Chrysalis Retreats Newsletter May 2023
Updated: Jul 27
Time is going so fast right now, it’s almost time for our next day retreat, which is so exciting - we are beginning to count down the days!
It is also great timing, as this month is National Walking month in the UK, and walking is an important element of our retreat. We really believe in the power of walking and being in nature to relieve stress and restore a sense of wellbeing. On our May retreat we will be taking a short mindful walk from the farm setting to the lovely river Dove. It is a lovely stroll, with plenty to see, both man made and natural. We will all really appreciate this part of the day.
In this newsletter, to get the juices flowing, we share our recent walk together in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - a truly inspiring landscape, as well as some poetry for your own inspiration to take a walk this month.
As we said before, for those already joining us we are looking forward to meeting you and having a great day together. We do still have a few places left, so if others of you are thinking of joining us, and would like to have a chat about the retreat, please get in touch through the website and we will be happy to set something up. We also have set up a direct booking link through Eventbrite to make booking even easier.
If you are one of our lovely supporters who cannot join us on retreat, please continue to share with your friends and follow us on social media
Walking connects us with nature
Walking in natural surroundings creates a sense of refreshment, clarity, and opportunity to get a new perspective. Our brains respond positively to open space. It opens up new possibilities, and stimulates our senses. It is rest for a busy mind.
Walking for Inspiration at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
We walk in companionship. Sometimes we are silent and allow each other space to think, at other times we are talking and sharing our experience. We go with the flow, and let our experience emerge as we walk. It is such a beautiful pastoral setting, and this time we were sharing it with sheep. There is so much to embrace there, every time we go it is a new experience.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR DAY
The head over the water felt serene and peaceful.
We had a real sense of shock and wonder at the sculpture in the chapel by Leonardo Drew.
Our response was to sense the mess and chaos, and then marvel at the strength and solidity that also emanated. We noticed the elements of fun, and colour as well as the bleakness…
This is the artist's new work, Number 360 (2023), commissioned for Yorkshire Sculpture Park's 18th-century Chapel, described as a ‘powerful reflection on the weight of collective experience, memory, and the cycles of life and death, decay and regeneration’.
Our last sculpture was Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds by Heather Peak and Ivan Morison.
The work is a circle, set within nature and a place for silence – a space where the artists ask that speech is not permitted – creating an area of calm contemplation. It will eventually decay and blend into the natural landscape.
Walking in nature is so much than we expect
Walk from home - or anywhere you find yourself
Although it is great to be in a place of natural beauty, mindful walking can be performed anywhere, so long as the walker remains present. If the walk is mindful, a busy thoroughfare is equal to an idyllic woodland setting. During mindful walking, our journey is less about the destination and, while avoiding ‘distracted autopilot,’ more about bringing awareness to this everyday activity.
The good thing is that walking is available to most of us, wherever we live, and even a short walk is extremely beneficial and even life-changing. It makes us happier and calmer, less stressed as well as the physical benefits for our bodies - what’s not to love?
Here is a beautiful mantra to take with you on any walk:
“Breathing in, I know Mother Earth is in me.
Breathing out, I know Mother Earth is in me.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Some questions for reflection after your walk:
How did you feel at the start of your walk? Any tensions, emotions, thoughts? What drew your attention on your walk - sights, sounds, smells? How did you feel at the end of your walk? What differences did you notice?
Reflecting on your walk, what have you learnt about yourself in this exploration?
PS - Have a look at last year’s May blog for more perspective on walking from us.
Poetry for inspiration by Mary Oliver
The power of poetry is wonderful, and Mary Oliver is a favourite writer about nature and seasons.
I am one of those who has no trouble imagining the sentient lives of trees, of their leaves in some fashion communicating or of the massy trunks and heavy branches knowing it is I who have come, as I always come, each morning, to walk beneath them, glad to be alive and glad to be there.
"Hello wren" is the first thing I say
"Where did you come from appearing so
sudden and cheerful in the privet? Which,
by the way, has decided to decorate itself
in so many white blossoms....
Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.
We hope you have enjoyed this latest newsletter from Chrysalis Retreats. Feel free to share with others.
We look forward to seeing participants at our Day Retreat in May - it’s not long now!
Caroline and Rachel x
Here at Chrysalis Retreats our vision is to support women to take a pause and reflect at key moments in our lives and clarify what’s important as we move forward. We recognize that women face specific challenges in life and in work that show up in times of transition or uncertainty, and we are here to guide and support women on their personal journey. Our retreats are designed to allow spacious time for reflection, to learn from each other and experience the joy of being in nature.
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