Mindfulness butterfly

Every moment is a moment to be enjoyed rather than missed whilst worrying about the past or future.

Angela offers 1:1 Mindfulness sessions, incorporating discussion, exploration and guided practice.  She will share her own experiences with clients and allow them time and space to re-connect with their hearts and bodies.

Mindful Yoga

Want to explore Yoga and Mindfulness in a Yoga class format?  Angela runs classes in her local town of Westgate, Kent.   Contact her for more information and space availability.

Introducion to Mindfulness

Most of our lives we are caught up in the “doing”.  We are totally immersed in getting things done usually by going rapidly from one thing to the next, or in multitasking – the skill in juggling a whole host of different things at the exact same time.  If we are not careful, we can become more of a human doing, rather than a human being.  Our bodies can give us messages to “slow down” or “stop”, yet we are often too busy to listen and take note, sometimes to the detriment of our health.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, is the teacher who brought mindfulness meditation into the mainstream of medicine and society.  He describes Mindfulness as:

“It is the awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non judgementally as if your life depended on it.”

“Mindfulness is not an external commodity available for purchase.  It is already within each of us, deeply known as a resource patiently waiting to be released and used in the service of learning, growing and healing.”  Center for Mindfulness

“Meditation is to be aware of what is going on – in our bodies, in our feelings, in our minds and in the world.  Each day….children die of hunger..yet the sunrise is beautiful and the rose that bloomed this morning along the wall is a miracle.  Life is both dreadful and wonderful.  To practice meditation is to be in touch with both aspects.  Please do not think we must be solemn in order to meditate.  In fact to meditate well we have to smile a lot.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

We know it isn’t new, and is often spoken as being at the heart of Buddhist meditation, however as Jon Kabat-Zinn reminds us “….Buddha himself was not a Buddhist, that term “Buddhism” was coined by 18th Century European scholars…who had little understanding of what the statues of a man sitting in a cross-legged posture on temple altars …were really about”  It is actually universal as it is all about attention and awareness, cultivating a resource that is already ours and doesn’t require going anywhere or getting anything.   It is all about the mind, and states of mind.  A state of mind called “awake”.  You have to practice meditation to cultivate mindfulness.

For the last 30 years, Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues have explored its uses in mainstream medicine for people dealing with stress, pain, illness and disease and who were not receiving full satisfaction from their health care.  The challenge was to see if there was something they could do for themselves which complimented their mainstream healthcare in order to move to better health & wellbeing.  Known as MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) this work has spread throughout health organisations over the last 10 years, BUT it isn’t just for those in pain, it is applicable to all those who are alive!

What has Science found?  There are many scientific studies to be found and the overall message is this:  Mindful awareness is different to plain awareness.  How we pay attention with our mind harnesses the nervous system in various specific ways that improve mental functioning, physiological functioning and improves relationships.  Studies have shown that when mindful awareness is recreated, by practising mindfulness every day for 10 minutes, that state ultimately becomes a trait of the individual.  Mindful practice is more than just feeling the experience in the 10 minutes of practice; it is actually setting yourself up to change the structure of the brain towards health.