It’s time to Open Your Eyes

 

I’m birthing my new course baby into the world today (my 13th!). It’s on a day where I’m so hormonal (hello wacky premenstrual perimenopause) it’s probably not the best time to be online as I find I have little patience for the selling and promotion that seems to be everywhere. Everything’s “life-changing”, everyone’s got “six secrets”. Every email is “time-sensitive”. Every “free” webinar is just a one-hour sales pitch. Even today I received an email with the subject line: “I believe this can change your life”. Aargh, it’s so manipulative!

So here’s the thing —  the hormonal fire in my blood makes me want to be really honest with you. I’m SO tired of the way stuff gets promoted online I want to do it differently. So here’s my anti-launch pitch for my new baby:

1. I don’t have all the answers.

2. I can’t promise this will change your life.

3. I don’t have six secrets :-)

5. I’m not doing a “free” webinar to sell this course to you.

6. The only time-sensitive thing about this is the fact that the course has an actual start date — it’s Monday October 22nd.

Okay cool, we got that outta the way!

 

 

The course is called Open Your Eyes: Practicing Mindfulness in Everyday Life and, in a nutshell, this is the stuff that’s been helping me. I’ve been planning a course like this for years — I even had it featured on my site when it relaunched in 2015 — but it wasn’t until I moved house that I knew it was time to explore this properly. It started with the morning light. About two weeks into the move, when I could finally sit down and not feel overwhelmed by boxes, I began noticing how the light crept into the house in the morning. Having just spent two years in a dark cottage I was completely light-starved. Working from home had required lamps to be on all day, even in the summer, and I remember getting stressed the day of the move because I couldn’t find the boxes with the lamps in, only to then realise I DIDN’T NEED THEM — the living room stayed light till 9pm.

From then on I became a light-hunter, following the light through the house as it dipped and curled around the rooms. One morning I took a photo of the light hitting the chair in the living room and shared it on Instagram with the caption: 6:22 Morning light. I did it again the next day, and the next, until now every day begins with me noticing the morning light. Here’s what it looked like this morning:

 

 

This is an example of just one creative mindfulness practice. In Open Your Eyes we’ll spend 4 weeks trying out lots of different ways we can bring pockets of mindfulness into our days. As photography has been hugely instrumental in my own mindfulness practice we’ll explore how we can use our cameras and smartphones to get back INTO the present moment (not out of it!) but the course isn’t all photography prompts — we’ll be mixing it up!

We’ll also have a private Facebook group where we can share our discoveries, but I’m keen for us to disentangle ourselves from the pull of social media so we’ll be exploring how we can be more mindful online.

Registration is now open over here so if this sounds like something you’d like to do I’d love to have you join us, of course. The course will absolutely run again next year so you’ll get another chance if now’s not the right time (no scarcity here, loves!)

I thought it would be fun to do an impromptu giveaway so if you’d like to help me get the word out about the course I have 10 places in class up for grabs — all you have to do is share the course badge above on the ONE social media platform you enjoy using the most. Include a link to the course page in your caption — https://www.susannahconway.com/open-your-eyes/ — (or my Instagram profile if you’re sharing there) and then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you shared it.

That’s it :-)

Comments will close on September 27th and I’ll contact the 10 winners on the 28th — if you win and you’ve already enrolled in class I’ll send you a refund!

Thanks so much for helping me spread the word about Open Your Eyes. Do I think this course will change your life? No, I don’t! However, practicing mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, calm anxiety, boost immunity and increase mental focus. It also makes food taste better and music sound better… It’s certainly helped me get on top of my anxiety and was something I intuitively knew to do in the first year of bereavement even before I knew what mindfulness was (I’ll talk about that in the course) so, hand on my heart, I know this stuff works. xo

The August Break returns!

 

It wouldn’t be August without the August Break, am I right? What started as a blogging pause back in 2009 has turned into a community challenge I look forward to every year. As always I’ve put together a list of prompts to turn your August into a photo treasure hunt and there’s a Facebook group, an Instagram hashtag and a blog roll too if you’d like to share your photos with the group.

It’s all happening over here, loves! xo

Something for the weekend

 

Elizabeth Gilbert: Choosing curiosity over fear

The Unlonely Project

This hot chocolate | summer vegetable avocado frittata | caramelised white lentil hummus

Collaboration kills creativity, according to science

Expressive writing prompts to use if you’ve been accused of white fragility, spiritual bypass or white privilege

The only three things I need in a partner

This music

See the world through the eyes of a cat

Science says silence is vital for our brains

A decent enough dad

Rebuilding self-trust