• Charli

Wellness Matters 18.03.2022


Happy to report that I am sitting in my garden writing this with the sun beating down - as far as the sun can beat down in Scotland in March. My Columba 1400 T-shirt is reflecting back through my laptop screen, which in itself provides an opportunity for reflection.

This week, life has been busier than usual, which has required some precision planning, the generosity of good friends and neighbours, patience and early nights.

On Monday I began a week of freelancing to support East Lothian Leadership Academies, mostly based in Tyninghame village hall. This is the first time I have spent a full week out at work since I chose to establish Catching Light Wellness in November 2020.

I was extremely grateful for settled weather not only as I greeted the sunrise while walking Jilly, but for the young people to have the time and space to fully partake in the process.

At the beginning of the week I imparted one key piece of advice to the group in front of me, which was given to Cohort 50 in 2019 as we prepared for our HTLA journey, and that was to ‘Trust the Process’. I remember at the time wondering exactly what that might entail, but allowed myself to be led and was not disappointed, and can only hope that the amazing young people who participate in East Lothian’s Leadership Academies will have that same buzz as they celebrate their achievements.

It was easy to remove my ‘teacher hat’ in order to fall into step with the Columban way, because the excellent facilitators and tight programme guaranteed that I had very little to worry about.

Key moments for me were the insights and intelligence demonstrated during vision and values walks. There is something intrinsically freeing for all of us to walk and talk in nature, and teenagers are no different. Some had a few challenging moments in the bigger group, but that self-consciousness was removed during walks, with rich dialogue and self awareness shining through.

During a walk to Yellowcraigs, and with values stones jingling in pockets, I suggested that each member of the small group I was with pulled out a stone together. To their amazement and mine, they all revealed Honesty, sparking laughter and camaraderie. The sense of belonging was palpable, because they did not know what the others had written on their stones.

To say that I’m tired is an understatement, but I have enjoyed my early walks and seeing Spring sunrises, meeting new people and sleeping well.

Coincidentally this week there was a WhatsApp message from Cohort 50 about a possible reunion in May. One of my core values is Connection and the timing of reconnecting with fellow Columbans feels valuable.

Living in this close community has also reaped big rewards. Unfortunately Jilly’s dog minder tested positive for Covid on Tuesday, but by confidently asking for support from friends, no walks have been missed and I came home to a calm and settled wee dug.

Next week is business as usual and I am looking forward to it, knowing that I have further opportunities with Columba 1400 this year.

For now, the sun is shining, my garden is beckoning and life is fulfilling me in a way I could only have dreamed of 3 years ago.

Photo: sunrise over Bass Rock 18.03.2022

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