Cathedral Grove

Hello! And Welcome…

Megan here. Many thanks for checking out my little seedling of a site, Cathedral Grove. Let’s go on an adventure, between the pines of possibility!

If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to take a wander over to our About page to see what sort of posts you can expect in the future. It’s my hope that the site will change and grow for the better with time, so I couldn’t possibly tell you precisely where the path forward will lead. One thing is for sure – there will be bad, tree-related puns.  (Sorry. Not sorry.)

Do you have any ideas for topics you’d like to see explored on Cathedral Grove? Let me know! Comments are always encouraged and alternate views also quite welcome  – but please, share with respect and kindness. 

John Muir - Every Two Pines

A Brief Introduction to Mindful Walking

Each year, October 10th marks World Mental Health Day – a day with the objective of raising international awareness about issues pertaining to mental health. While this year’s awareness day may have now come and gone, it is never the wrong time to discuss mental health. With this in mind, I’ve scheduled a few related posts to pop up over the remainder of October, each looking at ways we can make small but significant improvements to our own mental – and ultimately physical – health in our daily lives. 

This week, I’d like to start off this short series by focusing on the art of mindful walking. 

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Photo by Vlad Bagacian from Pexels.

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Monday Mindfulness ~ September 30, 2019

Hello once again, everyone. I hope as ever that this latest installment of Monday Mindfulness finds you well and that your week ahead is a lovely one, filled with contentment and well-being.

Today’s thought of the moment comes to us from Brené Brown, who I’ve previously featured here in another installment of Monday Mindfulness.

Thanks for pausing here on your journey today!

Brené Brown - What Makes You Beautiful

17 Ways to Make Your Home a Little Bit More Eco-Friendly

No Monday Mindfulness this week unfortunately, as I’ve been a bit poorly on account of a cold and didn’t quite manage to get around to it yesterday… However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any posts on Cathedral Grove this week! 

Recently, The Guardian released a short video about natural climate solutions which featured prominent environmental activists Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot. It’s just about everywhere around the internet at the moment, but if you haven’t seen it already, I’ve shared it here as well. At just under 4 minutes in duration, it’s a short piece which is worth a watch if you’re at all interested in environmental issues and possible solutions.

Inspired by the ideas being presented by a variety of similarly concerned individuals and organizations, I thought I’d compile a short list of fairly simple actions you can take right now to help make your home that much more eco-friendly. There are more things we can do, of course – but consider this brief list a bit of a launching pad. Any hints and tips you use at home, either ones included in or missed off the list here? Please share them with us all by commenting below!

 

Monday Mindfulness ~ September 16, 2019

Greetings, fellow wanderers and wonderers. It’s Monday, so it’s time for the latest installment of Monday Mindfulness here on Cathedral Grove.

This week’s quote comes from multi-talented, 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Having just finished my first week back at my job after the end of my 6-month sabbatical, this thought struck me as especially relevant. I’m definitely striving towards this work-life balance, as I’m sure many of you are as well in your own ways. 

Pablo Picasso - Never Permit a Dichotomy

Monday Mindfulness ~ September 9, 2019

Hello, and happy fresh new week to you all.

It’s been quite a few weeks since I last shared a Monday Mindfulness post here on Cathedral Grove. As those of you who have been following my travels will already know, Nick and I have been busy volunteering with a trail maintenance and conservation work team in Iceland’s incredible Þórsmörk and Goðaland region for much of this summer. Living and working largely off-grid for a few months, I’ve not posted more than a few pre-scheduled updates here and there. We’ve been back in the UK now for a week and are more or less settled back into normal life, so I’m eager to return to a much more regular writing, creating, and sharing schedule here on my little seedling of a site!

Inspired by recent experiences – and, let’s be honest, my creeping anxiety about returning to the full-time job I have not much enjoyed for a while now – I want to share with you a particularly lovely Icelandic saying which I hope to make an integral part of my own personal philosophy: ‘Þetta reddast…’

‘Þetta reddast…’ (pronounced thet-ta red-ust) can be translated as ‘It will all work out OK in the end’ or ‘It’s going to be alright.’ There’s a lovely little travel essay on the BBC website which gives a nice introduction to the phrase in context, but here’s a quote from that piece I particularly like:

“Maybe it makes sense, then, that in a place where people were – and still are – so often at the mercy of the weather, the land and the island’s unique geological forces, they’ve learned to give up control, leave things to fate and hope for the best.” 

‘Þetta reddast’ is, I think, not about having blind faith though; it’s a great reminder that things will be what they will be, so best not to fight events but rather trust in your own abilities to see them through and emerge from them doing just fine. Remember, if you’re here right now then there isn’t a hardship you have yet to overcome. And whatever your next challenge might be? It will all work out OK in the end too.

Icelandic saying - þetta reddast

From One Sort of Rambling to Another: An End-of-Sabbatical Update

Basho - The Journey is Home

Hello, fellow wanderers and wonderers… I’m back, and so too are more regular updates on Cathedral Grove!

Yes, as of today it has been 6 whole months of putting my full-time employment on hold in order to travel near and far, visit friends, meet new friends, try a whole lot of delicious world food, acquire a taste for good beer and coffee, drink gallons of herbal tea, and just generally live my life to the fullest before needing to earn a bit more to keep the home fires burning and the wee cupboard stocked.

I still have a few rest and life administration days before I return to work, so I just wanted to pop by, say hi, and ask how all of you have been. There will be more details about my various adventurings in the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime I’d love to hear about what you all have been doing to stay healthy and well, the adventures big and small you’ve enjoyed, and the projects you’ve been most passionate about… whatever bits and bobs of joy, accomplishment, and personal growth you may feel inspired to share with the world!

