Cathedral Grove

Happy {Belated} Birthday, Cathedral Grove! {Along with Some Other News}

Cathedral Grove Turns 2 Years Old

Hey, everyone! Megan here. It’s a day late, but I wanted to celebrate the fact that this here little seedling of a site has just turned 2 years old! I suppose it isn’t really a seedling anymore, then. Perhaps a sapling? Either way, here’s a heckin’ cute lil animated sun I made to celebrate!

To help celebrate, I’ve been very busy this week working on some new stuff for this site – doing a lot of graphic design, staring at a lot of codes and related hieroglyphics, live chatting with a lot of tech gurus who know a heck of a lot more than I do about any of this stuff. Just generally getting my Blog Boss on – or trying darn hard to, anyway! So, what’s new and what’s in the works? 

New Contact Details

Well, to start with, Cathedral Grove now has a dedicated business email. If you’d like to reach out privately, you can now send questions, compliments, ideas for features, or inquiries about future collaborations to hello@cathedralgrove.blog. Of course, you can still leave a comment on a post or one of our social media pages too – but now there are even more ways to say hiya!

New Monthly Newsletter

Next up, I’ll soon start sending out a monthly newsletter update, and you can sign up now if you’re interested! Now when you visit Cathedral Grove and click on any post, you should be given the opportunity to subscribe to our community mailing list via email, courtesy a small pop-up form.

Social Media, but More Social

Current world events have highlighted, outlined, and underscored the beneficial importance of positive, regular human interactions – be those online, in person, or via some other means – to our lives. For a while now, Cathedral Grove has been available to follow via Facebook or Twitter, but I want these pages to be more than just dumping grounds for new posts. I want them to be places where we can come together, albeit virtually, and share interesting thoughts, ideas, creations – what have you – with each other. I want them to help cultivate kind words and deeds, share and grow new ideas, and foster a respectful, supportive community spirit. To help, I’ll be sharing even more interesting reads and positive news stories on both platforms in the coming days and weeks. I’ll also be sharing a variety of daily mindfulness and more general well-being challenges too. Please do feel free to join in!

New Simple Activities to Print and Share, for Free

Many of you might be homeschooling your children right now, while others might be looking for something a bit different to do to help ward off boredom and keep the mind stimulated. To help us all stay positive, inspired, and mindful during these strange times, I’ve started designing an assortment of simple, straightforward mindfulness, gratitude, and nature-based exercises you or your children can easily do at home or in your garden. These Wild/Kind activity sheets will be available soon, starting with a doodle + write activity all about Growing Gratitude.  

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Monday Mindfulness ~ April 6, 2020

Here’s wishing you all a very happy start of a new week, no matter where you are around the globe or what you’re doing to keep yourself healthy, safe, and content at home. As always, thanks for pausing here for a bit.

This week’s Monday Mindfulness features a quote from Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, and I hope it will offer some good food for thought.

These are strange times that we are living in, but I remain hopeful that current events may indeed inspire individuals, communities, and maybe even countries to re-examine their current practices, to tinker with them and perhaps even replace them with kinder, greener ways. 

What positive change would you most like to see emerge from current hardships?

Steve Jobs - Life Can Be Much Broader

Positive News Stories From This Week #2

Last Sunday, I posted a round-up of some of the past week’s more positive news stories from around the globe, hoping to spread a bit of cheer during these strange times. It was a joy to put together. I actually found more nice news nuggets than I quite knew what to do with! It was also a joy to share. It was so lovely to hear from some of you, both friends and strangers alike, about how you appreciated the reminder of all the good that is happening in the world right now.

With all this in mind, I want to keep things rolling. And so, here is another installment of Positive News Stories From This Week! 

Please do drop a comment below to say hello or share a story I’ve missed of something lovely that has happened this week. It would also be lovely to hear what some of you are up to during lockdown. Working from home? Tinkering with a personal creative project? Learning something new? It’s all good, and I’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, please do take care of yourselves.

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Positive News Stories From This Week

As this week comes to an end, I’d like to share with you all a round-up of recent positive news stories from around the globe, featuring acts of kindness, inspired innovations, and a glimpse at a brighter future within reach for the environment.

In the past, news updates here on the site have focused solely on things to do with nature – but with all that’s happening in the world at present, I’d like to broaden that focus now, looking at any and all positive things happening around the globe. And, I promise, there IS a lot of good stuff happening, folks! Sometimes these stories just get a bit lost and buried under the other not-so-nice stories, unfortunately. Anyway, if these posts are something you’d like to see more of, let me know with a like or a comment below – perhaps this might become a regular weekly feature.

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Honestly, This Post is Just 7 Cute Animal Pictures to Help Brighten Your Day

Does what it says on the tin.

Feeling stressed about current events? Hit pause, and take a gander at a few adorable animals with me.

Yeah, that’s right – no hard-hitting journalism here, folks. Just fluffy, feel-good content to share with you all today in the hopes of lifting spirits and bringing about good cheer. 

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All images via free stock photography sites Pexels and Unsplash.

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Monday Mindfulness ~ March 23, 2020

After a bit of a pause, it’s time once again for a fresh dose of Monday Mindfulness. Here’s hoping that this latest installment – featuring a thought for the moment from Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff as well as Stop Thinking, Start Living – finds you and yours well.

There’s a lot going on around the world right now. I know, I do – I’m stating the obvious. I only mention it because it would be dreadfully easy to dwell on and perhaps even become overwhelmed by all the negative news circulating at the moment, but please try to resist that urge if you can. There are positive stories right now too. Choose, as best you are able, to focus your attention on the good. Choose joy. Choose kindness. 

Richard Carlson - Experience of Life

Greetings from Self-Isolation

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It’s my last day of self-isolation.

