Grab a cuppa and settle in for a feel-good story.
It's about a dear little lady, my late mother-in-law Aileen, who moved to Kyogle from Sydney in 1996 at the ripe old age of 80. Motivated by escape from Sydney winters, her sights were on Southeast Qld but there was a catch: her older brother Keith.
Keith had suffered from bi-polar since his late teens. Out of all nine siblings, big-hearted Aileen took it upon herself to see he was looked after through the decades. Nish, as a kid, remembers Keith over at their place, talking to the mantelpiece.
Aileen wanted to move but refused to leave Keith behind in Sydney at the Salvos home where he lived.
What to do? She wanted him nearby, where she could bring him the regulation carton of cigarettes, but there were no beds for him in Queensland.
THICK AS THIEVES
Enter the knight in shining armour, my partner Nish, who had a spectacular brainwave. "How about I try Kyogle, mum?" He rang Kyogle aged care (in those days housed at the old hospital building).
Miracle of miracles: they had a bed! Available straight away!
The very next DAY Keith was flown up from Sydney (for free). Aileen followed soon after. We'd found her a lovely flat in Kyogle Rd; her sale in Sydney came through just in time.
Two years later our son Ned was born; grandma and grandson became thick as thieves. Keith passed away; Aileen and Ned endured until she died the year Ned was in Year 6. Sadly missed!!
I tell this story in connection with the negativity bias, the ingrained habit of the brain to focus on bad news and overlook the good. And its remedy, gratitude and savouring practice.
For months, for years on end, Aileen never tired of recounting the chain of auspicious events:
By recounting the feel-good moments again and again, Aileen was demonstrating, without meaning to, a sure-fire route to flourishing mental health.
A study from 2017 gave worriers the chance to try one of two practices: mindfulness meditation or savouring various activities. The result? Savouring offers benefits similar to meditation—and some additional ones.
Both mindfulness meditation AND savouring improved participants’ anxiety, negative emotions, and curiosity. The marked benefit of savouring over mindfulness meditation however, was to boost participants’ positive emotions. (Though to overcome negative rumination, mindfulness meditation won the day).
Savouring practice isn't something unfamiliar; it's similar to gratitude, tho takes it a bit further.
(Both gratitude and savouring are proven reliable methods for increasing happiness and life satisfaction, while boosting optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions.)
Savouring includes a somatic component (drinking in the good at the level of body sensation) and a structured approach in four key stages. Plus there's interesting science to investigate and a wide variety of approaches to encourage savouring in your life.
If it sounds like your cup of tea (a delicious, refreshing, nourishing, fragrant tea), and you live in the Kyogle region, northern NSW, I invite you to join me from May 1st at 5.30pm.
BENEFITS OF A COURSE
Sure, you can do it on your own, but here’s the catch: will you? By doing a course you commit to taking onboard the new learning.
The accountability of group practice, turning up to class, reporting in, puts a rocket under your intentions and ratchets up your success.
Best wishes, Shakti
6-SESSION HEARTWISE MINDFULNESS SAVOURING COURSE
Monday evenings fortnightly, 5.30pm to 7.15pm
Dates are fortnightly to match fortnightly 4pm yoga class.
First class May 1st.
May 1st, 15th, 29th
Then the very next week, June 5th, to skip over the June Long weekend.
Then back to fotnightly
June 19th and July 3rd.
VENUE: Bloore St Community Centre (after yoga)
COST: early bird by 24th April $150 waged, concession $108
Full price after 24th April $175, concession $120