Well, what an exciting week ahead!
My next local programme starts with an introductory session on Thursday 2nd May and I am also going into a number of companies this week to introduce their employees to the key themes of Mindfulness.
Having delivered many programmes during the past year and a half, I absolutely relish the opportunity of ‘spreading the word’ about Mindfulness and the many benefits it can bring to people’s lives.
I consider myself a case in point. I was a huge worrier from childhood and into my early forties. As a child, I worried about friendships, school, eating, my parents, the views of my teachers, my piano lessons, my budgie, what people thought about me, and so on… The list was endless. I remember my poor mum and dad continually reassuring me that everything would be okay and that all I had to do was to ‘try my best’, nothing more. They couldn’t have been kinder or more supportive. The problem was that, back then, even though I wanted to accept their words of comfort, I wouldn’t allow myself to. It was as though, by not being on ‘high alert’ to all of the potential problems that might occur, I would be exposing myself in some way. I wore my worry as an armour of protection. I believed that if I had already considered all of the worst possible outcomes, then nothing could come as a surprise or as a shock to me. Only now, looking back, do I realise how draining and unhelpful that was. No amount of worry or rumination ever made any of my problems or perceived problems any better. It just took all of my energy away and left me feeling powerless.
Sadly for me, it was not until my early forties that I discovered the key attitudes of Mindfulness and the amazing benefits of regular practice. Even though I wished it had happened sooner, maybe I just wasn’t ready and maybe I wouldn’t have embraced it so wholeheartedly before then. Simple things like being kinder to myself, allowing myself to make mistakes and taking some ‘down’ time without feeling guilty about it. They were all new attitudes and approaches which have gradually made my life so much calmer and so much more enjoyable.
Today, I can see such amazing differences in myself. This was highlighted by my recent visit to London. I consider London to be a wonderful city with an amazing vibe. There is an immense sense of activity and of course hundreds upon thousands of people. In the past, although I would have felt excited about my visit, there would have been things that made me feel anxious or nervous. Worries about the journey, using the tube, getting lost or feeling claustrophobic. Despite the noise, the crowds and the general hustle and bustle, however, I can honestly say that I have never felt so relaxed in my life! It may sound like something of a cliche, but in my experience the peace, balance and harmony I have experienced have definitely come from within. They helped to make what would have been a great trip a fantastic one. I was able to focus on all of the wonderful things and let go of my usual fears and concerns.
Remember, that if you feel in the slightest bit overwhelmed by thoughts or worries, you can step back and create some breathing space for yourself at any time. Even a few moments of focusing on your senses – what you can see, hear, feel, smell or taste can have an amazing calming effect. Maybe you could consciously create some space between you and your thoughts, by imagining that they are written on clouds passing you by overhead? This can help to avoid a sense of overwhelm. Simple techniques such as this, practised regularly, can have amazing long term effects for health and wellbeing.
I very much look forward to sharing my learning with the people I meet during the next few days and I hope that you can also practise these techniques should ever you need them.
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful weekend.
Warmest wishes, Lorraine x