Posted by: ginalazenby | June 27, 2019

Skipton becomes a hub for life-changing dialogues with Conscious Cafe

Skipton Conscious Cafe featured in the local newspaper! Read here

Conscious Cafe Skipton has been popular from the word go since the first meeting in June 2017 attracting people from all across the north who appreciate a safe space to have conversations about things that matter. One local participant said “What is remarkable about Conscious Cafe is that there are so many different perspectives in the room. Everybody is interesting and there’s so much listening! I always leave feeling enlightened and inspired by the new ideas generated.

The monthly events have attracted over 330 attendances and there are now over 100 people who are part of the community. People have travelled from as far as Leeds, York, Cumbria, Huddersfield, Ripon, Barnoldswick, Blackpool and Burnley as well as local Craven villages.  For the last ten months the groups have held meetings in the new Avalon Centre for Wellbeing at Broughton Hall and will continue to meet there.

I started the Conscious Cafe in Skipton encouraged by founder Judy Piatkus in order to help me find a like-minded tribe locally now that I was putting new roots down in the market town. Over the last two years it has become a really vibrant discussion group attracting people willing to reflect and share on issues that are important to all of us, like relationships, making a new start, finding work you love, and creating connection.  It’s very participatory and people say they appreciate the warm, rich and compassionate atmosphere we have created. It seems that people are craving the opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and to have their opinions and feelings shared and heard by others.  

When ex-publisher Judy Piatkus set up the original group in London in 2011 it really took off with folks (like me) travelling far and wide to attend events. Many started asking to create groups in their own areas. There are now ten in the UK who meet regularly, with two overseas groups in Singapore and Geneva. Skipton is the only one so far in the UK’s north. 

The discussion group has attracted a number of leading edge thinkers and authors from outside the area to share their expertise and stimulate new ideas. These have included Runa Magnus from Iceland (author of The Story of Boxes – the Secret to Human Liberation, Peace and Happiness);  Nicholas Haines from Nottingham who shared his research on how to feel good about yourself; and several London-based authors including Dr Phyllis Santamaria (an expert on making a social impact with your job); Carole Railton (author of The Future of Body Language);  and relationship expert Malcolm Stern (Channel 4 TV series Made for Each Other).

The most recent event in June featured Dr David Paul, who is based in Sydney, Australia, the furthest afield a speaker has participated in Conscious Cafe Skipton. Dr Paul is a specialist in complex change and an advisor to political world leaders, and spoke about neuroscience and how we use our brains to cope with an increasingly complex world. He even gave tips on how we can use our brain power to live longer. The evening on June 5th was the group’s 25th event.


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