Slivers of Light at Powderham

 

ONE DAY AUTUMN / WINTER RETREATS AT POWDERHAM CASTLE

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The days are getting darker, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find the slivers of light…

Join me and other like-minded souls for a day at the magical Powderham Castle, trying to keep our faces to the sunshine, enjoying the beauty of nature, yoga, mindfulness and breaking bread together.

Coinciding with the launch of the e-book “Slivers of Light”, in partnership with local charity Pete’s Dragons, we are holding two one-day wellbeing retreats at Powderham Castle.

Sunday 18th November 2018 8.30am – 5pm

Sunday 2nd December 2018 8.30am – 5pm

I’ll be introducing you to the techniques I have used, as well as the concepts in the book, to help you devise your own plan for getting through the darker days, whether you’ve been in a hole yourself, or you’re just wanting to stay well through the winter.

This is the ideal kickstart to the “Slivers of Light 21-day Shift”, an online programme to help you build in new healthy habits, like a mindfulness practise or new way of managing your energy levels.

Here’s what the day will look like….but don’t worry about the schedule…the magic will unfold as it’s meant to…

  • “Coming Home” – mindful movement to ground you and bring you into you into your body and feel at home at the Castle
  • “Chi Yoga” – part the clouds, paint a rainbow and get the energy flowing
  • “Space To Be” – Refreshment Breaks to enjoy the grounds and tour the Castle
  • “Feel-good Flow” – Vinyasa Flow Yoga class to celebrate the energy of the sun
  • “Breaking Bread” – lunch will be community-kitchen style, where we all bring a dish (doesn’t have to be home-made, just whatever makes you happy), practising mindful eating and savouring every moment and mouthful!
  • “Walk On The Wild Side” – breathing in the Estuary air, walking the grounds of the Powderham Estate , meeting the deer, and celebrating all the natural wonders of the season.
  • “The Magic 21 Day Shift” – a workshop to help you make steady yet sustainable progress in coming back into the light, based on the work from “Slivers of Light”.
  • “Let It Go. Let It Flow” – a moving meditation session, set to music, to help you integrate everything you’ve done, be free of everything you want to leave behind, and leave feeling light and uplifted.
  • “Carpe Cocoa – seize the Cacao!” – a sweet treat at the end of the day, as we embrace the hygge of the season and go on our merry way, with a little more joy in our hearts!

SPECIAL OFFER:

BOOK BY FRIDAY 26TH OCTOBER 2018 AND GET THE E-BOOK “SLIVERS OF LIGHT” FOR FREE!

£70 PER PERSON

Secure your place by emailing gilliesutherland@me.com or make your payment by BACS (don’t forget to include your name as a reference!)

Account Details for Payment:

Account Name: Miss G L Sutherland

Sort Code: 560049

Account Number: 32241348

Also do feel free to email or call me on 07530 012490 if you have any questions

Looking forward to seeing you

Love and Light,

 

Gillie xx

 

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Coming Home…

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It’s been a crazy month, in that it feels as if my feet haven’t touched the ground.

I’ve spent around eight days at home in the past four weeks, and I have to say it’s a huge relief to be back on terra firma, and cosying up with my cat again.

It can seem oh-so-glamorous when I’m working abroad, and running yoga holidays in stunning holiday locations, but there’s really “no place like home”. Especially when it comes to feeling grounded.

I’ve always been a bit flighty, I’ve travelled a lot, I’ve moved house more times than I can remember, and I’ve never really felt like I had firm roots.

So it has been pretty exciting to finally feel as if I’m “coming home”, albeit to my modest little flat in Exmouth with Lucky Boots the cat.

Its got me thinking about what it means to feel “at home”. In classes, I often refer to our first home as being our physical body, in that as long as we feel comfortable in ourselves and can go within, we can feel at home anywhere.

It seems to be more than that. Yoga has enabled me to really feel and appreciate my body, yet I know that my surroundings have a massive effect on my state of wellbeing.

In the wrong place, with the wrong people, doing things that don’t nourish me, I feel unwell, disconnected and a sense of insecurity, not feeling safe.

Yet when I surround myself with those people, places and circumstances that feed my soul, it’s like I come alive.

In the past few years, I feel I’ve kept myself small, I’ve denied my true self, because I’ve been trying to fit in where I didn’t belong. Things just felt “off”, and I often felt like a round peg in a square hole.

I thought it was me.

I had even thought that perhaps I was better off on my own, doing my own thing, and having minimal social connection, except in my work. Isolating myself seemed to be more attractive than being in toxic environments.

Then I realised what the problem was – it was the environment I was in which would dictate whether I flourished or floundered.

In recent months, during a time of deep healing and transformation, I feel more sensitive than ever to where I am thriving.

Having just spent four nights on a boat with six empowered, amazing women, I realise I can be around others and be my wild and weird self without judgement. In fact, when I do that, it seems it opens the door for others to do the same.

I don’t need to dim my light in order for others to feel more comfortable. I’m not “too much” when I’m around people who support my growth and respect my unique spirit.

For when we are comfortable in ourselves, we feel no need to shoot others down.

We thrive in the right environment.

What struck me most over this past week spending time in a nourishing and nurturing environment was the lack of competition and comparison in this particular group of divine females.

It sat so well with my own values of not competing with anyone else.

Life can be hard enough as it is, I have no desire to compete. I hope we all make it.

