As part of my series of 10 creations/creating things I wanted to focus on gathering people together or creating resources/ideas/moments that enable a shared experience. I’ve written some Liturgy/A Prayer that was used at a gathering in Manchester, I’ve curated a Radiohead listening weekend, baked a cake for a birthday gathering, curated and hosted a gig at The Half Moon in Putney and started a music club at work. Its been really life giving (and at times hard work) and has given me a sense of soul and deep joy.
And now I turn my creativity/hosting to a gathering to explore Soulfulness. Inspired by Brian Draper’s book of the same title, and talking through some ideas with friends, some of whom will also be contributors to the day, I decided to create a gathering to practice, explore, learn, walk, eat, talk, hang out and be soulful.
If you fancy listening to Brian explore the theme of Soulfulness then do have a listen to this episode of Nomad Podcast. It starts approx 8m 30 secs in.
The day itself will be varied, experiential, an opportunity to both listen to and participate in, share time with others, eat and drink together and have some fun.
We will gather around 10am in the morning for Coffee and Pastries before taking time to hear from Brian Draper, explore a few ways to practice soulfulness and talk and ask questions together. We will then eat lunch together before venturing out on either a Labyrinth walk through 5 landmarks in the City of London or take time to visit The Tate Modern and explore Art and Soul.
To find out more and book tickets, check out the link.
Here are some words from Brian about his book ‘Soulfulness’.
Many people are starting to use simple mindfulness techniques to help them cope with an ever-busier culture. Perhaps you’re one of them. Positively, mindfulness opens up some common-sense elements of spirituality – such as pausing for breath, being present, meditating – to those who may struggle with formal religion, or are suspicious of “New Age” spirituality. And it works – it will help you to de-stress, to come back up for air, to stay poised under pressure.
But if all we do is use mindfulness as a tool for keeping burnout at bay, for survival, we miss the point. And this is where I’ve found that a contemplative Christian perspective can enrich, equip and deepen what starts as a mindful life.
For once we’ve learned to “be still” (as the psalmist puts it), we make space for the soul, once more, to speak. Our challenge, then, is not to become super-spiritual, or esoteric, but to bring flesh-and-blood expression to our unique and God-given inner aliveness.
We’ve grown far too used to the same old, soulless ‘grind’ in today’s Western culture. But what difference could it make to us, and the world around us, if we started to live with soul instead? There is, of course, only one way to find out… And I hope and pray that this book will help to inspire you, practically, to have a go; to live more fully as the person you were created to be.
I’ve tried, as always, to write in a way that’s accessible and inspiring to anyone, regardless of background or faith. And I was delighted recently when the psychologist Oliver James described Soulfulness as a “wonderful book”.