News & Updates

2021

If you have signed up for the newsletter this will have already have arrived in your inbox. If not here are some news and updates for the coming months.

Thank you for your ongoing support of my work at The Wellbeing Atelier. Simply taking the time to read my posts means a lot.

Over 2020 my life and work has changed and evolved beyond measure, I passed my driving licence in January so I could finally leave the village, using my new found freedom to run day retreats, a new group in Pézenas and offer Occupational Therapy at home. Then, well life took a turn for all of us, and having avoided online working I took the plunge and found it a beautiful experience, especially the tea drinking bit.  It was such a gift to be able to share the practices in this way….Italy, California, Wales, England and of course France. Thank you to everyone who came to my sessions and shared my work.

Meditation Ateliers
I miss offering the groups in Gabian and Pézenas and hope to be running them again soon, but for my own peace of mind, I have decided for January and February to offer the meditation ateliers online. The Friday Meditation Atelier is evolving to deepen practice into a 6 week course with worksheets and home practice, if that sounds daunting I promise you they offer delight and wonder. The Mindful Monday Atelier will continue over lunchtimes and is offered as part of the Friday course if you sign up before the end of the year. Read more here.

Occupational Therapy
I will continue to offer individual Occupational Therapy sessions here in Gabian, at yours and also online.  These sessions can support you in maintaining and developing your wellbeing, more information on what I offer here.  

From January I will be the first Occupational Therapist to be part of the ‘Get Loud! Stay Loud!’ team, a dynamic group of speech-language pathologists passionate about supporting those with Parkinson’s Disease in maintaining optimal communication & swallow function.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from this online platform do pass on the information here, the first month is free.

Updates
I have decided to close my Wellbeing Atelier Facebook page as I do not have the time to do the upkeep, you’ll find all you need on this website. If you prefer facebook you’ll find all the information regarding my work on my page which I use for professional work, or Instagram.

All going well…… March for in person groups, day retreats this summer and residential retreats for September time. Online groups are also going to continue and will form a staple part of the program. 

Finally, please, please reach out if you’re struggling, or know of anybody who could do with some extra support.  I have 18 years of experience working within various mental health settings in the National Health Service, most specifically women’s mental health and substance misuse, I can offer support and signpost to services.

With all that said.  May you be well, may you be at ease and may you be kind to yourself and others.

Mille mercis,
Josephine

The Meditation Atelier

Today, after I had sent out the correct link to the group, we did a sitting practice, with compassion. Followed by a reading from Marcus Aurelius and a cup of tea together.

We closed with the square breathing technique. This is a popular technique for managing anxiety in waiting rooms as you can follow the edges of a door or window, or a screen at home if you’re in need of a break. This was then followed with a poem from Alice Walker, Grace.

Breath in to the count of four.

Hold for four.

Breath out to the count of four.

Hold for four.

Your counts can be as short or as long as you wish.

Over the next series of meditations, we will be going into further exploration of cultivating compassion.

Join this new block of groups this coming Mondays 1-2pm (12-1pm UK) or Fridays 10-11am (9-10am). See the blog post here for more details and to sign up email jaddufourd@icloud.com.

And as always, reach out if you are in need. I’m available on Zoom or in person for a quick check-in, cup of tea, moment to offload.

Warmly

Josephine

December Online Meditation Ateliers

I have decided to take away some of the uncertainty of my work and offer the meditation ateliers online again for December. Come and join me in the south of France for a bit of respite, and build up your physical and emotional resilience for the holidays. Please contact me via jaddufourd@icloud.com to make a booking.

Mondays 1-2pm (French time, UTC+1)

12-1pm UK, 7-8am New York and 8-9pm Perth (Australia)

30th November, 7th December, 14th December and 21st December, 25€ for 4 sessions.

Fridays, 10-11am (French time, UTC+1)

9-10am UK and 5-6pm Perth

4th, 11th and 18th December. Due to Christmas this will only be a three week block this month at a cost of 18.75€.

What to expect

Offering an invitation to pause, a guided meditation, a poem and a cup of tea, a space held in companionable silence.

The meditations are secular, whatever your background or faith you are welcome. We explore specific, mindfulness and mindful self compassion meditation tools and techniques based on those taught within the evidence based 8 week Mindfulness Based Approaches and Compassion Focussed Therapy. The aim of the meditations is to equipe you with some new tools to handle challenging physical sensations, feelings, moods or social interactions.

The blocks run as a package and the meditations are built on each week from the session prior, beginners and experienced practitioners welcome.

