Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.
‘Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.’ Jon Kabat-Zinn
On Purpose – Mindfulness involves the gentle effort to be conscious and deliberate with the direction of our attention. When we are on autopilot our attention is being swept up by a never-ending (and not always positive) current of thought processes. When we are mindful, we ‘wake up’ and begin to drop into our body and senses to live life more consciously and fully.
In The Present Moment – Our mind left to its own devices habitually wanders away from the present moment. It constantly gets caught up in replaying the past and projecting the future, taking away the present moment. Mindfulness is to completely engage in the present moment experience … the here and now. It is the ability to let go of the tension caused by wanting things to be different, the tension of constantly wanting more, and instead accepting the present moment as it is.
Non-judgmentally – When practising mindfulness, the aim is not to control, suppress or stop thoughts or feelings, nor is it to clear the mind, but to simply observe and pay attention to the experience with interest and gentleness and without judging or labelling it in any way.
Through mindfulness practice you learn to see more clearly the patterns of the mind. You learn to witness any emotions and thoughts but not to act upon them i.e. feeling that you have to suppress them, run away from them, or fight them. Instead you learn to acknowledge them, try not to judge them and let them pass. This helps break the old association between negative mood and the negative thinking it would normally trigger. With practice you develop the capacity to allow emotions, thoughts and sensations to come and go, staying in touch with the present moment, without being driven to ruminate about the past or worry about the future.
Mindfulness is generally safe for most people, however there are some circumstances in which extra care may be required. I recommend an introductory one-hour online session to establish whether this course is right for you and a chance for you to ask questions about mindfulness and share any experience or ideas you may already have. Also, this is your opportunity to have a meditation session with me to find the right way forward for you.
I offer an 8-week Mindfulness course which is a combination of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). This online course comprises of eight, 60-minute sessions and aims to give you the tools to build your own personal practice, enabling you to access the wide range of proven benefits well beyond the course. Bespoke one-to-one classes are designed to provide a gentle and supportive introduction to mindfulness practice and are created around the specific needs and requirements of the client. The course includes:
8 x 60 minute sessions over 8 consecutive weeks
Formal, recorded mindfulness meditations, are provided for home practice
Informal mindfulness: embodied mindful activities including mindful movement and mindful eating
Exploring the 7 attitudes that underpin mindfulness, their personal meaning, how they interact and change over time