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Shellie and Simon in Rhodes

Happy/sad

Newsletter: July 2019

Dear Web friends

Greetings again, wherever you are in the world as summer’s lease unfolds. Some of you prefer the deep dark of winter, I know; but others will be treasuring the long days, the roses, and the warmth in your bones.

I don’t know if you have holiday plans. We’re just back from ten days on the island of Rhodes, a place we’re familiar with. Over the past ten years, if we’ve gone abroad, we’ve gone to Rhodes… and not just to Rhodes, but to the same village in Rhodes; so there’s a slight sense of ‘home’ about it.

But as we learned this year, things change even at home; and people come and go. Our favourite restaurant owner, Nico, has retired to the mountains; and his brother, Petros – who gave us so many brilliant trips on the glass bottom boat – he has done the same. They deserve a rest; but we missed them both, they were part of the village fabric. Meanwhile, the simple little chapel at the top of a nearby mountain, so sparse and perfect for meditation in the past, has been filled with religious tat and garish decoration. Clearly someone couldn’t cope with emptiness.

And St Paul’s Bay at Lindos! Oh my days! What would the saint say? The wonderful bay where Paul once dropped anchor has been commercialised almost beyond recognition. ‘I am convinced that nothing separates us from the love of God,’ he famously wrote. But the Lindos Tourist Board have certainly tried, trampling on natural beauty, and stuffing it with money-making scams. Monetising rugged beauty is a delicate art.

So I am reminded that the landscape of life is contant change, constant loss, constant adjustment. In our holiday village of Pefkos, only the mountains, the sun and the sea remain… and our fragile, wondering lives. And it was a lovely holiday, happy/sad, because loss creates space into which new life and discovery seeps. (We’re allowed more than one emotion at a time.) I enjoyed running some half marathons up in the mountains, dodging mad motorcyclists (with no helmets), and goats, also with no helmets, but very decent horns. And in between the goats and swimming the clear and torquoise sea, I continued with the glory and struggle of my Jesus novel – but that’s another story for another time.

For now, though, a brief moment of celebration. The Mind Clinic, a company I founded with the beautiful Rob Cave, has now been trading for five years. Rob took his own life shortly after things got under way. One Monday morning he decided he couldn’t go on. But one of his many legacies is The Mind Clinic, now in the hands of ‘the three amigos’: Natasha Malby, our business manager, Mark Godson, our lead practioner, and myself.

If you’d like to read more about what we do, and where we do it, click here:

http://themindclinic.org

This year, my Mind Clinic work will mainly be working one-to-one with NHS staff and teachers in various hospital and school settings; and hosting some development days.

That’s enough for now. I wish you good holidays this summer, whatever form they take, whether day trip or world tour; and soul renewal, however it occurs. Such things cannot be planned or bought. They just arise.

With very best wishes

Simon x

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