Dear Living Tree members and friends,
Since April our newsletter has been coming to you every two weeks. At the end of June we will return to publishing the newsletter once a month. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any items you would like to include in the next newsletter or on the website.
After our Zoom meeting last week we are proposing another Zoom get-together on Friday 12 June from 2-4pm. It will include a surprise art session with Libby or Chris. There will also be Tripudio, led successfully last time by Chris Edwards from her garden. At our meeting we had a long chat about offering creativity to keep us going until we can meet again in person – Chris & Libby are both happy to make suggestions for simple things we can easily do at home. If anybody would like to do something before the meeting on 12 June we have gone for the theme of “The view from my window” – we’ve been watching Grayson Perry! – this could be a simple sketch or piece of writing, whatever inspires you! And those of us feeling brave enough can share what they’ve done in the next Zoom meeting!
So please let us know if you would like to join the next session by emailing us at email@example.com and we will email you the link and password to enable you to participate. For those of you who are new to this, you need to download Zoom at https://zoom.us and follow the instructions. It is very user-friendly.
The ACTION FOR HAPPINESS website – offers some really good ideas for coping during these difficult times – https://www.actionforhappiness.org/ and people can sign up to receive a monthly “coping calendar” with daily hints and tips and actions to look after self and each other as we continue to face this global crisis – https://www.actionforhappiness.org/coping-calendar.
NEW! DORSET DIGITAL HOTLINE a new advice line has been established because we are all relying much more on online technology to keep in touch (like ZOOM). It is available to provide support for people with IT and digital problems of all kinds. Some of their most popular topics are how to set up video to stay in contact with friends and family and how to get online for beginners. Telephone 01305 221000 (option 2).
FLEX PROJECT STUDY
We have been asked to circulate information about www.flexproject.co.uk a study taking place at King’s College, London designed to support men with prostate cancer with ongoing fatigue. If you have prostate cancer and experience fatigue and are interested in finding out more about the project please email firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSICATHON – this years’ Musicathon bric-a-brac stall usually run by Living Tree members will now take place on 5 June 2021 – delayed, but not cancelled!
Our annual charity stall in Buckydoo Square is cancelled and the next Living Tree CHARITY AUCTION will now be on 15 November 2020 at The Ropemakers in aid of Weldmar Hospice. For all events contact Roz Copson on 01308 422650 with items to donate.
DORCHESTER TRUST for COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY & Colliton Street Psychotherapy Services are offering 6 sessions of free counselling for key workers affected by COVID 19. They also offer a listening service for anyone affected by COVID 19 in the form of a one-to-one 50 minute session with a professional counsellor or therapist. This is a local organisation providing excellent therapeutic support to Dorset and Somerset www.psychotherapydorset.co.uk or telephone 07714 330120.
If you would like to chat to another Living Tree member (about non-medical issues) please email Rosemary at email@example.com or leave a message on 07341 916976 with your name and phone number and we will get back to you. Alternatively, sometimes it is good to talk to someone who is not part of our community, and Macmillan is also offering a Telephone Buddying service to people living with cancer across the UK. This has trained and supported Macmillan volunteers offering a weekly telephone chat service; providing a listening ear and low-level emotional support, as well signposting to useful services. To sign up you can access the service following this link to the page on the Macmillan website where you can refer someone, or the link can be shared for people to self-refer. Anyone referred will have an initial conversation and assessment with a Macmillan member of staff and will then be matched with a volunteer buddy.
NATIONAL, REGIONAL and LOCAL RESOURCES
You might want to look at the Live Well Dorset website please – www.livewelldorset.co.uk They offer a free service for people wishing to improve their health and wellbeing with useful information on how to promote and maintain good physical and mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 Community Support Network is led by local volunteers with Bridport Town Council. A single phone number 01308 808900 provides access to advice and practical help with food shopping, prescription collection, wellbeing or other issues. There is also a useful website with local information.
PATHWAYS TO CARE Hopeful Hampers & Good Neighbours Transport. Good Neighbours are still offering transport for LT members to Dorset County Hospital for essential appointments. Phone and leave a message on the Good Books answerphone 01308 420483 and someone will call you back.
MACMILLAN and PENNY BROHN UK RESOURCES
If you have concerns about medical issues concerning your cancer or treatment Macmillan has a number of useful resources and virtual support https://www.macmillan.org.uk/coronavirus. Please note that any urgent issues should still be referred to your Clinical Nurse Specialist.
