Oct 2023: “The Wisdom of trees” with Sue Judge and Michelle Hawkins-Collins
From the dawn of existence, trees have captured our imaginations in so many ways and been revered by earth-based traditions. Sadly, modern culture see trees as a resource to farm and to “use”. But trees are magical, mystical and spiritual beings seen as a gateway into other realms that deserve our respect and protection. They are a source of beauty, creative inspiration, healing and wisdom. And, without them, we simply would not exist.
Expect an evening of nature connection (inside!) and to be inspired by nature’s giants as Michelle and Sue bring the wisdom of trees to life with science, myth, meditation, poetry and craft. Michelle is the founder of The Wisdom Space and Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) guide. Sue is an Elder and Director of The Wisdom Space, Nutritionist and Ecotherapist. Together, they run the magical Wise Woods Project in Box – a place for the community “to be and to belong” in nature.
“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.”
Sept 2023: “How to work wisely” with Lizzie Penny and Alex Hirst
Statistics show that the average person spends a third of their life working. The way we work has a huge impact on our lives. Facilitated by Lizzie Penny and Alex Hirst – entrepreneurs, activists and campaigners for ‘workstyle’, this Wisdom Space session is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the way we work, challenge assumptions around work, and explore how we can work more wisely.
Alex and Lizzie are co-founders of Hoxby, an award winning B-Corp and global working community set up to test and prove the success of working differently and inclusively. To celebrate the launch of their new book, Workstyle; a revolution for wellbeing, productivity and society, we’ll be giving away copies to the first five people to book!
“The most dangerous ideas are not those that challenge the status quo.
The most dangerous ideas are those so embedded in the status quo,
so wrapped in a cloud of inevitability, that we forget they are ideas at all.” Jacob M. Appel
Jul 2023: “Trust you gut – the Wisdom of fermentation” with Ross Austen
Your gut microbiome is so crucial to your overall health that it is now considered as another organ inside your body. The number of good gut bacteria in your microbiome can assist with digestion, immune function, protection against certain diseases, brain function and even your mood.
During this two hour fermentation masterclass with Ross Austen, you’ll learn all about your gut, why fermented foods are so important and how to make kombucha with a step-by-step process. Our welcome drink will, of course, be one of Ross’ delicious kombuchas and you’ll leave with your very own kombucha making set-up. A gift that will keep on giving!
Ross is founder of Hanora Health – a local company making small-batch kombucha, water kefir and raw chocolate. After a long career in sports science and elite performance, he became an expert in gut health and sports nutrition, and a champion of whole food diets. This led to Ross setting up Hanora Health in 2018 and he hasn’t looked back since.
Jun 2023: “Bee more conscious” with Paula Carnell
Join international bee expert and TedX speaker Paula Carnell to hear her extraordinary story of how the bees helped her to heal after spending 7 years bed and wheelchair bound with Ehlers and Danlos Syndrome.
We’ll be discussing the link between bee and human health and well-being, the importance of naturopathic bee keeping and how to get started as kinder bee keeper yourself. You will also take home a jar of Paula’s delicious honey and this included in the suggested donation for this event.
Paula is also a honey sommelier, author, artist, Head Bee Keeper at The Newt in Somerset and runs bee keeping courses, bee safaris and honey tastings
“The wisest and noblest teacher is nature itself”
Leonardo Da Vinci
Mar 2023: “Sacred sounds” with Sara Hemming
When: Tues 2 May 2023, 8pm-10pm
Where: Wallington Hall, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LN
Come and enjoy an evening with the extraordinary ancient healing power of gongs. This is a unique opportunity to experience how vibrational energy from the sound of the gongs can help you to relax into a meditative state and access a deeper state of consciousness. During this special Wisdom Space session, we will also discover how this powerful and profound healing practice is explained by quantum physics.
