Dr Jan Goss

On Beauty & Vulnerability

On Beauty & Vulnerability

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful people! Individually and in groups, I have the pleasure of working with such lovely people. I am so grateful to do the work I do and know the people I know, beauty is all around me.

I am acutely aware at the moment that there are so many people doing so much good in the world, groups of all sizes standing up for what they believe in and being the change they want to see in the world. Now more than ever, people seem to be uniting across the world. If we watch the news we may get caught in a different perception of the world, one of division, violence, hatred and fear, and of course this is far from the whole picture. For every ‘bad’ news story there are thousands of ‘good’ news stories, but of course they don’t very often make the headlines.

Last month I spent four days in Windermere with interns and their managers, from various charities throughout Britain. I led sessions on mindfulness and leadership, as part of the Rank Foundation’s Time To Shine project, which gives young people twelve months paid experience, to enable them to complete a project for the charity they are working with. I learned of so many charitable organisations that I didn’t know existed and I heard some incredible personal stories. It is so heartening to know that there are projects and people like this. Without exception the young interns were all such amazing people, a diverse group with one common aim of making a difference. In this environment is was so easy to see the beauty in the world.

Mindfulness encourages us to see what’s good in the world, to see the beauty that is within and around us, in every moment. We become more aware of the birds and their song, the trees and their leaves, other living beings and their beauty, in all of their guises. Even in the most difficult and ‘ugly’ of situations we can choose to look for beauty – a noble gesture, an act of kindness, or a smile. Locally, I see the beautiful local/national/global community that is building as a result of the fracking. Even the darkest cloud has a silver lining if we are open enough to see it.

Mindfulness enables us to open our heart as well as our mind, to be authentic, to speak our truth at the ‘risk’ of being vulnerable. And if we can stand fully in the vulnerability of our human being-ness, fear naturally falls away. Mindfulness enables us to access the clarity that makes it possible to see our own beauty as well as the beauty in the world around us, it enables us to see the silver lining more clearly.

The beauty of Nature is wonderful in itself, but it also reflects our beauty, we open up in Nature as we allow ourselves to be just as we are in each moment, knowing that we are accepted just as we are. Mother Nature doesn’t judge she just holds and supports us. The Isle of Muck in the Inner Hebrides is my favourite place to ‘be’. The picture above is of the house we use when on retreat there, the white sandy beach and the clear blue sea just a few steps from our door. This year’s retreat which takes place from 9-16th September will focus on our connection with self through Nature and through mindfulness practice, it’s easy when we’re here because we are held by the elements that constitute Nature and we can relax into her and our self, we can just ‘be’, as we have maybe never ‘been’ before. It is such a beautiful experience and great healing and transformation take place. If the the idea of ‘Being in Nature’ resonates with you, and you may like to join me for the week, then please let me know. There are just 2 places left – you can call me on 07855 491485.

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