I can’t believe I’ve come to the end of my mindfulness course already!
I actually felt quite emotional in the last class. I’m not good with ends of eras and it’s been so nice having an hour and a half every week dedicated to learning something I’m interested in and that genuinely makes a difference to my wellbeing. Every week it was a reminder to take care of ourselves, gain some perspective on what’s important in life, and to just decompress all of the stress and anxiety.
The levels of emotion I felt wasn’t helped by the fact that the course leader played Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen.
As it talked about how we shouldn’t waste life it made me mourn for all that time I spent obsessing about my eating issues. It made me angry with myself for getting stressed out all the time. It made me sad for all the people who were no longer around to live their lives.
But what I should really be doing is celebrating things like my attendance on the course, how I was actively making an effort to change my life for the better, and how I’ve changed.
And I have changed. I might not suddenly have become a mindfulness guru but I’ve now incorporated mindfulness into my daily routine, and even opt for unplugging my phone on the walking parts of my commute to focus on the sounds around me. I’m much better at rationalising the pressure of my massive to do list to focus on what can be achieved in the moment, and I try and take greater pleasure in everything I do. I remember that each moment is precious and that by reacting negatively to a situation then I’m wasting the following moments.
This doesn’t come easily, and I still forget to do all these things for the majority of time. But I do it some of the time, and the more I do the stronger I hope it becomes.
So what did we cover in the last 2 weeks?
Week 7 focussed on kindness. The meditation asked you to focus kindness on yourself, as well as on the rest of the world. And I did genuinely feel more patient with other people afterwards, even when they elbowed me on the tube!
Week 8 was very much a summary week. One of the favourite bits of the whole course was in our final session and the course leader asked us to write a letter to ourselves. She then revealed that she would send them to us in a few months time. What a nice thing to do!
So that’s my 8 week course. I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough! If any of you are interested in following a similar course then the lady we used was Marina at The Mindfulness Helper. She runs courses in London, primarily aimed at teachers and Councils, but if you wanted to speak to her about private sessions I know she’d be amazing! For those who don’t want to fork out for a course leader then check out the book Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. It comes with the CD containing the meditation practices we followed, and each chapter lays out the course perfectly, so you could do your own self-guided course. For me, though, having someone to be accountable to really helped me stay on track with the course.