I’m torn as, one the one hand, I’m a big believer in the power of mindfulness (not least because there is evidence in numerous studies to support its happiness-supporting claims), yet on the other hand it’s become such a buzzword with so much hype, I feel immediately sceptical.
But today, I want to talk about why mindfulness works. Continue reading “Beyond the mindfulness hype”
This photo is of two postcard-sized paintings I painted and framed recently. They now live over the bookshelf right next to my favourite armchair.
In the past week, I have also completely overhauled my website (with professional-quality photos, which my talented husband shot for me as I had no photos of myself without the kids). I did some research around my coaching business, wrote some content for this blog, mowed the back garden, gathered another bag of stuff to take to the charity shop and a bag of clothing scraps to recycle, and sorted some clothes to/from the loft as my boys change their clothing size. Alongside all of these tasks, I also managed to have time to read for pleasure (George Eliot’s Middlemarch) and for learning (Paul Gilbert’s The Compassionate Mind), go for coffee with my husband, take my son to a park for a playdate after school, and go for a run.
This isn’t a list designed to brag (though reading it back I’m afraid that’s how it comes across…sorry about that). It is to demonstrate the amazing power of small things.
I have learned this simple truth time and time again before forgetting and then rediscovering it. But there’s a reason “Little and often” is one of the mantras I repeat to myself: little things, done every day, make a huge difference. Continue reading “Don’t underestimate the power of small things”
Of all the coaching exercises I’ve done, this one has been one of my personal favourites and most insightful. I’ve done it a few times, and was inspired to do it again most recently after reading the May 2018 issue of Psychologies magazine (okay, so I’m a little behind, because when do I get a chance to read a magazine with a baby?).
The idea is simple. You envision your future self, and your future self helps you find the path from where you are to where she is. Continue reading “Find your inner mentor”
It’s early in the summer holidays and already I can sense how the change in routine is impacting both my five year old and me. He’s been demanding – alternating between, “what can we do now?” and, “can I have a snack?”, usually while I am still cleaning up from the last activity/snack/meal we had.
And I’ve been feeling homesick. Well, I say ‘homesick’ but it is actually a mix between genuine homesickness for my small beach hometown in Florida; nostalgia for said-hometown circa 1989; and holiday wistfulness now that I tend to experience the place on holiday.
The prolonged heat wave we’ve enjoyed in Britain all summer creates a sensory reminder of Florida, and at first I thought that was the main cause for this mood. But I could sense something else at play.
I did some reflective work today to help me centre. A combination of breathing meditation, paying attention to my body, and journaling conjured snapshot images and sensations: drinking an iced coffee in my favourite beach coffee shop…the feeling of a storm about to break over the ocean… the feeling of a good full body massage.
Amid the random assortment, a truth surfaced: pleasure can act as a gateway to purpose if I know how to listen to myself. Continue reading “Wants and needs”
The other day I really felt the need to meditate. To be completely honest, my meditation “practice” was only so established before my second baby was born, and now he’s here there’s a snag – a teething, crawling, twenty something pound snag. Continue reading “Meditating…with baby”