The Mindful Sage
After a varied career, including 20 years as a registered nurse & some years working for adult social care, I took some time to address some personal health & wellbeing issues I had. This was when I discovered mindfulness & I have now been practising for 9 years. I found it so beneficial personally in improving my life & sense of wellbeing, I chose to train with the Breathworks organisation to teach it to others.
The training included 3 separate training retreat weeks with course work to complete between each week. I ran a full 8 week course under supervision in order to complete my training and achieve my accreditation.
I achieved my accreditation with Breathworks in 2014 & have been teaching their 8 week courses, Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress, meditation sessions, retreat days & introductory sessions since then. I am based in Taunton, but am happy to travel to those who cannot get to me. I have taught people in Ilminster, Glastonbury, South Molton and North Petherton as well as Taunton since I started my business.
I am registered with the UK Network of Mindfulness Teacher Training organisations, the body that ensures that mindfulness teachers have received proper training & adhere to their Good Practice Guidelines. Continuing professional development is an essential part of registration & I have attended a teacher-led training retreat each year as well as study days and further reading.
Since I qualified I have taught the Mindfulness for Health course to those in pain and living with chronic illness and I have taught many Mindfulness for Stress courses. I have found it a tremendous privilege to introduce people to such a transformative life skill and to go with them as they start their own journey with mindfulness. It has been so much more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
I enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed and the very personal connection I make with the people who choose me to teach them mindfulness. Rapport is an essential part of teaching and I love meeting new people and discovering how I can best help them to integrate mindfulness into their lives.
I love networking through Somerset Ladies in Business as it is such a warm, welcoming and supportive group. I have found some other groups consider my business not to be a serious enterprise as I don’t have plans for growth and world domination!! At the meetings for SLIB I feel appreciated for the contribution I am making to society in general, not just the financial impact I might make. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet people from so many walks of life and business, to develop connection and for others to get to know me.
When I see how many people have been helped through learning mindfulness techniques and skills, it encourages me to continue to teach and to develop my own practice. I firmly believe mindfulness is caught not taught and I must embody it in order to help others do the same.
I don’t plan on expanding my offering to include other practices, although my personal development has included learning more about other approaches including NLP. All my training and development is aimed at improving the quality of my teaching and drawing on my life experiences to support those attending my sessions.
Top tips for members of Somerset Ladies in Business.
I think the tips are supposed to be ideas and suggestions for succeeding in your business, but mine are more personal!
Make sure to take time to care for yourself; if you want to deliver the best you have to be at your best. It is not self-indulgent or selfish to look after your needs. Pay attention to the messages your body is sending. If you don’t, your body will make sure you stop by bringing everything to a halt!
If you find yourself completely wound up, unable to think clearly or make decisions, take a breathing space:
* Stop whatever you are doing.
* If it is safe to do so, close your eyes.
* Take a long, slow, deep breath in and out.
*Notice the feeling of your feet on the floor.
*Scan through your body from your head to your toes; notice any sensations – tension, tightness, pain, tingling, buzzing. (You don’t have to do anything about them, just notice).
* Notice the thoughts passing through your brain – try not to get caught up with them, but notice the quality of the thoughts; are they harsh? Judgemental? Unkind?
*Notice if you are experiencing any emotions – can you identify them and notice where in the body you feel them?
* Bring your attention back to your breathing. Try not to control it or change it, just focus on feeling where in the body you can feel it; back, front, sides? Notice the rhythm and how it changes from moment to moment.
So now you have taken a minute or two to check in, noticing how you feel, just open your eyes and move on with your day.
Take time to notice the good things that happen. Even on the worst days there are bright moments; we just need to become more aware of them to achieve a sense of balance in our lives.
Mindfulness practices help us to develop skills to better cope with the ups & downs of daily life. We learn new ways of operating which help to reduce stress & anxiety, to better enjoy the small pleasures we experience & to develop a deeper, more meaningful connection with those around us. I hope you find these tips to be useful in developing some mindful moments in your day.