Mindfulness & Me, my journey so far.

Food & Family | Mindfulness  | Wellbeing

 

MINDFULNESS & ME, MY JOURNEY (SO FAR)

by Natalie

So where did it all begin?

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

Stress? You have no idea. I did the best to be the best with what I had. 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 both in body and mind. I gained weight, lost it and gained it again. I was like a balloon inflating and deflating and deflated I was. I became argumentative, judgemental and powerless in my own thoughts an emotions. I over analysed everything and became frustrated and unreasonable. I was exhausted and lost interest in my love of the outdoors and of cooking. My body and brain were exhausted but the chatter in my head would not shut up. I felt like my thoughts were being dipped in treacle desperately trying to wade free.

In 2016 by chance I discovered mindfulness at a work event run by Yorkshire Psychotherapy. I had been practicing yoga for a while in a bid to improve my physical wellbeing and was accustomed to being present in the moment but more as a tool to stop me falling on my face than anything else. The idea of mindfulness as a tool for life was completely new.

.LEARNING FOR LIFE

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 practice.

I qualified as a  Mindfulness Practitioner in April 2017 and in the practice and theory of mindfulness I found a passion I never knew existed. When I founded Mindfulness & Wellbeing: Being Mindful in Yorkshire I knew I wanted to create a platform for sharing the mindful methods that I use in everyday life to manage by own anxieties and it would include food, family, yoga and, of course, mindfulness. I think many people expect mindfulness to be a laborious process of sitting in uncomfortable positions for hours on end, chanting and searching for unobtainable solitude and I wanted to challenge that notion. Mindfulness is a whole life practice, you learn to notice the small forgotten things in life – a beautiful flower, the texture of a wall as you brush against it, the feeling of the water in the shower, the seat beneath you on the bus, the joy of capturing a smiling face in a photograph or the taste of your favourite meal – and learn to acknowledge that doing less and noticing more can help us thrive in a stressed out world. By all means sit and meditate, but let your practice follow you during your day.

FIND OUT MORE

Find out more about MINDFULNESS, check out our BLOG for diary entries, visit our MINDFUL PRACTICE page for simple practices and tips & sign up to receive our NEWSLETTER

 

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