Anyway, I’ll end this little update here. So hello once again, and goodbye for today. Until we next meet, may you be happy and well!

~ Megan

P.S. If you haven’t already, feel free to follow me on Instagram (@insta.meg.ram) for lots of travel inspiration! Most recently featured: Iceland, Sweden, and Montenegro. More photographs from my world travels to come soon…

Monday Mindfulness ~ July 22, 2019

Greetings once again, everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by.

It’s a fresh, new week, so that means that it’s time for yet another installment of Monday Mindfulness.

This week’s quote is from Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has taught and written about mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction for many years. One of his most well-known books is ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.’  

Jon Kabat-Zinn - Taking Care of the Present Now.png

Monday Mindfulness ~ July 15, 2019

Hello again, everyone!

Here’s hoping that this week’s Monday Mindfulness update finds you well. I should – all things having gone smoothly! – be in Iceland now, just beginning my first week as a volunteer team leader for a trail maintenance team organized under the auspices of the Icelandic Forestry Service. I have scheduled this and a few other posts to pop up in the coming weeks while I’m away. Thanks for understanding why updates have been a bit scarce as of late, as well as for your patience. I hope to be back to a much more regular posting schedule come September.

Today’s quote comes from the Danish author of children’s classics such as ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Ugly Duckling,’ Hans Christian Andersen.

Hans Christian Andersen - Just Living is Not Enough

Monday Mindfulness ~ July 8, 2019

Hello, everyone! It feels like it has been SO long since my last Monday Mindfulness post (…and it has been. This is the first one in a month, I must admit!), but happily it is back once again.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts from time to time, my partner Nick and I have been on a six month sabbatical from our regular work since early March. Those who’ve been following will also know that we’ve been traveling around a bit throughout this time, and that we will continue to be fairly nomadic until early September. Sometimes we have internet access, other times we don’t so much… so naturally it’s disrupted my typical writing, creating, and posting schedule!

Nick and I have just recently returned from Sweden, and soon we are off to Iceland for the final month and a half of our sabbatical. I’ve got a few days now before we go during which I’d like to get a handful of posts up or at least scheduled for that time away, just in case there isn’t much time or connectivity when we’re out and about in remote places during our volunteering stint.

Anyway, without further ado, this week’s thought for the moment comes from A.A. Milne, creator of much-beloved Winnie-the-Pooh and friends. That bear of supposedly little brain sure does have a whole lot of valuable wisdom. I really love this quote.

Until next time, may you all enjoy a very happy, healthy week ahead!

A.A. Milne - Piglet was Comforted by This

Monday Mindfulness ~ June 3, 2019

Hello again, everyone. I really hope that this fresh Monday Mindfulness finds you well, healthy, and content!

I recently wrote about a couple of TED talks which spoke to me and my wandering mind – you can check that post out here if you missed it – one of which was presented by digital nomad, speaker, and author Marianne Cantwell. Following on from that, I really felt like sharing this quote from her site with you all.

It’s a great one to ponder! Do you feel like this shift in thinking is applicable to any aspect of your life? 

Marianne Cantwell - Weaknesses are Just Strengths in the Wrong Environment

Do You Have Many Interests? Ever Feel a Bit Out of Place? Here are 2 TED Talks Worth Watching.

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Yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes, whether I like it or not, something less-than-ideal happens within an otherwise fine day – an injustice or unkindness big, small, or even infinitesimal – that flips on the anxiety switch inside my brain. Even though I have the presence of mind to acknowledge that the issue, whatever it may be, is not worth devoting several hours of unproductive overthinking to it, I unfortunately let myself get carried away all the same.

As some of you will know, moderate generalized anxiety is something I live with in the day-to-day. While I generally have a very good handle on it, there can be times when it rears its ugly head and I’m ill-prepared to face it. Yesterday afternoon, something relatively minor in the grand scheme of things happened, leading me to feel off-kilter the rest of the day. Rather than giving in fully, however, I decided to throw on a fuzzy robe, kick back with a lovely grapefruit gin and tonic and some chocolate, and watch TED talk after talk until I was feeling more in-control of my headspace once again.

I’d like to share with you all now a few of the talks that really spoke to me, in the hope that you too might benefit from them. These will be especially impactful for folks like me, the ‘generalists’ or ‘multipotentialites’ who chafe at that seemingly all-important question that society asks us from an early age: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I can tell you that at 29, I still don’t know what I want to do when I ‘grow up,’ and what’s more I’m slowly becoming less fussed about not knowing what one thing I want to pursue the rest of my working days. I have many interests but no specialty, and that’s OK. I continue to switch industries every few years, and that’s OK too.

While society often tells me I should be ashamed or embarrassed that I’m 29 and have in a relatively brief span of life worked in several disparate fields – archaeology, library science, customer service, adventurous activities instruction/experiential education, freelance writer – I’m gradually feeling less of these limiting emotions, instead moving to embrace the mantra: ‘You do you, boo.’ 

If anything that I’m saying now speaks to you in some positive way, then I hope you’ll gather a few nuggets of wisdom from the following talks.  Read More

Monday Mindfulness ~ May 27, 2019

Hello, and good afternoon everyone!

If you’re reading this from the States, then I hope you’re having a nice Memorial Day weekend – and if you’re reading from the UK, then I hope you’re enjoying your May Bank Holiday weekend!

Wherever you may be around the world, whether you’re having an extended weekend or not, I hope that this week’s Monday Mindfulness finds you well. Today’s thought of the moment comes to us from Mark Black. 

Remember – it’s OK to relax, rest, and simply do something you enjoy, purely for enjoyment’s sake!

Mark Black - Most Productive Thing You Can Do