(Posted by Karyn Fletcher-Prentice)

“Step one you say we need to talk...” The Fray. The song by The Frays ‘How to Save a Life” came’ to mind in creating this blog. We can probably all use more ways to refresh our survival kit and stay robust. We all have ways to cope. Let’s add some more!

Our voice will come from a collective of writers. We have a huge amount of experience representing many decades of work in different helping professions all clustered, for the purpose here, under the umbrella of The Centre for Transpersonal Psychology and our original training there. We are going to write a bi-monthly blog for 2012 offering observations, strategies, approaches and thinking so you can be more resourceful and resilient every day. So do visit this space the 15th and the 30th of every month as the year unfolds and the seasons turn.

January suggestion

Every month this year I have been co- leading a group that meets in a park for an hour once a month. Over that time this is what I noticed:

  1. 1. the quality of our attention goes up walking that bit more slowly
  2. 2. being 100% present and really noticing with fascination you see more and it can mean more
  3. 3. Walking a situation through helps the integration of thinking and stimulates insight and ideas

Nature is a good teacher if we take the time to stop breath and connect with it in an active and conscious way. Watching people in determined tides heading from one end of Green Park to the other intent on the next destination, heads down seemed to be missing so much. The rushing, straining and striving can be managed a little bit better sometimes with a little easing off of the accelerator of life, even for an hour. Might that not also be true for you? The value of this reflective space in the fresh air helps to connect with ourselves in a different way than sitting insides.

Sometimes just coming outdoors from the constraints of the office energy has a restorative aspect symbolically, energetically and physically. I can’t think how many times someone has said,” I really need to get outside more.” Also a raft of recent research points to the fact that, in order to stay healthy, we need proper, full spectrum sunlight, rather than just vitamin D in tablet form.

But it is too easy to stay indoors, especially in winter! Walkers will tell you that there is no such thing as bad weather only bad (wrong kit) clothing. So wrap up! Today I am looking out on the bright blue cloudless sky of the flat lands of Cambridgeshire. The trees have a skeletal bareness, beautiful in their starkness. I am meeting a supervisee for a riverside supervision walk in the market town 5 miles away.

Put a short stroll in the park (or similar) into your diary as a regular part of your month or week, whatever the weather. Protect that time. You can call it a ‘meeting for 1’. It’s important to turn up. It’s a stroll in the park. The benefits will accumulate. A nice hot chocolate would not go amiss either!

Karyn Fletcher-Prentice

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