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The New Goal Setting and Vision Board Ateliers

I am delighted to have started running Goal Setting and Vision Board Ateliers. Having facilitated groups and individual sessions like this throughout my career as an Occupational Therapist, I know how much of a difference these tools and techniques can have in improving the quality of peoples lives. They’ve certainly made a difference to my own (the vision board above is one I created last May).

Goal Setting and Vision Boards at The Wellbeing Atelier 

We begin with introductions and exploring what your ideal life would look like, what do you really want, you’re encouraged to be adventurous, with child like playfulness, we will endeavour to add pieces of this ideal into your daily life. For example, bear with me on this, mine would be to be a ballerina. My own exploration of this pulls out my admiration for the beauty and discipline of the sport and I have crafted both of these into my daily routines as I am fully aware I will never be the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Performing my clunky pirouettes in the kitchen is always possible mind you…

So having thought of your wildest idea and dream, we then move through some questions together about your goals, where you want to be in 5 years and what you need to be doing daily in order to get there. Through this exploration stage we also look at victories, gratitude and the challenges you face. Listening, sharing ideas and exploring together creates such a powerful space to be heard, encouraged and supported. 

Now comes the fun bit (for some, not all), with a blank piece of paper, pens, crayons books and magazines at your disposal we create a visual reminder and prompt that you take with you as a focus point for your goals. Creating something that can be put up at home or perhaps photographed and used as a screen saver to remind you for that month of what you carved out as a vision for your life.

The following month you are invited to have a look at your vision board and check in with your progress, your victories, your successes and the challenges you faced. Regularly doing this can be very helpful in keeping you on track. This is why I’ve set up the monthly group, as a space for people to come back to at regular intervals to talk through the process, refine the goals made and get the support and encouragement of others to get you to where you want to be. 

The dates for the next introductory session will be 18th February and 10th March 2020. You can find more information and additional dates for the Introductory and Follow up groups here. I am also offering individual, 1 hour goal setting and vision board ateliers via Skype or in person for 30€. The outcomes are always so different and interesting, it will be such a pleasure to guide you through this technique. You can read more about me and my work here.

Tea of the Month – February

Sticky Rice Sheng Puerh

The following information was taken from The London Teaclub subscription insert.

An ecological and naturally grown tea (organic without certification) Harvested in spring 2018 by Li Shu Lin and family in the Nannou Mountain, Yunnan, China.

Tea leaves are handpicked from Mr Mi’s ecological titres,, then sun dried and fired to make sheng puerh. The tea leaves are the blended by hand with a. Local herb called nul mi xiang, our ‘sticky rice fragrance’, in the style of the local Dai Minority in Yunnan. The resulting blend has the intense mineral and herbaceous flavours of sheng puerh accented with the sweetness of sticky rice.

The tea is produced in small batches and grown on trees that are less than 20 years old that Mr. Li planted himself. The tea trees have never had any added manures, pesticides or soil additives of any kind, and thrive completely on their own in their own environment.

Tea Meditation

The tea meditation is a mindfulness practice that transitions us from the quiet stillness of the meditations, bringing our senses back into the room we are in before we move into a gentle discussion around the practices. As I prepare and serve you the tea you are invited to connect to the present moment, to the sights, sounds, smells and taste of the tea.

This tea will be offered at the weekly meditation ateliers every Friday 10:30-11:30am and at the Afternoon Retreat is Tuesday 18th February 1-3:30pm.

The Red Lipstick

The Red Lipstick

I felt so directionless that first year of living in France, I didn’t know who I was any more. Without language I wasn’t able to communicate well, without working I didn’t feel valued. I questionned and analysed everything.

‘Oh!’ I was greeted with one morning outside of the school ‘You’re wearing red lipstick.’

