I wrote a post a while ago about using vibro acoustic technology in mindfulness after I was offered a taster session. The taster session was exploring how using this sensory experience could help develop a mindful practice, or even help improve mental health.
Many mindfulness practitioners will tell you the most challenging time to keep their mindfulness practice going is when the going gets tough.
When we are going through a difficult time it can be really hard to remember to breathe, to find the time to meditate and to remember all the teaching about letting go of thoughts non judgementally.
Note: This post should have been posted the week I started eating mindfully – or trying to, but things have got in the way of me posting. So I’ve moved on a bit since then but new updates will be coming soon.
Well after a year of fretting over turning 40, my 41st year is going to be much more positive.
You may be totally phased now by the title of this post…what even is vibro acoustic technology?
The answer, in a nutshell, is that it’s sound, vibrations and images (the images affected by the vibrations and the sound and your voice and movements if you choose to interact that way), all pulled together into a space that you spend time in. The result is that this technology can help you relax, be mindful, feel calmer and has been used as a mindfulness therapy for people with mental health issues.
So I’m changing the format of my blogs a bit. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m bored of writing posts about how to meditate, or how to find mindfulness. Those posts are everywhere on the internet, and better people with more experience than me are writing them, so I want to try something new.
So I’m mixing it up…
Instead of informative blog posts about mindfulness, I’m going to write more about me. I know, exciting right? I’m going to write more about my experience of living mindfully. I might link up to some mindful experts, but sometimes I’ll just be telling you what works for me. I’ll also be sharing my life, and how I manage my mental health through mindfulness, which is the reason I found mindfulness in the first place.
Hopefully you’re still awake
For some of you I know you’ll still be looking for advice, or information about how to approach different aspects of mindfulness. So here’s the good bit. I’m going to be developing my mindful tools section of the website to make it lots bigger. I want the mindful hub to be exactly that…a hub full of useful information for people who could probably use a bit of mindfulness, or who already know about it but want to do more to live a mindful life
So I’m planning the following sections:
- books – there are thousands of books on mindfulness, but I’ll be providing you with a reading list of the ones I’ve read, or that I know are well respected, well loved and recommended by other mindful people in the know
- courses – an 8 week course is the recommended way to get into mindfulness and it’s how I started. There are some great ones out there, so I’ll be letting you know all about them
- practice groups – One of the key differences to establishing mindful living rather than just doing a course and forgetting it is going to a regular group with others who want to be mindful. I’ll be listing these groups so let me know if there’s one in your area.
- websites – All the best websites for finding out more about mindfulness, what it is and how it makes a difference, including all the great mindful bloggers
- apps – there are so many apps out there to help your mindfulness
- coaching – using mindfulness to change areas of your life you’re not happy with and set your self achievable goals
- downloads – as well as my worksheets and e-books, there are loads more other booklets, e-books etc. and you’ll find these here
- places to find meditations – places to try different meditations you can access on the internet, both paid and free
- gifts and stuff to buy- there are some great gratitude journals, colouring books and mindful gifts to buy that mindful person in your life, so i’ll be linking to those too
Here’s where you come in
Got a book you loved that you can’t see on the list? been on a course that’s changed your life? running a practice group and want people to find out about it? Let me know and I’ll look at adding it. I want everything on the hub to be useful, really about mindfulness and something others can easily access. So jot a comment below with anything you’d like to share and I’ll check it out and add it if it’s relevant.
I’m still working full time, so it’s going to be a work in development for a while but I hope next year there’ll be loads of resources for you to access, to help you be your best self!
What about the blog?
Well I’m still going to be blogging. In fact I hope now I’ve got to grips with what I want the mindful hub to be I am hoping I will be blogging regularly. This post will be a weekly update on my life through all my mindful moments (check out mindfulhubuk on Instagram to see them as they happen).
As readers will also know I am also turning 40 very shortly ( I know it feels like a loooong time since I started mentioning it but in November I will in fact finally arrive at destination 40!) I am planning to start a new, year long mindful project which I’ll blog about too but I am planning to reveal all once I have stepped into my new decade.