Our sound alchemist for the evening is Sara Hemming from Crystal Clear Perspective. Alongside her prowess on the gongs, Sara brings over twenty years of experience as an occupational therapist. She is also qualified as a Full Spectrum healer using crystals, and is a Shamanic and Sound Healing Practionner.
“Vibrate the cosmos and the cosmos shall clear the path”
Mar 2023: “The Wisdom of Yoga” with Ben Parkes
Yoga is so much more than just postures and breathing. It is an ancient wisdom tradition which nurtures us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually so that we can connect more deeply with ourselves and what it means to be human. The practice of yoga can teach us so much and awaken our deepest parts. Our bodies are always communicating – if only we are present enough to listen to the wisdom they share.
Where you’ve practiced yoga for years or are a complete novice, this evening will open you up to the full transformational potential of yoga. It is facilitated by Yoga Ben (aka Ben Parks). Ben is well-known for his friendly and accessible classes, workshops and retreats which blend traditional yoga practices with modern techniques. He also runs teacher training and embodies yoga as a philosophy and as a lifestyle.
Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life. B.K.S. Iyengar
Please note: there is no need to bring a yoga mat as we will be sitting and standing for this event but will be offering breathing and gentle movement as part of the experience.
Mar 2023: “The Wisdom of the human givens approach to wellbeing” with Bindi Gauntlett and Alec Stansfield
Self-awareness and emotional regulation are essential life skills. They help us to mindfully respond rather than subconsciously react and are key for our mental health and wellbeing as well as our ability to form strong relationships.
During this two hour workshop we will explore how the human givens approach, led by Bindi Gauntlett and Alec Stansfield, can support us to live emotionally healthy and fulfilling lives. We will also have the chance to use the Anxiety Freedom Cards which Bindi and Alec developed. This a powerful tool which helps us to recognise our psychological needs and how we can access our innate inner resources to develop greater wellbeing. Participants will take home a small pack of these invaluable cards to use straight away and this is included in the suggested donation price for the event.
Husband and wife team Bindi and Alec have over 40 years experience of using the Human Givens approach to help people, families, and organisations address and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. They have so many insights, stories and tips to share that we guarantee you’ll be captivated for the entire evening and will leave feeling more empowered to support yourself and others.
Feb 2023: “The Wisdom of decluttering” with Tanya Slater
We all want a home that reflects who we are and that helps us to feel calm, safe and in control. However, many of us live in houses which are the total opposite. Caught in the clutches of consumerism, we accumulate ‘stuff’ that we don’t need and hold onto things which represent old identities that no longer have a bearing on our life. It seems so simple but, when we take control of our environment, we take control of our life.
Come and be inspired by TEDxFrome speaker Tanya Slater, a mum of two who transformed her life and her mental health by mastering the art of decluttering. Tanya, known as ‘the girl who simplified’, runs The Home Clearing Club and coaches people on how to declutter. She’ll be sharing her wisdom on the simple and practical steps which will help you to transform your life from the inside to the outside.
“…when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” Marie Kondo
Jan 2023: “The Wisdom of intention and manifestation” with Amanda Beswick
As we start the new year, many of us will set new goals and make resolutions to live a more fulfilled life. Yet, our negative unconscious thought processes can hold us back, leaving us feeling that something isn’t right or understanding we need to make changes but not knowing how. Transformational life coach Amanda Beswick will show us how we can take control of our lives and start intentionally bringing more meaning and purpose into our lives rather than reacting to things we don’t want or can’t change.
Amanda has dedicated her life to studying the principles of transformation and manifestation, including 10 years studying wisdom traditions at a modern-day Mystery School, followed by many years studying Shamanic practices and running her own Homeopathic and energetic healing practice. Prepare to start your new year with powerful insights – this event could change your life.
Nov 2022: “Plants – connecting our inner and outer worlds” with Simon Mills MA FCPP FNIMH
Simon Mills is a world-renowned authority on herbalism and a pioneer in promoting the healing power of herbs. During this two-hour event, Simon will open us up to the incredible power of plants and show us how herbs and spices can help to keep ourselves and our families well, as well as ground our health in a more meaningful relationship with nature. Bring your notebooks as this session will be packed full of great insights and take-home recipes!
