July: “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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
Maria Bez on “Wisdom in the menopause – an empowering perspective”
Sue Brayne and special guests on “The wisdom in embracing your mortality”
- 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.
Jo Webber on ‘The Wisdom of food as medicine’
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.
Paul Wilson on ‘Stoic wisdom – how philosophy can improve your self-care and wellbeing’
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!
Jacqui Cameron on ‘Helping children to develop their inner wisdom and resilience ‘
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.
Dr Roz Savage, MBE on ‘The Wisdom of Solitude’
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