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Volume 10 - Issue 5  - Dec 2020

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the December newsletter from BWIS.

This month we anticipate the changing of the season and the approaching winter solstice.
Best wishes from Steve, Sue, Charlie, Martin, Phil.

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In This Issue
Wheel of the Year
News and Events
Inspiring Quotes
And Finally...

  Wheel of the Year

Martin writes: “In the early 90s I was working as a music teacher at HMP Brixton. With some rudimentary recording equipment we began writing a Christmas song. In the stuffy converted cell classroom there was a buzz of co-creativity and a sharing of emotions with men who rarely showed vulnerabilities, as the class allowed themselves to feel and express how it was to be kept apart from families, friends, and loved ones during the ‘festive season’.

They were very proud of the song we produced: it wasn’t a hit that year, nor since, but I enjoy sharing it with people every year or so. Here it is:

The midwinter festivities go much deeper than the more recent Christian influences and consumerism glorification. Our Celtic hunter-gatherer ancestors had an intuitive feel for seasonal variations, and as agriculture developed it became vitally important for planting to observe seasonal cycles. The solstices and equinoxes formed an axis around which the wheel of 8 yearly earth festivals were arranged.

In many cultures the winter solstice is the rebirth of the sun goddess Lucina (Rome), Attha (Arabia), Amaterasu (Japan), Inanna of the double doors (ancient Sumeria). Yule means wheel (Norwegian) – the time when the wheel of the year stops and starts again. 

This time is about a pausing, an opportunity to express our hopes and intentions (later, new year resolutions). Winter creates a slowing and conserving of energy: it brings hardships of cold and shortness of daylight. Winter solstice is an opportunity to be sociable and generous; to celebrate each other - by working together and sharing at this time we can survive all the better.

In this Covid winter there’s added significance as we all better understand our inter-dependency. And despite the current restrictions, we are not ‘banged up’ 23 hours a day behind a cell door, like the blokes who sang this song so joyfully.

Celebrate belonging to your family, friends, kin. Maybe look at a picture of our earth from space to get a sense of belonging to the whole biosphere. Bless the food and drink and share your winter stores. Celebrate the continuing abundance of Mother Nature with those you can share it with, in person or online.

Do come and join us for Life Lounge to review, celebrate, and enjoy some songs. I will see if I can remember the words to Xmas ‘94”. 

News and Events

Many of our events are free, some are donation based and the others are reasonably priced.

Thurs Dec 10th at 7.00pm. December Review & Celebration. A time to reflect on this unusual year, combined with some enjoyable seasonal entertainment. Book your place here for just £5.

Coach Group
Welcomes qualified coaches and those in training. Work on your issues and develop your skills. Next is Thurs 3rd Dec, meet on Zoom for a 7.00 start, finish by 9.00. Book here, or contact Charlie.

Steve from BWIS is appearing online, alongside Laura Locke, in the comedy drama special “To Hell in A Handbag”, at 8.00pm on Sat 12th December. Book tickets for just £5, profits in aid of Suffolk Mind.

Monthly Mindfulness sessions hosted by Martin Wilks on Zoom. Freely offered, with dana donations gratefully received. Next is Weds 2nd Dec

BWIS Walks
Walk and chat. Friendship and fresh air. Next is Sunday Dec 13th at 11.00.

How is your intimate relationship faring in these challenging times? Expert coaching from BWIS helps you work together on resolving issues and improving communication. Online or in person, information here. Or contact Sue.  

Inspiring Quotes

“Any new beginning is forged from the shards of the past, not from the abandonment of the past.” - Craig D. Lounsbrough
“For me the end of the year is always a time to reflect and recharge my energies.” - Gisele Bundchen
“A year of ending and beginning, a year of loss and finding and all of you were with me through the storm. I drink your health, your wealth, your fortune for long years to come, and I hope for many more days in which we can gather like this.” - C.J. Cherryh

“At the end of each year I make a list of my mistakes and it's pretty friggin long.” - Dean Lombardi

“Everybody has difficult years, but a lot of times the difficult years end up being the greatest years of your whole entire life, if you survive them.” - Brittany Murphy

And Finally ...

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Yule who?
Yule never know until you open the door.

Please pass on this newsletter to others who may be interested. Let us know if you'd like to be added to the mailing list or want your name to be removed.

Send all news, contributions and feedback to Steve. Thanks for reading!

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