So all that over with we can start the business of an actual weekly update
My week in mindful moments
So a mindful moment, or a #mindfulmoment if you’re using the hashtag on Instagram on Twitter (I’m kidding myself I’ve started a global viral hashtag or something) is something that reminds me either a) to use mindfulness in my daily life b) how grateful I am for what I have and for my life
So I started creating and tagging #mindfulmoment posts to help remind myself of these things, and to hopefully inspire others. If you’re following me on Instagram (just a reminder – mindfulhubuk) then you’ll know a lot of my mindful moments are in nature.
Nature is a massive reminder for me of how to’just be’. How can you be lost in thought and stressed when the wind is rippling on a lake, or rustling the leaves on a tree that’s hundred of years old and has stood the test of man’s (ridiculous at times) worries?
But this week I was also reminded to be mindful in two other ways:
my dishwasher blew up
Well it kept blowing the trip on our electric circuit meaning everything else kept switching off. We bought it second hand from the previous owners when we bought our house 18 months ago, so it wasn’t expensive, but we had loved being able to chuck everything in and switch it on.
So cue decision about what to do since we don’t have much money right now, and also cue either opportunity to get pi$$ed off with the universe for blowing up the dishwasher when we can’t afford to replace it.
Well old me would have lost it, got angry because we need a dishwasher, stormed off, calmed down and bought a new one on her credit card.
New me? Oh no…well I was still fed up that it’s broken right now, because to be fair I have loved having one and being able to put all the cat and dog bowls in there (4 cats and 2 dogs accumulate a LOT of washing up) but as I no longer have any credit cards the buying one on impulse is out of the question.
So we decided to try something really old fashioned…washing up as we go! No I know this is like from the 20th Century but we are actually finding it’s OK to not have a dishwasher. The bonus of not having one is we actually have more space in the kitchen. We’ve been able to change our table round to have it opened out more, which means it’s more comfortable to sit together and chat.
We didn’t NEED a dishwasher, we just liked having it. It’s one less thing to go wrong, one less thing to buy, fix and clean. So from a decluttering perspective I feel like I’ve upped my minimalist rating.
My reaction though is one that is better for my mental health – taking the time to see if we really feel it’s necessary. Stepping back from impulse spending and being aware that it is only a dishwasher, not a life ending scenario, which is how I would have reacted pre mindfulness.
My other mindful moment
I want to share with you the trip to our village beer festival yesterday. The annual Ulleskelf Beer Festival brings our village alive, and as well as giving me an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, by meeting people I don’t know, and trying beers I wouldn’t usually try.
So stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting new people, and announcing ourselves as the’ only gays in the village’ (we aren’t actually as far as we know but we were the only ones there I believe) is difficult for me.
I am also quite rigid in my ideas sometimes of what I like and don’t like so when offered a chocolate tasting stout was ready to announce ‘ I don’t like stout’. The whole point of going to a beer festival though is trying different things isn’t it? So I put my little ‘try new things’ head on and had a try. It was called Swoon and tasted really chocolatey. It wasn’t what I’d usually drink but I have to confess I really liked it.
I felt warm and happy and my mindful moment came when I realised how a) it’s important to be part of a community. Whether that’s your geographical community, a like minded community of people similar to you. It could be a family community, or a community of friends, but actually that a feeling of belonging is crucial to my wellbeing. b) stepping out of my comfort zone and what I think I like and don’t like is important for me. That fits with the beginners mind tool we use in mindfulness, where you drop assumptions about a situation or a feeling or an experience, and see it with new eyes , without judgement.
I’m on a journey, and no doubt there will be many more downs, some lovely ups, and lots more times when I need to bring myself back to mindfulness, to anchor myself here firmly in the present but I can honestly say I’m really enjoying the experience of practicing mindful living too!
I’m in the process of writing a number of articles, books and workbooks about mindfulness and mindful living, and each time I seem to come back to a hurdle: what actually is mindful living? what is mindfulness? How do I explain these ideas to someone who’s maybe only heard them in passing, never heard of them, or heard of them a few times but has no idea what they actually are?
I am trying to be more mindful in all areas of my life, and spending and eating are probably the most two challenging of those areas for me. I am turning 40 this year, and this has helped me look at my life and what I want to achieve in the next decade. Still having debt is not one of my aims, funnily enough.