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Irish Inspiration

26 April 2016

Allison read How to Calm and Reshape an Anxious Mind in the Irish Times and signed up for a course on wholeheartedness and gratefulness with one of her favorite poets, David Whyte. It’s good to get wisdom from across the pond.

Tags: allison read, balance, david whyte, gratitude, happiness, mental health, mindfulness

Muiris Houston’s review in the Irish Times of Dr. Harry Barry’s new book, Flagging Anxiety and Panic: How to Reshape Your Anxious Mind and Brain, provides an accurate yet simple explanation of what’s going on in your brain when you’re under stress. In 660 words, you’ll get a great overview of the amygdala, the left and right prefrontal cortex, and neural pathways as well as an idea of how Barry’s book teaches people to use cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques to manage anxiety. I’ll definitely be adding it to my reading list.

As I was finishing this book review, more Irish inspiration popped up in my inbox. David Whyte is one of my favorite poets and has been the topic of many past blog posts. He's also the author of The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America. I’ve heard him speak several times and his voice is a wonderful combination of his mother’s Ireland and his father’s Yorkshire. (He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest.) I was delighted to learn that for $20.00 I can participate in a six-week online course called, Gratefulness: Life as a Wholehearted Journey, beginning 4 May 2016. (And if $20.00 is a hardship, they’ve suggested you contact them at contact@gratefulness.org.)   

The course is designed to explore these two questions:

  • "What is possible when we fully occupy this moment, rather than being lost in thinking about what could have been, should have been, or might be?
  • How can the practice of grateful living help us to be more present, see our opportunities and gifts, and “fill our well” as an antidote to stress and exhaustion?"

I think answering these questions could be very helpful to many of my clients and me, but sometimes I worry that these online courses will be a bit more content than I can digest given everything else I’m trying to do. However, when I read what I’ll get each Wednesday, I decided that it sounded quite manageable:

  • "A 3 – 5-minute video clip from a talk given by David Whyte
  • Full transcript of the video clip
  • Featured poem
  • Questions for reflection and discussion
  • Suggested practices
  • Community forum"

It seems I’m not the only one who’s excited about this opportunity so they are closing course registration on 1 May 2016. I’m grateful that all of this Irish inspiration made its way to my inbox and social media feeds last week so that I might "fill my well."


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