Just happily married!

Just happily married! 

If you follow Immeasurable Minds on Instagram or Facebook you will know we got married two weeks ago! We had the time of our lives. It really was wonderful.

My mum and dad and four of my Belfast friends came to Turkey for the wedding and the night before we all descended on Muhutin’s family in Izmir. Their hospitality was amazing.  They were all so warm and welcoming. They put us up, fed us delicious food and organised two nights of the most fun and interesting parties we’d all attended in a long time!

Both parties involved LOTS of dancing! In the end my new Turkish relatives were very impressed by how well their new Belfast friends threw themselves into the activities, and how by day two really got the hang of this new style of dancing!

The first party was my ‘henna night’. It was literally a Turkish street party attended by family, friends and neighbours, young and old, boys and girls. There was so much loving kindness from everyone, they we’re all happy to share their homes and their food and their dancing tips with us! We loved it!

The main event was when I got covered in a red sparkly veil and lump of henna put in my hands. The girls all got scarfs and candles and danced around  me and my husband to be!  Later that night one of my new Sister-in-Law’s put more henna on my toes and my fingers making a special design. Before I left for Turkey I’d got my nails ‘done’ in Belfast – a tasteful pale pink… the henna turned them green! So funny – it looked like witches nails! You can see the pics on the Immeasurable Minds Instagram feed, lots of pics of my very handsome husband too – just scroll down.

On the day of the wedding with my new henna hands and feet I was off to the hairdressers to get ready. The hairdresser did a great job – which was just as well as no one could speak English!  I then did my make-up myself – I’d had a lesson the Thursday before I left from one of my former MBSR students Tracey Rodgers, I’m really grateful to her as it all turned out ok!

Muhutin came to pick me from the hairdressers – there’s none of this waiting to see me at the altar business… in fact he’d unceremoniously given me the wedding ring the night before too. It’s just a simple white gold band. His brothers had taken me jewellery shopping before the wedding – they bought me beautiful white gold jewellery which you will see me wearing at our Belfast wedding. I bought Muhutin a gold chain (to match his gold wedding ring) so when he is at work (he works with his hands) he can put it on the chain – so it’s always close to him (aww….)

Yes wedding No.2 is in two weeks. I’m afraid some of you may be sick of my wedding photos by then – sorry fair warning for next month’s newsletter! When you wait until 43 to get married you might as well do it twice and be doubly excited, thrilled and over the moon about it is my theory! 🙂

When we got back to the house my dad was given a red sash to put around my waist – this is traditional. I like it especially as it will distinguish the two sets of wedding pictures – I will be wearing the same dress for both – though Muhutin may get a new tie! 🙂

Then we had lunch! Me with a blanket over me to keep the dress clean 🙂 And then it was the ceremony. A simple affair in the living room and that was it, job done! Off we went for the photos. The main happening was to come that evening at the party. And what an event it was and what an entrance we made!

Beneath the stage in an outdoor venue called ‘Sakli Bache’ or the Secret Garden the two of us stood on platforms that began to rise… the 200 odd guests just saw the tops of our heads appear as the music stopped and fireworks and sparklers exploded around us! Then with the music playing we waved to the crowd like the king and queen and each of us descended a separate staircase (very scary in heels with a HUGE dress) to come together at the bottom in the centre of the dance floor. It was hilarious and fantastic all at the same time. I’m so glad we got a video of it.

It was pretty much all dancing after that, the Turkish people aren’t very good at sitting down! My new husband was so happy to be up and doing all the traditional dances with his family – my feet were sore at the end of the night too! So wedding number two in Belfast will be quite different (definitely colder it was 30 degrees in Turkey) I’m sure but hopefully just as joyful. We’re also doing the legal ceremony in Belfast so technically we’re not quite married just yet – though we are wearing our rings… does the paper make the difference?

And those of you asking my husband’s surname is Kaya. From October you will see me change to Bridgeen Rea-Kaya. I’ll also have a new address as at the end of next week we move house! After 11 years of living in an apartment I’ll have a garden! How excited am I about that?! The gifts of married life! So lots of change happening, new husband, new name, new house, new family, new life. I’m very grateful and happy.

Give yourself a Self-Compassion Break

One of the most popular things I teach is called ‘mindful self-compassion’. We give ourselves compassion not to feel better but because we suffer. If you’re having a bad day, if your felling sad, overwhelmed or stressed-out this is the moment to you’re your wee self some compassion.

Self-compassion is not selfish, it’s wise because its only when we are feeling ok with ourselves that we can really help others.  If we’re feeling out of sorts we’re not going to be much use to our colleagues, friends or family.

The practice is really simple but it does take a lot of courage to give it a try – when you do you will be amazed an our effective and profound the results can be.  There are 3 steps in the self-compassion break.

This exercise was devised by Kristen Neff from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

Step 1. Awareness of Suffering

When you are aware (mindful) of difficulty or suffering in your life you recognise and acknowledge it by saying to yourself something like: ‘This is a moment of suffering or ‘this hurts’, ‘ouch’, ‘this is stressful’.

Step 2. Common Humanity

Realise that suffering is part of life, that everyone suffers and other people have also or are also at this moment feeling how you are feeling.  This is called ‘common humanity’.  You can say something like: “I am not alone”, “We all struggle in our lives. This is how it feels when people struggle in this way.”

Step 3. Being kind to self.

Now put your hand over your heart saying to yourself: “May I be kind to myself” or “May I accept myself as I am”, “May I forgive myself”, “May I be safe”, “May I be strong.” Whatever words you need to hear that you find soothing and comforting.  If you find it difficult to come up with the right words imagine what you would say to a friend who was suffering in the way you currently are.

I’d love to know how you get on with this practice.