I didn’t know whether it was a question, a statement or simply an observation. That was the start and the end of the conversation, the school gates opened the children ran in and I scurried off. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. All I could think was I’ve made another mistake, I’m drawing unnecessary attention to myself and this was the final in a long line of blunders that I was frustrated with myself for making (for example be mindful of your pronunciation of ergothérapeute, the french for occupational therapist, if you pronounce ‘peute’ like ‘poot’ instead of ‘putt’, like in golf, essentially you’ll be talking about an ergo prostitute). Whilst in retrospect my gaffs were amusing, at the time I in absolutely no way wanted to bring any further attention to myself. I wanted to fit in and belong.

The lipstick went in the bin.

When I envisioned my life here I’d thought this could be a time to introduce wearing red lipstick, a new ritual, an opportunity to reinvent myself, a fresh start in a new country.

I wanted everything so quickly, to arrive, speak french fluently and fit in immediately. It took a lot longer, sitting with the frustrations of things taught me to slow down. Turning towards the difficulties within my meditation practices rather than pushing them away. Things fell into place without me needing to do much more. I took care of my family, I studied, I meditated, I took tea and I waited.

I’ve made no New Years resolutions, I’m simply wearing the red lipstick as a nod to how far I’ve come. Dior, 999 if you need the specifics, the exact one I chucked away.

That comment came at a time that I was vulnerable and at times like these we are more likely to experience and express extreme reactions. I look back with kindness to myself, I responded in the best way I could have at that time. If I received the same comment now I’m sure I’d respond differently. But just in case I’ve rehearsed what I’d say if I received the same remark again:

‘Oui.’

Josephine Dolan-Dufourd lives in the south of France with her young family, she writes about life in France, Occupational Therapy, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Tea. If you would be interested in exploring with Josephine any of the themes she discussed in this piece you can find details about her work here.

Tea of the month – January

The rolled tea slowly unfurls with each infusion.

Dark Roast Ti Guan Yin

An Oolong tea harvested in Spring 2019, grown and made by Chen Mao Sheng in Sumatra Indonesia.

Ti Guan Yin is a famous style of oolong tea named after the Buddhist divinity Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. I am particularly sentimental about this tea as it was the first tea I used for my own tea meditations and I drank it after the birth of my daughter, in January 2017. My daughter smiled from the day she was born and is now approaching three years old. The tea perfectly suited the era of what was a whirlwind year which started in a small flat in East London where we had no intention of leaving and ending with a new baby, in a new home in a new country. Tasting its sweet notes brings back fond memories of being with the not knowing, a true period of mercy. This version of the tea is truly delicious.

To write up the description I have used the information sent to me about the tea from a monthly tea subscription I had with The London Teaclub. I met Cecilia at a brunch workshop close to where I lived in London, I was fortunate enough to be sat next to her and we were both in the last trimester of our pregnancies. She invited me to a fullmoon tea ceremony and so my adventure in tea began. This group and that ceremony gave me the inspiration to run the ateliers I currently offer. Lots of things are woven into this tea, I hope you’ll get the pleasure of tasting it in one of January’s ateliers. Sadly The London Teaclub is no longer offering tea subscriptions as postage costs made it no longer viable. Cecelia moved back to San Francisco where she continues to sell tea and run tea ceremonies, you can read more about her work there here.

The Tea’s Story

The style of tea originated from china but this version is grown in the mineral rich, volcanic soils of Sumatra island. After being rolled and oxidized, the tea is fired with charcoal. The result is a thick, warm, amber-coloured brew. The sweet caramel and dark chocolate flavours are peppered with notes of smoky cinnamon.

The London Teaclub

In 1977 The Chou family opened up a small tea shop in Taipei, Taiwan. The family then planted heir first trees ten years later in the Wushe mountains in Nantou county, Taiwan. Two years later in 1989 they purchased a tea garden in Indonesia, the garden has a high elevation and they use the conventional farming methods for this tea.

They chose the gardens for their unique terroirs where there are sharp differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures, this allows the tea to grow more slowly,this causes the tea to develop more aroma an sweetness; in addition to this the abundant clouds and fog surrounding the mountains allows the tea to absorb more moisture.

Preparation

1 tsp of leaves per cup is used with water heated to just below boiling point. This can be reached by allowing boiled water to cool for 1 minute.

