Grounding for Mental Health

 

When I’m struggling with my mental health, when my mind is in overdrive, and my nervous system has tripped me into “high alert”, I put my feet in the sand, and I walk.

It only took me around 40 years to realise that this was the answer for me. I always was a late bloomer! (More about that later in the week..).

Now I’ve learned there is science behind it too, but I just know from how it feels that it has a magical effect.

As it would happen, today was one those days. My head was a in a muddle, and my to-do list was getting longer and longer. I couldn’t even think what to write about, and if you know me at all, it’s not that often I don’t have anything to say.

I knew that I had to get out of my head and into my body.

For it is in the body that the wisdom lies. Our body was our first home, and when we go back to it, that’s where we can feel safe, where we can trust again.

Ironically, the body is also the place we go to heal our “body image issues”. For it is not the body that is the problem, it is our thinking around it.

The way to stop our negative thinking around it is to go into it, and to place it into it’s natural habitat – the Earth.

When it’s you and nature, have you noticed you’re really not bothered about your body?

I remember when I was in Lombok, and it was me, a bikini, boardshorts, a moped, a surfboard, and not much else. I never gave a second thought to what shape I was in.

Yet when I returned to the UK, and I was surrounded by images of so-called “perfection”, 8 foot, size 4 mannequins in shop windows, selling a dream that wasn’t real, my insecurities soon returned. In the changing rooms, I was wondering why the clothes in the window didn’t look like that on me.

I remember thinking how ridiculous it was. I had a normal body, if anything, in pretty good nick, and yet there I was feeling “less than” after weeks of not giving a hoot.

So I know now that I need to avoid all of that nonsense as much as possible and go back to what’s real…

What’s real is going back to nature, accepting my body as it is, and where I am now. With my feet in the sand, the sun on my skin, and getting out of my busy mind.

A few weeks ago, I stood up in front of 150 people with only little shorts on. This time last year, I was leaner, skinnier than I am now, but I was way more insecure and I couldn’t have done that with the same confidence, where I did not think once about whether I had a yoga teacher’s body.

That’s because this time around I did not have the voice in my head that told me I wasn’t ok as I was. (If I’m feeling brave enough, I’ll share why later in the week!)

BIGGER AND BETTER

Bigger and Better this year…

When we aren’t grounded, that voice can take over, but when we put our feet into the Earth, we get out into nature, and preferably on our own when we need to, that’s when we learn to observe those voices, question them, ask them if they are true. Eventually we just let them go…

At some point we forget the projections of others, the expectations of the modern world, the unrealistic images of a perfection that doesn’t exist, and we go back into our first home, and it’s OK.

 

mental health awareness week day 1

Le Wild Retreat is here!

It is here!

It is happening!

We are going to France to soak up some of Europe’s purest prana and water this June 2016.

Join me and other like-minded balance-seekers for a week of nourishing food, yoga and fun in this stunning setting in nature. My aim is to have you feeling energised, refreshed and full of good memories.

We will be staying at a magical retreat centre hidden in a valley of interlocking spurs in the forests of Aveyron, in the south of France. An entirely secluded eco-run hamlet, our expanse of wild tranquility.

Retreat package is just £495 for all food, accommodation, yoga, meditation and walks. Flights are around £120 return to Toulouse, and I will arrange transfers to and from the retreat. Take a look at what to expect

 

Yoga

The theme will be “wild” of course – the concept being that the closer to nature you are, the healthier you are. The yoga will have a “primal” flavour, based on the principles of Natural Movement and will be a blend of energising morning classes, and restorative evening sessions with meditation, and of course as many wild venues we can find to do our vogue warriors!

The yoga deck is the most stunning view, and meditation in the mint field is going to be very special.

With two yoga teachers for the week, both of us keen foodies as well as coaches, you won’t be short of support or encouragement either.

There is also a hot tub to enjoy in the evenings as well!

Food

An additional element will be that we will be learning and journeying through the chakras, not just in terms of the yoga, but also with our food. Inspiration from my new cookery book, The Chakra Kitchen!

We will be clean eating, and although not an entirely vegetarian retreat, vegans and those with special dietary requirements will be catered for.

We will be catering for ourselves, and I put the shopping list in to the retreat owners before we arrive, so we can all put in our orders as well as ideas into the mix. You can get involved as much or as little as you like in the cooking, but we hope for it to be an educational and experiential retreat, where we all learn from each other and create some special dishes, everyone getting something they like.

There is also a wood fired pizza oven and a Bar be Cue so they will be special evenings we will have together, and we will go out into Gaillac one evening to sample some of the local cuisine as well.

Logistics:

Arrive: Sunday 5th June 2016

Depart: Saturday 11th June 2016

I have looked at flights from Bristol to Toulouse and at the moment for those dates it is £124 return with Easyjet

 

Dep 5/6/16 15.45 Arr 18.30

Dep 11/6/16 16.15 Arr 17.05

There may be connecting flights from other local airports in the UK, and also some very cheap options from London Gatwick, City, Heathrow or Luton. Hopefully you can find an option that suits.

Accommodation:

The accommodation will be for 6 nights and all food will be included in the cost.

All are shared rooms however there is the option of The Pool Room (private room, bathroom and building) at a premium cost of £575 for the week.

Otherwise the cost of the retreat is £495 which includes accommodation, food, walks, and 2-3 sessions a week.

Transport

I will arrange your pick up from Toulouse airport once I have your flight details

I am also intending to hire a couple of cars to transport us around for the week so that we can go and explore the area and take trips into town as people wish. For this we will share the costs, the cars should work out at around £30 each for the week.

Venue:

You can see details of the venue here. It really is a special place, and in one of my favourite areas of France. I travelled here two years ago and is a must for nature and food lovers!

http://www.wild-retreats.com/

The accommodation will be for 6 nights and all food will be included in the cost.

All are shared rooms however there is the option of The Pool Room (private room, bathroom and building) at a premium cost of £575 for the week.

Otherwise the cost of the retreat is £495 which includes accommodation, food, walks, and 2-3 sessions a week.

I am also intending to hire a couple of cars to transport us around for the week so that we can go and explore the area and take trips into town as people wish. For this we will share the costs, the cars should work out at around £30 each for the week.

Cost:

£495 per person for 6 nights food, accommodation, yoga, walks, transfers and some activities.

Guests arrange their own flights.

To secure your place I just ask for £100 deposit for the retreat, and full payment by 1st May 2016.

There are just 8 spaces on this retreat, plus two yoga teachers, so it will be a nice intimate group (all fabulous I am sure!) with plenty of laughter and fun that I can guarantee J

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Email me on gilliesutherland73@gmail.com to book.