Mindfulness Leighton Buzzard

Week Two Mindful Resilience Course

Week Two – Focus and Attention

The theme for week two is what draws our attention away and what helps us to focus our attention where we would like it to be.

We experiment with different types of anchors, trying to find a strong or favourite sense or physical sensation that holds our attention or is easy to return to when our attention wanders.  As with the previous week we will share our experiences of the exercises to contrast and compare different experiences (remembering there is no right or wrong).

We look at the theory of the attention cycle and how it is completely normal and inevitable that our minds, thoughts, attention and focus will wander.

We learn to incorporate mind wandering into our mindfulness practice by noticing what caught out attention, labelling the distraction, making it easier to interrupt our wandering mind and returning attention back to where we would prefer it to be.

For more information on, course dates and prices visit the main page of the Mindfulness Leighton Buzzard website.

IMG 3856

Mindfulness Leighton Buzzard

Week One Mindful Resilience Course

Week One – Pressing Pause

Week One of the six-week mindful resilience course (which also stands alone as an Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop) focuses on using our senses of touch, sight, sound, and taste to be more aware of our present moment experiences.

The aim is to learn and practice the skills of mindfulness rather than sharing personal information or situations and events in your life that you might be struggling with. By the end of the first workshop, you will hopefully understand more about what mindfulness is and how you might be able to incorporate it into your daily life to help you be more resilient in the face of the ups and downs of life. Learning to pay attention to what is happening right now and interrupting any habits of being lost in thought.

Between the practical exercises, you will be invited to share what your experience of the exercise was like in pairs to compare how your experiences were similar and different. There is no right or wrong, it is simply noticing our experience whatever that may be. (Do not worry, this often includes experiences of sleepiness or not quite being sure what you are supposed to be doing as well as noticing your senses!).

Towards the end of the workshop, we consider the different ways that we can be more mindful of using our senses during things that we already do in our everyday lives. Keeping it as easy and effortless as possible with no meditation time required if that does not fit with your life. The idea is to be able to press pause on our routine, notice when we have slipped into autopilot and instead choose to notice moments of our day.

For more information on, course dates and prices visit the main page of the Mindfulness Leighton Buzzard website.

take a moment from Buddha Doodles

Mindfulness Leighton Buzzard

Mindful May

Did you try Mindful May?  I had a Mini Moment of Mindfulness or a mindful task every day through May on the Facebook Page.  Many had links to recordings or articles as well as suggestions for different mindful experiences.  If you enjoyed it why not repeat the process - if you missed it then start now!  The feedback was really positive and making new habits as easy, effortless and pleasant as possible is far more likely to lead to long term change.  Here is the list of tasks for you to try whenever you want to reconnect to the present moment instead of being lost in thought or on autopilot.

mindful may suggestions

Mindfulness Leighton Buzzard

Butterfly Mindfulness

Don’t worry butterfly mindfulness is not the latest upcoming trend to be introduced at practice group! It is more an unexpected mindful experience I had on my last trip to the zoo when we visited the butterfly house. On entering the butterfly area instead of being amazed at the butterflies I unexpectedly found myself feeling quite anxious as several large butterflies flew rather too close to my face for comfort. I was suddenly aware of my body feeling tense and ready for action, looking quickly in all directions for where the next one might be coming from and my heartbeat speeding up – classic symptoms of a stress response with my body preparing for fight, flight or freeze in the butterfly house of all places!

I was not alone in my response either – I heard and saw other people having similar experiences. I realised that I did not want the butterflies near my face and I was also concerned I would tread on one or knock one and hurt it. I found myself walking rather slowly and tentatively around and as my stress response gradually settled so did I, becoming more comfortable and confident in my surroundings and beginning to admire the gorgeous colours and antics of the butterflies. I started to take photos and was particularly keen to get a shot of one of the larger bright blue butterflies which danced around in front of me but would not stay put long enough for a photo resulting in me feeling annoyed that I could not get my perfect photo.

So in the space of probably five or so minutes I had experienced a range of emotions from happy to high alert stress to concentration and trepidation to confident to frustrated and finally to amusement at myself and how quickly thoughts and emotions can come and go despite how strongly we might feel them.

Once home and reflecting on the experience I wished that I had videoed a clip to use for this blog and social media – on the one hand an opportunity to share my mindful moment missed, but on the other hand I’m pleased I was not thinking about work on a family day out. So instead here is a fuzzy photo of my nemesis, my personal reminder that emotions come and go, some last longer than others, some leave the memory of them after they have gone but they are all transient.

blue butterfly