Images, videos, recordings, drawings, and text by:
Lauren Goodey & Chloe Lund
Art residency @ Y Nyth (The Nest) 20-25 Feb 2020
Penychain & Aberech Sands
Late summer 2019: Chloë, Lauren & Hana walk the coast path stretching between Porthmadog and Pwhelli (North Wales)
Early spring 2020: Chloë and Lauren visit again TO DO A CRETIVE RESIDENCY IN CRICIETH AT **Y NYTH**
Art residency: The Process
We wanted this residency to be an opportunity to reflect and experiment with our creativity. Instead of setting strict outcomes for the residency and falling into a production mentality, we decided to prioritise:
Revisiting the places felt like a exploration across space and time. Standing together in these significant locations, memories came back with a particular vividness, a level of detail which we had previously forgotten.
It had been a whole winter since we lived together while walking the Welsh Coast Path, and we also wanted to find out how our winters had been whilst we had been apart; how they might have been informed by the moments we shared along this stretch of the Welsh Coast Path in the summer? And where were we now, at the dawn of a new spring.
In Part 1,2 & 3 of this blog post, we share some of these reflections.
In the videos: we share our memories from key sites.
In the audio recordings: we extend these discussions to include our winters.
In the collages: we merge our memories of the places from late summer with photographs as they are now.
Next: Part 2 - Borth-Y-Gest
went forward into the future
sat bya fire in the cold cold woods
step by step
fell back into the past
plan by plan
now am in the future, lost
but am more or less,
where i was
when i was in the future in the past
In the future in the past: notes
At the end of sustaining resistance we took part in a future ritual:
I was surprised working through these pieces of paper, how many of them had clearly been a part of my experience over the last 3 years. Some feel like they have been part of my experience and now feel very far away. Others feel like they have fully integrated into my life. Some i feel confident at at times, and not at all at others. (They are also not particularly SMART goals - more intentions.)
IN EXISTENCE / have happened /
to continue working with...?
I am earning more than enough money
(I am earning enough but not much)
my self confidence is strong.
(I dont feel this at all at the moment - currently studying work around the inner critic and complex PTSD to work towards this)
I spent a year studying at the wilderness awareness school.
(this feels irrelevant)
Integration is full of ease
(Im not sure what this means but i dont feel it right now)
My life is full of inner stillness and Joy (sometimes but not right now)
I am meeting many of my own needs
(i dont think I want to be doing this)
I feel emotionally authentic and stable
(i don't feel particularly emotionally stable at the moment, but have done over the past 3 years, am definitely more authentic)
THE NEXT FUTURE....
Although I don't have the energy or strength to commit to this now,
my intention is set.
Sleep has often met my need for rest, but last year,
i found myself burnt out.
I found that it didn’t matter how much i slept, i was still exhausted.
What i didn’t realise was that being part of a project where i cannot step back from responsibility is an incredibly exhausting thing for me, and no matter how much i slept, what i really needed was to be irresponsible, to spend time away, where i could fully focus on my self and what i needed.
So i decided to take some time off to recover.
Just as I was making this decision, I found a post on Instagram
"Nine types of rest" which is based on Enneagram types.
It helped me to question some of my assumptions about rest.
It helped me to understand that the reason I was so exhausted was not because i hadn’t been sleeping enough, but because I hadn't been taking care of all of the different types of rest i needed.
Tiredness walked along my eyes
- I needed to be irresponsible.
- I needed to be alone.
- I needed space from relationships I was struggling with, to be able to work out what was going on for me.
- I needed time away.
- I needed to be away from spaces that exacerbated my trauma responses.
- I needed space to process my emotions.
RETREATS (specifically silent meditation retreats) offer me many types of rest: time away from talking and being sociable. A lot of space to process emotions and build awareness of emotional patterns. A break from the internet, phone, computers, work, shopping, cooking, making decisions, etc. A place to build internal resource and connection, a link into my spirituality
I need to do this every other month, whether its a short solo retreat or a longer teacher led one.
