Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
The Mindful Writer, Coach & Practitioner: Free Talk
Mindfulness extends into many areas of our personal and professional development as coaches. In today’s talk Executive Coach, speaker, trainer and creative writing tutor Jackee Holder shares a series of writing approaches and practices that will cultivate mindfulness in our work as coaches both on and off the page.
Drawing from sound research from her latest book 49 Ways Ways To Write Yourself Well: The Science and Wisdom of Writing and journaling you will learn about:
- The many therapeutic benefits creative writing about our work and ourselves contributes to your health and well being
- How to heal yourself with Mindful writing
- How writing regularly is a form of mindfulness practice and for many extends into a spiritual practice that enhances who we are which further impacts on the quality and engagement of how we coach.
- How writing mindfully invokes stillness, the art and heart of being and deepens our connection to our intuition, creativity, inner wisdom and resourcefulness.
- How writing mindfully activates the wisdom and resourcefulness of your “inner coach”
- The research that underpins and supports the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing and how this can be incorporated into our one to one coaching work and our work with teams and organizations.
Jackee is passionate about writing and reading as mindfulness practices and believes that through mindfulness practices we can grow and development ourselves holistically as coaches both on and off the page.
FREE TALK on 12 November 2013
Click here to register via Eventbrite
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
I wanted to share with you this letter from Nehanda who attended my book launch for 49 Ways To Write Yourself Well on 9 August.
I met Jackee in 2001 in my place of employment where she worked alongside a positive male trainer Omowale in Hammersmith and Fulham. It was an excellent combination. It was a period in my life when you know the right people showed up at the right time. This meeting in more ways than one turned out to be and will remain one of the most spiritually awakening, personal uplifting time in my life. I truly mean that.
Fast forward to 2013, 12 years since that time and I am sitting in Brixton Library in Lambeth, the borough of my birth and where so many positives have happened in my life. It is Friday 9th August in the evening and one would think what would you be doing in a library in the children’s section on a Friday night? when there are bars to go to; places to dance, theatre productions to view; any amount of entertainment. Here I was in a place that reminded me of my youthful years doing a summer vacation job; reading stories to children across the Libraries in Lambeth in the 80’s again how time flies.
I had after receiving Jackee’s newsletter in my email about this event wondered whether I really wanted to attend yet another workshop, book, launch. I have been to so many in the last couple of years and many where I would bump into Jackee either leading, contributing or just attending the event. It was not until two days before the event that I decided to send my confirmation that I would attend. I let spirit guide me and anyway I did not have that date signed up where I would put on my slinky dress and killer heels so I decided Brixton Library it was, minus the slinky dress but I wore my heels; interestingly Jackee mentioned how she did not wear heels usually (neither do I) but she wore a pair of beautiful textile, richly coloured heels and strutted onto the stage with confidence, style and an air of promising delight that confirmed for me that I had chosen the right (write) event tonight. Jackee was here to promote her new book “49 Ways to Write Yourself Well”
I looked at the title and I realised that I had started writing a blog in November. I was indeed writing myself well. I also realised that in the last few months that had been what I would say been unfulfilling” I had hit a writer’s block, the words that had flowed so easily in the first few months of starting my blog were now like stagnant water and were not flowing yet I had so much in my head that I wanted to write about.
The evening was introduced by Joy Francis, Journalist and Broadcaster with Malika Booker interviewer for Jackee; for me this was a showcase of talented women particularly African-Caribbean women in the U.K. I loved Malika’s poem “Pain” so much resonated with many of the women in the room , she got us joining in the poem to make the poem come alive.
Friday evening in Brixton Library, well who would have thought; probably more than 70 people in the room mainly African-Caribbean women but I was glad to see that an event like this has no ethnic, class, age, gender or disability divide, so I was glad to see the array of diverse people at this event. We all need to write ourselves well.
I did buy the book and I know it won’t be one of those that end up on my bookshelf gathering dust. Jackee always writes a personal dedication in her sign up for copies of her books with a very vibrant orange felt tip pen. It is the 2nd book I have bought of Jackee’s and signed this was How to become your own Life Coach, she has a first publication Soul Purpose which I knew of but have to admit I have never read.
In my signed copy Jackee wrote” Dear Nehanda close your eyes, open a page a write yourself well, with much love Jackee 09/08/13”
During the evening we participated in an NLP exercise from the book which was fun and very enlightening on beginning to understand the outer image we often portray and who we are in our inner world “the true self”
What I could see in Jackee on this night, a woman I have connected with on many occasions was her holding her own with such fun and joy in herself now that she is a woman in her 50’s.
It was inspiring for me a 50 something woman to see that she had made her own journeys as we all have in our own unique and special ways. I left the library quietly on a high and decided to take an hour long journey back to North London rather than take the tube with my new book, journal and pen in hand. I passed familiar places of my youth a South London Girl at heart I remembered my past and thought about my present a 50 plus mother of three and now grandmother sitting on a bus travelling through London writing herself well. I closed my eyes and opened up the page as Jackee had suggested and came to page 78 Way 24 Intuition your inner wisdom and I thought it was intuition that made me attend this event tonight and I was glad I followed it.
I have since used the book and this it has assisted me in writing this piece I am writing now. I opened up the page for the 2nd time and came to page 110 Way 37 – The F Word, which I rarely use I should add not the one you are thinking anyway. The F Word here was FAILURE which sometimes I do use and often feel.
