Mindfulness for me has been life-changing on so many levels. I began practising mindfulness around six years ago and have practised most days ever since. Starting the day with a 30-minute Hatha yoga practice followed by a 30-minute mindful meditation allows me to arrive in the present moment and observe my mental and bodily activity with an attitude of kindness and compassion. Throughout the day I also bring Mindfulness to the fore, such as when walking or doing household chores. This breaks the cycle of the thinking mind and again allows me to connect to the present moment. My life before practising Mindfulness was quite different from the life I now lead!
Before I started to practice Mindfulness I would let external life challenges and traumas affect the way I was living, even though I was happily married with three beautiful healthy children, and so many wonderful friends surrounding me. However, all I could seem to focus on were the negatives. I would blame the world for all that had gone wrong recently in my life, self-pity, always being in a hurry, exercising to the extreme, long periods of insomnia, lowered immune system, and looking for the next external hit for happiness (obsession with buying clothes). Also exhausting the sentences… if only this, if only that, I will be so much happier when ……!! Once I started my new life journey I soon recognised that real long-lasting happiness resides within not without.
Now in my day-to-day life, I’m a calmer person, taking life at a much more measured pace, and when life throws me challenges I am more resilient and kind to myself and others. Accepting and forgiving previous traumas and challenges has given me so many valuable life-changing lessons, however, I wouldn’t be on the path I am now without going through all those challenges.
“As soon as you begin practicing Mindfulness, you are starting to teach others…… Just by the way you live.”
The ripple effect on the family home has been one of the most significant changes. Of course, we still have our moments of disagreements on the usual topics provoked by five humans living together, but on the whole, it’s a much calmer atmosphere. The happiness and joy I have found within mean I don’t rely on, or look for, external things or anyone to bring me joy (of course, my family, friends, and Jack the family dog bring me immense happiness). My sleeping habits have improved. I now sleep soundly most nights. My immune system has improved beyond all recognition now rarely picking up viruses, which I would have done in previous years.
I have an understanding that the mind and body are one system, and one affects the other. I recognize when my thoughts, emotions, and feelings aren’t serving me, and through mindful awareness, I can observe and inquire with them compassionately rather than push them away. I listen to my body, and act accordingly (most of the time)!! I see thoughts as thoughts, not facts, just arising and passing, nothing more than sights, smells, sounds and touch. I also see how in every second everything is changing, nothing is permanent, everything is impermanent and if we cling and attach to anything (or want things to be different from the way they are), we are setting ourselves up for suffering.
The French Philosopher Michel De Montaigne wrote a quote saying, “The Greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” Mindfulness is teaching me daily how to live and be the best version of myself on this incredible journey we call life, not just for me but for those around me.
I have a deep passion for teaching Mindfulness, to help people who are finding challenges and struggles in life both mentally and physically difficult. With my extensive teacher training, studying and daily Mindfulness practice, it would be a privilege to safely and warmly teach the gold standard MBSR course to help you find a new way in navigating your life that builds resilience, joy and happiness.