Food & Family | Mindfulness | Wellbeing
MINDFULNESS & ME, MY JOURNEY (SO FAR)
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.
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