SOLITUDE being alone, not having to think about anybody else, not having to respond, not having to do anything i don’t want to do for fear/guilt/expectation of anything.
I need this pretty much every day, even if its for a few hours. I also really appreciate solitary retreats, they can be challenging but rewarding to find out who i am when i am not constantly navigating the world of relationship.
NATURE is a relief, to be outside, in a landscape, connecting to the earth, the beings who live on earth and the sky, whether it’s sleeping out under the stars, an afternoon slumber in the forest, a long wild walk in the wind, alone or with others, it can recharge, refresh, enliven, nature is rest.
I need this every day, even in small doses, even if its just sitting in the garden to say hi to the birds and the moon or going for a small walk.
SLEEP & NAPS ????? are so important, and so good. I love letting everything go for the day and getting lost in the night. Naps can be the best, for pure pleasure, or for catching up on sleep.
I need this EVERYDAY! Sleep at least, and I love to nap too, generally i need around 8-9 hours of sleep a night, I can thrive of off 7 1/2 hours in the summer, with naps.
SPACE TO PROCESS EMOTIONS is vital, when i don’t get to process emotions, work out whats going on and find ways to untangle the messiness that triggers and reactions and trauma can build, i don’t function in ways that express how i want to show up in the world. Even just being aware of how I am can help. Meditation and retreats are my main way to do this, so are check ins, with others and my self. Journalling and creating art are amazing ways to do this. And finding support from a friend who is willing to listen.
I need this every day, in different ways, sometimes I need a lot of this and sometimes less.
BEING AWAY FROM TRIGGERS While i want to be able to appreciate people in their differences, I seem to hold an internal belief that i ‘should' be able to hang out with whoever, whenever for an unlimited amount of time. I can’t do this. I end up having to avoid people as i don’t have the emotional capacity to be around them any more. When I am well resources i can spend time with anyone, and am able to share how their actions impact me. I cannot be well resourced if i spend a lot of time around people who trigger me, especially when there is trauma involved. I find this to be true especially amongst people who have privilege. And especially around men who are unaware of the effect their actions can have.
I need to be reflecting on my relationships often, how they are serving me, where i need space, having clear boundaries and limiting time with some people.
ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES to be clear about and communicate: what i need; when something is not ok for me and i’m not willing to do it; how long i can be around people until i need space etc.
This is an ongoing process, Some boundaries are strong and lasting, some seem to come and go like waves.
NOT WORKING: taking time off, a day, a week, a month, a year?!?! Time to relax, rest, to be ill, to have a breakdown, to get creative, to question, to learn something else, to ask whats next.
TIME AWAY from anything can be so helpful to reflect on what i love about something and what i don't, where i need to make changes and establish boundaries. It can be hard to reflect in these ways in the midst of something, especially if it involves difficult emotions and relationships.
This is relevant in certain situations, and it can be hard to remember to do this.
MEDITATION is a way to create space, to drop into my body and to move away from avoidance of emotions, a way to build my capacity to support myself and others, it creates a bit more space in my day to be able to respond to things rather than react.
I need to do this every day.
BODY CONTACT can be so deeply restful, to have safe body contact, to cuddle, to be close to people. Sometimes my body asks for this, craves it: whether its snuggling up to a friend whilst watching a film, linking arms whilst walking down the street, spending the night sleeping close with a friend or lover, cuddles with cats, it’s rest.
I need to have regular safe body contact that comes from different people.
DISTRACTION can be so helpful if its done skilfully. Like watching TV when i feel like shit and just need a break, its great way to rest, as long as its part whole system that is also focused on processing emotions. (Sometimes i go to distraction for too long, it becomes avoidance and my series watching addiction kicks in, this is not so fun. and much more stressful than restful.)
I need this sometimes, maybe on average once a week, with an awareness of addictive patterns.
HAVING NO RESPONSIBILITIES like no cooking, people to look after, things to have to think about, “permission to be not helpful”. Working in a job = going home and not having to do anything related to that job. At home = letting everyone know I am not doing anything today, asking for support in this.
This is relevant when I am holding a lot of responsibilities,
- What types of rest do you need?
