On November 19th, we delivered our first Oysters and Pearls event at Blackburn College. We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the wonderful people who were involved, from those who helped promote the event to the 35 Lancashire ladies who came on the day and mentored the students. The day was inspiring, humbling and emotional and the feedback from the college, both teachers and students, has been incredible. During a follow-up focus group, students told us that “they didn’t want the day to end” and Pastoral support officer Amy Miller said “ barriers were broken down.”
We hold group coaching sessions with the students before and after the event and watching the girls grow in confidence and be able to talk to their mentors using expression and animation is amazing. The Oysters and Pearls event is facilitated by actress Amy Strange who uses techniques learned at The Guildhall School of Acting to teach the students about communication and self belief. The students’ response to Amy is always magical and what is even more magical for me is that this talented young woman is my daughter!
We’ll be back at the college in the Spring to work with 16 year-old-boys on our Centre Forward programme and also next October for another Oysters and Pearls.
March 2019 will also see the launch of our first weekend workshop for men as well as women! So many men have said to us that they need to de-stress too that we are offering a Leadership Embodiment (LE) weekend at Gisburn on 30th and 31st March. Leadership Embodiment uses somatics to explore how we connect mind, body, emotions and spirit to attune to oneself and others. It’s a powerful combination of Aikido and Mindfulness and has been taught by Wendy Palmer (its founder) in corporations across the world.
Our weekend is led by Paul King, a Master Practitioner and certified Trainer in NLP, an Inner Game Coach and a certified teacher of Conscious Embodiment. He is qualified in Spiral Dynamics, Corporate Tools Values Assessment and is a Challenge Course facilitator. He has trained in psychosynthesis, transactional analysis and brief therapy and qualified in Feldenkrais (movement re-education) and Polarity Therapy (energy based bodywork).
Click here to find out more and book your place.
I've just come back from a road trip in New England where we spent a day in Salem. It was packed with students visiting the museums and spooky exhibitions, learning about the witch frenzy of centuries past. In Europe, during the 16th and 17th centuries at least 40,000 people were accused of witchcraft and executed; and as we now know, many of the women tried and convicted of witchcraft were in fact intelligent women who were midwives, healers and/or women of property.
In Salem, the whole terrible saga which culminated in 20 men and women being hanged, was started by bored teenage girls whose intellect was suffocated. Three teenage girls were eager to hear old African tales from one of the women in the village and this literally fuelled their imagination. They proceeded to scare each other by telling wild stories and pretending to see visions and this got totally out of hand.
Today in the UK, all of our teenagers are entitled to an education. Most are also enabled to be happy, dream big and effect positive change in the world. But not all teenagers are this lucky. Many have seen and experienced things that no young person should and 24/7 social media has resulted in many questioning their own worth. Are they good looking enough, clever enough, do they have the right designer brands, have enough friends? 4 in 10 teenage girls are now self harming. That's what is really scary - not Halloween.
This is why we designed Oysters and Pearls, to try and reach 16 and 17 year old girls who need to know that they are as good as anyone else and that there are lots of opportunities for them in Lancashire.
Our 7th Oysters and Pearls event is at Blackburn College on the 19th November and we need 40 incredible and generous Lancashire women to spend a day with 40 female students.
If you are a woman in management, a woman running her own business or a woman in the professions, or even if you are currently taking a career break but have held an interesting position in the past, we need you please to join our day of motivation and mentoring. We won't ask you to get up and speak, we just want the girls to be able to share the day with you and ask you some questions one to one, so that they can see that today's women in work, were once teenage girls with issues, just like them.
Please pledge one day, it could change a life to book please follow this link
GNOSIS is the feminine Greek noun for knowledge, but it is also the name of a poem that changed my life. For it is the poem that spoke to me so profoundly when I was totally spent and lying in bed exhausted and tearful at Kagye Samye Ling monastery in 2016.
The final stanza of the poem by Christina Worsley...
‘The more you look, the less you see –Behold your own despair –
When you decide to look no more - Then I’ll be everywhere’
...unlocked a key and opened a door which people in my past may have tried to show me; but only at that moment, was I ready to see and open it.
Since then, I have been searching within and considering a time, place and space when I knew beyond a doubt what I wanted to give to the world.
It has been an interesting and deeply reflective experience and also a time of new learning, new teaching circles and new direction.
Everyday we read about the joint effect of being continually available online and the crazy speed of life, on both our mental and physical health. But often we are so stressed and so busy that we feel there’s not even time to think about how to start to change things.
This is why I have developed GNOSIS, a guide to a deeper knowledge of oneself and a pathway to a happier way of living.
I was a mother of four, with a full on career - I understand your time restrictions.
But I also understand first hand, the effect of over work on your health and your happiness.
If you know there is more to this life than you are currently experiencing, please talk to me about GNOSIS.
Guided learning through a series of retreats and one to one coaching, for 21st century women.
Last week I had a brilliant business week. Hours of successful consultancy work, writing and delivering a new Resilience workshop, sorting out an amazing setting for our 2019 new retreat (watch this space), establishing a relationship with a new associate and bringing new clients on board. Plus I managed to keep on top of all my admin and emails and also spend time with my daughter who was visiting from Scotland, make nice teas, do the shop, visit my Mum twice at her nursing home and do some serious planning for our big American adventure in New England this Autumn.
A successful week one might argue. Seems like I remembered everything.
Actually no. I ended the week feeling very tired and being short tempered. I felt mixed up and slightly panicky somehow. I didn't sleep Friday night and spent most of the night with a head-ache and indigestion.
Saturday morning, I finally found time for a walk up to my 'thinking stone' at the foot of Boulsworth Hill. As I drank in the fresh air and marvelled at the colours of the flowers on the side of the lane, I started to smile. I did some deep breathing for 5 minutes. An 'in' breath for 4 steps, an 'out' breath for 8 steps. After 35 minutes I reached my boulder and as I stared at the big old hill in front of me, I realised that last week, I forgot all the good things I have been learning over the past 2 years.
I forgot to do my morning mindfulness session. I forgot to practice my Heartmath breathing throughout the day. I forgot to stop and look at a rose or a butterfly. I forgot to write my journal at night. I listened to the morning news instead of doing my morning affirmation. I reached for wine instead of going a walk. I watched the ten of clock news instead of the sunset. I hit the pillow with the days events buzzing in my head, instead of emptying my head into my journal and writing about the things that I am grateful for.
These simple and free things take approximately one hour a day and are the things that save your health, relationships, careers, businesses and ultimately can add years to your life.
It's never to late to include these things into your day and week and vitally important to do so, as I have just reminded myself!
Now talking about reminders, next year I will definitely be making it clear to hubby that he has to remember anniversaries, especially a 20 year one, because he forgot! But that's another story!
If you enjoy my blogs, you can read more of my work in my book available here www.amazon.co.uk/Words-Walks-Wisdom-Wendy-Bowers/dp/1671172353