I came to mindfulness in its current form two years ago after many years of trying different forms of self improvement, spiritual development and forms of healing. From Reiki to psychic development, aura drawing to coaching. I’ve tried them all. I have a Reiki Level One certificate and I am a trained coach, having done a recognised coaching diploma. Yet I had never felt motivated enough to practice either. They didn’t feel right for me, although I knew at the heart of it I wanted to find a sense of peace and help others to find that to.
Two years on since I did a 10 week mindfulness course and I have never had that problem with mindfulness. Partly because perhaps I was very aware that if I didn’t practice I was going to go back to the person I was before, and completing the mindfulness course I did was like opening a very wonderful gift. I didn’t want to put it down once I’d started. I started a practice group after the course for people like me who had completed the courses so we could learn together, share and develop. At the time I had no further intentions than to get my bum into gear to meditate regularly and keep up with all I’d learnt. However mindfulness has taken hold of my heart and soul and become part of me in ways I never thought possible. I will share more of this in other posts, but for now I will say I could never unlearn it thank goodness, and I will practice it always because it has given me more joy and peace in my life in the last two years than in all the previous 36 put together.
Mindfulness helps me to be calmer, it keeps me grounded, it makes me appreciate the little things in life like the morning sun. I can differentiate now between thoughts and just let them be. There’s no longer a daily ongoing dialogue in my brain affecting my feelings and emotions and causing me to be stressed, depressed and anxious. You could say I’ve zenned out! There’s lots of things I’ve done to get here, and again part of changing the direction of my blog is to be able to share these with you, but right now what I can say is I am starting the next step of my mindful journey and it feels very exciting. That is, I have begun a course so that ultimately I will have trained to teach it to others.
I never had any intention of doing this until around 6 months ago when I realised I wanted my life to be even more about mindfulness and I wanted to share it with others. The people in my practice group, like me, say that their lives have changed thanks to being more mindful. Being more aware of harmful emotions and letting them go, being able to just rest in the moment and appreciate it, that meditation is making them calmer, happier and more at peace with the world. How could I not want to help to get others feeling that way?
There is no formal qualification in the UK to teach mindfulness, rather a best practice UK National Listing of teachers that you can go on once you have completed a set of steps from completing an in-depth mindfulness course yourself to ultimately completing a 5 day teaching retreat. I’ve just take my first step on that journey with the Foundation in Mindfulness Course with the Mindfulness Association. The first weekend we learnt the very basic steps of mindfulness again; to breathe, to set intention and motivation, to settle, and to rest in the moment. To let thoughts be, not control us or manifest into overwhelming feelings or emotions. To complete body scans, move mindfully and incorporate mindfulness into daily life. It was good to go back to basics, and the beginning again. The Mindfulness Association is a not for profit organisation, with a spiritual but still non secular programme. They have retreats and courses in some amazing locations. I am doing my initial mindfulness certificate weekends in York and Scarborough. Not as glamorous as Barcelona or Mexico but hey it’s about the content right?
I am so excited to be on this journey. It feels very right, and I think I will learn a lot alongside becoming able to teach others how to become mindful. I want to share my journey with you in the hope you might just Google mindfulness some day and give it a try, plus I think there will be many others of you on similar journeys and I think it would be great to hear from you and how your training is going.