- How often do you need them?
- How do you build these things into your life?
- What things do you believe about yourself when you make space to rest?
- How do you start to unbind the narrative that you "should' be doing things all the time to prove your worth?
If i slow down,
Working with the Inner Critic
Step 1: recognise the message | what is the inner critic saying | who does the voice belong to |
Step 2: how does it FEEL to hear this message | how to you FEEL | what is the impact |
Step 3: find the place that believe this message is TRUE | how is it to be in touch with this place? | allow this place to feel any pain |
Step 4: how do I feel about receiving this message | allow yourself to feel the response |
What is bringing me joy right now?
If I'm having a bad day, or week, or month, and i choose to create a small amount of space to look for blessings, for things i feel grateful for, it always seems possible. It's definitely not always easy to carve this space out when i'm not feeling great or my mind is contracted, and sometimes its the last thing i want to do, but its possible, and it feels good to know that.
Practising gratitude is like training a muscle, the more we cultivate gratitude, the more we notice blessings, the more gratitude will arise. And when we practice, if we settle into the bodily feelings that come with gratitude, notice them, let them percolate, we get familiar with those too, and they become easier to access.
Think of something, someone you feel grateful for..... what happens in your body?
Below is a drawing of what happened in my body when i thought about someone i felt grateful for.
PRACTISING WITH GRATITUDE
- Gratitude Storm: I love this pratcice and i love bringing it to groups, I like calling it a storm because i love it when people throw gratitudes in at random and there isn't much structure. The gratitudes people bring seem to spark each other like lightning and the more gratitude's that arise, the more arise! The energy rises and i always leave feeling excited and very grateful.
- Writing gratitudes: Whilst on a retreat last year, I wrote down what I was grateful for at the end of each day. I did this for a whole month. On day one i wrote down just a few things. By day thirty I was writing whole pages, and it took me over half an hour so I had to stop myself.
- Texts with a friend: During the AJ course we got into pairs and texted at the end of each day some things we were grateful for. I did this with my friend Lucia for 2 weeks. It was such a beautiful way to reflect on the day, to notice blessings, to remember all of the beautiful things in my day, and have them heard by someone, it was magical to hear gratitude's from someone else's day too.
Three Gratitudes - By CarRie Newcomer
Every night before I go to sleep
I say out loud
Three things that I’m grateful for,
All the significant, insignificant
Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.
It’s a small practice and humble,
And yet, I find I sleep better
Holding what lightens and softens my life
Ever so briefly at the end of the day.
Sunlight, and blueberries,
Good dogs and wool socks,
A fine rain,
A good friend,
Fresh basil and wild phlox,
My father’s good health,
My daughter’s new job,
The song that always makes me cry,
Always at the same part,
No matter how many times I hear it.
Decent coffee at the airport,
And your quiet breathing,
The stories you told me,
The frost patterns on the windows,
English horns and banjos,
Wood Thrush and June bugs,
The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,
An old coat,
A new poem,
My library card,
And that my car keeps running
Despite all the miles.
And after three things,
More often than not,
I get on a roll and I just keep on going,
I keep naming and listing,
Until I lie grinning,
Blankets pulled up to my chin,
Awash with wonder
At the sweetness of it all.
Gratitude as a movement away from Capitalism
"Rushing around, fatigue, goal, achievement, productively, to do's."
One person said:
"There just doesnt seem to be enough time to smell the roses."
Those of us who live in capitalist societies are trained to keep going, our productivity is the most important thing, and is how we are accepted (or not) by society, so it makes sense that our goals, to-do lists and lack of time mean we don't/can't/won't stop to smell the roses. We are often taught we don't have enough and to be unhappy with what we do have, we learn to be ungrateful. If practising gratitude and cultivating Joy are supporting us to find fulfilment in our lives, then i believe they are anticapitalist movements.
2. Type up notes in my book from the fourth theme: Joy in difficult times, do some drawings for that post.
What is Bringing me Joy right now?
