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Why mindfulness is so much more than an 8 week course

1
Mindfulness – the buzz word of the moment in mental health and the world. It’s everywhere!! I’ve even had close family say it’s trendy and probably won’t last long, so I shouldn’t bank on it as a sustainable business venture (I’m not going to delve into all the reasons why that’s not the point…!).

As with many trendy practices though, there either comes a time when they fade away into distant memories, or they stand the test of time – developing and expanding. Luckily for mindfulness, it’s been around for thousands of years

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2
already, so it’s got a great head start. Even if most of us are a little late to the party.

The problem is, as mindfulness gets dragged through contradictory research, and the media and government policies, all of a sudden, it becomes a prescribed checklist of actions to complete to meet specific and accountable targets in the pursuit of happiness.

More things to do. More boxes to tick. More pressure on everyone to add mindfulness into their every day lives, when all they really want to do is mong out in front of Netflix and eat ice cream.

Not

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3
sniff raisins…

(Which is exactly what a friend of mine described it as after she did an introductory course)

But mindfulness isn’t so much about what you DO, but the insight you have whilst doing it. The realisation you might become aware of.

And mindfulness can be incredibly conducive to those moments of awareness and insight. But those realisations can also arise in even the smallest moments. When you’re going about your everyday life, completing mundane chores or spending time with friends and family.

I bet we can all think of a time

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4
when we had a sudden a-ha moment. About life or existence or ourselves. Completely out of the blue, but we became aware of it.

Mindfulness helps us to notice those more frequently, dispelling the head chatter and focusing on the quiet, still voice behind the noisy, pokey voice that is often shouting of fear or anger or sadness or frustration.

The whole point of mindfulness is to notice. To become aware of, accept and let go of…well everything.

Starting with the breath, and the body, and external surroundings and then moving on to thoughts and

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5
feelings. And gradually noticing the temporary nature of all of it. And the innate okayness we all hold within us to.

Because, while modern psychology has spent the past hundred years focusing on mental dis-ease and the apparent dysfunctions we all display as human beings, Buddhism has always held that we have an in-built potential to achieve exceptional mental wellbeing.

And, as parents, facing increasing pressure from parenting and experts, social media and our own expectations, it’s so reassuring to learn that the real knowledge can be found

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deep within us.

For children, facing even more pressure from tests and exams, the media, social media and extreme perceptions of achievement, it’s a relief to know that all of that means nothing compared to the power and strength we all hold.

This is why mindfulness is so powerful.

But, there are many ways to access it. And an 8 week course costing a pretty penny, is just one way.

There are so many different programmes and adaptations for different audiences. None of them superior than the others, and none of them more or less effective.

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7
All interpretations of ancient wisdom. All wonderful springboards to improved emotional wellbeing.

Mindful Magic is exactly that – for parents and children.

We don’t try to pretend that we are therapy or counselling. Because we don’t believe there is anything that needs fixing.

We believe in the innate resilience that we all have and we can all access.

We want children to enjoy what they’re doing, to get in flow, to have fun, to play games, to laugh and move and dance and sing.

We want to engage parents and children in dialogue

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8
about emotional wellbeing, and put it at the forefront of all of our minds.

We believe that if we paid as much attention to ‘being’ as we do to ‘doing’, we could ALL live joyful, content lives.

 

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Katie Hill

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- 5 Jun 19

Mindfulness – the buzz word of the moment in mental health and the world. It’s everywhere!! I’ve even had close family say it’s trendy and probably won’t last long, so I shouldn’t bank on it as a sustainable business venture (I’m not going to delve into all the reasons why that’s not the point…!).

As with many trendy practices though, there either comes a time when they fade away into distant memories, or they stand the test of time – developing and expanding. Luckily for mindfulness, it’s been around for thousands of years already, so it’s got a great head start. Even if most of us are a little late to the party.

The problem is, as mindfulness gets dragged through contradictory research, and the media and government policies, all of a sudden, it becomes a prescribed checklist of actions to complete to meet specific and accountable targets in the pursuit of happiness.

More things to do. More boxes to tick. More pressure on everyone to add mindfulness into their every day lives, when all they really want to do is mong out in front of Netflix and eat ice cream.

Not sniff raisins…

(Which is exactly what a friend of mine described it as after she did an introductory course)

But mindfulness isn’t so much about what you DO, but the insight you have whilst doing it. The realisation you might become aware of.

And mindfulness can be incredibly conducive to those moments of awareness and insight. But those realisations can also arise in even the smallest moments. When you’re going about your everyday life, completing mundane chores or spending time with friends and family.

I bet we can all think of a time when we had a sudden a-ha moment. About life or existence or ourselves. Completely out of the blue, but we became aware of it.

Mindfulness helps us to notice those more frequently, dispelling the head chatter and focusing on the quiet, still voice behind the noisy, pokey voice that is often shouting of fear or anger or sadness or frustration.

The whole point of mindfulness is to notice. To become aware of, accept and let go of…well everything.

Starting with the breath, and the body, and external surroundings and then moving on to thoughts and feelings. And gradually noticing the temporary nature of all of it. And the innate okayness we all hold within us to.

Because, while modern psychology has spent the past hundred years focusing on mental dis-ease and the apparent dysfunctions we all display as human beings, Buddhism has always held that we have an in-built potential to achieve exceptional mental wellbeing.

And, as parents, facing increasing pressure from parenting and experts, social media and our own expectations, it’s so reassuring to learn that the real knowledge can be found deep within us.

For children, facing even more pressure from tests and exams, the media, social media and extreme perceptions of achievement, it’s a relief to know that all of that means nothing compared to the power and strength we all hold.

This is why mindfulness is so powerful.

But, there are many ways to access it. And an 8 week course costing a pretty penny, is just one way.

There are so many different programmes and adaptations for different audiences. None of them superior than the others, and none of them more or less effective. All interpretations of ancient wisdom. All wonderful springboards to improved emotional wellbeing.

Mindful Magic is exactly that – for parents and children.

We don’t try to pretend that we are therapy or counselling. Because we don’t believe there is anything that needs fixing.

We believe in the innate resilience that we all have and we can all access.

We want children to enjoy what they’re doing, to get in flow, to have fun, to play games, to laugh and move and dance and sing.

We want to engage parents and children in dialogue about emotional wellbeing, and put it at the forefront of all of our minds.

We believe that if we paid as much attention to ‘being’ as we do to ‘doing’, we could ALL live joyful, content lives.

 

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Katie Hill

Katie is the founder of Mindful Magic - dedicated to supporting the emotional wellbeing of parents and children through mindfulness-inspired programmes.

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