Barbara has recently had a family bereavement and will not be working for the time being – watch this space.

About Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an engagement with living our life fully by developing awareness.  With awareness we can conciously choose to respond to life, instead of automatically reacting from our habits.  Our tool box for life expands. Choice brings with it a greater sense of stability, clarity and peace. We develop the realisation that we can make wiser choices. It is an 'opening up' rather than a 'holding on' to the present. Anyone can practice opening up in this way, at any time or in any place or space.  It is not a thing, it is rather a level of being which is more concerned with what 'is' than the concept of what should be.

In Mindfulness we approach the present moment with friendly curiosity.  The moment or 'now' is the only place where we are actually alive. When we practice we are aware that everything is constantly changing.  We live life more directly. We practice being in the moment-to-moment flow of life without judgement; as in this moment as you read these words. Pause for a moment and sit back in your chair. Can you sense your body sitting here right now, just as it is? Can you be aware of your breathing - in and out - the feeling of your feet on the floor, the contact of your body with the chair? Are you aware of your thoughts and feelings?

Are you trying to 'get it'? The paradox of Mindfulness is that it isn’t something we have to get.  Mindfulness isn't about getting anything or anywere; it's being here right now.

As in the cartoon, when we realise that we are mainly caught up in our preoccupations, which are generally about the past or the future, we see that we are colouring our present with them. We are hardly there, simply functioning on auto-pilot. We have lost contact with ourselves and our life - our sense of 'now' and in doing so we lose the immediacy and richness of our lives.

When we are MIndful we don't try and get rid of thoughts instead we focus our attention, as best we can, on what is happening now. We become aware of how 'now' is; the quality of now, without judging it or ourselves.  We sense now, we accept now, we approach now with kindness and curiosity, whether we like what we find or not.  Our approach is as if we have never experienced this moment before. And indeed in reality we haven't. 

This is the Mindful way rather than the 'doing' mode of reacting from habit, keeping busy, avoidance, analysis, trying to make things better or different, or taking a well worn stance.  For the moment, we simply open up to life as it is. 

It is this practice of becoming aware, letting go and letting be, that builds our resilience, our sense of well-being and our empowerment.

We can develop a new habit; to make Mindfulness part of our lives. It just takes practice!