Some part of me wishes I could tell you of all the reading, writing, making, and planning I did during my precautionary staycation, but truth be told I mostly chose to watch lighthearted gaming streams from the likes of Playstation Access and Outside Xbox and played a solid amount of the quite silly, rather enjoyable Two Point Hospital myself. I have no regrets though; sometimes when the world has gone a bit funny, it’s good to have a bit of an escape.

My sincere apologies for the lack of posts lately, but I think you will all be able to understand in your own way when I say it has been – how to put it – an eventful month. Between visiting a family member in hospital, coming down with a nasty viral illness myself, needing to self-isolate as I’ve recovered to protect more vulnerable members of my community, and learning yesterday that my workplace would be closing today until further notice – well, this past month has been a wild ride. But, of course, these sorts of things and much more are happening to people everywhere.

This year, a lot of negative, attention-grabbing things have happened around the world in a relatively short amount of time – but there have also been many, many, many acts of kindness and things for which to be immensely grateful. I think that it is so vital to remember that, and to ensure that we continue to recognize all the goodness that persists in our communities and around the world in these trying times.

As I suddenly find myself with rather a lot of free time to do with what I will, I sincerely hope to post a lot more regularly in the coming days, weeks, months. There will be a new Monday Mindfulness post up at the start of the week, and I hope to share an array of positive news stories in the coming days as well. I hope that you’ll continue to join me here in my humble little thought-garden, the Cathedral Grove.

Wishing you all the very best,

Megan

 

Monday Mindfulness ~ February 17, 2020

Hello, everyone. Thank you as always for pausing here on your journey today. After a bit of a hiatus, Monday Mindfulness is back once again – and I am very grateful that you are back once again too.

Those of you who are UK-based will no doubt have been in some way impacted by – or at the very least know of – last week’s Storm Ciara as well as this week’s Storm Dennis, two powerful weather systems which have been wreaking havoc throughout communities across the country. Here in West Yorkshire’s Calderdale region, an area of steep-sided valleys streaked through with rivers and canals, Storm Ciara brought with her a month’s worth of rain in under 24 hours, with wind gusts reaching upwards of 75mph at times. Hail, sleet, and ‘thundersnow’ (a particularly interesting fixture of our region’s winter weather patterns) abounded as well. Waterlogged local communities such as Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd, and Hebden Bridge were still working towards recovery when Storm Dennis hit this Friday now past, although thankfully the rainfall, while still heavy, was much more intermittent this time around, giving local waterways a chance to recede a bit in between deluges.

This is an area which is accustomed to harsh winter weather and catastrophic flooding, but of course that doesn’t mean it gets any easier for affected individuals and families to weather each subsequent natural disaster emotionally or financially. Fortunately, community authorities and organizations have learned to ‘go with the flow’ so to speak, and whenever disaster does strike folks come together and kindnesses big and small are to be seen all around. 

As recent events help highlight, we may not be able to control what does and doesn’t happen to us, but we can always determine how we respond to events. If we go with the flow and bend with the wind, we can remain strong and practice kindness when something less-than-ideal does inevitably happen to us. 

With that thought of the moment in mind, I’ll leave you with this relevant quote from martial artist and actor Bruce Lee – along with a wish for you all to have a satisfying week ahead, filled with things that cause you to smile and for which you can be grateful. 

Bruce Lee - Bending with the Wind

Monday Mindfulness ~ January 6, 2020

Hello – and a very warm welcome to you all, whether you’ve been visiting since the early days of this little seedling of a site or this is your very first time stumbling upon it!

As I’m certain anyone who so much as glances at the news will no doubt already know, 2020 has started off with a few troubling developments around the world, the devastating wildfires wreaking havoc across Australia, for instance, as well as the sharp escalation of tensions between US and Iranian politicians. For many, it may be difficult not to be weighed down by events such as these, becoming overwhelmed by feelings of powerlessness to stop such things from happening or to at the very least improve matters.

I urge you to remember that while we may not have control over what happens in the world, you can still choose everyday to be kind. And remember as well that kindness begins with you; if you look after yourself in both body and mind, you’ll not only be doing yourself a great kindness, but you’ll be better able to help others too.

I’ll leave you this week with a quote from Byron Katie, an American author and speaker. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy week ahead!

Byron Katie - Let Life Live You

Monday Mindfulness ~ November 11, 2019

Good evening all, and a very happy Monday Mindfulness to you.

Today’s thought for the moment comes to us from Arthur Ashe, professional tennis player and the first African-American man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and Australian Open. 

Wherever you may be right now, whatever might be going on in your life at present, remember that you are enough, just as you are, however you might be feeling. You’re a whole microcosm of awesome, and you’ve got this.

Much love, all.

Arthur Ashe - Start Where You Are

A Brief Introduction to Mindful Eating

Recently, I shared with you all a bit of an introduction to mindful walking (which, if you missed it, you can find here) and mentioned furthermore that in honor of and inspired by World Mental Health Day I’d be posting more in a brief series on the topic of maintaining good mental health throughout the rest of October.

We sit precariously on the edge of that particularly festive – and feast-ive! – time of year between Halloween and New Year’s Eve when, what with all the holidays in relatively quick succession and the potential for many a food-stuffed gorge-fest with family, friends, and co-workers, it is all too easy to slip into bad habits such as eating until we’re well past full, eating whenever we feel a bit down, or eating whilst trying to multitask. It’s an ideal time to start thinking about how we can each best develop a more mindful way of eating, a way that will leave us both nutritionally but also spiritually satisfied. 

Here now are a few friendly suggestions to help you – and me too! – as you try to bring more awareness to your everyday eating.

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