This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Guest Blog Post | Life & Mindfulness

After writing the piece on Contentment, I started to think more about how one might achieve and equally importantly, maintain the contented state of mind. Of course, as we discussed before, it is different things to different people and is mainly a constantly moving feast. I reflected upon how I manage this and one of the main ways, although not exclusively so, is Mindfulness.

I first came across mindfulness about 6 years ago; have to say at first I was somewhat sceptical, fearing it was yet another ‘fix/cure’ imported from elsewhere. Life was, at that time extremely challenging, both from historical issues and more current ones. So, with little or no expectations, I enrolled on a 12 week course, feeling I had nothing to lose.

Perhaps, I fell lucky on this occasion, the tutor was exceptionally good and made the journey far more easier than it might have been. That is not to say that it was an easy time but tried to keep the focus on the saying, “if it’s worth doing, you have to give it your best”.

I do not propose to describe the details of what mindfulness is or isn’t, I will attach a link at the end for people to look at if they wish to.

There are, however, a couple of important issues which need to be explained. Mindfulness is not just for people with mental health issues. Although it can seem like it is, given the close links there are in papers, websites etc. I strongly recommend that if you read something online, in a book, try and ignore the words mental health, you can then see the wider relevance to today’s busy lives. It can be for everyone, regardless of background, ethnicity etc. Some tutors link their mindfulness teaching and practice to different religious viewpoints but many do not do this. Indeed, that had been one of my initial reservations. I quickly learnt that the process can and is run on completely secular lines, as was the course and follow up sessions I attend.

Mindfulness is also of equal importance to people who do not consider themselves unwell, for whatever reason. It has something to offer most people.

So, what does Mindfulness give me? It makes me feel better, I can control things like anxiety or panic quite successfully most of the time. It calms me and gives me a framework within which I have learnt to appreciate things around me and to be able to recognise something approaching contentment at any given time for example. There are many other benefits but I wanted to focus on following up on the piece on Contentment. That is my personal journey and everyone is different.

All to often, sadly, mainstream media and organisations are ready to denounce different ways of doing things. Perhaps we owe it to each other to explore ways that have stood the test of time and in doing so we may find some contentment we all too often struggle to achieve and keep.

Mindfulness in UK, (I have no affiliation to this site, nor is this a recommendation)

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