What you’ll need:

  • Access to the internet. I’ll send a Zoom link, you do not need to have the application to access the group it can be done through you’re internet browser
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing
  • An exercise mat
  • A blanket in cooler weather
  • A chair, stool or cushions for the sitting practice and any props for your own comfort.
  • Please prepare a non alcoholic drink to have for the tea meditation, this acts as a transition from the quiet of the formal meditation and models how activities of daily living can be a meditation

Atelier outline

  • Brief check-in and discussion about setting up for the practice
  • Mindful Compassion Based Meditation
  • Poem
  • Tea Meditation
  • Sharing Space/Companionable Silence
  • Breathing Technique


When you arrive we will have a quick hello and then I’ll mute your microphone when we start, this will make it easier to avoid disturbances.


After the practice I will read a poem and move into a tea meditation, you are invited to take part in by pouring yourself a hot drink or having a glass of water to sip in companionable silence. This activity based meditation is an invitation to transition from the quieter, formal practice, modeling how any activity within our days can be meditative if we drop into the present moment and sensations we experience and notice.


There will then be a 5-10 minute space for sharing our experiences of the practice. I will unmute everybody at this time. We can of course remain in companionable silence together until the close of the practice at 11am with a breathing space.

After each session I write a blog post summarizing the practices, it includes links to online meditations I have recorded for you to use in your own time. You’ll find the poem there too.


https://thewellbeingatelier.com/blog-feed/

If you have any questions do get in touch.

Warmly

Josephine

The Weekly Meditation Atelier

This week we did a mindful sitting practice. When I first started learning to meditate this was the pinnacle of practices for me. Proper meditation. 10 years later this still makes me smile. It can be so uncomfortable, and allows us to explore this discomfort and how we relate to it. As with all of the practices they shine a spotlight on our habits, I can be pretty rigid and black and white in my thinking… hence my idea that this practice was the proper one. It is through the practices and regularly taking myself to my mat that I have learned the language of my body, and I still am, how I relate to discomfort and strive for perfection, and then move back into the practice of being present. Over and over. Returning our attention to the present moment and the sensations of being us.

Sitting for long periods is not easy on the body. You can read about setting yourself up for practice here.

You can then have a go with this guided practice.

Read the poem The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (below), out loud to yourself and enjoy a nice cup of tea, or whatever you fancy. And congratulate yourself for having taken the time out of your day to undertake this practice. You have taken an active step in supporting your health and wellbeing.

Upcoming Meditation Group

I have decided to take away some of the uncertainty of my work and offer the meditation atelier online for December. Please contact me via jaddufourd@icloud.com or +33 6 77 05 42 46 to make a booking.

Fridays, 10-11am. 4th, 11th and 18th December. Due to Christmas this will only be a three week block this month at a cost of 18.75€.

*NEW* Mondays 1-2pm. I have also decided to start a four week meditation atelier on 1-2pm (French time, UTC+1) 30th November, 7th December, 14th December and 21st December, 25€ for 4 sessions.

The blocks run as a package and the meditations are built on each week from the session prior, that and managing internet payments, seems to be the simplest option for me and my small operation.

Offerings aside. I hope you are well. I’m here if you need me. Do reach out.

Warmly

Joséphine

The Weekly Meditation Atelier

All set for the second online Weekly Meditation Atelier. Do not disturb sign on the door…. But. The phone rang. My husband was locked out. A heavy posted document was shoved through the letter box. However, all in all I am slowly finding my feet with leading the space. This week we were joined from Italy, Wales, France and California. Isn’t that something. I miss seeing people in real life, I miss my trip to Pézenas and Café des Arts. All that aside, everyone coming together and making the best of an opportunity to be together feels special. I am honoured to be leading this group.

Mindfulness of Breath and Movement

This week we built on the foundation of the bodyscan through a breath and movement meditation, bringing awareness to, and inhabiting our bodily experiences and sensations.

The focus is maintaining moment-to-moment awareness of the sensations accompanying our movements, letting go of any thoughts or feelings about the sensations themselves.

Segal et al, 2013 ‘Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy’

Through movement based meditations we have an opportunity to explore and discover the creative edge between exploring/investigating /discovering, and accepting/letting be/being with.

By being present and observing ourselves with a kind and gentle attitude, we can learn new ways to take care of ourselves. Noticing the difference between effort and ease, the boundaries and limits of our bodies. Learning it’s language so we can listen to it’s messages more clearly, respond wisely, creating more space for ourselves. How often do you ignore the hunger cues, the fatigue, the crossed boundaries?

You’ll find a guided recording of a movement practice here. The practice was followed with a poem by Dawna Markova.

