Mindfulness & Me, my journey so far.

Food & Family | Mindfulness  | Wellbeing

 

MINDFULNESS & ME, MY JOURNEY (SO FAR)

by Natalie

I have heard it said that three of the most stressful things in life are: becoming a parent, getting a divorce and moving house. I did all three in three years.

In 2011 at the old age of 35 I became a mum, in 2014 I got a divorce and moved house. Somewhere in between that I also returned to work. It was a stressful period to say the least where each day I tried to be the best of what I could be. I did my absolute best as a mother (and he has lived to tell the tale), my best in my job (I have yet to get fired) but my worst when it came to myself.

I became unhealthy in body and in mind. I gained weight, lost it again and then put it all back on. I became argumentative, judgmental, and powerless in my own thoughts and emotions. I became over analytical, frustrated and unreasonable. I felt constantly tired. I lost my interest in cooking, which had formerly been a passion. I loved walking but lost my interest in scaling the hills of Yorkshire. My mind felt full of chatter that I could not shut up.

Upon the advice of a friend I sought out counselling which was one of the most beneficial things I have ever done and what probably turned my mind in the first place towards mindfulness. However, as these things tend to,  it was pushed to the back of my mind as I continued with daily life and it was not until 2016 when I attended a workshop run by Yorkshire Psychotherapy as part of a work obligation that included a short mindfulness practice that it really came back to the forefront of my attention.

At that point I had been practicing yoga as a tool for all around physical and mental fitness for a while and was aware of the concept of being present in the moment but had only really associated it with keeping me from falling on my face during practice. The idea of mindfulness as a way of life was a completely new idea.

ONGOING LEARNING

At the end of the workshop I took the literature on offer home and enrolled on a short, very inexpensive short course with Be Mindful, part of the Mental Health Foundation. Over four weeks the course looked at body scanning, mindful eating, stress awareness and meditation (to name a few) –  not in great depth but enough to learn a few techniques to try each day.  For the first time in a long while I felt my mind become less scattered and much more calm. It found it easier to sleep and I knew that I wanted to learn more . At the end of the course I enrolled on a Diploma in Mindfulness to expand my knowledge and own practice of Mindfulness.

I qualified to become a Mindfulness Practitioner in April 2017, and received my certificates the day before my 41st birthday. I then founded Mindfulness & Wellbeing: Being Mindful in Yorkshire as a platform to share, educate and create a community of like minded, mindful folk.

My mission now is to continue my learning and to bring mindfulness into my own life and to that of others, not just as a daily meditation but as a whole life practice.

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