“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” – Anais Nin
Once upon a time I was a very crazy person, who wore her heart on her sleeve and was prone to many emotional ‘spill outs’. I was also suffering anxiety to the point of frequent panic attacks. I tended to get caught in the spiral of negative thoughts swirling inside my head and this would generally lead to my falling into a dark pit of depression.
So Now ?
Some years have passed since those more difficult times and I began my own journey of healing. The most significant part of that journey in retrospect for me was discovering and embracing the magic of mindfulness.
What Is Different?
l am still a crazy person. I still most definitely wear my heart on my sleeve and there is still the odd emotional spill out or two.
But what is different is that now I am much more aware and in tune with my emotional state and more able to choose how I respond to my emotional world rather than be at its mercy.
My percentages of catching myself before I am in a reactive pattern have greatly improved.
I now no longer have panic attacks even though anxiety is still often a familiar companion. The way I respond to my anxiety is different, it no longer takes me over, I understand that all emotions are just energy in motion, they all serve a purpose and they will come and go if I loosen my grip.
I have learnt to be much kinder to myself. While rubbishy thoughts can still be found floating in my head I no longer necessarily believe what they say. I now know a thought is ‘just a thought’ and it has no power over me unless I make the mistake of believing it.
The word that really encapsulates it for me is freedom. That means for me that I now have choices in how I choose to respond to my life.
My mindfulness and meditation practice sustains me and gets me through the tough times. The present moment is not always easy to be with and mindfulness is not just about stopping to smell the roses.
Being in the privileged position of being able to teach and share what I know gives me the opportunity to continually re-immerse myself in the teachings. I continue to learn and grow with every course and every client.
I love that mindfulness is a living practice, it’s always with you even if you temporarily forget. It just quietly waits knowing you will return to ‘remembering’ eventually. I think that is a good simile for life that we are always somewhere in the process of forgetting and then remembering. The intention of our mindfulness practice is to shorten the space between the states of forgetfulness and then remembering.
My perhaps childish wish is really for everyone from kindergarten kids to our corporate leaders to discover how mindfulness can change and improve all our lives.
If you want to know more come along to my next course or just give me a ring. Individual and workplace training are also possibilities.
Books To Read
- Thich Naht Hahn- “The Miracle of Mindfulness”
- Jon Kabat Zinn- “Everywhere You Go, There You Are”
- And “Full Catastrophe Living”
- Jack Kornfield –”The Wise Heart”
A Great Website
- Tarabrach.com free guided meditations and podcasts
If You Want A Good App
- Insight Timer (best app ever and its free !)
Namaste, Many Blessings, Much love