Covid-19 continues to make a big impact in our lives. After the initial few weeks, back in March, I began to see it as a real opportunity to work on the business, as well as me! When have we ever had time like this to take stock and consider how we are living our lives? I fully appreciate that lockdown has been different for everyone, particularly key workers in hospitals and care homes, as well as family members caring for fragile, vulnerable loved ones. For a lot of us though, we have had extra time to contemplate these things. We will have all chosen to spend that time differently and I appreciate that too. Living on my own, I have had moments of loneliness, usually when I’m tired. However, I have spent more time in the garden, I’ve taken part in a variety of events online and in recent weeks, welcomed a new four-footed friend into my life.
June was a whirl! I love the lighter nights in June and now that Sandy has come into my life, I am back enjoying extremely late-night walks with no torch! Having a dog, makes me whole again. I admit it was quite lonely and isolating at the beginning of lockdown but having another ‘being’ in the house makes such a difference to my day! Sandy has had an adventurous life already, starting out on the streets of Spain, before travelling to the Scottish Highlands in October, 2019. She is 2 ½yrs old and has now found her forever home, here with me. Such a lovely, gently temperament and so good with my grandkids. I have started to document and share our journey together on social media and here, on the AndBreathe website.
Last week, was World Unity Week, when people from all over the world came together to share their dreams, thoughts, research and plans for the way forward for all things linked to ‘World Unity’. Topics ranged from racism, to looking after the water in our planet, to Covid-19 and lots more in between. It was a privilege to sit and listen to the speakers and to also take part in discussions.
Global Organizations Converge to Declare World UNITY Week
Over the past few months, I have also taken part in a Talking Circle Leadership programme, which has been led by Chief Phil Lane Jr, who was also very much involved with WUW. We can all learn so much from the indigenous ways, and although I have been involved with a talking circle for many years, I now look forward to sharing more about ‘Talking Circles’ in our local communities and online, with increased understanding and clarity.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many challenges, but I think there have been positives too. The sense of community has never been stronger, with people stepping up to look after the vulnerable and elderly. I have been aware of more people acknowledging the ups and downs of their mental health, schools have spoken about the importance of supporting the mental health of staff and pupils and businesses have been looking for ways to support their staff through these tricky times.
This is where I think talking circles can be introduced to our communities. A talking circle is a safe, confidential space where people can share how they feel and what they think, without being judged or without anyone trying to ‘fix’ them. It is simply a space to share thoughts, emotions and ideas, without being interrupted. There are guiding principles (rules) that are shared and agreed on at the beginning of every circle.
By now, you might be gathering that it has been a bit busy! I have also been looking at how to work more efficiently and that involved taking part in ‘Unleashing Your Workload Warrior’ bootcamp! If you are interested in becoming more efficient in whatever you are doing, then check this group out on FB. I highly recommend it! Supportive, lovely people. I have felt a load lift from my shoulders, since putting what I learnt into practice.
I also attended a webinar with the title ‘Why?’ In this session we learned about Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ and ‘What? How? Why?’ I won’t go through all the details but the main message was that we usually know what we do and how we do it, but do we always know WHY? For example, I work as AndBreathe. I know what I do and how I do it but WHY? When a business knows, understands, and shares its ‘WHY’, people are more inclined to be drawn to whatever it is that that business provides. There is a process to work it all out and I am currently doing that. I wonder if people notice a change in what I say or do? I think I have always been aware of my ‘Why’ but not appreciated the importance or significance of it.
I share some of what I have been doing in June, so that if any of it interests you, you can go away and find out more! I plan to be outside for the majority of July, away from screens, facilitating Outdoor Wellbeing sessions at Haddo House & Country Park. I am looking forward to it!
Thank you for reading this far! AndBreathe... is a very exciting venture and I am glad you have joined me on the journey!