Jackee I want to say thank you for this gift. After this exercise , tears flowed they had been waiting for a long time, the recent showers in London and across the country could not match the flow that was coming out of my body and soul; they were so healing and I did give myself a big hug in fact a massive hug. I had followed my intuition which I sometimes ignore to my detriment. I had walked the journey on my own to that event and felt totally inspired and full of gratitude for sharing the evening with such a wonderful group of souls. It was not just not another workshop or book launch; but an highly interactive programme of writing wellness into our lives.
Thank you again, Jackee you are well onto what you expressed is your desire to have a programme where people are fully engaged in writing themselves well. I wish you well on that journey. Be continually blessed in what you do. I feel blessed in the Journey I decided to take to Join others in Brixton Library on a Friday evening.
Love always Nehanda
Sunday, September 1st, 2013
Here’s another of our retreat attendee’s Tamya Bustamante’s write up of their time on our Writing For Our Lives Writers Retreat held in Glastonbury in July. We left it to her to tell her story in her own words.
You know when you go somewhere thinking you know what to expect and then you get something completely different?
As a volunteer for Alternatives who had organised the retreat, I often find myself reflecting like this and once again the thought reoccurred during the Writing For Our Lives retreat led by Jackee.
I feel I had quite a 2D perception of writing as a form of personal creative expression. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the art of writing, I love poetry, scriptwriting and verse, in particular, but I hadn’t extended the love to my own writing. It’s something I had put away in a box of things I wasn’t good at, along with maths & science, after some years of depressing feedback at school.
Nevertheless I went to the retreat believing that although I was no writer, (as writing was something that I did enjoy once upon a time) still, the holistic side of writing was something that definitely appealed to me.
The first day was all about settling into the beautiful Abbey House Retreat. What an incredible space to be in and go within. Jackee’s warm, open welcome made my soul feel re-acquainted with an old soul sister. She opened the space allowing each of us to tune into what we were there for, as individuals and sharing this collectively helped shape our collective aims for the weekend.
Jackee held us in a beautiful opening ceremony where we sat out in the grounds under a big tree and lit candles to represent our commitment to our aims for the weekend.
Jackee’s presence immediately facilitated peer to peer support and made our group feel more intimate. At one point a badger showed up at our opening ceremony, which I was told was very rare as they are shy creatures, but also very poignant as they represent courage.
I felt the badger was one of my guides throughout the weekend, reminding me to have courage and be open and in fact to extend that message into my current life. That was what really struck me about this writing retreat, it wasn’t just tools and exercises to practices whilst we were there, it was tools to use throughout ones life, to explore in wider areas.
The second day we got deep into writing. Each of our sessions were usually held indoors, but Jackee’s creative coaching encouraged us to go outside and use our environment to enrich our writing.
Tamya with one of the Journal cards she worked with on day 2 of the retreat.
After a very productive morning we walked to Challis Wells Gardens in the afternoon, found quite writing spots around the gardens and relished in drinking the pure water that sprung from the well. They said the water comes from so deep in the earth, they are unable to locate its exact source.
After we eagerly ate a deliciously prepared dinner, our silent ritual began. I feel this was one of the most important lessons, for all of us on the retreat. It cut out all the usual noise that distracts us from our inner voice and allowed us each to hold a sacred space of silence for ourselves and as a collective.
We woke at 4am on the third day and we greeted the morning with a walk to Glastonbury Tor, continuing our silent ritual. This was absolutely beautiful. The view, the sunrise, the huge Tor, the history of the place. I meditated and took many a deep mindful breath so as to lock this feeling securely in my life memories.
After another tasty breakfast, we broke our silence. It was like a soft awakening. We had a lot to share and write about that evening and we closed the night with a celebration with reading samples of what we had discovered, created and achieved over the past few days.
We couldn’t believe it when the last day arrived. It was difficult to think of leaving the beautiful place and going back to our usual lives. All that we had learnt, shared and received on this course.
We had a last couple of sessions before we had a closing ritual. It was difficult to say goodbye to the space, the retreat, Jackee and the other participants, but we all exchanged contacts and said we would continue to support each other with writing and attend Jackee’s retreat next year.
The last part I would like to share is a little more of my experiences of the sessions that Jackee held at the retreat. The sessions opened up the space for my quiet creative writing voice to emerge and for me personally, to be heard for the first time since the dreaded days of English language at school.
Jackee’s excellent facilitation of the sessions subtly held our group, as well as us individually in a way that made everyone feel secure and have the courage connect to our vulnerability and through it connect to our soul’s creativity.
Jackee encouraged us to ask ourselves the right questions, sit with them, breath with them and give time to allow the answers to come into our consciousness. Through her support we were able to uncover inner gems and be open with them and yet keep the newly uncovered gems close to ourselves. It was like revealing yourself to you.
I especially loved the different mediums we used to express and develop our creative writing. Through art, nature, music and using writing prompts, which touched different sides of our creativity my inspiration flowed out.
Jackee makes writing an easy and necessary thing to add to your life. She combines writing with many different aspects of wellbeing. This experience rejuvenated my passion for writing and I would recommend this retreat to everyone, especially those who do not feel they are writers.
Tamya Bustamante August 2013