The tea can be steeped in a gaiwan or teapot for 2-4 minutes. Or alternatively it can be enjoyed ‘grandpa style’, where the leaves are put directly in the cup and topped up with hot water and enjoyed throughout the day, simply blowing the leaves out of the way whilst you drink. This is a beautiful way to observe the leaves unfurling, I have tried to capture the process in the picture above.

Tea Meditation

During each atelier we take tea and weave it into our meditation, it punctuates and aids the transition from the silent practices. It brings us back again and again to the present moment and is a very sensory meditation.

You can replicate this at home by making yourself a hot drink at home, paying attention to the details of preparation as well as mindfully drinking the infusion. To begin with closing your eyes and connecting to the breath ad then moving through the practice slowly, deliberately and with attention. Each time your mind wanders congratulating yourself for noticing and returning to the felt sense of the experience, with compassion and kindness and perhaps some gratitude for your body making most of its movements without you noticing.

How easy it is to make drink a cup of tea and not notice any of the experience.

I’ll toast with Iron Goddess of Mercy on each one of her birthdays.

Offerings January – April 2020

Apologies to those of you who have signed up for the newsletter as this is a repeat of the information I sent out. It may still be of interest to have a read for a second time.

I hope you have a cup of tea to hand whilst you read this.

Happy New Year and a new decade no less, I found the poem above by David Whyte a beautiful reminder that we don’t have to make any resolutions or drastic changes to our lives and simply being is enough. Since moving to France I have made an effort to live seasonally and deep winter does not feel like the right time for me to make drastic changes, that comes with springs energy, but looking forward and making some plans for when I do have that energy feels nourishing and allows me to rest a little longer whilst the light makes its return.  So for now, slow, deliberate and intentional living is suiting me well.  

Whilst you already received an update in December from now on you’ll receive this newsletter every 4 months with details of the programme at The Wellbeing Atelier. I blog more frequently each Monday and you’ll find those musings here

The Ateliers

Over the coming months we will be focusing on building mindful compassion in the ateliers, taking a moment of quiet, sipping tea and practicing intentional living, with the aim being to improve your general wellbeing to take with you into your days.

Weekly Meditation Atelier 

The weekly sessions will continue Friday mornings 10:30-11:30am beginning again this week, 3rd January 2020.  We will continue to build on the mindfulness practices we have been exploring together, weaving in additional practices relating specifically to compassion.

Sessions cost 10€.  If you attend 5 sessions the 6th Session is offered.
 

Afternoon Retreats 1-3:30pm

Once a month on a Tuesday afternoon I wil be offering a retreat ateliers.  This is a space to explore the meditation practices in more depth and I will be introducing some tools to explore themes around intentional, compassionate, seasonal living. Put simply these are practical ways of exploring our humanity.  The winter months are slower and reflective spaces and then as we move into spring and the energy for hope and planning that comes with the additional light and warmth. See below for the dates and intentions we will explore within the practices.

21st January – Vision

25th February – Intuition 

24th March – Confidence

21st April – Integrity 

Sessions cost 20€
 

Tea meditations

Each month within the ateliers we take time to sit in quiet companionship and take tea. This tea element of the sessions is a transition, before moving into the reflective spaces we take a moment to be with our senses. I’ll write a piece detailing the tea of the month on the blog, I’ve chosen them already and I’m really looking forward to trying them with you; a 18 Ruby, Purple leaf Sheng Puerh, Amber Oolong and finally Dark Roast Tu Guan Yin. 

 

Individual Mentorship and Therapy

I have a limited availability of slots for individual mentorship or therapy.  These are shaped to meet your needs and can be one off or regular sessions.  Put simply mentorship offers an opportunity for reflection and guidance where therapy is a space to explore in-depth the healing that lies within you.  My models of practice are motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral integrated techniques and compassion focused therapy. Throughout my career as an Occupational Therapist I have offered mentorship and specialised in women’s mental health, substance misuse and mindfulness within my clinical practice.

You can read more about these sessions here.

