I have trained extensively with some of the most experienced mindfulness teachers to teach the now classic Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), the Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) course. I am also trained to teach the .b teen and PAWS younger children’s curriculum, taught in schools, as well teach the Foundations mindfulness curriculum to school teachers.
I have also undertaken many extra continuing development courses and retreats to keep my skills experience and practice relevant to today’s rapidly changing world.
Mindfulness is a way of being, practiced for over 2,500 years in various parts of the world, having been appropriated in Western Culture relatively recently.
The past 100 years have seen unprecedented change in the way in which our World, our societies and cultures interact with each other. We simple human beings just can’t keep up with the impact of escalating technology, our brains are little changed from those of our stone age ancestors, when flight/fright meant running from the ubiquitous sabre tooth tiger or fighting the woolly mammoth to feed & clothe our families, while after such fights we rested in caves around the campfire allowing our cortisol stress levels to return to normal, much like animals in the wild do now.
Our brains are predicated for our physical survival and as such stress was essential for survival, but nowadays, stress comes in the form of missed deadlines, personal slights, worries about the future and worries about what we’ve done in the past, or increasingly now in real terms now in the form of a pandemic which threatens our survival not only physically but economically. Clearly these are not imagined fears at all. They are very real. However, our minds, our imaginations have the ability to throw fuel on the fire of these fears, leading to catastrophising, rumination and a snowball of panic. This kind of thinking is what leads us to behave in ways that are not only counter productive to our health but also counter productive to getting our (and others’) needs met.
The resulting build up of stress does not leave our systems, leaving us depleted and exhausted, ironically also then massively depleting our immune systems.. So while it is true that what we face in the world now are real and pressing fears, we must also accept that a huge amount of the stress we suffer comes from our own minds.
The culture we now have feeds this anxiety through social media, the news channels, the breaking down of political certainty. The more we engage with these limiting behaviours & habits the more we exacerbate the stress, the more we literally bathe in our own juices of cortisol and adrenaline. It is a vicious cycle of suffering that we do indeed have the capacity to halt with the help of mindfulness strategies and attitudes. Indeed it is possible to reverse the downward spiral to move toward health and happiness. Truly.
If you want to make those changes in your own life, and you have the commitment, the intention and the curiosity to turn your attention toward a new adventure, why not sign up for a taster or a longer course or workshop.