We then shared a tea meditation together, simply observing the practice, and those who wished, drank their own brews. My tea was a honey oolong from Indonesia, an earthy and fruity tea. This is an activity based meditation, a nod to my Occupational Therapy background. It is an invitation to transition from the quieter practices, and models how we can use every day activities to drop into the present moment.

This week you are invited to go on a mindful walk, bringing awareness to the physical sensation of each footstep. Anchoring in the present moment through the sensations you experience, and always knowing that your breath is there to return your attention to each time it wanders off.

May you be well, may you be at ease and may you be kind to yourself and others.

Warmly,

Josephine

Cultivating Compassion Coffee Morning

This is an online group space to explore supporting our mental wellbeing whilst in confinement. I will be using a framework of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to guide my facilitation. This approach combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to improve emotional wellbeing. You can read more about Compassion Focused Therapy here.

The idea is that we meet for a tea/coffee, be part of a community, a space to share and listen, swap tips, seek and offer advice. Each session will be different and will grow and evolve with its attendees. Pyjamas are welcome. 

We’ll begin with a short compassionate breathing space meditation, and move into a supported discussion space. We will close with a short mindful compassion practice. 

Topics I’ve envisaged which will no doubt expand:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety 
  • Sleep
  • Frustration
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom

As well as a group discussion space to share and problem-solve, where needed/requested, I can offer professional advice and sign post to further resources and support.

By signing up to the group you will be agreeing to the following group guidelines:

  1. Be kind and courteous. We’re all in this together to create a welcoming environment. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness and respect are required.
  2. Respect everyone’s privacy. Authentic, expressive discussions make groups great, but may also be sensitive and aware of confidentiality. Be mindful that people may be identifiable by things other than their name. What’s said in the group stays in the group.

I look forward to seeing some of you here.

May you be well, may you be at ease.

Josephine

The Weekly Meditation Atelier

Today was our first session via Zoom. Technology is not my strong point and I was a bit nervous but thankfully it didn’t fail us. Human errors were plentiful, a wrongly input email address, forgetting my left and right and also a loud knock at the front door. To everyone who attended I cannot thank you enough for participating. And if there’s anything that mindfulness teaches us, it’s that there’s room for it all.

Today we began and closed with a three part breathing space. A simple technique to weave into daily lives to build those new neural pathways:

From here we moved into a body scan, you can find a similar meditation that I have recorded here. It is the first meditation on this page. I read the following poem after the practice:

We then shared a tea meditation together, simply observing the practice, and those who wished, drank their own brews. My tea was a honey oolong from Indonesia, an earthy and fruity tea. This is an activity based meditation, a nod to my Occupational Therapy background. It is an invitation to transition from the quieter practices, and models how we can use every day activities to drop into the present moment. Anything can be a mindfulness practice, brushing our teeth, tying our shoe laces, making a cup of tea. Bringing our attention to the sensory experience of undertaking these tasks, slowing them down, being intentional, deliberate and present. And returning those wandering minds again and again each time they step away, which they will. Mindfulness is the noticing, and cultivating the skill of returning our attention to the present moment. Through which we builds neural pathways that support us to develop new ways of responding to difficulties.

If you have any questions or queries about the session, or would like to join, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email josephine@thewellbingatelier.com.

Wellbeing Ateliers In A Time of Confinement

“He seated himself at his table, dipped his pen in the ink, put his forehead in his hand and searched for ideas” from Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant

It is with sadness that I write that the Friday morning meditation group is cancelled tomorrow. However….. I am finally getting all modern and going online from next week. 25€ for 4 sessions, if you’ve not been able to make the group due to distance now is your chance.


I am also adding a new weekly group, the Monday Morning Mindful Mingle, a Compassion Focused Therapy based weekly check in from the comfort of your own home, pyjamas and a cup of coffee as your accessory welcomed.


Details can be found in my latest newsletter. Wellbeing Ateliers In A Time of Confinement.

Meditation Atelier 16th October

In the session we explored different ways of sitting for the sitting practice, including the use of props and cushions to support our comfort within the practice. Sitting for long periods is not comfortable, but we can make the experience simpler by ensuring we are stay in a position our body can maintain. Meditation stools, bolsters of various sizes and cushions under our feet or behind our lower backs can make all the difference. Ultimately you want a self-supporting spine and your knees lower than your hips. If you’re using a chair both feet should be flat on the floor. For more information you can read some hints and tips here.

You’ll find a guided sitting practice here, it’s number 3 on the list.

As always we finished with a tea, this month it’s a purple leaf, Sheng puerh. Any infusion can be used as a finish to the practice, acting as a transition from the stillness of the practice to whatever you have left to do with your day.