Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Autumn Learning ...

Life starts all over again
when it gets crisp in the fall.

F Scott Fitzgerald

Hello, Everyone! Happy Fall!

I love the fall, a time of gradual letting-go of the old to make space for the new. (Or, as today's topic suggests, a time of letting go of old learning to make way for some new.) I'm reading two new-to-me books I'd like to share with you and have just registered for, Alive, a new e-course from

Let's start with the books:

1.  Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing by David A Treleaven
As most of you will know, I have a strong concern for  emotional safety in psycho-educational settings and have always prefaced information about contemplative practices like meditation with detailed caveats. (Some meditative practices are not as benign as they might seem at first glance and, in fact, can be the source of re-traumatization if not taught and practiced in a way that is trauma-informed.)
So, you can imagine my delight when I came across educator and psychotherapist, David Treleaven's new book which, while explaining it's benefits, acknowledges and explains mindfulness meditation's ability to stimulate or worsen traumatic stress symptoms and offers practical principles for establishing trauma-sensitive (emotionally safer) mindfulness practice - stay within the window of tolerance, shift attention to support stability, keep the body in mind, practice in relationship, and understand social context.
David's clear, compelling writing style, heart-felt passion for protecting trauma survivors and thorough knowledge of both mindfulness and trauma make this book an easy read packed with good scholarship and useful wisdom. I highly recommend it.

2.  Together: Our Community Cookbook by The Hubb Community Kitchen and The Duchess of Sussex
After the trauma of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, England in June 2017, a group of women gathered together to care for themselves, their families and their community through cooking fresh meals. This community cooking process became as, if not more, important than the meals themselves. The women cared for each other emotionally as they cooked, providing a warm and loving community space in which to recover from loss and trauma, restore hope and normalacy and create a sense of home. (A fine example of care-giver wellness.)
This cookbook tells their story and shares 50 of their favourite international recipes, many handed down from generation-to-generation in their home countries. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be used to expand their Hubb Community Kitchen program from two days to seven days a week. I've already ordered four copies for people on my Christmas list. Why not join me and learn about the food culture and the resiliency of those from other nations? 

And, now, Alive: the e-course:

I'm surprised to hear so many words ending in fullness - gratefulness, mindfulness, joyfulness - it's an indication to me that what we are missing is a full life. We are only half-alive ...             Bro David Steindl-Rast

This, the most recent of the e-courses, will begin October 25th and run for 4 weeks. It features a conversation between Bro David Steindl-Rast (Benedictine monk, award-winning author serving the Network of Grateful Living, and the lovely voice narrating the A Good Day video I've used in my workshops) and Christian Plebst (Argentinian Child and Adolescent psychiatrist and Director of the Academy of Conscious Teaching). It promises to address the following questions and more:
-  Why is this moment in history so significant and what is required of those of us who recognize it?
-  What does it mean to live with aliveness?
-  What is the role of trust in individual and collective transformation?
-  How does inner wellbeing support the wellbeing of the world outside us?
-  What happens when we fully attune to and accept our emotional selves?
-  What opportunities arise when we move from individualistic and competitive perspectives to cooperative and compassionate ones? 
If this looks interesting to you, you can register by going to the link above and clicking Explore for the e-courses.

And, of course, it's not too late to register for the next Caring on Empty Compassion Fatigue Resiliency Workshop  on November 2nd at the Granville Island Hotel, Vancouver, BC. (See the top of the column to the left.)

Whatever your circumstances, I hope each of you will find something that sparks your imagination and provides a new opportunity to learn, both on this holiday weekend and in the weeks to come. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!