Many years ago, I found myself really struggling with stress caused by an overactive mind. I’ve always been an introvert, and I tended to over analyse everything. As an over thinker, I spend a lot of time alone in my head – and most of the time, I love it! But… it doesn’t always love me. Some of the worst confrontations I was having were in my own head – and it wasn’t healthy. I needed to find a way to calm my mind, and let go of all the thoughts I was so attached to.
When I first tried meditation everything I read said I had to sit for 20 minutes at a time. I tried, I really tried. But I just couldn’t do it and I felt like a failure. It wasn’t until I learnt that I could start small and build the habit that I really started to enjoy the benefits of being more mindful. Over the years, I’ve continued to study and practice meditation and mindfulness and I’ve found it has enormous benefits for me personally and professionally. It has also transformed they way I lead and manage people.
Now I believe developing a mindfulness practice can help many other people, particularly when it comes to coping with stress. WHO have stated that stress is the “health epidemic of the 21st century”. It costs the Australian economy $15 billion and the American economy $300 billion a year. Globally over 300 million people suffer from depression.
My passion is showing people how they can be more mindful in their lives and the many benefits it offers. I love the feedback I get when people tell me how mindfulness has helped them. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of time to start being more mindful.
During the workshop I want to explore what it means to use mindfulness as a way of empowering people to be more present in their lives. This is not only for their mental wellbeing, but also to enhance their relationships with the people in their lives. And we are going to do it in a really practical way, with lots of activities and suggestions for how people can start applying this in their own lives.
Has mindfulness turned me into a monk who sits on a mountaintop in silence for weeks at a time? No not at all, but it has given me a set of tools and techniques I use on a daily basis to be more present with what I’m doing and this has had an enormous impact on my life. I still stumble from time to time; but now I am able to recover quicker rather than get caught up in self-defeating thoughts. My ability to stay focused and calm in stressful situations has also increased significantly.
I’m a strong believer that we need to make mindfulness fit our lives, and by starting small we can do just that. You don’t need to carve out massive chunks of your day to be more mindful. You can be mindful in a minute.