So much has changed since I last wrote to you. We are now in the throes of a global pandemic. Although there is talk of slowing down, for many workers, key or otherwise, things have got much busier. I also feel that the ‘noise’ of the internet has got stronger and so I am keeping this offering as peaceful as possible!
The poem above is ‘Lockdown’ by Brother Richard of the Capuchin Franciscans, based in Ireland. The words are so beautiful I made this illustrated artwork which he received very enthusiastically and graciously! I do not have a religious faith but I love the hope contained within his words, which are truly multi-cultural. The poem has been shared and discussed all over the world and I am not the only person to have been inspired to be creative after reading it.
As those of you who were coming to the May retreat already know, events overtook us and we cancelled last month. This was disappointing but in the end it was the only decision to make. The attendees have been contacted and we have refunded or carried bookings over. We will hopefully have a retreat in October in our new venue but we will have to review the global situation nearer the time. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.
I am however, delighted to be able to share with you a fabulous opportunity for ‘virtual making’ offered to us by Kelly of D.K.Wright! Kelly was due to give the punch needle rug hooking workshops at the Spring retreat and she is offering a special weekend of classes on the 16th and 17th May 2020. Kelly is a brilliant teacher and she is offering a heavily discounted 5 hours of teaching over two days. You do not need any experience for this and those who enrol will then be contacted by Kelly who sell you any equipment needed for the class and mail to you from her studio in Germany. Then all you need to do is click the zoom link that she sends you at the allotted time and she will get you making in no time. Then you have the rest of the day on Saturday to make any progress you are able to and then you can join in with the second class on Sunday morning! Just like being on retreat! I am really hoping that I will be able to take part (if there is room- spaces are limited!). Please see the flier below for more information. Please reply direct to Kelly at email@example.com as in terms of GDPR and your data, I do not share your details with third parties.
Here is Kelly’s offering:
Online Punch Needle Class- Exclusive to A Nest of Gentle Makers!
While we are self-isolating or in lockdown, I will be teaching and staying connected with you online.
I am offering a comprehensive beginner‘s punch needle class online on the weekend of 16th – 17th May 2020. The class consists of two x 2.5-hour sessions per Zoom, starting at 10 a.m. each day.
This allows you plenty of time to work at your own pace and get as much personal attention from me as a computer screen allows. I am offering the course at a special rate of £62.
Those of you interested should get in touch with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss details and what materials you have and what you will need so you can order them and have me send them to you by mid-April.
I am looking forward to talking with each of you and sharing this lovely craft under these new and challenging circumstances.
Advanced Oxford Instructor
I am also delighted to report that our resident yogi, Kate, is now offering her yoga classes online too! Anyone who has been on retreat with us is sure to agree that Kate is an exceptional yoga teacher and all round good egg. She is my go-to source of life wisdom! Kate has a home studio and is offering the opportunity to stretch and bend to your heart’s content in these coming weeks.
Hello ANOGM ladies!
I sincerely hope you are all well, and I hope that you are managing to discover and enjoy some surprising silver linings amongst the inevitable clouds of confusion and challenge of Covid-19.
I suspect that my silver linings are similar to many people fortunate enough to live with people they don’t fear, in a house with a garden to escape to, and although it is a time to watch the pennies because fewer are rolling in, I’m not holding my breath until June to receive some income. I feel immensely grateful to be in this position, and although I detect within myself a slight underlying fear of the virus, so far, my family are all fit and well, and hopefully able to fight whatever comes our way.
I know that it’s crucially important at times like this to choose to look at the silver linings (whilst also giving ourselves a moment to acknowledge the clouds) – our physical, mental and psychological health may depend on our ability to do this. For this, I am immensely grateful for my yoga practice because my mat provides me with a space to process the clouds, to welcome in the silver linings and to stay in the present moment.
I am also grateful for the inspirational words of others; in particular those of Victor Frankl, the Austrian Neurologist who survived Auschwitz. He wrote:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”
I am grateful to Victor, for reminding me, that no matter how bad things get, I can still choose my attitude and approach.
Every week since lock down began I have been teaching my yoga classes via Zoom. I’m grateful that I have a business that can operate on a virtual platform, and I’m grateful that my yogis and yoginis are willing to come on this journey with me. It is helping all of us in so many ways!
As geography is no longer an issue when offering online yoga, (another silver lining!) I am delighted to be able to offer access to my online classes to the ANOGM community! I am running regular online classes so if you feel that you could benefit from joining in please do get in touch with me at email@example.com
Sending you lots of love and virtual hugs on this first full (super) moon of the spring!
So all in all, I really hope you can stay well and stay strong in these coming weeks and months. Please do whatever is right for you and hopefully that will include some quiet time amongst the cacophony and some creating if at all possible. I just wanted to share a final image with you, by Eric Ravilious, painted in 1933 and entitled ‘Two Women’. It was sent to me by a close friend who wrote that it ‘reminded her of our creative retreats: women together, backed by the strength of the tree, facing outwards, following their own pursuits, but linked.’