Simon has been a herbal practionner for over 40 year and is an acclaimed international speaker and author. He is also Herbal Strategist at Pukka Herbs, Self-Care Lead at the College of Medicine, Chief Herbal Officer at herbalreality.com and, with co-author Kerry Bone, set up the Mills and Bone Academy as a leading training resource for herbal practitioners.
Note: this is our Dec event moved forward to Nov to make space for festive celebrations.
Nov 2022: “The Wisdom in preparing for caring” with Jane Diamond
As we get older, the likelihood of needing extra care for activities of day-to-day living increases. Many of us will play a caring role for our parents, partners, and even friends and family. However, we often don’t prepare for caring early enough (both for ourselves and others) and this risks us facing into caring during a crisis when emotions are running high.
Drawing upon her many years of experience as an end-of-life planner, funeral director, and end-of-life doula, Jane will guide us through practical steps we can take now. This includes reflecting on limiting beliefs and assumptions we have around ageing and end-of-life, how to have difficult conversations, and how to create an end-of-life care plan.
Whether you want to plan for your own future or to support others in the best way you can, this event will leave you feeling empowered.
Oct 2022: “The wisdom of good listening” with Sue Brayne and Tessa Stacey
What does it feel like when someone talks at you, tries to fix you, talks over you, or starts to lecture you? How does it feel when someone interrupts you and starts to tell you about their experience instead? How does it feel when someone pauses and gives you their full and present attention, free of judgement or advice?
One of the great gifts we can give each other is to listen, but few of us know how to do this. This practical good listening skills session is a golden opportunity to learn simple, yet deeply effective skills that can transform relationships with your partner, children, friends, and work colleagues. You will learn how to listen to yourself, recognise when you have stopped listening to someone else because of your own internal agenda, and how to create a safe, open, and receptive space for honest conversations to take place.
The session is led by Sue Brayne who has trained numerous people, including therapists and counsellors, in good listening skills, and Tessa Stacey, a group therapist with specialised training in Non-Violent Communication
Sept 2022: “Meditations on wisdom” with Chris Nuttall at the Ton Boon Temple
Join us for this special event which will be held in the tranquil surrounds of the Ton Boon temple in Bradford on Avon. Through guided meditations (suitable for all levels), calming Qigong, gentle mindful movement and compassionate conversation, Chris will lead us through an exploration of Buddhist philosophy and teachings on wisdom. This includes how wisdom helps us to perceive the true nature of reality, ways in which we can cultivate greater wisdom and the importance of meditative practice.
Chris is a dharma teacher, yoga and meditation instructor, and conscious dance facilitator. He is part of a collective of dharma teachers, facilitators and volunteers at the not-for-profit Ton Boon Buddhist Community Group which works alongside Ton Boon Dharma to offer meditation activities, yin and restorative yoga workshops and meditation retreats.
July 2022: “Natural wisdom; rediscovering belonging” with Isla Macleod
Ceremonialist, healer, and companion across the Thresholds, Isla MacLeod will lead us on a journey to discover how we can deepen our connection with nature. She will draw upon the power of ritual and ceremony, and will inspire us with her love of moss, mushrooms, wild swimming and moonlight. This will include remembering our natural rhythms using the symbology of the eight sacred Celtic festivals. These ancient festivals embody the natural rhythms and cycles of nature which sustained and empowered our ancestors, connecting them to the wisdom of the natural world.
This sense of belonging is important not just for our own wellbeing but also for that of our planet. It helps us to perceive wholeness not fragmentation and raises our consciousness of how we must change the way we live to protect our beautiful world.
Jun 2022: Christine Giles on “HELP! How do i buy food ethically these days?”
