October 2015: Mindfulness

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After a busy September, including our Centenary Fair on top of all the usual back-to-school and post-summer excitement, October was the perfect time for us to do something calming.

Mindfulness is a practice which encourages people to focus on the here and now, and enjoy the details of what is happening in the moment, rather than worrying about all the other things that so often occupy our minds. It’s a concept which is growing in popularity and is seen to have particular value in our busy modern lives.

The sessions was led by Annika Wager, whose One the Mind shows her extensive experience and understanding of mindfulness. She took us through the background to mindfulness and how the theory can be applied in everyday life.

Then, of course, we had to put that theory into practice ourselves. Annika gave us several chances to try exercises which encouraged us to focus on things like a piece of music, or aspects of our own bodies. By focusing all our attention on our thumb, or the feeling of our feet on the floor, for example, we can exclude thoughts about what we have to do at work tomorrow, or how we’re going to manage to fit in all the things we have to do at home this week.

Some of us found it easier than others to close our minds to distraction and focus on our immediate surroundings. However, Annika explained it is important to practise and become more adept at mindfulness in order to get the full benefit in our daily lives. For those who would like the chance to learn more, Annika offers regular courses and events which members are welcome to join.

Next month, we’ll be making advent calendars. Join us on Thursday 12th November to make your own advent calendar ready to fill with whatever you like in the run-up to Christmas. As usual, we’ll be meeting at St George’s Social Club from 7.30pm. All member are welcome, but we ask guests to register in advance by emailing us, because we will have limited spaces available. Entry is £5 for guests, and free for members, and there will be a £2 charge for materials for all attendees. Please bring the correct change if possible!

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About Spa Sweethearts WI

A young, fun and diverse 'new wave' WI based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. We encourage women to leave their preconceptions of the organisation at the door and find out what the modern WI is really like. Guests are welcome at our meetings - why not give it a try? Spa Sweethearts WI meets on the second Thursday of each month, 7:30pm, at St George's Social Club, St George's Road, Harrogate.

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