I've just come back from an amazing weekend of workshops at The Eden Project, where I hosted six journaling workshops as part of the Reclaim Festival - a day of exploration 'for planetary and personal wellbeing.'
Perfect for the end of January when levels are feeling a bit low, the festival had two main speakers; clinical psychologist Dr Julie Smith and mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin MBE, as well as a Climate Anxiety Q & A panel discussion and uplifting local music from Webmoms, Isak’s Island and Brooke Sharkey.
The Eden Project is an inspiring place to be at any time - the innovation and growth (literally) of an idea built in a formerly disused clay pit encourages hope, hard work and an ability to dream big. It's a charity that is all about learning, whether that be experientially, or through the curated exhibitions and displays across the site.
What I loved about this weekend was the way the programme combined environmental exploration with the opportunity to learn and reflect more about ourselves. How are we, really? Emotional wellbeing and mental health have become increasingly talked about in recent years, and it felt really important to have an event like this that was so open and inviting for lots of different people to join the discussion.
Across the weekend I had nearly 100 people come into journaling workshops, each with an open mind and willingness to try something new and find out more about writing for wellbeing, self-reflection, and mindful creativity. A few had journaled before but most were completely new, or had heard a little bit about it and enjoyed the opportunity to get started with some structure and group support. We did some playful prompts, longer responses, and had plenty of time for sharing and discussion. A highlight was also these gorgeous notebooks provided by Eden for attendees to take home with them and carry on a journaling practice after the festival.
It was a pleasure to meet so many creative, kind and brave people - sharing some of their words and their selves in the short time we had together. I especially loved hearing all the things that went onto people's gratitude bubbles, as this is such a heartwarming way to close each session.
If you weren't able to make it this time, keep an eye out for my next writing for wellbeing workshops by signing up to my email newsletter, or over on Instagram and Facebook where future events will be announced. Fingers crossed to be able to return to the Eden Project soon as it was such a fabulous weekend and wonderful opportunity to connect with people.