky. It’s a reminder of nature, and your own creative role within nature, even while Gaia nurtures you.This one’s from a meditation session in my Studio, seven years back. So, without further ado, here it is. I hope you enjoy it. Stay well.

Mother Earth, Father Sky

Cherry Blossom Meditation

17/03/2020 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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In the midst of the worries about the Coronavirus outbreak, I would like to share with you an image of cherry blossoms from the garden, because we all benefit from moments of beauty and calm. I’m also sharing with you an audio, a Cherry Blossom meditation that I originally delivered in my Studio seven years ago, which seems timely for today. It will, I hope, bring you some profound relaxation.

So, without further ado, here is your moment of calm: Cherry Blossom Meditation. I hope you enjoy it.

From brain surgery to book publishing in just seven weeks

11/02/2020 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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The universe has given me a major challenge recently. In the first week of January I underwent 10 hours of neurosurgery to remove a benign brain tumour – an acoustic neuroma. In the last week of February my new book, ‘This One is Special’, will be published. It’s a challenge because post-op I’ve had to relearn everything from walking to writing by hand. Book signings are a wobbly prospect!

I’m thrilled that this story of parenting my profoundly disabled son is about to be more widely shared. I’m relieved that a personal health condition that has dogged me for a decade or more has finally been sorted. And maybe the two events together are teaching me a valuable lesson.

The lesson is that we are not meant to struggle on alone. Over the past few weeks there has been a huge team of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, therapists and other medical staff helping me to better health. I feel deeply grateful to them all – and to the family and friends who have supported me throughout.

As a parent-carer of a young person with profound and multiple learning disabilities I know that statistically I’m a candidate for greater stress and ill health.

No one knows why I developed a tumour. It happened very slowly, rather like the pearl in an oyster grows incrementally in smooth layers around a grain of sand or some other irritant. Maybe it was genetic, or just ‘one of those things’. I choose to believe that it was my personal reminder that illness doesn’t discriminate – we are all candidates for something.

In my family, Tim has been ‘the poorly one’. He is the one who has spent over 100 days in intensive care, and has had investigations in a bewildering number of hospitals. Maybe it’s someone else’s turn. If so, I’m not sorry it’s been me. Brain surgery has consequences that mean I’ll never be the same. I still feel as wobbly as a foal. But compared with Tim’s experiences of critical illness, my surgery has honestly not been that bad, as I hope you can tell from the pic below, taken just five days after the event. Here’s to a healthy 2020!

You can pre-order ‘This One is Special’ here.

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