Buying food responsibly is such a minefield. We’re bombarded with messages about what is healthy, sustainable, and ethical. Often it’s hard to know the truth behind the marketing and how to choose between buying local vs. organic vs. in sustainable packaging when many products don’t tick all of these boxes. And, when faced with higher prices, it’s hard to know if we’re paying for the ethical branding or whether we’re actually paying the true cost of creating a nutritious food item that reduces its impact on the planet.
Fortunately for Bradford on Avon, we have our very own resident expert, Christine Giles, who runs the brilliant Christine’s Sustainable Supermarket in the centre of town. For the past 14 years, she has dedicated herself to buying and selling a huge range of sustainable groceries and provisions and was recently voted the second most ethical supermarket in the UK by Ethical Consumer Magazine. So, bring your questions and concerns about anything to do with how you feed yourself and your families more ethically and sustainably. This promises to be a lively and eye-opening session that may change your life!
Conscious Conversations launched!
Monthly Conscious Conversations have launched in Bradford on Avon, working in unity with The Wisdom Space.
No one has the answers to the challenges we face and it can be daunting to face them alone. Conscious Conversations give us an opportunity to come together in a supportive environment to make sense of what is happening in our lives and to decide how we wish to make the most of the time that is given to us. Different themes and ideas will be explored each month as they arise and everyone will have the chance to share, listen, and reflect. Please note that Conscious Conversations offer a safe, caring space to connect deeply with each other but are not self-help groups, nor do they offer therapeutic or medical advice.
Conscious Conversations are facilitated by Sue Brayne and Sue Judge. Find out more about them on our Wisdom Space Elders page.
May 2022: David Florence on “The wisdom of the breath”
The famous healer and philosopher Philo of Alexandria stated: “All healing of the being is done through the breath“. Although we breathe every moment of our lives, many of us do not pay attention to the wisdom it brings. Conscious breathing opens a path to healing and resilience because it helps us to become aware of the tensions, blockages and resistances in our bodies and to calm our nervous system.
In this experiential session, David Florence will explore the benefits of conscious breathing and guide you through different techniques. David discovered the healing power of breath after he literally took a bang to the head in 2017 and has chronicled his journey on the very popular YouTube channel ‘Evolution of Dave‘. He is now a SOMA breath instructor, clinical hypnotherapist, FlowCode coach and NLP practionner.
Apr 2022: Helen Baker & Gabrielle Reeves on “Wisdom in creativity”
Creativity is a way of being in the world. It nourishes us, enhances our life meaning and is a tool for self-expression. Creativity and imagination also help us to see things differently – something we need more than ever given the challenges we are all facing. Join Michelle in this revelatory conversation about embracing creativity at every age with Helen Baker and Gabrielle Reeves.
- Helen is one of our Wisdom Space Elders and is passionate about social change through craftivism; a gentle yet effective form of protest that combines craft and activism. Her own crativism campaign was so successful that it featured in a BBC4 documentary
- Gabrielle Amelia Reeves is a composer, children’s author, storyteller and mum of two young girls. She is also the creator of ‘Monty the Maestro and his Marvellous Magical Orchestra’, a successful children’s book series and is soon to open Creativity Corner in Bradford on Avon.
Mar 2022: “Let’s drink wine, eat chocolate and talk about death”
Join us for this for this special Wisdom Space Death Café with Sue Brayne and Elodie Fuentes. Death Cafes were set up by Jon Underwood in 2011 to provide a safe, confidential setting for people to come together to talk about death and dying and what really matters over a piece of cake and cup of tea. We’re holding it in a wine bar and offering a complimentary glass of wine (or soft drink) and chocolate instead of a cup of tea and cake. Death Cafes are not therapy sessions or grief and bereavement groups. Rather, they provide a space to share and discuss issues related to mortality, death and dying and end of life.
