Cathedral Grove

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

Wishing Y’all a Very Happy, Healthy 2020!

Happy New Year (2020)

I know I’m posting this a little bit late, but better late than never, right?!

I’m bidding 2019 a fairly fond farewell (…and hoping you are able to do the same), whilst wishing welcome to the new year, and indeed, the new decade.
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Monday Mindfulness ~ December 2, 2019

Hello, all – and happy Monday Mindfulness to you. 

Today’s thought for the moment comes to us from singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen. It’s such a wonderful thought, and one I felt was especially appropriate to share today as I head off to Leeds to begin a Mental Health First Aid training course.

I hope you all have a marvelous day whatever it might hold, wherever you may be. Take care, and be well.

Leonard Cohen - How the Light Gets In

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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Monday Mindfulness ~ October 21, 2019

Hello, everyone – and happy Monday Mindfulness to you all too.

As these posts have been a bit more irregular than normal as of late, today’s installment is a double feature. Take a look. Hopefully these thoughts will add a touch of inspiration, motivation, and positivity to your day and the week ahead.

As always, thank you so much for pausing here with me for a little while. Wishing you all a lovely, satisfying week!

Ovid - Through Persistence

 

Zen Proverb - Obstacles are the Path

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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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