The Penny Brohn UK Centre www.pennybrohn.org.uk provides online resources, including a series of free online classes from international leaders in health, wellbeing, psychology and lifestyle. They are also running a Helpline 0303 300 0118 and some 1:1 services. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherry is posting daily on The Living Tree Facebook page, with useful information and uplifting responses to this situation.
MINDFULNESS & SELF COMPASSION
Our regular mindfulness teacher Sue Howse has sent another message about living mindfully with kindness, calm, and clarity. The letter is printed in full at the end of the newsletter.
SINGING with Jane Silver-Corren
Jane is running 3 singing sessions a week on Zoom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3.00pm. The sessions last one hour and are fun and light-hearted. If you are interested please email: email@example.com and she will send you the Zoom link.
WRITING WORKSHOPS with Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper is currently working on a web version of a writing on-line group. In the meantime there is a Living Tree Facebook writing group already meeting and Living Tree members can join that. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/900274730437584/
Stepping Out has a new website – www.steppingoutbridport.co.uk do check it out. It has been great to see so many of you at Stepping Out classes. Richard and Jo are running classes on Zoom on Monday and Friday mornings for Stepping Out participants. Please contact Jo on firstname.lastname@example.org if you usually attend Stepping Out and haven’t already received the information about joining the classes.
Friday meetings always start with Tripudio, a daily 15 minute lymphatic and cardiovascular exercise regime which can be done in your home, patio or the smallest garden. Karen Forrester-Jones is also offering free online 30 minute Tripudio Flow sessions via Zoom at 2.00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week (excluding Bank Holidays). If Living Tree members are interested contact Karen at email@example.com for the links to the sessions.
THE LIVING TREE THERAPIST PARTNERSHIP – UPDATE
In February we launched our new partnership with local complementary therapists with 10 therapists on our books and more in the pipeline. Members wishing to use these therapists through our partnership scheme were invited to apply for a therapist card which would entitle them to six sessions with a therapist of their choice from that list. Due to the current restrictions on our lives, only three of our therapists are able to offer their services to Living Tree members albeit not face to face, but by using modern communication technology – email, telephone, online, Zoom.
If you feel you would like to use these therapists during this period via the Therapist Partnership please contact Rita on 01308 482366 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MINDFULNESS a letter from Sue Howse
I always find Mary Oliver poems inspiring and ‘Wild Geese’ is one that
stirs my heart within me. Especially the lines:
“The world offers itself up to your imagination calls to you, like the wild geese: harsh and exciting – over and over, announcing your place in the family of things”
Living mindfully means living with more kindness, more calm, more clarity and more wisdom. In a world in which there is so much difficulty and unrest, we need now, more than ever to be cultivating those qualities. Tuning into what our bodies need – just practising, lingering, savouring. What is it like to turn towards our experience – how do we relate to it?
Can we be in a kinder relationship with what arises? Letting ourselves relate
to it with more ease, being a friend to all the aspects of ourselves? Can we notice how often we are at war with ourselves, overthinking, and trapped in the story of wanting things a certain way, and being pulled in
so many directions at once?
Commonly, our reactions are conditioned by our previous experiences and perceptions, which are coloured by how we feel or our mood in that moment. We tend to see a snake when it is only a piece of rope.
Are we building the ‘muscle’ of attention, checking the body and asking ‘Am I here now?’, ‘am I present in this moment, or am I being blown away, overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions?’
Drop into NOW – maybe just playing with the saying ‘Now, Now, Now” can have a stabilising effect on your attention, offering you more choices on how to respond. You may recognise what needs attention with a kindness.
As Mary Oliver writes:
‘You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves’
What removes the blocks for you – nature, writing music etc.? Can you allow yourself to let go of the brakes, gently open up your heart for yourself and trust, as Jon Kabat-Zinn says:
‘There is more right with you than wrong. It takes practice to appreciate joy, just as it takes practice to choose where you place your attention’
And this from The Buddha:
“Where there is appreciation, Joy is born
Where the mind is joyful, the body calms down
When the body is calm, it feels happiness
And when the Being is happy, the mind gathers.”
OTHER EVENTS AND LOCAL SUPPORT GROUPS
AXMINSTER AND LYME CANCER SUPPORT, C’SIDERS WEYMOUTH & PORTLAND CANCER GROUP, BUTTERFLIES CANCER SUPPORT Dorchester and STALBRIDGE CANCER & RECOVERY SUPPORT face-to-face group meetings are now cancelled until further notice. Contact these groups directly to find out about other kinds of support available in these areas.