It’s no wonder we’re all exhausted! – We are mostly caught up in cognition!
Just reading through LinkedIn posts this morning – questions, answers, opinions, planning, doing, sorting, organising. I just wanted to shout out “STOP!!!!!!!!”
Cognitive processing; processing thoughts, busy-ness in the mind, layers of external input, interaction, distractions, reactivity. We need to do this to plan and complete tasks, but not ALL the time.
I have always been one of those people who could very easily keep going, like a Duracell Bunny but, when the batteries ran out, I’d be good for nothing! I have found the value of mindfulness meditation to be the ability of recognising my alert system, so I am alerted BEFORE the batteries run out!
I am interested in people and intrigued by what motivates individuals to keep going on and on…until burnout strikes. Better still, I am interested in guiding people through mindfulness training as a method of preventing burnout!
The value of mindfulness is also having the ability to become your own observer, noticing the black hole of depression approaching, which can prevent the downwards spiral. Or, noticing the build up of anxious thoughts and feelings, which can help to prevent a panic attack.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not on a “mindfulness solves all problems!” mission, but I always write and talk from my own personal experiences and those of my clients and scientific research. I appreciate that what suits one person may not suit another. However, I do truly believe that to understand whether something works for you or not, you need to experience in practice, not just from reading about it or theorising.
Through mindfulness training, the first and possibly most important element learned, is shifting out of the mind (cognition) and into the body (the felt sense). Within the Bodyscan practice, you learn to purposefully shift your attention around the body, each part in turn, and to be curious and interested. This can be an odd experience for some, and for others, it comes as a huge relief! Having a teacher to reflect your experiences with is useful and can be an important part of the training.
As I write this, I notice thoughts in my mind of how this may sound utterly crazy to some and why would anyone want to do this? People have better things to do with their time! The benefits of learning mindfulness can be practical and profound and, not always what you first imagine or expect. Be prepared to learn a new way of being human!
On a practical level, if you don’t like the idea of attending a group retreat or course, you can also learn how to integrate Mindfulness into your life with me, on a 1-2-1 basis, from the comfort of your own home via Zoom/Skype.
If you’re intrigued but not yet ready to take the leap, take a moment to sit, with feet on the ground, body on a chair, hands resting on legs and breathing. Not needing to do anything other than to sit and observe.
How does that feel?
I have heard various responses during courses; horrendous, difficult, twitchy, “I can’t do it!”, relaxing, interesting, nice, a relief. Did you experience any of these or different?