Fin

If you are unable to attend sessions and would like to access the resources and meditations you can sign up for access for a small fee of 5€ a month or 40€ for the year. Details are here

Please do get in contact if you have any queries. To contact me directly and book sessions you can email jaddufourd@icloud.com or phone/text me on +33 6 77 05 42 46

The next newsletter will be sent out at the beginning of April. I blog weekly about different themes, there’s a sign up at the bottom of the blog if this is something you’d be interested in receiving directly to you mailbox.

With fond regards, 

Joséphine 

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Decembers Tea Offering

Decembers Tea Offering

Throughout December I will be serving The London Tea Club’s Masala Chai tea. This is an Assam black tea with cardamom, clove, cinnamon and bay leaf. It is grown by Heritage Tea in India with the tea from Dibrugarh and spices from Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, it was harvested in 2018. All of the Heritage Tea small growers use chemical-free and pesticide-free methods creating quality, craft teas.

This Masala Chai is a collaborative creation of the Heritage Tea community. Founder Rajen Baruch and his son Ishan craft the black tea, and Rajen’s wife June creates the blend of spices grown by their smaller grower network.

The Masala chai will be prepared in advance of the groups as it best brewed on a stove. 2 heap teaspoons of tea and two cups of water are bought to the boil. Once booked 2 cups of whole milk are added and it’s brought to the boil again. Nut milks can be used too. Sugar can be added to taste.

Within the group we will quietly take tea together. I’ll gently warm and the cups with hot water first, emptying them into a bowl before serving the tea which we will savour in companionable silence. Paying attention to our senses, the visual, sounds, feel, smell and taste. I’ll then close the period of silence with a bell and we will discuss the practices and perhaps share another cup of tea together if that takes your fancy.

December 2019 Updates and Musings

Thank you so much for your support of my work at The Wellbeing Atelier and helping me realise this vision. When we left London 3 years ago I hoped I’d be able to create a space like this and I am beyond grateful to everyone who has attended sessions and cheered me on from the sidelines. From 18 years in the NHS (National Health Service) setting up on my own was a daunting prospect. Whilst it remains early days for the project and I have many more ideas, the space will always be rooted in offering an invitation to pause, to recentre, breathe and just be, a time to listen to the wisdom of our bodies and pay attention moment to moment.

Pause

Recently a psychology colleague of mine Claire Rother (click here for her website) talked about how there are 85 billion neurons in our brain and with these neurons we have so much possibility for making new connections. Firing and strengthening these new neural networks allows us to build new habits and make changes. Each time you make the space to meditate be that at The Wellbeing Atelier or within your own spaces you reinforce these neural pathways and strengthen these new habits. This in turn allows you the space to respond differently to experiences, be that being more present during the beautiful moments or responding more wisely during the challenging times. Regular mindful meditation offers you an opportunity to live more fully – with plenitude.

Monthly Afternoon Retreat 1-3:30pm, Tuesday 17th December

Leading on from the success of the morning meditation retreat atelier last month I will be running Monthly Afternoon Retreat Ateliers,1-3:30pm one Tuesday afternoon a month. Within the sessions we will continue to explore mindfulness and mindful compassion practices in depth.  Each month I will weave in a theme and leave space for reflections and taking things forward, you will also have access ot the online materials in the members area for the month afterwards.  The dates for 2020 can be found here here

The first Afternoon Retreat Atelier will be 17th December and we will be exploring the theme of ‘Everydayness’, becoming attentive to the quiet and practical so that their essential beauty and strength can be revealed and recognised as our life.  Through valuing the everyday we can find and recognise the great nurturing value of humility in ourselves and in all things. 

For those of you have attended Morning Retreat Atelier 29th November I would be grateful if you filled in a feedback form, it should take 4 minutes. The link is here. Any feedback would be so helpful in tailoring future events, I already have some ideas about how I’d improve things.

Online Membership

If you are unable to attend the session and would like to access the resources and meditations you can sign up for access for a small fee of 5€ a month or 40€ for the year. Attendees of the Afternoon Retreat Ateliers will be given access to the online membership area at no extra cost. Details are here here

Individual Sessions

I have a limited availability of slots for individual sessions, these can be one off or regular sessions. They can be shaped to meet your individual needs, for example an opportunity for exploration of life balance, goal setting, developing new roles and routines, it can also be a space where you can explore the practices in more detail in relation to your own health needs. I also offer individual in-depth 6 week mindfulness based approaches course. You can read more about my sessions here.

