Mindfulness in autumn – and a poem by May Sarton

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Autumn in Orton (c) Suzie Grogan

We have written recently about how autumn can be seriously good for your soul, and indeed it can. However, for many it is a melancholy time, when thoughts of loss, or of letting go are to the fore. Some of the words we associate with autumn can feel sombre and muted – ‘fall’, ‘decay’, ‘mists’  – and tones are ‘muted’.

But today, as we start work on our autumn programme and gear ourselves up for our latest mindfulness courses, we wanted to use images of autumn as a focus and see this time of year as an opportunity to celebrate and treasure what has been and then let it go. There are ‘autumn words’ that are lively and full of joy – the ‘boisterous’ winds, ‘warmth’ of first fires and ‘blaze’ of autumn oranges – and as the poet John Keats said in his ode to the season – ‘Where are the songs of Spring? Aye, where are they? /Think not of them, thou hast thy music too…..

But letting go can be difficult, and takes practice. You have to learn to take responsibility, forgive and cease blaming others. And you have to live in the present moment, rather than filling your brain with concerns about the past.

We often like to choose a poem for mndfulness on ‘let’s talk!’ and today we have found a wonderful ‘Autumn Sonnet’ by May Sarton, a prolific American writer who died in 1995. She was known for her honest, open approach to her writing and her thoughtful expressions of what it means to be human.

If I can let you go as trees let go
Their leaves, so casually, one by one;
If I can come to know what they do know,
That fall is the release, the consummation,
Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit
Would not distemper the great lucid skies
This strangest autumn, mellow and acute.
If I can take the dark with open eyes
And call it seasonal, not harsh or strange
(For love itself may need a time of sleep),
And, treelike, stand unmoved before the change,
Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep,
The strong root still alive under the snow,
Love will endure – if I can let you go.

May Sarton

‘If I can let you go as trees let go….’ what a marvellous analogy, with the recognition that autumn can be a time of recharge and the storing up of energy for new bursts of energy in the future.

Do you like autumn, or find it a time of year that prompts feelings of sorrow and loss? We would love to  know what you think.

Mindfulness courses taken by our specialist, Miranda Bevis begin on 1st October 2015. See The Terrace website for full details. 

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Acupuncture for Health

At The Terrace we are keen to ‘demysify’ some of the therapies that may still be something of a mystery to many. Complimentary therapies can offer wonderful health benefits, but it is important that anyone considering a treatment is fully informed about what to expect.

So today we look at acupuncture.

Acupuncture has been practised in China for about 3,500 years, although the exact date of its origin is not known.  A legend says that this complex healing system developed when it was noticed that soldiers who survived arrow wounds in battle sometimes also recovered from other long-standing ailments. In the intervening years it has been thoroughly researched and practised. Indeed, one-quarter of the world’s population rely on it.

However, there are some who are still reluctant to try acupuncture as a therapy. We are fortunate, here at The Terrace, to have an exceptionally well-qualified and committed practitioner working with us.

alsion courtneyAlison Courtney, registered acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist for 20 years, has returned from Guangzhou in China having received high recognition after successfully completing her MSc in Chinese medicine.

Alison is passionate about the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, using the traditional magnetic methods of pulse and tongue observation. Imbalances are addressed by inserting fine needles into acu-points to restore health and harmony.  Some key conditions treated include tension or migraine headaches, back and neck pain, osteoarthritis and temporomandibular pain.

Her observational methods include an  inspection of your tongue, skin texture and colouring, hair texture, posture and movement. Voice is also important.

A full medical history will be taken and an understanding of lifestyle, stresses and sleep patterns is key.

Some people worry that acupuncture is painful, but it is primarily relaxing and you may be left feeling so relaxed that sleepiness is the main response. Fine. disposable needles are used and left in for between just a few minutes to up to half an hour, depending on the condition treated. Most people find it painless, although there may be a slight tingling sensation at the point of entry as the ‘meridians’ or acupuncture points transfer energy and re balance. Give yourself plenty of time, avoid strenuous activity and, if possible, rest for a while.

Alison is offering you a free 20 minutes to talk about any health concern and gauge whether acupuncture could be helpful for you.  You can come into The Terrace at a pre-arranged time or have a telephone call.

Ring 01823 338968 to speak with Alison,  or email post@the-terrace.co.uk