Chatting to our Community – A Conversation With Sally Hooton

For our blog, we wanted to take a closer look at one of our member’s experiences. Sally Hooton kindly agreed to answer some questions, posed by our Ambassador Susie. We hope you enjoy getting to know Sally a little better

What’s your background with mindfulness?

I first heard mindfulness talked about some years ago – although intrigued, I was just too busy to explore further! Then I read about heart-based living and a retreat they were leading. At this point I was aiming to be less busy so the narrative was not just intriguing but more compelling. I wanted to find out more and to experience what was on offer. I went to the Devon retreat in October 2019 with my two sisters and was drawn to the calmness of guided mindful meditation, along with mindful walking and mindful eating. 

An image of Sally on Tresco island one of the Isles of Scilly. 

How did you get involved with The Heart Movement?

This retreat was my first involvement with The Heart Movement. The retreat facilitators (and other attendees) are now playing key roles in the growth and development of The Heart Movement. It was very interesting to meet so many people of different ages and backgrounds who all shared a common approach to living with more balance, connection and wellbeing. A community of spirit was built up during that event.  The key message I took away was that we are human beings not human doings! And I found ways to increase resting, stillness and calm.

An Image from one of our retreats.

How do you use the app as part of your practice?

As a member I gain greatest support from the guided morning mindfulness practice. I find that these daily meditations are most nourishing and they set me up for the day and remind me to slow down! It is so beneficial to also participate in the insightful living deeply workshops. The timing of the live sessions, however, often clashes with household activities so it’s helpful that the app enables listening later on.

This month we’re focusing on nature – what would you say about your relationship with nature? Has your mindfulness practice impacted this at all?

It is a pleasure to focus on nature this month. I am constantly in awe of our natural world and am fortunate to live near the coast, woods and hills, which provide a variety of walks and excursions. Mindfulness has increased my awareness of the power of nature. 

An image of Sally on Tresco island one of the Isles of Scilly. 

You attended our recent workshop “Rewilding Yourself”, held by our Ambassador Veronica – can you share a little about your experience of this?

Ambassador Veronica’s ‘Rewilding Yourself’ workshop was profound. “Look deeper into nature and you’ll understand everything better.” (Albert Einstein)

“Look deeper into nature and you’ll understand everything better.”

Albert Einstein

As Veronica reminded us, we are the Earth. I am so grateful to have a garden, where I grow vegetables and flowers, and do spend time a lot of time outside locally, as well as further afield, when restrictions allow. Being in and around nature certainly does make me feel more alive.

If you’ve attended other workshops, or listening spaces – what would you say to someone who’s never been to one before?

If anyone hasn’t yet tuned into a Heart Movement event – listening space, workshop or community campfire, I would definitely recommend trying one out. The feeling of community and connection is deeply nourishing.

An Image from one of our retreats

You also dropped in on the bus whilst it was on tour recently – could you share about your experience of this.

It was great to drop in to the launch of the HM Bus tour in Brighton. Despite pretty awful weather conditions the facilitators and volunteers were brimming with enthusiasm serving tea and engaging in conversations as well as offering mindful practice and I was able to join them for a mindful eating session. The cookies were fab, too! I wish the bus tour every success in reaching all corners of the country enabling people to come into contact with the impactful practices that The Heart Movement embodies and shares.

The Heart Bus and Team set up in Brighton

Is there anything else about your experience with The Heart Movement that you’d like to share with others?

My initial experience of The Heart Movement’s retreat is one that I shall never forget. It succeeded in opening my eyes, ears, mind, body and heart to living with greater awareness.  I aim to include mindful practices into my daily life and confess that I do find it easier with guidance. I am pleased that many HM facilitators also have connection(s) with Plum Village, as I have been interested to going there for some time and learning more about the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh. Thanks to The Heart Movement I have been introduced to the poetry of Mary Oliver: 

“So come to the pond,

or the river of your imagination, 

or the harbor of your longing,

and put your lips to the world.

And live

your life.”

Sally at the National Trust site Standen House and Gardens in Sussex

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Sally a little better. We’ll be having more conversations with members of our community and can’t wait to share them with you soon. Don’t forget if you want to keep up to date with our latest blog posts and community news you can sign up to our newsletter here.

By Susie Hooper<br>Susie loves teaching mindfulness in her local community in Central Scotland and also online.
By Susie Hooper
Susie loves teaching mindfulness in her local community in Central Scotland and also online.