Tag Archives: geneva discussion group

All Good Vibes for Conscious Cafe Geneva

Since it’s humble beginnings, Conscious Cafe Geneva’s meetings have taken place at the MLC Café-Littéraire, a charming coffee-cum-bookshop in the heart of Carouge, run by the lovely Francis. Due to ongoing renovations, the café is set to close for while, which set group leader Debbie King the task of finding a new space.

“I thought it would be REALLY difficult,” says Debbie. “So I set aside a day to go hunting for one in Geneva, thinking it would be the first of several expeditions. And guess what – I found three! Not a single person refused me. At the venue I liked the most, the patron simply opened his arms and said ‘of course! Walk this way and look at this little room beside the bar which you can have all to yourselves FREE, whenever you want.’ AMAZING.”

Debbie left town feeling on top of the world, with the most powerful thought: the universe truly provides for a well-intentioned deed.

Grateful Reflections on a Year of ConsciousCafe Geneva

As ConsciousCafe Geneva ended 2018 with a Festive Finale last night I take a moment to reflect on the past year. We have had cafes on diverse themes such as Love; Wisdom; Time; Identity, Nationality and Nationalism; and yesterday Gratitude. We have been guided by inspirational speakers : Bonnie Fatio and “The Gifts I Give to the World”; Diana Ritchie on “Conscious Living through Sophrology”; Jane Bailey Bain on “Creating Your Own Life Story”; and Chris Burton on “Pivotal Moments that Shape Us”.  We also had the great pleasure of having our Founder, Judy Piatkus, join us for a very special evening with “Two Inspirational Women”. On each occasion our ConsciousCafes have lived up to their purpose, bringing people together to connect through conscious conversation and the profound interaction between strangers has been heart-warming and uplifting.  It reveals the beautiful best of humanity.  Each cafe has helped me to expand my ideas about the world and learn from the wisdom of others.  I now count our regulars as good friends.  All of these things I appreciate.

So how appropriate that we closed the year talking about gratitude before we partied a little.  I shared some of the research that suggests that gratitude can affect us emotionally by lowering depression, stress and other toxic feelings, and by increasing self-esteem and fostering mental strength. It seems that being thankful can also have a positive impact on us physically with studies showing links to improved sleep, lower blood pressure, better immunity and healthier hearts. So our first conversation revolved around our reaction to this research and sharing whether and how we experience gratitude in our own lives.   One woman’s words helped me to realise that when I say thanks for a glorious day/sky/event/friend it anchors me more fully in the present moment.   

Debbie King, Bonnie Fatio & Judy Piatkus

We then looked at ways to experience more gratitude, in particular we tried out an exercise called “Three Good Things” where you write down three good experiences you had that day, even quite ‘simple’ ones, and how they made you feel.  As I watched people share their notes I saw their faces illuminate as they remembered, relived and felt again the magic moments they had experienced that day.  Things as simple as waking to snow, remembering a special hug, lunch with friends, the uplifting feelings that came from an exercise class.   We realised that by taking this moment to reflect back on the day we appreciated events more fully.  Incidents in time that would otherwise have passed by and perhaps not been long remembered.  Some people write these daily memories on a slip of paper, pop them in a jar then give themselves the New Year gift of reading them at the end of the year.  Forgotten moments are reawakened.   Some years ago my husband gave me a ’gratitude rock’ which I still have, clasp when I pass it, and give brief silent thanks for my blessings.  I shared this idea by giving everyone their own rock to keep, and we had our closing meditation holding them.  Everyone chose their stone carefully – it’s important they feel just right in the palm of your hand!! 

Studies state that cultivating gratitude does not necessarily reduce seeing the negative features of life – “people have no trouble seeing the bad stuff” – but it encourages us to acknowledge the good things and thereby open ourselves to the potential boost that saying thanks can give to our mind and body health. 

What were you grateful for today? 

References :

9 Powerful Ways Gratitude can Change your Life :  Amy Morin

Can Gratitude be Good for your Heart? Paul J Mills & Laura Redwine

Debbie KingOur discussion group in Geneva is led by Debbie King, former Chief Probation Officer and Counsellor.

Click on our ConsciousCafe Geneva Meet Up page or Facebook page to message Debbie directly or for further information.

ConsciousCafe Launches in Geneva

There were cheers and applause at the ConsciousCafe Geneva launch last night when I announced that the evening marked the first International ConsciousCafe.   What followed was a great night in the spirit of ConsciousCafe’s everywhere in the UK …  twenty-two likeminded people coming together to enjoy thoughtful discussion; deep connection with other people; and, from the happy atmosphere and immediate feedback, leaving energized and positive.  

We took as our theme ConsciousCafe’s aim to raise global consciousness one conversation at a time asking the question “what does this mean and how can conversation achieve it?”  It was apparently a good starter question and from the beginning everyone engaged in animated discussions.  We talked and shared at tables of four or five with people moving around after 20 minutes to make new connections and conversations.   We have a beautiful collection of illustrated table mats which reveal how broad and deep the discussions roamed.

This was an uplifting start to ConsciousCafe Geneva, proving that one can have profound discussions with new acquaintances in a very enjoyable and heartening way.  I particularly relished the fact that we were from a wide range of age groups and life experience.

The next ConsciousCafe Geneva will be Wednesday 26th April and personally, I can’t wait.

Debbie King, Geneva Organiser.

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“(ConsciousCafe events) have been balm and succour to me, understanding the role of consciousness in my day-to-day life; and they have opened me up to conversations I didn’t think possible between sane, let alone ‘successful’ people. They have had a disproportionate impact on my life.”

Ellie B, Entrepreneur

“ConsciousCafe has always been my favourite activity.”

Mirela Sula,
Editor in Chief of Global Woman magazine

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