Mindfulness, Poetry and Creative Writing Workshops with Cath Drake
As the NHS says, mindfulness or “paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you” can improve your mental wellbeing. Research has found you can feel more relaxed, have better relationships and be more creative and focused after practicing mindfulness.
There’s also plenty of evidence that sharing creativity – writing, reading and discussing poetry and creative writing – can also contribute to positive wellbeing and mood. It can connect us with each other and express our worries, goals and values in creative and enjoyable ways.
I offer one-off workshops, courses and one-to-one coaching adapted to your needs.
- Mindfulness for stress and relaxation
- Mindfulness and poetry for relaxation
- Creative writing and poetry workshops (reading and writing)
- Storytelling workshops
- Creative writing for grief and recovery
- Team meetings and away days
Online: Small group workshops using real-time Zoom video conferencing. During this difficult time, genuine and meaningful connection online can be a lifeline.
In-person: Workshops in person may also be possible (I live in North London).
Bespoke videos: I make bespoke pre-recorded video workshops tailored to the needs of groups and organisations. Here’s a short video on mindfulness and poetry I made for Breathe Arts Health Research, based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX1XUDKUdc8&feature=youtu.be
Courses: One-off and taster workshops can be very beneficial, but courses that include practicing and sharing from week to week are even more effective. Research shows that an 8-week course is recommended.
Away days and team/department meetings: I develop sessions to fit with your team meetings for relaxation, enjoyment and connection, alongside all the other benefits of mindfulness and/or poetry and creativity.
Why Mindfulness? Research has shown that the brain actually changes in response to regular mindfulness practice and that mindfulness can reduce stress and sometimes reduce physical pain, and boost happiness, creativity, memory and concentration.
Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that can help you manage and prevent feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, or discontent. It enables anyone who practices it to live a more attentive, appreciative and vibrant life. The University of Oxford, Mindfulness Centre.
Why Writing & Creativity? I believe that creative writing, storytelling and poetry are some of the most enjoyable and rewarding activities you can do.
Engaging with the arts has a significant part to play in improving physical and mental health and wellbeing … Creativity can: stimulate imagination and reflection; encourage dialogue with the deeper self and enable expression; change perspectives; contribute to the construction of identity; provoke cathartic release; provide a place of safety and freedom from judgement; yield opportunities for guided conversations; increase control over life circumstances; inspire change and growth; engender a sense of belonging; prompt collective working; and promote healing … and longerlives better lived. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report, 2017
About Cath Drake: Cath is an award-winning poet and nonfiction writer living in London. She teaches poetry, creative writing and mindfulness. She has practiced meditation and mindfulness for over twenty years in Australia and UK (part of the team for countless retreats and courses). She’s an active member of London Buddhist Centre and trains with Breathworks mindfulness teacher training.
Cath has run workshops for senior professionals to vulnerable young people and adults, from small specialist groups to large mixed-age workshops in a festival tent, from one-off workshops to courses and residencies with multiple outputs. (Enhanced DBS checked.)
Her 2020 poetry collection ‘The Shaking City’ published by Seren Books was Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes and described by Philip Gross as ‘a guide to staying clear-eyed, combative and caring in unsettling times’. It followed ‘Sleeping with Rivers’ which won the Seren/Mslexia poetry pamphlet prize and was a Poetry Book Society choice. She has won and been short-listed for several major poetry prizes and been published widely in anthologies and literary journals in Australia, Ireland, US and Australia.
This workshop was brilliant and I feel really inspired now!
I really enjoyed this workshop as it allowed me to let my creativity wander in ways I hadn’t expected.
A great session, lovely atmosphere and a non-judgmental environment. Cath was friendly and encouraging. A real positive of the session was that it was an open, non-threatening group.
It was my very first workshop on writing. I started out very fearful and it took all my resources not to scuttle out of the room at the beginning, but having stayed I had a ball.
I really enjoyed the workshop, how long do I have to wait to do another one?
Thanks for a great morning … Sophie was so enthused by it all that she spent most of the afternoon and into mid evening writing and playing out another story. Paul Gasson, storytelling workshop for parents and children
I have just watched your video and found it very calming and inspiring! Rachel, Mind member of staff
The diversity of the texts we were introduced to and Cath’s approach to writing exercises was really inspirational, not to mention great fun. Writers from the northern and southern hemispheres came together to create a nourishing online community. I was grateful to be part of the most wonderful reading event and my friends who attended really enjoyed it too. S.A. MacLeod, writer, London
Cath Drake provided a wonderful workshop for the Off the Shelf Festival – well organised, excellently led and inspirational. We had really positive feedback from all participants. Lesley Webster, Off the Shelf Festival of Writing and Reading, Sheffield