A few days ago, I attended a talk held at The School of Life in association with Psychologies Magazine (both are great resources for those interested in self-development by the way).
The subject matter was that of Mindfulness, an integrative, mind-body approach to life that helps you relate effectively to your experiences.
One thing I took away from the talk was the idea that as children we lived in the now. We explored everything. We touched, we listened intently, we were curious. It was fun and exciting. But as adults we’ve become too busy to explore. We have tunnel vision focused on the future rather than what’s going on right now.
As a result, satisfaction with your life now is likely to be low as you dream of your ideal, perfect future. Your self-esteem may also suffer as you continually focus on the ‘future you’ rather than the ‘current you’.
So what can Mindfulness offer to help? Meditation. But not the humming, palms pressed together, crossed-legged buddha sort of thing, I promise! We tried it there and then, in a room with 30 other people. Just find a quiet spot, sit down, try to relax and close your eyes. Have a good listen to everything that you start to hear. What are the positive aspects of what you can hear? Then focus on your body. How does every part of it feel? Then focus on your breathing. How does each breath feel? What happens to your body when you breath in and out. Try at least to identify one thing you’ve never felt before that happens when you breath (I realised that you can feel the air pass through the edges of your nostrils when you breath in - random I know!). Try this for approx. four minutes.
If you’re anything like me, your mind will start to wander almost immediately. It wasn’t long before I was thinking about that email I hadn’t sent, what I needed to buy for dinner etc. When you realise your mind has wandered, recognise that it has and slowly bring your concentration back to your breathing. Keep bringing it back whenever it wanders. And when it does, don’t beat yourself up about it. Our minds are amazing things. Just notice it, be curious and focus back on the breath. See how you get on.
“I am not my mind, I am not my thoughts, I am not my plans” - Mark Williams, the guru of Mindfulness, who led the talk.
This was my first time trying something like Life Coaching; I did not ever feel the need or think I ever would. However, after a very tiring period at work I realised I was not myself, not enjoying work and finding my own life difficult for various reasons plus, I felt I had no confidence anymore. I found the coaching gave me time to look at myself, the situation, what I needed to change, remember how to break things down into more manageable pieces, plan my own time correctly to ensure I give quality time to what is most important. I quickly found my confidence came back as I developed through the coaching process and found Alice to offer both a very professional and personalised service which I would certainly use again.