Weekly Meditation Atelier

The weekly sessions will continue Friday mornings 10:30-11:30am, the last class of the year will be 20th December and they will begin again 3rd January 2020.  We will continue to build on the mindfulness practices we have been exploring together, weaving in additional practices relating specifically to compassion.

Please do get in contact if you have any queries. You can find lots of information on my website which now has an option to make paypal payments for sessions online at thewellbeingatelier.com. To contact me (Joséphine) directly and book sessions you can email jaddufourd@icloud.com or phone/text me on +33 6 77 05 42 46

The next newsletter will be sent out at the beginning of January and from then on every other month,  please unsubscribe if at any time these letters are not of interest to you.

With fond regards, 

Joséphine 

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Instagram @thewellbeingatelier

With thanks to again to Claire Rother for the science inspiration & Uusi Publications and Carl Jung for the Everydayness theme of upcoming Afternoon Retreat Atelier.

Preparing for Winter, Mindful Morning Retreat

Friday 29th November 2019 10am-12:30pm

Winter season is upon us, both a beautiful and challenging time for our bodies and our souls, and I would like to invite you to retreat and spend a nourishing morning at The Wellbeing Atelier.

A time for being you, being with yourself, for yourself, a time for looking after yourself and supporting your wellbeing.

The morning will consist of being guided through mindfulness meditation practices, there will then be a space of inquiry over tea, finishing with a discussion of how to incorporate formal and informal mindfulness meditation practices at home with a guided practice to take away with you.

20€, Booking Essential

Email a booking via josephine@thewellbeingatelier.com or call/text 06 77 05 42 46

Mindfulness and Mindful Self Compassion Ateliers Weekend Day Retreat – Norwich,UK

Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December Mindfulness and Mindful Self Compassion Weekend Day Retreats at the Norwich Wellbeing Centre

My colleague Dr Tanya Augustine and I invite you to join us in spending the day with us exploring mindfulness and/or mindful self-compassion practices, an opportunity to fall awake.

The days will begin with an introduction to the practices and an opportunity to ask questions before falling into silence for the practices, we will close the day with an opportunity for reflection and discussion. Please wear comfortable lose clothing and bring your lunch with you. Chairs and mats will be provided if you have any additional requirements for your own comfort you are welcome to bring them along with you.

Dr Tanya Augustine and I have many years experience of working within the NHS mental health services. We undertook our mindfulness training with Bangor University and have been meditating for many years continuing our passion and intrigue for the way in which mindfulness can positively influence our day to day lives, relationships and understanding of ourselves.

When you sign up for the course we will contact you with a brief health questionnaire to ensure the suitability of the course for your needs

Saturday 29th November will be a day of Mindfulness meditations a day held in companionable silence and the Sunday 1st December introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion which will have some discussion based elements.

10-4pm

£60 per day / £100 for both days

Norwich Well Being Centre, 15 Chapelfield East, Norwich, NR2 1SF

For further details contact Josephine via email at mindfultherapypractice@gmail.com

The Weekly Meditation Atelier

The Weekly Meditation Atelier

The mindfulness and mindful-self-compassion meditation classes will be starting from Friday 13th September at 10:30-11:30am. I’ll be running them in six week teaching blocks where we will build on the techniques, though they work just as well as stand alone sessions.

Each session will be held in companionable silence, an invitation to pause, with a guided meditation, a poem and a tea. The intention for the classes are to support you in enjoying a more conscious and connected life. I will be weaving in themes of the transitions of the seasons over the coming months. The cost will be 10€ a session or 50€ for the 6 week block of classes. Booking is essential.

I also have some limited availability for individual sessions where the practices can be explored in greater depths and tailored to your specific needs.

For more information please don’t hesitate to get in contact josephine@thewellbeingatelier.com