Mindfulness and mindful living are a essential components for enabling people to live happier and healthier lives.
Meditation is simple, free and effective yet it is so difficult in our busy lives to meditate. That is why we encourage small regular moments of mindfulness that may one day become a full meditation session.
I did not always, meditate. I used to struggle to sit and contemplate. I would struggle with the pain and the strong emotions that would often arise. There were many days when I just refused to practise. So I just started one day at time, in the mornings for about 5-10 minutes. And after a while I noticed I was becoming less angry, more peaceful, more accepting and more energised and practising for about 20-30 minutes became very easy. Some of the benefits have been that I rarely need to go to the doctor. I tend to suffer the flu about once every five years, I used to have regular headaches and I think the last one I had was so long ago I do not remember what I headache is like. So the benefits have encouraged me to keep practising. Of course I am not perfect, I am human and I have all the strong emotions that most humans have. And so I intend to keep practising.
In my clinic I have been delighted when clients have shared that their practise of mindfulness has started to transform their way of perceiving themselves and their world. I would like to share the story of JB. JB came to me very low in their mood and overwhelmed by the “shit” that life had thrown at her. She had pretty much lost everything, her relationship, her home, and her friendships. She was low in her mood, low in her self worth and was contemplating suicide. She described being caught in a whirlpool of emotion that she could not get out of. The more she struggled the worse her feelings became, she felt overwhelmed and stuck.
But there was something within her that was stronger than her painful emotions and her unhelpful thinking. This part of her, her calm strong wise mind enabled her to sit quietly for a few moments to simply be. Talking therapy in particular emotional focused therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, enabled JB to speak her emotions openly and expressively, and let go of some of those painful emotions. This therapy used a simple method of focusing on her body sensations and labelling the emotion that goes with the sensations to diffuse and let go. We also worked with speaking her thoughts and emotions to an empty chair. This empty chair representedthe person or persons who had betrayed her or harmed her. With talking therapy and contemplation she transformed her thoughts and her actions in a gentle and loving way.
When she first arrived in my clinic she was able to sit for five minutes and then over time the five minutes became 20. As these moments of mindfulness increased she became calmer, and more peaceful and more able to start again. She shared with me a powerful moment when she was driving home. She was caught in her thoughts and then she simply let them go. They went and she became more calm and present. She noticed a small animal crossing the road and was able to slow down and let it cross without harm. Time seemed to slow as she became more still and more present. And then a wave of calm became her and her anger left. This moment of stillness gave her the courage to continue and she is now living in a peaceful home, in a new job and environment and contemplating a new prelateship. She is evolving mindfully fully committed to her values and with more presence.
In May I will be offering an 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction. If you would like to participate please email me so that I can register you for the programme. People who would benefit from the course would be adults who would like to learn how to manage their mood in a mindful way. The course will be run with just 8 participants as the aim is to offer you a comfortable environment to learn some of the helpful tools and practice with others.
All the best