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.
I am so pleased to welcome Sarah from Tammy Mum as our 11th participant. Sarah is a blogger who I really respect and who’s blog I visit regularly. Her warmth and honesty comes through in all of her posts and she co-hosts the fabulous #familyfun linky which is a really supportive blogger community.
- When and how did you first come across mindfulness? I first came across mindfulness about 9 or 10 years ago when going through a bit of an iffy patch. It was recommended to me along with a book, and meditation CD, with some breathing exercises.
- What were your initial thoughts about it? When it was explained to me, like many, I wasn’t too sure. I thought I needed something ‘more’ and that it wouldn’t actually ‘help’ me. However I was willing to give anything a try so I did. I was, from the very start, surprised at how helpful I found it and just what a difference it made.
- How has mindfulness helped you personally?
During said difficult time, the help it provided was quite profound. I did have spells of anxiety attacks and it was something that kept them at bay and kept me calm. It also helped take me out of my ‘now’, which at the time wasn’t the best place, and really just be in that moment without over thinking, which was incredibly helpful. This has always stayed with me and is a tool I know I have if, and when, I need it.
- How do you fit mindfulness into your busy life? I admit my mindful journey is a long and slow one, particularly with two young children and incredibly busy days. My practice tends to be used at night before I go to sleep, especially on tough days. If I am having a particularly bad day or my patience is being pushed to its very extreme then I will call open some of my mindful skills, in the heat of the moment, to help get some perspective on a situation.
- What are your ‘go to’ – informal or formal – practices (if you have them)? Breathing, meditation, taking time to note everything around me at that moment. I also use the Calm app (which I found out about through Hayley’s blog). I find this to be incredibly helpful.
- How important do you think formal meditation is to someone who is trying to approach life mindfully? I do think that it is important and can only serve to aid a mindful life. I don’t think it is, for want of a better word, completely necessary but I certainly agree the more you practice and train through meditation the easier you will find the practice of mindfulness.
- How would you like to extend your mindfulness practice further? I would love to be able to take 10 minutes of a morning to dedicate to Mindfulness. I think however I need to try to be more present, I need to stop over thinking and wishing time away or looking to the next goal or big date. I would also love to undertake a formal meditation practice, but perhaps when the kids are at school hey?
- Do you have friends or family who use mindfulness techniques too?
Yes a good friend of mind is a big believer in mindfulness, which I only discovered by chance. Other than that I thought I was the only one I knew…until I came across Hayley’s blog and have started to realise just how many people use it in their day to day.
- What ‘top tips’ do you have for someone thinking of trying Mindfulness for the first time? Just try it, you may be skeptical or ambivalent, but approach it with an open mind and just give it ago. You will surprise yourself.
- Who would you recommend mindfulness to and why? Ha, Mr Tammy – I am working on it. Other than that anyone who feels that things might be getting on top of them, who could do with the skills to take some time out and stop thinking, worrying, working and just be.
It’s so lovely to hear from Sarah and find out more about her mindfulness journey. I never knew she had been practicing for a decade or so – wow! She is a very articulate yet realistic advocate. Good luck with getting Mr Tammy on board :-). I’d like to thank Sarah 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.