Mindfulness is a set of practices, e.g sensing the body, breathing, contemplating death, looking at phenomena in terms of pleasant/unpleasant/neutral (Vedana).
Practices that we can do over and over again, that lead to particular insights and freedoms.
The word ‘Sati’ that is often translated as mindfulness in the west. It’s root meaning is something more like to remember/re-collect/contemplate.
When we spend time contemplating the body, the breath etc, we simplify our experience, we investigate, we make more space to choose, especially choices that allow more joy into our lives.
The “Don’t miss it” practise is a good example of integration, allowing experiences to permeate into our being. We also begin to integrate things when they are difficult and challenging, and we can find more freedom in those times.
As we practice we also start to observe impermanence, that things come and change and go, we learn to enjoy things when they are present, and when difficult things arise, we can be more at ease with them knowing that they will fade.
The more we practice contemplating and recollecting this practises, the more ‘mindful’ we will become in everyday moments. Mindfulness becomes a frequent visitor.
Mindfulness offers a way for us to slow down and investigate our experiences with care and wise attention. We become interested in what is happening and the impact it is having on us. In this potent pause we can ask: “Is how I am thinking and feeling contributing to suffering or to freedom?” - Ruth King
I love the concept of uni-tasking from the AJ book. I have been practising this the last few weeks, just doing one thing at a time, and actually enjoying it, or at least finding something enjoyable in it.
Orienting Towards Pleasure
Before the book came out I was experimenting with orienting myself towards pleasure.
Live pleasure streaming ::::: Right now I am rushing and typing because that is a habit I have built being on computrers. If i take a second to tune into what’s pleasurable about my experience, I can feel a heavy grounding tingling in my legs, I decide to adjust my posture so I am comfortable and my shoulders more relaxed, I slow down just a little and listen to the tapping of the keyboard, i breathe a little more. My body feels softer.
Quickly I get caught up again in rushing, but the more I practice orienting towards pleasure, the more I will find myself there.
Intention: The first session we ran
Lesson plan and structure below
How is the training going?
I am also creating more work for myself by doing these blog posts, but it’s something I really want to do, it helps my learning so much pulling strands together and creating something.
Second call with James
This is an opportunity to practice anatta (no-self) trying ways of looking like - the dharma is coming through me.
Let wisdom come from the group! Collective wisdom. Ssking great questions so people access their own wisdom, reflecting back to people what you hear them say, give them time.
Tune into the wise part of them, look for what is wise in them - see them in that way and speak to that part of them and they will feel seen.
Intention: keep going back to this! Keep bringing it in
Get up to date on the third zoom call and third theme (Gratitude)
Meet with Matt before the second session
Do the next session!
What is making ME joyful right now?
Awakening joy teacher training:
Awakening joy has ten steps, starting with Intention/Inclining the mind toward joy (Where else would you start?). I was inspired to take part in the training after reading the Awakening Joy book, and seeing the incredibly clear framework and practices for all the things I have been learning about creating a joyful life in the past ten years.
MY intentions for The AJ training
First call With James and 40 other awakening joy trainers:
WHAT BRINGS ME JOY?
ACTIONS from the first step:
1. Sit quietly for 5 minutes (or more) everyday
2. Nourish yourself a few times a week (What does nourishment look like to you? A walk? A bath? Time with friends?)
3. Do something creative everyday: sing; dance; draw; write; listen to music
I love how much James emphasises this:
"FOCUS ON DOING WHAT YOU CAN DO: You cannot fail this course."
Pressure does not = Joy.
QUESTION: Where does happiness live????
We CAN cultivate joy.
We CAN deepen our access to joy.
NOTICing JOY IN THE BODY
When we find or experience joy, let us linger there.
How does joy feel in the body?
How many times a day do we feel joy?
How long can we feel it for when we notice it?
SAYING: "I want to be happy!"
First time, it felt embarrassing, and i had a sense of not quite believing that it was possible, even a sadness that came with that. But the more i say it, the more empowering it feels.
Second call: Small group with MAureen
Some things i picked up from Maureen and on the call...
