Monday, 6 April 2020

Learning from the coronavirus crisis

Sophie talking at Trew Fields

Sophie Sabbage, author of 'The Cancer Whisperer' and renowned authority on overcoming fear of illness, has just launched a 10 week course for $149 to look at how we can 'shift fear, loneliness and grief’ and 'lead us to experience the greatest connection we have ever know’. I have been on a one day course with Sophie and she is certainly one of the most experienced facilitators that I’ve come across. I’ve enrolled on the course which starts this week. See Sophie’s video and more at:

The Science of Well-Being

Another course starting this week is by Yale University with Coursera; it is entitled 'The Science of Well-Being’ and has nearly two million people signed up. It claims to be one of the most highly rated and popular online courses. In the 20 hour course over 10 weeks, 'Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life’. And due to coronavirus they are currently letting folk sign up for free. See more at:

Think Resilience

This is a self-directed version of the Think Resilience course and gives you immediate access to 22 video lessons (about four hours in total) and lets you work at your own pace. You’ll also have access to supplemental reading material, additional resources, section quizzes, and a discussion forum where you can interact with other students. Normally $20 but free at the moment. I like the idea of this course as it looks specifically at building community resilience - we know community is essential for our health and listed as one of the eight key elements of the Bristol Whole Life Approach at Penny Brohn. See:

Card spotted a few weeks ago

I loved the poem below as it reminds us that we don’t have to fill this strange time with doing life changing stuff. I’ve heard too many folk seem to think this is the time for personal development work. Well maybe for some. For me the Sophie Sabbage course has come at the right time and is hopefully a great way to go deeper into her work. However we should not forget as Rebecca Solnit writes (i): 'When you’re recovering from an illness, pregnant or young and undergoing a growth spurt, you’re working all the time, especially when it appears you’re doing nothing. Your body is growing, healing, making, transforming and labouring below the threshold of consciousness’. 

Mary Oliver for Corona Times
(Thoughts after the poem Wild Geese) by Adrie Kusserow

You do not have to become totally zen,
You do not have to use this isolation to make your marriage better,
your body slimmer, your children more creative.
You do not have to “maximize its benefits”
By using this time to work even more,
write the bestselling Corona Diaries,
Or preach the gospel of ZOOM.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body unlearn
everything capitalism has taught you,
(That you are nothing if not productive,
That consumption equals happiness,
That the most important unit is the single self.
That you are at your best when you resemble an efficient machine).
Tell me about your fictions, the ones you’ve been sold,
the ones you sheepishly sell others,
and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world as we know it is crumbling.
Meanwhile the virus is moving over the hills,
suburbs, cities, farms and trailer parks.
Meanwhile The News barks at you, harsh and addicting,
Until the push of the remote leaves a dead quiet behind,
a loneliness that hums as the heart anchors.
Meanwhile a new paradigm is composing itself in our minds,
Could birth at any moment if we clear some space
From the same tired hegemonies.
Remember, you are allowed to be still as the white birch,
Stunned by what you see,
Uselessly shedding your coils of paper skins
Because it gives you something to do.
Meanwhile, on top of everything else you are facing,
Do not let capitalism coopt this moment,
laying its whistles and train tracks across your weary heart.
Even if your life looks nothing like the Sabbath,
Your stress boa-constricting your chest.
Know that your ancy kids, your terror, your shifting moods,
Your need for a drink have every right to be here,
And are no less sacred than a yoga class.
Whoever you are, no matter how broken,
the world still has a place for you, calls to you over and over
announcing your place as legit, as forgiven,
even if you fail and fail and fail again.
remind yourself over and over,
all the swells and storms that run through your long tired body
all have their place here, now in this world.
It is your birthright to be held
deeply, warmly in the family of things,
not one cell left in the cold.



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