- Sue Brayne has facilitated over a hundred Death Cafes and is the host of Embracing Your Mortality Podcasts. She has an MA in the Rhetoric and Rituals of Death and is the author of several books on death and dying including Living Fully, Dying Consciously: the path to spiritual wellbeing.
- Elodie Fuentes has trained to become an end of life doula and created the podcast A life to die for. She is training to become a counsellor and volunteers with Dorothy House as a Compassionate Companion
Mar 2022: “Wisdom in the menopause – an empowering perspective” with Maria Bez
Feb 2022:“The wisdom in embracing your mortality” with Sue Brayne and special guests
- Mandy Preece is an award-winning trainer, soul midwife and author. Her work in training and mentoring volunteers to sit with the dying was recognised by receiving the NHS Unsung Hero Volunteer of the Year in 2019.
- Angela Ward is an award-winning funeral director and co-founder of goSimply funerals and Riverstone Funerals. Angela and her husband Kevin are passionate about providing personal care, support, and guidance for families every step of the way.
Nov 2021: “The Wisdom of food as medicine” with Jo Webber
Jo Webber is Head of Herbal Education at Pukka Herbs, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga teacher.
During this interactive event, Jo will introduce you to the ancient health system of Ayurveda which translates as ‘knowledge of life’. Ayurveda takes a complete and holistic approach to health which helps people to live wisely through balancing their mind, body, senses and spirit. You’ll discover how to use food as medicine for your unique dosha (mind body type/constitution), enjoy an experiential session with the 6 therapeutic tastes recognised by Ayurveda, sample herbal teas to support digestion and the microbiome, and get practical tips on how to eat (as important as what you eat!)
Find our more about Jo by visiting her website The Ayurveda Academy.
Nov 2021: “Stoic wisdom – how philosophy can improve your self-care and wellbeing” with Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson is a trainer, writer and speaker on health inequalities, health culture and self-care as well as a lifelong student of Stoic wisdom. He was formerly Head of Community Mental Health Services and Strategic Lead for Prevention and Wellbeing, in South West England.
In this fascinating discussion, we will explore one of the oldest forms of self-care – philosophy. Paul will bring to life the ancient wisdom on the ‘art of living’ from the Stoic school – a form of philosophy that has seen a sudden resurgence during the Covid pandemic. Stoicism offers timeless perspectives and simple practices that can help us to lead more positive, purposeful lives – especially during times of great loss, uncertainty and rapid change. So, if you’re interested in adding a new dimension to your self-care knowledge and practice, please come along. Togas optional!
Oct 2021: “Helping children to develop their inner wisdom and resilience” with Jacqui Cameron
Jacqui Cameron is an emotional well-being therapist, mindfulness teacher, life coach and award winning author. She has been promoting child development for over thirty-five years.
During her talk, Jacqui will be sharing her own wisdom and insights of how we can support children to develop emotional awareness and manage their emotions. This is a key skill for children at any age as they navigate the inevitable changes and transitions into adulthood but perhaps even more so during the formative first five or six years of life, when a child is particularly sensitive to their own innate wisdom. Through a combination of stories, examples, and the opportunity to experience guided imagery, Jacqui will demonstrate how we can support our children to trust their inner wisdom and develop greater emotional wellbeing.
Find out more about Jacqui by visiting her website Stay Calm.
Sept 2021: “The Wisdom of Solitude” with Dr Roz Savage, MBE
We’re thrilled that our first speaker is Roz Savage, MBE. Roz is the first (and so far only) woman to row solo across the world’s “Big Three” oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian. She holds four Guinness World Records, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to fundraising and the environment. Roz will be sharing her wisdom about solitude, loneliness and aloneness after spending up to five months completely alone rowing across oceans. With more people experiencing loneliness and isolation than ever before during the Corona Virus pandemic, this talk could not be more timely or pertinent.
Find out more about Roz by visiting her website and check out her latest book; The Gifts of Solitude. You can also read Roz’s interview with Sue Brayne: Things have to Break Down before They Break Through