Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Mind your... mind

Many years ago, when employed at a learning and development specialist, we all had a 'team day'. We didn't build bridges across the river with a ball of string and three tin cans, but we did have fun laser-shooting each other and running around a field together. Not everyone's idea of fun, but I enjoyed it.

At one point, either on this or another away day, we had a meditation session. We all sat in a darkened room whilst a timer softly went 'bong' at regular intervals. I have to say I couldn't sit still. I wiggled, I opened my eyes (to watch everyone else with their eyes closed), and I had a desperate urge to run around the room. In other words, I wasn't much good at meditating!

And now?

Mindfulness is a real buzz word at the moment - especially in the 'self-aware' and 'self-help' arena. But it's also raising it's head in the business world, with the benefits of meditation, taking personal time out and simply learning how to relax being great tools in the battle against stress.

I recently undertook a short course on mindfulness - because I do get stressed. I have a busy job, a busy social life, and don't always take the best course of action for a stress-free life. I first heard about mindfulness at work - a free hour session on the science park where I spend my days. I attended the hour, and thought that the basic principles were pretty sound. And, goodness knows, I could surely do with some quiet time in my mind.

I dream at night in full colour, full adventures, sometimes horrific, sometimes lovely, most often busy and intriguing and quite often exhausting. My mind is a pretty busy place, even when I'm asleep. So mindfulness seemed like a good starting place.

I signed up for a short e-course, but it wasn't just on line. I received regular texts and one to one calls from the course leader, Sam, and he talked me through the techniques, and through issues I was experiencing. He didn't offer advice, he didn't tell me what I should or shouldn't do, he listened, and he explained how mindfulness could help. And it did.

I developed the mindfulness habit, and now every night (well almost, after my party in the summer I couldn't stay awake to do it) I spend just a few minutes being mindful. Learning to clear my mind has not been easy - it's still a busy place and I still dream in surroundsound and technicolour, but slowly I am learning to relax my mind. I've discovered different depths of vision when my eyes are closed (who knew!) and also how to focus better on nothing, rather than everything. Then when something barges in, it's not cluttered, and I can deal with it.  Thank you Sam!

So, I'm a mindfulness convert. My next programme is a 'tiny pause' - to help with sleeping. I'm not the greatest of sleepers, so let's hope this next adventure is as useful and practical as the last.

Meditate? No, still not something I think I could do, not for more than maybe ten deep breaths...

Liked this? Try this...
http://www.ukfolkie.blogspot.co.uk/2006/11/of-mud-and-motivation.html (the 'away day' as mentioned above)
More from my blog on EFT http://www.ukfolkie.blogspot.co.uk/2007/12/learning-about-eft.html
NLP http://www.ukfolkie.blogspot.co.uk/2008/06/nlp.html


Photo credit Microsoft Clipart

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