As some of the regular readers may know one of the main aims of this blog is to inspire other busy parents to give mindfulness a go AND to help us help the next generation embrace mindful living.
A very happy and unexpected by-product of the blog (and something I am extremely grateful for) is that I have become acquainted with some lovely like-minded bloggers. So I invited some of these bloggers to explain a little bit about their relationship with mindfulness and add their voice to my blog through the ‘Mindfulness and Me’ guest series. If this sounds like something that you would like to participate in then please do contact me by completing the form on the on my own ‘Mindfulness and Me’ page. It is a chance for us to have a great insight into how flexibly mindfulness can be applied to our lives. The idea for this series was first conceived from the somewhat tongue-in-cheek interview which I did with my hubby recently. You may want to read this here.
Helena from The Queen of Collage is our tenth participant. I am so pleased that the series has now reached double figures!
- When and how did you first come across mindfulness? I would argue that I’m very much in the research period of what mindfulness is and what it means for me. I first came to acknowledge its existence via the mental health charity Mind and through attending the odd session at the local Global Retreat Centre run by the Brahma Kumaris.
- What were your initial thoughts about it? My initial thoughts about mindfulness are that it is supposed to be beneficial, and being one that likes to read the odd self help book, I like the thought of anything that can bring about good change.
- How has mindfulness helped you personally?
I think I’ve ended up doing a few things purely by accident that can be linked to mindfulness. For example, I have always struggled to sleep and via the process of body scanning it has enabled me to fall asleep. There’s no counting sheep for me. It’s all about tuning into each body part, working through from head to toe, shutting out all other thoughts till I’m asleep.
- How do you fit mindfulness into your busy life? At present I feel I only truly use mindfulness at bedtime to get to sleep. However, the spiritual centre I mentioned earlier has times throughout the day when a little piece of music is played and people are asked to be aware of it and tune into their thoughts, feelings, actions etc in that moment. This is perhaps something that could be brought in with a timer throughout the day. Every few hours I have to make baby’s bottles so perhaps timing it with that would help me.
- What are your ‘go to’ – informal or formal – practices (if you have them)? I tend to do the body scanning for sleep and didn’t realise that was a technique so who knows I may actually be doing other things without realising.
- How important do you think formal meditation is to someone who is trying to approach life mindfully? Despite attending the spiritual centre and being led through meditations I’ve never been sure as to whether or not I’ve been doing it right. So I really don’t think I’m best placed to answer this one.
- How would you like to extend your mindfulness practice further? As they say knowledge is power. Thus reading and learning more about it are my go to methods. There are a great many books and more on the subject.
- Do you have friends or family who use mindfulness techniques too?
You know I don’t actually know, but would love to hear from them about it. I imagine my mum would be more interested in it than my father that’s for sure!
- What ‘top tips’ do you have for someone thinking of trying Mindfulness for the first time? Be open to trying it and giving it your all before you dismiss it. You may actually surprise yourself.
- Who would you recommend mindfulness to and why? Anyone willing to have a go.
It’s so lovely to hear from Helena right at the beginning of her Mindfulness journey. I love the idea of using the bottle making time as a reminder to ground herself and be present and think her answer to number 9 is spot on. I’d like to thank Helena for taking part in the ‘Mindfulness and Me’ guest series. If you’d like to read more from her then please visit her blog here.
Thanks and bye for now.