NUMBER ONE: Embodying the teachings
The feeling of what's being studied can be embodied in meetings - eg studying intentions? Set intentions for the AJ journey at the start of a meeting! Weave the module in. MAKE IT REAL and tangiable and accessible.
NUMBER TWO: Creating a safe Container
ME: How do I show up: how do I model AJ? How so i help others to feel comfotable? E.g being playful, making a fool of my self, embody and openly speak gratitude.
Let go of idea of being a teacher: think of myself as Kaliyanamita (spiritual friend)/facilitator,
"As high as your mind builds you up to be a teacher - is as far as you will fall!"
Being willing to learn: about myself, people I work with etc.
Keep a set structure, this helps people feel safe and held, but what is within the structure changes.
SIT TOGETHER : 10 mins
CHECK IN: 20 mins include: how your feeling, what is brining you joy, what are you learning on the course?) ,
AN EXERCISE: 20 mins
PLAY A GAME/MOVE/DANCE: 20 mins
AN EXERCISE: 20 mins
GRATITUDE PRACTICE: 10 mins
ANYTHING LEFT UNSAID: 5 mins
- Think about a joyful memory from childhood.
- Noticing the immediacy of the moment when joy arises
- Practise spontaneous sharing and exressing joy! :)
"Trust in the wisdom you bring, how dharma and joy comes through you." :)
Maureen is available for one to ones! <3
I would love to meet with her at some point.
I definitely felt the power of sharing joy at the end of this call :)
Get a group together
Plan a structure and the first meeting!
James for supporting me to do this training, all of the other AJ trainers, and everyone who is doing the course becuase they want to cultivate JOY in their lives: How beautiful, Matt for showing me the way to thhe training, and for having big visions for how we will use the training! THE DHARMA <3 The bee i saw in the mimosa tree this morning, sleeping outside in the frost last night, colourful inks, sunshine, delicious green vegetables, swiftwind the unicorn <3 my dear friend Lucia who I hung out with last night. Blue skies, chilly sun. Sleeping cat cuddles.
Penychain & Aberech Sands: Walking, the in-between & Now (Part 3)
Borth-Y-Gest: Walking, the in-between & Now (Part 2)
WALKING, THE IN-BETWEEN & NOW
NOW AM IN THE FUTURE
EXploring Rest & Recovery
Instructions on posture in meditation
Stop! in the name of love
AWAKENING JOY: gratitude
Awakening joy: Mindfulness
Awakening Joy: Intention
Land in curiosity: Meet Emergent Strategy
Walking home, Walking alone.
Trying to make Barista oatmilk (part 2: Defeat)
Trying to make Barista Oatmilk (part one: Hope)
Land in Curiosity: Sweden 2017
Sustaining Resistance: Regenerative Activism.
Creating Regenerative Communities: exploring the elder archetype with Elderventure
South West Waste & Recycling Forum: Presentation
An Employee's Journey
Land in Curiosity - Two Moors Way
Classroom Alive Boot camp
The Frome Times - my first ever press release!
Of Hermits and Lovers; The Alchemy of Desire
Restorative Justice Level 1 training
Path of the imaginal home study
Spiderweb leadership programme
Sensual Mastery - Weekend 3
A month on silent retreat at Gaia House
Art of mentoring weekend
Embodiment learning for coaches @ The Salt House
Sensual Mastery - Weekend Two
Dragon Dreaming @ Edventure:Frome
Sensual Mastery - Weekend One
Coiled basket making
Spiderweb Programme for Inspiring leadership - Taster workshop at the saltbox
Fostering peace in regenerative times: a weekend with Jon Young @ Schumacher college
Young persons meditation group - June 2016
Beyond right and wrong - with Jo Berry
Art as ritual with John Harrigan from Foolish People
Group Dynamics - Workshop @ Edventure
Meeting the wild - Ecodharma May 2016
Jamie Catto - Transforming Shadows
Camino de Santiago 2016
Catalyst Course Back rowing April 2016
Frome Young Persons
Meditation Group March
Understanding Power Workshop @ Edventure
Frome Young Persons
Meditation Group Feb