The Magic of Mindfulness  

 
Can I be honest? When I was first asked to teach mindfulness I didn't have a clue, I just said “yes”. I then spent a long time looking at every YouTube video and read so many books but still I was struggling to find out what this illusive 'mindful' feeling was! It was during a conversation with my very wise son where I was saying “I just don't get it” and he said "mum you’re struggling to get this because you already do it but just in a different way". My ears pricked up at this and I asked for examples. 
 
He then reeled off all of the times when I am captured in something that I love or am passionate about. Like when I'm in the garden planting up new tubs, or sat with a cup of tea listening to the birds. Even when I am laughing at my favourite comedy show. 
 
You see I thought it was some mystery and I had to completely change who I was. But actually what I needed to do was more of what I enjoy and less of the 'Could and Shoulds' to reconnect to 'ME'. 
 
So these classes are dedicated to all of the wonderful people I have met along the way who have taught me so much about me. 

So what is mindfulness? 

Depending on which book you read or video you watch you will get a different version. Some want you to stop everything you have ever done and add an unreachable expectation that this will sort out everything for you. 
 
Can I just say the answer is NO it won’t sort everything out, you won’t live in a total world of Zen! What you will do is learn how to handle situations that life throws at you in a different kind of way, helping you stay a little more in control and just as importantly learn how to avoid some of those 'stressful' situations that you sometimes find yourself in. 
 
It’s about learning to live in the ‘here and now’ and as a by-product of this means not to get caught up in your own or others dramas. It helps to reduce and stop the negative chatter that goes on in your mind. But most importantly for me, it helped me to find calm and gave me back the enjoyment that I had lost in my life. 
 
It felt like I had been given a freedom to live without the fears of 'What if' hanging over me constantly. The kind that stops you from living the life that you both wanted and deserve. It’s stopped me behaving in a way that was not helpful to me or others, as I have learnt to just pause. It has given me the space to not always say 'What’s in my Head!' as I’ve found that's not always that helpful! 

So what is mindfulness To YOU? 

So this is where it starts to get exciting, this is where we start to learn a little more about you and what you enjoy. Looking at the things that you already do and enjoy. If you are struggling with this, look back at what you used to enjoy. Often with this part we look at what made us 'happy' when we were younger. So good old school things like colouring in or dot to dots, this is why I struggled to start with because we have been doing these things for years (well anybody who is as old as I am has anyway!) 
 
Mindfulness is about bringing in your senses whenever you can. This is the key to bringing you back to the here and now. If you are able to tap into these it helps to slow down the part of the brain which is racing (basically the trouble causing part). Thinking about your senses, what do you see, hear, feel, smell and taste. These are the first steps to starting to bring that feeling of calm and get you back in control. 
 
"One thing this terrible time has taught me is that you are capable of doing anything if you put your mind to it. Who would have ever thought I would be able to make my own hanging baskets and pots. I've even grown tomatoes and chilli peppers. Must not forget to say a big thank you to Nicky Price, my confidence tutor, for posting the video of how to do the pots. You always give me the support and incentive to be who I am. Our garden is my favourite place to relax, chill and have quality time for self care." Alison Brettle 
"One thing this terrible time has taught me is that you are capable of doing anything if you put your mind to it. Who would have ever thought I would be able to make my own hanging baskets and pots. I've even grown tomatoes and chilli peppers. Must not forget to say a big thank you to Nicky Price, my confidence tutor, for posting the video of how to do the pots. You always give me the support and incentive to be who I am. Our garden is my favourite place to relax, chill and have quality time for self care." 
 
Alison Brettle 
 
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