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Autumn / Winter 2018 timetable

 

 

🌸Happy Monday everyone!!! 🌸

*** Here’s this Autumn / Winter’s Timetable which will run right up until Christmas… and enshallah, I’ll be taking every one!! 👏😜❤️

Monday 645-745pm Powderham Castle 

Wednesday 715 -815am Ocean Physio, Woodbury 

Wednesday 930 – 1030am Powderham Castle 

Friday 715 -815am Ocean Physio, Woodbury 

Saturday 10-11am Ocean (Top Deck), Exmouth ***starts October 27th 2018

!!! NB During half term week there will be no classes from Friday 19th October 2018 to Saturday 27th October when YOGA @ OCEAN TOP DECK will start from 10-11am every Saturday. Can’t wait for that one overlooking the beach with outdoor option too! 

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*** Feel free to drop in and pay in cash between now and January as we have plenty of space in all venues. All classes £8 per class except Monday evenings at Powderham which is £10 per class , but discounted rates are available online ***

😘Looking forward to seeing you soon 😘

With Love and light

Gillie xx

Face To The Sunshine

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As summer draws to a close, and we grieve the loss of the lighter and longer days, I’m asking myself how we can “keep our faces to the sunshine” so to speak.

It’s been a magnificent summer, and so I feel it would be downright rude to complain in any way, but… and it’s a big but…. I miss my flip flops!

I miss the days of getting up and it’s light already; waking up as the sun rises is just bliss to me. Aligning with the circadian rhythms just makes sense, and I know I feel healthier when I do this.

Watching the sun go down, and it still being warm enough to be outside, is one of life’s great pleasures, but I think we’ve almost taken for granted this year.

Yet things are changing and we’ve got to face the facts. The nights are most certainly drawing in and we are losing our treasured light hours.

So how do we cope, I ask myself?

The answer comes as I’m chatting with a fellow wild warrior whilst we drink our coffees on the benches outside Darts Farm. It’s glorious sunshine, we both have our faces to the sun, and it’s decided: “we have to make the most of the light”.

It’s only 8.30am and I’ve already done one class, and the beautiful day, as well as a couple of other things, has put me in a ridiculously good mood. It’s the kind of mood where I can see possibilities in everything, where I can take the positives out of any seemingly negative scenario. It had all the makings of a great day and I wasn’t disappointed.

I make a decision that throughout autumn and winter 2018 I will be ensuring that each day, at some point, whenever I can, I will be getting the sunlight on my skin.

We know, it’s scientifically proven, that we need Vitamin D. In fact, it’s suggested that we spend thirty minutes a day outside, without any sunscreen on, to get the dose we need. Surely there’s half an hour in each day that it’s possible to be outside?

Yesterday, I managed to squeeze every possible moment of light out of the day. It was easy to just grab some snatches of time in my schedule with a bit of conscious thought out to it.

After my morning coffee outside, I went to Powderham Castle, where I soaked up the sun in the courtyard enjoying a Dutch car rally with some of the most impressive classic cars I’ve seen. No matter what is going on, Powderham always makes me appreciate the seasons, it never fails to take my breath away.

My next appointment we decided to hold outside over brunch on Exeter Quay, and later, on my way home from doing my jobs, I catch the sunset on Topsham Quay with a couple of friends. I’m leaving for Croatia at 2am but my packing and house admin can wait until it’s dark.

It was one of the most beautiful days of the year and every moment spent outside in the sun was even more appreciated because it wasn’t so expected at this time of year.

It was a day of magic, natural beauty, all because I decided not to think of what we were losing, but to make the most of what we have. The summer may be over, but the new season is just beginning… and I’ve a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

 

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Slivers of Light on Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health Day

I couldn’t think of a better way of honouring this day than with a yoga class at Powderham Castle with the slivers of light streaming through the window.

Today we also received the fantastic news that a Minister has been appointed to focus on Suicide Prevention. I had only just decided that my appointed charity to work with and support with my upcoming e-book would be Pete’s Dragons, who provide support for those suffering from suicide loss, as well as delivering suicide prevention training. It’s an amazing charity and meeting their CEO the other day was truly inspiring. 

Those that read my column or know me really well will know that this year I have struggled more than ever before with my mental health.

Feeling a lot better now, I feel I’ve a little light of my own to share, and maybe some words of wisdom, having had to claw my way out of the darkness. Throughout my darkest days I had to draw on everything I had learned over my 27 years in health and wellbeing, and I wrote my way out of it. 

Coming back after a mental health crisis is not a big leap back to feeling good, more like a slow and gradual process, making small steps each day, trying to find little pockets of time where you can feel ok, and having the support of good people around you. 

I call these small steps “slivers of light”, like glimmers of hope, when it seems all is dark around you.

The greatest healer I’ve found so far has been nature, and walking the beach every day whilst feeling low helped me so much. It was even more soul-nourishing to have people join me, and I was overwhelmed by the support I had, including from my friends at Powderham Castle.

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Whilst healing from my accident, AJ came over to see me and we walked and talked and openly shared our truths, and she has since held the space for me whilst I heal, which has been incredible.

Today Charlie, The Earl of Devon, joined us in the class, where everyone had (in some shape or form) worn yellow in honour of Mental Health Day.

Charlie outshone us all in his bright yellow Freddie Mercury style biker jacket and it really brought a ray of sunshine to the class. 

As I went to the estate office afterwards, I realised all the staff were wearing yellow, and Charlie’s jacket was the talk of the castle. It didn’t surprise me, as I know what advocates they are there, true supporters of those who are suffering. I know this from first hand experience.

And today, I would like to thank all those who have supported me and many others on the journey back to health. Without you, many of us I’m sure would not still be here to share our story.

You are also the “slivers of light”. You bring hope when we are in the darkness. You relieve suffering in those that need it. 

This quote I think says it all.

“May we all find a sliver of light when we need it most

May we support each other in sharing our inner worlds, so that no one suffers alone

And May we each give a little bit of our own light when we have some to spare

Surely there is enough light to go around “

The e-book “Slivers of Light” will be available for download on Monday 5th November 2018. 

Watch this space… 

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