Lessons of the land, Nature

Summer Solstice

In astronomical terms, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the Northern hemisphere. Just to confuse things a little, you may also hear this time of year referred to as ‘midsummer.’ This year, the summer solstice falls on Friday 21st June and will mark the longest day and the shortest night of the year. This means that the light reaches its peak, after which we cross over the threshold into the second half of the year. Light after the summer solstice begins its slow but sure decline towards the shortest day of the year on December 21st, winter solstice.

Transitioning to the second half of the year can provoke a sense of sadness, overwhelm or leave us feeling unprepared and rushed (anyone else wondering where the first half of the year went?!) Us humans commonly have a preference for the light (not to mention warmth) so thinking of its retreat is not easy. However the earth, if we allow it, can be a good teacher of balance. Year on year we witness darkness and light rise and fall, and give way to one another through the seasonal cycle, always moving, always changing and always returning.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we are currently in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

Continue reading “Summer Solstice”

Recovery

The day’s work

Hands up who else has ever felt a sense of dread or panic, when faced with the age old question, ‘what do you do?‘ Those four bland words usually uttered pretty early on in an attempt to get to know somebody. The question almost always equates to a description of what we do for work; how we earn our money. I feel lucky to be able to say these days that I’m in a job that I quite enjoy, however it hasn’t always been this way. I have also experienced the shudder run down my unemployed spine when faced with this question.

Continue reading “The day’s work”

Goals, Recovery

Moving Forward – my second 5km

Somehow it happened. I committed and completed my second ever 5km Parkrun on Saturday. It was only a week on from my first run and it couldn’t have been more different. This time around the sun was beaming.  I went alone due to my friend having other commitments but quickly got speaking to people around me as we moved towards the starting line. I ran alongside a man whom I’m grateful had a similar pace to my own and kept me company. This time I had set a goal for myself – to not stop running until I got to the finish line however slow my pace. I achieved it! Continue reading “Moving Forward – my second 5km”

Goals, Recovery

Moving Forward – My first 5km

Over the past 3 months I have been facilitating a wellbeing support group for a local mental health charity. A small bunch of wonderful people show up every 2 weeks and support one another in improving their wellbeing. It is a highlight of my week, observing the power of peer support and celebrating  peoples’ passion and commitment to their own recovery journeys.

In our last group session we discussed the benefits of exercise on our mental health, of which the research is extensive. Continue reading “Moving Forward – My first 5km”