I’ve never been one to think or feel as though I can “switch off” and empty my mind of the plethora of thoughts that flash through my consciousness at any given moment of any given day. But tonight, I took a step, not only towards what I hope will be a better me, but to also introduce myself to that which has always seemed and sounded a little hocus pocus. Too far left of centre. Non sensical in so many ways to me. I have started a journey into “Mindfulness”.
With my managers at work encouraging us to “bring your best self” and “be mindful”, coupled with my own out of hours feelings of general unhappiness, discontent, and a constant feeling of being lost, a small glimmer of light caught my eye when scrolling through my spam mail. (I had completed a “Writing the Real” course at Sydney Uni as part of their Centre for Continued Education last year, and as a result landed onto their mailing list).
“Mindfulness Course”. Well.. It doesn’t get more relevant than that. I read further. PSYCHOLOGY. Ok, now you have my attention. The blurb continued. This course aims to teach you how to ‘disconnect’ from the chaos of life and ‘reconnect’ with yourself. You will learn how to slow things down through choosing to live mindfully and be given tools that can be applied for stress-free living.
Now, I must admit that when people say the word Mindfulness, I never really understood what they were referring to. I had always been taught as a child to be mindful of the adults, but I just thought that meant to pipe down and don’t get in the way.
Now who could resist the offering of tools that can be applied for stress free living!? Sign.. Me… UP! I had recently gone through several really bad months (which I liked to refer to as funks) that culminated in me losing a huge part of my life that meant the world to me. I needed to try anything. And everything. Even if it was to just find myself.
So tonight I had my first session of learning all about mindfulness. I am feeling hopeful. I think that this whole meditation thing could actually work for me. Being the black and white mathematical minded gal I am, I am grateful that they presented a little scientific backing for what they were claiming. So I downloaded an app (I also found out my “meditation” I had been doing to get to sleep each night is not in fact meditating. You need to be present in order for meditation to work. (Neuroplacisity. Look it up) to do some actual meditation that has something of an accountability factor in it (needed!) and I am going to commit to doing at least 10 minutes of meditation a day.
The woman who presented the course was inspirational. She had suffered severe Post Natal depression (including long haul stints in Psych wards, electro shock treatment as well as being heavily medicated and told she would be for the remainder of her life) and in a last ditch attempt, was told she needed to start meditating. She did. And she appears (yes I know things aren’t ALWAYS what they seem) completely together. There were only 2 other participants, a Middle Aged, bespectacled man who looked like Matt Lucas with a monk haircut who wanted to learn how to be less stressed at work. The other a more elderly man (he had retired) who had also had some in patient experience within the mental health system in Australia for depression. I was actually surprised by the attendees both in the vast differences, but moreso in the similarities we had. At one stage we did a little meditating. I failed. Woken by my own gentle and delicate snores. This needs some work.
So I am gonna try it. I have a few pre cursors I want to write and post that lead me to this, but for now, just want to add a little more accountability here, and not shy away from the fact it is ok not to be ok. I am being kind to myself. My new years resolution. And my word for the year, my theme you may say, is GROW. But more on that later..