One of the delightful things I have discovered as I work my way through my 50 feats is the incredible experiences that are available to me in my own backyard. Niagara is such an amazing place to live, but we sometimes become so accustomed to it that don’t look up and around as we make our mad dash through life.
This week, my slower pace of life was rewarded with a beautiful venue, lovely company, and a mindfulness experience that reminded me how to stay focused on the now, especially at this time of year.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the inaugural participants in the wellness programming being offered through a new venue in Port Colborne: The South Coast Guest House includes a beautiful house, incredibly peaceful wooded grounds within walking distance to the beach, and a brand new guest house that is now accepting reservations for guests. We were there for an afternoon of mindful meditation led by Maggie Denison, a gentle petite woman who has practiced meditation for decades and whose calm demeanour spoke to her practice.
Once everyone arrived, the dozen or so of us sat in chairs arranged in a circle. the room was surrounded by big windows that overlooked the tranquil grounds of the property; I could have simply rested peacefully watching the birds and felt I had more than my share of mindfulness.
Maggie’s session provided us with two hours of guided meditation. With soft music and her soothing quiet voice, Maggie introduced us to the peace of deep breathing, the ease of a walking meditation practice, and the wonder of fully experiencing the sight, smell, and feel of a simple flower.
The beauty of this workshop was my ability to take away very practical steps that I can easily incorporate into my day without being overwhelmed by feeling I need to have a complicated meditation practice. Just three simple breaths upon awakening can set the tone for the day. A mindful walk around the kitchen can return calm at the end of a stressful day. The best part is there is no equipment needed- just your mind and body and a moment or two throughout the day.
The other benefit of the workshop was the ability to meet a group of new, like-minded women. During the break, I had a chance to chat with several of them and discovered on woman worked for CMHA-Niagara, and another was the daughter of a former colleague at Brock. We all expressed our interest in getting together again for another session, so comfortable were we with each other by the end of the experience.
This was the first of many wellness programs that are being introduced by The South Coast Guest House. I really look forward to attending more events in the future and maybe even treat myself and friends to an overnight stay at the guest house. If you want to learn more, or register for upcoming events, further details can be found on their Facebook page: Niagara’s South Coast Guest House.
Next up: School’s out – my final M.Ed presentation.