Cathedral Grove

Monday Mindfulness ~ October 1, 2018

Hello, all. Time for another installment of Monday Mindfulness.

Today, it’s a reminder to be grateful from Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor (from 161-180), Stoic philosopher, and author of Meditations. 

Here’s hoping your day and the week ahead is filled with joy, contentment, and many other things besides for which to be grateful. 

Marcus Aurelius - A Privilege to Be Alive

Monday Mindfulness ~ September 24, 2018

Good morning, all. A very happy start of the new week to you all.

Today, our Monday Mindfulness thought comes from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Wouldn’t it be nice if more people felt as such? I believe a kinder, more compassionate humanity is possible.

Challenge yourself today and every day to speak and act as you would like others to. If there are people in your life for whom unkindness is their way of being, show them a better way by your deeds.

Dalai Lama XIV - Your Philosophy is Simple Kindness

How Video Games Help Me When I’m Dealing with Anxiety

Like 1 in 13 people worldwide¹, I have a history with anxiety. My specific mental health journey has involved developing generalized anxiety around the age of 12, my first panic attack occurring when I was 17, and the onset of moderate depression shortly thereafter. Thankfully, I kicked the depression by my second year of university, and I haven’t had a panic attack since 2014. Generally mild yet persistent anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies linger still, but I’ve become much better at recognizing my triggers and knowing instinctively what I need to do for myself to relieve my mental muddle.

Now in my late 20s, I’ve found another, rather surprising tool to add to my mental health mending kit – video games!

While I fondly remember the classic Game Boy ‘brick’ my parents gifted me with as a child, I didn’t truly delve into gaming until around the start of last year. Playing console games has opened up a whole new world (…many worlds, in fact) of entertainment. Not only that, but playing many of these games has helped me better manage my anxieties – and here’s how.

Video Games + Mental Health 3 Read More

Monday Mindfulness ~ September 10, 2018

Good morning, all – and happy Monday Mindfulness once again, following a brief pause.

I’ve recently returned to work as an adventurous activities group leader after having a bit of the summer off. My mind has been a bit off-kilter this week what with readjusting back into the flow of things, but I stumbled upon this quote last night after finishing work and found it to be an important bit of perspective for me. Hopefully, you’ll find it to be both helpful and hopeful too.

Hat tip to Robert Louis Stevenson, writer of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from whom we get this week’s quote.

Robert Louis Stevenson - The Seeds You Plant

Adventures in the Algarve, Portugal: Part 3

Hello again, and welcome to the last installment of my scribblings about a recent visit to Portugal’s sun- and surf-filled south, the Algarve. If you’re new to the site and happened to miss Part 1 and Part 2, no worries – I’ve added the links here.

As I said at the end of the last post, this time we’re headed west – out to the many gorgeous beaches of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina.

First stop… Read More

Adventures in the Algarve, Portugal: Part 2

Boa tarde, fellow adventurers.

Here, find the continuation of my recent wanderings in southwestern Portugal, in the region better known as the Algarve. If you happened to miss Part 1, no worries – here’s the link.
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Adventures in the Algarve, Portugal: Part 1

Olá, y’all!

My partner Nick and I recently returned to our neck of the woods after a week away exploring the Algarve, Portugal‘s southern most region. It was a fantastic adventure, and I’d like to share a bit about our wanderings as well as a few of my photographs with you. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to do a bit of adventuring somewhere new as well!


~ The Algarve, Portugal – Part 1 ~

Met to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and to the west by the mighty Atlantic Ocean, the Algarve has a plethora of sandstone stack-spotted beaches to discover. Its location also means there is a near-constant sea breeze, making even the hottest of summer days reasonably comfortable.

And what to do on those long summer days? Well, the region has plenty to offer visitors, the adventure-keen and relaxation-minded alike. As for us, we wanted a mixture of both active pursuits and chillaxin’ time, and I’d say we definitely managed to strike that balance. A rental car is fairly essential to making things happen in the Algarve, but the options are plentiful at Faro Airport and the prices not too dear. I recommend doing a little online research before arriving in the Algarve, including becoming familiar with how the toll road – Via Verde – system works. Going to be doing a lot of exploring? Consider downloading a GPS app for the region onto your smartphone before you go, as there are many options available and they are often free. We used Navmii Portugal, and it was often invaluable.

Our wanderings took us mostly through the areas around and between Lagos, Sagres, and Aljezur, so the most southwestern part of the Algarve. Read More

(Belated) Monday Mindfulness ~ July 24, 2018

Well, it isn’t Monday…but it’s always the right time for mindfulness.

Apologies for the scarcity of posts lately. Work has been keeping me fairly busy the past few weeks, what with needing to run adventurous activities for school groups plus all the deep cleaning and facilities touch-up that goes into getting the centre ready to shut down for the summer holidays.

Now it’s officially the summer break, it’s time for some more think-y thought-y stuff!

When I’ve had a day or so off, I’ve been delving into a fantastic game recommended to me by friends – Dragon Age: Inquisition. I finished it last week, but – you know what – I’m very likely to play it through again sometime very soon, because it’s just that great. I’d say it’s currently my second favorite game ever, not far behind the extraordinarily mind-blowing Horizon Zero Dawn.

Anyway, seeing as I’ve just finished DA:I and it’s still on the brain, I felt like sharing some positive thoughts from it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be chilling out at home whilst enjoying some of the delightful tavern songs from Skyhold’s Herald’s Rest, conveniently on Spotify for my listening pleasure!

DA.I - The Space Between Stars

More below… Read More

Monday Mindfulness ~ May 21, 2018

Hello, lovely people. Monday Mindfulness is back! Here’s hoping you have a week filled with contentment, joy, and fulfillment. 

I’ll be traveling back ‘across the pond’ this Saturday and will be Stateside for about a week and a half while visiting my much loved and much thought of family. As such, it’s unlikely there will be any new posts here on Cathedral Grove until after I get back and have had a bit of time to adjust. 

In the meantime, be well and be happy! 

Chinese Proverb - Relaxation is Who You Are

Monday Mindfulness ~ April 16, 2018

Here on Cathedral Grove, I hope to be able to feature a post like this one each Monday – a ‘thought of the moment’ to consider at the start of each new week.

Each text-on-image graphic will be unique and something I myself have created. More often than not, I hope to add a bit of context and a touch of interpretation to get you started in thinking about the quote and how it might apply to you and your life experience, but on occasion I may simply leave things open for you all to ponder as you like.

Of course, I hope you’ll always feel free to share your thoughts below, as well as to share these installments of Monday Mindfulness with others who you feel might appreciate or benefit from them.

Let’s start simply, yet boldly. Today I will leave you with this, a quote from the 13th century Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad, known more commonly to English speakers as Rumi.

Rumi - You, the Universe

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