Showing posts from May, 2024

Rain, A Crow, and Falling Stars: Haiku Love Reborn

“Rain falls down kissing the crow on the bright green grass, yellow stars falling" - Powered by Dall-E 3. Haiku is the traditional Japanese poetic form which captivates readers with its brevity and evocative imagery. I first created a created a haiku in the 1990’s and I have been mystified by their conciseness and beauty ever since. Yesterday (26.05.2024), I attended a haiku workshop called “Nature’s Meditation”, facilitated by Nora D’Ecclesis and organised by Thane Lawrie , and it was a truly empowering experience of our own individual sensory journeys on a dreich Sunday lunchtime. Surrounded by other members of the Aberdeenshire Soto Zen group that I attend (albeit on Google Meet) who were also interested in this concise art form, I learned about the power of observation and how to condense vivid imagery into a mere 17 syllables. The workshop fuelled my creativity and left me with a newfound sense of poetic achievement. After a great dive into the history of haiku and

The Blank Page Stares Back: Coaching and Writer's Block

“A frustrated writer staring at a blank page" - Powered by Dall-E 3. The cursor blinks, a mocking metronome keeping time with the silence in my head. It's that unwelcome visitor again - writer's block. The blank page stretches before me, an impassable desert where inspiration used to flow like a vibrant oasis. I can practically hear the tumbleweeds of self-doubt whistling through my skull. This isn't the first rodeo with this frustrating situation. Every writer faces it, that nagging feeling of being utterly empty, the well of creativity running dry. I've tried the usual tricks: forcing myself to write anything, even nonsensical drivel, hoping a spark will ignite. I've paced the room, brow furrowed in concentration, "pootled about" doing other things willing words to appear. I've even resorted to asking AI (Google Gemini and Microsoft Copilot), desperately searching for a shred of an idea. But so far, nothing. This time, however, the frust

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Image In the UK this week, 13th – 19th May, it is Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year, chosen by the Mental Health Foundation, is " Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health ". Physical activity is a powerful tool that can significantly boost our emotional wellbeing. Whether it's a brisk walk in nature, a dance session in your kitchen, or some tai-chi, getting our bodies moving can have a profound impact on our minds. Why Move for Mental Health? Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood elevators that combat feelings of stress and anxiety. It can also improve sleep quality, a crucial factor for mental wellbeing. Additionally, physical activity can be a form of mindfulness, helping us focus on the present moment and reduce negative thoughts. Finding Your #MomentsForMovement The beauty of this year's theme is that movement isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. There are countless ways to get active and improve your mental

VE Day: Remembering, Honouring and Building

"A Picture of a Loving Europe" - Powered by Dall-E 3. Remembering the End, Honouring the Fight, and Building a Brighter Future Today is Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day. It commemorates the formal acceptance by the Allied forces of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender on 8th May 1945. This marked the end of the Second World War in Europe, a conflict that ravaged the continent for nearly six years. VE Day and Liberation Day: Two Sides of the Same Coin While VE Day signifies the official surrender of Nazi Germany, many countries also celebrate Liberation Day – a commemoration of the specific moment their own land was freed from Nazi occupation. Both days are deeply significant, representing the culmination of immense struggle and sacrifice. Why is VE Day Important? VE Day is a significant moment in European history, not just for its historical weight, but also for the lessons it offers us as we navigate our own challenges. Let's explore some key takeaways

Celebrating Summer's Spark: A Look at Beltane

"Beltane 09 - May Queen" by *Debs* is licensed under CC BY 2.0. The sun warms our skin, the days lengthen, and a vibrant hum fills the air – summer is on the horizon! But before we fully embrace the lazy days and sunshine, many cultures around the world celebrate the transition into this season with fire, festivity, and fertility rituals. Today, we delve into the rich traditions of Beltane, a Celtic May Day festival that marks the beginning of which marks the halfway point between spring equinox and summer solstice. It hasn't escaped me that this article comes immediately after my Earth Day article. It truly is a time to think about this beautiful planet of ours and the joy and gratitude of finally bidding farewell to the cold winter and welcoming the lushness and fertility of summer, and those beautiful long Scottish summer nights. A History Steeped in Fire Beltane (pronounced "bel-tain" or "bol-tin-a") has roots stretching far back in Celtic