Catching up

It’s been a while since the last post here. Catching up on the last couple of months may take some time!

emotions and artWorkshops

It has been wonderful to have participants from the Art Therapy workshops continue each term, regardless of whether the workshop is during the day or late evening.  Sometimes it’s been a challenge to create activities to build on their previous sessions, as well as engaging the new participants! Often lots of laughter when those “ah-ha” moments and insights happen!

Another workshop I’ve been delivering is a pre-learning  program for people with lived experience of mental health challenges. The participants are often interested in “paying it forward” to become Peer Support workers. This program can be challenging due to the sensitive nature of issues disclosed by participants, but I’m fortunate in that I have a wise and caring supervisor  that I can de-brief to when necessary.

At one stage I contemplated applying for a position teaching the advanced program with an accredited organization and actually sent off a resume. That certainly triggered my own issues with returning to a formal education setting and I subsequently withdrew the application.

The Retreat

It’s a decade or slightly more, since the retreat was acquired and I’m pleased to say that it is still organically maintained. Annual mowing of the larger paddock has created better soil moisture as the grass, when slashed, is left as mulch. In turn, this helps to smother some of the weeds. Having not being able to travel there during the lock downs has meant that a different set of weeds popped up and these are being removed by digging them out as they appear.  More planting of trees and shrubs, both deciduous and native has happened. The wildlife has kindly spared the salt bush plantings, although the resident Swamp Wallaby has taken a liking to pruning my pots of peppermint and geraniums.

The labyrinths have fallen into disrepair and a decision has to be made whether to refurbish them or to restore the areas to how they were before.

Refurbishment for the larger 7 ring Cretan labyrinth would mean a lot of digging to redefine the paths and restoration would mean removing the stones and jonquil bulbs from one of the rings.

Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Health wise, a seemingly innocuous spot on the face turned out that it wasn’t due to the aging process and needed to be removed. Dressings on the wound made it very obvious that I’d had a procedure done and although I was very self conscious about it, was able to encourage others to get  regular skin checks. A couple of setbacks with infections of the wound site -a closed eye and bruising is never a good look! People assume all sorts of other scenarios. Fortunately, all is good now and the experience and process has been an invaluable learning experience.