What is Mindfulness?
'Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one develops through the practice of meditation and through other training.' - Wikipedia
'Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,' Jon Kabat-Zinn
Here we have two definitions of Mindfulness. Both went over my head when I was first learning about mindfulness many years ago. Only now that I have experience learning, living, and now training others do I have a base to peg these words to.
In fact, I have an enthusiasm and passion in helping others understand too. Helping people learn and make the changes they want to in their lives that they didn't think possible is deeply satisfying. Each time a client has a new 'aha' moment, this is a great moment for us both. On occasion I bump into past clients who smile as they recall the parts of the course that have stayed with them and the lasting changes they have made.
If you are new to mindfulness.... don't worry if the definitions haven't leapt to life for you, reading below on how mindfulness can help, what it can help, and a little on the course might be more beneficial.
If you have experience of mindfulness, either a little or a lot, I invite you to see how these definitions tie into your experience.
So how can mindfulness help you?
Often, we are aware of our internal state when it is really big and obvious, when a reaction comes out of nowhere, when it is already too late. For instance, we know we are stressed when we snap at the slightest thing and we know we are in the hold of a habit when we are reaching for the biscuits, the alcohol, or our preferred go-to crutch.
Using mindfulness techniques you can learn to notice your internal states when they are far smaller and they have less of a hold. This puts conscious choice in your reach and helps prevent repeating unwanted habitual reactions. It is like sleep walking to a destination you do not want to keep ending up. Mindfulness helps you wake up before you get there, when you can still carve a new path or take a different route to prevent going to the same old place. It also helps you to accept and forgive yourself on the occasions you do still end up where you didn't want to be. This can save a lot of self-berating, self-criticism, and negative self-talk which all increase suffering and can hinder your attempts to create positive change.
Imagine if you know the first signs of stress were stirring inside you rather than only becoming aware when you have snapped or reacted outwardly in some way.
Now imagine, not only have you noticed that you are at the very beginning of this road, you have also learned to deal with it with kindness, in the way you might tend to a child asking for your help. You are now in an empowered position and not a slave to old patterns!
In this way you can notice, accept and have more conscious control over your thoughts, feeling and behaviours, including those habitual reactions you wish you didn't have. Mindfulness can also help you to accept difficult situations and help with 'stuck anger' or resentments. In fact, it can help with so many different problems just as long as you want to be able to deal with your difficulties differently.
Mindfulness can help a number of issues and improve a number of areas of your health, some you might expect, others might seem more surprising!
Mindfulness can increase:
Mindfulness can decrease:
In this 8 week course we will focus on a different piece of theory each week, bringing it to life by making it experiential. Each piece will have an accompanying meditation to go with it that we will do in session, and you will take home to do daily.
There will be a short noticing exercise to do each week too designed to take up hardly any of your time.
If you are concerned about time, most people say this course gave them infinitely more time back than it took to do because they were no longer having to put out fires they'd created or deal with the consequences of their unwanted habits.
You can share as much or as little as you wish as we work through the book that you will receive on week 1 of the course.
In the spirit of being a non-judgemental there is no right or wrong way to go through this course, there is just your way and whatever you are experiencing moment to moment.
If we are meeting online the course fee is £25 per weekly session, £200 in total for the 8 weeks.
When we can all meet face-to-face the rate is £35 per session (£280) however, if you need a concessionary rate please get in touch.
Please feel free to text or call for an informal chat.