Reaching in to Reach to Reach Out to Others

is a program developed by Stillwaters Mindfulness and is designed around self-reflection, stress resilience, and healthy mind renewal.  This unique mindfulness-based program is offered in a flexible retreat format based on client needs.  Half-day, full-day, and three-day formats are possible.  Contact Kay for more information or to plan a program.  These retreats are about practice and lived experience in community. They are grounded in the attitudinal qualities that cultivate mindfulness and self-reflection including patience, acceptance, trust, non-striving, non-judgment, beginner’s mind or fresh eyes, and letting go or letting be.  These qualities flow through the SLOW framework that supports this learning experience.  A dynamic interplay exists between the practices, the attitudes, and the non-linear SLOW process that informs the weaving and rhythm of each retreat.

The non-linear SLOW process informs the weaving and rhythm of retreats designed by Stillwaters.   This SLOW framework, created by Kay Stewart, emerged through her research into the common threads and intersections between Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and the Center for Courage and Renewal’s Circle of Trust approach.

Settle the mind.

In our fast-paced world it is important to notice, name, and nurture the intention to slow down.  Simply slowing down the pace of life helps us to tap into our innate capacity for mindfulness.  The theme of slowing down is inherent in all Stillwaters training, and participants will be invited to pay attention with intention relative to the overall learning experience and to each practice.   Courage invitations in the form of poetry and reflection will be used to practice paying attention with intention. Brief meditation practices will be introduced with a focus on the theme just breathe.

Listen to the body.

In order to tap into the wisdom of the body, participants are guided in practices involving mindful movement, including gentle yoga and walking meditation.  Grounding attention in the body and the senses brings the mind to the present. Bodywork also invites exploration of how we can hold tension in a life-giving way.

Open the heart.

Creative, self-reflective practices invite attention to selfhood and unique birthright gifts. Courage invitations are introduced to open heart connections by focusing attention on poetry and/or art. This combines with self-reflective practices of journaling to evoke self-awareness and creative self-expression. Fresh energy emerges through reflections on poetry as a means of inquiry, and whether in the form of journaling or other artistic expression, these reflections manifest in the form of a tangible reminder that sustains wholehearted connection to what matters most. The value of these practices opens through observation of thought processes, thus providing a useful map for self-reflection.  Deep listening and non-judgmental dialogue are inherent in the process and woven in and through the entire experience of opening the heart.

Wait for the soul.

Waiting for the soul requires the art and skill of befriending silence. Experiencing silence in community is powerful, and a careful dialogue through skilled facilitation is central to weaving together the interwoven strands of settling the mind, listening to the body, opening the heart, and waiting for the soul.  Time, spaciousness, and silence are integral components that evoke a deep connection to wholeness and integration of mind, body, heart, and soul.  Use of poetry and metaphor combined with skillful facilitation and use of open, honest questions enables deep remembering and soul deep connections.